Author Archives: ffredpalakon

Brian De Palma’s Blow Out: “Good Scream.”

(Everything I post is to some degree unfinished, but a movie about which so much can be said and so dear to my heart as this one, I will no doubt have more to say about, and so this post might be considered more unfinished than others. An invaluable resource on all things De Palma, which I have already mentioned here is the site De Palma a la Mod; an excellent resource for this specific post was the three hour plus episode devoted to this movie by The Projection Booth podcast, “Episode 140: Blow Out” hosted by Mike White, Rob St. Mary, with guest Jamie Duvall, and featuring interviews with Nancy Allen, Dennis Franz, and producer Fred Caruso. The podcast is frequented quoted in the following and I’m grateful for their diligent and in-depth work. SPOILERS for Blow Out, Dressed to Kill, The Fury, The Black Dahlia, Casualties of War, and The Parallax View. Since this is a fairly in-depth examination of this movie, it is assumed that whoever reads it has already seen Blow Out and requires no summary or description of the plot, and none is given.)

Something’s Got to Give had portrayed Marilyn as a shipwreck survivor who has been out of the world for years. She was to ask her rescuers, “Who’s President now?” Told it is Kennedy, she would respond, “Which Kennedy?”

Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe by Anthony Summers

PAULA
Where were you when Kennedy got shot?

HARRY MOSEBY
Which Kennedy?

Night Moves

SEGISMUND
A dream!
That seem’d as swearable reality
As what I wake in now.

CLOTALDO
Ay—wondrous how
Imagination in a sleeping brain
Out of the uncontingent senses draws
Sensations strong as from the real touch;
That we not only laugh aloud, and drench
With tears our pillow; but in the agony
Of some imaginary conflict, fight
And struggle — ev’n as you did; some, ’tis thought,
Under the dreamt-of stroke of death have died.

Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca

There came Death expertly threading his graceless bicycle through traffic at the intersection of Wilshire and La Brea where, because of street repair, two westbound Wilshire lanes were funneling into one.

Death so swift! Death thumbing his nose at middle-aged horn honkers.

Death laughing, Screw you, buddy! And you.

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates

SEGISMUND
In all the shining circuits you have gone
About this theatre of human woe,
What greater sorrow have you gazed upon
Than down this narrow chink you witness still;
And which, did you yourselves not fore-devise,
You registered for others to fulfil!

Life is a Dream by Pedro Calderón de la Barca

I face the difficulty that anyone does who writes about one of their great passions, that the insights you have, the details you wish to point out, all an expression of the fervent excitement I have for this movie, these things have already been pointed out, are already well known, and your analysis is ultimately a self-centered demonstration, only of your own devotion, rather than giving off anything of valuable luminiscence. I do not think what follows is an entirely well worn path, and I try to avoid the rote or the obvious, but given that this is one of Brian De Palma’s most cherished films among his fans, I no doubt repeat things others have many times before. As always, it carries the value and disadvantage that it is only my view, an idiosyncratic map of a movie that has meant so much to me for many years.

STRONG AS A COBWEB IN THE WIND1

It’s often classed as a conspiracy theory movie, and though this is definitionally correct, it’s also a misrepresentation that might disappoint viewers expecting a creature of this zoological class. The approach of most of this genre of movie is polemical, and the conspiratorial schematic it presents is part of the polemic: such a conspiracy is possible, now. The Parallax View might be the most memorable example of this, attempting to make the implausible plausible, a conspiracy theory without melodrama in music, direction, or characterization, told in the language of social realism; where the assassination of political figures in the United States takes place, a cover-up with the accompanying murder follows, and the very man investigating the conspiracy becomes its patsy, the assassin’s weapon placed in his dead hand. There is the outlining of a plausible schematic, and at the same time the conspiratorial group is invested with powers that verge on the mystic. They are able to travel everywhere, they are near invisible, they can kill whoever they wish, and they are flawless in their actions, never giving themselves away or making a mistake – when they appear to do so in Parallax, they are actually just laying down a trail of breadcrumbs to lead the hero to his doom.

Blow Out inverts this almost immediately; it is not the villains who possess a power that might be considered almost divine, but the hero. Jack Terry goes out into the park to record sounds, and we see him able to hear at vast superhuman distances, the same mechanical gift which gives him entry into the world of the twisting plot that follows. He moves his microphone and picks up what to the viewer’s ears sounds like the leg rubbing clicks of some night insect, yet Jack’s knowledge of sounds is superior to ours, and he already hears something unnatural, mechanical in these insect-like sounds. They are not insect noises at all, but Burke pulling the wire back and forth of his watch, a nervous tic he falls into whenever he waits before pulling one of his acts of subterfuge, and we hear this same sinister noise when he is lying in the car before going into the garage to change the tire, and finally, before killing the prostitute at the train station.

After the sounds of the wire snapping in and out, Jack hears another sound from Burke at extraordinary distance which no one else nearby hears, the crunch of leaves as the man adjusts his position on the ground. The soundman then focuses on the owl, and the two briefly share the sides of the screen, both creatures of superhuman hearing. The owl cocks its head, picking up a sound so faraway it doesn’t even appear on the soundtrack and not even Jack hears it, the senator’s car approaching. The owl then turns its head entirely as the car drives quickly down the road and Terry shifts his attention as well, hearing the squeal of the tires long before the car is anywhere near in view.

The other trope of conspiracy movies, unused in Blow Out, is a hero moving along the nodes of the conspiracy before reaching its nexus, the heart, or one of several hearts of american power. This might be the Parallax corporation in Parallax, the top echelons of the CIA in Three Days of the Condor, the White House, no matter – but we have a sense of the hero navigating through the labyrinth and getting closer and closer to a center of the universe, the truth finally unveiled. By contrast, Blow Out begins on the fringes and stays on the fringes, with Jack’s position remaining essentially static. Jack and Sally are portrayed as being on the edges, of being unimportant people, not the Jim Garrison of JFK, but something like a face in the Dallas crowd and a minor dancer at Jack Ruby’s, through the movie’s compositions. There is Jack, on his listening expedition, the camera moving further and further out, till he is an insignificant point in the landscape.

A similar sequence, after Jack rescues Sally:

Jack is in the hospital, after the rescue, and he is sealed off in rooms while the frenzy erupts outside.

Jack is given a condescending point and summoning finger, as if he were a delinquent child, by a cop on behalf of one of the Philadelphia brahmins:

Jack and Sally meet for a drink as he tries to persuade her from leaving the city, and we have a prolonged establishing shot where the focus is split between them and the men at the bar.

There is the obvious culmination of this, where Sally fights for her life, a figure invisible to the crowd, high above the festive celebration:

That Jack and Sally remain on the edges of the conspiracy is a function and a necessity of the plot, but it also is very much to do with the position of these characters in society itself. They are part of the overly broad, overly general category “working class”, and though the label is overly vague, there is the obvious marker in both characters, which is that neither goes to university and there appears to have been no expectation that they would get a degree, joining one of the coveted professional classes, of doctors, lawyers, engineers, or tenured professors. Jack’s only recourse for acquiring a technical education is through military service – his family does not have the money for university, and Sally is not surprised that this would be his only option. America is both supposedly a classless society while being very much a country with a class hierarchy, and we can see the prevalence of such a hierarchy by the fact that characters from this class – other than cops, firefighters, and soldiers – rarely appear in movies unaccompanied with a polemical theme about their economic status. The movie must be about bettering themselves, about being someone other than themselves, about acquiring a university education – Blow Out, in contrast, is simply about these characters on their own terms. They are not made stupid, crude, or ugly as an expression of their class, they are not seen solely by those outside of their class, but rather, the movie’s perspective is their own. It’s difficult to conceive of Jack Terry having much interest in a university education, not because he’s unintelligent or incurious, but because his interest is so focused, so specialized around sound technology, that he would rightly wonder what a degree in any field would offer him. That Jack Terry fails by the movie’s end is not because of any lack of education or lack of intelligence, but because he sees the unveiling of the conspiracy as a redemption for the failed police sting, and he wants that redemption so badly that he becomes careless. This sin is not made into a problem or issue of any particular class, but a fatal error possible of every member of the audience.

I have written of an assassination plot and its cover-up, at which Jack and Sally are positioned at the very far fringes, and we now reach the final point which makes Blow Out very distinct from other conspiracy thrillers: there is no conspiracy. The events of the movie are not the result of a convergence of shadowy figures and forces, but the result of only one man, and that’s Burke. He has been given the simple assignment of having Manny Karp take photos of Sally and the governor together, and either by accident or on his own maverick initiative, he commits a murder. Everything that follows, the cover-up, the serial killings, the erasing of Jack’s tapes, the death of Sally, is Burke acting on his own, with campaign manager Jack Manners wanting nothing to do with this out of control lunatic he hired for a very simple piece of campaign sabotage.

The conversation between Burke and Jack Matters, campaign manager for the president:

JACK MATTERS
You were supposed to get some pictures of McRyan, not kill him.

BURKE
I understood the objectives of the operation…I never concurred with them. But I didn’t kill him, it was an accident.

MATTERS
You accidentally shot out the tire of his car!

BURKE
As you may recall, this was my initial plan as proposed at our meeting of June the 6th.

MATTERS
We rejected that plan, don’t you remember?

BURKE
Course I do admit I had to exceed the parameters of my authority somewhat, but I always stayed within an acceptable margin of error. After all, the objective was achieved. He was eliminated from the election.

MATTERS
Burke. I don’t know you. I’ve never seen you. Don’t ever call me again.

BURKE
Just a minute, sir. We’ve got some loose ends. I’ve changed the tire, made it look like a blow out. I’ve erased the sound guy’s tapes, so everybody will think he’s a crackpot. Karp’s disappeared, but I’ll find him. That still leaves the girl. I’ve decided to terminate her, and make it look like one of a series of sex killings in the area. This would completely secure our operation.

MATTERS
WHAT OPERATION!

The Projection Booth podcast put together an episode, “Episode 140: Blow Out”, full of vital details on the movie in which they touched on the way information on the conspiracy is conveyed, far different from that in other movies of the genre. Mike White is the co-host, along with Rob St. Mary (fragment is at approximately 24:19-26:12 in the recording):

MIKE WHITE
So, it’s an interesting story of who’s watching who and who knows what when. Because that’s the other thing that I find very interesting about this one is the way we’re being handed information, like I was talking about with the television earlier, which kinda comes back a few times. I mean, there’s Manny, we see him on the TV, and that’s when Jack’s buddy comes in, and turns on the television set for him. But this whole idea of when do we know things versus when Jack knows them? Like, Burke putting the tire, the replacement tire, with the car, Nick Ryan’s car. We know that before Jack knows, and Jack is insisting “Check the tire! Check the tire!”, you know. It’s like, okay, we already know that that’s going on, and then we know as well, because we have Burke saying “I’ve erased all of his tapes,” so they’re going to think he’s crazy, we know that before Jack knows, and we get that amazing scene, of Jack going in, and playing all of his tapes, and having everything coming out blank, and that whole camera move, you know, I don’t wanna say three sixty, because that would imply the camera was in one spot and just turning around, cuz that camera is really exploring the space and going around, throughout the entire room, and just the way we run into Jack as you’re going around clockwise, it’s just a remarkable set piece.

This unveils a crucial aspect of Blow Out, but this is only a partial aspect. It is not simply that the audience knows things before Jack learns of them, but that we know things with certainty, that Jack only hypothesizes about – and of which he never gains hard evidence. Only the audience is able to clearly see that there is no conspiracy, that all the malice which takes place is caused by Burke. For Jack, this is all a cloud of unknowing, on which he projects a vast network which doesn’t exist onto this opaque expanse. “Who’s ever in on this thing has a contacts in the police, because they want McRyan to sink without a trace,” Jack tells Sally. “They don’t want to hear about my gunshot.” There is not Burke alone, but a they: “They have erased my tapes, they’ve made you disappear, and next it’s going to be me.” The asymmetry of information between Jack and the audience begins almost immediately after the accident, when Jack dives into the water to save Sally, at the same time the audience clearly sees Manny Karp move away from his hiding place under the bridge and run away, a figure entirely unseen by Jack.

By the end of the movie, he still has no idea whether the attempt to compromise McRyan came from the opposing camp, or McRyan’s own campaign manager, the man who asked that he lie about being at the scene of the accident. Jack’s suspicion is not glib paranoia, but comes from difficult worldly experience. He worked for the King Commission2, where he saw cops take money from gangsters to avoid prosecution, and he saw cops turn on their own when these crimes were revealed. Mackey hates him for his part in this, “I know all about you and your fucking tapes, you put a lot of good cops away”, and Jack must consider the obvious possibility that Mackey is working against him out of vengeance for what he did in the past3. In something like Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor, or even All The President’s Men (if we’re unfamiliar with the real-life basis of the last), we learn things at the same pace as the heroes, while in Blow Out we’re given a situation that is entirely its opposite. Jack Terry has a gift of far reaching and discerning hearing which exceeds ours, yet he learns almost nothing more of the plot behind the accident, while we are shown all.

THE DROWNING POOL, THE BAGMAN, THE BURGLARS, ASPIRIN ROULETTE

The approach of Blow Out places an emphasis on the intimate, and the vivid sensual of noise and light, rather than the traveling of a convoluted plot which twists through the nodes of the conspiracy. As already said, this conspiracy has a node of one, Burke – there is no conspiracy – except that which Jack Terry has past basis to imagine. Instead of explorations of the echelons of power, we are with the characters close-up. We are given a lengthy sequence as Jack splices together the photos of the crash accident and syncs the audio with this film where we see his dedication and skill in his work; the well-known scene where Jack discovers the disorienting violation of his audio tapes having been erased, as the camera spins dizzyingly around and we hear the absence in what’s been left, not silence, but a chugging rumble and a whirring siren; the squalid scenes between Manny and Sally where we see the desperation and misery of her life. This is the core of the movie, rather than a murder plot, which, as said, remains largely a mystery to Jack by the film’s end.

I would liken the movie’s relationship to the historical scandal which initiates the plot with Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates, which takes the event of Chappaquiddick and rather than dwell on the specifics of that actual scandal, turns it into a kind of novella of vivid, often fantastic, sensation, where a woman drowns in a senator’s car, only to be revived, and the revival revealed to be an illusion, and again she dies, but no, by some miracle survives, all on an infinite loop, the recurrence of the death and the false promise of survival an unending nightmare. The senator’s tongue down the girl’s throat melts into the choking dark water, then into the suction hose that pumps her stomach in a revival attempt, the hose becoming the senator’s tongue again. The senator is obviously Edward Kennedy, but those wishing for a scathing satire will be disappointed; no mercy is shown by Oates in the portrayal, but her focus is more abstract, creating a fantastic horror world, and portraying the liberalism of the early nineties as a kind of a church in decline, where novices such as the dead woman have lost interest in the tenets of the faith and community good works, perferring idolatry of the church elders like the senator.

A fragment of Black Water, one of the many describing the crash, conveys the hypervivid sensation which takes precedent over plot points or attempts to parallel historical fact:

She heard the single expletive “Hey!” as the car skidded into a guardrail skidding sideways, the right rear coming around as in a demonic amusement ride and her head cracked against the window a red mist flashing across her eyes but she could not draw breath to scream as the momentum of their speed carried them down a brief but steep embankment, an angry staccato tapping against the car as if dried sticks were being broken, still she had not breath to scream as the car plunged into what appeared to be a pit, a pool, stagnant water in the marshland you might think only a few feet deep but black water was churning alive and purposeful on all sides tugging them down, the car sinking on its side, and Kelly was blinded, The Senator fell against her, and their heads knocked and how long it was the two of them struggled together, stunned, desperate, in terror of what was happening out of their control and even their comprehension except to think This can’t be happening, am I going to die like this, how many seconds or minutes before The Senator moaning “Oh God. Oh God” fumbled clawing at the safety belts extricating himself by sheer strength from his seat behind the broken steering wheel and with fanatic strength forcing himself through the door, opening the door against the weight of black water and gravity that door so strangely where it should not have been, overhead, directly over their heads, as if the very earth had tilted insanely on its axis and the sky now invisible was lost in the black muck beneath – how long, in her terror and confusion Kelly Kelleher could not have said.

Because Blow Out‘s focus is on the world of its two major characters, the initiating event incidental, the accident itself has the quality of a dream of overlapping scandals, of the Kennedy assassination, Chappaquiddick, and the government cover-up of Watergate. I would argue that the movie’s lack of focus on the conspiracy event, its disinterest in outlining a surrounding labyrinth, leaves us with images, the vast park, the sinking car, the drowning woman, the dead governor, abstracting the accident like Black Water does, and partly disconnects the event from actual history – when it is very much connected to past history, in the characters of Burke, of Manny Karp, of the accident, all of which are taken from the hard details of the intersection of Watergate and Chappaquiddick, and of which I think De Palma was familiar.

Richard Nixon was obsessed with all of the Kennedys, their good looks, their charm, their wealth, their connections to the eastern establishment that he despised, an animus that ran from the brother he ran against and lost, to the last survivor, even after the debacle of Chappaquiddick. This obsession shows up in that other movie which touches on Watergate, All the President’s Men, when Carl Bernstein talks to a secretary who used to work in the White House, about one of the Watergate burglars, E. Howard Hunt:

BERNSTEIN
Did you know…Howard Hunt? Didn’t he work in the office?

SECRETARY
Yeah, I knew Howard. He’s a nice person. He’s secretive. He is secretive. But. A decent man.

BERNSTEIN
Do you have any idea…what he did?

SECRETARY
Well, the White House said he was doing some investigative work.

BERNSTEIN (smiles)
What do you say?

SECRETARY
He was doing investigative work.

BERNSTEIN
On what?

SECRETARY
Different things.

BERNSTEIN
Like what? I’m just asking you.

SECRETARY
Well…the scuttlebutt for a while was that he was investigating Kennedy.

BERNSTEIN
Why?

SECRETARY
White House is real paranoid about Teddy Kennedy. I remember seeing a book about Chappaquiddick on his desk. And he was always getting material out of the White House library, the library of congress, anything he could find.

(the previous dialogue is not from the published script of All the President’s Men, which can be found here, but is a direct transcript from the movie since there are substantial differences between the lines in the movie and that of the script.)

This obsession is also revealed in the Nixon White House tapes, in these moments where the president tells his close advisors that he wants Ted Kennedy’s Secret Service protection to be used for surveillance, in order to gather damaging information which can be used to destroy him in the 1976 presidential campaign:

(Transcripts are taken from Stanley Kutler’s Abuse of Power and the transcript at whitehousetapes.net, Thursday, September 7, 1972 – 4:47pm – 6:15pm. Audio for the first segment is the file rmn_e772_06.mp3 taken from the nixontapes.org audio archive, specific page “Chron 4 Oval Office Conversations: July 1, 1972 – November 1, 1972″, entry OVAL 772-006. Audio for the second segment is the file rmn_e772_15b, also taken from the same site, same page, entry OVAL 772-015b. The tangential issue dealing with the names Schultz and O’Brien deals with George Schultz, then head of the Treasury and Larry O’Brien, head of the Democratic National Committee. The Nixon administration was trying to go after O’Brien through IRS audits.)

The ongoing attempt to find dirt on Ted Kennedy intersected with the Chappaquiddick drowning, which prompted the Nixon White House to send out a private detective to research the area to find any witnesses or dirt they might use to further damage the Massachussetts senator. The man they sent out for the assignment, Tony Ulasewicz, is described by another Watergate burglar, G. Gordon Liddy in his memoir Will. The Caulfield mentioned is Jack Caulfield, another private detective in the pay of the Nixon White House:

We found “Tony,” later identified at Watergate hearings as Anthony Ulasewicz, at Apartment 11-C, 321 East 48th Street, Manhattan. Caulfield had described the place as “a very elaborate pad – beautiful, wait’ll ya see it. My guy Tony’s puttin’ the make on one of the Chappaquiddick broads. The joint’s wired for sound. He gets her in the sack a few times, wins her confidence, and we get the facts.”

When “Tony” opened the door, I couldn’t believe what I saw. First there was “Tony” himself; a big, overweight middle-aged man who in his best day would not exactly rival Redford. Still, Casanova himself was an ugly man, and maybe “Tony” had something only a woman could appreciate. The apartment itself was something else. It was small, so small that the “bedroom” was nothing but a tiny converted alcove with a pitiful, homemade wall erected across its opening and a curtain for a door. The wall, in which he was trying to hide a tape recorder, was covered in the fake brick sold at Montgomery Ward stores in poor neighborhoods to dress up aging kitchens. A white shag rug was on the floor, and the windows were hung with red imitation velvet drapes. The decor was strictly better-grade Juarez whorehouse circa 1951.

I note two things. Jorge Luis Borges praises the magical precision of the phrase “half as old as time,” in a poetic stanza4, as opposed to the more banal and obvious “as old as time,” and this magical precision is there in describing an apartment as “better-grade Juarez whorehouse” as opposed to simply “Juarez whorehouse”. The other, more important point, is that the description of the sleazy Ulasewicz and his tiny, squalid apartment is very reminiscent of a character we are already well familiar with, Manny Karp.

Ulasewicz’s voice, a practical, matter of the fact, guttural well familiar with the ass end of politics, comes across well in a BBC documentary on the Watergate scandal (“Watergate 1/5: Break-in”, “Watergate 2/5: Cover-up”, “Watergate 3/5: Scapegoat”, “Watergate 4/5: Massacre”, “Watergate 5/5: Impeachment”), showing up in part two, when the detective is recruited for another assignment, to pay off hush money to the Watergate burglars.

Segment running from approximately 24:24-26:35:

NARRATOR
Five days after the break-in, the burglars were brought to court to be released on bail. The president’s men set about organizing their hush money. Richard Nixon’s private lawyer, Herb Kalmbach, got the assignment.

MAURICE STANS (CAMPAIGN FINANCE CHAIRMAN)
Herb Kalmbach was a close personal friend of mine, and I trusted him in every respect. So, when he came to me and said he’d like all the money I could find up to a hundred thousand dollars, I said, “I can’t find a hundred thousand dollars,” but I know where there is some money, can you tell me anything more about it? He said, “I can only tell you it’s a matter of the White House needing some money – related to the campaign.

NARRATOR
Kalmbach collected seventy five thousand dollars of Nixon campaign funds. But he had to find someone to deliver it.

TONY ULASEWICZ
I got a call…to come down to Washington. And to meet with Mr. Herbert Kalmbach. I came to the hotel in Washington, D.C., I came up right away…he didn’t have his socks on, and he apologized for that. And I’d been in the army, in the navy, and he apologized for not having his socks on. At any rate, he got into this story, he’d met with John Dean. A park bench across from the White House. Dean said that on the highest authority, it was decided, that Herb Kalmbach would provide funds and that Tony Ulasewicz, the only one they could trust, would distribute said funds, to those who broke into the Watergate building. So now, he has an attaché case, and he’s got seventy five grand in there. The seventy five thousand now, he’s taking it out of the attaché case, and putting it on a bed. Now, seventy five grand, you know, is quite a bit of lettuce. And there was a laundry bag in the closet, one of these, very thin brown paper that you put your laundry in and leave it out by the door. And I plucked all that cabbage, and I put it into the bag, tied it up with the string, maybe twice over, put it under my arm, and said we’ll be in touch. Now, I’ll await your instructions.

Segment running from approximately 40:16-41:43:

NARRATOR
Nixon’s re-election machine looked unstoppable. But he knew that if the Watergate burglars started talking, it would be all over. So his campaign funds were used to buy more than just rallies, they bought silence. Howard Hunt and his wife began taking delivery of the hush money to distribute to the burglars.

TONY ULASEWICZ
I’m gonna do these drops at the airport. And I would- Because lockers were always handy. I’d get a locker number, I’d take the key, put the money in the locker, take the key out. And I’d tape it underneath the telephone. Then I would call on another phone, I’d call the person, whatever name we’d use, Mrs. Hunt at that time, one time Mr. Hunt appeared and picked it up, and I’d say the key is taped- Take that key and go to the locker and pick up your drop. And that’s the way we did it. And it worked very well.

If Karp is made in the image of Ulasewicz, then Burke is a replica of the Watergate burglar already mentioned, G. Gordon Liddy. There is a constricted, lunatic fanaticism to Liddy, and a blind worship of force, both of which can be seen in Burke. It is possible that Liddy’s later behavior can be traced to his overwhelming desire to serve in the army, and fight in Korea, the latter hope dashed when he busted his appendix after a bout of drinking followed by a sit-up contest. This failure to serve may have caused him to overcompensate later on, where he invested every aspect of life with the rigor of a Prussian and coiled violence of a Cossack. Liddy would work in the White House, ostensibly as legal counsel to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), but really to perform intelligence gathering and sabotage of their democratic opponents. The political aides inside the Nixon White House would brag and brag about the presidential rallies they’d organized, which soon ran on Liddy’s nerves. “Hey, you guys,” he’d ask, “you want to see a real rally?,” after which he took them to one of his favorite movies, Triumph of the Will.

Liddy would present something called GEMSTONE to Nixon’s Attorney General for approval. GEMSTONE was a series of plans to disrupt Democratic rivals and gather information on these rivals through spies and surveillance, each element named after a gem or mineral element. Liddy does a thorough job describing the presentation in Will, and the following are some representative excerpts:

DIAMOND was our counterdemonstration plan. At the time, we still expected the [Republican convention] to be held in San Diego. I repeated my objections to the site, then pointed out that the best technique for dealing with a mob had been worked out years before by the famed Texas Rangers.

I pointed out that we would be dealing with skilled and determined urban guerillas who had been distributing manuals for violent guerilla tactics against the convention, including homemade bombs; that the Sports Arena area would be impossible to hold against a well-led mob attack; and that I proposed to emulate the Texas Rangers by identifying the leaders through intelligence before the attack got under way, kidnap them, drug them, and hold them in exico until after the convention was over, then release them unharmed and still wondering what happened.

RUBY concerned the infiltration of spies into the camp of Democratic contenders, then the successful candidate himself. COAL was the program to furnish money clandestinely to Shirley Chisholm of New York to finance her as a contender and force Democratic candidates to fight off a black woman, bound to generate ill-feeling among the black community and, we hoped, cause them difficulty with women.

EMERALD outlined the use of a chase plane to eavesdrop on the Democratic candidate’s aircraft and buses when his entourage used radio telephones.

QUARTZ detailed emulation of the technique used by the Soviet Union for microwave interception of telephone traffic, and I explained in detail the way it was done by the Soviet Embassy.

For use in gathering information at the Democratic National Convention at Miami Beach, Hunt [this is the already mentioned Watergate burglar, E. Howard Hunt] and I had an option to lease a large houseboat moored within line of sight of the Fontainebleau [a hotel in Miami]. This would enable it to be used as a communications center for CRYSTAL – electronic surveillance. It was an opulent barge, with a lush bedroom featuring a large mirror over the big king-sized bed. We’d get our money’s worth from the houseboat. It would double as headquarters for SAPPHIRE because it was from there that our prostitutes were to operate. They were not to operate as hookers but as spoiled, rich, beautiful women who were only too susceptible to men who could brag convincingly of the importance of what they were doing at the convention. The bedroom would be wired for sound, but I disagreed with Hunt’s suggestion that movie cameras be used. That wouldn’t be necessary to get the information, might cost us the women recruited who might object to being filmed in flagrante, and, as I pointed out to Howard, there wasn’t room to install them overhead anyway.

I presented a plan for four black-bag jobs, OPALs I through IV. They were clandestine entries at which microphone surveillances could be placed, as well as TOPAZ: photographs taken of any documents available, including those under lock. As targets I proposed the headquarters of Senator Edmund Muskie’s campaign on K Street, N.W.; that of Senator George McGovern on Capitol Hill; one for the Democratic National Convention at any hotel, because we had access to just about anything we wanted through all the Cuban help employed in the Miami Beach hotels. One entry would be held in reserve for any target of opportunity Mitchell wished to designate as we went along. I looked at him questioningly, but he just kept sucking on his pipe, suggesting none.

The total cost of these operations, Liddy would tell attorney general John Mitchell, was one million dollars.

John Mitchell made much of filling and relighting his pipe and then said, “Gordon, a million dollars is a hell of a lot of money, much more than we had in mind. I’d like you to go back and come up with something more realistic.”

As I restacked the charts, John Mitchell continued, “And Gordon?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Burn those charts; do it personally.”

“Yes, sir.”

Again, these plans for illegal wiretaps, break-ins, use of prostitutes for surveillance of members of an offical political party of the United States were all presented for approval to the highest arbiter of justice in the land, Nixon’s attorney general, John Mitchell. In Blow Out, Burke receives his orders from the president’s campaign manager, Jack Manners, with the killing of the governor and the later cover-up all rogue operations which had been presented to the campaign manager, and which he has already rejected. Who does Manners look uncannily like? John Mitchell.

There was another operation that Liddy was involved in, outside of the command structure of John Mitchell, and that dealt with a reporter named Jack Anderson, who’d infuriated the White House by his publication of stories reliant on insider leaks that were devastating to the administration. Liddy is forthright in Will about the plan of action against Anderson, put forth by fellow Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt at a luncheon, also attended by a medical doctor named Edward Gunn. Both Gunn and Hunt were formerly of the CIA.

The purpose of the luncheon, Hunt had explained to me previously, was to take advantage of the expertise of Dr. Gunn in preparing, for the approval of Hunt’s “principal,” a plan to stop columnist Jack Anderson. Even with each other, Hunt and I often, when discussing the most sensitive of matters, used the term my principal rather than identify our superiors. I, at least, had several. Hunt, to my knowledge, had only one: Chuck Colson.

Anderson, Hunt reported, had now gone too far. As the direct result of an Anderson story, a top U.S. intelligence source abroad had been so compromised that, if not already dead, he would be in a matter of days. That was too much. Something had to be done.

I took the position that, in a hypothetical case in which the target had been the direct cause of the identification and execution of one of our agents abroad, halfway measures were not appropriate. How many of our people should we let him kill before we stop him, I asked rhetorically, still not using Anderson’s name. I urged as the logical and just solution that the target be killed. Quickly.

My suggestion was received with immediate acceptance, almost relief, as if they were just waiting for someone else to say for them what was really on their minds.

Liddy would also explain in Will his justification for assassinating a journalist:

There is a point beyond which I will not go, and that is anything my conscience tells me is malum in se (evil in and of itself) or my judgement tells me is irrational. I have no problem with doing something that is malum prohibitum (wrong only because of the existence of a law prohibiting it).

An example of malum in se would be the sexual assault of a child. In every society such a thing would be recognized as wrong. It would require no act of the legislature forbidding it to inform people that it was wrong. An example of malum prohibitum, on the other hand, would be the statute prohibiting driving through a stop sign without coming to a complete halt. Absent such a law, to do so would be a morally indiffernt act.

Common sense tells us that minor problems require and justify but minor responses, and only extreme problems require and justify extreme solutions. In the case of killing it is well to remember that the Ten Commandments, translated correctly from the original Aramaic, do not contain the injunction “Thou shalt not kill.” It reads, “Thou shalt not do murder.” Quite another thing. There are circumstances that not only justify killing but require it (when one is charged with the safekeeping of a child, for example, and the only way to prevent its death from another’s attack is to kill that other person). These are all situations that require informed and responsible judgements.

A number of methods of assassination were discussed. There was the possibility of applying LSD to the steering wheel of Anderson’s car, which might trigger a disruption of motor functions, causing Anderson to fatally crash his vehicle. You could play a game called aspirin roulette, where one of Anderson’s aspirins was substituted with a lookalike pill that was a lethal poison. Another suggestion from Liddy: “I submitted that the target should just become a fatal victim of the notorious Washington street-crime rate.” One more was to smash into Anderon’s car, killing him, but making it look like one more traffic accident. Liddy would recall this last approach when he was a guest on “The Howard Stern Show” (this interview is in four parts on youtube, one, two, three, four, and the following is taken from part one, 13:35 to the end of the clip):

STERN
If you had killed Jack Anderson, like you proposed to the Nixon Administration, what would you have used? Because you did advocate an assasination.

LIDDY
Yeah. Well, what we decided to do was…we knew the route he came into the office…and it included a traffic circle.

QUIVERS
You’re going to shoot him in the circle?

LIDDY
No, you’re not gonna shoot him in the circle. There’s a way you hit the car in a certain way, and it would flip and kill him.

STERN
The bullet, when they-

LIDDY
There’s no bullet, there’s a car accident.

QUIVERS
You’re hitting the car with a bullet, right?

LIDDY
No. No. You are hitting the car with another car.

This background is brought up to make obvious that the elements of the conspiracy in Blow Out are neither radical nor fantastic, but a very real part of American history, with a few small paths changed. Rather than gather information after Chappaquiddick, imagine if Tony Ulacewicz had been tasked with getting damaging information before it had taken place. Instead of Hunt and Liddy hiring prostitutes for purposes of surveillance as part of the SAPPHIRE section of the GEMSTONE plan, Ulacewicz would bring in a woman with the objective of destroying a candidate. Instead of assassinating a journalist for the greater good of the country, we might imagine Liddy, or a figure like him, believed that the killing of a governor was one of those situations that served a greater and necessary purpose. Rather than kill the man through an ersatz car accident, he would take the suggestion of Robin Quivers, and hit the tire with a bullet. It was a situation that required “informed and responsible judgement,” to use Liddy’s phrase, and perhaps the killing of a senator or a governor fell under the category of malum prohibitum rather than malum in se. Perhaps the killing of three women to cover up the assassination might fall under malum prohibitum as well. If anything, Blow Out is perhaps more conservative in its conspiracy, because we have only the actions of a rogue agent. As we can see in the excerpted section, however, one of the top officials in the White House may well have been behind the initial order to kill Jack Anderson. We now have audio tapes of Nixon personally ordering a break-in at the think tank, the Brookings Institute5. In this movie, we have a single agent acting on his own. In reality, we had a White House that went rogue.

AUDIOPHILIA / PERSONAL EFFECTS / I AM OF BOTH YOUR DIRECTIONS

Blow Out was at first not called Blow Out, but something else entirely, as described in The Projection Booth podcast, fragment going from 46:50 to 48:00:

MIKE WHITE
The title, Blow Out, was not the original title for this film. Personal Effects was the first title for it…which I found to be a very interesting title, really, because you’ve got both the idea of the sound effects and them being your effects, but then the whole idea of personal effects, usually, when you talk about someone passing away, you are given their personal effects. And so it’s just this kind of nice play on words, and him going to Blow Out was definitely much more of a throwback to Blow Up, which I think is a very nice homage that he’s doing with the title, and you’re right, there’s definitely some nods back to Antonionni but…I don’t know, the thing when it comes to Antonionni’s films, at least the few that I’ve seen, it always feels like somebody took his movies and put them in a pot of boiling water, boiled out all the emotions, and then what’s left is what gets projected on screen? Because it just never feels like I care about any of the people in his films, it always feels like a bunch of sleepwalkers going through the motions, whereas with Blow Out, I definitely felt like there was so much emotion, and I really cared for these characters.

There are several associations with the phrase “Personal Effects”, the most obvious that it’s the name of Jack Terry’s sound engineering company, never said aloud, but there in the print on the glass of the door:

Personal effects, as White says, are the possessions you might acquire after someone’s death, which immediately makes one think of Sally, but I find the phrase hints at Sally in another way: Jack works in sound effects, while Sally works in make-up, which might be thought of as personal effects. De Palma’s movies are often extraordinarily succinct, wasting few words on lengthy exposition or backstory. We sense characters visually, through their expressions, their posture, movements, clothes, and their work. Kate of Dressed to Kill is one of the most memorable characters in any of his movies, yet she has almost no dialogue, with Kate made a tangible, memorable presence entirely in her face, as she observes, reacts, is chased, and chases back. The vocations of Jack and Sally are a handy metaphors for aspects of these characters which, in another movie, might be made more explicit.

The sensibility of a conspiracy theorist, or simply someone looking deeply into a particularly obscure world and discerning a pattern, is well captured in the profession of a sound engineer. Jack Terry doesn’t just hear at great distance through his technology, his hearing is extraordinarily acute through years of experience, able to discern small subtleties of sound. “You heard the blow out,” the cop tells Terry of what he heard on the night of the accident. “Yes I heard the blow out, but the first sound I heard was the bang.” Replies the cop: “That’s some kind of an echo.” Jack: “No. Look. I know what an echo sounds like, I’m a sound man, and, the bang was before the blow out.” He insists that the sound is there, though no one else can hear it – when Jack plays back the tape for Sally, she says, “I mean, I heard a noise, maybe it was a gunshot.” Only when she hears the sounds accompanied by Karp’s film is she able to clearly recognize the gunshot. This is very much like the closed off world of someone who might be investigating a historical or political mystery; they insist they perceive a pattern, yet others, not knowing the details of the various minor characters and coincidences of this unilluminated corner of the world cannot say with certainty whether their theory is credible, only seemingly credible, or false. This is also something like what a movie director feels – whatever the setbacks and problems in filming, whatever others say, they see a vision in the screenplay and the footage that others do not, and sometimes these certainties crashes thuddingly to the ground, and other times this mad vision is exhilaratingly right. The viewer has the luxury of certainty, the movie showing us that Burke clearly was behind the governor’s death. This certainty is often expected on the part of the audience, that the hero’s suspicions are always right, that the hero is always correct and righteous in his actions, and this very attitude is upended by the movie’s finale. De Palma is well aware of how easily the audience can fall into unquestioning assent that a movie’s protagonist is always right, and later in his career he uses this to play a rather nasty trick in Mission: Impossible. There, in an early scene, we are shown footage of a senator speaking on TV, who Ethan Hunt will impersonate at the embassy. This speech is played loud enough for the audience to easily make out every word, for us to easily discern its meeting, and this senator is greeted with withering disdain by the television host, and dismissive laughter by our heroes:

ETHAN HUNT
We’re using Waltzer?

JIM PHELPS
He’s our guy.

HUNT
Isn’t he chairing the arms services committee?

PHELPS
Not this week. This week he’s fly fishing, at the Oughterard Slough in County Kildaire with one of our best Irish guides.

CLAIRE
He won’t be back anytime soon.

WALTZER
-irrelevant at best, or unconstitutional at worst.

TV HOST
With all due respect, Senator, it sounds as if you want to lead the kind of charge that Frank Church led in the nineteen hundred and seventies.

WALTZER
No- No-

TV HOST
…and in the process destroyed the intelligence capability of this country.

WALTZER
I wanna know who these people are. And how they’re spending our tax payers’ money. We were living in a democracy, the last time I checked6.

De Palma, I think, is very much a skeptic of the national security state, and he puts what is probably the sanest attitude in this movie, and the one he probably most likely agrees with, in this marginal character who simply wants greater accountability and transparency for an intelligence agency that might well be acting outside of the constitution. This attitude may well have greater resonance in the present time than at the time of the movie’s release, given what we now know. Yet how can this senator possibly be right, if he is some reedy voiced senior, dripping in earnestness and piety, looked on with ridicule by a heroic character played by the biggest movie star in the world and mocked so mercilessly by the host of a TV show? It is perhaps helpful to note, and allows us to return to the subject of Blow Out, that this same TV host is John McLaughlin, an alumnus – like G. Gordon Liddy and John Mitchell – of the Nixon administration, where he was a speechwriter and one of the staunchest defenders of the president, even after Watergate broke7. Yet how could this Nixon devotee possibly be wrong, if a character played by Tom Cruise agrees with him?

There is nothing obviously unsympathetic about Jack Terry, there is no karmic payback in Sally’s death. Jack is more heroic and virtuous than most of us; he worked to end corruption in the Philadelphia police department, and he saves Sally from drowning. Jack is a man who is the audience’s heroic proxy, and his quest for redemption is our quest for redemption as well – we wish him to succeed as it gives us hope that we too might begin again, that we will have second and third chances. There is the expectation of movies that they will affirm our heroic fantasies, and Blow Out gives us a partial affirmation, providing us the concrete proof that Jack is entirely right in his belief in an assassination attempt, and then pulls the rug out from us – Jack fails in his mission because he badly misjudges the situation, and this misjudgement is a result of his quest for redemption by exposing the conspiracy, yet we in the audience wish him on in this reckless mission. We expect the very mechanics of the type of movie we’re watching – a thriller with a charismatic Hollywood star – will save him, that a hero in this context cannot fail. Yet he does.

Sound effects are Jack’s speciality, and make-up is Sally’s. Though we are never told any exact details about the matter, I think it can be inferred that she has suffered great abuse, and had to abide such abuse. We see her with Manny Karp as he paws at her, as she initially resists with little energy, as if she has become conditioned to expect a steady dose of such maltreatment in this life. This might be what allows Jack to act as he does in his worst moments in the movie, sending her back to get the film from Karp, humiliating her and then intimidating her into doing this, knowing that she won’t fight back.

SALLY
What are you going to do?

JACK
What do you mean what am I going to do? What are we going to do?

SALLY
What do I have to do with this?

JACK
Oh, will you cut the shit, Sally. I know what you were doing in that car.

SALLY (quietly)
What do you know.

JACK
That you and your friend Karp were setting up McRyan to be blackmailed, getting scummy pictures of you and the candidate getting laid after the Liberty Ball, right? What did you do, tell him that running water under a well-lit bridge gets you hot?

SALLY (quietly)
Who told you that.

JACK
I got a look at your earlier work. Some motel candid camera shots. You got nice tits. Who was paying you to flash them at McRyan?

JACK
Nobody wants to know about conspiracy, I don’t get it. Let me tell you something. I know what I heard and what I saw. And I’m not gonna stop until everyone in this fucking country hears and sees the same thing. And you’re gonna help me. Yeah you. You’re gonna find your pal Karp, and you’re gonna get that original film. Because this isn’t any good, I need the original. Because if we don’t get this out and in television for everybody to see, they’re gonna close the book. And any loose ends that happen to be hanging out like you or me, are going to be cut right off. So you got your choice. You can be crazy or dead, either will do.

SALLY (on the verge of tears)
Alright, alright. I’ll try and get the film. Then will you just leave me alone about all of this?

JACK
I wish I was the only one you had to worry about.

SALLY
You know if you’re trying to scare me, you’re doing a good job.

JACK
I’m trying to save our asses.

SALLY
I’ll look after my own ass, thank you.

When Jack tells Sally, “And you’re gonna help me. Yeah you. You’re gonna find your pal Karp, and you’re gonna get that original film,” he gives her the same condescending, commanding pointed finger that he received from the cop, when he was told to change his story:

There is an economic element to this intimidation as well: we see the sizes of their respective places, and Jack’s is clearly bigger, a two storey house. Money determines your importance, and whatever the miseries of his work, he is doing far better than her, has more money, is relatively more important, and this intimidates her as well. The assassination film is his project, and he forces her to do what’s necessary that it be completed. Jack stashes the audio tape away in the ceiling, and the camera takes its perspective, looking down, Jack’s guiding polar star which he makes Sally’s guiding polar star as well. When we shift to the scene at Karp’s, it ends with Manny unconscious, the camera looking down again from the ceiling on the wreckage, the outcome of Jack’s obsession.

(the respective houses of Sally, and then Jack’s)

Sally tells Jack, “I know how to fix a face”, and he asks her in the conversation at the bar, “How about if I broke a nose? How would you deal with a broken nose?”, and she says, “Ah, that’s easy.” You’re reminded that make-up is a useful skill to have to hide bruises, to conceal the personal effects of a man kicking the shit out of you. Sally, of course, knows how to apply make-up so that it doesn’t even look like she’s wearing make-up, and she’s equally able to adopt a pose where one cannot easily tell how much of it is natural girlishness, and how much a survival strategy to forget past hurts and avoid further suffering.

She is a particularly nettlesome character to some viewers, and the discussion on The Projection Booth with regards to her is especially enlightening. This excerpt conveys succinctly the broad range of feelings towards her, as well as what her character embodies, fragment running approximately from 18:54 to 22:49:

MIKE WHITE
Jack saves Sally, pulls her out of the sinking car. We’ve got the governor, who might have been the next president, in the car with them, setting off this whole political intrigue. So, what did you guys think about Nancy Allen as Sally?

ROB ST. MARY
She seems almost child-like. At times. And child-like to a point, for me, is a bit annoying. It’s almost like she’s so oblivious to what’s going on, is so sorta naive, that it’s almost, it’s kinda hard for me to have sympathy for her at times, because I’m like, you are so dumb. You can’t even kinda figure this out. There are parts where she just seems way too ten years younger than she should be, she seems like a girl in her early teens or something, and I don’t know why I got that feeling, but I definitely got it in the early go, and as she progresses, it gets better, like the character gets a little hip to what’s going on, and sorta realizes the implications of what she’s dealing with.

JAMIE DUVALL
It’s a tough performance to grapple with in many ways, and I think it was a completely brave choice the way she chose to play it. Because you could see her as a complete air-headed bimbo at the movie’s start, with the high voice and the, you think it’s too exaggerated, but I think she starts with a stereotype, and she slowly humanizes it. And I think that her idealism, her kinda wide eyed idealism, is very fitting with the theme of the movie, because she’s the stereotypical hooker with the heart of gold. In her position, she has probably seen a lot of terrible things in life, and yet she maintains that kind of wide-eyed dreamy innocence in some way. While Travolta’s character, he’s grasping at the last straws of his idealism. And this is his, through the course of the movie, this is his one chance to try and make things right. I like the contrast between those two characters and I like that the innocence in her is exaggerated.

WHITE
Yeah, there’s a telling moment towards the end of the film, I know we’ll eventually get to it, kinda want to throw out this here now: do you guys see her as just being, I know this is going to sound really frickin ponderous, but: do you see her more as a symbol of America’s innocence and, you know, Jack is maybe someone who is post-sixties whereas she is maybe pre-sixties kind of thing? Do you see her as kindof that desire for a simpler, better time and that she kinda lets some of these things, because she has been in these bad places. I know that you said, Jamie. I know that you- you see her caught in one of these candid motel photograph kind of things and yet, she doesn’t seem like she’s that person. She just seems to be kinda oblivious and wants to move on with things, and look for the better way whereas Jack doesn’t, do you see her as that symbol of innocence?

DUVALL
I do think you can very easily see her as that. She’s got her blinders on, to the dangers of the world around her. But she can’t escape them forever. And- I think there’s a reason why she’s killed in front of a big American flag, at the end of the film. I mean-

WHITE
Oh, SPOILERS.

DUVALL
Oh, I’m sorry. It’s pretty hard to avoid when you’re talking about where that character goes and what she means to the story. You know, her demise. Yeah, I think that’s a beautiful reading, and I love how you used the term countercultural, because De Palma is a countercultural film-maker. He’s always been a political minded film-maker. And I think that both of these characters kinda represent that in some way.

The startling, iconic shot just mentioned is, of course, this one:

Though an outwardly simple character, Sally has several fascinating ambiguities, such as whether she ever worked as a prostitute, how much she was involved in that work, and how she reconciles the frequently rough life of sex work with a kind and trusting disposition. The sections of The Projection Booth when Nancy Allen speaks of her character might be its most insightful moments, as she seemingly acknowledges that Sally worked as a prostitute while also denying it. We sense perhaps the protectiveness actors adopt for their own characters, but perhaps also the way an actor cannot express a detail about their character without also adopting the perspective of the person portrayed: I wear the kind of elegant expensive boots that a prostitute of the time would wear, but I’m not a prostitute since I’ve insisted on forgetting that I was ever such a thing, and so how could I be something that I don’t remember being?

A fragment that runs from 2:15:08 to 2:15:54:

MIKE WHITE
Your character, even though I sense she’s a prostitute, is one of the nicest people in the film.

NANCY ALLEN
Well, she’s not exactly a prostitute (laughs) as I said before. She is in her- She is working with this guy, this creepy detective, to expose these horrible cheating men. So, in her mind, she’s really doing a service to other women. Of course, she’s in complete denial of what she’s doing. As I am of her character, because I don’t see her as a prostitute. I see her as a very sweet, well-intentioned, young girl, who was easily manipulated and trusting, of men. So, you know, I can relate to that.

Another fragment, running from approximately 2:28:55 to 2:33:51:

MIKE WHITE
Where did you come up with that voice to do?

NANCY ALLEN
The voice came after, I had a visual, sometimes I try, just when you think about a character, and I had this visual of her as a, just a little rag doll, just a little raggedy ann, curly red haired, I don’t know, it kinda floated through me as I was walking around, as I tend to do, just mulling over characters, and I had a visual of her, and Brian wanted me to do a Philadelphia accent, which I had a really hard time with. I just hate accents so much, I was really resistant to doing it. We talked about characters like Giulietta Masina in, god, I’m going blank now- You know, not so bright, well intentioned, kindof character, do you know the movie I’m thinking of? With Giulietta Masina and Anthony Quinn? What is that movie, I know you know what one I’m talking about, I know what one I’m talking about.

WHITE
Is it La Strada?

ALLEN
YES! Thank you. Brilliant. You win the prize. So, we were talking about that, and I said, what if I just do kindof a New York-ese, not well educated kind of way of talking that, and just- The idea of, I was trying to think, why do women, certainly the women that I know, [goes into higher pitched, babyish voice, which sounds a lot like Sally] You know, this is kind of one of their voice days. [back to normal] And I thought, well, you know what? These are women who are resistant to growing up, keep their child like qualities, it works for them to a point, I mean, obviously, as you get older it’s a little bit unappealing. But- so- Maybe that’s going to justify- Take that idea and apply it to this character. And so, that’s where that came from. I will tell you, I think one of the first things that I shot was the hospital scene. With John. Who was unshaven, and wouldn’t wear make-up, and poor George Litto, who was producing at that time, came to the set, and he said “I’m paying three million dollars to a movie star, and he won’t wear make-up?” And then he looked at me and said, “Are you…you using that voice throughout the whole picture, or just in this scene?” And he just walked away, shaking his head, he didn’t know what to do with either of us. That’s where all of that came from.

WHITE
Whenever I think of you in the film, I think of your voice, but I also think of that coat, that you wear.

ALLEN
Oh, yes! [laughs] YES. There were many of those. Ann Roth made, six or eight of those, with the fox collar and…yeah yeah yeah, it was a great coat.

WHITE
It was like crushed velvet?

ALLEN
EXACTLY! Very good. Indeed it was. And I had very expensive boots. Always very expensive boots, because Ann Roth had done Klute, and she’d done a lot of research about hookers and girls like that, and they always had good shoes. Great boots.

WHITE
But you weren’t a hooker?

ALLEN
Well, THAT’S RIGHT. That’s what I say. [laughs]

WHITE
I guess the coat helped my perception of that.

ALLEN
She [Ann Roth] had such a great touch of detail, I don’t know if anyone has noticed it, because there’s probably only one scene where it’s visible to the eye, but when I talked to her about the character and I told her my visual concept, and things I was thinking about with her, and the idea, that some day she was going to be a make-up artist, a movie star. I liked the idea that this young girl had an idea about lucky charms, and things like that. So, she put together, I still have it somewhere, it’s a rabbit’s foot, on a thin pink satin ribbon. That I always wore, and it was either under- but I always wore that charm when we were shooting. It was, those little details really make a difference when you have something like that. That’s what’s so great about the collaboration of film, where an actor can work with another actor, and a director, and a costume person, and make-up person, and really great costumes, and wonderful hair and make-up, it really fleshes out a character, and all of a sudden you look at yourself, and you go, yeah, that’s her. That’s it. This is it exactly, and you start to feel it in a big way.

This mixture of ambiguity and simplicity, the kindness, the voice, all make me link this character to an actress now inextricably connected to the Kennedys, and that would be Marilyn Monroe. The accident at the heart of the movie, which might feel like a dreamy conflation of american tragedies, might carry the echo of a lost hypothetical: what if Marilyn Monroe had hooked up with the one Kennedy brother she didn’t, and was there in the car with him at Chappaquiddick? Though I think Allen has a wider range, I can see Monroe’s peculiar genius making her a perfect fit for the part of Sally had Blow Out somehow been made in the 1950s, one of those roles where she would have been great, but which would also provoke the question of whether she was acting, or just playing Marilyn Monroe…or whether she’s always playing Marilyn Monroe. This tragic icon would get paid $50 to be photographed nude by Tom Kelley, who would sell the pictures for $500, which then went into a calendar that made a profit of three quarters of a million dollars; “He says he heard all about our fine divorce work and offers us six grand,” says Manny Karp, explaining the meeting with Burke for the McRyan job. “Six? You told me three,” says Sally. “Yeah, well, three before and three after,” says Karp. Sally: “When were you going to tell me about the three after?” Monroe, we’re told in The Genius and the Goddess, “was a prostitute, in cars on shady side-streets, in return for small amounts of money to buy food,” just as Sally had to do paid sex work to survive; the most striking similarity is that Monroe, despite the very grim circumstances of her life, was able to exhibit a girlish, open-eyed, friendly atttitude, and how much of that was affect beneath which the actual Marilyn was enwrapped is an open question. Nunally Johnson, a screenwriter and friend of Monroe would say that she was “generally something of a zombie. Talking to her is like talking to somebody underwater“, and this might be something like the exasperation people have with Sally, where you might ask, what part of you isn’t gauzy cotton candy?8

I don’t think I’ve ever had this complaint with the character, because Sally has always made perfect sense to me, someone who has been very badly hurt over and over again, and has made herself into a strange kind of creature, an unknowable amnesiac submissive, to avoid being hurt again. In her first scene after the drowning, Sally moves about drugged, finally so comatose she has to be pushed onto her bed. In her last scene, she’s dragged about in a tight grip by Burke. Manny gets her in the beds of men for divorce work. Jack pushes her into retrieving the film from Manny. Throughout the movie, she acquiesces to being a device in other plots, culminating in the last, which she finally resists, a victim in a series of killings. We might see in the three characters of Jack, Burke, and Sally, a trinity, with Jack the middle point. Burke is technically adept like Jack, able to tap into and re-wire the phone system much like the title charcter of Three Days of the Condor, yet he is a sociopath, a man entirely without any sense of the humanity of others. Jack does have this feeling, along with Burke’s precision and focus, yet when his obsession overtakes him, when he forces Sally to retrieve Karp’s film, he loses this empathy. Sally has none of the engineering gifts of these two men, but is far more compassionate, with a far greater sense of the feelings of others, and this makes her guilt ridden, and it compels her to forget, to sometimes act as if some things never took place. “Manny, we got him killed,” she says tearfully to Karp, about governor McRyan’s accident. “Don’t give me any of this conscience shit,” says Karp. “You’re a pig, Manny,” she says, “And I’m a pig too.” Though it’s never said openly, one reason why Sally connects with Jack, feels such sympathy for him, is that they both know what it’s like to be haunted by the past, a death they feel complicit in causing.

One can understand why Allen felt the rabbit’s foot so crucial, because this is a character, whatever her outward circumstances, who somehow remains wide eyed and optimistic. She believes that luck will guide her to a better life, and this is the same magical thinking cure of most Hollywood movies, that we needn’t worry, that things will somehow turn out for the best in the end. The rabbit’s foot will protect Sally’s life, and Jack Terry will somehow prevail, save her, and become a hero by uncovering an American coup, and in another movie we can easily imagine this happy ending. But not this one. The one detail that Allen misremembers is that the rabbit’s foot was not a hidden talisman serving as just a helpful lodestone to the actress visible only in one scene – it is prominently displayed throughout the movie, another example of De Palma effectively using the visual, clothing and props, to convey a character well. Sally is wearing the rabbit’s foot when she dies:

I see Sally as someone like Marilyn Monroe, where we’re no longer sure where the artifice begins and ends, but I also see her as a play on the types we might see in the kind of exploitation movie that’s shown in the opening. Sally would be the squeaky voiced Bimbo, but rather than leave her as the flat expendable type of a low grade horror movie, she’s made into something complicated, a woman of kindness, suffering, and desperation. She’s accompanied by another possible type from the exploitation movie, the nameless hooker played by Deborah Everton, who in another movie would be a woman to be hated, the Bitch or Slut. Though we know almost nothing of this character, the performance makes this character into something other than a flat type as well, a woman who has to put up with lousy, tiresome, nasty work for her pay. She can turn on a charming, luminiscent face and turn it off on a dime, which aren’t simply the skillset of a hooker, but the basic necessity of anyone in the service industry, whether you’re a waiter, counter person, barista, or tech support, with the demand that you remain friendly towards the customer putting you on the edge of hating the customer as well. The hooker gives a beaming smile to Burke, then with a quick turn it fades off, the fade out accompanied by the clank of the telephone door. The friendliness is machine like, just as working in the service industry is like an unending lesson in how to be a friendly machine, and you have to be a friendly machine because you have no other choice. “You need the money that bad?,” Jack asks Sally about her extortion work. “C’mon, you know where I work,” she replies. “I get paid to smile my ass off and show the twenty seven colored lipsticks they’re pushing. You know how much I make? Shit is what I make.”

Rather than hating this prostitute for the coldness you need to make it through the day doing certain kinds of work, we empathize with her. Any hatred for this character, who might be the nasty Bitch the audience is supposed to hiss at in another movie, does not emanate from anyone sympathetic who we might connect with, but the lunatic serial killer Burke, who stares after her with cold loathing. We’re briefly given something of this perspective in Blonde, the fictional account of Marilyn Monroe’s life by Joyce Carol Oates, when it enters the mind of the photographer who shoots Monroe’s calendar. “Shooting a girl’s ruined face and her breasts jiggling and her ass and she’s young-looking as a kid stuffed into a woman’s body, innocent like something you’d want to smudge with your thumb just to dirty up.” These women move from exploitation types where their killings would be simply a dramatic musical cue and gore, blood dripping over bare tits, say, to a place where their deaths have a tragic weight, where the audience resists the possibility that Sally might die. The women have a sorrowful end, but the movie does not smudge them with its thumb. After Sally’s death, she is reduced back to something inhuman again, a mere sound effect, an accompaniment for a horror movie’s routine, expected death that means nothing. Her last breath on earth is now a small useful element, like gristle or copper residue, left over from one industrial process that can be re-used in another, in this case the manufacture of low cost nudie slashers. We are given a horror movie where the victims are more substantial than we expect them to be. We get the deaths promised in the film’s mock opening, and at the same time, not what we wanted at all.

As always in De Palma, there is voyeurism. If voyeurism is an activity where we, the observers, are allowed the excitements of sex and violence without cost or involvement, then movies might be thought an ideal expression of this form, the same privilege as in real life, but where the observed activities will play out exactly as we wish – the man or woman will take off their clothes until they’re fully naked, the hero will wreak cruel vengeance, the woman in peril will be saved. All three of these describe vicarious fantasies of De Palma’s movies, and in all three movies, the fantasies are subverted. Dressed to Kill provides us sexual voyeurism, where Nancy Allen’s Liz strips down to her bra and panties, then turns on a lunatic killer by describing her fantasy of submitting to sex at knifepoint. We are then given a near recreation of this same fantasy, with Liz first showering nude when the same lunatic killer enters the house, and then Liz in a state of helpless and abject terror before her throat is cut. The very thrills that turn on the deranged killer are there to turn us on as well. We are given a titillating close-up of an unconscious nurse unzipped of her uniform, the kind of chest bursting outfit only found in exploitation movies and porno, before we shift perspective to see who is peeking on this erotic vision, and we see whose eyes we share, those of the masturbating grotesques of the asylum. The director plays the same trick on us as we gawk at a sapphic pairing in The Black Dahlia before we cut to the voyeur, another crippled grotesque, and, of course, the beginning of Blow Out, where we peek on co-eds in panties, bra, or less, and we are revealed in the mirror as one more deformed, moronic lunatic.

Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill

Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill

Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill

The Fury is about a young man gifted with telekinesis who is programmed to hate the arabs he is told murdered his father, and his perspective becomes so distorted that he lashes out with rage and kills some Saudi sheiks visiting the United States. He is presented to us as a damaged sociopath, but when the movie’s other telekinetic character, who throughout has always been afraid of the destructiveness of her powers, finally unleashes her abilities to annihilate her enemy, it is our catharsis. The images that shape the sociopath of the movie shape us as well9.

Though Sally does sex work, like Liz in Dressed to Kill, at no point is the idea of sexual fantasy played with. Though Sally is a beautiful woman, the movie’s perspective is distinctly unerotic. Here, I think one might mention one last trait of Sally which she shares with Marilyn Monroe, and this is why Sally is the center of a fantasy, but not a sexual one. What recurs in every account and biography of Monrone’s life was her extraordinary vulnerability, a reaching out for a love that would save her. This, I think, is part of the fantasy of Monroe after her death, that you might be this man – if only she’d known you! – whose love would be subtle and tender enough to rescue her from the claws and rusty nails of this wretched life. There is the similar fantasy of the end of Blow Out, a vulnerable child-like woman unable to fend for herself who will be rescued by the hero, the hero a proxy of ourselves, redeeming everything in his life that has gone before. The Fury and Dressed to Kill foil the audience’s desires implicitly, you are given what you want, but you are likened to a monster. Blow Out is explicit, the fantasy is destroyed. The woman in trouble dies.

AMERICAN LIGHTNING / MEMORIES OF THE U.S.A. / THE ATROCITY EXHIBITION

As already said, the characters of Blow Out, people without college educations, people who would be considered part of that vague and stigmatized grouping, “working class”, are often placed on the fringes and the bottom tier roles of American movie life, the top roles reserved for executives, lawyers, doctors, and other members of the professional class, and the Philadelphia they live in is a visual reflection of this. What we see of the city is squalid and dirty, with an underlying current of despair and exhaustion, a sense perhaps of a partly abandonned city, a chunk of the population having already left for the outlying suburbs. We are given unflashy, unvarnished grit, a place of greys and faded light all the while the bright divisions familiar to all, of the American (and French) tricolor recur again and again, standing out in this stark landscape, before becoming the light that overcoats the tragic night scene at the liberty bell.

The color theme begins with the joke opening. The dancers in red and white negligées, the blue light behind them. Blow Out is a serious movie, but not self-importantly serious, and this scene contains one of my favorite lines in a De Palma movie for its beautiful delivery, “Oh, go to Sue. Fuck off.”:

The dominant red of the room in which the couple have sex. Red, obviously, is a good color to associate with sex. The main part of Blow Out is a movie without erotic sex (does anyone consider the blow job in the train station to be erotic?) and the only time this strong, overwhelming red recurs is in episodes of violence. The red of Manny Karp’s room when he forces himself on Sally, and is then knocked out by a beer bottle, the red light of the construction site where the first woman is killed, and the red light of the tower where Sally dies.

The red, white, and blue seen very briefly in one of the passing students:

The opening ends abruptly and we are in the screening room. Jack is in a blue shirt, there are the red curtains, and the man running the console wears white.

Small hints of the theme in the props of Jack’s office, the red white and blue of the schedule and the clock; the news with the liberty day logo and the newscaster in a tricolor outfit:

We leave the color scheme almost entirely in the pastoral setting of the accident, except for one element, the woman’s red coat:

During their first moments together after she’s recovered, Jack and Sally are in a setting which feels like a kind of purgatory, overwhelming white without any of the three colors:

This creates a striking contrast with the motel setting, where the colors come into play stronger than ever before. The cars in the parking lot bathed in red light from the motel insignia, which is a bell pattern in neon:

Burke changes the tire; blue coat, blue bag, red screwdriver, red wire cutters:

The red, white, and blue wallpaper of the motel room, the red, white, and blue bed settings, the blue drapes, the blue doors, the red phone, the red ashtray, the red chandeliers, Jack’s blue shirt, Sally’s white gown:

The red, white, and blue of the design on the door of the editing room where Jack puts together the edit of the accident photos and his sound recording:

The outside shot of Jack’s building as he finishes the edit of still photos and sound, red fire engine doors and red car, Jack works in a red shirt. Jack almost always wears combinations of red and blue:

There is the student of the opening that we briefly glimpse, in a red, white, and blue pattern, and the first victim who we follow for an extended period wears the very same tricolor mix, first spotted on an escalator where she is preceded by a crowd with prominent red and blue:

The two passing women who briefly obscure our gaze during this pursuit:

The red, white, and blue of the bus that blocks our view:

The red light that bathes the construction site, that shades Burke’s face, the tricolor pattern of the poster, which matches the pattern of the motel wallpaper, the red and blue of the victim’s sweater:

The red, white, and blue of the construction machines as we rise away from the building site:

With Mackey, Jack is now in all blue:

Jack goes to Manny Karp’s photo place, in red, shop with red dresses, passerby in blue:

At Manny Karp’s place, the red of the carpeting, the blue of the cop’s uniform, the whites of the photos. A sidenote: the pictures on the wall and the wallpaper make clear that the motel room at the beginning is in the same motel, perhaps the same room, where Sally and Manny do their divorce work:

Jack bullies Sally into getting the photos back from Manny, he’s in blue, she’s in red:

The overwhelming red of Manny Karp’s place:

Jack at the scream auditions, all blue, red curtains, the director in red:

The editing room when the tapes are erased, blue door, red extinguisher against white background:

Jack at home, red shirt, red cabinet, blue phone, white wall:

Jack and Sally speak on the phone, red shirt for Jack, white housecoat with blue trim and blue phone for Sally:

The red, white, and blue of the prostitute and the sailor in the train station:

The woman alone now in the phone booth:

Red dress, blue toothbrush, white bristles:

Sally in the train station; strong reds in this movie are associated with violence, and a group of children cross the station floor, the chain of red foreshdowing her doom:

Jack realizes something is wrong, red shirt and blue outfit:

As the chase begins, blue jeep and red car in the parking lot:

The tricolor of the parade members is obvious. The crowd sequence flooded with red and blue light should be well remembered by anyone who has seen the movie, and the following is a brief overview. The obvious zenith is Sally in front of the American flag, followed by the soldiers in revolutionary garb ringing the bell:

After Sally’s death, we move to a snow covered landscape, a bookend to the white background of the hospital room where Jack and Sally first spoke. Jack is all in blue, and he wore a blue trenchcoat and blue tie when he discovered Freddie’s body:

The white backgrounds of the snow covered park and the hospital room are one bookend, the other is the camera traveling from the tree leaves, to Jack’s technical equipment, till we reach a close-up of Jack himself, which is a mirror of the sound engineer on his listening expendition. Then, we moved along the antenna, now we move along the earphone wire:

The liberty bell strangler was finally killed, red white and blue:

We revisit Sally’s death in this last scene, and so the dominant color is the red of the studio drapes:

The use of this motif goes beyond the simple purpose of dramatic movement from low volume to crescendo; that these colors, recognizably American colors, reach their full bloom in a tragic act of violence that takes place in the background of a patriotic ritual, suggest the contradictions of the American character, a fascination with violence while denying that such attraction exists, or that the violence one is attracted to is anything but righteous, and yet this ambivalent fascination is not entirely a bad thing: it provided a vital heart to American movies and literature for decades. The finale of Blow Out is horrifying, but it’s also bravura, brilliant film-making, it’s gorgeous. Blow Out opens with a couple having sex in a room filled with red, and when the same dominant red appears later, it’s always there when violence is about to take place. This is a movie about a country at a time when violence was considered more acceptable than sexual desire, but it’s also about two characters, Jack Terry and Burke, whose sexual energies are subliminated in their obsessions. Film-making is an obsession as well, and the rich blooming colors of the ending are a counterpoint to the tragedy, but they are also the bright lights of ecstasy, the obsession fulfilled of the film-maker.

On The Projection Booth‘s “Episode 140: Blow Out”, the movie’s upsetting terminus was discussed by both producer Fred Caruso and Nancy Allen, as well as the possibility of a happier coda.

This fragment runs approximately from 1:55:30 to 1:57:17 (audio is occasionally quirky here, but is entirely audible and coherent):

FRED CARUSO
Let me tell you about the end of the picture. I mean, the film was well-received, as a decent business, but there was always the question, “Should Nancy Allen have lived at the end?” When John Travolta goes to the hospital and sees her, should her eyes have opened, should they have kissed on the lips, the music comes up, and a happy ending at the end. Yes, he could still be the soundman, he could still go back to his laboratory, he could still hear all of that stuff…but rather than making it such a sad, sad ending, black veiled, black cloud over the picture, what should the real ending have been in the movie? That was a question the studio had, George Litto had, I had, Brian had, and then Brian of course, said, “Look, that’s the ending of my movie. That’s how I end my movie. If the audience likes it, fine. If the audience don’t like it, fine.” So, there’s always been a controversy as to would the picture have been more popular with an audience, and done more business, if, and also if you recall, the one sheet advertising that you saw in the newspaper and the front of the theater, was a picture of John Travolta, black and white, with a horror scream, his face looked like a horror scream, and it said Blow Out, which made that look like a horror movie. Rather than a suspense love story. That’s the question, which would have been better, which would have been the better way to do it. I don’t know. But that was always wandering in the background, even as the picture got released.

This fragment runs approximately from 2:23:00 to 2:24:30:

MIKE WHITE
I heard that there was a different ending to the film at one point.

NANCY ALLEN
A different ending? No, we, myself, [editor] Paul Hirsch, and…I forget who else, really lobbied to…once John got involved, and then you have the two of us together…my argument, well, Paul Hirsch said, “You can’t have- John Travolta can’t not save the girl.” (laughs) You can’t kill her. And people are going to love these two, and they’re going to hate you for doing this. My feeling was, she can die, but you have to really have to let them have that moment together, we have to feel that maybe there’s love, maybe there’s something, so people can really feel his loss. So, there was conversation. There was never a different ending. The only thing different, as I said earlier, there were no parades, there were no mummers’ parades, there were no fireworks, none of that existed, that was all developed to make it a bigger, more important picture, now that we had John in there. “Wait a minute, this is John Travolta,” you have to make- I believe it was George Litto who talked to Brian and said you know, we gotta do this, gotta make this bigger, so, that’s how that piece developed. But, Paul and I, whoever else was vying for a slightly different thing with John and I, we lost, John and Brian said, “NOPE,” it’s not happening. So, that’s what I remember.

The death of Sally does not strike me as capricious sadism, or arbitrary in any way, or anything other than organic to the material, a finale that feels necessary just as the death of Anna Karenina feels necessary, where one cannot imagine any other possibility that wouldn’t ring false, a betrayal of the story. The movie’s closing would have no tragic power if De Palma had contempt for this character, and killed her off because he wanted her to die. It has a tragic power because he, like the audience, wants this character to live, just as he wants Oanh of Casualties of War to live, and yet if these women were to survive, it would make everything that came before it meaningless. It would transform these movies into their antithesises, where none of the choices of the characters had any dramatic weight, because the very structure of the movie would ensure that these decisions would have no consequence, because events would always turn out for the best. What I’ve just described is a shared trait of most Hollywood movies now, and one which makes them, whatever the overdramatic stakes and whatever the portentous music, so entirely lacking in tension, for the simple fact that the game is rigged, and we are sure the heroes will end up in the proper winning square, whatever they’ve done beforehand on the playing board.

Though I know some have dismissed the last scene as a ludicrous twist, I can only see it as striking a very uncomfortable, uncannily truthful note. Jack Terry once used his skills for investigation, and he now uses them again for the purpose of perceiving more deeply. Sally Bedina is someone who forgets or pretends to forget the most difficult episodes of the past, and her gifts lie in concealment. Jack Terry is discouraged from looking deeper at a mysterious accident, and encouraged by the governor’s aide and the police to adopt something closer to the attitude of Sally, to stop remembering what’s so inconvenient. “We’d like you to forget about her, forget you ever saw her,” Lawrence Henry, the governor’s friend asks of Jack, speaking of Sally. “One playmate just vanishes from McRyan’s car, just like that?,” asks Jack. “That’s right,” says Henry. This kind of amnesia of historical events is often wrongly attributed as unique to the United States, when it very much isn’t, though it’s perhaps most striking in America because of its many virtues. It is an amnesia that perhaps began with its very birth, with the idea that no man or woman who was enslaved was truly human, and so this historical crime never actually took place. “Your past catching up with you?” someone asks a nervous Marilyn Monroe in Blonde. “I told you darling,” she replies. “I don’t have any past. ‘Marilyn’ was born yesterday.” There is a tradition, occasionally an American tradition, to cleave the horror from great tragedies to make something more palatable and profitable. In Gone With the Wind, the slaves are happy men and women who fight on behalf of their masters. M*A*S*H begins as a satire of the bloody absurdities of the Viet Nam war, and ended up an incredibly successful sitcom without any connection to the horrors of that war. The mass death and devastation of New York City is replayed as a background of colorful apocalypse in Man of Steel and Star Trek: Into Darkness. The horror of this last contains an extra frisson because it was connected to something very real, very upsetting, and now it is spliced into something without any such weight – and this splicing is exactly what Jack Terry does. He still has evidence of the conspiracy, having made a copy of the audio tape, and he could easily put it together with a series of photos again, since all that Frank Donahue ever wanted was just the audio tape. Jack Terry, however, has stopped investigating, and now he’s trying to do what Sally does, which is to just forget.

Jack Terry is involved in image-making, and throughout the movie, we are shown images made that turn out to be misleading, wrong, false, or exploitive, the surface horror of the viscera, rather than the squalid horrors of Sally’s life. “When these policies are carried out, and the economic climate improves, as we expect it will…the people will rally to support the president, in the upcoming primaries,” says campaign manager Jack Matters on TV in the opening. “A lot can happen between now and then.” The “lot that can happen,” which the TV doesn’t reveal has nothing to do with the policies, but the photos of Sally with McRyan. We are told on TV that the first woman is the victim of a ritual sex slaying, when we know her death is part of a cover-up plot. The movie ends with the news telling us that Burke was finally killed by Sally, when we know it was Jack. Neither Jack nor Sally are ever mentioned as being anywhere near the accident site. The news is misleading, or it is callously opportunistic. “EXCLUSIVE! PHOTOS OF MCRYAN’S DEATH!” blares the newstand ad for the magazine with the pictures that Jack edits together, and the PHOTOS OF MCRYAN’S DEATH! have nothing to do with any larger investigation of the accident, but blood, guts, corpses. Jack works on movies that are horror and death as entertainment, and the newspapers are in the same business as well.

Jack Terry returns to cheapie horror, where blood, and death, and killing, disconnected from anything is acceptable. In this, he might also be tracing the very arc of his creator, who started out as a political film-maker before becoming very successful making thrillers, and would always arouse revulsion when he moved back into anything political. A movie about a sex criminal like Dressed to Kill or a fictionalized account of a crime fighting squad like The Untouchables is just a fun night at the movies. To make a movie about sex criminals in an actual historical context, with a very real individual fighting for justice in Casualties of War is to touch a third rail that everyone wishes did not exist. The problem with Jack Terry isn’t that he’s so emotionally destroyed that he uses a tragedy for its necrokineticism to give a cruel flourish of an exclamation mark to a terrible movie’s scary moment, because this kind of exploitation is commonplace and expected. The problem is that Jack Terry just can’t forget.

(On March 25th, 2014, some exact quotes were added, specific livelier substitutes in place of generalizations; no meanings were altered. Some new images were added as well, such as the comparison of the houses of Jack and Sally, as well as the text on the pointing fingers of Jack and the cop. The section on the hooker played by Deborah Everton was added as well. On March 26th, some small fixes were made, footnote #3 about Mackey in the flashback and the comparison of the personality types of Sally, Jack, and Burke was added. On March 28th, the text was again edited for various aesthetic fixes, and small issues of grammar. No new material was added on thate date. On April 14th, 2014, the excerpt from Hunter Thompson’s The Great Shark Hunt was added to the footnote on John McLaughlin.)

(All images from Blow Out copyright Orion Pictures. Images from All the President’s Men copyright Warner Bros. Images from Dressed To Kill copyright Filmways and associated producers. Images from Mission: Impossible and The Fury copyright Paramount Pictures. Images from The Black Dahlia copyright Universal Pictures.)

FOOTNOTES

1 This subhead, as well as the part of the later subhead, “I am of both your directions”, is taken from the stanzas of a poem by Marilyn Monroe, excerpted in Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe by Anthony Summers:

Life -
I am of both your directions
Existing more with the old frost
Strong as a cobweb in the wind
Hanging downward the most
Somehow remaining
those beaded rays have the colors
I’ve seen in paintings – ah life
they have cheated you…
thinner than a cobweb’s thread
sheerer than any-
but it did attach itself
and held fast in strong winds
and singed by leaping hot fires
life – of which at singular times
I am both of your directions-
somehow I remain hanging downward
the most
as both of your directions pull me.

2 The King Commission is an obvious substitute for the real life Knapp Commission (the wikipedia entry, “Knapp Commission”), which arose after Frank Serpico would testify to corruption in the NYPD. A number of movies feature the Knapp Commission, or an obvious stand-in, in their plots, including The Pope of Greenwich Village and Prince of the City. De Palma would spend many years developing Prince before it was taken away, to be directed eventually by Sidney Lumet.

In her interview on The Projection Booth, “Episode 140: Blow Out”, Nancy Allen would explain the connection between Prince, Blow Out, and the King Commission scene, fragment runs from 2:28:00 to 2:28:55:

MIKE WHITE
That flashback, with Travolta, to that moment where the cop got killed, just adds so much to our understanding of him.

NANCY ALLEN
Oh yeah. It really does. And that was Brian’s opportunity, that was his wink and nod to Prince of the City, which he was originally supposed to direct. So, I don’t know if you’re familiar with that story, Prince of the City? About the corrupt cop. Well, he spent a lot of time developing it, he spent a lot of time with that cop, so I think this was Brian’s way of saying, well, you took the movie away from me, but I’m going to put a little bit of it in here anyhow. So, it served a good purpose, it exorcised those feelings for him, but I also think it served the character very well.

3 The further twist to this suspicion is that Mackey was there when things went very wrong at the taping of the undercover cop. When they’re prepping him, Jack very clearly says, “Mackey, hand me the tape.” No doubt Jack always considers the possibility that the whole incident might have been a case of internal sabotage to destroy the commission.

4 From the lecture “Jorge Luis Borges – The Metaphor [Conference]“ (youtube link):

Since I spoke of “as old as time,” I must quote another verse, a verse that is perhaps bubbling up in your memory. I can’t recall the name of the author, I know it quoted in Kipling in a not too memorable book of his, From Sea to Sea. “A rose red city / Half as old as time”. Had the poet written “A rose red city / As old as time,” he would have written nothing at all. But half as old as time, gives it a kind of magic precision.

5 An article from the time when this tape was first released is “Tapes Show Nixon Ordering Theft of Files” (author unlisted):

Recently released audiotapes capture President Richard M. Nixon ordering his top aide, a year before the Watergate burglary, to break into the Brookings Institution and steal its files on Vietnam, The San Francisco Examiner reported today.

The newspaper quoted from a conversation between Nixon and his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman, part of 201 hours of private tapes released this week by the National Archives.

During a conversation on June 30, 1971, in the Oval Office, Mr. Nixon asked Mr. Haldeman to take the institution’s files relating to the Vietnam War, the Examiner said.

According to a partial transcript provided by the newspaper, Mr. Nixon said to Mr. Haldeman: “The way I want that handled, Bob, is through another way. I want Brooking — just to break in. Break in and take it out! You understand?”

A transcript of a meeting from Stanley Kutler’s Abuse of Power, where breaking into the Institute was discussed:

JUNE 17, 1971, THE PRESIDENT, HALDEMAN, EHRLICHMAN, AND KISSINGER, 5:17-6:13 P.M., OVAL OFFICE

A few days after the publication of the Pentagon Papers, Nixon discusses how to exploit the situation to his advantage. He is interested in embarrassing the Johnson Administration on the bombing halt, for example. Here, he wants a break-in at the Brookings Institution, a centrist Washington think tank, to find classified documents that might be in the Brookings safe.

HALDEMAN
You maybe can blackmail [Lyndon B.] Johnson on this stuff [Pentagon Papers].

NIXON
What?

HALDEMAN
You can blackmail Johnson on this stuff and it might be worth doing…The bombing halt stuff is all in that same file or in some of the same hands…

NIXON
Do we have it? I’ve asked for it. You said you didn’t have it.

HALDEMAN
We can’t find it.

KISSINGER
We have nothing here, Mr. President.

NIXON
Well, damnit, I asked for that because I need it.

KISSINGER
But Bob and I have been trying to put the damn thing together.

HALDEMAN
We have a basic history in constructing our own, but there is a file on it.

NIXON
Where?

HALDEMAN
[Presidential aide Tom Charles] Huston swears to God there’s a file on it and it’s at Brookings [Institution, a centrist Washington "think tank"].

NIXON
…Bob? Bob? Now do you remember Huston’s plan [for White House-sponsored break-ins as part of domestic counter-intelligence operations]? Implement it.

KISSINGER
…Now Brookings has no right to have classified documents.

PRESIDENT NIXON
…I want it implemented…Goddamnit, get in and get those files. Blow the safe and get it.

HALDEMAN
They may well have cleaned them by now, but this thing, you need to-

KISSINGER
I wouldn’t be surprised if Brookings had the files.

HALDEMAN
My point is Johnson knows that those files are around. He doesn’t know for sure that we don’t have them around.

6 The dialogue from the movie is my own transcript, as it is a little different from the script which can be found here. The speech by Waltzer is whole and uninterrupted in the screenplay, but the themes are the same:

SENATOR WALTZER

I’ll go you one further. I say the CIA and all its shadow organizations have become irrelevant at best and unconstitutional at worst. It’s time we throw a little light on the whole concept of the Pentagon’s “black budget.” These covert agency subgroups have confidential funding, they report to no one — who are these people?! We were living in a democracy the last time I checked.

7 A photo of McLaughlin and Nixon, taken from “John McLaughlin (host) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”:

From “Jesuitical Defense is given for Nixon” by Philip Nobile, an interview with McLaughlin from the time of Watergate:

Only one White House staffer would dare say that – compared with some ecclesiastical skeletons, Watergate is like the “peccadilloes of novice nuns.” He is the Rev. John McLaughlin, a Jesuit priest and presidential speechwriter. Although Father McLaughlin once ran for the U.S. Senate as a liberal Republican peace candidate, he now is a member of Richard Nixon’s church. The dictionary defines “Jesuitical” as “crafty, cunning, equivocal. Father McLaughlin is certainly all that in defense of the President. I have never heard a more benevolent explanation of the Watergate mess. Charity begins at home but McLaughlin abuses the virtue by whitewashing the entire affair.

Q. Aren’t you uncomfortable serving Richard Nixon in these times?

A. No. I believe the President is morally innocent in the developing events.

Q. You mean the President is without sin himself?

A. The most he can be charged with is holding too loose a rein on subordinates but the price of holding tighter would probably have meant forsaking singular and important initiatives, both foreign and domestic, which I would not have wanted to see him do.

Q. Why are you so convinced of Richard Nixon’s innocence? Despite everything that has been revealed so far, how can you still believe he has committed no wrong?

A. I know from the President’s demeanor, his habitual thinking regarding matters of ethical significance, his deference to people, his determination to leave lesser details to others and others to keep these details from him – the confluence of these factors leads me to that conclusion of the President’s innocence.

Q. If you were a betting man, would you wager that the President will serve out his term?

A. I certainly would.

McLaughlin also makes a brief, but memorable, appearance in Hunter S. Thompson’s The Great Shark Hunt:

At that point in time, most of Nixon’s traditional allies were beginning to hear the death shrieks of the banshee floating over the White House lawns at night, and even Billy Graham had deserted him. So Clawson [White House Communications Director Ken Clawson], in a stroke of cheap genius, put a sybaritic Jesuit priest and a mentally retarded rabbi on the payroll and sent them forth to do battle with the forces of Evil.

Father John McLaughlin, the Jesuit, wallowed joyfully in his role as “Nixon’s priest” for a month or so, but his star faded fast when it was learned he was pulling down more than $25,000 a year for his efforts and living in a luxury apartment at the Watergate. His superiors in the church were horrified, but McLaughlin gave them the back of his hand and, instead, merely cranked up his speechmaking act. In the end, however, not even Clawson could live with the insistent rumor that the Good Jesuit Father was planning to marry his girlfriend. This was too much, they say, for the rigid sensibilities of General Haig, the White House chief of staff, whose brother was a legitimate priest in Baltimore. McLaughlin disappeared very suddenly, after six giddy weeks on the national stage, and nothing has been heard of him since.

But Clawson was ready for that. No sooner had the priest been deep-sixed than he unveiled another, holy man — the Rabbi Baruch Korff, a genuine dingbat with barely enough sense to tie his own shoes, but who eagerly lent his name and his flaky presence to anything Clawson aimed him at. Under the banner of something called the “National Citizens’ Committee for Fairness to the President,” he “organized” rallies, dinner parties and press conferences all over the country. One of his main financial backers was Hamilton Fish Sr., a notorious fascist and the father of New York Congressman Hamilton Fish Jr., one of the Republican swing votes on the House Judiciary Committee who quietly voted for impeachment.

8 The excerpts from The Genius and The Goddess by Jeffrey Meyers:

The nude calendar that Mankiewicz mentioned originated in May 1949 when Marilyn was an obscure and occasionally impoverished model.Tom Kelley photographed her perfect body, a modern Venus, in several poses and paid her a modest $50. He sold the pictures for $500 to a company that put them on calendars, sold them throughout America and made a huge profit of $750,000. In the best photo Marilyn is shot sideways (to hide her pubic hair) and from a ladder ten feet above her. Her long wavy blond hair flows from her backtilted head and mingles with the blood-red waterfall of drapery beneath her.

It’s sadly ironic that Marilyn herself did not live to see the sexual revolution and suffered greatly for being its symbol. She’d experienced intense sexual pleasure with Jim Dougherty and with Fred Karger in the mid-1940s; but by the 1950s, under the stress of promiscuous sex and stardom, she’d become frigid. In the late 1940s, when she was modeling and trying to break into movies, she rarely had natural and spontaneous sex. Instead, she was a prostitute, in cars on shady side-streets, in return for small amounts of money to buy food. It’s astonishing – after all her acting lessons and her brief appearances in movies – that she would not only sell her body for the price of a meal, but would also risk humiliation and shame, predatory pimps and police, robbery and beating, sadism and sodomy, venereal disease and pregnancy.

Employing a metaphor that colleagues often used to describe the frequently remote, self-absorbed and almost somnambulistic Marilyn, the screenwriter and producer of the movie, Nunnally Johnson, said Marilyn “is generally something of a zombie. Talking to her is like talking to somebody underwater. She’s very honest and ambitious and is either studying her lines or her face during all of her working hours, and there is nothing whatever to be said against her, but she’s not material for warm friendship.” Johnson also felt she was as unresponsive as “a sloth.You stick a pin in her and eight days later she says ‘Ouch.’” Despite Marilyn’s difficulties, this first Cinemascope picture was a great success and grossed five times its lavish budget of $2.5 million.

9 The Fury and Dressed to Kill are discussed in greater depth on this site in “Brian De Palma’s The Fury, Or: Hollywoodland” and “Brian De Palma’s Dressed To Kill, Or: Two Women”. The Black Dahlia is discussed at very, very great length in a five part series of posts: one, two, three, four, five.

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Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Ten

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

(“Fires burn in Maidan,” image by Alexander Koerner via Getty, via Gawker’s “16 Gripping Images from Kiev’s Day of Fire and Blood” by Max Read. Photo title is by Read as well.)

These were not men familiar with the day. Darkness was their element, and it will cling to what they did forever.

“Heroic Darkness” by Garry Wills

THE KILLING OF GEORGIY GONGADZE / ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY

What was the impetus for this very long series, what pushed me into writing something about Roger Stone, was not anything that took place in his home country, but far away, and it’s only at this essay’s very end that we have reached it. The impetus lay in the following unexamined detail of Matt Labash’s profile, “Roger Stone, Political Animal”:

I arrange to see Stone in Manhattan, where he spends roughly one day each week, and Miami, where he lives. But beforehand, he threatens to take me to Ukraine, where the local press has outed him as being involved in the parliamentary campaign of Volodymyr Lytvyn, an Orange Revolutionary alum who’s been mentioned as a future president. Like many American political consultants, Stone does the odd election overseas, though he likes to keep it quiet, since it often causes a local furor because “Americans are now hated everywhere in the world–thank you, George W. Bush.”

“I don’t particularly want to go,” he says. “Our lives will be in danger. We will have bodyguards. Plus, the food sucks.” On the upside, he says, we’ll have a buxom translator named Svetlana, and “We can stop over in Amsterdam on the way home, for all the obvious reasons.” But, it turns out we don’t need to go; his guys on the ground have it covered. But it’s a constant struggle, he says: “The Russians love intrigue.” As though he doesn’t.

He is in perpetual dispute with Lytvyn’s local advisers, who he calls the Politburo. They deliberately mistranslate his ads to reflect their own clunky slogans, and he resents their interference, since what could they know about winning free and fair elections, being recently converted Commies and all. The atmosphere is charged enough that he has now taken to sending secret messages directly to the candidate, nicknamed “Mister.” Since his team assumes all their communications are monitored, they use code names such as “Buckwheat” and “Beetle.” Stone’s is “Mr. Pajamas,” the same one used by ur-Nixon Dirty Trickster Murray Chotiner, one of his personal heroes and mentors. (Lytvyn’s party was successful in the elections.)

We have this same campaign mentioned in Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Dirty Trickster”:

He ran one of the quixotic independent bids for New York governor of the billionaire Tom Golisano; helped defeat a pro-environment voter initiative in Florida, in 1996; and ran a political campaign in Ukraine. (“I’m the father of the yard sign in Ukraine,” Stone told me. “They say, ‘Comrade is genius.’”)

The fragment from Labash’s piece illustrates his skills as a writer, why reporters are drawn to Stone as a subject, as well as the limitations of taking Stone mostly on his terms – you get colorful noise, and not much else. We have the buxom translator, the impolitic putdown of George W. Bush, the machinations of the Americans and the locals pitted against each other, all interesting, all excitedly buzzing around the most crucial point, barely noticed and which Labash gets wrong, “the parliamentary campaign of Volodymyr Lytvyn, an Orange Revolutionary alum“. The Orange Revolution, as is generally known, was a revolt against a venal government that was seen as a supplicant and puppet of the Russian state. Ukraine was led by the very corrupt Leonid Kuchma, who then handed over the reins to Viktor Yanukovych, who won in an election that was widely seen as rigged, and this is what triggered the Orange Revolution. After squabbling between the Orange Revolution leaders, Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-Russian Yanukovych would return to power, and after the first massive protests since the Orange Revolution, was overthrown this weekend. This is a very quick and very dirty overview of Ukraine’s political history, and I give it only to place Volodymyr Lytvyn, Roger Stone’s candidate, in context. The phrase “Orange Revolutionary alum” suggests a man from outside the regime. Lytvyn was not only in the Kuchma administration, he ended up one of its highest ranking members. Under Kuchma, he was Head of the Presidential Administration, then became Chairman of the Parliament. Lytvyn’s leaving the Party of Regions, the party of Kuchma and Yanukovych, suggests less a sudden rush of idealism, than opportunism. The eponymous party set up by Lytvyn after leaving Party of Regions, the Lytvyn Bloc, would run in the post-Orange Revolution elections, and eventually end up supporting Yanukovych and the Party of Regions303. This, again, is a rough description of what took place, but my intent is not to give a full detailing of Lytvyn and party politics, but to make clear how misleading “Orange Revolutionary alum” is as a descriptor. All this, however, is momentary exposition for the matter I really want to get to, one of the many events that incited the Orange Revolution, which was heavily reported on in Ukraine, and that Roger Stone, a man who prides himself on his savvy and knowledge of political trickeries must have known of when he took on this client. This man who was so impassioned by the lawless killings which he accuses Lyndon Johnson of, must have known of the allegations made, with far greater support than anything in Stone’s The Man Who Killed Kennedy book, that Volodymyr Lytvyn and Leonid Kuchma had been behind the killing of a journalist who was very critical of the Kuchma regime, a man named Georgiy Gongadze.

Easily the best source for information on this murder that I’ve found is “The Gongadze Inquiry: An investigation into the failure of legal and judicial processes in the case of Georgy Gongadze”, drafted by David Crouch and Simon Pirani. This compilation of reports did not have as its objective the solution of the killing or the indictment of specific assassins, only the assessment of the on-going failure of a proper inquiry into the death, the failure to conduct a thorough investigation. It is a model of a straightforward, diligent inquiry – we may perhaps debate what it is to be “unbiased”, but I think every reader knows what it is to have a sense of trust or distrust in a piece of reporting, and never do we distrust what is presented in “The Gongadze Inquiry”.

This investigative failure began immediately with the discovery of the Gongadze’s headless body, found near Kiev (Kyiv), in Tarshcha. Rather than give any weight to the details which identified the corpse as that of the missing Gongadze, investigators insisted that the journalist was still alive, then neglected to put the body into the cold storage that would have helped preserve it for a later autopsy. When journalists came to the Tarshcha morgue to claim the body, it was seized by the authorities and taken to Kiev. The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs told parliament that the body was too short to be Gongadze’s, and anyway, this body had been buried in the ground for the past two years304.

The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs would later report that Gongadze had been seen in a café the day after he’d gone missing. The Minister of Internal Affairs would state the same thing. The day after the body was found in Tarshcha, the Prosecutor Geenral would claim that Gongadze had been seen on a train. Later, another Prosecutor General would say he’d received information that Gongadze was still alive. No attempts appear to have been made to investigate any of these claims. DNA tests of the body indicated that a 99.6 probability that it was Gongadze’s. The prosecutor general would announce to parliament that there weren’t sufficient grounds for believing the body to be Gongadze’s. When further tests raised the probability to 99.9%, the Proseuctor General finally confirmed the body to be Gongadze’s and launched a murder investigation305.

After London’s The Independent revealed that leaked government documents showed senior government officials obstructing the Gongadze investigation, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced the detention of a “Citizen K” who had not only been prosecuted for other beheading crimes, he had also confessed to the killing of Georgiy Gongadze. “We are almost certain he did it,” announced the Prosecutor General’s Office. A month later, on July 2004, a coalition of groups – the Institute of Mass Information, the Ukrainian Law Organization, the International Federation of Journalists and the National Union of Journalists of Great Britain and Ireland – wrote to the Prosecutor General requesting information on the suspect Citizen K, which the office was obliged to give under the Ukrainian Law on Information. Approximately a month later, the coalition would receive a reply from the Proseuctor General’s Office, signed by the Department of the Investigation of Very Important Cases. The reply stated that, contrary to reports, “Citizen K” had not been arrested in connection to the Gongadze killing and that the investigation was on-going. A month later, the Prosecutor General’s Office would make a similar public statement: “Citizen K” had no connection to the Gongadze case, an investigation which was on-going. The lawyer of Georgiy Gongadze was also sent a letter: at the present time, there are no suspects in the killing of Georgiy Gongadze. No arrests have been made306.

“Citizen K” was not the first suspect to be put forward, and then abandonned. There was also “Citizen D” and “Citizen G”, also known respectively as Cyclops and Sailor, also known as Igor Dubrovsky and Pavlo Gulyuvaty, members of a criminal gang who’d disappeared in late 2000. The Prosecutor General would announce with certainty in 2001 that D and G were the killers of Georgiy Gongadze, and the case had been solved. A Kiev newspaper would soon publish that both D and G had been filmed at a wedding the day Gongadze disappeared. It would also soon be discovered that both Citizens D and G had not disappeared, but were alive, well, and outside jail. The claim of the Prosecutor General would be retracted307.

Despite the appearance of these alternate suspects, there was already evidence which pointed a finger to a very specific point, within and at the very apex of the government of Ukraine. These were tapes made by Mykola Melnichenko, a former bodyguard of Leonid Kuchma, of a meeting in which journalist Georgiy Gongadze was discussed. I excerpt the paragraph from “The Gongadze Inquiry” which gives it first mention. I bold two relevant parts:

In November 2000, one of ex-president Kuchma’s guards, Nikolai Melnichenko, released recordings which he claimed he had made in the president’s office. On at least five occasions from 12 June to 3 July 2000, ex-president Kuchma and his ministers — head of the president’s administration Volodymyr Lytvyn, minister for internal affairs Yuriy Kravchenko, chief of the security service Leonid Derkach — discussed following Gongadze closely, “crushing” him, “taking care of” him and “throwing him to the Chechens”. Mr Lytvyn, now speaker of parliament, is apparently heard suggesting to Mr Kuchma that he should “let loose Kravchenko to use alternative methods”.

The Prosecutor General’s office would dismiss the possibility that the recordings were authentic, and open up slander proceedings against Melnichenko. It would be alleged that the Ukrainian opposition had fabricated the recordings in order to frame Kuchma308.

In 2004, the same document leak which unveiled the obstruction of the Gongadze investigation would also reveal that undercover police teams had conducted surveillance of Gongadze up to his abduction and disappearance. These police teams fell under the command of General Oleksiy Pukach, of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, or the MIA. Before his disappearance, Gongadze himself sent an open letter to the Prosecutor General complaining that he was being followed. In the Independent‘s published document leak, on the day after Gongadze disappeared, Pukach would tell his officers to forget that they’d ever followed Gongadze. After this document leak, one investigative possiiblity that was begun was that Gongadze had been murdered by the “werewolves” a group of current and former police officers who kidnapped citizens for random, and sometimes later killed them. The MIA would conduct an internal investigation. They would declare that they had been unable to discover whether or not they’d followed Gongadze because relevant documents had been destroyed and MIA employees had declined to co-operate309. A year before, in August 2003, an MIA police officer named Ihor Honcharov died while in custody. Letters from Honcharov made public would reveal that he had told the Prosecutor General the names of the police officers involved in the surveillance of Gongadze. He would also allege that Gongadze had been killed on the orders of the then head of the MIA, Yuriy Kravchenko, the same Kravchenko who’d been at the recorded meetings as Lytvyn and Kuchma: “On at least five occasions from 12 June to 3 July 2000, ex-president Kuchma and his ministers — head of the president’s administration Volodymyr Lytvyn, minister for internal affairs Yuriy Kravchenko, chief of the security service Leonid Derkach — discussed following Gongadze closely, “crushing” him, “taking care of” him and “throwing him to the Chechens”.” Honcharov was a former member of the werewolves, and he warned the Kiev directorate in charge of organized crime of their existence, after which he received a savage beating. Two months later, he died in police custody. The leaked results of a secret autopsy concluded that Honcharov’s death was the result of a series of injections of Thiopental which had halted his breathing. There was no legitimate reason for injecting Honcharov with Thiopental, said doctors. Following this break, the Prosecutor General’s Office would declare that they had come close to solving the case. In October 2003, General Pukach would be arrested and charged with destroying evidence. At the end of October, President Kuchma fired the Prosecutor General who’d ordered the arrest. A week later, Pukach was released from prison, and in 2004, before the document leak revealing the MIA surveillance and the “Citizen K” incident, he was cleared of the charges 310

All this was recounted in the first report put out by the coalition of journalist groups looking into the lack of a proper investigation of the death of Gongadze. The second, issued in September 2005, after the Orange Revolution, was titled “The Instigators Are Getting Away”. Mykola Tomenko, who had resigned as deputy prime minister following the start of the rupture between Orange Revolution factions of Yulia Timoshenko and Viktor Yushchenko, would accuse Volodymyr Lytvyn, along with others, of trying to hinder the investigation and doing everything possible to restrict discussion of the Gongadze murder in parliament and the press311.

Since the publication of the first report, Viktor Shokin, deputy Prosecutor General, would allege that Gongadze was kidnapped by a group of serving MIA officers, led by Pukach, who had been beaten him, and then strangled Gongadze with Pukach’s belt. Pukach and a second group of people then moved Gongadze’s body to Tarashcha, where it was found. Valeriy Kostenko, Mykola Protasov and Oleksandr Popovych, three of the MIA officers led by Pukach in the kidnapping, would be indicted. All three would implicate Pukach in the killing. All three would eventually confess to committing the murder, with Protasov getting thirteen years, while Kostenko and Popovych would get twelve312. Pukach had fled the country. In 2005, various press would report that Pukach was in Israel. On the Melnichenko tapes, Volodomyr Lytvyn is “apparently heard suggesting to Mr Kuchma that he should “let loose Kravchenko to use alternative methods””. This Kravchenko was Pukach’s superior, Yuriy Kravchenko. On March 3, 2005, President Yushchenko would announce the case solved and the Prosecutor General would make a public statement saying they were inviting Kravchenko to give evidence. The next day, Kravchenko’s body was found at his country villa with a note declaring himself innocent of wrong doing, and blaming everything on the intrigue of President Kuchma and his entourage. Both the Ukrainian Security Service and the Prosecutor General’s Office considered the death a suicide, but there was one unusual detail to this suicide – Kuchma was a man of considerable military experience, with the usual weapons training, and this suicide involved being shot twice in the head, with a gunshot wound to the chin, and a gunshot wound to the temple. Melnichenko, the man who’d recorded the tapes incriminating Kuchma and Lytvyn, would travel to the U.S., where he was granted asylum. Though the Prosecutor General would go to the United States in an attempt to interview Melnichenko, they failed in this task. A friend and frequent collaborator of Melnichenko’s, Aleksandr Litvinenko, would state that Melnichenko had not made the recordings on his own – but had worked with others. Litvinenko, as is well known, would die in 2006, from radiation poisoing which was believed to be a successful assassination attempt313. In addition to Kravchenko and Pukach, two other senior MIA officers, Eduard Fere and Yuri Dagayev, may have been involved in the Gongadze killing. Aleksandr Popovych, one of the three men found guilty of direct involvement in the murder, would tell investigators that Pukach, Fere and Dagayev had met after the killing to discuss the need to rebury Gongandze’s body. One possibility put forth was that Dagayev, who was also Kuchma’s chief of staff, had conspired with Fere and Pukach to organize the killing, without the knowledge of Kuchma or Kravchenko. “We regard this as a credible hypothesis that should be further tested,” concluded “The Gongadze Inquiry”. In 2003, Fere would suffer a stroke which would put him in a vegetative state. He had fallen into a coma, and lost all muscle movement and power of speech. Three weeks after Fere’s stroke, Dagayev would also suffer from a stroke, which would lead to his death. “Not surprisingly,” wrote the “Inquiry”, “the fates of Dagayev and Fere have been the subject of a considerable amount of media speculation.” Fere would eventually die as well. The “Inquiry” concluded: “Suggestions that they may have been poisoned have been published in the Ukrainian media, and we believe that this issue should be considered by the PGO [Prosecutor's General Office].”314

“The Instigators Are Getting Away” was not idle in its choice of who had escaped justice – those who had ordered the killing, rather than those who had committed the murder. It described the nature of resistance to a thorough investigation, and the way this resistance had changed from before and after the revolution:

In the period since the “Orange Revolution”, the character of political resistance to the investigation of the Gongadze case has changed. Before then, the pressure was directed to obstructing the investigation at all levels. This year, the pressure appears to us to have been directed towards concentrating attention on some of the immediate perpetrators of the crime in order all the better to prevent those who ordered it being brought to justice.

As we stated in our previous report, it is widely assumed that during the “Orange Revolution” an understanding was reached between former President Kuchma and current President Yushchenko, providing immunity from prosecution for Kuchma and some of his associates, with reference to the Gongadze case and other high-profile cases. This is considered by analysts both within and outside Ukraine as a convincing interpretation of events. President Yushchenko has denied the existence of such a deal. We make no assumptions on this issue.

They give a lengthy quote from Mykola Tomenko, the deputy prime minister who’d resigned after the collapse of the Orange Revolution government, about who the investigation must ultimately look at, and why the investigation was impeded: “For me, the ‘Gongadze affair’, which I wanted so much to speed up, is the case of Leonid Kuchma and, as experts think, Volodymyr Lytvyn. Possibly, there was no arrangement with Kuchma. But there was, to a large extent, a conscious decision not to enter into direct conflict with several political players. I have the feeling that a certain group of politicians have agreed on a collaboration that will guarantee that they won’t come in for any attention from the law-enforcement agencies. I say once again that, if I were the prosecutor, I would start with the case of Kuchma, since the ‘Gongadze affair’ is derivative and is directly connected with the case of Kuchma.”

The most astonishing sign of this resistance was a report on Gongadze killing which parliament refused to hear or make public – a report written by one of its own parliamentary commissions. The contents of this report are hinted at in “The Instigators Are Getting Away”:

Some indication of the contents of the parliamentary commission’s report, the suppression of which we referred to in our first report, were given by the commission’s chairman, Hryhoriy Omelchenko, in an interview on 18 March 2005. He said that the report names former President Kuchma and former Minister of Internal Affairs Kravchenko as the organisers of the murder; it names parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn and former defence minister Leonid Derkach as being responsible for “instigating the perpetration of violent acts” against Gongadze. Omelchenko said that the report had cited evidence from the Melnichenko tapes and “evidence from witnesses”. This all suggests that the motive for preventing publication of the report is precisely that it concentrates on the issue of those who ordered the murder, rather than the perpetrators.

Commission chairman Omelchenko had proposed delivering his report on numerous occasions in 2003-04, and been blocked from doing so. In March 2005, the issue came up again at a meeting of the conciliation commission of parliamentary fractions, which declined to approve the timetabling of a report by the Omelchenko commission. Socialist fraction leader Oleksandr Moroz, addressing a parliamentary session, said the decision was a “disgrace”, aggravated by “dubious excuses that allowing the commission to report would violate some political agreements”. In a subsequent interview, Omelchenko claimed that the pressure to block the commission’s report emanated from President Yushchenko and speaker Lytvyn. He said: “I have exhausted already all the possibilities provided by the law to force this question through. The only things I haven’t done is to smash up the rostrum, seize people by the lapels, tear my shirt or declare a hunger strike in protest. […] at the conciliation council Oleksandr Moroz, Anatoly Matviyenko [deputy from the Yulia Timoshenko Bloc] and your humble servant [i.e. himself] once again demanded from the speaker a hearing of the commission of inquiry’s report. But there was nothing doing. Volodymyr Lytvyn got nervous and looked irritated. And he replied that he had talked with President Yushchenko, and the latter had requested that the report not be heard, in order not to politicise the situation.”

The third, and final, section of the inquiry is titled “Official Obstruction Is Rewarded”. The explanation for the title was given in the following paragraphs:

The title of this third report – Official Obstruction Is Rewarded – refers, in particular, to the award to former Prosecutor General Mikhail Potebenko in February 2007 by President Yushchenko of the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise. It was Potebenko to whom Georgiy Gongadze appealed for help in July 2000, when he realised he was being followed; it was Potebenko who ignored that appeal. It was Potebenko who repeated to the public fanciful and illogical hypotheses about Gongadze’s disappearance, which he probably knew had no foundation. It was Potebenko who continued to obstruct the investigation of the murder by refusing to consider the “Melnichenko tapes” and other crucial evidence. It was Potebenko who was ultimately responsible for carrying out an effective investigation of Gongadze’s murder, which, the European Court later found, the authorities failed to do.

That the Ukrainian president has presented Potebenko with a state honour – while the investigation of those who ordered the murder has moved far too slowly during the two-and-a-half years since the Orange Revolution – epitomises the official indifference, and even opposition, to dealing with many of the issues raised by the case.

It was in this final section that there was a synopsis for Volodymyr Lytvyn, including a transcript of that moment when Georgiy Gongadze’s name came up, and the suggestion was perhaps made to destroy him.

3.5.3 Volodymyr Lytvyn

The involvement in the Gongadze case of Volodymyr Lytvyn, one of Ukraine’s most senior parliamentarians, stems from his alleged participation in conversations with President Kuchma about harming Gongadze that were recorded by Melnichenko. Lytvyn was an aide to President Kuchma from 1994 to 1999, and was then appointed head of the president’s office, a position he held throughout 2000. From 2002 to 2006, i.e. both before and after the Orange Revolution, Lytvyn was the parliamentary speaker. The “Melnichenko tapes” record four conversations where doing harm to Gongadze is discussed, the participants in which are Kuchma, Kravchenko, Leonid Derkach and Lytvyn. The conversation in which Lytvyn allegedly participated reads as follows. This version is based on the copy of the tapes stored at the International Press Institute in Vienna, translated into English by J.V. Koshiw, author of a book on the Gongadze case:

[Kuchma] Give me the same about Ukrayinska Pravda and … And we will decide what to do with him. He has gone too far.

[Lytvyn] I need to begin a [court] case.

[Kuchma] What?

[Lytvyn] Start a case? [undecipherable]

[Kuchma] Good.

[Lytvyn] The case – we will make in duplicates.

[Kuchma] No, I don’t need a case.

[Kuchma] Ukrayinska Pravda [the news website founded and run by Gongadze] well is simply too much – the scum, fucker, Georgian, Georgian.

[Lytvyn] Gongadze?

[Kuchma] Gongadze. Well, who is financing him?

[Lytvyn] Well, he actively works with […] Moroz [Aleksandr Moroz, speaker of the Ukrainian parliament and leader of the Socialist Party], with Grani [a newspaper sponsored by the Socialist party]. On Saturday I saw … with [Socialist MP Volodymyr] Makeyenko.

[Kuchma] Maybe take the MP to court, let the lawyers take it to court. This goes to the prosecutor, right?

[Lytvyn] No, let loose Kravchenko, in my opinion, decide how, and also [Horbanyeyev, or Komanyeyev?] and Kholondovych [who was head of the main directorate for logistic control of the MIA].

[Kuchma] Simply shit – is there any limit, after all, son-of-a-bitch – he needs to be deported – the scum – to Georgia and thrown there on his ass!

[Lytvyn] Take him to Georgia and drop him there.

[Kuchma] The Chechens should kidnap him and ask for a ransom!

(Source: IPI, GO3007p2.dmr, 0:07:38-0:10:45, July 3, 2000).

We have found no record of any comment by Lytvyn on the Gongadze case prior to the Orange Revolution. During the revolution, Lytvyn, who had formerly been a strong Kuchma supporter, switched sides and declared his support for the re-running of the elections that the revolution’s supporters had demanded. Having retained his position as parliamentary speaker, he began to comment publicly on the Gongadze case.

In October 2005, Lytvyn addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Ukrainian integration into European institutions and other issues. The following question was asked by Matyas Eorsi, a Hungarian deputy:

Mr Eorsi (Hungary). We were very pleased to hear President Yushchenko say that the Gongadze case would be investigated, but we also heard that you personally were one of those who were heard on the Melnichenko recording discussing how to get rid of the critical journalist, Gongadze, with former President Kuchma. I should very much like to hear your comments.

The official transcript of the session in English, which is not a literal translation, records the answer as follows:

Mr Lytvyn said the situation was not as clear as had been suggested. Certain phrases had been added to the report [of the Ukrainian parliamentary commission on the Gongadze case], there was no conclusion, and he rejected any suggestion of politicisation.

A reporter from Ukrayinska Pravda was present, and, having heard Lytvyn speaking in Ukrainian, recorded that Lytvyn had also said that “international analysis” had found that the Melnichenko tapes had been doctored. Lytvyn also said that the report of the Ukrainian parliament’s commission on the Gongadze case, which had suggested that Lytvyn was implicated in the murder, was “not objective”. If such “international analysis” exists, it has never been published. On the other hand, the most substantial international analysis of the tapes, by former FBI agent Bruce Koenig – who, unlike the specialists mentioned by Lytvyn, made his conclusions public – showed, on the contrary, that the sections of the “Melnichenko tapes” recording conversations about Gongadze had not been doctored.

In our opinion Lytvyn, who has elsewhere stated that he hopes that the Gongadze case is resolved, could help the investigation by explaining: which “international analysis” showed that the Melnichenko tapes had been doctored and why has it not been published? How does he account for the contradiction between this and the analysis by Koenig and other specialists? Why has he not done more in the years that have passed to resolve these issues? Does he have any record of his conversation with President Kuchma on 3 July 2000, and it what way was it falsified? We have written to Lytvyn to ask for comment on these issues, and received no reply.

In July 2009, General Oleksiy Pukach would be arrested. The deputy Prosecutor General would declare that they had been following Pukach for two years, and had always known where he was. “Why then,” the Gongadze Inquiry report asked the obvious question, “was Pukach arrested in July 2009, and not earlier?” And the second obvious question: “Was he previously under the protection of elements in the law enforcement agencies?” Pukach would direct investigators to Belotserkovsky district where fragments of a human skull were found. Forensic investigators would confirm that the remains were the skull fragments of Georgiy Gongadze. Pukach’s lawyer would tell the press that enough evidence existed to indict Kuchma, Lytvyn, and other top officials. In late January, 2013, Pukach was found guilty of the Gongadze murder, and sentenced to life in prison. One of the presiding judges asked if he accepted this sentence. “I will accept it,” he replied, “when Kuchma and Lytvyn join me in this cage.”315

The preceding, which appears to have been a lengthy tour through the Gongadze report is ultimately a simplification. I have spoken of a single Prosecutor General, as if this was an immutable force out of Kafka, unyielding to appeal, when the Prosecutor General changed several times over the course of time, most notably with the removal of Svyatoslav Piskun, who was dismissed when Pukach was arrested for destroying evidence of Gongadze’s surveillance, only to be reinstated after the Orange Revolution. This simplification also does not fully go into the extent of the intimidation against those simply trying to conduct a proper inquiry into the murder. The preceding synopsis is not intended as a substitute for the actual report, and I would encourage readers to look at the actual “Inquiry” and its thorough examination of a murder case little known in the west, and an investigation seemingly stymied for its inconvenience to the highest powers of the state.

Within this narrative, we might see the death of Georgiy Gongadze as a second pole in the life of Roger Stone, a reprise of an opening melody. Stone began in the Nixon Administration as part of the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP), and it was another associate of CREEP, G. Gordon Liddy, who was tasked with killing Jack Anderson, a reporter who, like Giorgy Gongadze, was making things difficult for the government through his critical reporting. There is some description of this given in Liddy’s memoir, Will, but a more succinct account of the methodology of the planned killing was made when Liddy was a guest on “The Howard Stern Show” (this interview is in four parts on youtube, one, two, three, four, and the following is taken from part one, 13:35 to the end of the clip):

STERN
If you had killed Jack Anderson, like you proposed to the Nixon Administration, what would you have used? Because you did advocate an assasination.

LIDDY
Yeah. Well, what we decided to do was…we knew the route he came into the office…and it included a traffic circle.

QUIVERS
You’re going to shoot him in the circle?

LIDDY
No, you’re not gonna shoot him in the circle. There’s a way you hit the car in a certain way, and it would flip and kill him.

STERN
The bullet, when they-

LIDDY
There’s no bullet, there’s a car accident.

QUIVERS
You’re hitting the car with a bullet, right?

LIDDY
No. No. You are hitting the car with another car.

QUIVERS
You know, you had the most imprecise plans. There’s no way you’re gonna guarantee you’re gonna kill a guy in a car.

STERN
No wonder Nixon thought you were nuts. You know I felt bad for Nixon, you nuts were running around, planning assassinations, I don’t think he had any clue-

This last statement eludes – and Liddy allows it to be eluded – that fellow Watergate burglar had first brought up the possibility of killing Anderson, and he did so at the behest of Charles Colson, very much a close associate of Richard Nixon. The assassination was proposed by Hunt at a luncheon attended by Liddy and a medical doctor named Edward Gunn. Both Gunn and Hunt were former members of the CIA. From Will, the luncheon where this killing was proposed, and where Liddy clearly alleges that this order comes directly from Colson:

The purpose of the luncheon, Hunt had explained to me previously, was to take advantage of the expertise of Dr. Gunn in preparing, for the approval of Hunt’s “principal,” a plan to stop columnist Jack Anderson. Even with each other, Hunt and I often, when discussing the most sensitive of matters, used the term my principal rather than identify our superiors. I, at least, had several. Hunt, to my knowledge, had only one: Chuck Colson.

Anderson, Hunt reported, had now gone too far. As the direct result of an Anderson story, a top U.S. intelligence source abroad had been so compromised that, if not already dead, he would be in a matter of days. That was too much. Something had to be done.

I took the position that, in a hypothetical case in which the target had been the direct cause of the identification and execution of one of our agents abroad, halfway measures were not appropriate. How many of our people should we let him kill before we stop him, I asked rhetorically, still not using Anderson’s name. I urged as the logical and just solution that the target be killed. Quickly.

My suggestion was received with immediate acceptance, almost relief, as if they were just waiting for someone else to say for them what was really on their minds.

Furthermore, Liddy would also allege that he’d been told to go ahead and “get rid of” Anderson by the head of CREEP, Jeb Magruder. The following is the relevant excerpt from Will:

At lunch with [E. Howard Hunt] I brought up the matter of killing Jack Anderson. He told me to forget it, from which I concluded that the decision from Colson, I assumed, was negative. I inquired no further. A short while later Magruder called me into his office to deliver another whining complaint about Anderson. One of my first assignments from him had been to check out a rumor – which proved impossible to substantiate – that Anderson had been involved in a land fraud on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Another was that he had sent someone to break into our committee headquarters but was thwarted by our security. I checked that one with McCord and he knew nothing about it. I was in no mood for any more of Magruder’s petty carping about Anderson, so I tuned him out; but one sentence came through loud and clear: “Gordon, you’re just going to have to get rid of Jack Anderson.”

For serious reasons of state I had just offered to kill Anderson for the White House and been turned down. Now this pipsqueak wanted to put out a contract on him for no more reason than that he was a general pain in the ass.

This, of course, leaves hanging the unanswered question, whether Magruder had authority to sign off on his ownsome, the killing of a well-known journalist, or whether he had to get a head nod or implied assent from someone higher up for this order to be given. That there was no penalty or repercussion for the planning of this assassination is explained in another brief exchange on “The Howard Stern Show”. “Conspiring to murder someone, though, I think would put you in prison for life,” said Stern. “Only if you take, see…the conspiracy laws are very interesting,” replied Liddy. “You and I could sit here, and conspire to kill Bababooey all day long. But unless, and until, either one of us takes one affirmative action to advance that, there’s no crime.” Stern: “So, the planning is not a crime?” Liddy: “No.”316 We might see these two parallel cases of Stone working for politicians associated with the killing of reporters as either an ascent or a descent. He had started out in the employ of any administration where the murder of journalists was only planned, and he had ended up with a client where substantial evidence pointed to him having actually done the deed.

We might return now to the Labash piece where Lytvyn is brought up. “But beforehand, he threatens to take me to Ukraine, where the local press has outed him as being involved in the parliamentary campaign of Volodymyr Lytvyn, an Orange Revolutionary alum who’s been mentioned as a future president.” This is the campaign of 2007, seven years after Gongadze was killed. The Melnichenko recordings were well known throughout Ukraine, and known to many outside the country. The first two reports of “The Gongadze Inquiry”, “The Failure of Legal and Judicial Processes” and “The Instigators are Getting Away”, had already been published in 2005. “But,” writes Labash, “it turns out we don’t need to go; his guys on the ground have it covered.” Stone handled the campaign from a distance, and one of the people who must have handled it on the ground was Michael Caputo. It was Caputo who ran Carl Paladino’s campaign while Stone ran that of Kristin Davis in the 2010 New York governor’s race, with both denying collusion (the governor’s race is discussed in part seven). We know that Caputo was there because that’s where he met his wife. On his old blog, there is the post, “Great News: I’m getting married Sunday!”, followed by the detail: “I worked on the 2007 Ukrainian Parliament Elections and met my fiance as she worked for my local campaign colleague.”317

It must have been while working on this campaign that Caputo wrote “Ukraine elections” for the Washington Times on September 12, 2007, strangely without any disclosure of his involement in the election which would take place on September 30th. Caputo would give mention of the candidate he worked for near the end of the piece, and I bold it:

[In] late August, Yulia announced she had secretly surveyed 30,000 Ukrainians. Her conclusion: the elections will certainly exclude all parties except hers and those of her top two tormentors. She refused to provide the polling research — perhaps the largest pre-election survey in world history — expecting voters to take her claim as an article of faith. Some are balking, especially in western and northern regions where her failure to back banking reform is blocking cash wired from family expatriates working abroad.

With this, Yulia urged the electorate to choose among mega-blocks instead of wasting votes on smaller parties. But contrary to her mythical survey, reliable research shows other parties may pass the 3 percent minimum threshold and join the Rada. Among them are the communists and the party of democratic reformer Volodymyr Lytvyn, former speaker of the Rada who kept the rowdy legislature from devolving into anarchy during the Orange Revolution. Rested and ready after losing re-election in 2006, he is a fresh face in a tired crowd of self-interested politicians.

What purpose Caputo had for being in Latvia in 2005, when he wrote “Journey to Latvia”, again for the Washington Times, I’m uncertain. Both Lytvyn and the man and the coalition he ended up joining, the Party of Regions, moved towards the Russian axis and away from the EU; “Journey to Latvia” appears to favor such a tilt towards Russia. In both Latvia and Ukraine, a contentious issue is the teaching of the Russian as an official language to be taught alongside the native language. In 2012, there would be a high turnout as over 75% of Latvians rejected Russian as an official language. It was this very same issue that was so incisive as to finally pull Lytvyn away from his support of the pro-Russian Party of Regions – this, I believe, did not demonstrate anything like idealism on Lytvyn’s part anymore than his movement away from Kuchma expressed idealism, only a practical analysis of what positions are tenable and which aren’t. Caputo does not appear to see this in “Journey to Latvia”, portraying the language issue as an inconsequential football, tossed around by the chattering class: “Only politicians really care about this debate. Comments by a Latvian legislator or Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue, are ignored by most of the young professional class.” One has the sense that Caputo knows far better than native Latvians what is good for Latvia: “[President Vaira Vike-Freiberga] has moved in the right direction recently, mostly because her anti-Soviet administration now recognizes Russia-oriented investment fuels its economic growth. As the historical crossroads of Eastern Europe, Latvia better hope it stays that way: Their economic opportunity will remain anchored in Russia for decades.”318 I am reminded of the comment William Windorf makes regarding the environmental devastation which locals in the Bahamas fear will take place when you have a casino set up with a cruise ship supplying it with Miami tourists every day: “Some locals quite frankly don’t understand that there are natural growing pains whenever a major improvement is brought to an area.”319

Though Melnichenko recordings had already given proof that Lytvyn was involved in the orders to kill Georgiy Gongadze when Caputo worked for the candidate, and though Lytvyn would go on to support the Yanukovych government, which might be seen as either pro-Russian or making Ukraine into a vassal state of Russia, and all this might be seen as support for authoritarianism, do not think this meant that Caputo had anything like open mindedness about political beliefs back in the United States. “Commie Book Ban” by Rob Jordan would describe the briefly successful attempts by Frank Bolaños to have a Miami-Dade school board ban a comic book from the early 1960s, Vamos a Cuba, which gave no mention of the political persecutions of Castro. Bolaños would make an attempt at the Florida state Senate, Caputo was his press officer, and they made sure to emphasize the issue of Bolaños’s stand on the comic book. That you might be against communism and still think this all was obnoxious grandstanding, was a view Caputo had no tolerance for. “The last vestiges of Communism will live and breathe in America. It’s in the school system.” This comic book was brought in with the specific intention of roiling the Cuban community, Caputo alleged. These events took place in 2006, a year before Caputo would help Volodymyr Lytvyn get elected. “He needs to be deported – the scum – to Georgia and thrown there on his ass!,” said Leonid Kuchma on the Melnichenko recording. “Take him to Georgia and drop him there,” said Caputo’s candidate, about the reporter whose headless corpse would later be found. Frank Bolaños would lose the election. One teacher at the high school where Vamos a Cuba had been pulled, who was also a Cuban exile, had a blunt reaction to the scandal about the comic book, that might be taken as a reaction to other things as well: “These people make me vomit.”320

Though this post was originally written and posted on February 24th, I briefly move both forward and backward at once in time, making an addition on the 2nd of March, where I quote from a WBEN radio broadcast made by Michael Caputo where he speaks eloquently and movingly about what was taking place in the Ukraine on the day of that radiocast, February 20th, the events which would culminate in the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich, and, at this date, the takeover of parts of Crimea by a Russian sponsored private army, with the very real possibility of war between Ukraine and Russia. From that February 20th broadcast, perhaps unnecessarily, I bold the second to last sentence, which stands out for me (taken from the beginning of “2-20 Michael Caputo in for Sandy Hour 2″):

What a day. I know we talk a lot abou this…college diplomas for rapists idea, from our quizzical governor…I don’t know, really, if this is the most important thing going on today…I’ve been up for several hours, I’ve had trouble sleeping…I don’t know if you’re catching the news…it’s been on our news break on the hour. They are murdering people in the streets of Kiev today. My in-laws are in Ukraine, my brother-in-law lives in Kiev, he sides with the protesters, and luckily for our family, he has not been spending recently his time in the Maidan Square there. I woke up…of course, as some of you know, my wife and I have an eighteen month old…at fifty one years old that was not done on a dare. But she woke me up a little bit this morning, a little early this morning, I have not been able to get back to sleep because the images coming out of Kiev, they are frightening. Just frightening. And uh, a very important point was made on twitter today, by somebody who I follow, I forget who made it, but this violence, in Kiev, in just the last couple of days, is far worse than any of the violence when the wall was falling back in ’89-’90. Those time frames. If you remember the violence that was happening then, it was wall to wall on our news stations. In Kiev, they’re actually firing right into the crowd, with AK-47s. Firing straight into the crowd. The hotel that is right on Maidan Square, the Kiev Hotel, the Kiev Hotel is now an emergency room. It’s a triage. People are dying right and left. By the way, so are the police. The police are mostly being injured and kiled by firebombs, by Molotov cocktails. And what bothers me is- I have a direct connection with this, because my in-laws are there, my wife is from there, we spend time there, it’s a frightening thing. I have been trying to talk to my in-laws about coming over to the United States, maybe staying here, and now we may escalate that. It’s really frightening, I mean, we don’t know here in the United States, the kind of life that they lead in places like Ukraine, which was devastated, whole cities leveled during World War II. And now the…after that, they suffered under the yoke of communism for many, many years. And the last several years, they have suffered under the oligarchs and the relative fascists who run the country, and basically, do not respond to the people, we’ve seen democratic oriented leaders poisoned over there, we’ve seen people killed, journalists murdered. And now the people, in the Square, in Maidan Square, being shot down like dogs.

On March 1st, a moronic troublemaker would try to reconcile this lamentation with his past election work, by raising the issue of Volodymyr Lytvyn and Georgiy Gongadze on twitter. Caputo would soundly dismiss any implications of the tweet, whether it be his connections with Lytvyn, or links between Lytvyn and Gongadze’s murder, I have no certainty:

I leave this brief shift forward to the future of this edit, and return to the original post.

Caputo was on the ground in Ukraine, and Stone was planning the campaign from afar, but they were not the only Americans involved in the country at that time. “How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets Woo Washington” by Glenn R. Simpson and Mary Jacoby would describe how various top tier americans went into the former Soviet colony to, as they say, help out. There was the notable example of William Sessions, the former head of the FBI, who’d become a lawyer for Semyon Mogilevich, who his former agency considered one of Russia’s most powerful organized crime figures and had the distinction of being on their “most wanted” list. Sessions would approach his former agency with a deal: Mogilevich would provide them with vital information related to Islamist terrorism, if they could work out his legal problems. The FBI turned down the offer321. The European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECFMU) was an advocacy group for Viktor Yanukovych and his political bloc, The Party of Regions, co-founded by Leonid Khazara, another Party of Regions member, and Tony Podesta, of the lobby shop the Podesta Group and brother of Clinton chief of staff Jon Podesta, and it was formed to lobby in favor of Yanukovych and the Party of Regions without registering under the Foreign Agent Act, all of which was described in “How Foreign Governments Make Sure You Don’t Know They’re Lobbying You” by Rosie Gray322. It would do so through various methods, and one of them was by paying bloggers to write stories in favor of Yanukovych, and being nasty with the opposition. On Breitbart News, the story on the current uprising in Ukraine which led to the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych, “Chaos in Kiev: Yanukovych flees, Tymoshenko free”, would receive the comment from the charmingly named “gun_nut”, “Ukraine is a reminder on how quickly freedom can be lost, but that it can be regained when good people stand together for freedom. I only wish my fellow Americans had such courage.”323 At the time of the Ukraine elections, Ben Shapiro of the same site would write, “Yanukovych is not the pro-Putin stooge many make him out to be, and Tymoshenko is not the pro-Western ally many make her out to be.” Later, Shapiro would write, “It’s no surprise to see the woman who once hugged Suha Arafat shilling for a Ukrainian opposition that makes governing deals with reported Nazi knockoffs,” when Hillary Clinton supported the opposition. The ECFMU would re-tweet two of the Breitbart pro-Yanukovych stories. “Exclusive: How Ukraine Wooed Conservative Websites”, again, by Rosie Gray, would go into great detail in the ways in which conservative bloggers were paid off to portray Yanykovych as a force for stability and those protesting his regime as jew hating monsters324. The founder of Breitbart had often raved about “the well-funded, well-oiled, John Podesta–led machinery” and the “Clinton/Podesta cabal”. Perhaps it would gladden his heart that after his death, the Podesta cabal and the Breitbart cabal had finally found a way to work together, for a greater purpose325.

Yanukovych was able to win his way back to power through the work of political consultant Paul Davis, and there was a strange contradiction here, because Davis was also a high level consultant to the McCain campaign, and John McCain was passionately against the pro-Russia shift that Yanukovych represented. This was not an outlier or an exception – this same Janus phenomenon would take place again in 2012, with Mitt Romney taking a hard line against Russia, while one of his top advisors, Vin Weber, worked for the ECFMU326. Davis was a partner in a lobbying firm, a firm that was a shifting chimera that somehow has managed to show up in many stages of this piece, constantly changing its name, and the other name in that firm, the man whom Davis had served as deputy when he’d managed the Republican convention in 1996, was in Ukraine as well, and he’d also played a very big part in the election of Viktor Yanukovych327. He’s right there in Marc Champion’s “In Ukraine, a Friend of Russia Stages Sweeping Political Makeover”:

As Mr. Yanukovich prepared for parliamentary elections due the following spring, one of his key backers — Rinat Akhmetov, a billionaire metals magnate from Donetsk — recommended he hire Paul Manafort, who had worked on then-Sen. Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. Mr. Manafort, now a prominent Washington lobbyist, had been advising Mr. Akhmetov as he explored taking his business, SCM Holdings, public on Western financial markets.

With another election fast approaching, Mr. Manafort declined in an interview to talk about the specifics of the campaign advice he gave Mr. Yanukovich. But according to people involved in the Party of the Regions’ campaign in spring 2006, Mr. Manafort advised on such basics as how to target and appeal to voters. He also produced a slick campaign film and coached Mr. Yanukovich on his presentation.

Yanukovych was also helped out by Bruce Jackson, who arranged the visit of Yanukovych to D.C., where the future head of Ukraine met with Vice President Dick Cheney. Rinat Akhmetov, the Ukrainian metals magnate billionaire, would give $300 000 to the human rights charity of Jackson’s wife328. “A lot of people are making a lot of money off Ukraine’s political competition,” Jackson would say in “With cash, Ukraine’s political foes bring fight to Washington” by Mark Hosenball and Warren Strobel. “The Yulia-Yanukovich competition has definitely spilled out of the country. Both sides are heavily invested in representation in Washington,” Jackson also said. He and his group, the Project on Transitional Democracies, however “did not lobby”329. “How Democracy Fails: Ukraine is the case in point” was a piece by Jackson in the Weekly Standard, the same venue for Matt Labash’s profile “Roger Stone, Political Animal”, deeply critical of the leaders of the Orange Revolution. However, democracy made a surprising recovery under Yanukovych, according to an interview with Jackson, “A year of Yanukovych, seen from abroad” by Mykola Siruk, written in 2011: “If we look at the objective facts, President Viktor Yanukovych and the new government had a very good year in 2010.” How could you not get objective facts from Bruce Pitcairn Jackson? “Generally, we can consider Ukraine a ‘new Poland,’ not a new Belarus. This is all very good. But Yanukovych isn’t getting any credit for it. Everyone hates the government.” Why do you think that is, he’s asked, and there followed a moment of confusion in the answer. “The mentality of the SBU [Ukrainian Security Service] is not helpful. I met the head of the SBU. Maybe he is a little naive, a little young, and maybe not everything is under his control. But this is not a thug. He is trainable and we can fix it.”330 Who, you wonder, is this we that can fix this? The Ukrainians? Jackson, Manafort, and whatever hacks Rinat Akhmetov throws money at? “If you are a dictator, you know that the end of your ruling is near the moment you hear that a man named Bruce Pitcairn Jackson is taking a closer look at your case,” was the fulsome intro to another Jackson interview for the World Security Network, one that made you feel like an old cartoon where someone had switched the exit and entrance signs. “Berlin sees itself as the busines partner of Moscow and the explainer of Kremlin activities to the West…The positions which Germany has chosen for itself are quite controversial and have encountered significant criticism,” said Jackson in the interview331 Sometimes, Jackson sounded an awful lot like William Windorf, Karla Von Stetten, Philip Dodge, Richard Knox, Facebook persons who enthused unending belief in Genting, Scott Israel for Broward sheriff, and buying a copy of The Man Who Killed Kennedy, so much that you weren’t sure these people existed, they sounded so much like they were under the control of someone else332. As a reader, you were confused as to why Berlin being a business partner of Moscow was now a bad thing, because in “Ukraine Votes: The country faces enormous economic challenges as it heads to the polls”, Jackson tells us that Ukraine’s destiny was between the economies of both Russia and Europe: “The culture and history that Ukraine shares with Russia is a matter of historical fact, and history cannot be rewritten by election or referendum. Similarly, the intimacy of Ukraine’s relations with Europe is established by history, geography, and shared economic interest. Ukraine will always be close to and independent of both Russia and Europe, and there is nothing any of Ukraine’s parties can do about it.” It sometimes felt as if the only person with freedom of movement in this world was Bruce Jackson333

“Why We Need a Reset” was also by Bruce Jackson, about the U.S. taking a new approach after the election of Yanukovych: “Over the past two decades we have been consistently wrong about the political character of Ukraine, the values and aspirations of its people, and the profound weaknesses of its government and economy.” You wonder again about that we. By we, do you mean you, Mr. Jackson? “Washington has neither seen Ukraine clearly as it is nor understood its aspirations properly.” Among the many mistakes it had made, according to Jackson, was accusing “former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma of murdering journalist Georgiy Gongadze before having second thoughts.” Jackson had more to teach the reader. “Washington’s engagement should not be limited to the most prominent political personalities.”334 The next part was the most fascinating:

It must also normalize relations with the Ukrainian business community, particularly with the so-called “oligarchs.” The top ten business leaders in Ukraine control vast industrial conglomerates each of which employs as many as a quarter of a million workers directly and supports several million Ukrainians indirectly. For better or for worse, these oligarchs are the single most important political constituency in Ukrainian politics, the source of funding for all political parties, and the most pro-European voice in Ukrainian society. Their self-interest lies in closer relations with the European Union to gain market access, in political stability to improve the business environment, and in the reform of a government whose past dysfunction has only devalued their assets. Engaging Ukrainian politicians without engaging their constituency is a mistake.

As said, Rinat Akhmetov, one of those oligarchs, gave over a quarter of million dollars to a charity of Bruce Jackson’s wife. If you wanted to find some background on Jackson, there was “Minister Without Portfolio” by John Judis from 2003. It described a free floating shadow, who worked for Lockheed Martin while also promoting the expansion of NATO, fundraising for the Republicans, and was finance co-chairman of Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign. A “prominent neoconservative” is quoted as saying that Jackson is the “nexus between the defense industry and the neoconservatives. He translates us to them, and them to us.”335 You had to wonder at all that “translate” contained. One paragraph of “Portfolio” gave a very clear idea of the nexus:

Jackson maintains that Lockheed actually disapproved of his work on the committee and even tried to fire him, but that seems difficult to believe. In the mid-1990s, Lockheed, like other defense firms, was suffering from the post-Cold War stagnation in the U.S. defense budget. The company knew that once countries from Eastern Europe were admitted into NATO, these nations would have to make their equipment, much of which was manufactured in Russia, “interoperable” with U.S. and Western European military hardware. That might well have meant that they’d have to buy new planes from Lockheed. If the countries didn’t have the money, Congress could supply the loan guarantees.

Jackson would then be brought in by the Bush adminstration to rally support for the Iraq war, and it was Jackson who was behind the idea of the Vilnius 10, a group of european nations who would join the coalition of the willing. The article emphasized that this may have been a coalition sometimes more willed than willing. “When the war began,” wrote Judis, “Slovenian Prime Minister Anton Rop finally said it had been a mistake to sign the declaration. The Slovenian press blamed pressure from Jackson, acting on behalf of the United States, for the initial decision to sign.” A Slovenian columnist would refer to the “Bruce Jackson threat” as the force which moved Slovenia to war336. This was written in 2003, before the consequences of the war became an obvious disaster, and before his involvement in the Ukraine, yet something about Jackson deeply alarmed Judis then, the idea that a man unknown, unaccountable, unvoted on by any man or woman, had such power.

Whatever one thinks of NATO expansion and the war in Iraq, it should be clear that something is very wrong here. NATO expansion is not necessarily a bad thing. And some countries may have wanted to endorse the American invasion of Iraq. But the Bush administration shouldn’t be holding entry into NATO hostage to support for its war in Iraq, or trying to gull the public about the size of its “Coalition of the Willing.” Even worse, it shouldn’t be getting a private citizen — with no accountability to the public, the Congress or even the administration itself — to do its dirty work.

The Iraq war would end up a fiasco of poor to no planning, one which cost the lives of too many for the creation of a corrupt and dysfunctional state, where ten, twenty, or more, now sometimes die in a single day from the bombs of Al-Qaeda. Viktor Yanukovych, the man who Jackson cheerleadered on, is, at the time of my writing this post, on the run and wanted for murder. Those are what I think Bruce Jackson might refer to as objective facts.

We have here the mess of points that might usually be called conspiracy, with a hidden order unveiled through a conspiracy theory. We have near invisible powers exerting great influence at a distance, and distorting how the world is seen according to their convenience. Paul Manafort helps get Viktor Yanukovych elected, Roger Stone and Michael Caputo work to get Volodymyr Lytvyn into parliament, and Lytvyn will support Yanukovych in exchange for getting to be speaker of the parliament again. Jackson will arrange a meeting between Yanukovych and Dick Cheney, a meeting that is possible through Jackson’s work in Iraq, where he was able to strongarm various countries into joining up as a condition for belonging to NATO, after which they would have to buy equipment from his former employer, Lockheed Martin. Caputo will chastise the opposition to Lytvyn all while presenting himself as a fair-minded man without a stake in the fire. Caputo and Jackson, another fair-minded source, will dismiss the issue of what the official languages of countries like Ukraine and Latvia are as things of no consequence. We have the eerie quality of the octopus somehow playing all parts; though Breitbart was founded by a man who despised John Podesta, they write supportive pieces of Yanukovych out of service to his brother. Unlike a conspiracy theory where some mystic order is hidden, here the arrangement is obvious and in plain sight. This was only a hidden order if you were surprised that practical financial considerations would be overwhelmed by ideology or moral virtue.

It all reminded me of an old piece from 1988 I’d just come across, “Panamania” by Joe Klein, which involved the complicated case of the former ruler of Panama, Manuel Noriega. Though the explicit line of the U.S. government was that it wished Noriega to step down, apparently he’d also been visited by a political consultant, Daniel Murphy, who was former deupty director of the CIA and George H. W. Bush’s former chief of staff, and Murphy had given Noriega an entirely different message, that he did not have to step down right away, but could wait until the next year. Noriega supposedly placed greater weight on the counsel of the private consultant than the public statements of the government337. “Why,” asked this article, “would Noriega give more credence to a private businessman than to ‘official’ representatives of the U.S. government?” Answer: “Ever since the CIA overthrew the government of Guatemala in 1954, the notion that there are two U.S. governments has been quite popular in Latin America,” says Frank McNeil, a former ambassador to Costa Rica. “There is the official government, which says one thing; and then there is the CIA and Pentagon, which pursue our real interests. A lot of this is myth and nonsense, of course, but some of it is based on experience.” We might speak of a first state, those who hold public office, a second secret state, that of national security, and a third invisible state, belonging to no nation, whose interests are entirely its own, occasionally allied with representatives of the first and second states, or employing them as a convenient enemy, though this opposition reflect nothing of their actual political identity, which was somewhat apolitical, part of the third state. So you have the phenomenon of Ben Shapiro attacking Hillary Clinton over her support of the opposition in Ukraine, which he does at the bidding of Tony Podesta’s ECFMU, while Rick Davis advises John McCain, who also supports the Ukrainian opposition, while Davis and his partner, Paul Manafort, support Yanukovych. Viktor Yanukovych may well have seen this mix of voices in a similar manner as Noriega did, that the true state, the important state, is the third shadow state of political consultants and secret money, not the first state, which ultimately derives its power from the third, rather than the other way around. This is the most cynical and sinister reading of this mess of relationships, and I don’t know if I believe in it, but I consider it a possibility.

Within this same third state was Roger Stone, who’d later try to raise a few bucks by peddling a conspiracy story involving Lyndon Johnson, which based on his unpublished memoir, Stone didn’t even believe. It was a tale with Lyndon Johnson committing eight murders out of rancid political ambition, while Stone himself had worked for Volodymyr Lytvyn, who appeared to have been involved in a plot of far more substantial basis, which started with the killing of a reporter, and then result in Yuriy Kravchenko committing suicide by shooting himself twice in the head, while two other members of his ministry, also believed complicit in the plot, would suffer from devastating strokes within the same year, strokes which would kill both off338. Why invent a story, you might want to ask Roger Stone, when you could just write what you know? The story of Volodymyr Lytvyn and Georgiy Gongadze, or Paul Manafort getting mixed up with a front group for Pakistani intelligence, or who exactly gave $150 000 to set up Take Back Our Judiciary, that Florida group in the 2000 election, or whether there’s any link between a war continued in Angola and a war begun in Iraq over chemical weapons where the evidence turns out to be bunk and with the same woman from Black, Manafort, Stone & Kelly involved in both cases, or whether the Libertarian Party in 2012 was taken over for the purpose of a vote split? There was no hidden order, no masons, no lizard kings to any of this. People did things for money. You won elections so a certain select group could collect prizes, while the only thing that majority got was having their seething rage briefly fed. Those who had wealth to spare to sink into Super PACs, those who Bruce Jackson refers to as a politician’s “constituency”, would get whatever they wanted, while the rest of us would have to beg for clean food, unpoisoned water, and the possibility of children not shot dead by random lunatics, and all you’d get instead was virulent anger, pitting all against all, and you could always count on some large part of opinionmakers to give a hard, smug sneer at how powerless and impoverished we were, how we were always losing politically because we were too amoral, or too angry, or too stupid, or too inconsistent, never because we simply lacked the money to buy the politicians so we might actually get the sparest conditions of a decent life.

You just needed a certain gift to do that kind of work, a kind of sociopathy which reduced the human beings you dealt with to nothingness, a nothingness where nothing human was hurt or destroyed as a result of your gambits, and I will not grant Roger Stone much, but I will grant him that: I think he has that gift. That Roger Stone is both part of various conspiracies, and publishes a conspiracy theory might be viewed by some as ironic, two sensibilities in contradiction, when I see them as two sides of the same coin, people as mere marionettes, who you place in your plots accoring to your convenience. Stone ends The Man Who Killed Kennedy with the often cited fact that of the fourteen hundred witnesses to the Kennedy assassination, seventy had died unnaturally – their deaths are torn from whatever circumstances might have caused them, so they might be given sense in the conspiracy superstructure339. We might move away from abstractions to one of the actual lives lost, briefly but very well-sketched in Lawrence Wright’s memoir, In the New World, when Wright goes to find an exotic dancer for his fraternity’s party:

I took a seat. In a moment Delilah came out and shimmied through her big number. She had a shiny appendectomy scar that I hadn’t noticed before, but in the stage lights it seemed phosphorescent. Then, to the admiring astonishment of the Iowans, Delilah came to my table and ordered a Dr Pepper. She was in her mid-thirties, I calculated, or a little older—twice my age, in any case. She had black hair and olive-toned skin, which was probably the inspiration for casting herself as an Egyptian. However, she affected a Zsa Zsa Gabor accent along the lines of “Vere are you from, dahlink?” She was a walking cultural malaprop.

I admitted I was from Dallas.

“No kidding? Dallas?”

Her Hungarian accent fell aside and was replaced by the more familiar nasal tones of North Texas. I asked if she knew Dallas. “Yeah,” she said, “I know that goddamn town too well.” We sat quietly for a moment. Being from Dallas was an awkward bond to share.

“I used to work for Jack Ruby,” she volunteered.

She seemed to want to talk about him. He was a nice man, she remembered, but “a little crazy.” It was Ruby, the Jewish impresario, who put her together with “Hava Nagila.” Delilah gave me her telephone number, and I told her I would call next semester concerning her performance at Tulane. She said I could come to her apartment for “coffee.”

All summer long I thought about that invitation.

I was already alarmed at the direction my life was taking. When I fled Dallas for the university, I left behind a sweet Christian girlfriend. She had given me a Bible for my eighteenth birthday. “Cherish this book always, Larry, and diligently read it,” she admonished on the flyleaf, but I had fallen into the hands of the Sybarites and the existentialists, and when I returned to Dallas that summer I felt like a moral double agent. Half of me was sitting with my girlfriend in church, underlining Scripture with a yellow marker, and half (more than half) was scheming of ways to lead my little Christian exemplar into one of life’s dark passageways.

I was lying on her lap, with that thought in mind, watching the ten o’clock news, when a photograph of a black-haired woman in a belly dancing costume flashed on the screen.

“That’s Delilah!” I said, sitting up.

What?”

“Shh. I know her.”

Her name, it turned out, was Marilyn Magyar Walle. She had just been murdered in Omaha, shot eight times by a man she had been married to for a month. Her association with Jack Ruby was noted. My girlfriend looked at me with an expression of confounded decency.

“Do you have something you want to tell me, Larry?”

I wasn’t the only one who marked Delilah’s death. The conspiracists were keeping a list of “witnesses” who had died since the assassination, a list that grew and grew. By February 1967 seventeen others had died, including two more strippers who had worked for Ruby (one was shot to death, the other was found hanging by her toreador pants in a Dallas jail cell). Most of these deaths were from natural causes or explainable under other circumstances, but in the aggregate they had a weight they wouldn’t have had by themselves. Seven of the victims had given testimony to the Warren Commission, six others had been interviewed by the Dallas police or the FBI. What are the chances, one might wonder, that so many people connected with the assassination would be dead in three and a half years? An actuary in London said the odds against all of them being dead in that time were 100,000 trillion to one—a figure that throws mysterious shadows across the otherwise unmysterious fates of car wrecks, failing hearts, jealous husbands, and disappointed suicides.

This moment, succinct and without wasted space, affected me deeply, and it is without difficulty that one can imagine why this small portion of time and space persisted in Wright’s memory, while all other moments around it melted away. It shows us nothing extraordinary, only a woman doing her best under shabby circumstances, yet it suggests the vast unimagined expanse of those other seventy lives, for which their crisscross over the assassination was but a single incidental point. I do not think Roger Stone has the possibility of conceiving that expanse, only seeing people as points that might be co-ordinated in one pattern or another340. The most apt passage for a long essay on Roger Stone comes not from any book on politics, but an examination of sociopathy, A Criminal History of Mankind by Colin Wilson, which notes that crime is often an act of domination, an expression that the perpetrator is strong and the victim is weak, that the most violent and disturbing crimes often lack a material motive or practical reason, because their sole purpose is domination. This, I think, is the prime mover of Roger Stone, whether it be the Redlich mailer, or yelling at Eliot Spitzer’s father, or making up stories about Eliot Spitzer and black socks, or labeling Hesham El-Meligy the Al-Qaeda candidate, none of which have any political purpose, but are done solely to hurt the victims. Stone’s career is forever bound to a sex scandal and there is something connected to sex in the criminal act, and this act of humilation as well, which Wilson illustrates through a quote from De Sade’s Justine341:

That night, after a quick round of buggery with Saint-Fond, I withdrew to my apartment. But I couldn’t sleep: so stirred up was I by Clairwil’s violent words and actions, I had to commit a crime of my own.

My heart beating wildly at the evil thoughts racing through my brain, I leapt out of bed and dashed to the servants’ quarters. There I stole a butler’s clothes and a guard’s pistol. Then, looking very much like a gentleman of fashion [the narrator is a woman], I slipped into the night.

At the first street corner to which I came, I stationed myself inside a doorway and waited for someone to pass. The prospect of the crime which I was about to commit thrilled me like nothing I had ever experienced. My body glistened with sweat. My insides churned with the turmoil which precedes sexual congress – a fundamental excitement which honed all my senses to a fine cutting edge. I was aflame, ablaze now, for a victim.

Roger Stone begins work at the White House, and he is soon brought into the realm where he might exercise his will. The head of CREEP says “there would be some “after hours work” if I proved to be a young man who had the ability to keep his mouth shut,” Roger Stone writes in his unpublished memoir. “I had an immediate erection.”342 Roger Stone’s life is a pornography by a man who elected anti-pornography presidents, where victims have the desires of others imposed on them, the entire mass of their life reduced to an infinitely small point in space. This essay is an attempt at anti-pornography by an infinitessimally small point in space, resistant to all restriction, constraint, and limiting.

POSTSCRIPT (March 8th, 2014):

Bruce Jackson had cheerleadered the election of Viktor Yanukovych, and praised Yanukovych during his time in power, and he appeared, without shame or remorse, to offer more advice after this very man had slaughtered those who’d protested his regime. The important thing, now that the protesters were in power, was for Kiev to compromise. “Kiev has always been more of a compromise than a capital, and if it loses the ability to compromise, it loses its credibility as a capital,” said Jackson in Steven Erlanger’s “After Initial Triumph, Ukraine’s Leaders Face Battle for Credibility”:

What worries him, Mr. Jackson said, is that the new government is too beholden to the people’s movement on the Maidan. He is also concerned that it is not reaching out sufficiently to the east and needs the credibility of both presidential and parliamentary elections to answer Mr. Yanukovych’s charge, echoed in Moscow, that those politicians of western Ukraine, who have regularly lost elections, have seized power instead.

In essence, he suggested, the revolutionaries “have knocked out the foundations of modern Ukraine,” and they need to be restored in a way that recognizes the diversity of the country.

Sudden, unmediated political change in countries like Ukraine rarely goes smoothly, he said, pointing to the Rose Revolution in Georgia, whose main proponents are now out of office and many in exile after an administration that inevitably produced some achievements but considerable disappointments, aided by Russian efforts to keep Georgia unstable.

The Times story made no mention of Jackson’s past praise of Yanukovych, or the quarter million dollars that Rinat Akhmetov, the magnate who’d given heavy financial backing to Yanukovych, had contributed to the charity of Jackson’s wife.

Jackson still didn’t think much of Europe, offering a few dismissive comments over the concerns that their diplomats were spied on in “Scandale Prism : la NSA aurait aussi espionné l’Union européenne” by Laure Mandeville (my translation from the french). The emotion of the europeans over this is ridculous, said Jackson. “Any partnerships that work will require surveilling.” “The whole world spies on itself,” he would continue. Whatever could be learned from spying on a diplomatic european delegation would be of little interest anyway343.

On March 6th, Stone’s frequent associate would point out something already obvious to many, that RT.com (Russian Televsion) is a Kremlin controlled network, and as a result any coverage of the conflict in Ukraine would be slanted heavily in favor of Russia:

These tweets warning away viewers from the Kremlin dominated programming were notable for the following reason. In November of last year, two weeks before the protests began, Roger Stone promoted his book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy, on this very network in an appearance on “Breaking the Set” (youtube link) with Abby Martin; it was Martin, along with Liz Wahl, who would publicly dissent over the network’s coverage of the Ukrainian crisis344. James Kirchick, in “Watch RT, Putin’s TV Network, Call the Cops on Me” as a happy outlet for the fringier elements of american dissent, “a willing disseminator for their angry and conspiratorial worldview,” and that was the ideal place for Stone to advertise his book on how an american vice president killed an american president.

On March 5th, Politico would publish a brief profile, “Mystery man: Ukraine’s U.S. political fixer” by Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman, of Paul Manafort, whose whereabouts remained unknown after the exile of Yanukovych:

His friends once called him the Count of Monte Cristo.

Today, Paul Manafort is more like The Invisible Man — a worldly political pro whose latest adventure, whispering in the ear of Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych, has handed him a supporting role in a bona fide international crisis.

On Monday, as Russian gunships menaced the Ukrainian fleet in the Black Sea, Manafort’s former business partner Roger Stone sent out an email to a small group of friends asking wryly: “Where is Paul Manafort?”

A multiple-choice list of options followed, including: “Was seen chauffeuring Yanukovych around Moscow,” and “Was seen loading gold bullion on an Army Transport plane from a remote airstrip outside Kiev and taking off seconds before a mob arrived at the site.” The final option was: “Is playing Golf in Palm Beach.”

The answer to Stone’s query is currently unclear. Manafort’s current location and involvement in Ukraine, not surprisingly, are a mystery. He did not respond to messages sent to half a dozen email accounts or answer calls to nearly as many phone numbers at addresses in Virginia and South Florida.

What’s already certain is this: Even among the many American strategists who test their fortunes abroad, Manafort’s journey from the front lines of the Reagan revolution to the right hand of a Moscow-backed Eastern bloc pol straight out of central casting ranks as one of the more unusual escapades of the Washington consulting class.

On March 5th and 6th, Stone would tweet the following:

POSTSCRIPT (March 9th, 2014):

On March 8th, Roger Stone and one of his associates found an interesting way to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Stone would retweet the following:

This would prompt the reply from the writer Rebecca Jaramillo (@RebeccazWriting), “Stay Klassy – and way to woo the womens, #GOP!”, which would lead to an interchange between Jaramillo and Stone, culminating in the following: “Ignorant Bitch!”345:

After this, Andrew Miller (@andrewmiller83) would also attack Jaramillo. Miller worked on the Johnson campaign, as well as the campaigns of Carl Paladino and Kristin Davis. He is the stepson of Dianne Thorne, a longtime associate of Stone’s who would end up working in the sheriff’s office of Scott Israel. The work of Miller and Thorne on the Johnson campaign is described in part eight, while Thorne’s association with Stone is written about in parts six and seven. Miller would tweet that “@RebeccazWriting is one mouthy, loud-mouthed ignorant cunt”346:

Miller would also tweet “@rebeccawriting. You should stop tweeting about politics- you only betray you stupidity.- YOU started the name calling- bitch.”:

There was something strange to this last tweet, reminiscent of the identities of William Windorf, Philip Dodge and others described in part nine. It was the exact same tweet, word for word, which was sent out by Roger Stone, even the mistake of it being sent out to @rebeccawriting instead of @rebeccazwriting, “@rebeccawriting. You should stop tweeting about politics- you only betray you stupidity.- YOU started the name calling- bitch.”:

This of course raises the question of whether Andrew Miller is especially slavish in his devotion to his master, or whether these last two tweets were made by Stone, taking over Miller’s handle as a convenient cut-out. Both outbursts led to obvious reactions from @rebeccawriting, Rebecca Wells347:

The allegations mentioned by Stone against Bill Clinton are refuted, I believe, in Jeffrey Toobin’s A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President. Fred Dicker’s “Assault claim vs. Carl’s aide Stone” describes the assault allegations made against Roger Stone in the 2010 election for New York’s governor. Whether these allegations have ever been refuted in any place is unknown to me:

The key campaign adviser to Republican gubernato rial candidate Carl Paladino once attacked and injured an attorney who was working as his aide in what a police source described as a “domestic incident,” the upstate woman has claimed.

The alleged assault by Roger Stone against Lora Como, 40, a former employee of the state Senate, occurred inside his Chelsea apartment last Thanksgiving weekend and left her with bruised ribs, Como told The Post.

Como, who says she spent months working for Stone, 58, in Florida and New York, claims they had a confrontation at his studio apartment at Chelsea Landmark, 55 West 25th St., after he allegedly flew into a rage because she had smoked a cigarette and he didn’t like the smell.

“He threw me to the ground and bruised my ribs. He was hostile and menacing and I wanted him arrested for assault and I went to the police,” said Como, who state payroll records show worked as a Senate research analyst from September 2006 to April 2009.

Stone, who is married, acknowledged that he had a major disagreement with Como at his apartment, but denied her version of the events.

“When I asked [her] to leave she became irate. I completely reject her assertion that I ever hit her or abused her in any physical way,” Stone said.

This is how Roger Stone and his associate, the former leadership of the 2012 third party campaign that was portrayed as an idealistic alternative to the amoral duoply of the United States, celebrated International Women’s Day348.

(from “Pictures from the TPM Holiday Party”, photo of Roger Stone by Victor G Jeffreys II.)

(Some small edits to improve comprehension or make simpler, more effective sentences were made on February 25th, 2014. The section on the attempted killing of Jack Anderson was also added on that date. A few footnotes on this date were added as well, such as footnote #340, quoting from The Man Who Killed Kennedy on the statistically high number of unnatural deaths as well as the list of people who appear to have been killed in association with the Gongadze case. The paragraph about the third state, also added on the same 25th. Februayr 26th, 2014: the addition of footnote #341 with the excerpts from Colin Wilson’s Criminal History of Mankind. Footnote #325 was added on February 28th. The adding of the Wills epigraph was made on March 8th, 2014. On March 10th, some edits were made to the second postscript for reasons of better readability – nothing in meaning or implication was changed, and the screenshots of the page as it was with the twitter embeds extant were added. On March 22nd, the material on the luncheon of G. Gordon Liddy, E. Howard Hunt, and Edward Gunn where they spoke about assassinating Jack Anderson was added. Originally, this site linked to the Gongadze Inquiry report on the website for the International Federation of Journalists; however, this resource would go missing on the site sometime in 2014, and so on July 31st, 2014, links to the inquiry report were re-directed to an upload of the report on scribd.)

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

303 Two articles which provide a good illustration of the Orange Revolution’s collapase are “Ukraine’s Political Paralysis Gives Black Eyes to Orange Revolution Heroes” by Clifford J. Levy and “Former Ukraine Premier Is Jailed for 7 Years” by Ellen Barry. The death of Georgiy Gongadze is mentioned in “Soviet Shadows, Ukrainian Ghosts” by Nicholas Kristof.

A quick overview of Lytvyn’s career is “Volodymyr Lytvyn: The Cry-Baby Candidate” by Serhiy Kudelia:

The speaker of Ukrainian parliament Volodymyr Lytvyn rose to prominence as President Kuchma’s political protégé. He joined Kuchma’s presidential administration in mid-1990s and rose through the ranks to become its chief in 1999. Despite his academic background (he taught history in Kyiv University prior to joining government), Lytvyn proved to be a master of political intrigue.

During his years in the Presidential Administration, Lytvyn played the role of a grey cardinal supplying Kuchma with information about his critics and planning tactical moves to eliminate opposition. He first became the parliament’s chairman in 2002 with a heavy-handed pressure over MPs from Kuchma. Once in his new role, Lytvyn distanced himself from his boss and tried to establish himself as a politician in his own right. His constant maneuvering between Kuchma’s loyalists and opposition allowed Lytvyn to broker round-table talks in the heyday of the Orange Revolution resulting in the constitutional compromise.

Following a defeat in 2006 parliamentary election, his bloc gained enough votes from disillusioned Yushchenko’s supporters in the Central Ukraine to get into the parliament in 2007. Since then he played his cards as a leader of the faction, which can tip the balance in the parliament in favor of one of the two largest factions. This helped him to return in the speaker’s chair following a deal with Prime Minister Tymoshenko during a 2008 crisis, when the parliament was on the verge of a dissolution.

That Lytvyn would go on to support Yanukovych is well-known, and there in the BBC story “BBC News – Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych forms coalition”:

Ukraine president forms coalition

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has secured a coalition in parliament and one of his loyalists has been named as the new prime minister.

Parliament approved the nomination of ex-Finance Minister Mykola Azarov as prime minister shortly after the coalition agreement was announced.

Mr Azarov said his priority was to push through a “realistic” budget for 2010.

Mr Yanukovych had been trying to pull together a loyal coalition after winning presidential polls last month.

He has faced resistance from defeated presidential contender and outgoing Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was forced out in a vote of no confidence last week.

On Thursday Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn said that the coalition had been formed on the basis of an agreement signed by the Party of the Regions, the Communist Party, and his Lytvyn bloc.

304 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 12)”:

After a corpse had been found in Tarashcha, a town near Kyiv, on 2 November 2000, in the space of two weeks information was revealed which indicated that the headless torso was probably Gongadze: its physical dimensions, jewellery found with the corpse, the stomach contents, and shrapnel wounds to the hand. However, rather than allowing for this probability, which soon became a certainty, investigators tried to convince the public that the corpse was not Gongadze’s and that he was still alive.

It is reported that Ukraine’s chief coroner, Yuriy Shupyk, removed the stomach contents but gave no instructions for the rest of the body to be moved to cold storage in Kyiv. The corpse therefore continued to decompose in the local morgue. On 15 November journalists arrived at the Tarashcha morgue to claim the corpse, which was suddenly and inexplicably seized by the police and taken to Kyiv. The next day, deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Mykola Dzhyha told parliament the corpse was too short to be Gongadze and had been in the ground for two years.

305 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 12)”:

In the meantime, officials emphasised that there were sound reasons to believe Gongadze might still be alive. On 25 September, Mr Dzhyha said Gongadze had been seen in a Kyiv café the day after he disappeared; the Minister of Internal Affairs Yuriy Kravchenko repeated this information on 6 October. On the day after the corpse was found, [first] deputy Prosecutor General Serhiy Vynokurov announced that Gongadze had been seen on a train in Donetsk Region. On 10 January 2001, Prosecutor General Mykhaylo Potebenko told the media he had received new information which “suggests that the journalist is still alive”.

In January 2001, Russian forensic experts issued the results of DNA tests on the corpse, which indicated a 99.6 per cent probability that it was Gongadze’s. Despite this, the Prosecutor General announced in parliament: “There are no sufficient grounds to say that the body is that of journalist Gongadze unless additional forensic examination is made.” He said Gongadze could have been kidnapped by Ukrainian politicians in order to discredit their political opponents.

Six weeks later (22 February 2001), however, the Russians forensic experts raised their estimate of the probability to 99.9 per cent. On 26 February, the Prosecutor General confirmed that the corpse found in Tarashcha was Gongadze’s, based on these results. Only then did he launch a murder investigation. In other words, at least another six weeks had been lost in the investigation just because of a 0.3 per cent probability that the corpse was not Gongadze’s.

306 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 16)”:

On 21 June 2004, the press department of the Prosecutor General’s Office declared that a suspect, “Citizen K”, had said he killed Gongadze. A spokesperson announced: “The man’s testimony is corroborated by the circumstances of the crime, such the time [of the crime] and some other key facts established by the investigation, including the beheading [of Gongadze].” 30 Citizen K had previously been prosecuted for several other murders that involved beheading, the spokesperson said.

In July 2004, the Institute of Mass Information, the Ukrainian Law Organization, the International Federation of Journalists and the National Union of Journalists of Great Britain and Ireland wrote a formal letter of inquiry to the Prosecutor General to ask for information about Citizen K under article 9/32/33 of the Ukrainian Law on Information. A reply was received from the Prosecutor General’s Office on 13 August, signed by chief of the Department of the Investigation of Very Important Cases. Mr A. Chumachenko stated that Citizen K had not been arrested as part of the Gongadze case, and that an investigation was continuing. His letter said only that all theories would be examined and none had yet been ruled out

307 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 17)”:

Dated 1 March 2001, the Ukrainian delegation’s report to the Council of Europe stated that the Prosecutor General’s office was analysing the possible involvement in Gongadze’s murder of “Citizens D and G”, who belonged to an organised criminal group and whose corpses had been found and identified. The report stated: “The Prosecutor General of Ukraine is analysing the information on [the] possible involvement in the murder of G. Gongadze of Kyiv residents belonging to one of the organised criminal groups — citizens D. and G., who disappeared at the beginning of November 2000.

“Citizens D and G” stood for Igor Dubrovsky and Pavlo Gulyuvaty, also known by their nicknames Tsyklop (Cyclops) and Matros (Sailor). The president of Ukraine, the Minister of Internal Affairs and his deputy, the Prosecutor General and his deputy, all proceeded to announce that the case had been solved and that citizens D and G had murdered Gongadze.

Within a few months, however, this allegation was revealed to be completely untrue, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor General’s Office were forced to retract their earlier statements.

On 6 March 2001, the deputy prosecutor general in charge of the Gongadze case, Mr Bahanets, said on Ukrainian television that: “A group of people from a criminal group may have been involved in Georgy Gongadze’s disappearance. One of them has a nickname Cyclops. They took a journalist, a Georgian, to a forest to get him to pay some debts.”

However, on 25 May a Kyiv newspaper revealed that the two criminals blamed for Gongadze’s death had both been filmed at a wedding on the day Gongadzedisappeared.

308 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 21)”; Svyatoslav Piskun was the Prosecutor General, and Victor Shokin was his deputy:

Mr Piskun spelled out the implication: that the Ukrainian opposition had fabricated the recordings, and possibly murdered Gongadze, in order to frame ex-president Kuchma for the murder. Mr Shokin repeated this allegation: “The motive was indeed to frame the president.”

309 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 25)”:

On 14 July 2000, Georgy Gongadze sent an open letter to the Prosecutor General to complain he was being followed. Senior Ukrainian state officials at first denied the fact of surveillance, then made contradictory statements which continue to this day, despite prima facie evidence of Gongadze’s surveillance by police before he was murdered.

From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 26)”:

In June 2004, information from leaked documents from the prosecutor’s investigations in 2003 was published in the Independent (London). The documents appeared to show that MIA undercover police teams carried out surveillance on Gongadze for weeks until the time of his abduction on the orders of General Pukach. They showed that the surveillance continued until Gongadze’s disappearance on 16 September 2000; on that day, Pukach told officers to forget that there had been any surveillance operation against Gongadze. The original documents were later published on a website. At first Prosecutor General Vasylyev stated that he was “very dubious about [publications] with quotations from anonymous sources, or from mythical employees of law enforcement bodies”. Only six weeks later did the Prosecutor General’s office state at a press conference that the documents were genuine.

From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 27)”:

Despite this clear statement confirming the surveillance of Gongadze, the MIA announced a new investigation into the matter. On 14 September, the ministry reported the results of its investigation, saying it had not been able to establish whether Gongadze had been followed because documents had been destroyed and employees denied any surveillance. Two days later the ministry qualified its initial statement, telling journalists that it was in no position to say yes or no.

310 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 63)”:

Ihor Honcharov, the witness who died in custody in August 2003, gave detailed evidence of the operation of a gang, whose members of which included policemen, who kidnapped and murdered people for money. This gang, of which Mr Honcharov was a member, has become known in the press as the “werewolves”. Mr Honcharov alleged that the gang abducted and killed Gongadze on the orders of Internal Affairs Minister Kravchenko. He also said that, after he informed the head of Kyiv’s directorate for combating organized crime about these facts, he was given a savage beating and warned not to tell anyone else. Two months later he died in custody and the body was hastily cremated. Fearing for his life, Mr Honcharov had written letters, referring to these issues, and requested they be published in the event of his death.

Mr Honcharov’s evidence points to the possible existence and operation of illegal “death squads” within the Ukrainian state. Despite the seriousness of this evidence, and the authority of its source, the evidence available to this inquiry strongly suggests that the Ukrainian authorities have failed to mount a proper investigation. Very early on, suspicions were aired that Mr Honcharov did not die a natural death. In November 2003, the respected Ukrainian newspaper “Zerkalo Nedeli” revealed that specialists had concluded that Mr Honcharov was administered a series of injections, in particular a preparation that paralysed the breathing. In December 2003, however, Prosecutor General Vasylyev told a news conference: “A medical examination did not establish the cause of death as violent.”

In June 2004, the “Independent” (London) published information based on leaked documents, including a secret autopsy on Mr Honcharov which showed he was injected with a drug called Thiopental, an anaesthetic. The newspaper concluded: “The autopsy and tests performed for the government by six experts show Honcharov was injected with Thiopental, which the experts said probably led to death. Doctors have told The “Independent” that there would have been no legitimate medical reason to use the drug.” 117 Only after this publication did prosecutors for the first time say that a Mr Honcharov did not die of natural causes, as previously claimed, although they denied that the death was caused by injection of drugs. The Prosecutor General’s office said it had opened a criminal investigation into Mr Honcharov’s death in May, 2004; the results showed the cause of death was a blow to the spine.

From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 29)”:

In October 2003, the investigation appeared to have reached a climax with the arrest of General Pukach in the Gongadze murder case, charged with destroying evidence of Gongadze’s surveillance by police. At this point, however, further progress of this investigation was halted. On 29 October Mr Piskun was sacked by President Kuchma, for reasons that are still unclear. Mr Pukach was released from custody a week later (he was cleared by a Kyiv court in April 2004). Ex-President Kuchma dismissed Mr Piskun after a request from the Presidential Coordinating Committee for Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption, which accused Mr Piskun of “committing serious breaches of current legislation and committing dishonest actions”. The committee further accused Mr Piskun of “over-politicising” his office, of failing to implement presidential decrees, and of large-scale corruption.

311 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 63)”:

The issue of political interference in the Gongadze case was raised. Mykola Tomenko, having resigned as deputy prime minister, accused Petr Poroshenko, leader of the Our Ukraine group in parliament; Mykola Martyninko, senior aide to Yushchenko; Oleksandr Tretyakov; and Volodymyr Lytvyn, parliamentary speaker, of trying to hinder the investigation and of “doing everything they could” to hinder discussion of the Gongadze case in parliament and in the media. Lytvyn dismissed Tomenko’s statement as “nonsense”. Myroslava Gongadze, widow of Georgiy, said at a news conference that Lytvyn should explain what role he had played in the case, and said that she was “alarmed” by Yushchenko’s position on the issue and the “lack of political will” to drive forward the investigation.

312 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 64)”:

A detailed account of how the murder was committed, based on statements by the accused and by witnesses, had previously been given in interviews by Viktor Shokin, deputy Prosecutor General. According to Shokin, Gongadze was kidnapped by a group of serving MIA officers (i.e. policemen), led by Pukach and including the three mentioned above. Gongadze was taken to the Belotserkovsky district, where he was beaten and then strangled with his own belt by Pukach. Pukach and a second, different, group of people, subsequently moved Gongadze’s body to Tarashcha, where it was discovered.

From the BBC’s “Ukraine journalist killers jailed”:

A court in Ukraine has sentenced three former police officers to prison for the murder of investigative journalist Georgiy Gongadze.

Mykola Protasov was given a sentence of 13 years, while Valeriy Kostenko and Oleksandr Popovych were each handed 12-year terms.

Mr Gongadze’s death, in 2000, sparked widespread protests in the Ukraine.

His family said the high-profile trial had failed to bring the masterminds behind the killing to justice.

313 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 70)”:

On 4 March, the following day, Kravchenko’s body was found at his country villa, with two gunshot wounds, one to the chin and one to the temple. A note to his family, found on his body, said he was innocent of wrong-doing and had “fallen victim to the political intrigues of President Kuchma and his entourage”. SBU director Turchynov and other officials have stated that the available evidence shows that Kravchenko committed suicide. The PGO also considers that the death was suicide, although it has opened a murder case with respect to it. Interior affairs minister Lutsenko has stated, “I have doubts about this suicide, but nothing more than that”.

314 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 88)”:

The death of Dagayev and illness of Fere, together with the death of interior minister Kravchenko and the disappearance of Pukach, mean that, with respect to the organisation of Gongadze’s murder within the MIA, none of the most important potential witnesses known to investigators can be questioned. Not surprisingly, the fates of Dagayev and Fere have been the subject of a considerable amount of media speculation. Fere suffered from a stroke in June 2003 that left him in a vegetative state; since then he has been in a coma, in the central MIA hospital, and is not expected to recover; he has lost his functions of muscle movement and speech. Three weeks after Fere’s stroke, Dagayev also suffered from a stroke which led, after an unsuccessful operation at an Austrian clinic, to his death. Suggestions that they may have been poisoned have been published in the Ukrainian media, and we believe that this issue should be considered by the PGO.

315 From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 115)”:

On 21 July this year, Pukach was arrested in the village of Molochky in Zhytomyr Region, in an operation conducted jointly by the Prosecutor’s General Office (PGO) and officers of the Ukrainian security service (SBU). The PGO stated subsequently that, during questioning, Pukach told investigating officers where Gongadze’s head was buried. The site was searched, and in August, a skull that is almost certainly Gongadze’s was found.

From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 115)”:

On 28 July, the PGO confirmed at a press conference that fragments of a human skull, which investigators believed to be Gongadze’s, had been found in Belotserkovsky district in Kyiv Region, near Sukholisy. Investigators had searched a site the location of which had been identified by Pukach. In the weeks that followed, Ukrainian forensic experts confirmed that the skull belonged to Georgiy Gongadze. Investigators have now decided, with the agreement of Myroslava Gongadze, to arrange for further confirmation of the identity of the skull, by foreign experts using DNA techniques, working together with their Ukrainian colleagues.

From “Kiev police chief jailed for Gongadze murder” by Roman Olearchyk:

A senior police officer found guilty of carrying out the gruesome murder of a journalist 13 years ago implicated a former Ukrainian president and his aide as he was sentenced on Tuesday.

The parting words of General Oleksiy Pukach will mean doubts will linger over the case that has haunted Ukraine ever since September 2000, when Georgy Gongadze, an opposition journalist, disappeared.

His headless corpse was discovered two months later in a forest 75 miles from Kiev.

Listening from behind courtroom bars while Kiev’s Pechersk district court read out its guilty verdict, Pukach, 60, grasped a prayer book and bowed as he was jailed for life.

But when one of the three judges asked if he accepted their verdict, he replied: “I will accept it when Kuchma and Lytvyn join me in this cage” – a reference to Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine’s president from 1994 to 2005, and Volodymyr Lytvyn, the former speaker in parliament, whom Pukach accuses of ordering the murder.

“Ukraine Gongadze case: Court convicts journalist’s killer” by Irena Taranyuk:

A Ukrainian court has convicted a former police chief of murdering journalist Georgy Gongadze in 2000, a crime which rocked the country.

The court in Kiev found that Olexiy Pukach had killed the journalist, then cut off his head. It sentenced Pukach to life imprisonment.

Pukach confessed but said he had acted on the orders of the late Interior Minister, Yuri Kravchenko.

The murder sparked protests against the president at the time, Leonid Kuchma.

An attempt to prosecute Mr Kuchma for ordering the killing collapsed in December 2011 when a judge ruled that secret audio recordings which apparently incriminated him could not be used as evidence, as they had been obtained through “illegal means”.

316 From “Howard Stern – G. Gordon Liddy interview 1 of 4″ (4:35-5:16):

STERN
Conspiring to murder someone, though, I think would put you in prison for life.

LIDDY
Only if you take, see…the conspiracy laws are very interesting. You and I could sit here, and conspire to kill Bababooey all day long. But unless, and until, either one of us takes one affirmative action to advance that, there’s no crime.

STERN
So, the planning is not a crime?

LIDDY
No.

STERN
It’s the efforts.

STERN
Right. We got a plan to rob the bank. No problem. One of us goes out steals a car for the getaway. Now, there’s a problem.

317 From “Reasonable Shade of Green : Michael R. Caputo”, a screenshot of the post:

That Caputo worked with Stone on the campaign in the Ukraine is also evidenced in this piece, “The Quiet Americans” by Chris Bragg, on Caputo working again in that country in 2011:

How do you follow up managing a campaign for a candidate who made anti-gay remarks, was caught forwarding pornographic emails and nearly traded blows with a newspaper columnist?

Apparently you hightail it for Ukraine, a place where things can also get pretty hairy.

“Last time around, my Ukrainian campaign manager was murdered,” said Michael Caputo, Carl Paladino’s former campaign manager, via an email from that country. “Tough place, but Ukraine is a cakewalk compared to the New York governor’s race—and off Fred Dicker’s beat, thankfully.”

Caputo, a sharp-witted consultant who has worked everywhere from Nicaragua to Russia, has returned to Ukraine to work as a strategist during that country’s parliamentary elections. He is one of a number of New York consultants who have gravitated to the sometimes risky business of working for foreign clients, a trade that can prove especially appealing during off-year election cycles in New York.

On Caputo’s previous campaign in Ukraine alone, he was joined by flamboyant Republican strategist Roger Stone and Western New York Democratic operative Steve Pigeon—a veritable dream team of New York dirty tricksters.

“Last time around, my Ukrainian campaign manager was murdered,” Caputo is quoted as saying. This is Oleg Sheremet. It was a killing that received no notice or mention that I can find in the western press.

“Murder of Political Strategist from Litvin’s Bloc: New Blood to be Shed?!” (no credited author):

On November, 30 in the evening unknowns shot down political strategist from Litvin’s Bloc, “Land and resource clearing centre” commercial manager Oleg Sheremet in Borispol. According to Litvin’s bloc representatives, he had been advising on land issues. According to Interior Ministry Chief department PR centre in the Kyiv Region, the day before at 11:20 p.m. militia was informed by a nurse from city hospital in Borispol citizen of Ukraine was taken to hospital with gunshot wounds. He died of injuries in the hospital.

The regional department of the Interior Ministry brought an action on that incident. Sheremet was murdered near the entrance to his house on Holovatogo, 69 with 5 shots.

Ukrainian politicians gave their comments on murder of Oleg Sheremet, 41. Particularly, the Party of the Regions’ people’s deputy Vladimir Sivkovich considers the murder of “land and resource clearing centre” commercial manager happened as a result of the land conflict between two business groups.

“Sheremet was on the side of one of the business-groups which struggled for land shares concerned with Bolshaya Alexandrovka rural residents. Some entrepreneurs purchased shares. Other businessmen forged documents, were successful in the actions and sold that land one more time”, told Vladimir Sivkovich in the commentary for Segodnaya.

According to deputy, 2-3 owners were pretenders at one ground area. “Sheremet had been drawing those procedures. Also he was a middleman. As a result, both business-groups suffered from it. According to my data, the matter is about only over US $50 mn”, reported Vladimir Sivkovich.

Besides, one advisory institute for land valuation in the Kyiv Region has been involved into scandal. It is founded in order to monopolize information about lands, shares, its sellers, purchasers, owners and centralized bribes scheme has been made. “It should be liquidated. Otherwise blood will be shed one more time”, ProUa cites people’s deputy as saying.

From Caputo’s Public Relations photos on his site, Caputo is the leftmost:

The photo carries the caption: “In Kiev for 2007 Ukraine parliament elections (RIP Oleg Sheremet)”

318 From “Journey to Latvia”:

Unlike any other residents, Russians who want citizenship must endure a Latvian language proficiency exam. The accompanying bureaucracy takes sometimes up to a year to finalize applications. Meanwhile, passports are held for paperwork purposes and the Byzantine process frustrates applicants at every turn.

But local Russians like Alexander Nacharov aren’t much concerned about citizenship. Born and raised in Latvia, his Russian parents sent him to Moscow where he graduated from TOURO College in finance. Today, as the head of Baltic operations for a leading global investment firm, he embodies the “noncitizen” debate. Like many Russians at the entrepreneurial core of Latvia, he is unwilling to forgo the international travel associated with his nascent business.

“I am Russian to my toes,” Mr. Nacharov told me over lunch in Jurmala, the picturesque nearby Baltic Sea resort. “I am also very proud of my Latvian roots. I don’t think I truly suffer from discrimination; it’s more an inconvenience, like a traffic jam.”

In fact, his opinion mirrored those of most young Latvians I met: Only politicians really care about this debate. Comments by a Latvian legislator or Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue, are ignored by most of the young professional class.

Despite popular indifference, the “noncitizen” issue repeatedly lights up the political landscape. Mrs. Vike-Freiberga has moved in the right direction recently, mostly because her anti-Soviet administration now recognizes Russia-oriented investment fuels its economic growth. As the historical crossroads of Eastern Europe, Latvia better hope it stays that way: Their economic opportunity will remain anchored in Russia for decades.

Perhaps the Bush Summit will help steer the Latvians away from this reeking policy of discrimination. But for everyday Latvians and Russians, who still rarely mix, the visit is politics as usual. “We know the debate must work itself out soon,” Mr. Nacharov told me. “Meanwhile, I am a man without a country who is willing to wait and see.”

A piece on the strong reaction to the official language bill in Latvia is “Latvians reject Russian as official language” by Associated Press and one on the strong reaction to the idea in Ukraine is “Political Maneuvering Stalls Language Bill in Ukraine” by David M. Herszenhorn.

319 A screenshot from “Bahamas National Trust calls for disclosure on Bimini facility”:

William Windorf Bahamas National Trust cropped

William Windorf or “William Windorf” is discussed in part nine, under the section “Empty Voices, Empty Rooms / I Bring the Applause”.

320 From “Commie Book Ban” by Rob Jordan:

The first to seize the talisman was school board member Frank Bolaños. Within days of Amador’s formal complaint, he called for a suspension of the standard review process and an immediate ban of the book. His proposal shifted the debate from a nuanced discussion to a polarizing yes-or-no vote.

When, at the April meeting, school board member Ana Rivas-Logan voted to allow a review process instead of an immediate ban, she found herself targeted by Radio Mambí, a popular station among hard-line exiles. Rivas-Logan, who was born in Nicaragua after her family fled Cuba in 1960, paraphrased one commentator’s advice to listeners: “Let’s not forget, when it comes to election time, that Ms. Rivas-Logan is Nicaraguan.” Other board members who voted to review rather than ban the book were labeled Communist and anti-Cuban.

Two months later, when the issue came before the board again, Bolaños challenged his colleagues in stark terms. “They will have a choice to either define themselves on the side of truth and with the Cuban community or on the side of lies and against the Cuban community,” he said. Board vice president Perla Tabares-Hantman, running for re-election, said she was fulfilling her “duty as a Cuban-American” in voting to ban the book. Board member Marta Pérez, also up for re-election, compared the book to “pornography” and “books about Devil worship,” saying there was no place in school libraries for such things.

After Tabares-Hantman and Pérez had weighed in, board member Evelyn Langlieb Greer, appearing exhausted and exasperated, warned of “caving to political imperative” and urged common sense in the wider community. “Your fight is with [Castro],” Greer said to the vocal, exile-filled audience. “Your fight is not with the Miami-Dade County school system over a book for five-year-olds.”

Historians chalked up another only-in-Miami moment that day when the school board voted to override the committees’ recommendations and ban Vamos a Cuba. The board also circumvented its own review process by banning all 24 books in the elementary-level travel series.

The excerpt dealing with Caputo:

This, believe it or not, was Seamans in a diplomatic mood. In another e-mail, he called Bolaños an “absolute idiot … grubbing for votes,” and referred to his press officer, Michael Caputo, as an “insignificant terd [sic].” The latter comment was in response to a Caputo e-mail implying Seamans had lost his colleagues’ respect and was surrounded by sycophants as he “preen[ed] and careen[ed] about town.”

A political operative and head of his own public relations firm in Miami Beach, Caputo boasts credentials that include work on the presidential campaigns of George Bush Sr. and Jack Kemp, Boris Yeltsin in Russia, and rightist Alfredo Cristiani in El Salvador. So why is Caputo working on the campaign of an aspiring state senator? He says he joined Bolaños’s campaign because he admired the candidate for showing “real stones” in taking up the fight against Vamos a Cuba.

Killing time outside a Little Havana restaurant, with his candidate still inside, Caputo radiated a focused intensity. The 44-year-old consultant described himself as a “cold warrior” who is also, oddly enough, a Grateful Dead fanatic. He maintained that the book-banning issue has been a “gift” to his candidate. Campaign contributions to Bolaños skyrocketed in the weeks after he took his stance, and droves of reporters have descended on the relatively unknown politician.

For the opposition — those, like Seamans, who say Bolaños is grandstanding for political gain — Caputo had no patience. People might not want to face this ugly truth, he said, but America and its freedoms are still under attack from an old foe. “The last vestiges of Communism will live and breathe in America. It’s in the school system. Some bureaucrat bought [Vamos a Cuba] …” with the intention of tweaking the Cuban exile community, Caputo said as he stabbed the air with an imaginary shiv. “Somebody did this.”

What Caputo considers an act of principled self-defense has been largely viewed, outside the exile community, as shameless pandering. Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts, for instance, decried the creation of an atmosphere “where you can get pelted with batteries for being insufficiently anti-Castro.” Ray Taseff, chairman of the ACLU Greater Miami Chapter Legal Panel, called Bolaños’s stance “irresponsible. It’s demagoguery at its best.”

Coky Michel, a Coral Gables Senior High School teacher and Cuban immigrant, put it more succinctly: “These people make me vomit.” Michel said she’s tired of a vocal and extreme minority speaking for all Cuban-Americans.

That Frank Bolaños lost his election is mentioned in “There’s Something Fowl in North Miami” by Francisco Alvarado, a brief piece on other Caputo shenanigans:

Local campaign strategist Michael Caputo likes to employ some fowl play in his election day tactics.

In the mid-1990s, Caputo busted out his patent-pending tactic of using a man-in-a-chicken-suit-to-tail-opponents when he worked for Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s campaign.

Back when he was spokesman for ex-School Board Member Frank Bolanos’ failed campaign against state Sen. Alex Villalobos, Caputo had a volunteer don a chicken suit too. Bright yellow and bearing the nickname, “Demolobos,” the chicken trailed Villalobos when both camps failed to agree on a debate.

321 From “How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets Woo Washington” by Glenn R. Simpson and Mary Jacoby:

Former Federal Bureau of Investigation director William Sessions once condemned Russia’s rising mafia. “We can beat organized crime,” he told a Moscow security conference in 1997.

Today, Mr. Sessions is a lawyer for one of the FBI’s “Most Wanted”: Semyon Mogilevich, a Ukraine-born Russian whom the FBI says is one of Russia’s most powerful organized-crime figures.

Mr. Sessions is trying to negotiate a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice for his client, who is charged with racketeering and is a key figure in a separate Justice Department probe of energy deals between Russia and Ukraine.

Mr. Sessions’s client, Mr. Mogilevich, is accused in a 45-count racketeering and money-laundering indictment in Philadelphia of masterminding an elaborate stock fraud using a web of shell companies in Europe. The Justice Department also is investigating whether there are any ties between Mr. Mogilevich and a recent series of billion-dollar natural-gas deals between Russian gas giant OAO Gazprom NRGP.RS 0.00% and Ukraine, people familiar with the matter said. The probe is being led by the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section.

According to people familiar with the matter, Mr. Sessions recently approached former colleagues at Justice with an unusual offer: Mr. Mogilevich would provide the U.S. with intelligence on Islamist terrorism if prosecutors opened negotiations to resolve his legal problems in the U.S. Federal prosecutors rejected that offer, lawyers and others familiar with the matter said.

322 From “How Foreign Governments Make Sure You Don’t Know They’re Lobbying You” by Rosie Gray:

WASHINGTON — The European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, an obscure nonprofit based in Belgium, was founded by a former top official in Ukraine’s governing party and appears to be a proxy for the country’s pro-Russian government. In 2012, the group hired a pair of high-powered American lobbying firms to advocate on its behalf.

But what those lobbyists, who include Obama-era Democratic superlobbyist Tony Podesta, are actually doing is a mystery. Unlike the Washington firms hired directly by foreign governments, Ukraine’s leadership has slipped its American agenda through an increasingly popular loophole in the federal law intended to regulate foreign activity in the United States, allowing it to follow the minimal disclosure practices required of domestic corporate lobbies, not the extensive ones demanded of registered foreign agents. It’s a loophole now used by a range of post-communist governments, in particular, with money to burn and no particular love of transparency. And it offers a path to the end of a disclosure regime put in place in 1938, amid American concern over the effects of Nazi propaganda.

Any entity controlled and funded by a foreign government is formally required to be registered as a foreign principal. But as long as the entity is formally a nongovernmental organization and isn’t funded by a government — a chamber of commerce, an advocacy group, or some other entity — the law does not apply.

“For better or for worse, it’s legal,” said Joseph Sandler, a Democratic lawyer and expert on FARA law.

Those groups register instead under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, whose roots are in anti-corruption crusades of the 1990s, but which is far less onerous. The two laws “evolved in completely different ways,” Sandler said. In particular, an LDA filing shows you very little about what the lobbyists actually did for their clients, while FARA filings require disclosures of specific duties and expenses.

The European Centre for a Modern Ukraine offers a particularly clear case study in this method. The Center is a nongovernmental organization in Brussels that, its website says, is “a unique ‘Modern Ukraine’ organisation based in Brussels and operating internationally as an advocate for enhancing EU-Ukraine relations.”

The group has a strong tie to the Ukraine’s government: It was founded by Leonid Khazara, a former senior member of parliament from Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. The Centre is established as a nongovernmental organization in Brussels. It lists no staff on its website save for two employees on the Contact page, and a spokesperson didn’t return requests for comment.

But for that skeleton staff, the ECFMU was represented by two lobbying firms, the Podesta Group and Mercury/Clark & Weinstock, during a period in which a flurry of pro-Yanukovych stories appeared in the American conservative blogosphere. The EFCMU’s managing director, Ina Kirsch, tweeted out two of the stories, from Breitbart News. The bloggers declined to identify the source of the stories’ pitches, and said they hadn’t been compensated for writing them.

From “American Bloggers Praised Ukrainian President Before Election” by Associated Press:

At Breitbart, Ben Shapiro also dove into Ukrainian matters around the time of the election. On October 22nd, he wrote, “Yanukovych is not the pro-Putin stooge many make him out to be, and Tymoshenko is not the pro-Western ally many make her out to be.” And “President Obama’s flip-flopping on the Yanukovych administration is accomplishing nothing but driving Yanukovych closer to Moscow. No wonder Ukraine is falling back into the Russian sphere of influence.”

Later, he criticized Hillary Clinton for allegedly siding with the Ukrainian opposition despite its forming a coalition with far-right nationalist party Svoboda, and trying to “throw the election from Viktor Yanukovich to his opposition.”

“It’s no surprise to see the woman who once hugged Suha Arafat shilling for a Ukrainian opposition that makes governing deals with reported Nazi knockoffs,” Shapiro wrote.

323 A screenshot of the comment from “Chaos in Kiev: Yanukovych flees, Tymoshenko free”:

breitbart ukraine revolt screenshot

324 That this slur was used against the Ukrainian opposition is not to dismiss that this vile passion is there in the country, and that it is there among some members of the opposition.

“Are Ukraine’s Jews Screwed?” by Adam Weinstein attempts to get at the question, and that this hateful feeling is there among both supporters and opponents of Viktor Yanukovych:

In this atmosphere, plenty of critics are asking: Should the West distance itself from the revolutionaries?

This is not an academic question reserved for uppity web pundits. Anti-Semitism has a long and hoary history in Ukraine. I should know; my Weinstein ancestors supposedly braved pogroms by Cossacks and Tatars for centuries in Kamenetz-Podolsk, a western citadel town, before bugging out in the 19th century—part of numerous waves of Jewish refugees who fled the nation to join the diaspora in Western Europe, the U.S., and eventually, Israel. World War II and the Holocaust are believed to have wiped out two-thirds of those who remained.

This is the pre-revolutionary cultural status quo in Ukraine.

Now, take away street policing. Make this a state that’s somewhat drunkenly weaving between stable governments, goaded on not just by native rightists but by Russian puppeteers and their sympathizers, too. In the absence of laws, and enforcers of laws, all of that cultural antipathy starbursts, and it burns the Jewish community, and every other hated group that doesn’t have a champion.

So: Yes, there are anti-Semitic, fascist elements who are relatively well-placed among the revolutionaries who booted Viktor Yanukovich out of the presidential mansion. But the revolution itself isn’t a Nazi revolution, and defenders of the previous oligarchy aren’t exactly friends of the tribe, either. No side is especially friendly to Jews or any other religious, ethnic, or sexual minority, because this is Ukraine.

But there are rays of hope: First, among young Jews themselves, many of whom have been on the front lines in Kiev. “I want to let you know that lots of people who study Hebrew together with me are going to Euromaidan after classes every single day,” one young woman says on a video recorded on the street several weeks ago. “My friends, my coworkers from the Jewish Channel go to the Maidan too… Here, at Euromaidan, it doesn’t matter which nationality you are.”

Then there are the antifascists, the students, the left-leaning demonstrators, the pacifists, who estimate that right-wing dullards make up about 30 percent of the protesters—an outsize bunch, considering their poor showings at the polls. “Lots of people want to manipulate the people here,” one antifascist says. But on the whole, they’re simply against the old order and in favor of a more participatory democracy.

Some of the complexities are also described in “Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine” by Timothy Snyder:

What does it mean when the wolf cries wolf? Most obviously, propagandists in Moscow and Kiev take us for fools—which by many indications is quite justified.

More subtly, what this campaign does is attempt to reduce the social tensions in a complex country to a battle of symbols about the past. Ukraine is not a theater for the historical propaganda of others or a puzzle from which pieces can be removed. It is a major European country whose citizens have important cultural and economic ties with both the European Union and Russia. To set its own course, Ukraine needs normal public debate, the restoration of parliamentary democracy, and workable relations with all of its neighbors. Ukraine is full of sophisticated and ambitious people. If people in the West become caught up in the question of whether they are largely Nazis or not, then they may miss the central issues in the present crisis.

In fact, Ukrainians are in a struggle against both the concentration of wealth and the concentration of armed force in the hands of Viktor Yanukovych and his close allies. The protesters might be seen as setting an example of courage for Americans of both the left and the right. Ukrainians make real sacrifices for the hope of joining the European Union. Might there be something to be learned from that among Euroskeptics in London or elsewhere? This is a dialogue that is not taking place.

The history of the Holocaust is part of our own public discourse, our agora, or maidan. The current Russian attempt to manipulate the memory of the Holocaust is so blatant and cynical that those who are so foolish to fall for it will one day have to ask themselves just how, and in the service of what, they have been taken in. If fascists take over the mantle of antifascism, the memory of the Holocaust will itself be altered. It will be more difficult in the future to refer to the Holocaust in the service of any good cause, be it the particular one of Jewish history or the general one of human rights.

325 From Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!, the excerpts where John Podesta gets a mention:

And you could tell right away that her well-funded, well-oiled, John Podesta–led machinery was of no use to her at a moment when Americans were connected like never before, when wedges were blunted and impotent.

He isolates threats to the reign of the far left and the reign of his father’s cabal of Clinton/Podesta and the organized left. He’s a vicious guy. He falsely slandered James O’Keefe as a racist, we disproved it—

Perhaps I’m being a bit hubristic, but I’m convinced that this was the meeting in which Obama and Clinton decided to put John Podesta in charge of the ACORN response team.

Naturally, the usual Podesta/Media Matters apologists leaped to diminish the encounter (which was fairly widely reported). Media Matters “Senior Fellow” Eric Boehlert called my oral and written reports about the event “the Phantom Egg,” calling into question my truthfulness.

326 “Vin Weber, Top Romney Adviser, Lobbying for Ukraine Group” by Eli Lake:

One of Mitt Romney’s top foreign-policy advisers recently took a side job: Burnishing the reputation of the government of Ukraine, a country condemned by international human rights groups and European governments for alleged corruption, unlawful imprisonment of opposition figures and a slide into authoritarianism reminiscent of Putin’s Russia.

According to forms filed in May under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, Vin Weber, a former Minnesota Congressman and special adviser to Romney, is a registered lobbyist for a Brussels-based group known as the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. The group’s mission, according to its website, is to push for a comprehensive trade agreement between the European Union and to strengthen ties with the United States. Its founding president was Leonid Kozhara, a senior member of parliament for Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions.

On the campaign trail and on his website, Romney has criticized Russia, promising that as president he would “be forthright in confronting the Russian government over its authoritarian practices,” and contrasting his more-hawkish stance with President Obama’s “reset” of U.S.-Russia relations. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has at times sought closer ties with Vladimir Putin even as he has courted the West. In 2010, Yanukovych extended the lease for the Russian Navy’s use of a Black Sea port in Sevastopol. This week, he will meet with Putin in Yalta for a major summit.

327 From “New Questions Over McCain Campaign Chief’s Ties To Ukraine” by Seth Colter Walls:

How much does John McCain know about his campaign manager’s lobbying history and potential current business interests inside Ukraine — and when did he know it?

The stakes of the answer to that question are increasing, due both to the continuing controversy over the role of lobbyists in McCain’s second presidential run, as well as the press inquiry into the connections between McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and the global business and political interests in Ukraine, a country represented by the lobbying firm that bears his name — Davis-Manafort.

The Davis lobbying firm offered political consulting services to the pro-Russian “Party of Regions” inside Ukraine. (To do so, the firm did not have to register as a “foreign agent” under U.S. law, because it was operating outside the United States.) The Party of Regions wound up on the wrong side of the 2004 “Orange Revolution” that captured many a heart in the West (including John McCain’s). Since then, the firm, which Davis co-founded, has been described as instrumental in organizing a political comeback for the once-discredited Party of Regions, which emerged victorious in 2006 legislative elections.

From “Lawmakers Seek to Close Foreign Lobbyist Loopholes” by Barry Meier:

For instance, a lobbying firm owned by Rick Davis, the McCain campaign manager, has worked in recent years for a Ukraine politician, Viktor Yanukovich. Both Mr. McCain and the Bush administration supported the opponent of Mr. Yanukovich, who had close ties to Vladimir V. Putin, then the president of Russia and now prime minister.

During this time, however, Mr. Davis’s firm, Davis Manafort, never registered as a lobbyist for Mr. Yanukovich even though Paul Manafort, Mr. Davis’s business partner, had met with the United States ambassador in Kiev on Mr. Yanukovich’s behalf.

In a related development, Mr. McCain may have first become aware of Davis Manafort’s activities in Ukraine as far back as 2005. At that time, a staff member at the National Security Council called Mr. McCain’s Senate office to complain that Mr. Davis’s lobbying firm was undercutting American foreign policy in Ukraine, said a person with direct knowledge of the phone call who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A campaign spokesman, when asked whether such a call had occurred, referred a reporter to Mr. McCain’s office. The spokesman there, Robert Fischer, did not respond to repeated inquiries.

Such a call might mean that Mr. McCain has been long aware of Mr. Davis’s foreign clients. Mr. Davis took a leave from his firm at the end of 2006.

328 From “How Lobbyists Help Ex-Soviets Woo Washington” by Glenn R. Simpson and Mary Jacoby:

The former Dole strategist Mr. Manafort and a former Dole fund raiser, Bruce Jackson, have received fees and donations from Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, the political patron of Ukrainian Prime Minister Yanukovich.

Messrs. Manafort and Jackson played prominent roles in the Ukrainian’s recent visit to Washington. The visit included meetings with U.S. officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney. A company controlled by Mr. Akhmetov donated $300,000 in 2005 to a human-rights charity run by Mr. Jackson and his wife, an Internal Revenue Service document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal shows. Mr. Jackson said he was grateful for the support.

329 From “With cash, Ukraine’s political foes bring fight to Washington” by Mark Hosenball and Warren Strobel:

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Rival political factions facing each other on the streets of Ukraine have also enlisted heavyweight lobbyists in Washington, some with connections at the highest levels of U.S. government, to promote their causes to American policymakers, media and members of Congress.

Among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s government are prominent Democratic lobbyist Anthony Podesta and former Republican congressional leaders Vin Weber and Billy Tauzin.

Meanwhile, Yanukovich’s most prominent political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister who is serving a seven-year prison term for alleged abuse of power, is represented in Washington by former Democratic Congressman Jim Slattery, a partner in the law firm Wiley Rein LLP.

The sums of money involved are substantial. Over the last two years, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a Brussels-based organization sympathetic to Yanukovich and his political party, has paid $560,000 to Weber’s firm, Mercury, and another $900,000 to Podesta Group Inc, for a total outlay of $1.46 million, according to a U.S. Senate database.

The database shows total payments over the same two years of $810,000 to Wiley Rein by Oleksandr Tymoshenko, a Ukrainian businessman and husband of Yulia.

“A lot of people are making a lot of money off Ukraine’s political competition,” said Bruce Jackson, president of the Project on Transitional Democracies, which advocates Western-oriented reforms in Eastern Europe.

“The Yulia-Yanukovich competition has definitely spilled out of the country. Both sides are heavily invested in representation in Washington,” Jackson said. He said he and his group do not lobby.

330 From “A year of Yanukovych, seen from abroad”:

Mr. Jackson, you usually visit our country in critical moments. You may know that early this year European Commissioner Stefan Fule and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia visited our country. They both expressed concern regarding the “selective” political prosecution of the opposition during their negotiations with the Ukrainian authorities. What can you say about it?

“Yes, this is a critical time. If we look at the objective facts, President Viktor Yanukovych and the new government had a very good year in 2010. They reached an agreement with the IMF, initiated intense negotiations regarding the free trade area with the EU, signed the Action Plan on visa regime liberalization. They saw the country growing again, and did not go bankrupt like Greece. Generally, we can consider Ukraine a ‘new Poland,’ not a new Belarus. This is all very good. But Yanukovych isn’t getting any credit for it. Everyone hates the government.”

Why do you think this happens?

“I would say there are three explanations. First, the judiciary in Ukraine is a disaster.

“Second, the mentality of the SBU is not helpful. I met the head of the SBU. Maybe he is a little naive, a little young, and maybe not everything is under his control. But this is not a thug. He is trainable and we can fix it. I’ve been in Bulgaria and Romania and I’ve seen much worse. The third reason is that now that political ‘water’ has receded and there is no political fighting, we can look directly at the economy of Ukraine. We see a serious corruption problem. People are saying it’s getting worse and worse. I am not sure it’s worse. I think it’s the first time we really looked at it. If there were no big companies here before, now those who came here are drawing more attention to it. The corruption here is a precondition of doing business. And I don’t think it’s all government corruption, I think we’ve got traffic police, doctors, education — it’s the entire structure of the economy.”

331 From a World Security Network interview with Nathalie Vogel:

WSN: It seems that for the US administration, even the French are better Atlanticists than the Germans nowadays, why is it so?

Bruce Jackson: President Sarkozy is immensely popular in Washington and seems to us to say all the right things. I suspect that the perceived difference in French and German foreign policies lies in what they have chosen as priorities. Sarkozy emphasizes his commitment to make the EU more efficient by implementing the Lisbon Treaty, making Europe stronger by building up ESDP, and by reaching out to North Africa in a Mediterranean Union. These initiatives are non-controversial and modestly popular here. Conversely, Berlin sees itself as the business partner of Moscow and the explainer of Kremlin anxieties to the West. And, on occasion, Chancellor Merkel sees herself as the “schoolmarm” of Europe who restrains the excessive enthusiasm of the new democracies in Europe’s East by saying “Not so fast, boys.” The positions which Germany has chosen for itself are quite controversial and have encountered significant criticism.

332 Those for whom the names William Windorf, Karla Von Stetten, Philip Dodge, Richard Knox mean nothing will find more about these people in part nine, under the section “Empty Voices, Empty Rooms / I Bring the Applause”.

333 From “Ukraine Votes: The country faces enormous economic challenges as it heads to the polls”:

Various theories have been advanced to explain the prolonged political crisis in Ukraine, all of them at best partially true and most completely false. The original explanation was that Ukraine’s frequent, indecisive elections were part of the process of building a Ukrainian nation. While there may be some superficial truth to the perception that people from Lvov, Odessa, and Dnipropetrovs’k are not overly fond of each other, everyone believes (even politicians) they are part of a Ukrainian nation and are fiercely patriotic.

About a year ago, a second theory appeared which held that the elections would be a decision on whether Ukraine would be a pro-Russian state or a pro-European state. This theory is demonstrably false and intentionally misleading. The culture and history that Ukraine shares with Russia is a matter of historical fact, and history cannot be rewritten by election or referendum. Similarly, the intimacy of Ukraine’s relations with Europe is established by history, geography, and shared economic interest. Ukraine will always be close to and independent of both Russia and Europe, and there is nothing any of Ukraine’s parties can do about it. We can be confident that this election is not about violating the iron laws of geopolitics.

334 From “Why We Need a Reset”:

Over the past two decades we have been consistently wrong about the political character of Ukraine, the values and aspirations of its people, and the profound weaknesses of its government and economy. With the exception of the success in dismantling Ukraine’s strategic nuclear forces, the United States has gotten very little if anything right about Ukraine or its politics. Beginning with the infamous “Chicken Kiev” speech in July 1991 wherein U.S. President George H.W. Bush exhorted Ukraine to stay within the Soviet Union through the apotheosis of the democratic credentials of Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko, Washington has neither seen Ukraine clearly as it is nor understood its aspirations properly. Along the way, U.S. diplomacy has isolated Ukraine for selling Kulchga radars to Iraq that turned out never to have occurred, accused former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma of murdering journalist Georgiy Gongadze before having second thoughts, and has driven public support for NATO from roughly 50 percent in the late 1990’s to less than 10 percent today.

335 From “Minister Without Portfolio” by John Judis:

One prominent neoconservative familiar with Jackson describes him as the “nexus between the defense industry and the neoconservatives. He translates us to them, and them to us.” After Jackson had left the government, he joined Martin Marietta in 1993, which merged in 1995 with Lockheed to become part of the nation’s largest defense contractor. In 1997 he became director of global development and was put in charge of finding new international markets for Lockheed.

Jackson was extremely active in Republican politics. He was finance co-chairman of Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign and drafted the foreign-policy plank of the 2000 Republican convention platform. But his most important outside work was with the U.S. Committee on NATO, which he founded in 1996 and on which he served as president. Board members included Perle, Wolfowitz and Stephen Hadley, now the deputy national-security adviser but then a partner in the Shea & Gardner law firm, which represented Lockheed.

336 On the Vilnius 10 declaration, from “Minister Without Portfolio” by John Judis:

The declaration not only angered the French and Germans, it didn’t sit well with some of the governments that signed it. In Slovenia, Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel came under attack for signing the declaration. On Feb. 13, he distanced himself from the declaration. “In everything that it does … Slovenia is representing the stance that the Iraqi crisis must be resolved within the United Nations, i.e., within the Security Council,” he said. When the war began, Slovenian Prime Minister Anton Rop finally said it had been a mistake to sign the declaration. The Slovenian press blamed pressure from Jackson, acting on behalf of the United States, for the initial decision to sign. Rupel, columnist Sasa Vidmajer wrote, had “buckled under … Bruce Jackson’s threat.”

337 From “Panamania” by Joe Klein, on the mixed signals of the United States to Manuel Noriega:

Who is Admiral Daniel Murphy and why should we be intrigued by his visit with Noriega in Panama last November?

Murphy says he was there as a private businessman, a political consultant for undisclosed clients. This may, in fact, be true – but there is far more to Murphy than that: He is George Bush<s former chief of staff, a former deputy director of the CIA, and a former supervisor of the vice-president's task force on drugs. He and the Korean Tongsun Park arrived in Panama just as Noriega and the State Department were close to makign a deal for the dictator's departure.

"Noriega was ready to go," says José Blandón, the Panamanian who represented Noriega in the negotiations. "He knew the drug indictment was coming. He knew the Panamanian economy was in trouble. He was tired and wanted out. In September, he told me to negotiate a deal for him."

This was Blandón's deal: If the pending drug indictment could be quietly forgotten, Noriega and his top henchmen would leave the country in April 1988. Blandón says Elliott Abrams, the assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, agreed to the package – Abrams won't comment – in early November, and Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage gave Noriega the official word in late December. By then, however, it was too late.

"Noriega started to back off after he spoke to Murphy in November," Blandón says. "He said Murphy offered him a better deal: He could stay until March of 1989. He said Murphy had spoken to George Schultz and Colin Powell about it – and he began to question my loyalty and wonder why he could get a better deal from Murphy than from me."

338 The figure of Johnson and eight murders is mentioned many times in The Man Who Killed Kennedy, here is one:

The former president was racked not only with pain in his final days but guilt, undergoing psychotherapy in an attempt to unburden himself from a political past that included as many as eight murders and was ended in shame. Intimates said that Johnson had even smoked marijuana to deal with his demons—the pastime of the counter-culture that had driven him from the White House.

339 From The Man Who Killed Kennedy:

It is also astounding how many witnesses and those believed intimately connected to the Kennedy assassination met untimely and abnormal deaths. In his recent work, Hit List, which contextualized the many bizarre circumstances of deaths surrounding the assassination, Richard Belzer estimated that in the fourteen years following the incident, out of the approximately 1,400 witnesses, seventy have died unnaturally. The odds of this happening has been mathematically calculated as 1 in 715 million trillion trillion.

It should be noted that the death of witnesses from what appear to be death under such unusual circumstances as to suggest assassination, is far more striking and more substantial in Gongadze case. From “The Gongadze Inquiry (specific page 107)”:

Finally we draw attention to the opinion of Vasily Silchenko, deputy chairman of the parliamentary commission, who felt able to reinforce Moisyk’s conclusions more forcefully outside the formalities of parliament, in an article that called for a change to the law on the protection of witnesses:

The strange and unexpected death of the nurse from the Tarashcha morgue, the early death of Dagayev, the coma that has struck Fere, the “suicide” of Kravchenko … And more: the death in a custody cell of Goncharhov, the grenade attack on Nesterov, a member of the “werewolves” gang, who was being guarded by the militia […], the disappearance of Pukach even after he was arrested, the “small calibre bullet” in the skull of Irina Radzievskaya [an important witness in the case of the death of Kravchenko]. … And these were all important witnesses, who had things to say about the Gongadze case! And they all in one way or another were in the field of vision of the law enforcement agencies or special forces. How many more “coincidental” deaths must there be in this chain, until it becomes impossible to refute the obvious logic?

340 A very similar point is made about Stone’s CREEP associate in “Johann Hari: My Interview with G. Gordon Liddy”:

He says that the US has shown insufficient Will (the way he says it, the word should always be capitalized) in its foreign policy too. While the Nixon administration was spraying tonnes of napalm and poison over Vietnam, he complained the policy was “too soft.” He says now, “I wanted to bomb the Red River dykes. It would have drowned half the country and starved the other half. There would have been no way the Viet Cong could have operated if we had the will-power to do that.”

But what about the millions of innocent people who would have been murdered? “Look at Dresden. Millions of people died there too.” And it hits me: he just can’t see them. They are un-people, specks of red dust on a distant map, obstacles to his Will. Their suffering is as irrelevant as that of the chickens he decapitated with such glee sixty years ago in New Jersey.

341 Three appropriate excerpts rom Criminal History of Mankind:

Most children experience curiosity about sex; in the criminal, it seems to be an obsession that narrows down the focus of his consciousness to the idea of exploring the forbidden, of committing stealthy violations of privacy. His sexuality becomes tinged with violence and his criminality with sex. One of the most puzzling things about many cases of rape is the damage inflicted on the victim, even when she makes no resistance. This is because, in the criminal mind, sex is a form of crime, and crime a form of sex. The passage from de Sade is a remarkable illustration of this connection – Juliette’s intense sexual excitement as she waits to commit a crime.

THE DISADVANTAGES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
One day in 1960, at precisely ninety seconds before midday, a young student named Klaus Gosmann walked into a block of flats on the Tuchergarten Strasse in Hersbruch, near Nuremberg. He was a quiet, serious young man, known to his few acquaintances for his deep interest in mystical theology: his daydream was to find a job as pastor at some quiet little country village, where he could lead a life of dedicated service.

He chose a flat at random and knocked on the door. A young man opened it. It was thirty seconds to midday. Gosmann said: ‘Sir, I wish to ask you a question and I shall not repeat it.’ ‘What?’ ‘Your money or your lives?’ At that moment, the bells of the local churches began to chime midday, making a deafening noise. Gosmann drew a revolver from his pocket and carefully shot the young man in the heart. The man’s fiancée, who was looking curiously over his shoulder, began to scream. Gosmann shot her through the head. Then, before the bells had finished chiming, he turned and walked home. There he wrote up the story of the murder in his diary. He was pleased that he had timed it to a second – so that the bells would drown the shots – and that he had remained perfectly calm and controlled.

Gosmann committed four more murders during the next seven years. One was of a bank director – again at precisely midday – from whose desk Gosmann snatched a few thousand marks. Another was of a doorman in a bank he had just robbed – the man was reaching to his pocket for his glasses when Gosmann fired. And to obtain more weapons, Gosmann shot the widow who ran a gun-shop in Nuremberg and her twenty-nine-year-old son. His next crime was his undoing. In July 1967, he snatched the handbag of a woman in a department store; when she screamed he fired at her but missed. He also fired at a store official who chased him and hit his briefcase. Beaten to the ground, he was thinking; ‘How ridiculous – it can’t be happening.’ He fired one more shot, killing the man who had chased him. Then he was arrested.

Why did Gosmann kill? No doubt a psychiatrist would be able to uncover the roots of the obsessions and emotional disorders that turned his thoughts towards crime. (He revered the memory of his father, an army captain, who had been shot by the Americans at the end of the war.) But the central motivation was undoubtedly the need to bolster his self-esteem. Gosmann felt himself to be weak and inadequate – a thinker who was incapable of action. His crimes were a deliberate attempt to strengthen his identity. And just as some couples enjoy sex more if they can see themselves in a mirror, so Gosmann tried to add a dimension of reality to his crimes by describing them in his diary. In prison he wrote in his journal: ‘I would say there is a great difference between me and Raskolnikov [in Crime and Punishment]. Just as long as I don’t get it in the neck from the judge, I don’t have to consider myself as the perpetrator. Raskolnikov always thought of himself as the perpetrator…’ It is an interesting comment that reveals that even his present situation had not succeeded in rescuing him from his sense of unreality: ‘How ridiculous – it can’t be happening.’ Gosmann did ‘get it in the neck’ from the judge; he was sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of release.

Crime is basically the assertion of the ‘I’. ‘I’ strike someone in the face; ‘I’ order the bank clerk to hand over the money; ‘I’ pull the trigger.

342 From Dirty Tricks:

343 The original french text from “Scandale Prism : la NSA aurait aussi espionné l’Union européenne” by Laure Mandeville:

Ces nouvelles révélations ne tombent pas bien pour Washington, confronté, sur le dossier Snowden, à des tensions avec Moscou et Pékin. «Si ces révélations sont vraies, nous allons avoir des semaines de rhétorique européenne dure, mais j’ai du mal à imaginer que cela puisse faire dérailler les négociations sur l’accord de libre-échange dont l’Europe a plus besoin que nous», commente Sean West, de l’Eurasia Group. Le lobbyiste républicain Bruce Jackson, expert des relations transatlantiques, a relativisé la polémique, jugeant «ridicule» l’émoi des Européens et estimant «que tout mariage qui marche a besoin de renseignements». «Tout le monde espionne tout le monde», a-t-il dit, doutant en revanche de la réalité des écoutes de la délégation diplomatique européenne, vu le «peu d’intérêt» qu’elle représenterait en termes de renseignement.

344 From “Russia Today presenter hits out at Moscow over Ukraine” by The Guardian:

An American anchor on Russian state television has delivered an emotional rebuke of Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine and criticised the media’s biased news coverage.

Russia Today responded by saying it was sending Abby Martin to Crimea so she could learn more about the situation.

Martin, a Washington-based journalist with the English-language channel, wrapped up her show on Tuesday by saying “what Russia did is wrong” and that military intervention was never the answer.

“Exclusive: RT Anchor Liz Wahl Explains Why She Quit” by James Kirchik describes the story behind Wahl’s dramatic exit.

345 Should the tweets of Roger Stone relevant to this episode be deleted, the following are screenshots:

roger stone twitter misogyny part1 roger stone twitter misogyny pt2

346 Should the tweets of Andrew Miller relevant to this episode be deleted, the following are screenshots:

andrew miller tweets

347 Should the tweets relevant to the Rebecca Wells part of this episode be deleted, the following are screenshots:

rebecca wells pt1 rebecca wells screeenshots pt2

348 Should the tweets on this page be deleted, the following are screenshots of the page as it appeared when the tweets were still extant:

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Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Nine

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

(Originally, this piece was intended to be made up only of nine parts. Due to the already excessive length of this section, there will now be a tenth, which will be posted on February 24th.)

He stood still on the sidewalk for several seconds: How had it all begun? Why had Liddy asked them to go into the DNC? The radio had this morning mentioned that Brezhnev would be visiting Cuba this week. Détente or no détente, the fundamentals still applied. Maybe there had been Cuban money going to the DNC. For the first time, standing here by a curb, Hunt asked himself: Had Manuel Artime – wasn’t he a friend of Rebozo’s? – somehow been connected to the burglary? Perhaps even been its prime mover? Had Manuel asked him to do it?

He was certain of nothing. While outlining his memoirs, he had noticed how speculations kept getting tangled in actualities, how he sometimes disappeared into several narratives concurrently and ended up unsure of which one he’d really lived.

–Thomas Mallon’s Watergate

For instance, we may be getting ready to decide that the CIA was the real producer of Watergate (that avant-garde show!), but where is the proof? We have come to a circular place. The CIA occupies that region in the modern mind where every truth is obliged to live in its denial; facts are wiped out by artifacts; proof enters the logic of counterproof and we are in the dream; matter breathes next to antimatter.

“A Harlot High and Low: Reconnoitering through the secret government” by Norman Mailer

“Because your crystal ball / Ain’t so crystal clear”
“Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART NINE: I PALINDROME I / MARTYRS / THE SECRET HISTORIES / EMPTY VOICES, EMPTY ROOMS

Part eight of this long piece ended on political characters seemingly playing their very opposite, where we lose certainty of whether anyone is truly playing their role, or whether they’re playing a double game. Roger Stone works on a series of conservative causes, claims that he wishes the United States had gone to war against Saudi Arabia, but also laments the fact that both parties are in favor of military intervention and manages the 2012 Libertarian Party presidential ticket. His company uses its connections to Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum to get a military contract, then he appears at a Quincy Tea Party rally decrying excessive federal spending. He is saddened that there are only two parties, yet he proudly claims that he helped destroy a third choice, the Reform Party. “The republican establishment in Washington does not like John McCain,” he says on November 3, 2008. “He really is a maverick.” One month later, he complains that “McCain, who’s an establishment figure,” cut his own throat when he signed the bailout bill in the summer of that year, that his being part of the establishment is what lost him the race. “Why consider running for Governor? And why now?” he is asked, when he briefly made noises about running as the head of the Florida state. “Like most Floridians, I am dissatisfied with our choices,” he replies. Rick Scott has lost his way, he says. Charlie Crist, on the other hand, “is a dangerous chameleon that believes in nothing.”242

That he often appears to have no connection to any position, except his own practical interest, makes one wonder if perhaps Stone might not have been playing a true role as a consultant for the Gary Johnson campaign, but rather, attempting to achieve the very opposite, a split vote to bring about a victory for Mitt Romney. There is the equal question of Bruce Fein, who took a very hard right position with regards to war and foreign intervention, a commaless approach to capturing and killing terrorists, before suddenly changing position and demanding that Dick Cheney be brought to trial. He works as a consultant for Ron Paul, a lawyer for Lon Snowdon, Edward’s father, and works on Rand Paul’s lawsuit against the NSA – though at two crucial points, there are outbursts that seemingly sabotage the proceedings. He expresses suspicion that Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange may be exploiting Snowden. He and his wife accuse Rand Paul of plagiarism. His wife, Mattie Fein (also known as Mattie Lolavar), has an equally strange history, heading up a think tank whose purpose was setting up a government in Iran after a regime change, and who was allegedly part of a political operation with Roger Stone’s consulting firm, IKON, which involved obtaining information from Israeli intelligence, while at the same time making sure never to attribute the information from this source. We might ask if Bruce Fein is also playing a dual role, a man who is a mole within the anti-surveillance community, attempting to cripple it from within. This question does not arise, I think, out of paranoia, but a secrecy as plentiful and ever present as oxygen, placing all characters under suspicion – is this person’s outward intent in fact obscuring the actual intent, an intent that is entirely its inverse?

I PALINDROME I

The secrecy that surrounds Bruce Fein is that of the defense industry and the surveillance state. The obscurity surrounding Roger Stone is the vast force of secret money now ever present in elections. As for how this enshrouds everything in mystery, I give as an example an incident from the 2012 Broward Sheriff’s race, a race already touched on in part seven. As already said, this was a campaign between Al Lamberti and Scott Israel, with heavy money for Israel’s political advertising going to the controversial Elnatan Rudolph. The anti-Lamberti ads were bought by Citizens United for Reform, and all of these ads can be seen on the Citizens United for Reform channel on youtube. During this barrage against Lamberti, a set of mysterious videos were uploaded to youtube. They were short simple monologues by a woman obviously reading a script, who accused Scott Israel of having an affair with her when she was seventeen and forcing her to get an abortion. They had the qualities of attacks associated with Roger Stone, personal and cruel, like the Warren Redlich mailer, like calling Hesham El-Meligy the Al-Qaeda candidate, like Janet Rzewnicki and Ann Stone alleging that Tom Carper hit his wife, that Dan Gelber was against jewish schools, like Stone claiming with certainty that a Michelle Obama “whitey” tape exists243 – yet in this case the attacks were launched against the very candidate that Stone was alleged to be helping, a candidate who would later hire two of his associates, Dianne Thorne, longtime girl friday, and Michale Colapietro, his ghostwriter on The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ. All three of these monologues are still on youtube, “ScottIsrael2012: The Real Scott Israel for Broward Sheriff”, “ScottIsrael2012: The Real Scott Israel for Broward Sheriff – Take 2″, “ScottIsrael2012: The Real Scott Israel for Broward Sheriff – Take 3″, and I give a still accompanied by a transcript from the third (stills and accompanying transcripts for the other two are at the footnote)244:

Hi Scott, it’s me again. You know, that…at seventeen, because of you, I had to have an abortion. And now, I’m finding out that you have three kids. And a kid from another marriage. And a kid from another marriage. And a wife of twenty years. And you’re happily married. Like…are you serious? Do you really think I’m stupid? I mean…we’ve been, you know, working together. For quite a while. And, I’m just finding this out now. I’m pretty taken back, especially for a former policeman, Susan must be really happy with you. She must be so thrilled with you for having an affair. With a seventeen year old girl. Who you got pregnant. And had to have an abortion. Yeah, I’m sure she’ll be really happy about that one. Well, good luck.

Israel would immediately issue an angry response. It was another ad funded by Citizens United for Reform, this one featuring the candidate’s wife, “Susan Israel’s Statement on Sheriff Al Lamberti’s Lies”. The following is a transcript of the ad:

Sheriff Al Lamberti and his supporters have sunk to a new low. Attacking my family and falsely accusing my husband, Scott Israel, of marital infidelity. I know politics is dirty, but this is too much. As a wife and a mother, I have to speak out. Al Lamberti has gone too far. Hiring some actress to make false claims of marital infidelity against my husband in a dirty video is low. Even for a Republican like Al Lamberti. Accusing my husband of statutory rape? A crime? This is an outrageous lie. Al Lamberti should be ashamed of himself. Lamberti has smeared my husband, Scott Israel, with a video that attacks my family, and even makes fun of my children. Scott Israel is a good and honest man. A good father, and a good husband. These attacks are despicable lies. It’s an assault on my family, on my husband of twenty one years. It’s disgusting, hurtful, and it’s absolutely false. Bringing up my children is beyond the pale. It tells you what kind of man Al Lamberti is. On TV, Al Lamberti is lying about my husband’s twenty five year record in law enforcement. He knows that the charges of misconduct against my husband were fully investigated and proven false. Lamberti knows the files are not missing, but legally expunged because the claims were false. My husband is a good man. Scott Israel will end the politics and the self-dealing in the sheriff’s office. He’ll bring diversity to the top ranks of BSO [Broward Sheriff's Office] and he’ll end racial profiling, and protect the rights of gays and lesbians who work at BSO, which isn’t happening today. Al Lamberti, you should be ashamed. Don’t believe the lies about my husband, Scott Israel. Scott Israel is a good man, and qualified to be sheriff.

These youtube clips were properly considered contemptible – yet here is where my suspicion comes in, where things are their opposite, an optical illusion in which black birds flying east are suddenly white birds flying west. Would it not be incredibly effective to post a group of gutterball smears, against your own candidate, as a kind of effective fire insurance for your own attacks 245? Your candidate is not the villain, but the victim. I do not suggest these things out of any feeling against Scott Israel or for Al Lamberti – only that the attack made by this woman, one that is cruel, stupid, and obvious, is seemingly so much like a Roger Stone attack, and because of the secrecy surrounding the massive funding of any campaign now, even a tiny sheriff’s race in Broward, Florida. Perhaps the only route to an answer to who was behind these youtube clips, and what their true intent was, lies with an ancient and well-worn directive: cherchez la femme. Who is this woman, and were these clips a misguided act of malign volunteerism, or was she hired, and by whom?

This strange attack leads us into another unusual event, one entirely forgotten and one unknown to me until my research for this post, during the 2011 Republican primary. Though now forgotten, there was a time when Texas governor Rick Perry was high up in the polls, on the cover of Time, a formidable threat to Romney, and a strong contender for the party’s nomination. It was during this brief moment of crackling desire for a Rick Perry presiency that someone took out a full page ad in the Austin Chronicle weekly, a simple question in the large black font best associated with six episodes of a galactic saga246: “HAVE YOU EVER HAD SEX WITH RICK PERRY?” After that was a more specific, equally blunt question in smaller type: “Are you a stripper, an escort, or just a ‘young hottie’ impressed by an arrogant, entitled governor of Texas?” The man who’d paid for this ad was an Austin resident named Robert Morrow, and he’d soon explain why he’d put up this ad. “What it boils down to is this: is that Rick Perry is a man who campaigns on christian values,” he said on the Alex Jones “Infowars Nightly News: Special Report” (on youtube: “Infowars TV Interviews Rick Perry Sex Scandal Accuser 1/2″ and “Infowars TV Interviews Rick Perry Sex Scandal Accuser 2/2″) “He uses bible buzzwords for political gain, he appears on-stage in Houston with all these preachers, yet he’s living a double life.” How did Robert Morrow know about Rick Perry’s infidelities? “The reason I know that, Alex, is because Rick Perry, his enabling entourage and I, like the same women.” (partial transcript at the footnote)247

JONES
Well, that’s quite a charge. Again, I’m gonna be honest with you, Robert. You wouldn’t even be here right now if a lot of people I know vouched for you, and said you were a stand-up guy, they’ve known you for many many years. Some of them a decade, I’ve known for a decade. And, I’m not saying, oh, you’re lucky to be here. I’m saying, I wouldn’t have you here, if a lot of people I know and trust, said you were a stand-up guy. That means two things are happening. Either all these people who are telling you this information are lying to you; or they’re telling the truth. And either way, this is dangerous. So, let’s get into the allegations.

MORROW
Okay, the reason they’re credible is because there are multiple allegations. I met a stripper a couple years ago, she said “I was working on-stage in a club, and a man comes up to me, and he says, ‘Here’s five hundred dollars. That’s just for starters if you come with me.'” Because that’s what a dancer might make in a whole night, with table dances and tips like that. She said, “Sure, I’ll do it,” and she got into her regular clothes, and she was delivered to…Rick Perry. And when she got to Rick Perry, she told me a couple years ago, before the 2010 gubernatorial race, she said that she and Rick Perry started fooling around, and she was trying to give him a “Monica Lewinsky”, I think it was oral sex, and her words to me were, “I think he was too coked up, to get it up.” K? After they’d been playing around for a while, and it was time for her to go, Rick Perry paid her an outrageous sum of money well into the four digits. Rick Perry’s not a rich man; he’s only worth a million or two dollars. It’s not a lot of money compared to who he runs around with. It makes me think that Rick Perry is taking bribes and illegal gifts from his entourage to fund his extra-curricular activities. And that was just one lady.

Morrow didn’t just have one reliable source for the information, so far he had two. “I know other women in town, strippers, young hotties, some escorts, and this is what blew me away: I heard from another lady, who’s had direct dealings with Rick Perry’s entourage.” She had met with Rick Perry’s entourage- no, actually, she’d heard from an unnamed man, a story about Rick Perry and his entourage.

MORROW
I know other women in town, strippers, young hotties, some escorts, and this is what blew me away: I heard from another lady, who’s had direct dealings with Rick Perry’s entourage. And she told me, this man told her, when Rick Perry goes on the road, he gets the quote “young hotties”. Hence, I use the phrase “young hotties” in my ad. And he told her, he says that they take these young women and they go back to Rick Perry’s hotel room, and they’re literally having orgies and group sex in the hotel room. Perhaps, maybe, Rick Perry is having sex with a woman on a sofa and his friend is having sex with another young hottie on a bed. So, that was two. Now, the second person who told me this, is very credible, she’s educated, she knows her way around the world politically here in Austin, she’s not some sortof seventeen year old runaway on drugs or something. She’s somebody who runs with the elite of Austin, Texas. So that was the second source on that. So, after I heard that, I said, “It is confirmed.” Rick Perry is obviously being flagrantly adulterous, his entourage is procuring strippers for him, renting the hotel rooms, calling the escort services, then recently, this week, yet another young lady who’s friends with yet another popular, long-time escort, said that, yeah, you know, this lady, her friend, had a tryst with Rick Perry in one of the nicer hotels in Austin, Texas. So, that’s three right there. And I’ve been unable to get these people to go public for obvious reasons, you know, trying to get a stripper, or an escort, or a gay, closeted gay man, to go public is very difficult for obvious reasons, hence my ad. So I took out this ad, “Have you ever had sex with Rick Perry?” as a plea, to the greater community, to quit covering for Rick Perry, this you know, christian buzzword spouting hypocrite, who’s leading a double life.

It is confirmed. Rick Perry, Morrow assured Jones, was in a dangerous place. Rick Perry was sitting on a keg of “slut fueled nitroglycerine,” according to Morrow. “On the womanizing,” said Morrow, “I’m not just 99% sure that Rick Perry’s running around with strippers and hookers, I’M ONE HUNDRED PERCENT SURE ON THAT.” If you were willing to shout it out on TV, how could it possibly be wrong? There were the strippers, the escorts, the young hotties, but there were also something else. Alex Jones had done his research, and he knew something about the Republican party: “the main way to enter the upper echelons of the Republican party is homosexual sex.” That’s what goes on in Bohemian Grove, that’s what goes on in Skull and Bones, that’s what goes on in Gayle, as Jones says it. Rick Perry had an honor known to only a select few: “you type Rick Perry into Google for years, and ‘gay’ comes up.” Morrow had confirmation on this rumor as well. An “incensed homosexual man” had revealed that an ex of an ex had had sex with Perry. It is confirmed.

JONES
Well, I’ve gotta say, Robert, that…we’ve seen what’s happened with a New York governor who passed a law to take the property away from men who hire prostitutes, throw them under the jail, while he was visiting high end prostitutes. We’ve seen all these Republican leaders caught in bathrooms, and going after their pages. We know about Bohemian Grove. And so, doing my research, I know that to get into the upper echelons of the Republican party, especially, they don’t feel comfortable around you, unless you’ve done some things they can use against you. And the main way to enter the upper echelons of the Republican party is homosexual sex. That’s what goes on in Skull and Bones, in Gayle [this is exactly how I hear Jones say it, and I think his implication is clear], that’s what goes on at the same time in Bohemian Grove. So I know that stuff goes on. Again, I mainly stick with the issues that I can prove. And we’ve all heard these rumors living in Austin. And there’s been newscasts about the rumors of Rick Perry…I would completely, still, ignore all of this if he wasn’t out there saying, I’m a christian conservative leader, you need to get behind me. And then knowing, he’s actually the opposite in his real policies. And even in the last election cycle for governor, conservative groups did actually discover his bankrolling of porno parlors across Texas. And that’s now a big issue again. And then, when I first saw this, I didn’t believe it, I went and found it on the state ethics commission website, it is true, that when he was in Florida, in a famously alternative life-style area, I want you to talk about that, he visited the La Te Da, men in drag, cabaret. And he later said, “Well, no, my wife visited that.” Yeah, right. So, it just continues to crop up. And so because it was christian conservatives that have gone after him in the last few campaigns over some of these reports, he’s now trying to become that. And I saw Ron Paul supporters really getting after him in events in the last few years, so now he’s trying to become Ron Paul. He is a political chameleon. And so, the question comes down to: is this some elaborate hoax, where people are lying to you? Are you lying? Which people who know you say you’re not. Or, is this a dirty trick? Of disinformation. Or is it true? But, what do you say about the porno parlor bankrolling and the transvestite visiting?

MORROW
Okay. Well, Alex, as you know, living here in Austin, Texas, the rumors of Rick Perry’s homosexuality and gay affairs have been voluminous, intense, and will just not go away.

JONES
Oh, you type Rick Perry into Google for years, and “gay” comes up.

MORROW
And, there’s-

JONES
The first thing.

MORROW
There’s so much smoke…that it has to be fire. And I want to tell you something, Alex. I never believed the gay rumors on Rick Perry for years and years and years, and then I certainly didn’t believe them when I found out all about these stirppers and escorts, he and his entourage are cavorting with. That has changed. I’ve come into credible information that Rick Perry is a rampant bisexual adulterer, not just strippers and young hotties, but gay men as well. This monday, before I even ran this ad, an incensed homosexual man contacted me, and he says, “You know what? After seeing Rick Perry on that stage in Houston, with all those extremist preachers, all that hardcore anti-gay rhetoric, I just can’t take it any more.” He said that an ex of his ex, had sex with Rick Perry. A gay fling many years before he became governor, and that he wants to take this guy public, and he and his friend are going to approach this man, who had sex with Rick Perry according to them, and get him to go public. And I said, well, what I did was I gave them to a reporter who’s working the gay angle on Rick Perry, and he’s having some progress, by the way, and so maybe, eventually, in a few months, these reporters work these stories, nail down these sources, we will move beyond the hearsay stage on Rick Perry as a rampant bisexual adulterer, to the credibility stage of people coming forward. So, the whole point of me running that ad is folks, there is so much stuff out there, you know, if you know, if you’ve been involved with him, sexually at all, or you know people who have, please come forward. And let’s go on the record, and get it above board, because people need to know.

Morrow’s anger over Perry’s bisexuality may not have been entirely anger over hypocrisy. In 2005, the same Robert Morrow would send out an email accusing Margot Clarke, who was running for a city council seat, of only caring about three groups of people. “Clarke’s supporters are … environmental radicals, socialists, and ‘in-your-face’ homosexuals who demand that the rest of society worship salamanders and support ‘gay’ marriage.” You can google an article I wrote on Perry, said Morrow on the radio show “Outcast Austin” (episode “OutCast Austin – Volume 173 – 08/23/2011 – Interview with Robert Morrow”), when his Perry ad appeared. “It’s called ‘Tea Party Fraud Rick Perry is Political Herpes’.” “You’re a very subtle man, I see, Robert,” replied the host, Steve Rice248.

Though Jones has a reputation of being a hard nosed skeptic, he gave a credulous reception to Morrow’s claims. However, it was on the “Exclusive Interview: Rick Perry Smear Artist Speaks Out” episode of “The Gill Report” (parts one and two) that Morrow was asked harder questions. He opened early with a variation on the same line, “Rick Perry, his enabling entourage and I, like the same women,” that he also used on “Outcast Austin”, “Rick Perry, his entourage and I, like the same women. How can I be more clear than that?” Asked the “Outcast Austin” host, “Those are nice wholesome girls, is that what you mean?”249 When did you discover that Rick Perry had this propensity for hotties, asked Steve Gill, the host of “The Gill Report”. Was it before 2006, the last time you’d voted for him? “Well, it’s…no. It was not, actually it’s because I have a propensity for hotties. And it just turns out that Rick Perry, his entourage, and I, like the same women.” There was something strangely insistent by Robert Morrow that he liked the same women as Rick Perry, as if it were a talking point, and so perhaps the next part of “The Gill Report” was inevitable250:

GILL
Now, your facebook says you like guys too, there have been a lot of stories that you also swing the other way as well. I mean, is that, like-251

MORROW
Well, on facebook it says who do you want to be friends with, and I want to be friends on facebook with both men and women. So- I’m just interested in women in-

GILL
You do not have sexual relationships with men? So, the claims that you’re gay are not true?

MORROW
It’s ridiculous. I will say this-

GILL
But you’re also saying that Rick Perry’s gay too. You’re saying Rick Perry not only likes young women, you’re also throwing out the implication that he’s also gay.

MORROW
Absolutely. I want to tell you that that second one right there. About the womanizing, I am 100% sure on that, because like I said I know strippers, young hotties, people who’ve been with Rick Perry and his entourage. I never believed the gay rumors about Rick Perry that have been going around for about eight years now. Especially when I learned about the womanizing, I did not believe them. However, that has changed, because I’ve been in contact with some very angry homosexuals who’ve called me about Rick Perry.

GILL
And it’s easy for someone to say I had sex with somebody. I mean, a gay guy could call me today and say, “You know, I had sex with Robert Morrow,” and I could take out a full page ad and that would have the same credibility in terms of fact based that you’re relying on.

MORROW
Well, but- that’s true. On Monday-

When the host made this simple testing of Morrow’s claims, the confidence ended, and was replaced by angry, nervous insistence:

GILL
So, should we traffic in these kind of unsubstantiated rumors in the political arena? Is that the Ron Paul way?

MORROW
I have nothing to do with Ron Paul’s campaign.

GILL
Wait- wait- you just said you’ve campaigned and you’ve been a Ron Paul supporter.

MORROW
I think, you know, Ron Paul is not putting me up to this, because Ron Paul doesn’t run around with the young hotties that me and Rick Perry, and his entourage do.

GILL
We don’t know. Somebody could call me today and say “I had sex with Ron Paul,” and we could put it out there as the fact, and it would be just as based as what you’re doing. I mean, anybody can say anything.

MORROW
Listen carefully to me, okay? I met a stripper about two years ago. And, before the 2010 governor’s race, and she told me, that she was in the club one night. And a guy comes up to her and says, “Here’s five hundred dollars. Just come with me.” And of course, five hundred dollars is about what a dancer would make all night-

GILL
Keep in mind, you weren’t there, all you’re saying is that what a stripper, because man, I know, strippers, and hookers on drugs, if I’m gonna go for somebody that’s absolutely is credible, that is absolutely believable, no question about it, are you operating on is what a stripper told you, right?

MORROW
Steve, hold on for a second.

GILL
Well, isn’t that the case.

MORROW
Go ahead. Hold on for a second. She was very credible, and she told me these things-

GILL
She’s a very credible stripper.

MORROW
Hold on, hold on. She told me these things in confidence, not in the context of a presidential campaign or a gubernatorial campaign. So she says she was taken to Rick Perry, because Rick Perry does not go into strip clubs himself, he has an entourage go grab the girls, and so she was taken to him, and then they started-

GILL
Based on what she says. Based on what she says.

MORROW
I-i-i-it’s true.

Morrow couldn’t challenge the fact that it was all secondhand information, rumor and innuendo, because all he had was the hot gas of rumor and innuendo.

GILL
It’s true because she said it.

MORROW
I don’t have a blue dress with Rick Perry’s semen on it. I have reports from credible women in Austin, Texas-

GILL
Who are strippers and prostitutes and hookers.

MORROW
Strippers and hoo- Escorts and people- And friends who have-

GILL
Who get paid money to do whatever somebody wants them to do. Do you think there might at least be the shred, Robert, that somebody might be paying her to tell stories?

MORROW
Yes-

GILL
Because she’ll take money to do other things.

MORROW
Well Steve, you have to understand that- There’s a couple things. I learned about these things several years ago, not in the context of a presidential or gubenatorial race. They had no idea I was a political activist, who happens to hate Rick Perry’s guts, which I do for many reasons, but politically, and from what I know about his personal life. And so the reason-

GILL
But all you know about his, again, all you know about his personal life is what these hookers, strippers, and prostitutes have told you.

“The Gill Report” then got closer to the essential question of almost all politics, the one Alex Jones somehow had never been able to ask, “Who’s funding this? Who’s funding these ads?”:

MORROW
You know, it’s true, unless you’re there yourself, you don’t know to the one hundredth percent level-

GILL
You don’t know on any percent, other than, they are telling you a story that you can’t verify at all. Let me move to the other- Who’s funding this? Who’s funding these ads?

MORROW
I pay for it myself.

GILL
What do you do for a living?

MORROW
I’m a self-employed investor.

GILL
Self-employed investor. And apparently, you’ve done real well for yourself, if you can take out full page ads.

MORROW
Yeah.

GILL
What’s the source of your investments?

MORROW
It’s a local paper, you know, it was a pretty piece of coin, but it’s not nearly the money Rick Perry and his entourage- Here’s what goes on: Rick Perry does not get the girls himself. He has an enabling entourage, who gets the girls, in ritzy hotel rooms, very nice ones here in Austin, and they’re the ones who call the escort services, just like Tiger Woods entourage would be getting girls for him.

GILL
But you actually had the girls coming forth and saying this. That’s what your ad is trying to do, is get some girls to come forth and say, okay, I had sex with Rick Perry.

MORROW
Here’s where we’re at, Steve. I’ve been unable to get these women to go public, to go on the record, in front of a reporter-

GILL
Maybe because it’s not true.

MORROW
It is true.

GILL
Okay. Because you’re gonna believe your hooker friends.

“The Gill Report” soon returned to the question of the ad. Did Morrow pay for the ad to run in a weekly newspaper, or a daily newspaper?

MORROW
It’s a local weekly newspaper. The Austin Chronicle.

GILL
How much is this thing costing you?

MORROW
No comment. I pay for it with my own money, though.

GILL
Did they give it to you for free?

MORROW
Noooooo. No.

GILL
So…why won’t you tell us what you’re paying for it?

MORROW
I just keep that private. That’s the only thing I’m not releasing.

GILL
I mean, their ad rates are public, aren’t they?

MORROW
Yeah, I pay normal ad rates. You can call them and find out how much I pay.

GILL
Now you said you were an investor, I’m a little bit intrigued by that. What kind of investments do you make on behalf of people?

MORROW
Oh. I’m a self-employed investor. I don’t manage other people’s money. I never said that I did, so don’t, don’t make that assumption.

This simple and most essential question, what Robert Morrow paid for the ad, he refused to say. It all came from the money he’d earned as an independent investor. An article from 2008, “Some people just love to hate the Clintons” by Adam C. Smith, would suggest that the money Morrow paid for this ad didn’t come from his brilliant investment skills, but the privileges of the one percent. In “Some people,” he was described as someone “who has no steady job but enjoys a family inheritance.” Back then, he was obsessed with the Clintons. Smith meets with Morrow for lunch. “Chelsea is the seed of Web Hubbell and not Bill Clinton. Would I bet my life on it? No. I would bet my pickup truck,” he says, the angry stream interrupted by chomps of salmon. “Hillary Clinton was sleeping with both of her law partners, Webb Hubbell and Vince Foster. And she’s a lesbian, too.”252 Robert Morrow was obsessed with Hillary Clinton. Robert Morrow was obsessed with Rick Perry. But there was one man, more than any of the others, who Robert Morrow was especially obsessed with, and that was the man who’d murdered JFK. “You’re also real big into the whole CIA killed JFK business-” said Steve Gill. “I think Lyndon Johnson and his Texas oilmen used their CIA military connections to kill John Kennedy,” Morrow replied. “That is my personal opinion. Many people think that.” Morrow would make this belief into his personal identity. His twitter handle was @LBJCIAkilledJFK. It was a belief that was the very same as the thesis of Roger Stone’s book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ. The book’s preface had the line, “This book stands on the research of citizens who have doubted the government’s version of events as depicted by the Warren Commission, including,” and there among the included was the man who’d fought Hillary Clinton between bites of salmon his parents’ wealth had bought. The book’s chapter, “Lyndon Johnson – The Man,” carries the indictment “Veteran JFK assassination researcher Robert Morrow correctly labels Johnson a ‘functioning lunatic.'” I’d say it takes one to know one, but how well functioning is Robert Morrow? In the last chapter, there is a final mention, hosannas to the martyred few who dare to ask questions about that terrible day: “Anyone who asks probing questions, no matter how sound, are dismissed as crackpots. Courageous Americans who have dedicated their lives to seeking the facts of the assassination-citizens like Mark Lane, Vincent Salandria, Robert Morrow, Raymond Marcus, and Mary Ferrell-have earned this flaky distinction.” Oh, I don’t think Morrow is a crackpot because he investigates Kennedy assassination theories. I think he’s a crackpot because he writes things like “George Herbert Walker Bush and his Homosexual Pedophilia”: “George Herbert Walker Bush is a notorious and long time homosexual pedophile – both from his days as a Houston congressman in the late 1960’s and his involvement with the Franklin pedophile ring, based in Omaha NE and run by Bush friend Lawrence E. King, of the 1980’s.” “This book will change history forever!” is one enthusiastic blurb on Amazon for The Man Who Killed Kennedy, a blurb by a historian named Robert Morrow253. In a Reason TV interview promoting the book, “Did LBJ Kill Kennedy? (And Why It Matters): Q/A with Roger Stone”, Stone was asked about his next book project. “Talk a little bit about your future,” the interviewer prompts. “Yeah, I’ve got a couple different books in mind,” Stone replied. “I’d like to do a book on Hillary Clinton. I don’t believe Chelsea Clinton- I believe Chelsea Clinton is the daughter of Webb Hubbell, and Hillary Clinton, and I’m gonna try and prove that in print.”254

(activist Mary Krenek, Roger Stone, and Robert Morrow at an event promoting The Man Who Killed Kennedy255)

I note the obvious qualities of the Perry attack which are so similar to others launched by Stone, that it is personal, cruel, obvious, and stupid. The ad was supposedly paid for by Morrow, a man who occasionally traded stocks, but otherwise without work, who refused to say exactly how much he had to shell out for the full page, insisting that it was the one thing he would not reveal. As mentioned in part eight, Stone’s old colleague, Charlie Black, was on the Romney team as an informal adviser. Evangelicals were resistant to Romney, a Mormon, while Perry could reliably count on their support – unless, of course, they started believing the rumor that he was unfaithful, or that he was in the closet. The ad was paid for by CASH, Citizens Against Sexual Hypocrisy, and in 2008, Stone had set up a group called CUNT, against Hillary Clinton, whose letters stood for Citizens United Not Timid. Stone had a simple rule for these kinds of nasty attacks, one given in Stone’s Rules: “Use a cut-out. Front men are indispensible.”

MARTYRS

I will not give a thorough review of The Man Who Killed Kennedy, and if the book has not been soundly dismissed as lousy scholarship, that is only because it has been largely considered amateur hour work beneath consideration. Its only notable aspect is that it might be seen as a continuation of Stone’s attempt to redeem the administration he was inextricably part of, the one headed by the master criminal whose every grin appeared a rictus of pain, whose face now lodged between the hard old deltoids of Roger Stone, a clump of thousands of dark points. The Man Who Killed Kennedy puts forth the thesis that it was Lyndon Johnson who was behind the killing of the 35th president, acting out of hatred for the man at the top of the ticket, and to halt an ongoing investigation into one of his aides, Bobby Baker, which threatened to destroy his career. Watergate comes about not because of the paranoia and arrogance of the Nixon administration, but because Nixon demanded certain classified files from the CIA related to the Kennedy assassination. “Nixon’s effort to obtain the JFK assassination records,” writes Stone, “was an attempt to seize leverage over the rogue agency. This was to be Nixon’s “insurance policy” against the CIA.” The agency, feeling threatened, deliberately placed double agents among the Watergate break-in team, who made sure that they would be arrested, the team would be found out, the plot discovered, and Nixon forced to resign. “This is why I believe Watergate was a CIA operation,” writes Stone, “that capitalized on the stupidity and amateurishness of G. Gordon Liddy, CREEP Campaign Director Jeb Magruder, and John Dean, the three Nixon aides who advanced the plans for the Watergate break-in, which leaked to the CIA.”256 Watergate is no longer an act of executive arrogance, but a martyrdom that comes about as a president wrestles with an out of control security state.

Rather than go through the book’s main plot point by point – and leaving out entirely tangential areas like George H.W. Bush’s supposed complicity257 – I think I can show the overall extraordinarily poor scholarship of The Man Who Killed by looking at two crucial areas. Stone’s thesis hinges on a group of men who were part of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, including CIA agent E. Howard Hunt, being involved in the assassination of the president. A key piece of supporting evidence is Hunt confessing to his part in the assassination on his deathbed, with this confession made public by his son, Saint John Hunt258. Stone makes no mention of Hunt denying for decades that he had any part in the assassination, going so far as to sue the writer Jim Maars for defamation when he wrote an article that alleged he took part in the killing. We are told in Stone’s book of a Marita Lorenz testifying under oath that she saw Hunt pay off an assassination team, testimony that was made at this very defamation trial – yet the context of a libel trial goes entirely unsaid in the book. Most of the Hunt family was estranged from Saint John Hunt, who’d had a difficult life dealing with drug addiction, and they were vocal in condemning the confession as exploitation of a man who was eighty eight and suffering from the effects of old age259. I will confess to be a non-conspiracy theorist with regards to the Kennedy assassination; however, I can conceive without difficulty a far more convincing and honest presentation of a hypothesis where Hunt is a key player, yet one which acknowledges his lifelong denial and the conditions of his near-death confession. Stone’s book does not simply not acknowledge these things, it refuses to even admit them, giving no mention of these details – Hunt’s lifelong denial, the lawsuit, the family’s condemnation of the confession as exploitation – that have just been given here.

The book is premised on Stone’s authority, that he was there, or at one of the theres, the Nixon White House when Watergate went down, and yet the work involving this subject might be even shoddier. As said, Stone lays out a hypothesis that the CIA agents on the team, James McCord and E. Howard Hunt, deliberately sabotaged the mission in order to bring down the White House. Again, Stone makes no effort to acknowledge the accounts which might utterly annihilate this thesis. G. Gordon Liddy, a Watergate veteran who achieved even greater fame than Stone by making himself into a flat cartoon, the congenial neo-fascist, would write of his role in various CREEP activities in what should be considered an essential book of american history, the memoir Will. Though I am unsympathetic towards Liddy, I find his account to have an honest tone, without exaggeration, where the writer appears to have no hesitation presenting himself as ridiculous, brutal, or unsympathetic. Woodward’s blurb on Amazon strikes a similar note: “His story rings true…It is credible.” Liddy is a former FBI agent, with no experience in the CIA, and Stone alleges no such experience in his book. Liddy is explicit in his memoir that it is he who brought both Hunt and McCord onto the team260. The CREEP plumber team’s break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters was to begin with their going into the Watergate hotel, taping down some of the locks on the inside, then re-entering the hotel once the DNC offices were empty. During this operation, a security guard removes the tape placed on the locks, which causes incredible tension among the Watergate team. After being caught, Hunt would eventually plead guilty, something Liddy would refuse to do, with Liddy never speaking to Hunt again as a result. I emphasize this point to make clear that Liddy does not write anything in his memoir to exculpate Hunt out of sympathy for the man. He is, however, very clear that it was his decision and his decision alone that they went into the Watergate after that, which would result in them being caught. Hunt, Stone’s supposed double agent, is depicted as passionately opposed to the decision to go forward. After it’s discovered that the tape’s been removed, “Hunt was sure it had been a guard. He wanted to abort [my italics].” It is Liddy, the former FBI agent, the man with no experience in the CIA, who overrules the seniormost man in the team who is conneted to the CIA, Hunt, in order to send them back into the hotel, and it is because of that decision that the team is caught261. You might attempt to put forth a theory which includes Liddy’s role, or finds some evidence that disproves his account in Will; however, any serious piece of scholarship must reckon with Liddy’s account, and The Man Who Killed Kennedy does nothing of the kind.

Most peculiar is Stone’s citation of Watergate: The Hidden History by Lamar Waldron for his theory on the Watergate burglary: “Investigative journalist Lamar Waldron makes a compelling case in his book, Watergate: The Hidden History, that the purpose of the break-in was to obtain records detailing Nixon’s authorization as vice president for the CIA recruitment of Mob assassins to assist in the assassination of Fidel Castro.” Stone’s praise does not appear isolated to the space within his own book – a user named “Roger J. Stone” on Amazon also gives a full throated endorsement of the work (link): “Although as a long time Aide to Richard Nixon I interpret some things differently, Waldron’s scholarship cannot be questioned. This is a fascinating history with starts [sic] to connect the Bay of Pigs invasion, the JFK Assassination , Watergate and the Nixon pardon. I cannot recommend this book enough.”262 The praise is unexpected, in part, because the Nixon of Waldron’s book is one of the most unsympathetic portrayals out there, an incredibly corrupt man whose path to the White House is funded by mob money, and who wins elections through lowball anti-semitic attacks. The Nixon White House of Waldron’s book resembles less a political operation and more a criminal enterprise. There is another, more germane point as to why Stone’s praise is unexpected. To re-iterate, Stone’s thesis is that Watergate was the result of the CIA taking out Nixon after he asked for files incriminating the agency in the Kennedy assassination. Waldron’s thesis, directly and explicitly, contradicts this. The first chapter of Hidden History gives an overview of its perspective:

This book carefully documents how Nixon’s ties to the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Fidel Castro became inexorably linked to the Mafia’s two massive Hoffa bribes to Nixon. While CIA assassination plots with the Mafia may seem like old news now, it’s important to remember they were only first revealed to the American public in 1975, after Nixon’s 1974 resignation. In 1972, Nixon-and his CIA Director, Richard Helms-would have gone to any lengths to keep voters from finding out about his Castro assassination plots. Those plots were entwined with Nixon’s huge Mafia bribes for Hoffa, and the exposure of those massive payoffs during the 1972 campaign would have dominated the headlines and shattered Nixon’s chances of winning reelection. Richard Nixon was worried that the Democrats (and the Chilean embassy) had one specific Dossier that, if released, could unravel everything. That Dossier-the previously mentioned compilation of CIA attempts to assassinate Castro, which spanned Nixon’s terms as Vice President and President-was the main target of the Watergate burglars, as one of them admitted after his arrest.

It is the paragraph on CIA head Richard Helms, and his protégé, E. Howard Hunt, that includes a sentence that runs entirely counter to Stone’s thesis. I bold it:

Once Hunt was a White House operative, he continued his close ties to Helms and was in a position to provide a steady stream of important information to his mentor. CIA Director Helms was so fond of Hunt that he gave visitors to his office copies of the hack spy novels Hunt wrote. More important, it’s now documented that in the weeks leading up to Watergate, Helms was involved with pitching a TV series based on Hunt’s novels to Hollywood producers. That should end speculation that has persisted for years, that the failure of the last Watergate break-in was a CIA operation deliberately designed to bring down Nixon.

Again, there is nothing wrong with praising a book as quality scholarship, and then arguing with one of its key points. However, if you cite such a work, offer the highest praise for its diligence, then I think you are obligated to address why such a book is wrong on a central interpretation with which you disagree. The Man Who Killed Kennedy offers nothing of the kind.

The most important point of Stone’s book, one unnoticed by its largely sympathetic reviewers on the fringe right, is that the concept of Watergate as a CIA coup was an idea already pushed at the time of the break-in by the Nixon White House, as an attempt to shift blame for this engulfing disaster. The following excerpt from Johnathan Schell’s The Time of Illusion, an excellent history of the Nixon years, conveys this well:

All the Watergate defendants but one were following the White House scenario to the letter. The exception was James McCord. He was seething with scenarios of his own. He hoped to have the charges dismissed, and besides, he had been angered by what he understood as a suggestion from one of his lawyers that the blame for the Watergate break-in be assigned to the C.I.A., his old outfit, to which he retained an intense loyalty. There was some irony in the fact that McCord’s anger had been aroused by an Administration plan to involve the C.I.A. in its crimes. McCord believed that Nixon’s removal of C.I.A. director Richard Helms, in December of 1972 – at the very time that McCord himself was being urged to lay the blame for Watergate at the door of the C.I.A. – was designed to pave the way for an attempt by the Administration itself to blame the break-in on the agency and for a takeover of the agency by the White House. He had worked for the White House, but he did not see the reorganizational wars from the White House point of view. He saw them from the bureaucrats’ point of view; in his opinion, President Nixon was attempting to take over the C.I.A. in a manner reminiscent of attempts by Hitler to take control of German intelligence agencies before the Second World War. The White House, that is, belatedly discovered that it had a disgruntled “holdover” on its hands. And this particular holdover really was prepared to perform sabotage; he was prepared, indeed, to sabotage not just the President’s policies but the President himself, and, what was more, he had the means to do it. McCord was putting together a scenario that could destroy the Nixon administration. In a letter delivered in December, to his White House contact, the undercover operative John Caulfield, McCord pronounced a dread warning: If the WHite House continued to try to have the C.I.A. take responsibility for the Watergate burglary, “every tree in the forest will fall,” and “it will be a scorched desert.” Piling on yet another metaphor of catastrophe, he wrote, “Pass the message that if they want it to blow, they are on exactly the right course. I am sorry that you will get hurt in the fallout.” McCord was the first person in the Watergate conspiracy to put in writing exactly what the magnitude of th Watergate scandal was. Many observers had been amazed at the extreme hard line that the President had taken since his landslide reelection – the firings in the bureaucracies, the incomprehensible continuation of the attacks on Senator McGovern, the renewed attacks on the press, the attacks on Congress’s power of the purse, the bombing of Hanoi. They could not know that at the exact moment when President Nixon was wreaking devastation on North Vietnam, James McCord was threatening to wreak devastation on him.

That there was a deliberate attempt from almost immediately after the break-in to try and mislead FBI investigators into thinking it was a CIA operation, and this attempt was initiated from the apex of the White House, is conveyed effectively in the invaluable Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes by Stanley Kutler. Here is when the idea is first given mention:

JUNE 21, 1972: THE PRESIDENT AND COLSON, 4:00-5:15 P.M., EXECUTIVE OFFICE BUILDING

Nixon aides, such as Haldeman and Colson, later developed a fondness for explanations that blamed the CIA for Watergate. This conversation is probably the origin of the idea, anxious as they were to “develop a theory.” It probably also is the beginning of their notion that “Watergate was stupid and therefore the President could not have done it.” Throughout the affair, Nixon contemptuously dismissed wiretapping as a serious issue; he insisted that he had been bugged in 1968, typically adding, “Everyone did it.”

SEGMENT 1

COLSON
…I think that, I think that we could develop a theory as to the CIA if we wanted to. We know that he [Hunt] has all these ties with these people.

PRESIDENT NIXON
He worked with them.

COLSON
Oh, he was their boss, and they were all CIA. You take the cash, you go down to Latin America.

These excerpts further show the development of blaming the break-in on the CIA, of lying about CIA association to the FBI to stop the investigation, but begin first with the possibility of blaming the break-in on the columnist Jack Anderson:

JUNE 22, 1972: THE PRESIDENT AND HALDEMAN, 9:40-11:25 A.M., EXECUTIVE OFFICE BUILDING

HALDEMAN
Yes. We’ve got another thing which has taken hold a little bit, which is we’ve started moving on the Hill, letting it come out from there, which is that this whole thing is a Jack Anderson thing, that Jack Anderson did it. That’s what the Hill guys think, that this is – and we’re trying to move that around now. We started a rumor yesterday morning and it’s starting to come back already.

PRESIDENT NIXON
What?

HALDEMAN
That Jack Anderson has put all of this together, he was bugging the Democratic offices.

PRESIDENT NIXON
Oh, yes.

HALDEMAN
Becaue these Cubans are tied to him. These are agents he’s used, and now he’s trying to do a diversionary cover-up of this other thing, and all this other stuff. The great thing about this is it is so totally fucked up and so badly done that nobody believes-

PRESIDENT NIXON
That we could have done it.

HALDEMAN
That’s right…

PRESIDENT NIXON
Well, it sounds like comic opera, really.

HALDEMAN
It really does. It would make a funny Goddamn movie.

PRESIDENT NIXON
I mean, you know, here’s these Cubans with their accents. [Laughing]

HALDEMAN
Wearing these rubber gloves, standing there in their well-made, their expensive well-made business suits, wearing rubber gloves, and put their hands up and shouting “Don’t shoot” when the police come in. It really is like a comic opera…Also they have no case on Hunt.

PRESIDENT NIXON
Why?

HALDEMAN
Because there is no case on Hunt. They have not been able to make him. They can’t put him into the scene at alll.

PRESIDENT NIXON
We know where he was, though.

HALDEMAN
But they don’t. The FBI doesn’t.

PRESIDENT NIXON
That’s right.

HALDEMAN
They’ve pursued him and been unable to tie him in at all to the case.

PRESIDENT NIXON
What about the disappearance? He’ll come back?

HALDEMAN
Well, they’ve got no warrant for him, so they don’t care whether he disappeared.

PRESIDENT NIXON
He has disappeared?

HALDEMAN
He has disappeared.

PRESIDENT NIXON
Yes, the Hunt thing is beginning to run out recently.

HALDEMAN
The legal people, the FBI, who are running the investigation, have no – there’s no way to fix Hunt on the case. They have issued no warrant for him. They don’t care whether he disappears or not. The only thing is, is his name’s in the phone book, in the guy’s address book. But so is the hotel clerk’s name.

JUNE 23, 1972: THE PRESIDENT AND HALDEMAN, 10:04-11:39 A.M., OVAL OFFICE

HALDEMAN
The FBI interviewed Colson yesterday. They determined that would be a good thing to do…An interrogation, which he did, and that, the FBI guys working the case had concluded that there are one or two possibilities: one, that this was a White House [operation], they don’t think that there is anything at the Election Committee – they think it was either a White House operation and they had some obscure reasons for it…Or it was a-

PRESIDENT NIXON
Cuban thing-

HALDEMAN
-Cubans and the CIA. And after their interrogation of-

PRESIDENT NIXON
Colson.

HALDEMAN
-Colson, yesterday, they concluded it was not the White House, but are now convinced it’s the CIA thing, so the CIA turnoff would-

PRESIDENT NIXON
Well, not sure of their analysis, I’m not going to get that involved…

HALDEMAN
No, sir. We don’t want you to.

PRESIDENT NIXON
You call them in. Good. Good deal. Play it tough. That’s the way they play it and that’s the way we are going to play it.

HALDEMAN
O.K. We’ll do it.

PRESIDENT NIXON
Yeah, when I saw that news summary item, I of course knew it was a bunch of crap, but I thought, that, well it’s good to have them off on this wild hare thing because when they start bugging us, which they have, we’ll know our little boys will not know how to handle it. I hope they will though.

HALDEMAN
Good, you never know. Maybe, you think about it…

PRESIDENT NIXON
When you get in these people…say: “Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that” – without going into the details – don’t, don’t lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it. “The President’s belief is that this is going to open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again. And because these people are plugging for, for keeps, and that they should call the FBI and say that we wish for the country, don’t go any further into this case,” period…

JUNE 23, 1972: THE PRESIDENT AND HALDEMAN, 1:04-1:13 P.M., OVAL OFFICE

PRESIDENT NIXON
…Hunt….knows too damn much and he was involved, we have to know that. And that it gets out…this is all involved in the Cuban thing, that it’s a fiasco, and it’s going to make the FB – ah CIA – look bad, it’s going to make Hunt look bad, and it’s likely to blow the whole, uh, Bay of Pigs thing, which we think would be very unfortunate for the CIA and for the country at this time, and for American foreign policy, and he’s just gotta tell ‘em “lay off”…

HALDEMAN
Yeah, that’s, that’s the basis we’ll do it on and just leave it at that.

PRESIDENT NIXON
I don’t want them to get any ideas we’re doing it because our concern is political.

HALDEMAN
Right.

PRESIDENT NIXON
And at the same time, I wouldn’t tell them it is not political…

HALDEMAN
Right.

PRESIDENT NIXON
I would just say, “Look, it’s because of the Hunt involvement.”…

That what took place under the Nixon administration was in fact a centralization of power, a creation of an octopus of executive overreach, with such agencies as the FBI, the CIA, and the IRS made into weapons against any enemy of the Nixon White House, is a point obviously ignored by Stone and, again, well conveyed by Schell. I give lengthy excerpt:

In 1969, the Administration had sought to establish working links between the Justice Department and the C.I.A., among others; now, in June of 1970, the President ordered a “reassessment” of the government’s intelligence-gathering activities at the highest level. Haldeman assigned Tom Huston, who had once been an Army intelligence officer, and who described himself as a “Jeffersonian Republican,” to oversee the work. On June 5th, as the uproar over the invasion of Cambodia was subsiding, the President called in Director Helms of the C.I.A.; the Director of the F.B.I., J. Edgar Hoover; the head of the National Security Agency, Vice-Admiral Noel Gayler; and the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Donald Bennett. He asked them all to meet with Huston to work out a coordinated plan for dealing with internal threats. At the first meeting, Huston informed the group of a decision by President Nixon that in facing the domestic threat, “everything is valid, everything is possible.” After several meetings, the group agreed on a plan. A secret corps made up of representatives of the four intelligence agencies; the counter-intelligence agencies of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force; and – if the Interagency Group on Domestic Intelligence and Internal Security, as the new corps was to be called, thought it necessary – the State Department, “and such other agencies which may have investigative or law-enforcement responsibilities touching on domestic intelligence or internal security matters,” and overseen by the White House, would be, in effect, empowered to commit a wide variety of crimes against the members of any group that it suspected of being subversive. The Interagency Group would be empowered to open mail, to tap telephones without warrants, and to break into people’s houses and offices. Huston knew that these activities were criminal: he wrote that surreptitious entry was “clearly illegal” and “could result in great embarrassment if exposed.” Of course, the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. had been doing all of these things for years without written instructions from the White House; yet the Nixon Administration, in proposing the new plan, was attempting to do much more than ratify an existing state of affairs. For one thing, the White House envisioned a broadened scale of operation, and one objective of the Interagency Group was to be “maximum use of all special investigtive techniques, including increased agent and informant penetration by both the F.B.I. and the C.I.A.” For another thing, whereas in earlier days, the unlawful spying upon and harassment of American citizens had had to be secret tosome extent from the highest officers of the government, now an instruction had gone out from a President ordering the agencies to break the law. In other words, all restraints internal to the executive branch were to be lifted. The proposed coordination of the agencies into a single force would be an important step, too. The citizen who ran afoul of the F.B.I.’s Cointelpro program or the I.R.S.’s Special Service Group might suffer serious interference in his life, but the person whose name got onto the computers of an organization that commanded the combined resources of the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the N.S.A., the D.I.A., and the I.R.S., not to mention the State Department, the Treasury Department, and the other agencies and departments of the government, would be up against a virtually irresistible foe. He would be up against a secret police organization that could reach into his life in countless ways – into his work, into his public life. Even more dangerous, however, than the links of the agencies to each other would be their link to the White House. By placing the Interagency Group under White House guidance, the Administration would be able to direct it towards targets of its own choosing; and since the President was inclined to believe that his political adversaries were also adversaries of the nation – for no number of C.I.A. reports could shake his conviction that the disorders at home were planned abroad – the new group could become a powerful political instrument in his hands.

The frightening creation of the Interagency Group on Domestic Intelligence and Internal Security, an incredibly powerful entity for surveillance and persecution, an obvious first step for police state tyranny, goes expectedly unmentioned by Stone, as this would immediately make his claim of a CIA coup ridiculous, that these entities which had been designed to enforce state laws had already had their independence subverted, so that they would enforce or not enforce the law as it convenienced Richard Nixon. It is perhaps equally to be expected that Stone cleaves off the work of the plumbers as rogue actions, separate from CREEP activities. When one looks at Liddy’s main project, a series of coded assignmentts under the umbrella name of GEMSTONE, it becomes very obvious that Liddy’s work was very close to that of CREEP, and to that of Stone throughout his career: the secretly funded subversion of the opposition, through smears, division, pranks, and surveillance. Among GEMSTONE projects, there was RUBY, the secret infiltration of democratic campaigns, just like Sedan Chair II, the mole hired by Roger Stone. There was COAL, and you really had to give an unfriendly laugh to that name, because that GEMSTONE project involved the clandestine funding of a candidate who was a black woman, which would “force Democratic candidates to fight off a black woman, bound to generate ill-feeling among the black community and, we hoped, cause them difficulty with women.”263 This, of course, bears an obvious similarity to Stone’s work on the 2004 Sharpton campaign, which he helped staff and made loans to, in order to create dissent within the Democratic primary, and which, hopefully, would diminish the enthusiasm of black voters in the general election. Liddy and Hunt simply took these activities a step further. Gaining opposition research not just through moles placed in rival campaigns, but through break-ins and burglaries. This leads to another striking omission in Stone’s discussion of Watergate: Stone does write at all of the fact that the first target of the Watergate burglary team was Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon war secrets. Ellsberg was smeared, the office of his psychiatrist was broken into in an attempt to find some compromising material, and when he spoke at an anti-war rally the Watergate burglar team tried to give him a severe beating264. None of this, nothing related to the case of Daniel Ellsberg, perhaps the defining whistleblower case of that era, is mentioned by Stone. This is, perhaps, a canny move on his part. There are differences, but there are also striking similarities between Ellsberg and Edward Snowden, two men who helped expose secret histories, and the way in which the Nixon White House used every lowball tactic to destroy Ellsberg would make obvious that Nixon was no victim of the security state, but one who used the security state as a mafioso uses a baseball bat and a quarry, as tools to dispose of one’s enemies.

When Watergate erupted, it exposed the long use of the surveillance state inside the country, which in turn would set off the investigations into the secrets of what might be called the hidden state within the state. It would be thanks to the Church Committee, headed up by senator Frank Church, that the history of clandestine warfare and secret assassination attempts would be exposed. This point also goes unmentioned by Stone in The Man Who Killed Kennedy, most likely because it makes his whole ludicrous schemata even more ludicrous. The CIA wants to bring down Nixon because he’s trying to rein them in, so they take him down through the use of CIA double agents on his plumber team, even though the very use of such agents is what triggers an in-depth investigation into the agency and greater oversight than they’ve had in decades. Frank Church, the man who headed up the committee, would lose his seat in 1980, thanks to the work of Roger Stone’s NCPAC. In Secrets, Daniel Ellsberg explains the various attempts he makes to leak the information of the Pentagon Papers out to the public. Before going to the New York Times with the Papers, Ellsberg contacted several politicians about conducting a filibuster and reading the Papers into the congressional record. Among those he went to were George McGovern and Mike Gravel. Though McGovern was initially fully willing to take on the responsibility of reading the papers, he would eventually back down out of fear of reprisals. Gravel, however, would never abate in his commitment to read the papers on the floor of congress, if such a step was necessary. McGovern would also be defeated through the efforts of NCPAC in 1980. Gravel would lose the race for the vice president’s slot on the 2008 Libertarian Party ticket to scamdicapper Wayne Allyn Root265.

THE SECRET HISTORIES

The Man Who Killed Kennedy is rooted in the author’s revelation that what he writes of is a secret he’s been privileged with, an extraordinary message that has had to be held tight until this time. It includes moments that no doubt any person would remember the rest of their lives, such as president Nixon abruptly startled when he realizes he’s met Jack Ruby before, or an American ambassador stating outright that there was a secret plot to the assassination, or an Attorney General encouraging Stone to write a book on the secret plan behind the murder – though only at a safe fifty year distance. I do not make these episodes more melodramatic than they are, they are inherently melodramatic, and if they actually took place, the events themsleves could not help but be sick with the gravitas of a world suddenly shaken and tilted, the supposed clean lines of history now revealed to be a schizophrenic dust cloud.

This is a moment from the introduction involving former ambassador John Davis Lodge, brother of former ambassador to Vietnam during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Henry Cabot Lodge:

In 1979, we sat in his Westport, Connecticut, home enjoying a cocktail. I knew that JFK had planned to fire ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge upon his return from Dallas on November 24, 1963. I also know that Lodge knew why he had been summoned to see the President.

Lodge had done Kennedy’s dirty work coordinating a campaign with the CIA to assassinate Catholic Vietnamese President Diem. I couldn’t resist asking John Lodge about his brother.

“Did you ever ask your brother who really killed Kennedy?” I said.

His lips spread in a tight grin. “Cabot said it was the Agency boys, some Mafiosi,” he looked me in the eye . . . “and Lyndon.”

“Did your brother know in advance?” I asked.

Lodge took a sip of his Manhattan.”He knew Kennedy wouldn’t be around to fire him. LBJ kept him at his post so he could serve his country.”

This episode has such a powerful effect on Stone that it puts him on the fateful path by which he now gives us the secrets of the killing, “It was then that I eventually decided to write this book.”

This is another moment, with the former president:

I spent hours talking one-on-one with former President Nixon in his office at 26 Federal Plaza in downtown Manhattan, his apartment on the East Side, and later in his modestly appointed townhouse in Saddle River, New Jersey. Nixon was neither introspective nor retrospective in the conversations. “The old man,” as staff called him behind his back, was passionately interested in what was happening today and what would happen in the future, but it was difficult to get him to dwell on the past. Generally speaking, when we talked about his peers and the circumstances surrounding the Kennedy assassination, he would grow taciturn, blunt, and sometimes cryptic. When I asked him point blank about the conclusions of the Warren Commission into the assassination of President Kennedy, he said “Bullshit” with a growl, but refused to elaborate.

It is Nixon who gives him the kindling for Stone’s theory:

Based on my conversations with him contained in this book, Nixon indicated that Johnson was a conspirator and ordered the CIA to deliver all records pertaining to the Kennedy assassination to the White House after his inauguration in 1969 in order to confirm his belief. As we will see later, this request would play a key role in Nixon’s downfall in Watergate.

The moment with John Mitchell, former Attorney General:

When I was on the Committee to Re-elect the President staff in 1972, direct communications with “Mr. Mitchell” as everyone called him, were a violation of the chain of command. I reconnected with the former attorney general during my service in Ronald Reagan’s 1976 presidential campaign. Mitchell helped recruit former Kentucky Governor Louie Nunn for the small Reagan for President Committee headed by Senator Paul Laxalt. I saw Mitchell pretty regularly from 1976 to 1988.

Mitchell, who had discussed Nixon’s thoughts and beliefs regarding the Bay of Pigs and the JFK assassination, helped me interpret many of Nixon’s more oblique references to both. Mitchell knew he was revealing truths that, prior to the 1978 House Select Committee on Assassinations hearings, would be viewed as “kooky.”

Even then, I was fascinated by the controversy surrounding JFK’s murder. “I might write a book about it someday,” I told Mitchell. He took the out the pipe that had been clenched between his teeth, “Wait until the fiftieth anniversary,” he said. I agreed. For those who wonder why I have waited until now to write this book, you now have your answer.

Here’s when Nixon reveals that he once knew Jack Ruby:

“Johnson was vain, cruel, loud, devious, and driven,” Nixon told me.

Many of the same Texas oilmen who wrote big checks for Dick Nixon also wrote big checks for Johnson.

“He liked to squeeze their nuts,” Nixon said. “He would tell them the oil-depletion allowance was in trouble unless they coughed up cash—and milked ‘em.”

“That was the difference between Lyndon and me,” Nixon snorted after a very dry martini in his Saddle River, New Jersey home. “I wasn’t willing to kill for it . . .” Nixon grew silent and pensive, staring into his martini. I knew from my years as a Nixon loyalist and “Nixon’s man in Washington” during his post-presidential years when a conversation with “RN” was over and when not to speak.

Nixon stirred.

“It’s a hell of a thing. I actually knew this Jack Ruby fella. Murray Chotiner brought him in back in ’47. Went by the name Rubinstein. An informant. Murray said he was one of Lyndon Johnson’s boys . . . we put him on the payroll,” Nixon’s voice trailed off.

What went unsaid was that Nixon had realized the connection between Johnson and the execution of Lee Harvey Oswald. I knew Murray Chotiner had been the eminence grise of Nixon’s early political career. Chotiner was a Los Angeles mob lawyer who ran Nixon’s first campaign for Congress in 1946 and his 1950 campaign for the Senate. That Chotiner brought Ruby in was no surprise—his mob connections ran deep. Chotiner had strong connections with Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Mickey Cohen. He was also the middleman between Louisiana mob kingpin Carlos Marcello and Nixon.

This is further confirmed, in a colorful anecdote by Nick Ruwe, Nixon’s former deputy chief of protocol:

Nick Ruwe told me that, on November 24, 1963, he arrived at Nixon’s Fifth Avenue apartment—an address he shared with Nelson Rockefeller ironically—to accompany Nixon to a lunch with Mary Roebling, a New Jersey socialite and Nixon family friend at Cote Basque. It was 12:30. Ruwe came into the room as Nixon turned the TV off. He had just witnessed Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald. Ruwe told me, “The Old Man was white as a ghost. I asked him if everything was all right.” “I know that guy,” Nixon muttered. Ruwe said that Nixon didn’t elaborate. He knew better than to ask questions.

I think whatever eventful life you’d led, you would always remember these moments, that they would be like a powerful magnet buried within you, distorting anything you saw on the assassination, as if you’d seen an unveiled vision no one else had, and any history without its mention would seem false to you. Henry Cabot Lodge believed that the vice president had killed the president of the United States. Richard Nixon recognised Jack Ruby because he’d known Jack Ruby. All of history would contort around those poles, and any time you’d speak or write about the assassination, those two details would inevitably protrude, and one could understand, without difficulty, that Roger Stone could, rightly or wrongly, believe that Lyndon Johnson had been behind the assassination, that some malevolent puppeteer was behind Jack Ruby, that Ruby’s killing of Oswald was a killing for hire. Whatever oaths I swore, my sense of that event would distort in that fashion. Lyndon Johnson was directly involved in the killing of the president, he’d known Ruby and put him on Nixon’s payroll, which meant he’d been behind the killing of Oswald, he’d been behind the whole shebang.

Now, Roger Stone has accued Lyndon Johnson of murder, murder of a president, and it is perhaps an idiosyncrasy that we treat death due to warmaking as a different category than plain old murder, but we do. If Stone were to level these same charges, with plausible accompanying evidence, when Johnson was alive, then he would face trial for murder, a separate and unrelated judgement from the obscenity of the Vietnam war. I’ve given this lengthy preface, because if a man makes such a charge of murder, not a random or provoked outburst, but hundreds of pages devoted to the allegation, and there is evidence that the accuser does not believe the allegation, then I think it is incumbent to publish such evidence. As said at the very beginning of this long piece, I came across what appears to be a memoir of Roger Stone’s on a very public, very legal document sharing site, which displays a voice uncannily like that of Stone’s, and replete with obscure details which would not be easy to pull off by a casual hoaxer. In this memoir, he also gives lengthy space to the assassination, and he does mention Lyndon Johnson as a possible player. The essential, indisputable players, however, the ones to which he gives the majority of his focus, is the mob. He makes no mention of this Lodge anecdote. He makes no mention that Nixon knew Ruby. He does not write at all of Ruby being put on anyone’s payroll, or Johnson knowing Ruby in any way. Though he writes of politicos such as Nixon at great length in other parts of the book, he does not write at all of Nixon, of Lodge, of Ruwe, or of Mitchell clamping down on his pipe and giving fateful suggestion. These episodes that would reverberate through anybody’s life, are not there at all, as if they never took place.

That Stone’s perspective on the assassination in his memoir causes one not simply to question the credibility of the theory he puts forth, but whether he even believes his own allegation, is why I now give lengthy excerpt to the relevant sections in his memoir. The excerpt starts from his discussion of the mafia’s involvement in politics and the presidential killing, continues through his bringing up Lyndon Johnson as a possible player, to the chapter’s very end. I note, perhaps unncesssarily, that this memoir was written in 2008, after his conflicts with Eliot Spitzer, and long after any discussions with Nixon, Lodge, Mitchell and Ruwe (who died in 1990266) would have occurred:

I make the concluding note that Stone himself is quite severe on those who he believes manufacture or embellish history. According to Nixon, the supposed lies of The Final Days caused Pat Nixon to have her stroke. This, it should be emphasized, is according to Richard Nixon, which, in turn, is according to Roger Stone in Dirty Tricks. “There is simply is no corroboration that the 37th president walked
around late at night talking to the Presidential portraits,” writes Stone. In the next paragraph, he smears Carl Bernstein by having him hit someone up for a loan for ten grand after they’ve just met. Again – this bears the caveat, according to Roger Stone. During a recent conference on the anniversary of Watergate, Stone would tweet out a blurred photo of Bernstein holding his book as a kind of endorsement. When you’re trying to hawk a book with a conspiracy that you don’t even believe, and your most prestigious promotional venues are “Off the Grid with Jesse Ventura”, I guess you take what you can get267. “When I wrote about Roger Stone 28 years ago,” Jacob Weisberg tweeted, who’d written the first and now unavailable profile of Stone, “State-of-the-art Sleazeball”, “I thought he was a menace.” With the publication of The Man Who Killed Kennedy, Weisberg had changed his mind. “Turned out he was merely a fool.”268

EMPTY VOICES, EMPTY ROOMS / I BRING THE APPLAUSE

I have stressed that Roger Stone is a man of no fixed beliefs, and yet reading about the Nixon era also clarifies what is permanent in the man, that the tactics and tools of that time would be used the rest of his life. When such gutterball shivings were exposed during the Watergate hearings, the reaction was of horror. That these same tactics were then recounted in Matt Labash’s “Roger Stone, Political Animal” and Jeffrey Toobin’s “The Dirty Trickster” as funny games, suggest an apathy in the press and a gangrene in democracy itself: we are powerless, and we will be badly treated, so we may as well laugh at the tricks of those who maltreat us. One reads Liddy’s memoir, and you suddenly sit up when he describes a counterdemonstration organized to attract attention away from anti-war rallies which take place after the mining of Haiphong harbor, because this organization of an almost entirely Cuban crowd in Miami suddenly makes you think of the faction of the Brooks Brother riot that Roger Stone supposedly organized in Miami during the 2000 election, not the Republican operatives inside the building, but a mainly Cuban crowd outside, a crowd that nobody appears to have seen except Roger Stone269. There are also these two moments, again from Schell’s The Time of Illusion, both showing off the same tactic, which might cause those familiar with Roger Stone’s career to suddenly laugh in recognition.

Here is one instance:

Charles Colson, using a White House apparatus for placing spurious advertisements in the press, ran an ad in the Times titled “The People vs. the New York Times” and taking the Times to task for an editorial critical of the mining [of Haiphong]. The advertisement did not say so, but “The People” in this case were the people in the White House. Over at the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, part of the staff was put to work sending in thousands of fraudulent “votes” to an informal television poll of public reaction to the mining. Donald Segretti got in touch with a number of his saboteurs in Florida and ordered them to stop harassing the Democrats long enough to send in messages of support. When all the instructions had gone out just about every spy, saboteur, con man, extortionist, forger, impostor, informer, burglar, mugger, and bagman – for that, astonishingly, is what they were – in the employ of the White House was at work manufacturing the appearance of public support for the President.

Here is another:

The Republican Convention brought to perfection in microcosm a Nixonian style of action which had been developing since he first assumed office. For years, the President’s speechwriters and public relations advisers had been engaged in a novel enterprise. Most Presidential speechwriters have restricted themselves to writing what the President employing them is to say, but President Nixon’s speechwriters also involved themselves in writing what was said about the President by others. They wrote the plays, and they wrote the reviews, too. The White House writers wrote speeches for Administration officials and friendly members of Congress to deliver about the President. (At the Convnetion, they even wrote the cues for the applause to those speeches.) They wrote rigged letters-to-the-editor and telegrams-to-the-editor with messages like “Thank goodness this country has President Nixon.” They had organized campaigns of telegrams of support to be sent to the White House, tried to arrange for newspaper columns to be written supporting the President. And, since the President’s speechwriters are, probably to a greater degree than any other employees of the government, creatures of his power – are, in fact, his alter egos, or “ghosts” – it could be said that the praise for the President which they arranged was in fact praise of the President for himself.

Whenever anybody wrote anything about Stone on-line, or about The Man Who Killed Kennedy, or sheriff Scott Israel, or the gaming company Genting, you started to notice a pattern in the comments. Enthusiastic support from the same names, over and over again, people who commented only about those things and nothing else, a tiny loud tribe of obsessives who wrote with ardor only of Roger Stone, a Broward sheriff’s race, Genting, and The Man Who Killed Kennedy.

There was someone named “Philip Dodge”, who showed up in the small number of comments for “The FishbowlDC Interview With Roger Stone”. Commenter mucholderguy had a nasty, funny quip: “He’s real brilliant in his own mind, isn’t he?” Philip Dodge had a lengthy reply: “Stone is playing with the reporter. For whatever reason he is being disarming and you seemed to have bought a ticket, too! Don’t be fooled. This is the man that advised Ronald Reagan how to win the cold war and saved us all from annihilation.” SteveGreer70 was as unimpressed as mucholderguy: “Roger needs better hair” Dodge, again: “Stone has been known to wildishly alter his coiffure over the years. Looks to me like he’s setting in for some serious business. The Libertarian Party is currently buzzing with rumors about a big move Stone is considering and I don’t mean the news that he has his favorite candidate the Manhattan madam Kristin Davis running for Mayor of New York City.”270 Who Philip Dodge was, and why he was so passionate about Roger Stone remained mysterious. The Philip Dodge Facebook page was minimal – he was a member of the Libertarian Party of Florida, a fan of Ron Paul’s, a man whose activities were entirely devoted to The Man Who Killed Kennedy, with one strange quality to his physical appearance in his AV. It was not that of a celebrity, but of another unknown man entirely, that of Hal Jones, President and CEO of Hal Jones Development, who was involved in Destination Resorts. Whether this was a case of Jones posting comments endorsing Roger Stone’s book under an alias, while retaining his own profile picture, or someone creating a dummy acount and carelessly filching the picture of Hal Jones for the profile, unaware of how easily these things can be traced, I leave to the reader’s judgement.

(Taken from “The FishbowlDC Interview With Roger Stone”; the Facebook page of Philip Dodge; “Circuit Events Host Committee – Circuit of The Americas – Home of the Formula 1 US Grand Prix | Nov. 15-17 2013″)

(Hal Jones headshot, taken from “Circuit Events Host Committee – Circuit of The Americas – Home of the Formula 1 US Grand Prix | Nov. 15-17 2013″ and the headshot from Philip Dodge’s Facebook)

“Of course I read it and found it fascinating,” commented Philip Dodge in the story “Roger Stone’s New Book Says LBJ Killed JFK”. “Not only is it impossible to put down once you start reading sensational detail after sensational detail, but Stone supplies evidence every step of the way to make his case.”271 “Corsi challenges Bill O’Reilly to JFK-assassination debate”, was the headline, and Philip Dodge had something to say: “Roger Stone is the only one in the mix that actually sat in on many a secret meeting alongside Tricky Dick in the post-LBJ White House.” Anything else? “Sources like Daily Beast and National Enquirer all indicate the Roger Stone book will be the ‘history changing’ epic among the latest crop of books and that’s probably why it has risen to #1 in presales at Amazon.”272 “Ventura: LBJ Had The Most To Gain From JFK Assassination”. Philip Dodge, the comment below: “The important book to remember will be Roger Stone’s which doesn’t come out for two more weeks. In the book ‘The Man Who Killed Kennedy – The Case Against LBJ’ Roger Stone performed laborious research on subject matter and materials that he gleaned from a place no one else has, namely the Post-LBJ White House right at Nixon’s side when many a secret was bandied about. It is no accident that Jesse Ventura’s book makes the same assertions but it is the Stone book that will be providing the proof including fingerprints.”273 There was “The List: Facts about President John F. Kennedy’s love of sports”, which Philip Dodge managed to make about his usual obsession. “There are many, many new revelations about JFK, LBJ and Nixon in Roger Stone’s new book ‘The Man Who Killed Kennedy – The Case Against LBJ’ where Stone uses his insider knowledge having served presidents to spell out the truth about corruption, power, greed and the greatest crime of the 20th century.”274 Surprisingly, Philip Dodge had something to comment on at “Roger Stone: ‘Nixon thought LBJ killed Kennedy'”: “This book is an amazing work. While nearly a hundred books about JFK were written this season, this one has risen to number #3 with it having been in circulation for less than three weeks and that happened for a reason. Roger Stone is a stickler on the facts. He performs exhaustive research. For those of you who have not read the book yet I would suggest that you do it sooner rather than later.”275 “NY Times best selling author Roger Stone to visit Palm Beach for book signing” had this comment by Doug: “This guy’s conclusions are flimsier than one-ply toilet paper.” Philip Dodge replied: “Anybody with a wit of sense that really read Stone’s book could not make such a statement. It is chock full of multiple arguments that would stand up well in a court of law. I would urge readers to examine it for themselves and not rely on worthless internet chatter.”276

jakeslaw would comment on “Ex-GOP Bad Boy Roger Stone Eyes Florida Run”, “Roger stone and his wife Ann were part of the problems that the GOP has had these many years. They would compromise on principles to gain power. They support abortion and think it is just about money.” Philip Dodge: “Stone was smart enough to jump ship to the Libertarians at the last minute before the smell came in. Chastise him as you may, he in ernest [sic] represents the same values we believe in and I would take a governor founded in Barry Goldwater’s conservatism any day compared to a pompus [sic] Rick Scott who looks like a bald-headed turtle or a ‘not yet out of the closet’ former gov like Crist.”277 – incidentally, in 2011, Roger Stone joined the board of GOProud278. “Roger Stone pondering a campaign for Florida governor with an emphasis on pot”, once again, had Philip Dodge: “I am grateful to Stone for advising Reagan how to win the cold war and the result was that we were all saved from oblivion. Stone possesses the brass to turn Florida into the leading state to save the entire country. I know he has the money to beat Rick Scott and Charlie Crist is now a joke so the question is: Are Floridians ready to embrace a third party Libertarian candidate? I dare say, yes!” There was also a comment from a lovely blonde, Juanita Feenis: “Rick Scott and Charlie Crist are wimps. Stone represents a kind of personality with guys and wisdom that would rival Chris Christie’s ‘baron of governors’ status.”279 Feenis had also commented on “Ex-GOP Bad Boy Roger Stone Eyes Florida Run”: “When I grew up, my father would watch Roger Stone on CNN’s ‘Crossfire’ all the time and remarked how much sense Stone made. That was back when CNN actually had some ratings. As far as I’m concerned, Stone is well qualified, better known and better liked than the current or former governor in the upcoming election. If he runs, he will have my vote.”280 Feenis also had an opinion on “CBS Omits Spitzer’s Political Opponent Allegedly Provided Him With Prostitutes”: “Jay Leno asked Eliot Spitzer ‘How could you be so stupid?’ and Eliot Spitzer had a rambling answer. I don’t think Spitzer is sane. The disgraced former Governor and AG is not the right person to control the taxpayers money. He has the temperament of a pit bull. I’ll take calm, cool, collected, and smart any day when it comes to handling money which is why I think Kristin Davis is a better fit for the job.”281 “Eliot Spitzer to Jay Leno: ‘Hubris’ was my failing”: Ms. Feenis: “Folks, he is nuts. I don’t want him controlling my money. Spitzer makes Kristin Davis look more and more like the best candidate for comptroller with every appearance he makes.”282

Feenis was a fascinating, well rounded woman. She wanted to see Roger Stone elected governor of Florida, she wanted Kristin Davis as comptroller of New York City, but she also had a passionate interest in the gambling industry. She had something to say with regards to “Boyd Gaming retains ownership of the name ‘Stardust'”: “While the casino industry has been ever expanding in America, the economic strain and ubiquity of gambling houses has created a slump in general revenue. Certain Asian sectors like the one’s [sic] Genting thrives in are not experiencing any slump at all. They can bring in beaucoup hard dollars and entice foreign tourism like no one else.”283 “Genting buys Echelon for $2 billion Resorts World Las Vegas”: “It is a great day for Las Vegas! Genting will literally bring in billions per year to the economy. Jobs, local money, Vegas is back! Sheldon Adelson is turning over in his grave…oh wait, he’s not dead yet! No matter. Genting will be bringing in enough rich Asians to provide the entire city with a much needed stimulus even the Sands.” Here, she was joined by another woman, Karla von Stetten: “Genting resorts have their own fanbase. This new complex will bring in droves of foreign tourists. After four years of misery we now have been presented with salvation. Go Genting!”284

What were Von Stetten’s other interests? “Who was Lee Harvey Oswald? Questions linger after John F Kennedy’s assassination”, Von Stetten: “The new Roger Stone book ‘The Man Who Killed Kennedy – The Case Against LBJ’ explains all these things once and for all and does so in a very entertaining and authoritative manner. Remember, Stone was Nixon’s side kick back in those days and they discussed many a secret.”285 “CNN’s Tapper to Eliot Spitzer: Shouldn’t You Have Gone to Jail?” Von Stetten: “Spitzer is a vile and contemptible individual that should never be permitted to hold public office.”286 “Manhattan Madam to Eliot Spitzer: ‘Gosh, It’s Going to Be a Fun Race!'” Karla Von Stetten says: “Throughout his career he has been a bully who used underhanded tactics on anyone (including innocents) that got in his way. He had a miserable record as a prosecutor losing almost all of his trials. Spitzer has never paid for any of his illegal acts. He should go away and live off the rest of his father’s money and not that of the taxpayers. I’m voting for Kristin Davis.”287 “Letters at 3AM: JFK and That Hard Rain” Karla von Stetten: “TUESDAY. ‘The Man Who Killed Kennedy – The Case Against LBJ’ author Roger Stone will visit Austin to answer questions and sign books. As a longtime political operative, Roger Stone advised every Republican president from Nixon to ‘W.'” This got a reply from another commenter, Richard Knox: “I always enjoyed watching Roger Stone on the old CNN Crossfire when he would guest host. I am excited to hear he has a best seller. Where will he be appearing in Austin on Tuesday?”288

Just as Philip Dodge bore a startling resemblance to Hal Jones, Karla Von Stetten appeared to be an exact double for a Michèle, who appeared in a German magazine as their “Page One girl”, “Michèle of Stetten AG” (NSFW), or “Michèle aus Stetten AG”. Stetten AG is, I believe, Stetten, of the canton Aargau (AG) of Switzerland.

(first image taken from screenshot of “CNN’s Tapper to Eliot Spitzer: Shouldn’t You Have Gone to Jail?”, second is a screenshot of Von Stetten’s Disqus profile from the same link, third is a screenshot of the twitter handle @KarlavonStetten, fourth is taken from “Michèle of Stetten AG” – NSFW)

The Richard Knox who replied to Von Stetten shared many of her interests, as well as those of Philip Dodge, and Juanita Feenis. “Eliot Spitzer to Jay Leno: Wall Street Rooting Against Me” Knox: “Spitzer seemed at home in Hollywood. That’s where he should stay. What are the statutes of limitations on blackmail, whore-mongering or the Mann Act? We don’t need a lunatic to take care of NY taxpayers hard earned money. California is the ideal place for him where he will fit in fine with celebrity reprobates.”289 “Florida poll: Charlie Crist tops Rick Scott” “Good news for Charlie Crist, right? Maybe not,” wrote Knox. “Now that he has flip-flopped on the marijuana issue to help his lawyer pal John Morgan line his pockets, Crist has further alienated even the most disenchanted Republicans. Now please tell me what’s the chance that Charlie Crist who is despised among black voters given his ‘Chain-Gang’ Charlie reputation oppressing minorities is going to shine in the Democratic strongholds of Florida like Miami-Dade?”290 Knox was incredibly knowledgeable about some obscure politicos. “FBI Arrest Mayors Of Miami Lakes and Sweetwater in Florida: Mike Pizzi, Manuel Morono Charged in Corruption Schemes” Knox: “Today’s environment where government employees feel empowered to make up stories against decent public servants like Michael Pizzi makes me scratch my head and wonder if America will ever come back from the cataclysmic brink. Pizzi is about as innocent as they come. The consulting firm of Becker & poliakoff hired a bottom feeding individual Jose Keichi Fuentes along with his partner Richard Candia. When the firm got put in a spotlight implicating them of having conducted criminal acts, the various stooges had to get thrown under the bus starting with Candia who was also arrested in this recent bust. I do not trust the FBI.”291

Knox’s interest in obscure politicians was matched by William Windorf, a man with a single Like on his Facebook page, for The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ. “Cats would not ‘grab a banana and eat it’ because he knew it was sprayed with camouflage to disguise the fact that the fruits and vegetables were all past their prime at Gristedes,” Windorf posted to “John Catsimatidis Spending Big on Billboards, Lip Balm and Candy”, about John Catsimatidis, Joe Lhota’s opponent in the New York City Republican mayoral primary. “This is why he was fined over and over again along with selling tainted meat and fish. Where did you think all the money came from to pay for billboards?” “Few Mayoral Candidates Stand Up to Chassidim on ‘Metzitzah B’peh'” provoked this reaction from Windorf: “I heard Catsimatidis had been repeatedly fined for foisting bad food products on the customers and I knew he was vulgar from his cussing remarks at the Republican meeting but what I just leanred was that he maintains no personal hygiene whatsoever.” This comment at The Jewish Press also featured a complaint from Philip Dodge. “Catsimatidis used to spray dye coloring on his fruits and vegetables at Gristedes to conceal they were rotten inside from the unsuspecting public. Talk about non Kosher he received fines for selling rotting meat and fish. This is not the man I want for my mayor.”292 Karla Von Stetten was equally upset about the hygiene of Catsimatidis. “Daughter of Republican Mayoral Hopeful John Catsimatidis is Sort of a Mini-Celebrity in China”, Von Stetten: “Her appearance is quite provocative to the Chinese. It is notable that she has been quoted in the Times for repeated scolding her mayoral candidate father just how dirty Gristedes is.” “Which NYC Mayoral Candidates Think Spying on American Muslims is Unconstitutional?”, Von Stetten: “I see they left Catsimatidis out, probably strategically. According to the Empire State Ledger nobody wants to sit next to him because he hasn’t bathed or brushed his teeth.”293

“Roger Stone previews ‘CIA coup’ theory of Watergate at Woodward-Bernstein event” got this comment from Windorf: “I am delighted to hear that Roger Stone is releasing another book. “The Man Who Killed Kennedy – The Case Against LBJ” was an excellent book which I keep on my coffee table in the living room. It always draws comments from my guests. Stone being the greatest living authority on Nixon means we will finally be presented with the truth about Watergate.”294 “How a Texas Paper Brought Down Billie Sol Estes”, also had Windorf: “It is curious for him to die right when his name comes back into the news thanks to Roger Stone’s new book implicating LBJ and pals in the Kennedy assassination. Billy Sol Estes is a key figure in the book,” which prompted this reply from David: “Mr. Windorf – Roger Stone’s book is not to be released until later this year. I am curious as to where you saw the information about Billie Sol Estes.” David received no reply from Windorf295. “Bimini SuperFast Makes Inaugural Voyage” was a story about a cruise from Miami to a gambling resort on Bimini. The enterprise was owned and run by the gaming company Genting, also known as Resorts World, and the story got a comment from Windorf. “I had a really good time on the ship, especially in the Aqua Bar and Grill. I would highly recommend this get-away for anyone with an extra $49 bucks and some time to kill while visiting Miami.” Windorf had other things to say about the Bimini SuperFast and Genting. “Controversial resort opens up Bimini to the world”, Windorf: “Resorts World is well known for making dramatic improvements to anywhere they set up shop. Because Bimini is environmentally sensitive, you can’t rush them with their plans to carefully tip-toe through the offshore area in a way to preserve and protect the reefs and beaches. Some locals quite frankly don’t understand that there are natural growing pains whenever a major improvement is brought to an area.” “Bahamas National Trust calls for disclosure on Bimini facility”, Windorf: “The Genting Group is known worldwide for being highly sensitive to the well being of local areas where they break ground. Environmentalists can expect to finally have an ecosystem that is well protected and living symbiotically with the activities of the mooring dock. It is a win-win situation.”296 “Analysts give mixed reviews for Genting’s Strip plans” prompted a lengthy reply from Windorf. “Genting has performed a bit of magic and Las Vegas will greatly benefit from it. Genting will pull in rich tourists from all over Asia. Vegas gets plenty of fresh dollars and the other Genting properties like New York which is oing quite well and Miami, yet to be built see first hand how Genting a formidable and well respected world player brings prosperity wherever they set up stakes.” He was not alone in his enthusiasm for the gaming multi-national. “Analysts aside, there is no other force on this Earth that is willing and able to do what Genting is doing in Las Vegas,” said Juanita Freenis297. “Disney Said to Be Dishing Big Bucks in Tallahassee, Preparing for Destination Casino Fight”, again brought out Windorf, against Disney and someone he saw as one of their paid for allies. “There should be a moratorium how many times “expert” testimony spouted by academicians like Robert Jarvis, obviously a paid hack, gets published.” His appearance was notable here, because right below he was joined by Philip Dodge, making a similar complaint. “I follow the casino/gambling fight carefully and frequently see Robert Jarvis on the wrong side of the issue. He is right that Disney is scared but in this case Disney and No Casinos are stealing from Florida’s future,” Dodge wrote. “Jarvis has worn out any credibility he might have once had by being a go-to professor willing to say whatever any reporter wants to hear in order to further his name recognition.”298

“Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb: Brawling Over Her Ex on New Year’s Eve?”, about a financial executive who briefly considered a Florida Senate run and his better known actress girlfriend, featured a strange moment of fusion. There was William Windorf commenting on the story, “Nick and Sofia were not fighting with each other. Rather, they were fighting off the bodyguards of well known South Beach thug Ferrydoun Khalilian who has a way of rubbing people the wrong way. It’s over now and Khalilian will soon be deported anyway”; but there was the profile picture of Philip Dodge, the profile pic of Hal Jones. This was a subject which clearly impassioned William Windorf, because he also commented on “Sofia Vergara & Boyfriend’s NYE Fight Caused Boob Explosion?!”: “Despite reports like these, Nick and Sopia were not fighting with each other, rather they were fighting with moronic bodyguards from Iranian thug Ferrydoun Khalilian who’s claim to fame was co-owning failed nightclubs with Paris Hilton. Now he’ll have a hard time staying at a Hilton.” 299

Depending on who was behind “William Windorf” and “Philip Dodge”, we might have had a confrontation between two old adversaries in the comments for the Independent Political Report post, “Roger Stone Considers Run for Florida Governor”. Both Dodge and Windorf made enthusiastic noises about a Stone candidacy. Dodge: “Nixon and Reagan were not advocating the legalization of marijuana but Roger Stone is along with promoting a number of forward thinking Libertarian ideals. He could bring nationwide publicity to the Libertarian Party. Let’s see what he has to say at his next appearance.” “Roger Stone might have some detractors here at IPR (Do I detect some jealously?),” wrote Windorf. “Libertarians do not otherwise have any candidates in Florida that could even come close to Stone in political savvy, financial resources and national notoriety.” Dodge’s claims got a reply from Warren Redlich, the man who’d been smeared by Roger Stone and who’d soundly beat Stone’s own candidate Kristin Davis in the 2010 New York governor’s election. “By all means listen to his lies and decide how good they sound.” Redlich had a fairly strong suspicion of what was taking place. “Would anyone be surprised that this is William Windorf’s only comments on IPR, and Phillip Dodge only has 2 comments, both supporting Stone,” wrote Redlich. “I smell troll.”300

(Profile pictures of Juanita Feenis and William Windorf, taken from the Facebook pages of Windorf and Feenis.)

All of these characters were passionately interested in the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and all of them were strongly supportive of Scott Israel. Most of them were there for “Update: Demos Fed Up With Sheriff’s Blunders”. William Windorf: “Where is the poll to prove the assertion that the ‘demos are fed up?’ No evidence, no proof whatsoever is cited. Citizens who know the crime rate has gone down (not conspiracists who think the statistics are faked) feel the sheriff has done quite well during the first leg of his service.” Karla von Stetten: “What I glean from this hatchet job of reporting and commentary is that the so-called missteps of the sheriff have reduced the crime in the country. Good job Israel. Have the rest of you Lamberti loving whiners considered that your vehemence bring down the Esprit de corps at BSO, diminishes the respect of the community for the department and actually makes Broward a more dangerous place to live?” Dick Knox: “Let’s face it, the few democrats mentioned never supported Israel to begin with. I’ll bet Israel requested that budget increase to keep veteran officers on the job and maybe get them a tiny raise. You can’t blame him for that.”301 Richard Knox would also comment on two stories by Bob Norman. One dealt with the past record of one of the sheriff’s hires, “Legal problems may stop BSO hiring”, Knox: “Am I the only one that looks at this report and smells something bad? It looks like Sheriff Scott Israel’s office unearthed the legal ‘trouble’ that she forewarned the Sheriff about namely some bounced checks from her college days which she made restitution on. Does that warrant a big investigative news story? Oh wait, there were some unpaid traffic tickets too! Watch out!” The other had to do with the hiring of associates of Roger Stone, “Sheriff Scott Israel makes new hires to ‘connect with community'”. Knox: “Dianne Thorne was briefly involved with a different Tea Party than the one Bob Norman is trying to associate her with. It really seems like Bob Norman is accusing Sheriff Israel of somehow playing dirty pool here but is doing so without any evidence.”302

One might play this game endlessly, and so I stop now, to give thanks303. Thank goodness this country has President Nixon. Thank goodness this country has Sheriff Scott Israel. Thank goodness this country has Genting. Thank goodness this country has Roger Stone, the man who saved our world from nuclear annihilation.

(Since publication, some small errors in spelling have been made. Some pictures of Johnson and Dodge were added for comparison, and the point about the striking similarity between Von Stetten and a page one model was added on February 23rd. The comments Von Stetten made about John Catsimatidis and the detail about Robert Morrow’s Margot Clarke email were added on that date as well. February 23rd, 2014 also saw the addition of the material on William Windorf and the Bimini SuperFast. On February 26th, the material on Charlie Crist and Stone’s contradictary statements on John McCain were added to the opening paragraph. On that same date, the reference to Dodge and Windorf both showing up on the page “Disney Said to Be Dishing Big Bucks in Tallahassee”, about the fight between Disney and Genting, was added. The points about Carl Bernstein and the accompanying footnote were added as well. Jacob Weisberg’s tweet – also added on February 26th. The footnote #256 dealing with Jennifer Fitzgerald, James Parrott, and George H.W. Bush was added on February 28th, as was the footnote dealing with other possible sock puppets like Adele Jeter and Erica Benafucci. Footnote #245 dealing with smears used as a counterattack on “Buzzsaw” was added on March 3rd, and the epigraph from Norman Mailer’s “A Harlot High and Low” was added on the 4th. On March 15th, the section dealing with Stanley Kutler’s Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes was added.)

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

242 Most of these contradictions have already been discussed, and sourced, in previous parts. The use of earmarks is discussed in part six. The strange contradictions are discussed in part six and briefly in part eight. Stone’s use and misuse of third parties, alongside his mourning the lack of a third party is discussed in part eight.

I give a partial transcript of his speech at Quincy, “quincy 912 09 Roger Stone” (part one) and “quincy 912 10 Roger Stone” (part two):

There is no doubt that when the Republicans had the leadership in the White House and in Congress, we did spend more than we should have, both parties, including my own, are complicit in what has happened to America. Because since Ronald Reagan was president, I’m sorry, conservatism in our domestic policy has not been tried, and therefore, has not failed. I think it’s funny that those on the left, the people who so revere the civil rights protests, and anti-Vietnam war protests, of the 1970s and the 1960s. The anti-war movement. When it was them, who were screaming the obscenities…but now, they say, you, all of you, well, most of you…were paid by the insurance companies to be here. Put up your hands, how many got paid to be here today? The HMOs, did they pay you? The insurance companies? Exactly. This is a real grass roots rebellion. As I said earlier, this White House has their head in the sand.

The quote about McCain being a member of an establishment and an actual maverick comes from “Roger Stone on New Media and Old Campaign Tricks” conducted on November 3, 2008. The following is taken from a partial transcript that can be found in part eight, footnote #204. I bold the mention:

GILLESPIE
How brilliant a political strategy was the Palin pick? [the delivery conveys no irony, and there is no subsequent laughter]

STONE
Breathtaking. Because it takes advantage of discord in the democratic party caused essentially by the dumping of Hillary Clinton. They not only don’t nominate her, even though she gets eighteen million votes, they don’t consider her seriously for the ticket, leaving the Republican party a big fat opening. Now, a lot of people thought that all of the women who supported Hillary were ultra-liberals and therefore they couldn’t possibly be attracted by a Palin candidacy. That’s turned out to be false. Many of the women who supported Hillary supported her because they felt it was important to elect a woman president, they thought the role of women was expanding, this would be history making. We’re gonna get thirty percent of the people who voted for Hillary. They’re gonna vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. And that’s very significant. I also like it because it wrenched control of the Republican party away from the party establishment. The republican establishment in Washington does not like John McCain. They don’t like him because they can’t trust him to go along and keep his mouth shut. He really is a maverick, I disagree with Matt Welch in this regard. [a reference to the Matt Welch book: McCain: The Myth of a Maverick] And Sarah Palin didn’t go to Yale. She’s not part of the fraternity here in town. She’s truly an outsider in the sense that McCain is an outsider. So I think that she is out of the Goldwater Reagan Laxalt brand of western frontier conservatism which is not an Ivy league establishment eastern institution brand of republicanism. I think she’s a breath of fresh air.

The quote about McCain being an establishment figure is taken from the interview, “TPMtv: Josh Marshall Enters… THE STONE ZONE”, conducted on December 3, 2008:

JOSH MARSHALL
What about the whole thing suspending the campaign…there was a big rap against McCain towards the end for just being erratic…That was obviously a key word for the Obama campaign…

STONE
The problem here…I never thought there was anything wrong with suspending his campaign…and going to Washington as a device that served to get everybody’s attention. The problem is what he did when he got to Washington, which was, in essence, embrace a bailout that now, in retrospect, doesn’t smell too good. Both its efficiency, its effectiveness, really did what it was supposed to do…in fact, the money’s going to places we told people it was going to. McCain’s classic mistake: he had no rationale for his candidacy, in the post-economic crash period. He was handed one: folks, I went to Washington, I saw the deal on the table. I agree with the House Republicans, it stinks. It’s not a main street deal, it’s a Wall Street deal. It’s bailing out the same thieves that got us into this mess. I’m against it. Evidently, Senator Obama and his party are for it. That’s the difference between us and them. Let him struggle. Now he has a rationale to run on this campaign and close on it. Instead, McCain, who’s an establishment figure, goes to Washington, signs on the Goldman bill, of, by, and for Goldman Sachs…we bail out AIG because Goldman has a position there…but we don’t bail out Lehman Brothers because they’re not in the Goldman quagmire…I mean, it’s an amazing piece of legerdemain to come to the legislature…McCain shouldn’t have endorsed it, he’d have had a populist issue to close on, and he might have won the race.

The quote about Crist being a chameleon who believes nothing is taken from “Roger Stone: A gallus-snapping campaign for governor?” by Jacob Engels:

Why consider running for Governor? And why now?

Like most Floridians, I am dissatisfied with our choices. As someone who believes in limited government and fiscal responsibly, I have become disappointed in Governor Scott as of late. He founded his political career opposing government-mandated healthcare and he is now embracing it.

He seems to be abandoning what got him elected. Throwing money at teachers won’t fix our broken education system yet that is what he seems to be proposing. Former Governor Charlie Crist is even more dangerous. He seems to change positions like the wind. I’m not sure what he stands for, other than the election of Charlie Crist.

Scott is a good man who seems to have lost his way. Crist is a dangerous chameleon that believes in nothing. We’ll see.

243 The following is a transcript of “Roger Stone Brings Up the Infamous ‘Whitey’ Tape!” (youtube). The bolded sections are where Stone gives it mention:

GERALDO RIVERA
Roger, I want to start with you. You have some news, or at least your own incendiary prediction on Michelle Obama’s allged vulnerabilities. What do you know, or at least, what do you think you know?

STONE
Well, there’s a buzz which I believe now to be credible, some indelible record exists of public remarks that Michelle Obama allegedly made, which are outrageous at worst – at best – but could be termed racist, including some reference to white people as “whiteys”. Allegedly. And there’s been a race here, Geraldo-

RIVERA
Now, wait a sec- wait a sec- Roger, you can’t just say that when there’s no proof for it-

STONE
No no, let me finish. There’s been a race here between Clinton research people who are seeking this tape, and the republican opposition researchers and the Republican National Committee. I now believe a network has this tape, I believe that reliably, something like that could roil the race, which explains why, to me, Hillary Clinton is staying in this race. What other reason is there to stay in this race, other than hoping that there is a bomb, at high level, Clinton operatives say there is a bomb of this nature. I have heard that from credible-

RIVERA
Hold it there…okay. We hear that you heard it. Let me go to Michael Brown for his response, and let me also point out that Roger Stone was the person who said that he heard that New York governor Eliot Spitzer was using the services of prostitutes, and at least in that incendiary allegation, there was some facts behind it, and ultimately it was proven true. But Michael Brown why don’t you respond to what you just heard from Roger Stone?

BROWN
Well, I’m not gonna question whether he believes what he’s saying is true. But I will say that the Republicans are up to their usual stuff, when they cannot beat Democrats on issues, they always go personal negative. That’s what this is all about. We’re gonna see this for the next six months from the Republican party, this is what they do. I don’t know why we should be shocked by all of this. I think they’re starting a little early, they’re probably off their timeline a little bit…I’m not surprised by this, it has nothing to do with anything except flat-out politics, and it’s ugly, and these are the kinda things that don’t help the American people come to the polls to vote. They don’t keep people inspired and I’m sure the Obamas will obviously prevail on issues like this and stay focused on issues, assuming he’s the nominee.

STONE
This really has very little to do with the general election, this has a lot to do with why Hillary Clinton is staying in this race. Look, there’s already a buzz in Washington. At least seven news organizations have contacted me, wanting to know, how to get their hands on this tape, giving me more information than I had after I spoke to each one of them. I now believe the tape exists, I believe a network has it. If this pans out to be true, based on Michelle Obama’s previous comment, that this was the first that she had been proud of her country…which I think shows, an attitude that is problematic.

RIVERA
And I’ll give you a hundred bucks if it’s true. I’ll give you a hundred bucks if it’s true. I don’t believe it’s true. Michael Brown, you respond.

BROWN
Well, his premise is that this is why Hillary Clinton is staying in, hoping that this bombshell derails Senator Obama’s nomination effort. That’s not why Senator Clinton is staying in the race. She’s staying in the race, hoping that now she has the popular vote lead, the superdelegates will say, maybe Senator Clinton is the best person to take on John McCain. That’s why she’s staying in the race. She wants to make the argument to superdelegates. And to obviously put out this notion that there’s some race between the Clinton campaign and the news media organization is nonsense. This is a republican tactic-

STONE
And the republicans.

BROWN
And the republicans. Roger, you and I both know that this is a republican tactic, this is what they do. And this is what we’re going to continue to see for the next six months, because they have no answer about the war, they have no answer about gas prices, they have no answers about health care, so they do smear. That’s what they do.

RIVERA
Michael Brown, thank you. Roger Stone, thank you, we’ll see.

244 A still from the first along with transcript:

Hey, Scott. You never told me you were a policeman. And as for Susan, twenty years of marriage, I thought it was only fifteen. Yeah. So, I guess you didn’t include that in our…six month little relationship we’ve been having. But of course, that’s between you and me. Let’s hope no one, including your triplets, see this video. Have a nice night.

A still from “Take 2″ along with transcript:

Hi, Scott. So, you already know I had to have an abortion because you have a wife and three kids. Really, Scott? Twenty years? A wife of twenty years? Susan, or whatever her name is. Triplets? I mean- Is this for real? Like, you know I was only seventeen when this had to happen, honestly I just can’t believe this.

245 I believe there is evidence of Richard Nixon emplying a similar tactic at some point during his career, it is just a question of finding it. However, Stone is certainly familiar with this approach, as might be seen in a fragment from the episode of “Buzzsaw: LBJ and the Killing of JFK with Roger Stone (Nov 24, 2013)”. I make no attempts to argue the many claims made in – that Robert Kennedy’s catholicism and Barack Obama’s race were advantages in their elections – only quote this to make clear that Stone is familiar with this method of attack, and that he considers it an effective form of attack. Excerpt runs from 34:33 to 35:56, I bold the relevant portion:

ROGER STONE
The military industrial complex is not ideological. They’re about money and power. They’re neither right nor left. They will invent a candidate on the right and left if they need one. So, people were upset about George W. Bush; so, they created Barack Obama. Who’s fully unqualified to be president of the United States. Who served in the state Senate, and the U.S. Senate, and has written two biographies, but no major legislation of any kind. So, the military industrial complex, the American media establishment, they can go either right or left depending on what’s required at the time.

TYREL VENTURA
And it makes sense, coming out of the Bush presidency, with Cheney and all of that, we’re feeling very constricted, we’re feeling very down, we need a new champion of the people.

STONE
Plus they take advantage of the democratic [sic - most likely "demographic" is meant here] change. We have more and more minority voters. So, maybe it was time for the first minority president. Being black was not a detriment to his candidacy, it was an asset to his candidacy. Just like Kennedy’s being catholic was a benefit, not a drawback. In fact, Bobby Kennedy had millions of pieces of violently anti-catholic literature attacking John Kennedy printed, he put Hubert Humphrey’s name on it, and he mailed it to the voters in West Virginia. All the catholic households, only.

246 The incongruous use of this font was brought up in many places, including the comments for “‘Have You Had Sex with Rick Perry?’ Asks Ad” by Maureen O’Connor, such as devinhoward’s “Interesting font choice. Is CASH going to use the information to exploit weaknesses in a large battle station? A small exhaust port maybe?” (link)

247 Quotes and excerpts of this Alex Jones program taken from the following partial transcript:

JONES
We are joined by Robert Morrow, the man of the hour, to tell us about himself and why he’s running this ad, and what evidence he has that indeed Rick Perry is gallavanting around, being a hypocrite, telling us he has all these christian values…I should add that it’s also coming out in newspapers across the country that Rick Perry is an investor in a chain of porno movie outlets. That’s all over mainstream news. And the religious right is running an attack ad against him for that. And, I did confirm in the Texas ethics commission, filings that Rick Perry reportedly did go in Florida to a male drag queen…uh…strip club to see some type of event…and there’s reports on that going back two years. So we’re gonna talk about it all. Where there’s smoke, is there fire? I mean, I’ve heard these rumors for many, many years. Robert Morrow, tell us a little bit about yourself, and then why you’re doing this.

MORROW
Well, Alex, I’m a local political activist here in Texas. I’m a three time delegate to the Texas state Republican convention, 2006, 2008, 2010. I have voted for Rick Perry in the past, 1998, 2002, 2006. What it boils down to is this: is that Rick Perry is a man who campaigns on christian values. He uses bible buzzwords for political gain, he appears on-stage in Houston with all these preachers, yet he’s living a double life. The reason I know that, Alex, is because Rick Perry, his enabling entourage and I, like the same women.

JONES
Well, that’s quite a charge. Again, I’m gonna be honest with you, Robert. You wouldn’t even be here right now if a lot of people I know vouched for you, and said you were a stand-up guy, they’ve known you for many many years. Some of them a decade, I’ve known for a decade. And, I’m not saying, oh, you’re lucky to be here. I’m saying, I wouldn’t have you here, if a lot of people I know and trust, said you were a stand-up guy. That means two things are happening. Either all these people who are telling you this information are lying to you; or they’re telling the truth. And either way, this is dangerous. So, let’s get into the allegations.

MORROW
Okay, the reason they’re credible is because there are multiple allegations. I met a stripper a couple years ago, she said “I was working on-stage in a club, and a man comes up to me, and he says, ‘Here’s five hundred dollars. That’s just for starters if you come with me.'” Because that’s what a dancer might make in a whole night, with table dances and tips like that. She said, “Sure, I’ll do it,” and she got into her regular clothes, and she was delivered to…Rick Perry. And when she got to Rick Perry, she told me a couple years ago, before the 2010 gubernatorial race, she said that she and Rick Perry started fooling around, and she was trying to give him a “Monica Lewinsky”, I think it was oral sex, and her words to me were, “I think he was too coked up, to get it up.” K? After they’d been playing around for a while, and it was time for her to go, Rick Perry paid her an outrageous sum of money well into the four digits. Rick Perry’s not a rich man; he’s only worth a million or two dollars. It’s not a lot of money compared to who he runs around with. It makes me think that Rick Perry is taking bribes and illegal gifts from his entourage to fund his extra-curricular activities. And that was just one lady.

JONES
Well, that’s one source. Before you went public with all of this, and contacted me a month ago, you say you were contacted by high-end escorts as well.

MORROW
I know other women in town, strippers, young hotties, some escorts, and this is what blew me away: I heard from another lady, who’s had direct dealings with Rick Perry’s entourage. And she told me, this man told her, when Rick Perry goes on the road, he gets the quote “young hotties”. Hence, I use the phrase “young hotties” in my ad. And he told her, he says that they take these young women and they go back to Rick Perry’s hotel room, and they’re literally having orgies and group sex in the hotel room. Perhaps, maybe, Rick Perry is having sex with a woman on a sofa and his friend is having sex with another young hottie on a bed. So, that was two. Now, the second person who told me this, is very credible, she’s educated, she knows her way around the world politically here in Austin, she’s not some sortof seventeen year old runaway on drugs or something. She’s somebody who runs with the elite of Austin, Texas. So that was the second source on that. So, after I heard that, I said, “It is confirmed.” Rick Perry is obviously being flagrantly adulterous, his entourage is procuring strippers for him, renting the hotel rooms, calling the escort services, then recently, this week, yet another young lady who’s friends with yet another popular, long-time escort, said that, yeah, you know, this lady, her friend, had a tryst with Rick Perry in one of the nicer hotels in Austin, Texas. So, that’s three right there. And I’ve been unable to get these people to go public for obvious reasons, you know, trying to get a stripper, or an escort, or a gay, closeted gay man, to go public is very difficult for obvious reasons, hence my ad. So I took out this ad, “Have you ever had sex with Rick Perry?” as a plea, to the greater community, to quit covering for Rick Perry, this you know, christian buzzword spouting hypocrite, who’s leading a double life.

JONES
Well, I’ve gotta say, Robert, that…we’ve seen what’s happened with a New York governor who passed a law to take the property away from men who hire prostitutes, throw them under the jail, while he was visiting high end prostitutes. We’ve seen all these Republican leaders caught in bathrooms, and going after their pages. We know about Bohemian Grove. And so, doing my research, I know that to get into the upper echelons of the Republican party, especially, they don’t feel comfortable around you, unless you’ve done some things they can use against you. And the main way to enter the upper echelons of the Republican party is homosexual sex. That’s what goes on in Skull and Bones, in Gayle [this is exactly how I hear Jones say it, and I think his implication is clear], that’s what goes on at the same time in Bohemian Grove. So I know that stuff goes on. Again, I mainly stick with the issues that I can prove. And we’ve all heard these rumors living in Austin. And there’s been newscasts about the rumors of Rick Perry…I would completely, still, ignore all of this if he wasn’t out there saying, I’m a christian conservative leader, you need to get behind me. And then knowing, he’s actually the opposite in his real policies. And even in the last election cycle for governor, conservative groups did actually discover his bankrolling of porno parlors across Texas. And that’s now a big issue again. And then, when I first saw this, I didn’t believe it, I went and found it on the state ethics commission website, it is true, that when he was in Florida, in a famously alternative life-style area, I want you to talk about that, he visited the La Te Da, men in drag, cabaret. And he later said, “Well, no, my wife visited that.” Yeah, right. So, it just continues to crop up. And so because it was christian conservatives that have gone after him in the last few campaigns over some of these reports, he’s now trying to become that. And I saw Ron Paul supporters really getting after him in events in the last few years, so now he’s trying to become Ron Paul. He is a political chameleon. And so, the question comes down to: is this some elaborate hoax, where people are lying to you? Are you lying? Which people who know you say you’re not. Or, is this a dirty trick? Of disinformation. Or is it true? But, what do you say about the porno parlor bankrolling and the transvestite visiting?

MORROW
Okay. Well, Alex, as you know, living here in Austin, Texas, the rumors of Rick Perry’s homosexuality and gay affairs have been voluminous, intense, and will just not go away.

JONES
Oh, you type Rick Perry into Google for years, and “gay” comes up.

MORROW
And, there’s-

JONES
The first thing.

MORROW
There’s so much smoke…that it has to be fire. And I want to tell you something, Alex. I never believed the gay rumors on Rick Perry for years and years and years, and then I certainly didn’t believe them when I found out all about these stirppers and escorts, he and his entourage are cavorting with. That has changed. I’ve come into credible information that Rick Perry is a rampant bisexual adulterer, not just strippers and young hotties, but gay men as well. This monday, before I even ran this ad, an incensed homosexual man contacted me, and he says, “You know what? After seeing Rick Perry on that stage in Houston, with all those extremist preachers, all that hardcore anti-gay rhetoric, I just can’t take it any more.” He said that an ex of his ex, had sex with Rick Perry. A gay fling many years before he became governor, and that he wants to take this guy public, and he and his friend are going to approach this man, who had sex with Rick Perry according to them, and get him to go public. And I said, well, what I did was I gave them to a reporter who’s working the gay angle on Rick Perry, and he’s having some progress, by the way, and so maybe, eventually, in a few months, these reporters work these stories, nail down these sources, we will move beyond the hearsay stage on Rick Perry as a rampant bisexual adulterer, to the credibility stage of people coming forward. So, the whole point of me running that ad is folks, there is so much stuff out there, you know, if you know, if you’ve been involved with him, sexually at all, or you know people who have, please come forward. And let’s go on the record, and get it above board, because people need to know.

JONES
Well, these rumors have been rampant around here in Austin since high school, but…they could just be that, political…retribution against Perry by his enemies, then the rumor gets picked up, and gets parroted by people that are seeking private attention, “Oh, I know Rick Perry,” that could be a possibility, where it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, that this rumor got started, and now different groups are lying to you.

MORROW
Well, Alex, on the womanizing, I’m not just 99% sure that Rick Perry’s running around with strippers and hookers, I’M ONE HUNDRED PERCENT SURE ON THAT.

JONES
Well, you told me that you liked…these women…and that you go to some of these and separately, without them knowing you’re politically active, they were volunteering this?

MORROW
What makes their story so credible is, that these ladies, who are about the age of Rick Perry’s twenty-four year old daughter, Sidney, they’re in their mid-twenties, they told me these things in confidence, and not in the context of a presidential campaign or a gubenatorial campaign. It was just chitchat. They had no idea I was a political activist, they had no idea I hated Rick Perry’s guts for other reasons, because of political reasons and so forth.

MORROW
I’ll tell you this. Rick Perry, Alex, is sitting on a keg of…slut fueled nitroglycerine that if it ever exploded would make Anthony Weiner look like a mere pimple popping.

248 Robert Morrow’s email is mentioned in “Naked City: News briefs from Austin, the region, and elsewhere.” edited by Lee Nichols and Cheryl Smith:

With the Place 3 run-off election only hours away – election day is Saturday, June 11 – charges and countercharges were flying from the Jennifer Kim and Margot Clarke campaigns. On the Kim side, the attacks were mostly surrogate: The Austin Apartment Association, which has endorsed Kim, distributed Texas Monthly publisher Mike Levy’s scurrilous attack letter (see “Frontrunner Dues and Blues,” June 3), and Robert Morrow, a local GOP precinct chair, sent out a flaming e-mail diatribe, heavy on the gay-bashing, that makes Levy’s letter look mild by comparison. (Sample Morrow rhetoric: “Clarke’s supporters are … environmental radicals, socialists, and ‘in-your-face’ homosexuals who demand that the rest of society worship salamanders and support ‘gay’ marriage.”) Meanwhile, the Clarke campaign reviewed Kim’s campaign finance filings, and with the Toll Party’s Sal Costello issued a press release charging that Kim has reneged on a pledge to reject contributions from the “toll lobby.” (Kim’s latest filing is indeed heavy with developers, RECA members, and related business sources.) The Clarke campaign has actually been distributing Morrow’s hysterical letter to their own supporters, with the comment, “Don’t let them win!” – M.K. (Michael King)

That this is the same Morrow as the one who would publish the RIck Perry ad is confirmed in “Point Austin: Have You Been Screwed by Rick Perry?” by Michael King:

I’m sure most of you have been checking your old date books to determine whether you’ve ever had sex with Rick Perry. Of course, you might not remember, since Perry’s talents as a paramour likely mirror his narcissistic approach to public policy.

That sort of foolishness is brought to you courtesy of Robert Morrow, the Austinite who garnered national coverage last week with his full-page Chronicle ad requesting leads on the new presidential candidate’s sex life. For the record, Morrow placed his ad (and alerted other publications) on his own; this news desk read it when our readers did. Morrow’s a hard-right GOP activist (of the Ron Paul variety), and his obsessively sexual conspiracy theories are old hat around here. He first came to Austin’s attention with a viciously gay-bashing attack on former state rep Glen Maxey, a strong supporter of former City Coun­cil candidate Margot Clarke in the 2005 election.

The quote from “Outcast Austin” is taken from the very partial transcript in the footnote below.

249 Quotes from “OutCast Austin – Volume 173 – 08/23/2011″ are taken from a transcript made only of its opening and ending:

RICE
So, what inspired you to put this ad in The Chronicle?

MORROW
Well, Steven. Rick Perry, his entourage and I, like the same women. How can I be more clear than that?

RICE
That. Uh. Okay. Sorry. Those are nice wholesome girls, is that what you mean?

RICE
So, what’s the next step for you from here?

MORROW
Uh, there is no next step. If people know things, related to Rick Perry, the way he lives his double life in the gutter, which I’m-, see what you have to understand is, I’m not 99% sure that Rick Perry runs around with strippers, young hotties, and escorts – I’m one hundred percent sure.

RICE
Wow. All right. Well, do you want to give out your email address to everyone one more time?

MORROW
My email address is- You can also google an article I wrote on Rick Perry. It’s called “Tea Party Fraud Rick Perry is Political Herpes”.

RICE
(laughs) So, you’re a very subtle man, I see, Robert.

MORROW
Straight to the point, my friend.

250 Excerpts and quotes are made from the program’s full transcript:

GILL
Robert Morrow is on our newsmakers line today. Robert, welcome to the show.

MORROW
Great to be here Steve.

GILL
Now, tell us a little bit about your background, because obviously you’ve got a bone to pick with Rick Perry. Do you know Rick Perry?

MORROW
No…I’ve met him a couple of times. I’ve been involved in local Texas politics, you’re correct, I’ve been a delegate to the Texas state Republican convention, 2006, 2008, 2010.

GILL
And…have you run for office, run campaigns for others for office?

MORROW
No, I’m just a grass roots volunteer for Ron Paul. Actually, I started volunteering for Ron Paul four years ago in 2008. And, by the way, I have voted for Rick Perry in the past, in 1998, 2002, and 2006. But I’ll never do it again.

GILL
Now, when did you discover that he had this propensity for hotties? Was it before 2006?

MORROW
Well, it’s…no. It was not, actually it’s because I have a propensity for hotties. And it just turns out that Rick Perry, his entourage, and I, like the same women.

GILL
Now, your facebook says you like guys too, there have been a lot of stories that you also swing the other way as well. I mean, is that, like-

MORROW
Well, on facebook it says who do you want to be friends with, and I want to be friends on facebook with both men and women. So- I’m just interested in women in-

GILL
You do not have sexual relationships with men? So, the claims that you’re gay are not true?

MORROW
It’s ridiculous. I will say this-

GILL
But you’re also saying that Rick Perry’s gay too. You’re saying Rick Perry not only likes young women, you’re also throwing out the implication that he’s also gay.

MORROW
Absolutely. I want to tell you that that second one right there. About the womanizing, I am 100% sure on that, because like I said I know strippers, young hotties, people who’ve been with Rick Perry and his entourage. I never believed the gay rumors about Rick Perry that have been going around for about eight years now. Especially when I learned about the womanizing, I did not believe them. However, that has changed, because I’ve been in contact with some very angry homosexuals who’ve called me about Rick Perry.

GILL
And it’s easy for someone to say I had sex with somebody. I mean, a gay guy could call me today and say, “You know, I had sex with Robert Morrow,” and I could take out a full page ad and that would have the same credibility in terms of fact based that you’re relying on.

MORROW
Well, but- that’s true. On Monday-

GILL
So, should we traffic in these kind of unsubstantiated rumors in the political arena? Is that the Ron Paul way?

MORROW
I have nothing to do with Ron Paul’s campaign.

GILL
Wait- wait- you just said you’ve campaigned and you’ve been a Ron Paul supporter.

MORROW
I think, you know, Ron Paul is not putting me up to this, because Ron Paul doesn’t run around with the young hotties that me and Rick Perry , and his entourage do.

GILL
We don’t know. Somebody could call me today and say “I had sex with Ron Paul,” and we could put it out there as the fact, and it would be just as based as what you’re doing. I mean, anybody can say anything.

MORROW
Listen carefully to me, okay? I met a stripper about two years ago. And, before the 2010 governor’s race, and she told me, that she was in the club one night. And a guy comes up to her and says, “Here’s five hundred dollars. Just come with me.” And of course, five hundred dollars is about what a dancer would make all night-

GILL
Keep in mind, you weren’t there, all you’re saying is that what a stripper, because man, I know, strippers, and hookers on drugs, if I’m gonna go for somebody that’s absolutely is credible, that is absolutely believable, no question about it, are you operating on is what a stripper told you, right?

MORROW
Steve, hold on for a second.

GILL
Well, isn’t that the case.

MORROW
Go ahead. Hold on for a second. She was very credible, and she told me these things-

GILL
She’s a very credible stripper.

MORROW
Hold on, hold on. She told me these things in confidence, not in the context of a presidential campaign or a gubernatorial campaign. So she says she was taken to Rick Perry, because Rick Perry does not go into strip clubs himself, he has an entourage go grab the girls, and so she was taken to him, and then they started-

GILL
Based on what she says. Based on what she says.

MORROW
I-i-i-it’s true.

GILL
It’s true because she said it.

MORROW
I don’t have a blue dress with Rick Perry’s semen on it. I have reports from credible women in Austin, Texas-

GILL
Who are strippers and prostitutes and hookers.

MORROW
Strippers and hoo- Escorts and people- And friends who have-

GILL
Who get paid money to do whatever somebody wants them to do. Do you think there might at least be the shred, Robert, that somebody might be paying her to tell stories?

MORROW
Yes-

GILL
Because she’ll take money to do other things.

MORROW
Well Steve, you have to understand that- There’s a couple things. I learned about these things several years ago, not in the context of a presidential or gubenatorial race. They had no idea I was a political activist, who happens to hate Rick Perry’s guts, which I do for many reasons, but politically, and from what I know about his personal life. And so the reason-

GILL
But all you know about his, again, all you know about his personal life is what these hookers, strippers, and prostitutes have told you.

MORROW
That’s the women he runs with. And by the way-

GILL
Wait. That have said he runs with them. I mean, you don’t know if he actually spends time with them. You know they say that.

MORROW
Well, you don’t know because you’re not in the room yourself-

GILL
So, it’s not- It’s secondhand information.

MORROW
Well, actually, this lady was firsthand.

GILL
And if she was calling and saying “My name is Jonelle, I’ve got pictures, here’s my story,” that would be different than her telling somebody else, maybe get a bigger tip from you-

MORROW
It wasn’t in the context of any presidential or gubernatorial race. That’s why it’s so- Be patient with me, Steve. I’m gonna walk you through this.

GILL
But my point is still, all of this is not what you know, it’s what somebody that we don’t know, we have no way to judge her credibility-

MORROW
You know, it’s true, unless you’re there yourself, you don’t know to the one hundredth percent level-

GILL
You don’t know on any percent, other than, they are telling you a story that you can’t verify at all. Let me move to the other- Who’s funding this? Who’s funding these ads?

MORROW
I pay for it myself.

GILL
What do you do for a living?

MORROW
I’m a self-employed investor.

GILL
Self-employed investor. And apparently, you’ve done real well for yourself, if you can take out full page ads.

MORROW
Yeah.

GILL
What’s the source of your investments?

MORROW
It’s a local paper, you know, it was a pretty piece of coin, but it’s not nearly the money Rick Perry and his entourage- Here’s what goes on: Rick Perry does not get the girls himself. He has an enabling entourage, who gets the girls, in ritzy hotel rooms, very nice ones here in Austin, and they’re the ones who call the escort services, just like Tiger Woods entourage would be getting girls for him.

GILL
But you actually had the girls coming forth and saying this. That’s what your ad is trying to do, is get some girls to come forth and say, okay, I had sex with Rick Perry.

MORROW
Here’s where we’re at, Steve. I’ve been unable to get these women to go public, to go on the record, in front of a reporter-

GILL
Maybe because it’s not true.

MORROW
It is true.

GILL
Okay. Because you’re gonna believe your hooker friends.

MORROW
-an escort, or a gay person. It’s very hard to get those people to go forward and tell the truth. You know, your aunt might not know that you’re a stripper, your family might now know you’re a closeted gay guy. So, the reason, the point of the ad is this. Asking people to quit covering for Rick Perry. And come forward, and tell the truth about the way this man really lives his life.

GILL
Will you run a similar ad asking people to come forth and tell the truth about Ron Paul and his propensity for pork barrel spending? I mean, he votes against the pork barrel spending, but gets it for his district. Does that hypocrisy bother you?

MORROW
Ron Paul does not vote for pork barrel spending, what he does-

GILL
He just accepts it.

MORROW
Hold on. When anybody wants to come into his office, he will sign a piece of paper saying, yes, he’s for the earmark, but then he votes the reconciliation bill on the very last vote, and that’s the vote that counts.

GILL
He just doesn’t want his fingerprints on it, he wants the other guys in congress to pass it, as part of the big package, so his district gets it, his supporters get the money, he just doesn’t want to vote for it himself. That seems hypocritical.

MORROW
I don’t think Ron Paul should be signing thess earmarks-

GILL
Will you run a full page ad pointing out that he’s a hypocrite? Because that’s what you’ve done with Rick Perry.

MORROW
Well, uh, I agree, I happen to agree with you on this, Steve.

GILL
Well, will you run an ad? Will you put your money where your mouth is?

MORROW
Well, you know, there are a thousand other things that I think are more important than that. I mean, he votes against the trillion dollar wars, he protects your civil-

GILL
So, it’s okay he’s a hypocrite, as long as he votes the way you like, most of the time. Is this ad a once a week newspaper, or is it a daily newspaper, I don’t know anything about this.

MORROW
It’s a local weekly newspaper. The Austin Chronicle.

GILL
How much is this thing costing you?

MORROW
No comment. I pay for it with my own money, though.

GILL
Did they give it to you for free?

MORROW
Noooooo. No.

GILL
So…why won’t you tell us what you’re paying for it?

MORROW
I just keep that private. That’s the only thing I’m not releasing.

GILL
I mean, their ad rates are public, aren’t they?

MORROW
Yeah, I pay normal ad rates. You can call them and find out how much I pay.

GILL
Now you said you were an investor, I’m a little bit intrigued by that. What kind of investments do you make on behalf of people?

MORROW
Oh. I’m a self-employed investor. I don’t manage other people’s money. I never said that I did, so don’t, don’t make that assumption.

GILL
That’s what I’m trying to figure out. You say you just take your money and you just invest it.

MORROW
That is correct, absolutely.

GILL
Now there’s a Robert Morrow, because you’re also real big into the whole CIA killed JFK business-

MORROW
I think Lyndon Johnson and his Texas oilmen used their CIA military connections to kill John Kennedy. That is my personal opinion. Many people think that.

GILL
There’s another guy named Robert Morrow who claimed he worked for the CIA and did this, is he any relation to you?

MORROW
No, that’s a different one. He died around 1998 or 99. He really did work for the CIA, but it’s not me.

GILL
Okay, I just saw the meaning of the name was the same, and the conspiracy theory’s kinda the same as well- Talk a little bit more about this business, your bone to pick with Rick Perry. We got the young hotties, that bothers you, you think he’s gay, that bothers you, you think he’s a hypocrite because the HPV-L virus injections that he went along with-

MORROW
He went along because his former chief of staff Mike Toomey is a lobbyist for Merck, the maker of Gardicil, and gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s why- If you wave a dollar bill in front of Rick Perry’s nose he’ll do anything. Kinda like the girls he hangs out with.

GILL
And the girls you hang out with. Because these are the girls you hang out with as well.

MORROW
Fair enough.

GILL
If it is low moral character for Rick Perry to do this, why is it not low moral character for you to hang out with hookers, escorts, strippers, and gay men?

MORROW
Well…number one, I’m not married. Number two, I don’t base my campaigns on christian terminology and bible talk like he does. Number three, I don’t appear on a stage in Houston, Texas, with extremist preachers spouting anti-gay rhetoric while living a double life.

GILL
And again, all your knowledge of Rick Perry, I just want to make sure that I’m understanding, is not based on anything you are personally aware of, it is all based on what somebody has told you. So, it’s all basically second-hand information.

MORROW
Well, yeah, I’m not in a hotel room while Rick Perry and his entourage after they carded an escort service or having their fun and games, I’m not personally there. I don’t socialize with the man.

GILL
But again we don’t- And that’s okay, you’re just, again, basing it on what people who’ve told you, that you’re putting your trust in, and which are the hookers, the escorts, and the-

MORROW
That’s the- let’s take a moment and walk through the credibility of the people I’m talking about. The first one was a stripper, who told me she tried to have sex with Rick Perry, and her quote to me was: “I think he was too coked up to get it up.” That’s what she said to me. And when it came time for her to leave, Rick Perry gave her an outrageous amount of money, well into the four digits, so much so it makes me think he’s taking either bribes or illegal gifts from his entourage to fund his extracurricular activities.

GILL
Again, based on what this hooker said-

MORROW
YES! OF COURSE, GILL! YOU ARE CORRECT!

GILL
Now, does she- let’s see, if she’s a hooker, she’s also- last time I checked, I don’t think prostitution is legal in the state of Texas. So, we now know she’s a criminal, and therefore-

MORROW
Not only that, Rick Perry signed a law that stiffened the laws that send you to state prison-

GILL
No pun intended.

MORROW
-if you commit a felony under Rick Perry. Even more than-

GILL
So you’ve got a woman who’s breaking the law, but you’re gonna put your trust that she’s telling you the truth- do you know if she’s used drugs?

MORROW
Uh, I don’t know, I will tell you this, that you know Steve, who’re you going to trust, a stripper, a hooker, or a politician?

GILL
Now, granted, I will give you that one, Robert. When it comes to credibility issues, if I have the stripper here telling me and Rick Perry sitting next to her telling me his side of the story, I’m not sure who I’m gonna believe in terms of which one’s actually screwing people for money. But. I’ll give you that one.

MORROW
John Edwards-

GILL
But we don’t have her saying this. And again, unless your ad produces people, we don’t have people who we can judge their credibility of, okay, you’re a drugged up prostitute breaking the law, and we’re gonna believe what you say. Granted, if you’re gonna break the law, you’re gonna be breaking the law with other lawbreakers, and they’re gonna be the ones who can be witnesses-

MORROW
EXACTLY, of course, hey remember-

GILL
But we don’t have her coming forth. We have her telling you.

MORROW
Do you remember the Bobby Ann Williams story, with Bill Clinton? Twenty years ago?

GILL
Yes. Yes.

MORROW
She was telling the truth. By the way, I’m the nation’s #1 anti-Hillary activist. If you google Robert Morrow Hillary Clinton, you’ll see a lot of my work.

GILL
And I like the fact that on your ad you completely exclude folks who wear Hillary Clinton pantsuits and boots, I think, was the phrasing of it, which I appreciate.

MORROW
The ad was not targeted to Anita Perry, because she, like Hillary, knows exactly what Rick Perry is doing, so she’s wearing her Hillary Clinton boots. But anyhow, back to the point: in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president, by that time, he’d had hundreds of women, right? Would you agree on that?

GILL
Yeah. But we’ve had women come forward.

MORROW
Yeah. At that time, only three women came forward: Gennifer Flowers, Sally Purdue, and Bobby Ann Williams. And all three of those were subjected to the Clinton terror campaign, Hillary’s private detectives, Jack Paladino, Anthony Pellicano…so it’s really hard to get folks to go forward when, you know-

GILL
But you’re saying this thing’s been going on for twenty years, when he was merely a state representative, when he was merely an agriculture commissioner for Texas, he’s governor…I mean, again, this woman who’s telling you all this stuff, it’s not like Rick Perry’s somebody no one’s ever heard of, she’s telling gossip about a guy who’s governor. I mean, people gossip and lies about people all the time.

MORROW
And…so was Gennifer Flowers, Sally Purdue, and Bobbi Ann Williams, my friend, okay?

GILL
But just because other people came forward and could prove their story by access, by I was with the governor, I mean you’ve got plenty of people who have proof in those cases, that’s the biggest thing I see that’s missing in this one, but hey if your ad produces results, we’ll see what happens. Robert Morrow, thanks for being with us.

251 The information Steve Gill mentions is taken from Robert Morrow’s about section on his Facebook page, of which the following is a screenshot:

robert morrow about page cropped

252 From “Some people just love to hate the Clintons” by Adam C. Smith:

“I’ve got other aspects of my life when I’m not, you know, stopping Clinton pond scum,” insists Morrow, who has no steady job but enjoys a family inheritance. “Um, I like to work out at the gym. I like to go hiking. I like to ride my bicycle.”

253 The blurb can be found on the Amazon page for The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, and the following are screenshots of the editorial endorsements, with Morrow’s the last in the second screenshot:

man who killed kennedy amazon reviews cropped pa man who killed kennedy amazon reviews cropped pa

254 From “Did LBJ Kill Kennedy? (And Why It Matters): Q/A with Roger Stone”:

NICK GILLESPIE
And this is published by Skyhorse books, which publishes a wide range of things, some are in the conspiracy frame, Jesse Ventura is one of their authors, they do other kinds of various things. You’re going to be doing more books with them. Talk a little bit about your future.

STONE
Yeah, I’ve got a couple different books in mind. I’d like to do a book on Hillary Clinton. I don’t believe Chelsea Clinton- I believe Chelsea Clinton is the daughter of Webb Hubbell, and Hillary Clinton, and I’m gonna try and prove that in print.

255 I make the identification of Mary Krenek from the Facebook page of Robert Morrow, when the picture was his av. Dave Nalle I have no idea what that photo means Robert Morrow just liberty activist Mary Krenek kissing Roger Stone at his book signing at BNBooks.

Of incidental interest is the following exchange: James Thompson Sr. This is got to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen your [sic] a real fool, from a viet nam vet Robert Morrow James Thompson – Vietnam Vet – go fuck yourself. You were the fool for murdering all those people in Vietnam. Go to hell. James Thompson Sr. Sounds like your [sic] already in hell , you damned fool

robert morrow facebook comments

256 From The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ by Roger Stone and Michael Colapietro:

From the beginning of his presidency, Nixon sought the CIA records that would prove the connection of the Bay of Pig veterans to the Kennedy assassination. Although White House Chief of Staff H. R. “Bob” Haldeman said that Nixon had turned him down when he suggested reopening and gathering the facts surrounding the JFK assassination, Nixon’s White House domestic policy advisor John Ehrlichman said that Nixon had requested all of the CIA records on the Kennedy assassination and had been rebuffed by the agency. It is logical that Nixon, a lawyer, would ask Ehrlichman, a fellow lawyer, to obtain the records rather than Haldeman, who was not.

Nixon’s effort to obtain the JFK assassination records was an attempt to seize leverage over the rogue agency. This was to be Nixon’s “insurance policy” against the CIA. If threatened, Nixon would expose the agency’s involvement in Kennedy’s death, which took place at the time that he, Nixon, was in political exile without formal governmental influence of any kind.

This is why I believe Watergate was a CIA operation that capitalized on the stupidity and amateurishness of G. Gordon Liddy, CREEP Campaign Director Jeb Magruder, and John Dean, the three Nixon aides who advanced the plans for the Watergate break-in, which leaked to the CIA.

257 The suggestion made in The Man Who Killed Kennedy is that Bush was somehow complicit in the killing as well, and the fact that he was a former head of the CIA is played up in this regard. I will not deal with this allegation, except to one detail. We are given the sinister point that Bush passed on to the FBI that a James Milton Parrott had made threats against the president. The theory put forth is that Bush was trying to set Parrott up as a kind of patsy in the killing:

Before leaving for Dallas, Bush called the Houston FBI field office at 1:45 p.m. and promptly identified himself and his location in Tyler, Texas. “Bush stated that he wanted [the call] to be kept confidential but wanted to furnish hearsay that he recalled hearing in recent days . . . He stated that one James Milton Parrott has been talking of killing the president when he comes to Houston.”

Bush dropped a dime on an unemployed twenty-four-year-old Air Force veteran who had been honorably discharged, albeit upon the recommendation of a psychiatrist. During questioning, Parrott acknowledged that he was a member of the Texas Young Republicans and had been active in picketing members of the Kennedy administration. He also insisted that he had not threatened the president’s life.

Parrott was a member of the ultra-rightwing John Birch Society and had vigorously opposed Bush during his campaign for GOP chairman of Harris County—a major offense to Bush running for a minor office, and he never forgot the offender. Parrott had been painting “Bush for Senate? signs when the FBI arrived to question him. Ironically, Parrott would surface again—as a volunteer for George Bush’s 1988 Presidential campaign. Was Parrott also a Patsy?

This very story is listed as the secondmost among the points of why voters should not re-elect Bush in a 1992 feature from the extinct Spy magazine, “1000 Reasons not to vote for George Bush”. It would be surprising if Stone were not somewhat familiar with this piece, since the major part of it is the topmost point, “No.1: He cheats on his wife”, and the author is Joe Conason, a man who’s used Stone as a source in the past, most recently for a Chris Christie Bridgegate story, “To Roger Stone, Bridgegate ‘Cover-Up’ Is Another Watergate — And He Would Know”. A substantial amount of space in the piece is given over to Bush mistress Jennifer Fitzgerald, who is also given mention in The Man Who Killed Kennedy, a rather inflammatory allegation of sexual impropriety, but one that few reviewers have noted, and which should be a lesson to future controversy dwellers – if you want accusations of presidential infidelity to go unnoticed, stick it next to accusations of presidential murder. From The Man Who Killed Kennedy:

Bush’s 1980 campaign was hampered when it hired his long-time mistress, Jennifer Fitzgerald, as his scheduler. Fitzgerald hoarded information; power struggles plagued the campaign. Barbara Bush once famously exploded at Fitzgerald in the back of a limousine when she touched Bush’s knee. Senior campaign aides plotted to remove Fitzgerald, and eventually Bush’s savvy campaign chief James A. Baker, III gave Bush a “her or me” ultimatum. Fitzgerald would leave the campaign, only to be hired later to handle the vice president’s schedule (she was kept in the vice president’s ceremonial Capitol Hill office rather than the White House). Fitzgerald let it be know that she had a trove of love letters from the vice president and wouldn’t be going anywhere.

The story of this affair is also told in Dirty Tricks, with a slightly nastier tone:

The Jennifer Fitzgerald affair is the firstmost point in the thousandfold series of points in the Spy piece, and the second deals with this same James Parrott. It also has a conspiratorial take, though it also has a lastmost sentence which Stone makes no acknowledgement of ever having read, but which make him a strange kind of patsy for a plot involving Stone’s suspect. What kind of patsy is in the employ of one of those complicit in the assassination, but can’t even be bothered to stay silent about the true culprit? I bold the final, and most crucial sentence from “No. 2: The JFK Thing” by David Robb:

Internal FBI memos indicate that on November 22, 1963, “reputable businessman” George H.W. Bush “telephonically advised that he wanted to relate some hearsay that he had heard in recent weeks, date and source unknown. He advised that one James Parrott has been talking of killing the president when he comes to Houston.” Who? Agents investigated and found that 24-year-old James Parrott was a Young Republican who regularly picketed Kennedy-administration officials when they visited Houston. The FBI also learned that the Secret Service in Houston had been told that in 1961, Parrott had said he “would kill President Kennedy if he got near him.” Parrott, however, had not been near the president, or even in Dallas, on November 22. Was Bush just being a misguided do-good weenie? Or was he trying to throw the FBI off the trail? (Conspiracy theorists have linked Bush with the assassination in part because of the appearance of his name in the address book of one George de Morenschildt, a Dallas aristocrat who had befriended Lee Harvey Oswald.) Parrott, now a GOP functionary, told us he is a Bush supporter, at least since Pat Buchanan was eliminated. He denies having threatened JFK and believes Oswald shot him – under orders from Khruschev, Castro and Lyndon Johnson – and that there is still a Communist plot to take over the U.S.

258 From The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ by Roger Stone and Michael Colapietro:

The cooperation of Operation 40 and the mafia element is integral to the assassination of John Kennedy. They would be necessary to Lyndon Johnson because this was not good ‘ole boy Texas justice-a more sophisticated plan was needed. The CIA and Mafia element would likewise be dependent on LBJ to effectively control the location, chain of command, and evidence.

“I can just visualize Harvey and LBJ forming a kind of a thieves, compact between them,” said Operation 40 agent and Watergate recruiter and organizer E. Howard Hunt. “I think that LBJ was an opportunist, and he would have not hesitated to get rid of obstacles in his way.”

“There was no other group that honored, if I can use that term, the clandestine limitations the way the CIA did,” Hunt added. “They could do something, turn their back on it, then move on to something else.”

Hunt, who was on his deathbed at the time of his confession, said that he was approached to be a “benchwarmer” on the assassination, which was known in certain channels as “The Big Event.” Was Hunt in Dallas on November 22, 1963? In 1974, the Rockefeller Commission concluded that Hunt used eleven hours of sick leave from the CIA in the two-week period preceding the assassination. Saint John Hunt, E. Howard’s son, remembered his mother informing him on November 22, 1963 that Howard was on a “business trip” to Dallas that day. Later, eyewitness Marita Lorenz testified under oath in a district court case in Florida that she saw Hunt pay off an assassination team in Dallas the night before Kennedy’s murder. Saint John Hunt: “One of the things he [E. Howard Hunt] liked to say around the house was let’s finish the job,” said Saint John Hunt. “Let’s hit Ted [Kennedy].”

Saint John Hunt explained that the reason why his father had waited until he was dying to confess was his fear for the lives of himself and his family. Hunt’s wife Dorothy had died in a commercial plane crash in Chicago, which killed forty-five people in 1972. Hunt did not believe it was an accident.

“Later on in his life at one of these bedside confessions, tears started welling up in his eyes, and he said, ‘You know, Saint, I was so deeply concerned that what they did to your mother they could have done to you children, and that caused the hair on my neck to stand up.’ That was the first disclosure from my father that he thought there was something else going on besides sheer pilot error,” said Saint John Hunt.

259 The appeal, E. Howard Hunt, Jr. v. Victor L. Marchetti Nos. 85-5400, 85-6078 contains many of the facts of the trial, the initially successful libel suit on the part of Hunt, followed by a reversal. The judgement was upheld in this appeal:

1 E. Howard Hunt, Jr., appeals three district court rulings made during the retrial of his libel suit against Liberty Lobby, Inc. The jury on retrial rendered a verdict for Liberty Lobby. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

2 In 1978, Liberty Lobby published in its nationally distributed weekly newspaper, the Spotlight, an article which stated that the Central Intelligence Agency would attempt to implicate Hunt and others in the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Hunt filed suit against Liberty Lobby seeking damages for libel. A jury trial resulted in an award to Hunt of $650,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. A panel of this court reversed. Hunt v. Liberty Lobby, 720 F.2d 631 (11th Cir.1983). On retrial, the jury rendered a verdict for Liberty Lobby. In this appeal, Hunt asserts the following errors in the conduct of the second trial: (1) that the district court improperly permitted Liberty Lobby to withdraw an oral stipulation made during the first trial that Hunt was not in Dallas on the day of the Kennedy assassination; (2) that the court improperly charged the jury that any wrongdoing by the article’s author could not be imputed to Liberty Lobby; and (3) that the court improperly excluded from evidence a portion of the deposition testimony of the publisher of Spotlight.

Note that despite the upholding of the verdict, the publishers conceded that Hunt was not in Dallas, to prevent Hunt from introducing evidence to contradict this claim.

II. WITHDRAWAL OF THE STIPULATION

3 In his opening statement at the first trial, the attorney for Liberty Lobby stated, “We are not going to come forward and try to prove that Mr. Hunt was involved in the Kennedy assassination…. [T]here is no question in my mind that he was not involved. There is no question in the minds of the people at Liberty Lobby.” Later, out of the presence of the jury, the attorney further stated, “I think I stipulated in opening argument, in my opinion, in our opinion, that [Hunt] probably was not there [in Dallas]. We are not going to prove that he was in Dallas.” The court explained to the jury that “for the purposes of this trial, the defendants have acknowledged and conceded that [Hunt] was not in Dallas, Texas, on the date of the assassination of President Kennedy.” To this statement, the attorney for Liberty Lobby responded, “So stipulated, your Honor.” Later in the trial, the Liberty Lobby attorney was able to rely upon the stipulation to prevent Hunt from introducing evidence regarding his whereabouts on the date of the assassination.

The controversy of Hunt’s deathbed confession is best conveyed in “Watergate plotter may have a last tale” by Carol J. Williams; the Kevan mentioned is Kevan Hunt, the late spy’s daughter:

St. John was estranged from his father from the late 1970s to the start of this decade.

He was convicted twice on felony drug charges in the Bay Area but served no prison time. When he became homeless, he renounced his drug habit, renewed ties with his father and siblings and moved to this Pacific Coast timber and fishing town. He now works assisting elderly patients in their homes and is a student at College of the Redwoods.

David, now 43, also abused drugs after his mother’s death and the years he spent in the violent milieu of Cuban exile politics. He now sells Jacuzzis at a West L.A. spa shop.

The sisters remain estranged from the brothers but all were on good terms with Hunt and his widow Laura and their children, Austin and Hollis, when the veteran CIA operative and spy novelist died.

Despite the brothers’ efforts, their father’s role will probably never be known.

The materials they offer to substantiate their story, examined by the Los Angeles Times, are inconclusive.

Hunt answers questions on a videotape using speculative phrases, observing that various named figures were “possibly” involved. A chart Hunt sketched during one conversation with St. John shows the same rogue CIA operation he describes in the memoir. None of the accounts provides evidence to convincingly validate that their father disclosed anything revelatory.

Hunt’s widow and her two children, 27-year-old Austin and 23-year-old Hollis, dismiss the brothers’ story, saying it is the result of coaching an old man whose lucidity waxed and waned in his final months.

Kevan bitterly accuses her brothers of “elder abuse,” saying they pressured their father for dramatic scenarios for their own financial gain. Hunt’s longtime lawyer, Bill Snyder, says: “Howard was just speculating. He had no hard evidence.”

260 From The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ by Roger Stone and Michael Colapietro:

Watergate is no less a coup d’état by the CIA than the assassination of JFK by a rogue faction of the CIA, working in concert with elements of organized crime and at the direction of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Serving as the youngest member of the notorious Committee to Re-elect the President in 1972, I knew Watergate burglars James McCord, the security director at CREEP, and G. Gordon Liddy, the general consul to the CREEP finance committee by day and seeker of covert intelligence by night.

That anyone would use actual CREEP personnel who could be traced directly to the President’s re-election committee in a covert operation shows the amateurish nature of the Watergate break-in. That some burglars carried address books with White House phone numbers in them shows either a stunning ineptness or an effort to take Nixon down. Indeed, the mistakes in Watergate were legion.

White House plumber G. Gordon Liddy’s grandiose plan to break into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, the search for files, and the planting of listening devices was no doubt reported to the CIA once Liddy recruited James McCord, Security Director for CREEP and long-time CIA asset. I believe that the company saw the opportunity to remove the threat of Nixon’s exposing their role in JFK’s murder. It is not coincidental that it was McCord who wrote a letter to the Watergate burglars’ trial judge John J. Siricia, exposing the cover-up and pointing to higher-ups in the White House and CREEP.

McCord was likely a double agent, who intentionally botched the surreptitious entry into the Watergate. It was McCord who re-taped an office door after security guards had already found it taped and removed the adhesive once. The taping of the door was unnecessary because the door opened, unlocked, without a key. But the tape served its purpose as a clear signal to security. Following the break-in, McCord left tape on some of the doors. McCord also burned all of his files in his home fireplace, with a CIA agent present to witness the paper conflagration.

261 From Will by G. Gordon Liddy:

The decision was up to me. I was the leader and it was my responsibility. The others accepted that and would abide by my judgeement. I knew that lock-taping was a common, if disapproved, practice of maintenance personnel in large builings. That should not have alarmed the guard, who could be expecte to remove it. I saw no reason that the guard should think anything other than that the maintenance people would have to be letured.

I left McCord and said to Howard: “Jim doesn’t share your concern. He’s willing to go, wants to get it over with.” I pointed out that it had been a while since the tapes were put on and that if here’d been any commotion we’d have heard about it from the observation post or our men downstairs. “Everything seem quiet,” I said. “All things considered, I think we should go.”

From Will, on the permanent separation between Hunt and Liddy, during a conference between them at the time of the Watergate grand jury:

“There’s no sene in holding out any longer,” Hunt began, “they know everything.”

“What do you mean, ‘everything’?” I interrupted.

“I mean they’ve got it all. They know all about the Beverly Hills entry. They’ve got the ODESSA files.”

“How do you know?” I asked.

“They showed them to me.”

“O.K. So somehow they got the ODESSA files. Why help the bastards?”

“Gordon, I may as well tell you now. I’m not holding out any longer. There’s no point to it. I’m co-operating with the prosecutors.”

I stood and moved back from Hunt’s side as if from a loathsome thing, I started to say something, thought better of it, and walked out. I have never spoken another word to Howard Hunt.

262 From “Product Reviews: Watergate: The Hidden History: Nixon, The Mafia, and The CIA” on Amazon:

Although as a long time Aide to Richard Nixon I interpret some things differently, Waldron’s scholarship cannot be questioned. This is a fascinating history with starts to connect the Bay of Pigs invasion, the JFK Assassination, Watergate and the Nixon pardon. I cannot recommend this book enough.

A screenshot:

Roger Stone praises Road to Watergate

263 From Will by G. Gordon Liddy, a report on the counter-demonstration organized in Miami:

RUBY concerned the infiltration of spies into the camp of Democratic contenders, then the successful candidate himself. COAL was the program to furnish money clandestinely to Shirley Chisholm of New York to finance her as a contender and force Democratic candidates to fight off a black woman, bound to generate ill-feeling among the black community and, we hoped, cause them difficulty with women.

I presented a plan for four black-bag jobs, OPALs I through IV. They were clandestine entries at which microphone surveillances could be placed, as well as TOPAZ: photographs taken of any documents available, including those under lock.

264 The Nixon administration’s attempts to smear Ellsberg, and break into his psychiatrist’s office, are described in Secrets:

These were the objectives of a Hunt memo to Colson on July 28, 1971, which came out almost two years later as a result of an inquiry launched in our courtroom. The subject heading was “Neutralization of Ellsberg.” It began: “I am proposing a skeletal operations plan aimed at building a file on Ellsberg that will contain all available overt, covert and derogatory information. This basic tool is essential to determining how to destroy his public image and credibility.”

There followed a list of eight “items” that represented “desiderata,” identifying potentially useful sources of information to this end, ranging from clearance materials to interviews with my former wife and former colleagues at Rand and ISA. Two of these items were: “Request CIA to perform a covert psychological assessment/evaluation on Ellsberg” and, fatefully, “Obtain Ellsberg’s files from his psychiatric analysis.”

The last proposal, which led to the burglary of the office of my former psychoanalyst in Beverly Hills, Dr. Lewis Fielding, and the hiring of Howard Hunt have commonly been seen, with reason, as a beginning of the undoing of the Nixon administration. The motives that lay behind both of these have scarcely been guessed at, however, and the guesses have been wide of the mark. The most authoritative statement of the aims both of the SIU and of the Fielding break-in is by the man in charge of the unit, Egil Krogh, who is at the same time the only one who has been thoroughly candid. In his statement to Judge Gerhart Gesell at his sentencing, after a guilty plea for approving the Fielding break-in, he laid out both the aims of the burglary and the intended uses of the information sought from it. “The aims of the operation were many.” One of these aims was “to ascertain if prosecution of Dr. Ellsberg would induce him to make further disclosures that he otherwise would not.”

The failed assault on Ellsberg during an anti-war rally; the NSSM-1 mentioned is a National Security Study Memorandum overseen by Ellsberg, which concluded that an unfavorable resolution of the Viet Nam conflict, the withdrawl of the United States, would not lead to other countries falling under communism:

The reason for Nixon’s direct involvement, as early as June 23, 1972, and continuing, has turned out to be his concern to keep Howard Hunt from revealing the earlier Fielding break-in and other illegal actions of the Plumbers. As I learned later, the burglary of my psychoanalyst’s office in September 1971, though best known, was not the last or most dramatic of these. Eight months later, on May 3, 1972, on orders from Colson to Liddy and Hunt, the White House secretly flew a dozen Cuban-American CIA “assets” from Miami to Washington to disrupt a rally that I and others were addressing on the steps of the Capitol and to assault me physically.

This was the rally described earlier, five days before the mining of Haiphong and eight days after Senator Gravel had released NSSM-1 to the press. The purpose of the planned assault on me remains obscure. However, an Oval Office tape of May 2 reveals that Nixon was aware that I had chosen this moment to reveal NSSM-1 at last. Whatever else I had from NSC files could be presumed to be on the verge of disclosure. According to Nick Akerman, the attorney on the Watergate Special Prosecution Task Force (WSPTF) who investigated this incident (with over one hundred interviews), some members of the team from Miami had orders “to incapacitate [me] totally” Different members of the team had different perspectives on their functions. All of them reported that Hunt and Liddy had shown them my picture (and that of Bill Kunstler, also at the rally) and told them I was the “target.” Several told the FBI or WSPTF that, as one put it to Time, “We were to call him ‘traitor’ and punch him in the nose.” Bernard Barker (who with Eugenio Martinez recruited the team in Miami) told the journalist Lloyd Shearer later that his orders had been to “break both [my] legs.” (The team found the crowd too friendly to me to make it safe to carry out their mission. Some of them instead assaulted young participants on the edge of the crowd and were led away by police, who released them to two men showing government credentials. Several of them were driven that night by Hunt and Liddy to reconnoiter “their next objective,” the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee.) Just weeks after this, several who had participated in both of these criminal efforts directed by the White House – the Fielding burglary and the roughing up of demonstrators on May 3 – were arrested in connection with the Watergate break-in.

265 From Secrets by Daniel Ellsberg:

Tuesday night, June 29, Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska cast his whole vote, twice: first on the Senate floor, where he was the only senator to attempt a filibuster against the war and finally the only one to accept the Pentagon Papers from me and try to read them into the record; second, later that night, in a hearing of the Subcommittee on Buildings and Grounds of the Senate Public Works Committee that he had hastily called.

He had rushed up from the Senate gym on Friday, June 18, to take a phone call that his aide suspected was from me. (The Washington Post published its first story that morning and was clearly about to be enjoined.) Without introducing myself, I asked him from a pay phone whether he was serious about conducting a filibuster, and if he would like to use the Pentagon Papers for this purpose. He said yes to both questions firmly. On June 24, Ben Bagdikian, despite his qualms as a journalist, carried out his promise to me to transfer the box with a second set of the papers to Gravel (from one car to another in front of the Mayflower Hotel on Connecticut Avenue).

At 5:55 P.M. on Tuesday, June 29, Senator Gravel was blocked by a Republican parliamentary maneuver from launching a one-man filibuster in the Senate chamber that he meant to last till the draft expired thirty hours later on Wednesday midnight. He proceeded to use his whole influence, as no other senator had dared. He called a night hearing of the obscure subcommittee of which he was chairman and, as the only senator present, began reading the Pentagon Papers into the hearing record at 9:45 P.M. in front of television cameras. He inserted the rest of the papers that Bagdikian had conveyed to him into the record as he adjourned the one-man hearing at 1 A.M. Then, with the help of his staff, he distributed great bundles of previously unpublished top secret documents to a crowd of newsmen and to the Associated Press, which put them on its news wire across the country. He did this without the assurance of congressional immunity for these actions, and with a strong prospect (partly realized) of ostracism by his colleagues, with possible censure or loss of his seat.

Gravel’s introduction in “Freedom Freaks”, an account of the 2008 Libertarian Party convention by Michael Idov:

With Barr otherwise engaged, the biggest name on the debate dais is former Alaska senator Mike Gravel. Another neophyte, he joined the party nearly three months ago after bowing out of a run for the Democratic nomination. Gravel used his time in the national spotlight to tape ornery cable appearances and inscrutable YouTube promos, all of which are now running on a loop at his booth (including a seasonal one that informs us, in song, that he’s “running for president, and he’s filled with Christmas cheer”). Gravel is candid about his motives and expectations. He’s mostly mad at the Democrats—who, he says, pushed him out of the race for criticizing the U.S. stance on Iran—and would enjoy a platform from which to dish out some mild payback. His floor team includes Neal, a long-haired Wiccan who has a beef with Barr “because he tried to stop Wiccans from worshiping in the military” and granddaughter Renee, 20 years old and in full Goth regalia featuring a spiky dog collar. “He’s the kind of grandpa you see on TV,” she says of Gravel, tongue stud flickering between her teeth. “The one who comes to visit for Christmas, opens the presents. You know?” (I do, in fact–I’ve seen the video.) “This will either end my career, or give me a boost for the next six months,” Gravel tells me. “I’ll take either.”

The losses of Church and McGovern as a result of NCPAC are described in the excellent “Follow the Dark Money” by Andy Kroll:

NCPAC famously spent $1.2 million in the 1980 election relentlessly attacking six Democratic lions of the Senate; four of them—McGovern, Birch Bayh of Indiana, Frank Church of Idaho, and John Culver of Iowa—would lose. On just one day during the ’80 campaign, NCPAC ran 150 anti-Church ads on Idaho radio stations. NCPAC also spent $2 million to help Reagan beat President Jimmy Carter. In the 1984 presidential election, it dropped another $2 million hammering Walter Mondale. The country had never seen anything like Dolan’s outside attack machine—and he knew it. “We’re on the cutting edge of politics,” he told the Washington Post in 1980.

266 Ruwe’s obituary, “L. Nicholas Ruwe; Aide to Presidents, Ex-Ambassador” from May 8th, 1990.

267 From Dirty Tricks:

Stone’s tweet:

268 The tweet by Jacob Weisberg:

269 My skepticism over Stone’s involvement in the Brooks Brothers riot is relayed in part four.

From Will by G. Gordon Liddy, a report on the counter-demonstration organized in Miami:

Earlier reports mentioned plans for a rally on Saturday evening, May 13, at Bay Front Park, Miami, Florida. Because of differences of opinion in the Cuban community and some internal jealousies, it was thought best to cancel the rally and to substitute a motorcade on Saturday afternoon.

Accordingly, on the afternoon of Saturday, May 13,a motorcade of 200 automobiles and 60 trucks was assembled at the Central Shopping Plaza, 37th Avenue and 7th Street, NW, Miami. “The vehicles were placarded with signs such as “Nixon – We Back You 100%” and “Free the POWS Now,” as well as a number reading “Tell it to Hanoi.” The motorcade lasted two and one-half hours (2:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.); starting at the Central Shopping Plaza, the route went south on 37th Avenue to the Tamiami Trail, then to Biscayne Boulevard and then all the way back up Flagler to 32nd Avenue. As the motorcade proceeded with lights on, more than 200 more vehicles joined the caravan, having a total of nearly 500 vehicles (automobiles and trucks).

The reactions of the street crowds on the way was very favorable. The route took the caravan through areas populated heavily by Cubans, and there was much shouting of “Viva Nixon.” Traffic was nearly paralyzed. The police were sympahtetic and helpful. At one point when the caravan stopped while police cleared traffic, one store took the popular music off its outdoor phonograph speakers and played “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Persons on the scene stated that Miami Herald coverage was biased against the motorcade in that it published no photographs with strong pro-Nixon sentiment, but only those which could be taken two ways, e.g., “Free the POWS now.” The Herald report (Section B, page 1) should not be relied upon as an accurate description as the actual event and the reaction thereto was far more favorable to the President.

270 A screenshot of the comment at “The FishbowlDC Interview With Roger Stone”:

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271 A screenshot of the comment at “Roger Stone’s New Book Says LBJ Killed JFK”:

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272 A screenshot of the comment at “Corsi challenges Bill O’Reilly to JFK-assassination debate”:

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273 A screenshot of the comment at “Ventura: LBJ Had The Most To Gain From JFK Assassination”:

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274 A screenshot of the comment at “The List: Facts about President John F. Kennedy’s love of sports”:

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275 A screenshot of the comment at “Roger Stone: ‘Nixon thought LBJ killed Kennedy'”:

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276 A screenshot of the comment at “NY Times best selling author Roger Stone to visit Palm Beach for book signing”:

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277 A screenshot of the comment at “Ex-GOP Bad Boy Roger Stone Eyes Florida Run”:

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278 From “Roger Stone Joining GOProud’s Advisory Board” by Chris Geidner:

Republican political operative Roger Stone — known primarily for his work on opposition research and negative ads — is joining the advisory board of GOProud, adding another another voice to the group’s advisory board that is certain to inflame liberals.

In a release announcing the move, Stone said, “I am a libertarian Republican in the Barry Goldwater mold and I believe deeply in personal freedom, equality and getting government out of the bedroom, which is why I am proud to serve in this capacity.”

279 A screenshot of the comments by Philip Dodge and Juanita Feenis at “Roger Stone pondering a campaign for Florida governor with an emphasis on pot”:

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280 A screenshot of the comment at “Ex-GOP Bad Boy Roger Stone Eyes Florida Run”:

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281 A screenshot of the comment at “CBS Omits Spitzer’s Political Opponent Allegedly Provided Him With Prostitutes”:

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282 A screenshot of the comment at“Eliot Spitzer to Jay Leno: ‘Hubris’ was my failing”:

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283 A screenshot of the comment at “Boyd Gaming retains ownership of the name ‘Stardust'”:

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284 A screenshot of the comment at “Genting buys Echelon for $2 billion Resorts World Las Vegas”:

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285 A screenshot of the comment at “Who was Lee Harvey Oswald? Questions linger after John F Kennedy’s assassination”:

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286 A screenshot of the comment at “CNN’s Tapper to Eliot Spitzer: Shouldn’t You Have Gone to Jail?”:

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287 A screenshot of the comment at “Manhattan Madam to Eliot Spitzer: ‘Gosh, It’s Going to Be a Fun Race!'”:

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288 A screenshot of the comments at “Letters at 3AM: JFK and That Hard Rain”:

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289 A screenshot of the comment at “Eliot Spitzer to Jay Leno: Wall Street Rooting Against Me”:

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290 A screenshot of the comment at “Florida poll: Charlie Crist tops Rick Scott”:

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291 A screenshot of the comment at “FBI Arrest Mayors Of Miami Lakes and Sweetwater in Florida: Mike Pizzi, Manuel Morono Charged in Corruption Schemes”:

richard knox fbi arrests mayor of miami lakes cr

292 The comment for “John Catsimatidis Spending Big on Billboards, Lip Balm and Candy” does not appear to be at the original story anymore, but it’s still at William Windorf’s Facebook page, screenshots below:

william windorf facebook pt1 cropped william windorf facebook pt2 cropped

The screenshot of the comments of Philip Dodge and William Windorf at “Few Mayoral Candidates Stand Up to Chassidim on ‘Metzitzah B’peh’”:

windorf dodge catsamandis cropped

293 The screenshot for “Daughter of Republican Mayoral Hopeful John Catsimatidis is Sort of a Mini-Celebrity in China”:

karla von stetten daughter of republican w750px

The screenshot for “Which NYC Mayoral Candidates Think Spying on American Muslims is Unconstitutional?”:

karla von stetten what nyc mayoral candidate w75

294 A screenshot of the comment at “Roger Stone previews ‘CIA coup’ theory of Watergate at Woodward-Bernstein event”:

william windorf roger stone previews cia coup cr

295 A screenshot of the comment at “How a Texas Paper Brought Down Billie Sol Estes”:

william windorf how a texas paper cropped

296 A screenshot from “Bimini SuperFast Makes Inaugural Voyage”:

william windorf bimini superfast makes inaugural

A screenshot from “Controversial resort opens up Bimini to the world”:

William Windorf Controversial Resort cropped

A screenshot from “Bahamas National Trust calls for disclosure on Bimini facility”:

William Windorf Bahamas National Trust cropped

297 A screenshot of the comments of Feenis and Windorf at “Analysts give mixed reviews for Genting’s Strip plans”:

juanita feenis analysts give mixed reviews cropp

298 A screenshot of the comments of Windorf and Dodge at “Disney Said to Be Dishing Big Bucks in Tallahassee, Preparing for Destination Casino Fight”:

william windorf disney said to be dishing big bu

299 The background information on Nick Loeb is well-known and can be found in many places. I grabbed it from “Sofia Vergara’s Fiance, Nick Loeb, ‘Lives Like A King,’ Says Source” by “Naughty but Nice Rob”.

A screenshot of the Windorf comment from “Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb: Brawling Over Her Ex on New Year’s Eve?”:

william windorf Sofia Vergara and Nick Loeb crop

A screenshot of the Windorf comment from “Sofia Vergara & Boyfriend’s NYE Fight Caused Boob Explosion?!”:

william windorf sofia vergara caused boob explos

300 Screenshots of the comments of “Roger Stone Considers Run for Florida Governor”:

warren redlich independent political report pt2

warren redlich independent political report pt3

warren redlich independent political report crop

301 Screenshots of the comments of “Update: Demos Fed Up With Sheriff’s Blunders”.

Dick Knox:

Dick Knox Demos Fed Up With Sheriff Blunders cro

Karla Von Stetten:

karla von stetten Demos Fed Up With Sheriff Blun

William Windorf:

william windorf Demos Fed Up With Sheriff Blunde

302 The comments for “Legal problems may stop BSO hiring” and “Sheriff Scott Israel makes new hires to ‘connect with community'” are no longer at the original stories, however they are listed in Richard Knox’s Disqus profile:

richard knox sheriff office pt1 cropped

richard knox sheriff office pt2 cropped

303 Among other names with the strange pattern of commenting exclusively on matters related to The Man Who Killed Kennedy, Roger Stone, gambling, and other related interests we might list a few more.

There is Erica Benafucci, commenting on “Richter delays Florida casino gambling bill”:

Erica Benafucci Richter delays Florida casino

Benafucci on “Lyndon B. Johnson arranged John F. Kennedy’s assassination – Roger Stone – News – World – The Voice of Russia”:

Erica Benafucci Lyndon B Johnson arranged John

Benafucci on “Inside the world of JFK conspiracy theories”:

erica benafucci inside the world of jfk conspi

Benafucci on “The Brooklyn Independent GOP Fountainhead: Roger Stone spoke at Bay Ridge Manor to contingent of The Brooklyn Young Republican Club”:

erica benafucci the brooklyn independent gop cro

This last features comments which, other than Benafucci’s, are almost entirely hostile and somewhat amusing:

Another name that follows this pattern is Adele Jeter. There she is with a comment on Facebook for The National Enquirer story, “PRESIDENTIAL AIDE: LBJ ARRANGED JFK’s ASSASSINATION blockbuster new evidence”:

adele jeter facebook page cropped

“Roger Stone Bashes Medical Marijuana Push as Charlie Crist Front”:

Adele Jeter Roger Stone Bashes Medical Marijuana

“Roger Stone’s Gov run: True leadership or brilliant strategy?”, alongside Philip Dodge:

Adele Jeter Roger Stone Gov run cropped

“Roger Stone will “probably” run for Florida governor”:

Adele Jeter Roger Stone will probably run for go

“Libertarian Roger Stone will not run for Governor of Florida”:

adele jeter libertarian roger stone will not run

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Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Eight

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART EIGHT: THE WIFE OF THE WELL-DRESSED MAN / DIVIDE AND CONQUER / THE BIG ENCHILADA

(Of invaluable help in following the intricate politics of the Libertarian Party since the 2008 election was the Liberty for America journal; I recommend its work to the curious and scholarly, their back issues can be found here. Equally helpful for following the conflicts within the Libertarian Party at that time, some involving Johnson and Stone, was the website, The Independent Political Report.)

The opening moments of that visit often came back to me over the next decade, during three elections in South Vietnam and two in the United States. Nixon came up to the large room on the second floor of [General Edward] Lansdale’s villa where the team members were gathered in a semicircle to greet him. I had never seen him before in person, and never did again. He was jet-lagged and rumpled, with the jowls and heavy five o’clock shadow of the Herblock cartoons. But in the long discussion that followed, he was alert and articulate. He went around the circle and shook hands with each of us. Then he joined Lansdale, standing in front of two armchairs side by side, and said, “Well, Ed, what are you up to?”

Getting right to business, Lansdale said, “Mr. Vice President, we want to help General Thang make this the most honest election that’s ever been held in Vietnam.”

“Oh, sure, honest, yes, honest, that’s right” – Nixon was seating himself in an armchair next to Lansdale – “so long as you win!” With the last words he did three things in quick succession: winked, drove his elbow hard into Lansdale’s arm, and, in a return motion, slapped his own knee. My colleagues turned to stone.

–Daniel Ellsberg, Secrets: A Memoir

This eighth part gives good space to the role of Roger Stone in the 2012 election, which was marked by several few pieces given over to the longtime fixer’s swtich from the GOP to the libertarian party, such as “Roger Stone’s Steakhouse Politics” by Gabriel Sherman, say, or “Roger Stone to GOP: Payback’s a Bitch” by Mark Warren, or “GOP trickster Roger Stone defects to Libertarian party” by the Washington Post, all asking questions and wondering what philosophical shift this implied. My belief is that this is the wrong question to ask, as Stone has nothing like a consistent political philosophy or beliefs. The only relevant questions are: who is he grifting, and how big a grift is he trying to pull off?

This same question can also be asked of his wife – not Nydia Stone, but his first wife, Ann, who is very much a kindred spirit. She is almost entirely invisible in the profiles by Labash and Toobin – going entirely unmentioned in the first, and only given brief mention exclusively as a wife – “Stone and his wife at the time, Ann, became famous for their lavish life style, which included a chauffeur-driven Mercedes and tailor-made clothes,” “In the nineties, Stone divorced Ann and married Nydia Bertran,” – rather than as a formidable political force in her own right. I do not think he was the best or most loyal of husbands, but he gives her a complimentary mention in his memoir, and I don’t think this is a case of gallantry or politeness, but simply giving his ex-wife her just due. There are two people, Stone writes, who taught him everything about direct mail, and getting a message out to conservative donors and activists. One of them is Jim Martin, the man who managed to put out the message that the inheritance tax should be called a death tax. The other is his ex-wife Ann E.W. Stone. She, along with Martin, “are both two of the most brilliant marketers I know”187.

Direct mail was the secret fuel of the conservative movement, and its master was Richard Viguerie. Through pleas to fight communism in the United States or abroad, for the cause of persecuted christians or persecuted capitalists, direct mail harnessed a massive amount of money from small donors to fund conservative political causes and groups, including NCPAC – an ordinary PAC as opposed to a Super PAC which relies on the funding of a small number of single wealthy donors, or sometimes a single wealthy donor, such as the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson. Both Ann Stone and Richard Martin, the names singled out by Roger Stone, were two of Viguerie’s best students. “Funding Father”, is a 2003 Washington Times ode by Martin to Viguerie. “Shy about personally visiting contributors,” Martin writes, “Mr. Viguerie realized he could contact 1,000 or 10,000 potential donors by mail without spending any more time, effort or money than it would take to personally solicit a single contribution from one potential donor.” He is perhaps not overstating things in the next paragraph. “Legions of candidates, from the courthouse to the White House, have benefited from Mr. Viguerie’s expertise, and legions of others have tasted defeat as a direct result of his ability to raise money and promote action simply by sitting down at his typewriter.”

Easily the best discussion of the phenomenon is “The Long Con” by Rick Perlstein, and the title is not idle malice. Perlstein gives substantial evidence that questions how much of the money raised went to their intended causes and how much ended up in the pockets of the mail wranglers. There’s also the ways in which these political appeals resemble snake oil sales of elixirs and sure fire investments, whose appeals the dedicated conservative got as well, with the mailing lists sold off to commerical bidders of cheap, cruddy stuff and grifts. All this reaches the obvious and expected nadir with direct mail’s electronic ancestor in “Newt Gingrich & Herman Cain Are Now Making Money Off Spam” by Ben Adler, where subscribers to the mailing lists of both men receive news on how Obamacare is destroying lives, the betrayal of the dead of Benghazi, but also the ways their erectile dysfunction problems can now be solved, and how you can get rich quick now. This same theme, false politics overlapping with the deceptions of the con, is there in the career of Ann Stone, woefully unreported, except for brief outbursts of scandalous exposure.

The name of her husband cameos in the Watergate hearings, and she makes a similar brief appearance in what I think was a much larger scandal, Iran-contra. This scandal of the Reagan administration involved the sale of weapons to Iran to provide funding for the contras of Nicaragua, all without congressional oversight, all for the purpose of getting weapons to these rebels of Central America after congress had specifically banned such funding. Here she is, in the “Iran-Contra Investigation, Appendix B, Volume 3: Depositions (specific page 62)”. The man being interviewed by Congress is Adolfo Calero, the head of the contras, their chief lobbyist for funds, who was also connected to the man at the center of the scandal, Oliver North, and was well aware of the illegality of the Iran-Contra money188. I boldface the appearance of her name:

Q And was there any other source of money? Did you get any money from Secord? [Richard Secord, another Administration figure involved in the scandal]

A No, no.

Q And you still had ammunition and weapons left from what you had managed to squirrel away in 1985?

A Yes. And then at one time we got a $75,000 donation. I don’t know where it came from. We got $50,000 from phone calls that I made. And that was paid to [REDACTED] and that money had been sent to Ann Scott, no Ann Stone. And $75,000 that checks that were made did not pass through our account, checks that were paid directly to the [REDACTED]

It was most likely a much larger scandal than Watergate in terms of what was done, though without any of the repercussions of that one. Watergate had pushed Roger Stone into shameful exile, his name briefly the equal of a leper’s sore. By Iran-contra, however, conservatives had managed to figure out how to turn an unconstitutional action into a fundraising opportunity. “It’s unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like this,” says a direct mail expert of the time, as she pulls in $54 000 collected on a single day, from an appeal sent out after Oliver North testified on his proud involvement in anti-constitutional activity. This wasn’t a traitor, a criminal, a felon; this was a patriot, persecuted by the spineless liberals of the Northeast establishment. The direct mail expert, the title character of “North Appearance Spurs Contra Fund-Raising, Spokeswoman Says”, is our heroine as well:

A fund-raising appeal sent out by the Contra rebels on the heels of Lt. Col. Oliver North’s congressional testimony has drawn a “mind-boggling” response, a fund-raiser said Friday.

The mailing, capitalizing on the wave of public sentiment that North raised during a week of testimony about the Iran-Contra affair, was sent early last week to 200,000 people drawn from conservative mailing lists, said Ann Stone, a mail consultant who sent the appeal for the Contras’ official money gathering arm, the Nicaraguan Development Council.

The money is to be spent on nonlethal supplies for the rebels and for expenses of their Washington office, she said.

Ms. Stone said the mailing paid for itself on the first day the returns came back, with $54,000 collected that day.

The appeal, in the form of an “Urgentgram,” went out over the signature of Adolfo Calero, one of the most recognized names in the U.S.-backed Contra leadership. It said in part: “In the past few days a man I am proud to call my friend, Lt. Col. Oliver North, has laid out the reasons our men and I fight the communist Sandinistas who have enslaved Nicaragua.

“These enemies will not give up simply because Ollie North told the truth about the Nicaraguan communists. They continue to spread lies and disinformation – we must counter them.”

The letter concludes with a plea for “whatever you can afford to send – $1,000, $500, $100, $50, $25 or less.”

“I thank you. I’m sure Ollie North would be grateful too.”

I wrote of this scandal being transformed into one more conservative persecution complex, the upstanding man doing the righteous thing, only to be stabbed in the back by the perfidious liberal, and this is not my reading, but the one that Ann Stone and Richard Viguerie are happy to make explicit, the very one that they use to pull in cash, all there in “Conservatives Using 50s-Style ‘Soft on Communism’ Tactic in Contra Aid Fight” by Donald Rothberg. Ann Stone might be more discrete than her husband, might be smarter in sticking to the shadows, but make no mistake that she is as vicious and tough a pit fighter as he is. Of those who might think the United States should not interfere or get involved in Central and South America, “We are saying either they are fools or they are collaborators,” says Ann Stone.

WASHINGTON (AP) Conservative supporters of the Contra forces in Nicaragua are gearing up a 1950s-style campaign labeling opponents of U.S. aid as “soft on communism.”

“We are saying either they are fools or they are collaborators,” said Ann Stone, a conservative fund-raiser.

“The perception of being soft on communism really has hurt a number of Democrats,” said Richard Viguerie, whose company pioneered direct-mail fund- raising for right-wing causes and candidates.

Ms. Stone and Viguerie are flooding the mails with millions of letters urging people to send money and also call their representatives or senators urging them to support President Reagan’s $100 million aid package for the Contras fighting the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

In the same article, there’s Terry Dolan; a year away from dying of AIDS, turning everything into a simple question:

John T. Dolan, chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Committee, said his group is running ads against some aid opponents. He described the theme as, “Are you for a communist government there or are you for getting rid of it? It’s as simple as that.”

Typical of the mail being sent was a letter dated March 14 and signed by Dolan.

“We have only one week to act,” the letter began. It went on to talk about a 14-year-old girl who “lost her eye fighting against the communists in Nicaragua. … She fought so our boys wouldn’t have to go down there to keep communism from spreading up through Mexico.”

Ann Stone is raising funds for Nicaragua, but she’s pulling in money for a much larger issue than Nicaragua. This isn’t just about Nicaragua, it’s about Viet Nam, and liberals betraying Americans on Nicaragua, liberals betraying Americans on Viet Nam. It’s about liberals betraying America.

Conservative fund-raisers have been going through a dry spell in which contributions have been down. Many now see Central America as an issue that might get conservatives to whip out their checkbooks again as they did when the United States ratified treaties during the Carter administration calling for gradual transfer of the Panama Canal from U.S. to Panamanian control.

Conservatives branded the treaties a “giveaway.” “It’s kind of like a Panama Canal issue where close to 100 percent of the conservatives are on board,” Viguerie said.

Asked if she agreed, Ms. Stone said, “Absolutely. You’re talking about an anger among many Americans not only going back to the Panama Canal, but all the way back to the redressing of wounds and complaints people had from the Vietnam War and the way many in the liberal community dealt with that issue.”

It was while researching something else, that I came across Stone’s name in the midst of a recent scandal, and it gives you some sense of the way she belongs to the shadow world of politics that the piece covering the scandal simultaneously acknowledged that she was a very powerful figure without noting that her ex-husband was Roger Stone – possibly a valuable biographical detail, but one absent in a long, in-depth, and very well done piece of investigative reporting. “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone (no relation) and Christina Wilkie describes the sixteen year long effort to build a museum devoted to honoring women’s achievements, but one with strikingly little to show for it, without even a location for a building secured or picked out. There were two women involved in the project, Joan Bradley Wages, a democratic lobbyist, and “Ann E.W. Stone, a veteran Republican political operative”. Stone, the authors write, “seemed like an ideal backer: a well-connected Washington insider on the fault line of women’s politics, a pro-choice Republican with good fundraising credentials and a knack for publicity. Stone has been a member of the museum’s board since it was founded and has twice served as treasurer. She has been the senior vice president since 2007.” Stone held a central role in the development of the museum, and a central role in the scandal – that nothing apparently was achieved in over sixteen years, while getting a rather healthy stream of money from the museum189.

Stone’s work for the museum, along with that of Wages, was recorded as in-kind donations, a rate fixed to each hour donated with the accumulated salary of those hours considered a donation to the museum, helpfully improving the museum’s revenue and picture of financial health. In 2010, Ann Stone’s company the Stone Group was the biggest single non-cash contributor to the museum, donating over $370 000 in in-kind donations. In 2009, she’d personally donated over $27 000 worth of volunteer time. The year after that, she suddenly gave far more of her time, over 1700 hours, which works out to nearly 43 weeks of time at forty hours per week. She would count 780 of these hours as in-kind donations, valued at between $150 to $1000 per hour. Her total personal contribution was over $200 000. Wages would also make large amounts of in-kind donations through volunteer time, 1450 hours in 2009, first valued at over $398 000 before auditors took issue with her $275 per hour rate, at which point her in-kind donations were revalued as being worth a little over $189 000. When the writers of the investigative piece asked for an explanation for the sudden jump in volunteered time, Stone grew flustered and said she’d call back with an explanation. She did not call back. A president of the nonprofit charity watchdog, Charity Navigator, would say that the fact that Stone and Wages were also the museum’s biggest volunteers was “very, very unusual.”190

While she was giving these highly valued donations of her time to the project, the museum was paying her companies for their direct mail services, spending at least $194 000 since 2005. They would also spend money with Total Direct Response, the company of Lora Lynn Jones, the business partner of Ann Stone for the past thirty years. Both Stone and Jones have already appeared in this narrative (“Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Four”), in 2000, when companies associated with them print out the fundraising letters for the “Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary”, the mysterious group formed to pressure the Florida Supreme Court to vote in the Bush campaign’s favor. “Were you as outraged by the Florida Supreme Court’s efforts to highjack [sic] the presidency for Al Gore as I was?,” the letters screeched. “We must raise at least $4.5 million by the ‘Vote No’ campaign to organize Florida voters to reject the retention of these three liberal Supreme Court justices.” This direct mail fund-raising campaign cost $150,000, the project funded by a single payment of $150,000, whose source appears to be still unidentified191.

This detail, as well as Stone and Jones, all appear in this excerpt on this mysterious committee, from “Election Law: Supreme Plot” (archived) by Dan Christianson, from Daily Business Review, July 10, 2003:

The direct mail fund-raising campaign cost $150,000. According to Judge Hooper, Roger Stone came up with the money that Committee campaign records later listed as a “loan” from an Alexandria, Va.-based firm called Creative Marketing. The mailing address reported by the Committee for Creative Marketing was the same as that of the Stone Group, a fund-raising and marketing firm owned by Roger Stone’s ex-wife, conservative Republican activist Ann Stone. Investigators could find no company by the name of Creative Marketing.

Mary McCarty said Roger Stone told her he and his partner, Craig Snyder, would be personally responsible for repaying the $150,000 that funded the “Dear Friend” mass mailing.

There were also questions about who the money went to. Judge Hooper found that Roger Stone “or his Organization” actually paid the $150,000 not to Creative Marketing but to a Virginia company called Unique Graphics and Design, which, according to Virginia State corporate records, had as its principals Ann Stone and Lora Lynn Jones. The Committee subsequently paid Unique Graphics an additional $50,000 in May 2001 for purposes that remain unclear.

Last November, Lora Lynn Jones testified in a deposition that it was Roger Stone who hired Unique Graphics for the Florida work, gave her “marching orders,” and was responsible for paying the tab for the fund-raising letter. Lora Jones said she asked for and received the entire $150,000 payment by wire, in advance, because Roger Stone had “burned” her once before on a job.

Neither Hooper nor the FEC determined why the Committee listed “Creative Marketing” rather than “Unique Graphics” as the recipient of the payments. In another anomaly, a Daily Business Review examination of Virginia State corporate records found that “Unique Graphics” was NOT a legal entity when the two payments of $150,000 and $50,000 were made and received. The company’s charter was terminated in 1994, and the firm was purged from the state’s records in 1999.

And despite state records showing that Ann Stone was a principal of “Unique Graphics”, Lora Jones said she was the sole owner and employee. She also said, however, that she was a longtime employee of the Stone Group.

Jones would donate 2050 hours in volunteer time to the museum in 2010, 2050 hours of volunteer time valued at a little over $164 000, 2050 hours of volunteer time that would break down to an average valuation of about $80 per hour, 2050 hours of volunteer time that Jones said included “chores”, such as moving furniture and picking up supplies192.

This was one project that Ann Stone was involved in, but there was a second project which she was even more actively involved in that had even more intriguing questions. It all came out in “The curious spending of Republicans for Choice” by Josh Israel. The focus was a PAC chaired by Stone whose ostensible purpose was to support pro-choice Republican candidates at all levels of government, to bring about a more moderate Republican position on abortion, one more proximate to the beliefs of mainstream Republicans. The piece was aptly named, since this was a PAC had raised and spent over $5.5 million since its inception in 1990, but according a decade’s worth of data (from 2000 to 2010), less than 5% had gone to political candidates, committees, or independent expenditures. Between 2005 and 2010, the year that “Curious spending” was published, one half of one percent of the million dollars at the PAC’s disposal had gone to federal or state campaigns. In contrast, according to the FEC, the average federal PAC of the 2007-2008 election cycle had spent 35% of its funds on federal candidates. Republican Majority for Choice PAC, a PAC with a very similar agenda to Republicans for Choice, spent more than 87% of its funds on candidates, committees, and indepedent expenditures. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund spent 72% on these. Two Republican anti-abortion groups, the Republican National Coalition for Life PAC and National Right to Life PAC, spent 79% and 91%, respectively, on candidates, committees, and independent expenditures193.

The expenditures for the Republicans for Choice PAC were similar to those of the National Women’s History Museum: Capstone Lists, The Stone Group, and Ann Stone herself. Since 2001, Stone received nearly a quarter of a million dollars in reimbursements from the PAC, for such things as “travel and entertainment,” and “automobile maintenance repairs”. The Republicans for Choice PAC paid for $685 of her parking tickets194. There were several ways you could look at this. That, according to Ann Stone’s comments to a Politico piece which summarized the allegations, this was a misunderstanding of her PAC, and that “our PAC was never primarily designed to support candidates by giving money. In fact I was clear with him that was a small part of what we were set up to do.” The reason why Republicans for Choice used The Stone Group and Capstone is because no such firm with Republican ties would do so, out of fear of retribution by the party. As for now, the party may have calmed down, and “maybe I could have bid the work out but since my firm was named as one of the top in the Nation by a vote of our peers, why settle for less with another firm?”195 So, there was the possibility that it was a misunderstanding on the part of the writer. The other two possibilities, left to cynical, suspicious minds, were those which open this post: how big is the grift and who is Ann Stone grifting?

There was the simplest possibility, an outgrowth of the theme of Rick Perlstein’s “The Long Con”, that she was raising money of which the vast majority were going to herself rather than the cause for which she was raising. There was, however, the possibility of an even larger, longer con, tied to when the group began. Stone’s Republicans for Choice would make a very public appearance in such articles as “G.O.P. Group Formed to Support Abortion Rights” by Robin Toner, along with one of the only profiles of Ann Stone in a mainstream magazine, People‘s “A True-Blue Conservative Chooses to Break Ranks” by Elizabeth Gleick. Republicans for Choice would be created several months after another conservative abortion rights group, mentioned in “G.O.P. Group Formed to Support Abortion Rights”, had already been created with the very same purpose, to support pro-choice Republicans: Pro-Choice America. We have, a week after the publication of “G.O.P. Group Formed”, the piece “Abortion Issue Simmers In GOP” by S.A. Paolantonio, about the possibility of abortion dividing the Republican party. “It’s our biggest fear,” Ann Stone’s ex-husband, Roger Stone, is quoted as saying in the piece196. We are then given an imagining of a very dramatic split of the Republicans over this issue during a presidential convention:

Imagine anti-abortionists repelling any changes in the platform committee, and an abortion-rights advocate, say, Rep. Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, proposing a platform change from the convention floor. The chairman denies her motion, and abortion-rights supporters – a majority of GOP leaders, according to a Boston Globe poll last week – walk out of the convention.

Imagine this on live television.

It is this crisis point in the klieg lights that many Republicans are desperate to avoid. Last week, a new group called Republicans for Choice – so far about 300 legislators, fund-raisers and members of Congress in all 50 states – embarked on a mission to take control of the party’s policy-making apparatus before the 1992 convention. Their goal: Excise the anti-abortion plank in the Republican platform.

As already said, one of the issues Roger Stone deals with is voter fragmentation, eliminating it on your side, while creating division among potential supporters of your opponent. This is not the same as eliminating ideological division, which is expected to exist, but to make sure that ideological division cannot be expressed on your side, while being given as much outlet for expression in the opposition. Every effort must be made to keep George Wallace from running in the general, when he will split conservative votes, while every measure possible should be taken that he runs in the democratic primary, fostering division among democratic voters and perhaps depressing enthusiasm and turnout in the general. This would be the larger scale grift. To deal with this potentially devastating split in the Republican party – “It’s our biggest fear,” says Roger Stone – one might imagine a possible effective counterstrategy: to control the splitting faction, to create a pro-abortion rights Republican PAC which takes in money for the purpose of electing pro-choice Republican candidates, but instead does nearly nothing with it. Electing pro-choice Republican candidates, after all, would not simply change the position of the party, but create a party split, just as busing, crime, drugs, and the issues those words explicitly expressed, or the one they implied – race – had split the democratic party for more than a decade and a half. Rather than letting this issue split the party, you have an advocacy group that doesn’t advocate – it would be a little like taking a dangerous electricity and running it into the ground. We might also imagine this approach taken with another project. Let’s suppose you were conservative minded and thought the idea of women getting their own museum was ridiculous. What would be a more effective approach for halting construction: throwing yourself in the middle of the road, to block the construction equipment, or making yourself head of the construction team, and slowing down the pace to the point where nothing is done?

With regard to Republicans for Choice, this is only a theory, and the best supporting evidence that this was the true intent of the group is that Ann Stone was once Roger Stone’s wife, very much a kindred spirit, a virtuoso at direct mail from whom he learned everything, as merciless a political pit fighter as he was. Other than that, we have only small hints that this is what Republicans for Choice was attempting to do. There is “McInnis served on Republicans for Choice board for nearly a decade” by Scot Kersgaard, which points out that McInnis, a Republican candidate for Colorado’s governorship, was on the board of Stone’s Republicans for Choice from 1996 to 2005, at the same time that he served in the House of Representatives, where he went from being pro-choice to voting mostly against abortion, with the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) giving him a rating of zero percent on abortion issues in 2003. “Yet after receiving that rating,” the piece notes, McInnis “continued to serve at least two more years on the RFC board. Did the board actually offer advice in the running of the organization as implied or were members merely figureheads?” More succinctly: what is a pro-life congressman doing on the board of a pro-choice organization? When McInnis ran in the Republican primary for governor of Colorado, he would support a “personhood” initiative in the state, which was expected to ban abortion in the state. McInnis lost197.

There was another story that perhaps gave weight to this theory, “Republicans for Choice vs. Republicans for Choice” by Jeff Johnson, about the conflict between Stone’s Republicans for Choice PAC and Republicans for Choice, an affiliate of Planned Parenthood. Stone’s group supported the appointment by George W. Bush of Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit, while the Planned Parenthood affiliate was opposed. “I worry that if we in the pro-choice movement attack even those judicial nominees who are responsible and acclaimed jurists that we will appear like the ‘boy who cried wolf’ when the really bad nominees come forward,” wrote Stone. “We need to pick our fights and this should not be one of them.” “Republicans for Choice”, you discovered in this article, was a name that had been trademarked by Planned Parenthood in 1990, with an agreement between the group and Stone allowing her to use it, with necessary qualifiers to avoid confusion. Yet the confusion appeared inevitable, given the names; Stone’s website was republicansforchoice.com, while republicansforchoice.org was the affiliate’s. “We are Republican first and pro-choice second in their eyes,” said Stone of her disagreement with Planned Parenthood. “Our group was organized to be party-friendly and to work out the issue within the party … I have been a target more often than not because they see me as being ‘too Republican.'” In their mailer “Priscilla Owen Nominee for United States Court of Appeals For the Fifth Circuit: Executive Summary”, NARAL would write the following as their basis for opposing the nomination:

In almost every case concerning reproductive rights decided by the Texas Supreme Court during her tenure, Owen has sought to restrict a woman’s right to choose. In most of these cases, she did not merely uphold the Texas legislature in its decision to create a barrier to reproductive choice, she actually attempted to rewrite the statute to create her own, additional, barriers.

Stone would say the following in reaction to Planned Parenthood’s opposition of Owen: “To call her an ‘anti-choice extremist’ is ridiculous. It’s laughable.”198

There was one final detail in the history of Republicans for Choice, a reminder of what a hard pit fighter Ann Stone could be, so very much like her former husband in the nasty smears he could come up with, a cruel moment that the all encompassing historical amnesia had helped forget. It was two weeks to the end of the 1996 race for the governor of Delaware, and the Republican candidate, Janet Rzewnicki, was far behind the incumbent, Tom Carper, when Ann Stone held a news conference where she made a stunning accusation. There were, said Stone, sealed court records which proved that Carper abused his wife. Further, Stone said, “people in Delaware I trust,” had told her it was true. Carper had admitted to slapping his first wife once during their marriage in documents from a 1981 child custody dispute. Martha Carper, the governor’s current wife, would angrily deny Stone’s allegations in a press conference called almost immediately after Stone’s. “There are no documents sealed or unsealed because there are no documents in Family Court or in any other court.” The chair of the state Republican party would also denounce the allegations. “Ann Stone does not represent the Delaware Republican Party. We don’t practice that type of politics here in Delaware,” he’d say. “I think the whole thing is a malicious attack on the governor without a foundation.” Both Rzewnicki and her campaign manager insisted it was up to Carper to prove that he didn’t beat his wife. “If there’s nothing to hide, unseal the records and let the people of Delaware decide on this issue. I’m certainly not calling Tom Carper a wife-beater, but I believe that the people of Delaware have a right to know the entire story,” said Rzewnicki. “Show that he didn’t do it again and that’s the end of it,” said her campaign manager. Four members of the Republicans for Choice would resign in the wake of the accusations. They objected to Stone “raising issues that allegedly occurred over 15 years ago and with nothing but rumor and innuendo that they have occurred since then.” They also believed that Stone’s accusations, which I italicize what might have actually been an important and very intended effect, “could prove to be damaging to pro-choice candidates.” The question, unanswered, is the same here as it is in other parts of the story of Roger and Ann Stone: how large a game are they playing? Was this simply a clumsy smear, or a smear with the intent to do harm to the pro-choice movement in the Republican party? Janet Rzewnicki had previously served on the board of Republicans for Choice. In 1982, in Tom Carper’s first race, the issue of domestic abuse had also been brought up by his opponent. His opponent then was Tom Evans, and the campaign of Evans was run by a man known well to both Ann Stone and the reader, a man by the name of Roger Stone. Tom Evans would lose that race In 1982. Janet Rzewnicki would lose the governor’s race in 1996199.

This same question, how large a game is being played, is at the forefront of Roger Stone’s involvement of the 2012 election. It is this on which attention should have been focused, rather than on any supposed philosophical metamorphosis. I have already mentioned the pieces by Gabriel Sherman and the Washington Post whose purpose, arguably, is not even analysis of this shift, but simply presentation of a colorful character, the Roger Stone schtick with the malice of the Redlich smear entirely forgotten, with only the supposed pretense of such analysis. A far more insightful piece, one which served as the impetus for this lengthy essay, was from the NSFW Corp, “The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics” by Mark Ames. The other writers treated Roger Stone as an amusing carnival act, while Ames looked at Stone and the product he was promoting, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, as a crueler kind of joke. “Gary Johnson,” Ames writes, “is proof that our democracy is finished, a fistula of bad politics swelling up under Lady Liberty’s armpit.” The next paragraph:

It’s surprising to me how little skepticism or critical interest there is in Gary Johnson’s third party campaign, especially since he’s been hard-sold to progressives as the “real alternative” or “principled” or “more progressive than [NAME OF CORRUPT DEMOCRAT SCUMBAG HERE].”

The article’s ultimate thesis is simple, a reprise of the theme of voter fragmentation. Just as Wallace was employed to split the democratic vote in 1972, Gary Johnson will be employed to split enough democratic votes in key states for Romney to win the election. Ames dismisses most of the analysis of Stone and Johnson except for one piece, by David Sirota, “The libertarian/marijuana conspiracy to swing the election”. The subhead gives us a succinct summary, “Robocalls urge pro-drug legalization voters to support libertarian Gary Johnson, and could push the state to Romney”, and a few excerpts give us the argument:

The armchair pundits in Washington and New York typically write off these latter two factors as forces destined to aid the president’s reelection campaign. The conventional wisdom is rooted in oversimplified cartoons and caricatures of voter preferences. Essentially, the idea is that the marijuana measure will bring out liberal, Obama-loving hippies, yuppies and crunchies from Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins, while the libertarian candidate’s campaign will siphon conservative votes that would otherwise go to Mitt Romney, thus making Johnson the Republican “version of Ralph Nader,” as the New York Times predictably projects. But that kind of hackneyed red-versus-blue story line – so prevalent in the national media echo chamber – ignores how these forces are playing out on the ground.

This is particularly true considering the intersection of the pot initiative and the Johnson campaign. Despite the punditocracy’s narratives to the contrary, the former New Mexico governor has already been taking as much – or more – support away from Obama in Colorado as he has been from Romney, according to polls. And Johnson’s anti-Obama effect could be come much more pronounced in the next few weeks, thanks to how his supporters are deftly leveraging all hoopla around the marijuana initiative to sharpen their candidate’s appeal and message to disaffected Democrats.

This message is not just word-of-mouth anymore; it has been elevated to the big leagues by a new voter outreach campaign. Indeed, a new automated telephone call focused on the pot measure and playing to liberal disappointment is right now hitting Democratic households in Colorado. Here’s what the message says (you can listen to the full audio below):

Hello fellow Democrat. Like you I was thrilled to vote for Barack Obama in 2008. In 2008, candidate Obama promised not to use the Justice Department to prosecute medical marijuana in states where it was legal. But the real Obama did just that, more than doubling prosecutions, putting people in prisons and shutting down medical marijuana facilities in Colorado. That’s not the change you wanted on health freedom. But you can still be a force for hope and change by voting for Gary Johnson.

Officially funded by the Libertas Institute, the message is accurate in its factual broad strokes. Candidate Obama did explicitly promise to restrain the Justice Department from prosecuting medical marijuana offenses in medical marijuana states, and President Obama has nonetheless overseen an intense Justice Department crackdown on medical marijuana in those states, directly contradicting his pledge.

Though the national media has made the unilateral decision to ignore the massive and destructive Drug War, Johnson and his supporters clearly see the issue as a perfect opening for maximum local – and by virtue of the Electoral College, national – impact. They can make a full-throated libertarian case against the Drug War in a state whose politics are uniquely aligned to convert that argument into an election-winning game-changer for the Republican presidential nominee.

However, Sirota then argues against the idea of an intentional vote split:

Is this a brilliant GOP conspiracy theory? In other words, is the libertarian candidate deliberately trying to help Romney, as Obama partisans will no doubt grouse? Almost certainly not, as Johnson is no fan of Romney, to say the least. He has run a consistently honest and principled campaign that has been equal – and equally harsh – in its criticism of both parties. For that, despite being on most state ballots, he has been mercilessly shut out of the national debate by America’s bipartisan Political-Media-Industrial Complex. But apparently not shut out enough to potentially shift the outcome of the entire 2012 election.

For some, this will be sufficient refutation against such election shenanigans. For myself, I find Sirota’s claim to be superficial and weak. It ultimately implies that Johnson necessarily be a willing and intentional instrument for a vote split, when that is unnecessary. The only thing crucial is that there be a candidate credible on specific issues in key states to achieve this split – if Gary Johnson wants to run in the general election, then he will be suitable for the enterprise. “GOP donors funding Nader: Bush supporters give independent’s bid a financial lift”, by Carla Marinucci, is a piece on wealthy Republicans such as Nijad Fares, a man who gave $200 000 to Bush’s 2000 inaugural committee, and frozen food magnate Jeno Paulucci, who between 2000 and 2004 donated $150 000 to Republican causes, making large contributions to the 2004 Ralph Nader campaign200. This might be either an expression of deep ambivalence over capitalism, or part of the obvious ploy to keep Nader in the race and pull votes from Kerry, another vote split that would make a Republican victory more likely. Does anyone doubt that Nader was as much a man of principle as Gary Johnson, that he was far more critical of both parties than Johnson was? Yet he was also a useful instrument for a vote split, so useful that the GOP gave money in 2004 to make sure his campaign kept going.

That there was very effective message control with regard to Johnson, with emphasis on marijuana, gay marriage, and an oversized security state, with no mention of inconsistencies in Johnson or the seaminess of a backer like Stone, might be seen in some of the mainstream coverage the Johnson campaign received. The sole issue of Molly Ball’s profile of Johnson in the Atlantic‘s “Pipe Dreamer” is pot legalization. There’s the essay by Roger Stone, which Michael Musto links to, “Obama Actually Betrayed The Gay Marriage Cause”, following Obama’s 2012 statements on same sex marriage. The final quote is: “Barack Obama is playing a cruel and cynical game with peoples lives and happiness. He did nothing to establish that gay marriage is a right yesterday.” No mention is made of Stone’s association with the virulently anti-gay Larry Klayman. No mention is made of Stone’s support for the man he often uses as a lawyer, Paul Rolf Jensen, the same Jensen mentioned in “Attorney For Birther Army Doc Is Former GOP Staffer And Anti-Gay Crusader” by Justin Elliott. Jensen would file suit against twenty five Presbyterian pastors who officiated same sex weddings. “Jensen is a bulldog. A true student of the law. A brilliant litigator,” Roger Stone is quoted in the story. Stone signs off on the birther lawsuit as well, saying that Jensen knows the “damage this case can do to Obama. Won’t be adverse to trying to call Obama for testimony.”201

The emphasis on Johnson restraining the national security state was there in the posts by Conor Friedersdorf pounding the drum for Johnson. The most well-known, “Why I refuse to vote for Barack Obama” came down hard on the president for the U.S drone program, and for a war in Libya that Friedersdorf saw as unconstitutional. Friedersdorf repeatedly chastises liberals for their amorality in voting for Barack Obama. One of the last paragraphs:

The whole liberal conceit that Obama is a good, enlightened man, while his opponent is a malign, hard-hearted cretin, depends on constructing a reality where the lives of non-Americans — along with the lives of some American Muslims and whistleblowers — just aren’t valued. Alternatively, the less savory parts of Obama’s tenure can just be repeatedly disappeared from the narrative of his first term, as so many left-leaning journalists, uncomfortable confronting the depths of the man’s transgressions, have done over and over again.

All this caused me to be very surprised to discover, only after the election, that Gary Johnson had very explicitly, without manipulation or editing, said in 2012 that he was uncertain whether or not he’d end the U.S. drone program in Pakistan. Again, explicitly, and without manipulation or editing, he’d also said in 2012 that he wanted to keep the Guantanamo Bay prison open. That he supported a nuclear strike that would wipe out Iran if they were ever to develop nuclear weapons. That he was for a military strike team going into Uganda to capture or kill Joseph Kony, though he also somehow believed NATO’s work in Libya was unconstitutional, all of this given out in a muddle of an interview that would be an embarassment to a high school student, let alone a presidential candidate. In the day prior to the 2012 announcement on gay marrage, Friedersdorf would write a nasty column taunting liberals for having the gall to vote for Barack Obama given his lack of support for this issue: “‘Lucy’ Obama and His ‘Charlie Brown’ Progressives”. The involvement of Roger Stone in the Johnson campaign, nor his association with Klayman and Jensen, would ever be mentioned by Friedersdorf. After the election, you waited to hear what Friedersdorf would say about Rand Paul, a politician he’d done so much to promote, when he compared same sex marriage to marriage between the human and the non-human. “It is difficult, because if we have no laws on this, people will take it to one extension further — does it have to be humans?” asked the always thoughtful Paul in an interview with the always thoughtful Glenn Beck. Perhaps a chatstisement, or the emphatic declaration that if you were not for same sex marriage, then you had no principles, you were not a libertarian. Instead, readers got this: “Rand Paul Is a Savvier Politician Than Karl Rove Would Prefer”, an interview with Karl Rove at the Aspen Ideas festival. There were no further notes on the subject. I should emphasize I do not think Friedersdorf is complicit in any kind of conspiracy here – I think he’s just a helpful fool, addicted to his self-righteous libertarianism, like someone whose head is stuck far up his ass and who keeps it there because they get off of the reek202.

“Swindle” gives emphasis to the Sirota piece as supporting evidence, yet there is plenty of other material out there which gives further basis. There is this excerpt from “The Libertarian (Ever) Hopeful” by David Weigel, with Johnson speaking about a meeting he just had with Grover Norquist:

Gary Johnson is late. He’s pretty happy about the reason: too many interviews on the schedule today. That was never a problem when he was running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Now that he’s the front-runner for the less-exclusive Libertarian Party nod, people want to talk to him.

“We started out at Grover Norquist’s meeting,” says Johnson, putting down his iPad to join me at a Dupont circle coffee shop. Norquist’s meeting of conservatives is off the record, but attendees can confirm that they crossed the threshold. “I thought it was a really good reception. Part of being out there, campaigning, talking to people, is being able to read body language. And it was all good. Nobody was dozing off. Nobody was shaking their heads. They were actually shaking their head this way.” He nods vigorously.

We’re talking on the day that Newt Gingrich announced the end of his profound presidential bid, when the Republican Party, supposedly, was learning to love Mitt Romney. It’s a few days before Johnson will claim the Libertarian Party’s nomination, potentially becoming a spoiler for Romney. The heads really nodded this way? No heads shaking that way?

“No, none, zero,” says Johnson. “I really believe I’m gonna take it from Obama rather than Romney. I joke, you know-maybe all those pot-smoking, marriage equality, get out of Afghanistan voters for Romney are going to switch to me. Then, boy, he’ll be in trouble!”

The dissent to this view, is expressed in “Spoiler Alert! G.O.P. Fighting Libertarian’s Spot on the Ballot” by Jim Ruttenberg. The text linking to it in Sirota’s piece refers to it as “that kind of hackneyed red-versus-blue story line – so prevalent in the national media echo chamber”. A few excerpted paragraphs should give some sense of the argument:

The fear of Mr. Johnson’s tipping the outcome in an important state may explain why an aide to Mr. Romney ran what was effectively a surveillance operation into Mr. Johnson’s efforts over the summer to qualify for the ballot at the Iowa State Fair, providing witnesses to testify in a lawsuit to block him that ultimately fizzled.

Libertarians suspect it is why Republican state officials in Michigan blocked Mr. Johnson from the ballot after he filed proper paperwork three minutes after his filing deadline.

And it is why Republicans in Pennsylvania hired a private detective to investigate his ballot drive in Philadelphia, appearing at the homes of paid canvassers and, in some cases, flashing an F.B.I. badge – he was a retired agent – while asking to review the petitions they gathered at $1 a signature, according to testimony in the case and interviews.

The challenge in Pennsylvania, brought by state Republican Party officials who suspected that Democrats were secretly helping the effort to get Mr. Johnson on the ballot, was shot down in court last week, bringing to 48 the number of states where Mr. Johnson will compete on Nov. 6.

Both sides agree that Mr. Johnson, whose pro-marijuana legalization and antiwar stances may appeal to the youth vote and whose antigovernment, anti-spending proposals may appeal to conservative fiscal hawks – and to supporters of Mr. Paul – has the potential to draw from both Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama.

Aides to Mr. Romney, while playing down his impact on their candidate, say Mr. Johnson is more likely to hurt Mr. Obama in the potentially critical state of Colorado, where a marijuana initiative Mr. Johnson supports is expected to draw young voters to his cause on Election Day.

They have said they are keeping a keener eye on Virgil Goode of Virginia, a conservative Constitution Party candidate who is on the presidential ballot in Virginia and 28 other states.

So, despite the headline, Romney’s aides thought Johnson was more of a threat to Obama than their candidate, and were more worried about the hard right conservative candidate Virgil Goode splitting their vote than Johnson. “Spoiler alert: Poll finds small following for Libertarian candidate” by Dan Merica further argues that Johnson would take votes away from Romney rather than Obama, but makes the mistake of looking at the country wide picture, rather than state by state: “Obama leads Romney 52% to 46% when Romney and Obama are the only candidates in question, but Romney’s support goes down three percentage points with the inclusion of the third party candidates. Obama’s support only drops one point.” The Johnson campaign know this countrywide analysis is inconsequential, and they are explicit that in specific states, they will be costing Obama votes: “Generally, in places like Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada,” says Johnson’s campaign spokesman Joe Hunter, “it appears that Governor Johnson’s appeal comes from folks that supported Obama in 2008 and are now disillusioned with the president.” Adding: “Who cares if Johnson takes votes from Romney in California?”203 This analysis is also made by Roger Stone, though not in 2012, but in 2008, during Nick Gillespie’s class at the University of Miami in a discussion on that year’s election. It occurs in Stone’s answer to a question about the importance of the latino vote204:

GILLESPIE
So, what happens with the hispanic vote? It’s largely catholic, and seems to be pretty much up for grabs.

STONE
I think it is up for grabs. I mean, the problem is, once we become depicted as an anti-immigrant party, we begin losing hispanic votes. But hispanic voters are strong believers in hard work, strong believers in the work ethic, they’re patriotic, they love uniforms, they respect the military, I think it is a vote that McCain must make in-roads into, in Colorado, in New Mexico, at least – in order to win this election. And that actually, in my opinion, the key. In other words, I think in the final analysis, you should not look at the national polls that show this tied or McCain up three points or Barack Obama up three points, that’s largely meaningless. As you study, you actually look at Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia. Probably Florida. And look at the polls in those states. Those are the states that will determine this election. Everything else is predictable, by and large. You know the democrats will carry California, and say, Massachusetts, at this point, the Republicans will carry Texas and Mississippi. You know all that. Every other state is reliably predictable, those states I just mentioned are up for grabs, and in order to win Colorado and New Mexico, I think McCain needs to fall back on his original position on immigration, he’s not an immigrant basher, he has been in favor of a path to citizenship, and I think that could be very palatable to people in those states.

Note the key states: Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia. Not Pennsylvania, not Iowa, not Michigan, the places where Republicans were working to keep Johnson off ballots. And there is Virginia: Romney’s aides think Johnson will actually take more votes from Obama than their man, but: “They have said they are keeping a keener eye on Virgil Goode of Virginia, a conservative Constitution Party candidate who is on the presidential ballot in Virginia and 28 other states.” In Stone’s 2008 analysis, McCain needs to win Colorado and New Mexico by going back to his path to citizenship stance. Those voters were already lost to the Romney-Ryan ticket through their embrace of the proposals of Kris Korbach. So, how can they win those necessary states? Through a vote split on the left between Johnson and Obama. Though Ames is dismissive of Warren’s “Roger Stone to GOP: Payback’s a Bitch” piece – “It’s his Ivy Leaguer “bitch” that makes it so authentically awful” – there is, I think, a key point that Stone makes there, and why his role in the Johnson campaign is crucial. I bold the relevant text: “Johnson is polling at 9 percent in Arizona [according to PPP], and it’s all gonna come out of Romney’s hide, and he’s at 6 percent in Wisconsin (according to the Reason poll), which is all out of Obama’s hide. I am helping Gary figure out where to put his emphasis.” I was reminded of this line when reading the emails from the 2010 New York governor’s race, where Roger Stone pleads with Warren Redlich to drop out, and Stone gives his explanation for why: “In a 3 way race for Governor a woman candidate running on marijuana legalization gets 50,000+ votes and takes votes from Cuomo- not a Paladino. Prostitution would be de-emphasized in a fall campaign.” The plan is that marijuana legalization would have been emphasized with a Kristin Davis candidacy, taking it out of Cuomo’s hide, and throwing the election to Paladino. Redlich got the nomination, so Stone had no control in shaping the ticket. In 2012, Stone was there to help Johnson “figure out where to put his emphasis.” Marijuana legalization would be pushed in Colorado and New Mexico, taking points out of Obama’s hide205

Ames cites the precedent of Stone playing a role in a split vote in the 1980 election between Reagan and Carter. In a tight contest in New York, third party candidate John Anderson was predicted to do far more damage to Carter than Reagan. Ames quotes from the Labash profile an episode where Stone, political fixer Roy Cohn, and gangster Tony Salerno get Anderson on the ballot in New York state, and in 1980, New York goes for Reagan. This is one distintive precedent, but there are several others in Stone’s career. There is the list of notable achievements and connections in his memoir’s introduction, which includes the throwaway line “tried to persuade Warren Beatty to run for President on the Reform ticket (to siphon votes from the Democrats, of course)”206. Rather than run Warren Beatty, the Reform Party in 2000 would run Pat Buchanan, a move that would be their doomsday. Stone would openly take credit for this, and be explicit that the reason he wanted the Reform Party destroyed was because they were splitting the conservative vote. He would say all this publicly in a Reason TV conference and interview from 2007:

NICK GILLESPIE
Should the Libertarian Party continue to exist?

ROGER STONE
Well, as one who, I think, either helped kill, or killed, the Reform Party, because I believe they helped cost us the White House in both 1992 and 1996, and their lack of any ideology at all, it was a hodgepodge of vegetarians and goldbugs and a few libertarians, and gun people, and gun control people…there was no consistency there other than there were people who couldn’t make it in any other party.

Though both Labash and Toobin indulge Stone greatly in his claimed achievements, they shy away from this one. Toobin does not mention it at all; Labash gives it mention, then seemingly appears to wave it away: “After having recruited Pat Buchanan to seek the nod (“You have to beat somebody,” Stone says), he pushed Trump into the race. Trump relentlessly attacked Buchanan as having “a love affair with Adolf Hitler,” but ended up folding. A weakened Buchanan went on to help the Reform party implode, and Republicans suffered no real third-party threat, as they had in 1992, thus helping Stone accomplish his objective. If, in fact, that was his objective. These things are often hard to keep track of with Roger Stone.”207 I’m not quite sure why there’s the hesitation – “If, in fact, that was his objective” – since Stone has been very explicit that this was his objective, and the elimination of a vote splitting party on the right has an obvious tangible benefit for the Republicans. The man who goes further than both writers is, once again, Wayne Barrett, with “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House”: “The Buchanan saga remains important not only because it reveals the seamy underside of Bush II’s ascent to power, but because it shows how the GOP virtually eliminated a national centrist party that could’ve altered the 2004 race.”208

Roger Stone would meet with his old colleague from the Nixon White House, Pat Buchanan, and encourage him to leave the Republicans and run for the head of the Reform Party. Buchanan declined, but things were soon going badly for him in Republican primaries, where the Iowa straw poll had him behind far right fringe candidate Gary Bauer. Stone commissioned a poll showing Buchanan doing very well on the Reform party ticket and sent the results to Buchanan. A close associate of Buchanan, Pat Choate, would become chairman of the party, and Buchanan would head up the ticket, but only after a very nasty public fight. Donald Trump, who had briefly made public consideration of heading the ticket, called Buchanan a nazi. So did Jesse Ventura, who’d successfully won the governorship of Minnesota on the Reform Party line, and who left the Reform Party after Buchanan was selected. Bay Buchanan, sister and close confidant of the candidate, was bewildered by Stone’s actions, saying she “doesn’t understand why he would want us in the Reform Party in the first place” and then use proxies like Trump and Ventura to go after the candidate as a nazi. Choate would describe the efforts by Trump and Stone as a “Republican dirty trick”, with the intent “to disgust people and drive them away from the Reform Party. They were doing everything in their power to make a mess. You had Ventura leaving and Trump all over TV saying that Buchanan loved Hitler, ignorant statements.”209

Stone would also go after Buchanan with an old rumor that had dogged the candidate when he ran for president in 1992 and 1996. The rumor was that he’d fathered an illegitimate child while he was an undergrad in Georgetown, sometime between 1957 and 1961. In 2000, there was another element. Buchanan, in 1992, had made a series of payments, personal checks from him to his sister, who in turn sent personal checks to an aide, who then delivered cashier checks to a Washington lawyer. Pat Buchanan would call the baby story an “unsubstantiated rumor”. Bay Buchnanan would call the story “false”. Of the payments, Pat Buchanan would say “I’m not going to go into that. I don’t know the details of anything. It deals with a private matter. We did nothing wrong.” Bay Buchanan would confirm that these payments had been made. She would also confirm another detail: that the lawyer to whom the payments were made had once been married to a woman Pat Buchanan had dated when he’d been at Georgetown210.

Roger Stone would aggressively push the illegitimate baby story early on in the 2000 campaign. He was explicit and public in his belief in the story. “Everyone who worked for Nixon knew about” this story, said Stone. “There’s no doubt this illegitimate child story is true. My understanding is that Buchanan supported the child and made educational payments. It would be honorable.” Whenever Buchanan did well, the illegitimate baby story would get pushed. The nasty fight within the Reform Party eliminated the possibility that Perot would run for the ticket, which was always a worry for Bush during the 2000 election. Buchanan would purge the Reform Party of Perot loyalists. This would further intensify strife within the party, and cause Perot to endorse Bush. Buchanan’s ten million dollars in matching funds were used entirely in a near unnoticed media buy in Texas. After the election, Buchanan would say “I’m glad we didn’t take Bush down with us.” Buchanan would deny the possibility that the illegitimate baby story played a role in any of his decisions. “If you’ve got Roger trying to smear me,” said Buchanan, “it had no influence over what I did. I wasn’t intimidated into backing off the campaign by anyone or anything.”211 As for Bay Buchanan’s bewilderment, the part where she “doesn’t understand why he would want us in the Reform Party in the first place,” we have the answer openly given in the opening of a piece about the Reform Party of the time, a “Politics & Prose” column by Scott Stossel:

The only time George W. Bush has appeared to break a sweat in this campaign (aside from when clumsily deflecting allegations of past drug use), was when he implored Pat Buchanan not to bolt the GOP for the Reform Party. Clearly the idea of running against Buchanan in a general election makes Bush nervous.

By bringing Buchanan into the Reform Party, there was no longer the possibility of running against Perot. Having the fight for the Reform Party ticket be as contentious as possible destroyed the strength of the party. The illegitimate baby story kept Buchanan from being too visible in the general election. The possibility of a vote split on the right was eliminated. That this story has received so little coverage, while its auteur Roger Stone has gotten so much ink, demonstrates how journalists are drawn to the cheap thrills and frissons of the image of Stone’s sleazy tactics, sleazy tactics in the abstract, without the guts of the matter. The Reform Party was very much a power in the 1992 election as an expression for the voice of spurned labor, because one of its biggest issues was being against NAFTA, which would eventually have a devastating effect on work and wages. This possibility was burnt down to the ground, with the xenophobia of Pat Buchanan, minus his opposition to NAFTA, provided as a substitute. We instead are given Andrew Breitbart, who sells the idea of cultural marxism, a theory that a small group of jews control the culture and the economy, as a populist voice. To make it more palatable, Breitbart removes the specific connection to this cabal being jewish – they just happen to be so. It’s a theory that’s been plagiarized from an old journal of fringe candidate Lyndon Larouche, one that also happens to show up in the work of Pat Buchanan. A small group of jews who work against the interests of the white christian majority, setting the dark races against them. Breitbart provides the xenophobia, minus any interest in labor. His constant nemesis is the service employees union, the SEIU, who he accuses of being involved in election fraud. Roger Stone destroys a voice for labor, and this raw hatred roars into the vacuum. Toobin does not speak of the Buchanan incident, and though Labash slavishly gives close attention to so many of Stone’s doings, he abruptly shies away from this consequential event: “These things are often hard to keep track of with Roger Stone.”212

Wayne Barrett would also document a second prominent time when Stone would use a candidate for divisive purposes, and this would be Al Sharpton in the 2004 Democratic primaries. “Sleeping With the GOP: A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton’s Campaign” would detail how Stone would provide loans and staff for Sharpton’s campaign, with the intent to divide the democrats in 2004 as they had been in 1972. While the Club for Growth bought ads against Howard Dean in Iowa, Sharpton would attack Dean for the lack of black men and women in his Vermont cabinet. It was just like in 1972, when black protesters had suddenly shown up outside Edmund Muskie’s hotel room, demanding why he had ruled out the possibility of a black vice president. A member of the Nixon CREEP committee, Donald Segretti, would later take credit for that. “Top level consideration should be given to ways and means to promote, assist, and fund a Fourth Party candidacy of the Left Democrats and/or the Black Democrats,” wrote a Nixon strategist and speechwrier in 1972. “There is nothing that can so advance the President’s chances for reelection – not a trip to China, not four and a half per cent unemployment – as a realistic black…campaign.” That Nixon strategist was Pat Buchanan, before he himself became a third party threat to conservative voter unity213.

The desire to support and fund the creation of a fourth party, one led either by Eugene McCarthy or one with black candidates catering specifically to a black demographic, for the express purpose of splitting the Democratic vote, is made explicit in the tapes of the Nixon White House, a plan approved by the then president himself. The following is a transcript from Stanley Kutler’s invaluable Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes:

SEPTEMBER 14, 1971: THE PRESIDENT, HALDEMAN, AND COLSON, 12:37-1:32 P.M., OVAL OFFICE

Nixon continues to rage about the IRS and his friends. Colson then joins the conversation, offering his special contributions to White House dirty tricks.

COLSON
Well, Bob Brown has some friends who are going to have signs around the Muskie rallies, [saying Carl] Stokes [the black mayor of Cleveland] for vice president. This raises the point-

HALDEMAN
I will hope the hell that Watts do go ahead with a black president candidate.

PRESIDENT NIXON
So do I.

HALDEMAN
In fact, Buchanan has come in with a suggestion that may make a lot of sense which is that – he says if we’re going to spend $50 million in this campaign, then 10 percent of it, $5 million, ought to be devoted-

PRESIDENT NIXON
To the fourth party.

HALDEMAN
-to financing a black-

COLSON
Shirley Chisholm and Julian Bond.

PRESIDENT NIXON
Do you think that the blacks will vote for a black party?

HALDEMAN
Some.

COLSON
A lot of them will especially if-

HALDEMAN
Just to show that the Democratic party has no one…But Pat’s point is we’ve got to get a viable candidate – only if they get a viable candidate. If they get a Julian Bond-

PRESIDENT NIXON
Well, let me suggest this. Might – $5 million would finance Eugene McCarthy.

HALDEMAN
Well, that’s Howard Stein is working on that. There’s a good story in the U.S News, Newsweek, or something. Stein has outlined the McCarthy plan which is that he is not going to enter the primaries but he’s going to do a major speaking tour next year will go to the convention as people – the Democratic convention as the people’s candidate. If, as is expected, he’s rejected by the convention, he will then go to the fourth party. The problem is that it’s too late then go to a fourth party. You have – it takes time to get a fourth party qualified…[Remember, Wallace? Wallace did a superb job. That's why with a black party you've got to get started (inaudible), so they get qualified for-]

PRESIDENT NIXON
All right, Bob. Put that down for discussion – not for discussion but for action. They should finance and contribute both to McCarthy and to the black thing.

COLSON
That’s a helluva lot-

PRESIDENT NIXON
We’re recognizing that McCarthy – the black won’t take any votes from us. Just like the damn Democrats contributed to [George] Wallace in Alabama. They did, you know. Jesus Christ, they were praying for Wallace to win that primary.

HALDEMAN
Yeah.

COLSON
That’s a helluva lot better use of money than a lot of things.

PRESIDENT NIXON
Oh, we spent – waste money on all sorts of things.

HALDEMAN
Okey-doke. What he’s saying is, you know, instead of some television commercials-

PRESIDENT NIXON
Absolutely.

HALDEMAN
-we can do this.

COLSON
Or billboards.

HALDEMAN
Because we’re going to need the television commercials.

(Audio of this very moment in the White House tapes. Audio is taken from the extraordinary resource nixontapes.org, row 572a from the page chron2, audio link rmn_e572a.mp3.)

Stone would say that he “helped set the tone and direction” of Sharpton’s Dean attacks. “I am helping Gary figure out where to put his emphasis,” said Stone of the 2012 Johnson campaign. Stone would co-ordinate contributions from various states to get federal matching funds for the Sharpton campaign – you need at least $5000 from at least twenty states for such funds. Among the contributors to the Sharpton campagin from Florida: Nydia Stone, Michael Caputo, Dianne Thorne, Tim Suereth. This attempt to get matching funds, to keep the campaign going as long as possible and maybe even pick up delegates, so they’d bring the dissent all the way to the convention, would ultimately fail214.

When Dianne Thorne was hired by the Broward County sheriff’s department in 2013, Stone would have a strange reaction to allegations that there was a connection between his possible help for Scott Israel in the sheriff’s campaign and Thorne’s hiring. “Diane [sic] has not worked for me for over two years,” he would write. “She is an amazing professional, and I have missed her assistance over the past two years since she left my employ.”215 It is a strange reaction, and a reminder once again that I lack Stone’s genius. I subtract two years from 2013, and go back to 2011. Yet Thorne appears to be very much there in the campaign, credited as Stone’s assistant, at the Johnson campaign in 2012. From “Live From Tampa, Roger Stone’s Steakhouse Politics: Charred and Bloody” by Gabriel Sherman. My bolds:

It was shortly after 8 p.m. on a rain-soaked Monday night, and Stone was fondly recalling conventions of yore on his 60th birthday with Diane Thorne [sic], his raven-haired Australian assistant, and her friend Gretchen, a blond tenth-grade English teacher from Miami Beach. He had his hair bleached signature blond, and wore a custom tailored tan suit, a red-and-yellow striped tie, and a white handkerchief in his breast pocket (“I’m Roger Stone, I have to dress this way,” he says). Smoke from the airplane-hanger-sized gaming room adjoining the steakhouse wafted into the restaurant.

We all ordered crab cakes and shrimp cocktail. Stone went with the New York strip, done “Pittsburgh” (charred on the outside, rare in the middle). “This is good,” Stone said biting into his steak. “When you’re with Gary Johnson, you’re eating at PF Changs or Outback. We’re very frugal with campaign cash.”

“What are you talking about?” Thorne said. “We eat at Chipowah, or whatever it’s called.”

“It’s Chipotle,” Stone said. “You know,” he said turning to me, “I kind of like Chipotle for lunch.”

We also have the observations of Bill Still, a libertarian gadfly who was very critical of the involvement of Roger Stone in the Libertarian Party. An excerpt from the “Still Report #41″, via the Independent Political Report (which is a transcript of his “Still Report #41″ on youtube):

Now before I go on, I’m going to say this may be the last time I talk about this. Watch it, do your own research, believe it or ignore it. I’m tired of having to go negative on Gov. Johnson, but as I’ve said before, his candidacy represents a takeover of the Libertarian Party – not only by the Republican Party – but the most nasty, pro-Federal Reserve wing of the Republican Party.

That’s the only thing that can possibly explain the mindless two-pronged Johnson economic policy:

So who is behind this takeover of the LP?

This guy, Andrew Miller – the one in the pink shirt – is sitting with Gov. Johnson at breakfast a couple of weeks ago in Georgia. He and a gorgeous black-haired Australian woman have been in the Johnson entourage until they disappeared at the California convention. They had been with Gov. Johnson since the first convention he showed up at in Manhattan.

(last image from Andrew Miller’s twitter, taken from “Hidden owner of ‘news’ site gave $120,000 to group that paid sheriff’s campaign manager” by Dan Christensen, the first two are from “The Still Report #41″)

However, what I found out in California was that Miller and the beautiful Australian actually work for this man, Roger Stone, probably the dirtiest of the American political consultants.

Who could this beautiful, raven haired Australian woman possibly be?

The question, again, should not be “what is behind Roger Stone’s philosophical shift in 2012?” Roger Stone has no philosophy, no beliefs, only practical concerns. The question is: how big a grift is he pulling, and what kind of grift is he aiming for? There is the possibility that he and his associates are simply draining the Johnson campaign of funds, as Larry Klayman alleged they’d done with him (this is discussed in part six). Stone would insist that he worked on the Johnson campaign as an unpaid volunteer: “I have been paid zero by the Johnson campaign.” He worked pro bono for Carl Paladino as well, with two companies run by Dianne Thorne paid at least $84 000. A company run by her stepston, Andrew Miller, was paid $17 000. Thorne worked as a scheduler for the candidate for New York governor, did her work from a suite on Miami Beach. The Gary Johnson campaign would originally end the 2012 post election period with a little over $197 000 in debt, which would suddenly jump up to over $1 134 000 in debt in February 2013. Much of that debt was to “Political Advisors”: $535 244.94 for “Staff Hours – Mid-Level, Senior Advisors, Clerical, Creative Advertising, Campaign Consult”216. Members of the Libertarian Party had already noticed, and complained, that Libertarian Party donations had paid off his campaign debts – rather than those debts being paid off by federal matching funds, as the Johnson campaign had claimed217. That Stone worked as a volunteer advisor on the Paladino and Johnson campaigns may well be due to a generosity of spirit. However, I could not help but be reminded of some excerpts from the biography of Roy Cohn, Citizen Cohn by Nicholas Von Hoffman. Stone was an admirer and protegé of Cohn, with Cohn getting considerable space in Stone’s memoir Dirty Tricks and a 30th birthday party thrown by Cohn for Stone is clearly considered by the dirty trickster as one of the great moments of his life218. Cohn also had massive tax liens on him during the later part of his life, and he dealt with them as follows:

Roy’s strategy for not paying taxes and not going to jail was magazine cover-story material also. The high-fashion New York business magazine manhattan, inc. did a piece on how he did it called “The Prince of Paupers,” wherein it was explained that Roy received almost no salary or other compensation but lived off expenses provided for him by his law firm.

How do you avoid your salary from being hit by your liens? You have your salary paid to your associates.

There was an ominous detail, picked up only in “Swindle” by Ames, that the positioning of Johnson as a vote splitter was part of a long term project of a faction on the right. “Our America Initiative”, Johnson’s election organization, was registered in March 2010, and it was registered by Maureen Otis, who specializes in far right groups and causes. She was the legal contact for the anti-immigrant Declaration Alliance, whose website delcared “the United States of America is under relentless attack by foreign invaders who neither obey our laws nor honor our institutions”, she was the legal contact for Californians for Population Stabilization, a group opposed to legal immigration to California, she was the legal contact for True the Vote, a ballot security group that was almost entirely white, which operated in black and latino voting precincts in 2012. All these and other details I already wrote about in a post also spurred on by the NSFW Corp piece, “Maureen Otis: A Mystery Inside a Mystery”, about Otis and the unreported shadow money so ubiquitous in politics now. When I wrote that, however, there were a few subtle details I missed. Maureen Otis is the legal contact for the 60 Plus Association and USA Next, two grassroots senior advocacy groups that are nothing of the kind, getting almost all of their funding from big pharma and industry. They may be the only seniors organizations to fight against price caps on medication for seniors. They might be the only seniors organizations to advocate for burial of nuclear waste in Nevada, and offshore oil drilling, thanks to donations from the respective industries. Those details I did not miss, and gave mention in “Mystery Inside a Mystery”. What I missed is that United Seniors Association was founded by Richard Viguerie and re-organized by J. Curtis Herge. That J. Curtis Herge also incorporated the 60 Plus Association. J. Curtis Herge, the same man who incorporated the New York Institute for Law and Society, which attacked the Mohawks as drug dealers and human traffickers in newspaper ads, a smear campaign which Trump and Stone had to apologize for (see “Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Five”). J. Curtis Herge, who gets a mention in Stone’s memoir: “In 1972 I was assigned to work for J. Curtis Herge, an affable and capable attorney from Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Gutherie and Alexander, Nixon’s starchy Wall Street firm. Herge had done advance work for Nixon in 1968 and 1970.” I missed that nuance, and I missed another one. I first came across the excellent piece, “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years”, because I was looking up the various organizations for which Maureen Otis is the legal representative. In 2008, Maureen Otis was the legal contact listed for the National Women’s History Museum219.

These connections I missed, and I also missed what was taking place in the Libertarian Party in the four years leading up to the Gary Johnson nomination. The 2008 Libertarian convention may well have been the most eventful in the party’s history, certainly the one that attracted the greatest media scrutiny. Bob Barr, a former Republican who’d been a major player in the congressional impeachment hearings of Bill Clinton, was running for the party’s nomination for the presidential ticket. There would be a profile of Barr in the New Yorker, “The Third Man” by Raffi Khatchadourian, though the coverage of the convention was only a small part of it. For writing on that, you’d have to read the excellent “Freedom Freaks” by Michael Idov, which portrays a very contentious vote, divided between the hardcore libertarian faithful such as Mary Ruwart, and the ascendant intruder, with the election going to six ballots before it was decided in Barr’s favor. Crucial to Barr’s victory was another man new to the Libertarian party, who garnered an incredible amount of votes thanks to barn burning charisma. The contrast between the stodgy idealism of the libertarian old guard and the disruptive electricity of this second intruder is well conveyed in Idov’s piece:

Most of the assembled purists save their loudest cheers for “Dr. Mary” Ruwart, a party veteran with a soft, hypnotic voice that doesn’t break its motherly cadence even when she explains how the right to carry concealed weapons could have prevented September 11. (She’s also on the record suggesting that children should have a right to consent to sex with adults.) Her mostly male fans have come equipped with posters that say “Mary” inside a red heart. Another old-school favorite is Steve Kubby, a cancer-battling marijuana activist who drives a 1984 Mercedes that runs on cooking oil. The Mary-Kubby people are fast congealing into an anti-Barr alliance. From my informal survey of signs and pins and hats and paddles and T-shirts, Mary has the ears of about 25 percent of the delegates and Kubby another 20 percent: enough to make Barr nervous. Ruwart suggests that she would pick up Hillary Clinton supporters, who “can’t wait to vote for a woman,” and the heart-Mary signs fly up.

A few doomed dabblers march across the stage, serving up a glimpse into the party’s various now-endangered constituencies. Christine Smith, a New Age-y redhead with a musical twang, says things like “Ah see freedom in the ahhs of wild creatures.” Alden Link is an older gentleman who talks exactly like Truman Capote, except about the Second Amendment.

And then something electrifying happens. A man from Las Vegas named Wayne Allyn Root saunters to the podium. A ruddy bookmaker and TV sports handicapper who once co-hosted a show with Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, Root looks like a cross between “SNL”‘s Darrell Hammond-as-Bill Clinton and Biff from Back To the Future. He’s been itching to diversify from odds-making and TV appearances, and recently wrote the book Millionaire Republican, about “creating personal wealth in the GOP-dominated era.” (It came out in 2006.) Soon after, he had his own “Libertarian awakening,” as he calls it. Root’s brochure baldly paints his candidacy as a pure p.r. project. His detailed “sixteen-year plan” for the party has such milestones as “Wayne hits a local college nightspot and dances with the younger set. The video makes U Tube” and “Wayne becomes a frequent guest on ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos,’ Wayne’s Columbia University classmate.” (Stephanopoulos on Root: “I definitely didn’t know him.”) His other Columbia classmate? “Barrack [sic] Obama.” P.r. gold.

Root grabs the mic, leaves the podium, and begins to prowl the stage like a motivational speaker, crossing back and forth in front of his frozen competitors. “I am the anti-politician! I am an s.o.b.-son of a butcher! America needs a son of a butcher! I know how to manipulate the media! First Jewish-American to run for president! First small businessman! First home- school dad! This is an opportunity of a lifetime!” His speech is all disembodied applause lines, and Root flogs and teases and massages each one for maximum impact.

Root leaves a definite mark. Compared to the low-boil Gravel, the literally and figuratively absent Barr, and the parade of amateurs that preceded him, he is the only one who seems to really enjoy being here. An impressed follower of Kubby, the pot activist, jokingly floats a “Grass-Root ticket.” “I had a feeling that he was going to sell me some Ginsu knives,” says another delegate when it’s over. “But … I don’t know-maybe this is what we need right now?”

Barr and Ruwart would be pitted against each other in the final ballot, and it was thanks to Wayne Allyn Root swinging his support behind Barr that Barr got the ticket. Wayne Allyn Root would get the veep slot, and would soon become a very visible face of the party. In “The Life of the 3rd Party” by Thomas Vinciguerra, a brief profile of Root in the month before the 2008 election, we see a man not shy about extolling his virtues. “The Libertarians have been a debate society since 1971,” Root says. “No one ever thought about winning. And then I came along.” He is already bragging about his future achievements. “Bob Barr and I are going to get a million to three million votes this year,” he says. “In 2012 I expect to duplicate Ross Perot’s number of 19 million. In 2016 I expect to be a credible third-party candidate, and in 2020 I plan to win.”220

There is something fascinating in Root that begs for a lengthy profile, and this is not simply because of all that would come to pass after his 2008 nomination. He had the strange duality of an aggressive salesman combined with something more malign. He made you think of the sound of an energetic, loud, productive motor that you slowly realize is a chainsaw. If there was a character he reminded you of, it was deputy Lou Ford from Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me, who’s an endless source of banal feel good homilies, an endless source of murder. Root was like Ford, a smiling malice at low boil, minus the murder. “Just Another Hustler in the Hustler Kingdom” by David Weigel, a gifted writer who can be quite scathing, doesn’t go after the hustler with sharp claws, or claws at all. “The One-Wing Ticket” by Jesse Walker, also for the Libertarian magazine Reason, is more succinct and nasty about who the party has just voted in. It was one thing to pick Bob Barr, a long time advocate for a smaller state, for the ticket. However, he should have been balanced out with an orthodox veteran of the party. In “a tone-deaf, disappointing decision,” Walker writes, they’d picked “a man with the deportment of a Ronco pitchman with a squirrel in his pants.”221

In “Life of the 3rd Party,” Root is described as a professional handicapper, but he had also been called a far nastier name – he was a professional scamdicapper. “What is a professional scamdicapper?” asked a post on Maddux Sports. “A Scamdicapper,” the post answered, “is a term that is used to refer to a sports handicapping service that is not in the sports wagering business to help you, but to profit off you and scam you out of your money.” The rest of the post continued this blunt approach. “Some common practices of Scamdicappers are to claim outlandish winning percentages, go under multiple names, give out both sides of a game, or even call and harass you until you purchase their picks.”222 There, at the end, was a list of scamdicappers to avoid at all costs, and there was the name: Wayne Allyn Root. The bluntness was not limited to this gambling outreach, but there in a New York Post column, Phil Mushnick’s “Pardon my Indigestion”, as well: “Shame on the Discovery Channel for selling infomercial time to self-promoting blowhard, Libertarian Party presidential candidate and longtime braggart, liar and sports scamdicapper Wayne Allyn Root, and his cohorts (“I went 8-0!” “I’m 26-0!” “Call now!”).” The venom continued for two paragraphs:

Unless accepting money in exchange for allowing Root and the likes of former Chicago and New York sports radio and TV host/windbag/glad-hander Chet Coppock is how Discovery operates, this time-buy should be immediately tossed. And shame on Hooters’ Las Vegas casino for sponsoring this scam show. Aren’t casinos supposed to trade on the public’s trust?

Root may be good at suckering Fox News Channel producers and hosts and Wikipedia into thinking he’s legit, but others know a lot better, and have for years.

Root’s handicapping company was Winning Edge, and “The Tout” by Christina Binkley is a profile of him and the company from 2005. “I like UMass, Providence, and, um, lemme see — my other pick was South Carolina,” says Root into a phone. “Don’t get scared on me.” Two years later, Winning Edge International, Inc., also known as Winning Edge would be sold to Betbrokers, PLC, its shares worth three tenth of a cent. “As a result of the asset sale,” we can read in the dcoument announcing the asset sale, “Winning Edge received shares of Betbrokers, PLC. Winning Edge will use the proceeds of the sale of Betbrokers’ stock to pay off existing debts.” After debts were paid, Winning Edge shareholders might get something. “If there are any proceeds left after the sale of Betbrokers’ stock and payment of debts, the remaining proceeds will be distributed to Winning Edge’s shareholders.” That, however, was highly unlikely. “At this time, management is not certain if there will be any funds to distribute to shareholders and shareholders should consider it unlikely that there will be any distributions.” The debts of Winning Edge were in excess of two point four million223. After the collapse of the company, Root would bring in General Patent Corporation International to sue various other sports betting firms for infringing on his patent. Winning Edge, you see, owned U.S. Patent No. 6,260,019, also known as “Web-Based Prediction Marketplace”. What they’d patented was any “method and apparatus pertain to the on-line prediction of future events.” I should emphasize the any – the patent was not specific to any software, hardware, or any specific algorithm. This is sometimes known as patent squatting. Winning Edge and Betbrokers went after Playbook Enterprises and Don Best Sports. The companies settled224.

The other company Root was associated with was Wealth Masters International. WMI would sell you video tutorials on how to achieve wealth, and part of the way you achieved wealth was through recruiting new members. There were a number of names for this; one of them was “mid level marketing”, the other was “pyramid scheme”. Norway would classify Wealth Masters as a pyramid scheme and ban them from the country225. A search on February 14th, 2014 at Ripoff Report, would produce sixteen reports for Wealth Master Internaional. “Got my attention by claiming to be honest in a crooked industry and therefore doing business the better way. But just when you start trusting you realize you too have been conned by their lies”, read the title of the first.

Root was elected a member at large of the Libertarian National Committee, while heading up a sister organization that would be created soon after his arrival, the Libertarian National Campaign Committee (LNCC). There was soon a creeping fear that Root was trying to take over the LNC, with a different emphasis on libertarian issues. Liberty for America, a libertarian journal, would review Root’s book Conscience of a Libertarian and note that his concerns were entirely lower taxes, smaller government, and end to restrictions on internet gambling. There was no discussion of the prison industrial complex, drug sentencing, foreign intervention, the defense industrial complex – many of the key issues of libertarianism226. Root would fundraise and endorse Republican candidates. This, he would argue angrily, is about outreach. The Florida and Idaho state chapters of the Libertarian Party would pass resolutions demanding that Root be removed from his positions on the LNC and LNCC227. “I call Wayne a “Republican” Libertarian,” said Eric Dondero, another Libertarian controversial for his passionate defense of the military, and a fan of Root’s. “He’s like a GOP infiltrator within the Libertarian Party.”228

Beneath all the gladhanding salesmanship there was a nasty, cruel ugliness to Root. It came out when he argued with other libertarians, but most of all it came out when he talked about his former classmate at Columbia, Barack Obama. Except that Root wasn’t sure that Obama had been his classmate, since he’d never seen him. Root wasn’t sure Obama had gotten into Columbia by virtue of his ability. It was all there, above the surface and very visible, in an interview with Matt Welch and Tim Cavanuagh, “Wayne Allyn Root’s Million-Dollar Challenge”. I initially tried to only partially excerpt this piece, yet Root keeps going and going in each line, so that the following is almost the entire interview. What the “million dollar challenge” refers to is made obvious in its middle:

Matt Welch: So tell us what we should know about Barack Obama that we don’t?

Wayne Allyn Root: I think the most dangerous thing you should know about Barack Obama is that I don’t know a single person at Columbia that knows him, and they all know me. I don’t have a classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia. Ever!

Welch: Yeah, but you were like selling, you know, Amway in college or something, weren’t you?

Root: Is that what you think of me! And the best damned Amway salesman ever!

Welch: No, I’m sure that you were an outgoing young man, I’m just guessing.

Root: I am! That’s my point. Where was Obama? He wasn’t an outgoing young man, no one ever heard of him.

Tim Cavanaugh: Maybe he was a late bloomer.

Root: Maybe. Or maybe he was involved in some sort of black radical politics.

Welch: Ooooooooooh.

Root: Maybe he was too busy smoking pot in his dorm room to ever show up for class. I don’t know what he was doing!

Welch: Were you the exact same class?

Root: Class of ’83 political science, pre-law Columbia University. You don’t get more exact than that. Never met him in my life, don’t know anyone who ever met him. At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, 20th reunion, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack! Who was he, and five years ago, nobody even knew who he was.

Other guy: Did he even show up to the reunion?

Root: I don’t know! I didn’t know him. I don’t think anybody knew him. But I know that the guy who writes the class notes, who’s kind of the, as we say in New York, the macha who knows everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him. Is that not strange? It’s very strange.

Welch: That’s peculiar! Do you have any theories?

Root: Don’t have any theories. I don’t know. Don’t know why. Kept to himself…. The only thing I could even imagine is that he talks in his biographies about being, you know, his identity crisis, his “am I black or am I white?” He chose black. And he hung out with a couple of black kids and never went near anybody and his wife? That’s the only thing I can think of. All my buddies are white, what can I tell you! They don’t know him, nobody’s ever seen him, I don’t know what to tell you.

Other guy: That’s the era.

Root: That’s the era. I mean, when I went to Columbia, the black kids were all at like tables going “Black Power!” We used to walk by and go, “What the hell are they talking about.” And they didn’t associate with us and we didn’t associate with them. So if you track down a couple of black students, they’ll probably know him. But nobody white’s ever heard of this guy. It’s quite amazing. Nobody remembers him. They don’t remember him sitting in class.

Welch: Black power in ’83?

Root: Ha ha. That’s Columbia. Colubmia’s radical, always was. There was gay power over here, and pot power over here, and black power over there, and Hispanic power over here, and feminism.

Welch: And what was your power?

Root: Oh I was the bookie guy, don’t worry about it…. But here’s the story that I think the press should be digging up, I really mean this, about Barack Obama. When George Bush annoyed everyone the first thing they went to was how dumb he was, and they said how bad he did in Yale, and blah blah blah, he got a C average. Then they found his C average was better than Al Gore’s average, and it was better than John Kerry’s average!

Cavanaugh: And then you stopped hearing the story.

Root: Right. But the point is all three of them had C averages. I had a B-plus, A-minus average at Columbia University.

Welch: Wait, you’re bragging on your GPA?

Root: No, no I’m not, because here’s the moral to the story…. I had a B-plus, A-minus average at Columbia University, in four years. When I graduated, I took the LSATs and I did well. I didn’t do great, I did well; B-plus, A-minus average. My counselor at Columbia said don’t even bother applying to Harvard Law School, because you can get into any law school in the country with your record, except Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton [Editor's Note: Princeton doesn't have a law school]. Except for the very top, you can get in anywhere, but don’t even try those, because your grades don’t cut it.

Well, everyone says how bright Barack is, but Barack won’t release his transcripts from Columbia University.

Cavanaugh: Hmmmm.

Root: And I’d be willing to bet every dime I have in the world, a million dollars I’ll put, I’ll put a million dollars cash on the fact-

Welch: This is on the record-

Root: -that my GPA was better than Barack’s-

Welch: Oooooh.

Root: …and he got in based on the color of his skin.

Does anyone doubt that possibly Barack could have gotten into Harvard with a C average because he’s black, where as I, white, couldn’t get into the same school with a B-plus, A-minus average? And yet his wife says that America is a terrible nation unfair to minorities! I say, Au contraire!

I say the whole problem with America is we are racist against people because of the color of their skin. We’re helping people because they’re black. We’re helping people because they’re minority. We’re helping people because they’re poor. In reality only those who have the most skill and talent should get into Harvard, not because of the color of their skin.

So now I ask out loud in the press, I challenge my classmate to give his GPA against mine. And let’s see if he really is the bright guy they all say he is. What if we discover he got into Harvard with a C average? Is he then the brilliant man America thinks he is? That would be a very good question, don’t you think?

Welch: The follow-up I want to ask is: What if it’s better than yours? You just said a million dollars!

Root: Well, who’s taking the bet? I didn’t hear anyone accept. No, I’m pretty sure I’m right. I’ll go out on a limb. Listen, they always said with O.J. Simpson, you know, never ask the question if you don’t know the answer, does the glove fit? I don’t know the answer but I’m pretty sure I know the answer. He had a lower average than me and he got into Harvard and I didn’t.

And so my answer is, has America really been unfair to minorities? No it hasn’t. It was unfair to me. A white butcher’s kid, whose father had no money, but nobody gave me a break. And do I have a chip on my shoulder? You’re damn right I do. And I represent millions and millions of poor people in this country who weren’t lucky enough to be poor and black, they were unlucky enough to be poor and white, and they can’t get into Harvard. So maybe that country Barack’s fighting for, he’s got the wrong country here. He’s been just fine in this country. The rest of us need someone to defend them….

Anyway my point is, for those of us in America who want to fight for talent being the determiner of who’s successful or not, I’m your representative. Obama’s the wrong representative. And for those who disagree, I say: I’m for affirmative action-I think the NBA should be 80 percent white. [...]

Welch: And are you hitting this note as you’re doing all this media that you’re doing from Nevada and stuff?

Root: I actually haven’t; I brought it up tonight to you guys for the first time because I think reason is the right media to bring it up with, without being painted as a racist. Because I don’t have a racist bone in my body.

“Wow,” one commenter to the interview would write, “Wayne Allen [sic] Root is an asshole.”229 In September 2011, Wayne Root would invite Johnson to join the Libertarian Party. “Gary Johnson is a friend of mine. We’re fans of each other’s politics,” he wrote. “On all of his many radio appearances with me, I’ve yet to find an issue we disagree on…I’d welcome Gary’s addition to the LP in any capacity. He’d make a wonderful Libertarian officeholder, leader or Presidential/Vice Presidential candidate.” Roger Stone would tip his hat to Wayne Root, asking in March 2012 on his blog, “Will Wayne Allyn Root replace Harry Reid in 2016?” Root would endorse Johnson for president on the ticket, and Johnson would endorse Root for his at large position at the LNC230. It might make a perfect reveal that the intent of the Libertarian ticket all along was to divide the vote on the left, while conservatives of all stripes were called on to vote Romney, if say Wayne Root were to defect from the Libertarian Party back to the GOP and sound this call, and, well, that’s exactly what did happen.

“It’s gotta be Romney, there is no choice,” Root would first proclaim on a podcast a month before Johnson was nominated to the ticket. A few days later, when introducing Johnson at an event, he explained this as just more outreach231. In early September, Root would leave the LP and endorse Romney. “I don’t deny that Romney and Ryan aren’t libertarians, but Romney is a pro-business capitalist and Obama is a Marxist-socialist. The economy has been trashed. This is about my kids’ future, it’s about my businesses. There is no hope for America if Obama is re-elected.”232 In his resignation letter, he also said he wanted to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, just as Stone had encouraged him to do in “Will Wayne Allyn Root replace Harry Reid in 2016?” Root would not only endorse Romney, but give a prescient vision of the future that made clear why he was such a fearsome gambler: “Las Vegas Oddsmaker Explains Why He Predicts Romney Landslide”, where he confidently expected the Republican challenger to win by 100 to 120 votes. “I’ve made my living for the past 27 years predicting the winners of sporting events, like the Super Bowl and March Madness. I did it well enough to be awarded my own 180 pound granite star on Las Vegas Blvd – the only oddsmaker ever inducted into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars,” he wrote, bragging about a star that anyone could get, if they were willing to spend $15 000. Previously, he’d predicted that McCain would win the 2008 election, with 37 to 40 states (McCain won 22). “This professional prognosticator,” Root would write in a 2005 book, “believes that the GOP will dominate American politics (on all levels) for the foreseeable future.” After the 2012 election, Root could say clearly why he’d been wrong233. “Obama’s re-election proves that bribery as a campaign tactic is validated,” he’d write in “What went wrong with my prediction about Mitt Romney and the 2012 election”. “Promise enough “free stuff” and you win votes, even if the end result is no jobs, no hope, and a lifetime dependent on government.”234

Though Roger Stone, despite his cruel and slimy past, is often presented as a rogue member of the GOP, attempting to re-shape the party into something better, his attitude about the 2012 election and why the Republicans lost, is very much an echo of Root’s complaint and the nastiest, most hermetic voices of the Republican party. From “Buzzsaw: LBJ and the Killing of JFK with Roger Stone (Nov 24, 2013)” (40:25-40:55):

TYREL VENTURA
Where do you see our country headed, from the research you’ve done on JFK, and all the years you’ve been in politics where do you see us going?

STONE
I wish we could be more optimistic. I think the biggest problem we have in America today is we have more takers than we have producers. So, the government’s going to turn around and buy the votes with our own tax money, whether it’s I’ll give you free health care or I’ll give you a college scholarship, or I’ll give you a bigger welfare payment, or I’ll give you a cellphone. For votes. I think that’s a very dangerous thing.

The Johnson campaign would barely, if at all, cut into the votes of democrats. That it was a failure should not be mistaken as being the same thing as it not being attempted. The motivation for Stone doing this, is obvious and pragmatic. If Johnson had split the vote, and Romney had won the election, the Romney team would owe Roger Stone, far more than the Bush team owed him in 2000. This is the only issue for me – whether Stone was aiming for the small payoff of leeching the Johnson campaign of funds, or the larger payoff of whatever the Romney White House might give him. We need not keep this vague on the prize, but come up with something specific. Stone would be given sway once again over the Bureau of Indian Affairs, just as he had after 2000. The federal recognition that the Connectiut Schaghticokes lost, which they need to set up a casino, is reversed again, thanks to the intervention of Stone. He gets an advance in the casino as well as an ownership stake. A professional handicapper, Wayne Allyn Root, gets part of the action as well. Much was made of Stone’s defection from the Republican party, about the small barbs he threw at Romney, at Ryan, at the Koch brothers, while ignoring a post published at the Huffington Post, April 9th, 2012, two months after he’d defected from the GOP to the Libertarian Party. It was called “The GOP’s Indispensible Man”, and it was about his old colleague at Black Manafort Stone & Kelly, Charlie Black. It made no mention that they’d been colleagues, but was full of unqualified praise for his former partner. “Black is a master political mechanic,” Stone writes, “respected for his discretion, his balanced nature and his deep experience.” The final sentence: “Romney is both wise and lucky to have him.”235

We might take this as a simple bit of flattery, or as a coded message, confirming a past agreement: I am very much still on your side. The idea of a vote split to win a Romney victory was a good idea – the only problem is that they got Roger Stone to do it. In this, Stone might well be like his best known client, Donald Trump, who represents an image of a part better than those who play the part far better. Trump is far better at creating a brash, crass entity, a full-figured emptiness, “an opera buffa parody of wealth” in Mark Singer’s phrase, that embodies arrogant capitalism far better than those who are actual succesful and important billionaires, whether it be Warren Buffett or Bill Gates. “Deep down, he wants to be Madonna,” says a security analyst of Trump236. Deep down, Roger Stone wants to be Madonna, too. Stone is better at creating an image of a political fixer than he is at the role. His race with Tom Kean was a razor thin victory, while the only presidential campaign he ever headed up, Arlen Speter’s, ended before the first primary. Warren Redlich beat him in the Libertarian primary. His candidate, Kristin Davis, finished dead last in the governor’s race. His two greatest achievements, the Brooks Brothers riot and the leak of Eliot Spitzer’s sexual life, are both inventions, bought up by a gullible and stupid press. His “jokes”, like harassing Bernard Spitzer or his libeling Warren Redlich as a sexual predator, are obvious, cruel, and stupid. The mystery, the malevolence one associates with him are not his own, but the qualities of a political world, now, of secret money and secret power. He is a man who tries to claw at fame by making himself the embodiment of that secret world, but he is one of the players of the least significance. Roger Stone is an evil genius without the genius part. That no large financial donor ended up backing Johnson, through the veiled power of a Super PAC, shows the lack of confidence on the part of secret money in Stone’s ability to pull off this bet.

In the days after the 2012 election, Roger Stone would identify what he thought was the problem with the current political system. “The problem,” he said, “is that we have a duopoly.”237 This was the proclamation of the man who proudly took credit for destroying one third party, and may have used another third party in a failed vote split. “They’re really very similar,” Stone would complain of this duopoly he’d helped put in place, “they’re both for foreign intervention.” In 2008, Stone had expressed his misgivings over Iraq, but it wasn’t that there’d been a war in the Middle East, but a war with the wrong country. “I don’t see the point of the war in Iraq,” he’d say. “Now, if you wanted to have war against the Saudis, I’m with you. They’re our problem in the region, they’re not our friends.”238 In 2013, he tried to run Kristin Davis as New York comptroller, so he could once again throw some slime at Eliot Spitzer. The press gave some coverage to this, because Roger Stone is always amusing color. What they didn’t cover is that Kristin Davis had been nominated at a libertarian convention where those who voted her onto the ticket weren’t members of the state party. A new convention was called, and it wasn’t Kristin Davis on the Libertarian Party ticket, but Hesham El-Meligy, who’d been highly critical of the NYPD surveillance policy of Muslims. In an email, Stone would dispute the results, and then there came a moment that somehow never made it out into the press coverage of this charming rogue. Without any basis whatsoever, he would call El-Meligy a radical Islamist. He would call El-Meligy the Al-Qaeda candidate. He would say that El-Meligy couldn’t possibly hope to get matching funds, despite his support from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban. “For all his bravado,” writes Toobin in “Trickster”, “Stone told me that he shied away from racially inflammatory campaign work.” Stone went on Facebook and threatened to sue over El-Meligy’s nomination239. Later in the campaign season, Kristin Davis got arrested for selling prescription drugs, and she never submitted her signatures to be part of the debates240. Roger Stone stopped talking about Kristin Davis after that. At the reddit AMA, “I am Gov. Gary Johnson, Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative”, held on February 2013, “Daedalus991″ asked of the campaign’s expenditures, “I’ve read your campaign manager used $2.3 million of the $2.5 million you raised to pay his own company. If I donated money to your campaign, where do I write for a refund? Thanks, Governor.” (link) The query got 194 upvotes, making it the most popular question in the thread. It went unanswered. “The problem,” Roger Stone said, “is that we have a duopoly.” In his unpublished guide, Stone’s Rules, Stone believed there were even fewer choices than that. “There is only one Party – The Green Party.”241 He does not say whether he thought it a problem, or not.

That I have any suspicion that a vote split was attempted in 2012 is propelled most of all by the secret money system we are now all forced to deal with, and which only benefits those with the vastest of treasures. Our suspicions about the darkness which surrounds us becomes a paranoia, but one that feels justified, where anything other than paranoia would be foolish. In an incident that took place in the past two days, while I was writing this, Rand Paul was accused of plagiarizing the work for his lawsuit against the NSA by a lawyer he’d worked with, Bruce Fein. The accusation would later be retracted, with Fein placing the blame for the accusation on his ex-wife, Matty Lolavar. Both Fein and Lolavar have already appeared in this lengthy piece (they show up in part six) because Lolavar was allegedly involved with Roger Stone’s IKON consulting firm in some very strange ventures. I wrote there that the best source for information on Fein and Lolavar had been “Libertarian Bum Fights” by Mark Ames, and when the fight broke out between Rand Paul and Fein, I immediately thought of a possibility raised in “Bum Fights” which I hadn’t included here because it seemed too distracting. The suggestion, as I read it, was this: that Bruce Fein had once been executive editor of a private intelligence publication called “The World Intelligence Review”, staffed by ex-CIA and ex-MI5 spies, that the purpose of “The World Intelligence Review” was to defend the CIA’s public image, that perhaps Fein’s shift from devotion to hard-right Cheneyism to a man calling for Cheney’s trial wasn’t obvious opportunism, but a man playing a double game, so he might infiltrate the camps of his enemies, all of which leads to the obvious guess about the latest events, that the accusation of plagiarism against Rand Paul – a man, I should emphasize, who I cannot stand and do not want elected as president – was an act of deliberate sabotage of the lawsuit against the NSA242. One is moved to such ridiculous paranoid thoughts not out of any desire for a conspiracy, but the overwhelming darkness, under which there may well be an ocean of secrets.

Mark Ames ends “Bum Fights” with a nod to Philip K. Dick and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. When writing this, I thought constantly of Dick’s thoughts on death, which are quoted in Divine Invasions: The Life of Philip K. Dick by Lawrence Sutin: “I have a feeling that in the instant after death everything real will become apparent; all the cards will be turned face-up, the game will be over, and we will see clearly what we have suspected only…and unfounded suspicions will be erased.” I write these posts as a set of possible guideposts for that future history which will be written when those not yet born will laugh at our foolishness, at what we suspected and dared not suspect, for that time when the cards that are now face down will be open, obvious, visible, and face up.

(Some small edits have been made to this post since publication – on February 16th, 2014, the information on Gary Johnson’s debts for his Republican campaign being paid by Libertarian Party donors was added to footnote #216. That Our America Initiative was started in 2009 was also added on this date, and some additional material was quoted from the letter by Wayne Allyn Root welcoming Johnson to the Libertarian Party. Additional support was added concerning the failure of the Sharpton campaign to achieve federal matching funds in footnote #213. The only other major edit in the previous posts was fixing the broken footnote links in Part Five, a change made on February 15th. The addition of the reference to the Dnaa Milbank column to the last footnote was made late on February 16th. The quote about there being only one party – the green party, was added on February 17th. On the same date, the images featuring Andrew Miller were added, and the quote from Johnathan Schell about the importance of a fourth party and the accompanying footnote were added. The additional material in footnote #206 of the youtube video of Carter and its transcript was added on February 19th, 2014. On March 1st, the fragment from Buzzsaw’s interview with Stone was put in. Roger Stone’s connection to Tom Carper’s 1982 race was put in on March 5th, 2014. On March 16th, the transcript and accompanying youtube clip of Nixon’s discussion about setting up a vote splitting fourth party were added.)

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

187 From Dirty Tricks:

188 The details of Calero’s life here are unquestioned can be found in many places, including his obituary, “Adolfo Calero dies at 80; tied to Iran-Contra scandal” by Tracy Wilkinson:

By 1983 he declared his leadership of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, a Contra rebel group formed and financed by the CIA. He was considered one of the more hard-line members of the force and at times clashed with other leaders as well as his American backers.

“My idea would be to take the nine comandantes, plus the next nine down, and the next and the next, about 60 people or so of the Sandinista power structure, bind them up and put them on an airplane and drop them off in Havana,” Calero told writer Shirley Christian in 1983, as recounted in her book “Nicaragua: Revolution in the Family.” “That would solve our problems.… That is what I want.”

The war would, of course, turn out to be much less surgical and cost thousands of lives. The U.S. involvement in attempting to overthrow the Sandinistas also led to a secret and illegal operation in which U.S. agents sold weapons to Iran and gave some of the money to the Contras.

Calero worked closely with fired White House aide Oliver North, one of the major Iran-Contra figures who worked to raise millions of dollars for the Contras after Congress cut off aid. At one point, Calero gave some of the money back to North, in the form of unsigned traveler’s checks, after North said he needed to fund other Contra operations and buy the freedom of American hostages in Lebanon.

“I reacted immediately, saying that Nicaraguan hostages of the Sandinistas [and] American hostages of these groups in Lebanon were one and the same, and that I would be happy to help in their liberation,” Calero testified to Congress in 1987 hearings on Iran-Contra. “I felt deeply for those poor people who had been kidnapped.”

189 From “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie:

WASHINGTON — Sixteen years ago, a small band of women working on Capitol Hill launched a campaign to “Free the Sisters of the Crypt” and raised $85,000 in modest, private donations to move an unfinished, 10-ton marble statue of suffrage pioneers from the basement of the U.S. Capitol to the Rotunda.

That one achievement has since grown into a movement to build a national museum in Washington honoring women’s contributions to American history. Big-name sponsors, including actress Meryl Streep, have pledged their support, and the museum’s organizers have raised nearly $10 million.

Yet 16 years after organizers began in 1996, there is still no National Women’s History Museum (NWHM). Its leaders have failed to secure — or even identify — a location for a building, and sometimes have downplayed the very idea that they need one.

The museum’s president, CEO and chair of the board of directors is Joan Bradley Wages, a lobbyist and onetime flight attendant. Ann E.W. Stone, a veteran Republican political operative, serves as senior vice president of the board. Stone is also a key vendor for the museum and its largest contributor of in-kind, or non-cash, donations.

When she became president of the museum in 2007, Wages seemed like a plausible candidate to head a legislative campaign to secure a dedicated site. “[My] credentials to lead the NWHM are primarily due to my experience as a lobbyist in Washington on behalf of three Flight Attendant unions,” she told HuffPost in an emailed statement.

Stone, too, seemed like an ideal backer: a well-connected Washington insider on the fault line of women’s politics, a pro-choice Republican with good fundraising credentials and a knack for publicity. Stone has been a member of the museum’s board since it was founded and has twice served as treasurer. She has been the senior vice president since 2007.

190 From “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie:

Stone and Jones, however, aren’t simply for-profit vendors to the museum. They are also the museum’s biggest volunteers, followed closely by Wages — an arrangement that Berger at Charity Navigator characterized as “very, very unusual.”

Donations of volunteer time can help to boost a nonprofit’s overall financial picture in the eyes of potential donors and grantmaking foundations. Volunteers report their hours and the fair market value of their services, which is then recorded as revenue from in-kind donations on the organization’s financial documents, adding to its overall revenue, a key indicator of financial health.

The museum’s total revenue has jumped considerably in recent years due to the influx of in-kind donations, the vast majority of them in the form of volunteer hours. In 2008, the museum reported $551,550 worth of in-kind donations, an increase of more than 500 percent over the previous year. In 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, the museum reported $456,303 worth of in-kind donations.

In 2010, according to IRS records and documents provided by NWHM, the Stone Group donated a total of $371,824 in in-kind donations, making it the biggest single non-cash contributor to the museum. Volunteer time accounted for the vast majority of this amount, with personal expenses and software programs totaling a few thousand dollars.

The year before, Stone personally donated $27,060 worth of volunteer time, according to documents provided by the museum. In 2010, that number shot up. Stone reported having performed 1,717 hours — nearly 43 weeks’ worth, at 40 hours per week — of volunteer work for NWHM, split between her board duties and other services such as “social media coordination” and public speaking. Of these, she counted 781 hours as in-kind donations, valued at between $150 and $1,000 an hour. Her total personal contribution of time, she said, was worth $201,450.

Jones reported donating even more time — 2,050 hours — in 2010, for a total value of $164,426, according to documents the museum provided to HuffPost. Wages said that Jones’ work included “chores,” such as “moving furniture [and] running errands to pick up supplies.”

Wages is no stranger to eye-popping in-kind donations, herself. According to the museum’s records, in 2009 — the only year she appears to have donated hours — Wages provided $189,462 worth of volunteer time. She had initially valued her time even more highly, calculating 1,450 hours as worth $398,750. But that figure didn’t sit well with the museum’s auditors.

According to a statement from the museum, the auditors “recommended that [Wages] could not charge more than $25 per hour for many of the donated hours,” a steep drop from the $275 per hour at which she had initially valued her time. Consequently, they “recommended that [Wages' in-kind donation] be reduced by $209,288.” Still, an in-kind donation of nearly $190,000 is striking.

Jones declined to speak to HuffPost, but stood by her calculation of her own hours, saying in a written statement, “Some days I volunteered long hours, some days short hours and then there are days I don’t volunteer there at all.”

Stone, however, had trouble explaining in a phone interview the more-than-sevenfold jump in the value of her donated time from 2009 to 2010. When HuffPost asked her what caused the increase, she grew flustered and said she would check her datebook and send back an explanation. Stone has yet to reply.

When asked how she found time to operate two small businesses and run a PAC while donating so many hours to the museum, Stone responded, “I don’t know what to say to that. I guess from your standpoint, you can look at this and see what you see, but from my standpoint, [I know] what’s in our hearts.”

191 From “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie:

Since 2005, the museum has paid Stone’s two companies at least $194,000 for their direct mail services, according to records provided by the museum. The Stone Group oversees mailings to the museum’s list of supporters, while Capstone Lists rents mailing lists to the museum for solicitations.

The vice president of the Stone Group and Stone’s business partner for the past 30 years, Lora Lynn Jones, owns a third company, direct mail brokerage Total Direct Response, which also does business with NWHM.

Stone denied that her status as a vendor, donor and board member for the museum constitutes a conflict of interest. “It has been handled totally in keeping with what [nonprofit governance website] BoardSource and other sources have laid out. [Museum board] committees are aware of it, and it’s been fully disclosed,” she said.

But two experts say that Stone’s multiple roles with the museum, while not illegal, fall well outside typical board-vendor arrangements.

“This certainly isn’t a best practice,” said Ken Berger, president of the nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator. “Nonprofits are really discouraged from hiring the services of board members, and while technically you can get away with it, even then it’s really bad. Our advice is that vendors should step off the board [if they want to do business with a nonprofit],” he said.

David Schultz, an expert in nonprofit law at Hamline College in Saint Paul, Minn., said the arrangement with Stone presents “enormous potential for self-dealing and conflicts of interest.”

From “Election Law: Supreme Plot” (archived) by Dan Christianson, from Daily Business Review, July 10, 2003

Mary McCarty’s “Dear Friend” letter was shrill. “Were you as outraged by the Florida Supreme Court’s efforts to highjack [sic] the presidency for Al Gore as I was?” the letter asked. “It was an outrageous, arrogant power-grab by a left-wing court which is stuck in the liberal 60s…We must raise at least $4.5 million by the ‘Vote No’ campaign to organize Florida voters to reject the retention of these three liberal Supreme Court justices.”

192 From “National Women’s History Museum Makes Little Progress After 16 Years” by Andrea Stone and Christina Wilkie:

Jones reported donating even more time — 2,050 hours — in 2010, for a total value of $164,426, according to documents the museum provided to HuffPost. Wages said that Jones’ work included “chores,” such as “moving furniture [and] running errands to pick up supplies.”

Jones declined to speak to HuffPost, but stood by her calculation of her own hours, saying in a written statement, “Some days I volunteered long hours, some days short hours and then there are days I don’t volunteer there at all.”

193 From “The curious spending of Republicans for Choice” by Josh Israel:

Since the PAC’s formation in 1990, documents show that Republicans for Choice has raised and spent more than $5.5 million. But a Center for Public Integrity analysis of the PAC’s more recent filings – along with data from CQ MoneyLine, which tracks political giving – reveals that over the past decade less than five percent of the committee’s spending has gone to political candidates, other political committees, or independent expenditures. Since 2005, just about one-half of one percent of the PAC’s nearly $1 million in spending has gone to federal or state campaigns, according to a review of records. By comparison, Federal Election Commission data show the average federal PAC in the recent 2007-2008 cycle dedicated about 35 percent of spending to contributions aiding federal candidates. A comparison to other PACs on both sides of the abortion debate shows that similar groups spend a much greater portion of their funds on candidates and campaigns.

When the issue of the group’s early spending was raised in a 1992 Legal Times article, Stone wrote a rebuttal defending the PAC’s practices. The first goal of the group, she said, was “not the election of federal candidates, but the election of pro-choice delegates” to the Republican national convention. Including state campaigns, she added, 10.6 percent of total spending at that point had gone to “direct assistance to candidates,” putting the PAC in line with other major abortion rights political action committees. But in recent years, the group’s expenditures have not tracked with other major PACs on both sides of the abortion debate. Using data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the Center analyzed how much other abortion-issue PACs spent on federal candidates, political committees, and independent expenditures since 1997:

  • Republican Majority for Choice PAC, another abortion rights GOP committee: more than 87 percent;
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC: 49 percent;
  • Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s PAC: 72 percent;
  • Republican National Coalition for Life PAC, an anti-abortion GOP group: 79 percent; and
  • National Right to Life PAC: over 91 percent.

194 From “The curious spending of Republicans for Choice” by Josh Israel:

In recent years, most of the PAC’s payments have gone to one of three recipients: Capstone Lists (a direct-marketing company owned by Stone), The Stone Group (a political consulting firm owned by Stone), and Ann Stone directly.

Dating back to the beginning of 2005, about 69 percent of the $967,108 spent by the group has gone to those three entities. Both companies and the PAC, along with the not-yet-built National Women’s History Museum (Stone is senior vice president), share space in an Alexandria office building. Though the four entities list different suite numbers on correspondence, filings, and the building’s occupant directory, the four Stone groups share a second-floor office with a door marked “250-260.”

Republicans for Choice pays thousands of dollars each year for office, equipment, and list rental to Capstone Lists. The Stone Group’s services are retained for the PAC’s accounting, mailing production, and website updates (though www.republicansforchoice.com contains numerous out-of-date and under construction pages).

Stone herself received nearly $250,000 since the start of 2001 as reimbursements for her “travel and entertainment,” “automobile maintenance repairs,” phone, tires, gasoline, and various other expenses.

Among other expenditures by the RFC PAC were 13 payments over the 2006 and 2008 cycles to the Washington, D.C. government and one to the City of Alexandria to cover $685 worth of parking tickets. This figure represents more than 10 percent of the total given by the committee to political candidates over the same period. Stone does not dispute that these were her violations, but points out that the PAC is transparent about them. “I could have put these on an expense report to ‘hide’ it,” she said. “I did not.”

195 Ann Stone’s comments are taken directly from the Politico article “A PAC’s spending” by Ben Smith; for clarity, some paragraph breaks have been added, but no other changes have been made. There were two comments made, and they get separate quotes:

Yes I am that Ann Stone whom this article is whipping you up to hate. But if you knew the whole story your perception might be different. Let me start off though by telling you that most of the “facts” in the original article are correct. Most but not all. But that is not enough to know the real story.

The real problem however is in the conclusions and in the omissions of information by the author of the original article. They may say the omissions were to limit the length of the article but those omissions change the tone and perception of the “facts” they reported and some of their conclusions. First off, I made the original reporter well aware that our PAC was never primarily designed to support candidates by giving money. In fact I was clear with him that was a small part of what we were set up to do. And I explained that unlike the other groups he had compared us to we did all our work under a PAC which meant that all of our activity was disclosed and is public.

The other groups listed who are great and do great work have separate 527’s or c3s or c4s to do most of their work which is not candidate related. Organizing a group’s overall work that way allows them to split up expenses and overhead. And they are not required by law to make any public disclosure of specific receipts and expenses like we do in a PAC. So much of their administrative and project costs are separated from their PAC so their percentages of course would look better. I guess I would now say we should have done it the same way so that all the money contributed into the PAC was only raised for candidates and spent that way,but that is not how we did it. We neither raised money soley for candidates nor spent it that way, creating this PR nightmare. If you go to our website http://www.repubicansforchoice.com you will read about our full mission…

To continue: Our donors who were solicited knew that when they signed up. The donor they write about came to us unsolicited and clearly thought PAC=candidates. But that donor should also remember that he was surveyed regularly to find out what they thought our spending priorities should be. We have been very responsive to what our members have asked us to do. Shockingly funding candidates rates down the list at bottom or near bottom.

We offered to share a sample of those letters with the authors of the original article. Further anyone who thinks I made money on this PAC did not read the article or does not understand FEC law. When you incur expenses for a PAC personally …you must be reimbursed for them…that is the law. The money RFC paid me was to reimburse me for money I paid out.. Like for our expenses at each national convention which between airfare, hotel for our staff and volunteers and other staff expenses I would have charges of thousands of dollars… By law I had to be reimbursed for or it would have been a violation of law. So did this “fund my lifestyle?” Hardly. And the much ado about the parking tickets and car repairs…if we got a ticket due to staying at a meeting downtown that had to do with RFC …RFC paid the ticket. As for car repairs and such…I worked out a deal that RFC would pay for car repairs etc instead of mileage…which was much less paperwork and time consuming…and as I said in the article we could have hidden it away in an expense report but chose to have them pay it directly and disclose it.

Sadly I will have to spend the next few days refuting much of the omissions and misinterpretation of facts in this article. Here is another example of a conclusion that was distorted. What the authors did not tell you is that the reason my firms were paid was two fold: 1) When I started RFC no GOP firm would help us fundraise or organize for fear of retribution by the GOP. In fact there were a whole host of printers and list owners and others who we had dealt with at other times that would not work for us because of our stand on this issue. So rather than hire a Democratic firm (which also would have been a PR nightmare) my firm handled what we could not get others to do. Now that the Party has calmed down toward us recently maybe I could have bid the work out but since my firm was named as one of the top in the Nation by a vote of our peers, why settle for less with another firm? And we were able to do the work at a rate we would not have gotten outside…but still within the market norm as is required by law. 2)The second reason is that to save costs starting in 2005 when our revenue started declining, we outsourced staff functions and project coordination to my firms because they could do their work, outside of what volunteers could handle, more cost effectively. I have great and experienced staff and it now allows me to be able to personally oversee RFC’s work and still do my other work. But when our firm orders printing or does computer work or designs literature or writes an ad script or does research, or records a radio ad they are required to bill RFC for that work and to be paid for it…or it is an illegal corporate contribution.

In fact when we filed our first FEC report we had an audit almost immediately provoked by an FEC complaint from an anti choice group who was looking to have us nailed as having provided work or office space to RFC which would have been an illegal contribution so we were sensitive to this from the start. You may think we made bad decisions on how we organized the work we do by putting it all under the title PAC or disagree with how we spend our money but our work has had impact and has always been done according to the law. All of our expenses have always been out in the open for anyone to see. Further the authors did not detail the pages and pages of accomplishments we gave them nor the fact that during the lean times I personally lent or gave the PAC money to keep going to the extent I was allowed by law. No that would have messed up their storyline. Feel free to email me through the RFC website if you want to ask me any more questions…

196 From “G.O.P. Group Formed to Support Abortion Rights” by Robin Toner:

WASHINGTON, April 23- A group of centrist and conservative Republicans says it is mounting a three-year drive to change the party’s platform and its firm opposition to abortion rights.

Ann Stone, a conservative fund-raiser who is heading the group, Republicans for Choice, said, ”Our first goal is to change the party’s platform to reflect the view of the majority of Republicans, which is that choices should be made at the individual level and government should get out of our lives.”

Ms. Stone said the group, which will be a political action committee, hoped to raise $1.5 million to $3 million over the next three years to aid Republican candidates who support a woman’s right to have an abortion and to bring about changes in the platform at the 1992 convention.

Ms. Stone said the group already had almost 200 elected officials signed on to its advisory board. Among them, the group said, are Representatives Nancy L. Johnson of Connecticut, Jim Kolbe of Arizona, Ronald K. Machtley of Rhode Island and Tom Campbell of California.

Earlier this month, another Republican political action committtee was formed to aid Republican candidates who support abortion rights. The group, Pro-Choice America, includes Republicans like former First Lady Betty Ford and Representatives Constance A. Morella of Maryland, Bill Green of New York and Claudine Schneider of Rhode Island.

From “Abortion Issue Simmers In GOP” by S.A. Paolantonio:

Imagine it’s 1992, and thousands of reporters and television crews have descended upon the Republican National Convention for the re-coronation of George Bush.

But there is one big problem. There is no story to cover.

The world is still at peace. The economy is cruising. So is the President’s popularity. What are the reporters going to write about?

Abortion.

“It’s our biggest fear,” said Republican political consultant Roger Stone. Imagine, said Stone, that President Bush, who has consistently vetoed abortion-rights legislation, is a spectator at his own convention while renegade Republicans lead a charge to overhaul the GOP platform, which currently calls for a constitutional ban on abortion.

197 From “McInnis served on Republicans for Choice board for nearly a decade”:

Anti-abortion Republican candidate for governor Scott McInnis says he does not remember serving on the advisory board of Republicans for Choice, a political action committee ostensibly dedicated to supporting pro-choice candidates.

Papers filed with the Federal Election Commission, though, show that McInnis served on the organization’s board from June of 1996 through at least August of 2005. Filings submitted since then do not include the PAC’s letterhead, which lists its advisory board.

Republicans For Choice did not return multiple phone calls or emails.

Mcinnis served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 until 2005, and was originally elected as a pro-choice candidate. By 1999, he was voting mostly against choice and by 2003 the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) had him rated at zero percent on its issues.

Yet after receiving that rating, he continued to serve at least two more years on the RFC board. Did the board actually offer advice in the running of the organization as implied or were members merely figureheads? It’s hard to say. RFC founder, chairwoman and treasurer Ann E. W. Stone earlier this year told the Center for Public Integrity that she relies on an advisory board to set the agenda for PAC spending.

From “Scott McInnis’s Abortion Stance Comes Full Circle With Support For ‘Personhood’ Initiative” by the Huffington Post, describes Innis support for the Personhood ballot intitiative. That McInnis lost his primary was obtained from the wikipedia entry “Colorado gubernatorial election, 2010″.

198 From “Republicans for Choice vs. Republicans for Choice” by Jeff Johnson:

Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com) – Two Republican pro-abortion groups with similar names are on opposite sides of the debate over President Bush’s nomination of Priscilla Owen to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The pro-abortion group “Republicans for Choice Political Action Committee” supports Owen, while the pro-abortion “Republicans for Choice®” affiliate of Planned Parenthood does not. The confusion created by the similar names is creating tension between the groups.

Ann Stone, national chairman of “Republicans for Choice PAC,” said Tuesday that her pro-abortion colleagues should “cease their attacks on Priscilla Owen and let her nomination go forward.”

“I worry that if we in the pro-choice movement attack even those judicial nominees who are responsible and acclaimed jurists that we will appear like the ‘boy who cried wolf’ when the really bad nominees come forward,” he explained in a press release. “We need to pick our fights and this should not be one of them.”

Stone’s group is located online at republicansforchoice.com. The website includes a disclaimer at the bottom of each page stating, “This Republicans For Choice committee is a political action group and is not a part of, or affiliated with, Planned Parenthood.”

Changing the .com to .org, in the web address, however, yields a connection to the “Republicans for Choice” that is an affiliate of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest fee-for-service purveyor of abortions, and opposes Owen’s nomination.

A search of the records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveals that the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., does, in fact, hold the “service mark” for the phrase “Republicans for Choice.”

The mark was submitted for approval on March 30, 1990 and registered to the group on December 28, 1993. Records indicate that Planned Parenthood claims to have first used the phrase on July 17, 1981.

The page titled “A message from Ann Stone” on her website claims that she “founded Republicans for Choice in 1989.”

Stone told CNSNews.com that she has been using the name since the late 1980s under a “working arrangement” with Planned Parenthood.

“We are Republican first and pro-choice second in their eyes,” Stone explained. “Our group was organized to be party-friendly and to work out the issue within the party … I have been a target more often than not because they see me as being ‘too Republican.'”

Crockett is urging Stone to change the name of her organization “because it sends a confusing message.”

“You can’t call yourself ‘pro-choice,'” Crockett wrote, “and support an anti-choice, extremist judicial nominee.”

Stone laughed when asked if she was planning to change her group’s name. Regarding Planned Parenthood’s characterization of Owen, she added, “To call her an ‘anti-choice extremist’ is ridiculous. It’s laughable.”

199 From “Del. Governor’s Wife Denies Charge Husband Abused Her” by Sandy Bauers:

WILMINGTON – In one of the stranger chapters in Delaware’s political history, the wife of Gov. Carper held a news conference yesterday to say her husband doesn’t beat her.

That event was triggered by an earlier news conference in which the chairwoman of a national Republican political action committee said the abuse had occurred.

The accusation against the Democrat by Ann Stone, chairwoman of Republicans for Choice, an abortion-rights lobbying group based in Alexandria, Va., was immediately denounced by Delaware Republican leaders as well as members of her group. Four Delaware members of the Republicans for Choice advisory board, including two Delaware state senators, resigned in protest.

“I am dismayed that my husband’s political opponents would engage in such an attack at the expense of my family,” she said. “To assert that I would allow my husband to abuse me is offensive to me as a wife, as a mother, and as a professional woman.”

Stone handed out what she identified as court documents from a 1981 child custody dispute in which Carper admitted slapping his first wife once during their marriage. The admission was initially reported in 1982 by the New York Post.

Stone yesterday claimed that there were sealed court records in Delaware proving that Carper had abused his current wife. She said she had not investigated but that “people in Delaware I trust” had told her it was true. She also cited “people who said they had had conversations with people inside the Carper circle who said the pattern had continued.” Stone refused to name any of the individuals.

Martha Carper said at her own news conference two hours later, “There are no documents sealed or unsealed because there are no documents in Family Court or in any other court.”

Edward Pollard, administrator for Family Court, said there were no court documents on file involving either Carper or his wife.

Delaware Republican State Chairman Basil Battaglia was among those who bluntly dismissed Stone and her accusations yesterday.

“Ann Stone does not represent the Delaware Republican Party. We don’t practice that type of politics here in Delaware,” he said, contending that most campaigns are “very genteel.”

The GOP candidate for governor, Janet Rzewnicki, the state treasurer, denied any involvement in Stone’s news conference.

Rzewnicki did say in a statement, “If there’s nothing to hide, unseal the records and let the people of Delaware decide on this issue. I’m certainly not calling Tom Carper a wife-beater, but I believe that the people of Delaware have a right to know the entire story.”

Her campaign manager, Jeffrey M. Busch, said it was up to Carper to prove he has not hit his wife.

“In 1981, it showed that he hit his wife,” Busch said. “Show that he didn’t do it again and that’s the end of it.”

That Janet Rzewnicki, the candidate, was once on the board for Republicans for Choice is mentioned in “GOP Abortion Stand Besieged From Within” by S. A. Paolantonio and Katharine Seelye:

Republicans for Choice includes a broad spectrum of the party’s top and middle-level operatives and officials, including Hersh Koslov, former counsel to the New Jersey Republican Party, California Rep. Tom Campbell, Delaware State Treasurer Janet Rzewnicki, political consultant Roger Stone, and his wife, Ann, a conservative direct mail specialist, and Charles Kopp, one of Pennsylvania’s top fund-raisers.

That Rzewnicki lost to Carper in the governor’s race is information available in many places, including the wikipedia page for “Tom Carper”, which gives the outcome, though none of the details of the 1996 race.

From “GOP Spokesman Black: A True Believer Steps In” by Alan Pell Crawford, on Roger Stone’s involvement in the 1982 race:

Partner Roger Stone seems to relish his image as a no-holds-barred campaigner. In a 1982 campaign for Tommy Evans against Delaware Rep. Thomas Carper, Stone tried to label the incumbent a wife-beater, the kind of tactic for which the New Republic labeled Stone Washington’s “state-of-the-art political sleazeball.” Stone, who with Black was one of NCPAC’s founders, has a long history of such misdeeds. One of the “dirty tricksters” unearthed by the Senate Watergate Committee, Stone likes to think of himself, according to one friend, as “the next generation’s Roy Cohn.”

200 From “GOP donors funding Nader / Bush supporters give independent’s bid a financial lift” by Carla Marinucci:

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader — still not on the ballot in a single state — has received a recent windfall of contributions from deep-pocketed Republicans with a history of big contributions to the party, an analysis of federal records show.

Nearly one in 10 of Nader’s major donors — those writing checks of $1, 000 or more — have given in recent months to the Bush-Cheney campaign, the latest documents show. GOP fund-raisers also have “bundled” contributions — gathering hefty donations for maximum effect to help Nader, who has criticized the practice in the past.

The donations from wealthy Republicans — combined with increasingly vocal Democratic charges that they represent a stealth GOP effort to wound Democrat John Kerry — prompted Nader’s vice presidential running mate, Green Party member Peter Camejo, to suggest the consumer advocate reject the money that doesn’t come from loyal Nader voters.

But the financial records show that $23,000 in checks of $1,000 or more have come from loyal Republicans. Among those who have given recently to Nader are Houston businessman Nijad Fares, who donated $200,000 to President Bush’s 2000 inaugural committee; Richard J. Egan, the former ambassador to Ireland, and his wife, Pamela, who have raised more than $300,000 for Bush; Michigan developer Ghassan Saab, who has given $30,000 to the RNC since 2001; and frozen food magnate Jeno Paulucci, and his wife, Lois, who have donated $150, 000 to GOP causes since 2000 alone.

201 From “Obama Actually Betrayed The Gay Marriage Cause” by Michael Musto:

“Once Gay Americans are through celebrating President Barack Obama’s ‘personal’ support of Gay marriage equality, they will learn that Obama’s ‘evolution’ changes nothing. Obama’s new position is a bullshit cop-out.

“This comes on the heels of a cynical Obama campaign pirouette where Team Obama trotted out first Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then Vice President ‘Crazy’ Joe Biden to say they support gay marriage and imply that the President would too–after the election.

“Now, incredibly, Obama says Gay marriage is a state issue. That’s what they used to say about abortion and before that, slavery. Now the President says he believes that gay couples should be able to marry but he doesn’t believe they have a right to do so. Obama would leave the question to the states–in other words–the status quo. This is like saying that public schools ought to be integrated but if the people of Mississippi disagree, well it’s up to them.

“If Obama believes that marriage equality is a constitutionally guaranteed civil right, as former Governor Gary Johnson does, than it can’t be abridged by the states. Forty-four states currently ban gay marriage. Under Obama millions of Americans in most states will continue be denied the right to marry the person of their choice.”

From “Attorney For Birther Army Doc Is Former GOP Staffer And Anti-Gay Crusader” by Justin Elliott:

The attorney driving the story of the Birther Army doctor facing a court martial for refusing orders is a former Republican Hill staffer and current personal injury lawyer who has dabbled in anti-gay activism and reportedly wrote a letter to the FBI tipping off the feds to New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes, months before the scandal publicly broke.

Attorney Paul Rolf Jensen runs a California law firm, Jensen & Associates, that focuses on bread and butter personal injury cases involving dog bites, seatbelt failure, and asbestos exposure.

But, says the GOP operative Roger Stone, a friend and sometimes client of Jensen’s, he should not be underestimated when it comes to the case of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin.

An Army doctor, Lakin believes President Obama may not be a natural born citizen, and therefore that military orders are invalid. He was charged last week for refusing orders to show up to be deployed for a second tour in Afghanistan.

“Jensen is a bulldog. A true student of the law. A brilliant litigator. Not adverse to high profile cases and high risk legal strategies,” says Stone in an email. He “understand[s] public relations and the damage this case can do to Obama. Won’t be adverse to trying to call Obama for testimony.”

Jensen did not respond to our request for comment, but his background seems to be in line with Lakin spokeswoman Margaret Hemenway, a former staffer for Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) who now leads the American Patriot Foundation, which is raising money to pay Lakin’s legal fees.

Jensen, too, is a former Smith staffer, and he also worked for Sen. Jeremiah Denton (R-AL) and as counsel for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in the early 2000s, according to his bio.

Also like Hemenway, who once filed a complaint against her daughter’s first grade teacher because the teacher announced she is a lesbian, Jensen has been involved in anti-gay activism.

Jensen had filed “25 charges of heresy” against other Presbyterians around the country, CNN reported in 2004. The complaints included cases in which pastors officiated over same-sex unions, ordained gay elders, or were themselves gay.

“I am called to action within the Presbyterian church to fight back against those who have made war and would destroy our church,” he told CNN.

202 From “Why I Refuse to Vote for Barack Obama”:

There is a candidate on the ballot in at least 47 states, and probably in all 50, who regularly speaks out against that post-9/11 trend, and all the individual policies that compose it. His name is Gary Johnson, and he won’t win. I am supporting him because he ought to. Liberals and progressives care so little about having critiques of the aforementioned policies aired that vanishingly few will even urge that he be included in the upcoming presidential debates. If I vote, it will be for Johnson. What about the assertion that Romney will be even worse than Obama has been on these issues? It is quite possible, though not nearly as inevitable as Democrats seem to think. It isn’t as though they accurately predicted the abysmal behavior of Obama during his first term, after all. And how do you get worse than having set a precedent for the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens? By actually carrying out such a killing? Obama did that too. Would Romney? I honestly don’t know. I can imagine he’d kill more Americans without trial and in secret, or that he wouldn’t kill any. I can imagine that he’d kill more innocent Pakistani kids or fewer. His rhetoric suggests he would be worse. I agree with that. Then again, Romney revels in bellicosity; Obama soothes with rhetoric and kills people in secret.

The whole liberal conceit that Obama is a good, enlightened man, while his opponent is a malign, hard-hearted cretin, depends on constructing a reality where the lives of non-Americans — along with the lives of some American Muslims and whistleblowers — just aren’t valued. Alternatively, the less savory parts of Obama’s tenure can just be repeatedly disappeared from the narrative of his first term, as so many left-leaning journalists, uncomfortable confronting the depths of the man’s transgressions, have done over and over again.

Johnson’s statements on Uganda are from “Gary Johnson would send troops into Uganda but not Libya”, of which the following is a transcript:

FOX NEWS GAL: So the president’s said that he’s sending a hundred troops to Central Africa, to combat the LRA, Joseph Kony. Would you support this if you were president? Is this something you would do?

JOHNSON: You know, in thinking about this, he signed legislation…Congress authorized that this is what needed to take place…he signed that legislation as president. If I were president, and I signed that legislation, I would have had an action plan ready to go immediately. From all appearances, this really does seem to be genocide. I mean, this really seems to be…these are really bad actors, a finite number of fighters…whatever that number is, I don’t know if I’d be sending advisers there, as immediately as after signing the legislation, sent a strike force to wipe them out.

KRAUTHAMMER: That’s very non-libertarian of you.

JOHNSON: Well, I’ve always said that genocide is something that none of us want to stand by and watch happen. From everything I can ascertain from this situaiton, this does qualify for genocide.

KRAUTHAMMER: What about the Qaddafi threat, when he was winning the war against the rebels at the beginning…to wipe out the people, his opponents in Benghazi. Would you have sent the army to go and prevent that?

JOHNSON: No, I would not have. I did not see a military threat from Libya. That’s another issue here with the Lord’s Resistance Army, is that this is their nation. We’re talking about a foreign dictator here. I don’t think there’s anything in the constitution that says because we don’t like a foreign leader we should go in and topple that foreign leader.

KRAUTHAMMER: But I’m not sure if I understand. Clearly the Liberation Army in Uganda is not a threat, to the United States. Yet you would say you would send a strike force. You can argue equally, whether Qaddafi is the leader of a country or not, he was a threat to the people of Benghazi, and you would not. I’m not sure I understand the logic.

JOHNSON: Well, uh, these are the questions that I…another thing I would do as president of the United States, I would be really transparent. Look, I’m signing this legislation authourizing wiping out the Lord’s Resistance Army, authourizing that legislation, on the other hand, going into Libya, I heard the transparency…I just didn’t see the military threat. And I did not see a military threat from the Lord’s Resistance Army. I do not see that as a threat to national security at all.

FOX NEWS GUY: There’s a lot of nuance.

JOHNSON: There’s a lot of nuance as president of the United States.

That Johnson wished to keep Guantanamo Bay open is taken from the interview with Andrew Napolitano, “Governor Gary Johnson I would not close Gitmo”:

NAPOLITANO: Governor, should we close Guantanamo Bay? Should they be either tried in federal district courts, or returned to their countries, or should we keep it open, and leave them uncharged for the rest of their lives?

JOHNSON: Well, when president Obama didn’t close Guantanamo Bay, and that was one of his promises, I really looked into the issue, and I had a lot of prominent libertarians tell me, if it weren’t for Guantanamo that we would have to create that situation somewhere else. So, I’ve kinda been sold on the notion that this is something we have to have whether it’s…if it’s not Guantanamo, it’s going to be somewhere else…that these are enemy combatants, and not U.S. citizens, I’ve been wooed over to the side that there’s a reason for keeping it open.

Johnson’s policy on Iran and drone strikes is taken from “Gary Johnson’s strange foreign policy” by Jamie Weinstein:

Libertarian Party presidential contender Gary Johnson has been portrayed as an anti-war candidate, but that isn’t quite so clear.

Johnson sat down with reporters and editors from The Daily Caller last week, generously providing his time to answer any and all questions, no matter how difficult or ludicrous.

But when pressed on foreign policy topics throughout the interview, Johnson gave answers that didn’t always seem to add up and were often, at best, unorthodox positions for a man who has been painted as a non-interventionist.

Johnson said that while he wants to end the war in Afghanistan, that doesn’t mean he would necessarily stop drone attacks against terrorists in Pakistan or Yemen, even though he believes they create more enemies than they kill.

“I would want leave all options on the table,” Johnson said.

But if Johnson plans on leaving Afghanistan, how does he plan to leave the option of a drone campaign against al-Qaida elements in Pakistan on the table?

“So now you have the U.S. bases that exist in those areas, do we shut down those military bases? Perhaps not,” he suggested, taking an odd position for a supposed anti-war candidate.

“I would completely withdraw our military presence,” he further expounded. “Does withdrawing our military presence from Afghanistan mean that we would still have a base open in Afghanistan if they allowed us to keep a base open? Perhaps.”

On Iran, Johnson said that if “Iran launches a nuclear warhead they can be assured that they will no longer exist.”

“None of their country will be left to stand and that will be from Israel,” he said, confident that the threat of nuclear retaliation would prevent the Islamic Republic from using any nuclear weapon it obtained.

Johnson went on to say that he doesn’t think Iran has seriously been engaged diplomatically. So what would Johnson say that hasn’t been said to get Iran to reconsider developing a nuclear weapon?

“Look, ‘Don’t develop a nuclear weapon,'” he proffered.

You don’t think that’s been said, TheDC asked?

“‘So if we open up trade with you all, we’d like to be a trading partner,'” he added.

Seriously, you don’t think that has been put on the table in negotiations, TheDC asked?

Johnson then pivoted and suggested that there wasn’t any evidence that Iran was developing, or ever wanted, a nuclear weapon.

“Am I not correct in saying that Iran has never voiced that they are developing a nuclear weapon, nor do they have any intention of using a nuclear weapon against the United States?” he asked.

“That’s never actually been voiced. I don’t know where that has come from, but it hasn’t been from Iran.”

So if he doesn’t believe Iran is developing a nuclear weapon or has any intention of developing a nuclear weapon, why is he even suggesting negotiations? Shouldn’t we just open up trade with Iran without asking for anything in return in that case?

“I would be in that camp,” he conceded.

Rand Paul’s comments on same sex marriage are taken from “Rand Paul mentions non-human marriage while discussing gay marriage, says it was joke” by Aaron Blake:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday appeared to suggest a link between the Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage and marriage between a human and a non-human, but later walked back that suggestion and said it was a joke.

“It is difficult, because if we have no laws on this, people will take it to one extension further — does it have to be humans?” Paul said Wednesday in an interview with Glenn Beck, after Beck suggested some unintended consequences of the rulings, including polygamy.

Paul’s office said that the senator was making a joke.

“Sarcasm sometimes doesn’t translate adequately from radio conversation,” spokeswoman Moira Bagley said. “Sen. Paul did not suggest that striking down DOMA could lead to unusual marriage arrangements. What he was discussing was that having the state recognize marriage without definition could lead to marriages with no basis in reality.”

Later in Wednesday, on Fox News, Paul took a different tack, saying marriage as defined by each state “will probably be within certain parameters.”

203 From “Spoiler alert: Poll finds small following for Libertarian candidate” by Dan Merica:

Washington (CNN) – Gary Johnson’s poll numbers may not give him much-of-a shot at winning the presidency, but in the latest CNN/ORC Poll, he is registering enough of a following to possibly tip the balance in an increasingly close election.

Three percent of likely voters responded that they would vote for Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president, in November. That number is slightly higher among registered voters, with 4% identifying with the former governor of New Mexico.

The poll also finds that Johnson’s inclusion, along with the Green Party’s candidate Jill Stein, hurts Republican candidate Mitt Romney more than it does President Barack Obama.

Obama leads Romney 52% to 46% when Romney and Obama are the only candidates in question, but Romney’s support goes down three percentage points with the inclusion of the third party candidates. Obama’s support only drops one point.

“The inclusion of the two minor-party candidates turns a six-point margin for President Obama into an eight-point lead,” said Keating Holland, CNN’s Polling Director. Since third party candidates are typically not on the ballot in all 50 states, those numbers can be slight deceiving when relating them to the support the candidates will receive on Election Day.

204 A partial transcript of this conversation, “Roger Stone on New Media and Old Campaign Tricks”, follows:

QUESTIONER
Yeah, in the articles…it seems you think the Bush administration has done great damage to the Republican party…I was kinda wondering, what ways do you see this Bush administration has done damage to the Republican party and why do you prefer John McCain and see him as someone different from this administration?

STONE
Sure. Well, first of all, I’ve never been a Bush Republican. I consider myself a Goldwater Reagan, more libertarian oriented Republican. And, take your pick. The only thing I like about the Bush administration is their tax policy. I am for tax reduction because I do think it makes the economy grow, but you couldn’t be a conservative and spend like this administration is spending. They’re spending us into the millenium. You couldn’t be a conservative and approve of the growth of government in the eight years George Bush has been governor – president – and lastly, I think this war is pointless. I don’t see the point of the war in Iraq. Now, if you wanted to have war against the Saudis, I’m with you. They’re our problem in the region, they’re not our friends. But the Bush administration kisses up to the Saudis and you get a war in Iraq that doesn’t seem to me to have any point. Now, when we need to use hardball tactics against the Iranians, we’ve worn out the goodwill of the American people who don’t have the stomach for more conflict.

GILLESPIE
How does that translate into support for McCain?

STONE
Well, I don’t think John McCain is George Bush. I think McCain has been with the Bush administration – with the exception of the war – largely when they’re right. But McCain – who I’ve known for twenty years – is very definitely his own man. He didn’t challenge George W. Bush in 2000 for no reason. I do think he has already demonstrated to a great extent he will go his own way, that he will take on iconoclastic fights that would seem out of type for your average conservative Republican. I think it’s a cheap shot to say he’s four more years of George Bush. He’s not. I think he’ll be very different, I think he is a reformer, I really think he hasn’t been afraid to take on the tobacco companies, trial bar, so many other special interests, the administration certainly has never taken on.

GILLESPIE
How brilliant a political strategy was the Palin pick? [the delivery conveys no irony, and there is no subsequent laughter]

STONE
Breathtaking. Because it takes advantage of discord in the democratic party caused essentially by the dumping of Hillary Clinton. They not only don’t nominate her, even though she gets eighteen million votes, they don’t consider her seriously for the ticket, leaving the Republican party a big fat opening. Now, a lot of people thought that all of the women who supported Hillary were ultra-liberals and therefore they couldn’t possibly be attracted by a Palin candidacy. That’s turned out to be false. Many of the women who supported Hillary supported her because they felt it was important to elect a woman president, they thought the role of women was expanding, this would be history making. We’re gonna get thirty percent of the people who voted for Hillary. They’re gonna vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. And that’s very significant. I also like it because it wrenched control of the Republican party away from the party establishment. The republican establishment in Washington does not like John McCain. They don’t like him because they can’t trust him to go along and keep his mouth shut. He really is a maverick, I disagree with Matt Welch in this regard. [a reference to the Matt Welch book: McCain: The Myth of a Maverick] And Sarah Palin didn’t go to Yale. She’s not part of the fraternity here in town. She’s truly an outsider in the sense that McCain is an outsider. So I think that she is out of the Goldwater Reagan Laxalt brand of western frontier conservatism which is not an Ivy league establishment eastern institution brand of republicanism. I think she’s a breath of fresh air.

QUESTIONER
Well, my question kinda goes back to your slanderous techniques earlier, your hardball techniques…I don’t understand, in the New Yorker, they mention you have a beef with Karl Rove. What’s that about?

STONE
Well, that goes back to a college Republican fight in the seventies, where I believe he and his friends forged a bunch of proxies. But let’s go back to your question. I don’t consider any of my activities slanderous, because to be slanderous, I would have to be saying, or communicating, or publicizing things that were not true. And I’ve never done that, and I don’t believe in that. I think these negative TV ads, like the ones on sex education and Barack Obama are actually counterproductive. Bad research. And it’s cost him. Completely juvenile, and not germane to the campaign. Now, had it been accurate, had that ad aired in the right markets, it could have been effective, or even devastating. But instead it was a cheap shot. And this is an area I guess I agree with Rove. But my real beef with Rove is, he lost us both houses of congress, and he drove the Republican party to its lowest approval rating in decades. This is the architect? The architect of what? Failure? The republican party has bred no bench, we have no hard charging attractive young conservative candidates coming up the pike, it’s why our choices for vice president were so dismal. Mitt Romney? Please. Give me a break. The guy was a liberal, three minutes ago. He keeps going about going “Ronald Reagan! Ronald Reagan!” In 1980 [1988] he supported Paul Tsongas for president. He’s not a conservative, if anything he’s a convenient conservative. He’s a liberal yesterday, he’s a conservative today, what will he be tomorrow? I don’t think he knows what he believes in. Other than getting elected.

QUESTIONER
Do you think there’s any possibility in the future of the libertarian party actually playing a larger role than it does now, as a possible third party? Or is that too far a reach?

STONE
I think play a role is the right expression. I think the problem we have is the laws in the fifty states, as well as the federal laws are completely stacked against any new party. It would require real reform of state laws, and federal election laws, to make a third party viable. There’s no question that the Perot phenomenon demonstrates that there’s an interest in a third party in America, there’s a hunger, but I think the role of the parties like the libertarians is keeping the Republicans honest. [interruption by motorcade] I think there’s an interest in a third party, and I think the libertarian party is important, because it keeps pressure on the Republicans to keep them honest, and it keeps issues in the forefront that normally wouldn’t be in the forefront of a presidential campaign. Will they ever elect a president, will the two party system in this country ever collapse, or be expanded, I don’t think so as long as the laws are currently stacked the way they are. So, therefore, I think the Republican party is the traditional home of conservatives, as Barry Goldwater said, and I think we’ve got to fight it out within the party.

QUESTIONER
I have a sibling who is a student at University of Miami…I wondered if you did any work trying to get the votes of the student body there.

STONE
I haven’t specifically, but it raises an interesting question which is, given the millions of dollars that the Obama campaign is spending on voter registration, specifically among students, whether that opens the door to serious abuse, where students vote twice, they vote once where their parents live, where they’re from, and they vote again where they’re at college. That is, of course, a felony. It would take very sophisticated tracking…it was very interesting, in the 2000 election, it was so close, the New York Post tracked thousands of New Yorkers who voted both in New York and in Palm Beach county. Thousands. When you consider that Bush only won by a handful of votes, those illegal votes are very significant.

GILLESPIE
Do you think any of the Palin scandals, Bristol Palin or this troopergate stuff, is that gonna stick, and will any of the Obama scandals, well, not really scandals, but the Jeremiah Wright things, the various non-policy related attacks, do those-

STONE
Well, ironically, because the national media is so lathered up, and because their attacks on Palin have been so vicious, and so rabid, I actually think those things will not stick. I think a) they create a sympathy for her, and secondarily, a lot of votes write them off as just another liberal oriented attack on her. Now, that assumes we don’t learn any new cataclysmic facts that we don’t know today, but I don’t think we’re going to do. I think she’s the real deal, I think she really is what she appears to be, I think she is an outsider, I think she is pretty feisty, I don’t think she is the real, the secret mother of her daughter’s baby, I think the daily kos really damaged their credibility by putting that out, the Monday before the Republican national convention…so, actually I think attacks on her inure to her benefit at this point.

GILLESPIE
What about Obama?

STONE
Well. I think it’s a slightly different situation, only because he’s been so unscathed so far, despite the very best efforts of the Clintons, and because he’s running for the top job and he’s still largely an unknown commodity. The best line of the convention was, “What do you say about a guy who’s authored two memoirs but no significant pieces of legislation?” To me, he’s a cipher. He can’t point to a special interest he’s ever taken on, because he’s never taken on. He can’t point to any significant legislation he pushed against great odds in the U.S. senate or the state senate, because he didn’t do any. I really think that when the democrats raise the question of Palin’s qualifications to be president, and her experience, they’re really harming Barack Obama more than they’re harming her. Because it elevates experience as an issue that people will begin to focus on.

GILLESPIE
So, what happens with the hispanic vote? It’s largely catholic, and seems to be pretty much up for grabs.

STONE
I think it is up for grabs. I mean, the problem is, once we become depicted as an anti-immigrant party, we begin losing hispanic votes. But hispanic voters are strong believers in hard work, strong believers in the work ethic, they’re patriotic, they love uniforms, they respect the military, I think it is a vote that McCain must make in-roads into, in Colorado, in New Mexico, at least – in order to win this election. And that actually, in my opinion, the key. In other words, I think in the final analysis, you should not look at the national polls that show this tied or McCain up three points or Barack Obama up three points, that’s largely meaningless. As you study, you actually look at Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia. Probably Florida. And look at the polls in those states. Those are the states that will determine this election. Everything else is predictable, by and large. You know the democrats will carry California, and say, Massachusetts, at this point, the Republicans will carry Texas and Mississippi. You know all that. Every other state is reliably predictable, those states I just mentioned are up for grabs, and in order to win Colorado and New Mexico, I think McCain needs to fall back on his original position on immigration, he’s not an immigrant basher, he has been in favor of a path to citizenship, and I think that could be very palatable to people in those states.

STONE
Most important rule: read the newspaper every day. I continue to be amazed by people who don’t read the newspaper. It doesn’t matter if you read it on-line, or if you read it in paper form, I don’t see how you can be an informed citizen, form opinions, if you don’t know what’s going on in the world. I have colleagues who don’t read the newspaper every day. It just astounds me. I read four five newspapers every day. Florida papers, national papers, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times. I don’t believe a lot of what I read…but I think it kinda tells you where everybody’s coming from. The New York Times, you go on the Stone Zone today, I have a long piece about the vitriolic nature of the New York Times which seems to be leading the charge, anti-Palin efforts. A lot of reporters I respect, a lot of reporters I like, a lot of reporters that I like to read have now suddenly become vitriolic about Palin. Richard Cohen in the Daily News yesterday which I think is a Washington Post column about, Sarah Palin’s qualifications to be president, whether she has the experience to be president. No mention of Barack Obama being a cipher in there.

GILLESPIE
Can you talk a little bit about how the Weekly Standard and then the New Yorker pieces happened?

STONE
Well, let’s see…one of the things I was involved in was the destruction of the reform party. I feel the Reform party elected Bill Clinton not once, but twice. I read that Barack Obama is meeting with Bill Clinton in New York, in Harlem last week, to seek his political advice, and my question is: why? He never got 51% in any election, and he did far more damage to his wife’s campaign than he did good. I think he’s got a tin ear. I think he assumed the presidency through luck, rather than skill. No Perot: no Clinton.

GILLESPIE
This is in 1992, Clinton won the presidency with 43% of the vote, which was a very low figure, in a strong three way race. And then against Bob Dole four years later, he got 49% of the vote which is, it was interesting that we had presidents who did not win a simple majority for a number of elections there. Because George Bush also did not. But how did the Weekly Standard profile happen?

STONE
At the reform party convention, where I was promoting the candidacy of Donald Trump, largely as a holding action that played some role in kinda coaxing Pat Buchanan into the party, that was the beginning of the end…because he was more interested in the federal matching funds, I think, than actually being elected…and once the party drops below a certain level of votes they’re no longer eligible for federal matching funds…Buchanan got them there, and the party has disappeared.

205 From “Roger Stone to GOP: Payback’s a Bitch” by Mark Warren:

“Johnson is polling at 9 percent in Arizona [according to PPP], and it’s all gonna come out of Romney’s hide, and he’s at 6 percent in Wisconsin (according to the Reason poll), which is all out of Obama’s hide. I am helping Gary figure out where to put his emphasis.” He points toward the convention floor. “Snubbing Ron Paul’s people today, and not counting their votes, was just magical, wonderful for us,” he says beaming, arms spread wide as if to say come to papa. “A bunch of people are gonna leave here very angry. To not announce Ron Paul’s total from the chair is an insult. He won those delegates, he’s entitled to – shall we say – be defeated gracefully. They are angry, and we are going to pick up those people.”

The email from Roger Stone to Warren Redlich is taken from Capitol Confidential‘s “E-mails show Stone strategizing for Paladino” (archived) by Jimmy Vielkind; the full email from which the quote is taken is the following:

Stone, 4:48: Because of her tangential connection to spitzer no other race makes sense for her. She, unlike you, has a shelf life. The further from Spitzer downfall the less her ability to command coverage. No other race has any logic for her.

Were you to support her actively you could help win her the votes to be nominated. If you ran for AG I could get Paladino to let you ride on both his GOP ( you are a registered R) and Tea Party petitions- and thus get in the GOP primary for real and get a second line. I can have Paladino himself confirm this if you like.

Donovan [Daniel M. Donovan, the eventual Republican candidate for Attorney General] is not a certain candidate for AG. You could end up the nominee.

In a 3 way race for Governor a woman candidate running on marijuana legalization gets 50,000+ votes and takes votes from Cuomo- not a Paladino. Prostitution would be de-emphasized in a fall campaign.

From my point of view you would help KD more as a candidate for LG making a nice balance M-F,downstate-upstate, non-lawyer, lawyer etc.

From your point of view a race for AG would be better for you if you would consider it.

R

206 From “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Matt Labash:

Around the time he became northeast chairman of Reagan’s 1980 campaign, he had another awakening when he started working with the notorious lawyer Roy Cohn, former McCarthy henchman and also a Reagan supporter. “I’m still kind of a neophyte,” Stone admits, “still kind of thinking everything’s on the level. ‘Cause the truth is, nothing’s on the level.” At a 1979 meeting at Cohn’s Manhattan townhouse, he was introduced to major mobster and Cohn client Fat Tony Salerno. “Roy says to Tony, ‘You know, Tony, everything’s fixed. Everything can be handled.’ Tony says, ‘Roy, the Supreme Court’ Roy says, ‘Cost a few more dollars.'” Stone loved Cohn: “He didn’t give a s– what people thought, as long as he was able to wield power. He worked the gossip columnists in this city like an organ.”

Stone, who going back to his class elections in high school has been a proponent of recruiting patsy candidates to split the other guy’s support, remembers suggesting to Cohn that if they could figure out a way to make John Anderson the Liberal party nominee in New York, with Jimmy Carter picking up the Democratic nod, Reagan might win the state in a three-way race. “Roy says, ‘Let me look into it.'” Cohn then told him, “‘You need to go visit this lawyer’–a lawyer who shall remain nameless–‘and see what his number is.’ I said, ‘Roy, I don’t understand.’ Roy says, ‘How much cash he wants, dumbf–.'” Stone balked when he found out the guy wanted $125,000 in cash to grease the skids, and Cohn wanted to know what the problem was. Stone told him he didn’t have $125,000, and Cohn said, “That’s not the problem. How does he want it?”

Cohn sent Stone on an errand a few days later. “There’s a suitcase,” Stone says. “I don’t look in the suitcase . . . I don’t even know what was in the suitcase . . . I take the suitcase to the law office. I drop it off. Two days later, they have a convention. Liberals decide they’re endorsing John Anderson for president. It’s a three-way race now in New York State. Reagan wins with 46 percent of the vote. I paid his law firm. Legal fees. I don’t know what he did for the money, but whatever it was, the Liberal party reached its right conclusion out of a matter of principle.”

The anecdote about running Anderson in New York is also repeated in the memoir Dirty Tricks:

From Dirty Tricks, on running Warren Beatty to split the vote:

“The Gary Johnson Swindle and the Degradation of Third Party Politics” follows this quote with the mention that Carter himself thought that Anderson cost him victory:

Players in the art of elections-fixing have no illusions over what purpose a malleable Third Party figure can, and usually does play. Jimmy Carter agrees with Roger Stone’s version; in fact Carter has always argued that John Anderson’s third party insurgency against the tweedle-dee/tweedle-dum two-party stranglehold was what allowed Ronald Reagan to win the 1980 elections and permanently alter the country’s politics and wealth distribution. In any case, Roger Stone knows more about political dirty tricks than anyone, and as he said in that 2007 interview, his favorite dirty trick in the bag is using “patsy candidates to split the other guy’s support.”

The link is to the youtube clip “Jimmy Carter Reagan Won Because Of Third-Party Candidate”:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Well, let me ask you this issue that is cutting right now. There`s a lot of buzz on this show already about the possibility of a third party running in 2012, which, in many ways, as you know, automatically tends to help the Republicans, in this case — and maybe not automatically — but, if Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, runs, that`s going to hurt Obama, isn`t it?
What do you think of third parties?

FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: Well, of course I didn`t like them when I ran for reelection in 1980s…

MATTHEWS: Right.

CARTER: … because, for two-and-a-half years, Ted Kennedy had been running against me. And in the last minute, a third-party candidate came in and picked up a lot of the liberal Democratic votes.

MATTHEWS: Right.

CARTER: And, as a matter of fact, Ronald Reagan only got less than 51 percent of the votes, but he won because of a third-party candidate.

MATTHEWS: Well, won`t Bloomberg do the same to Obama?

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: If you look at the states that Bloomberg could win, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, you know the ones, maybe Florida, they`re all Obama states last time. He would only hurt Obama, wouldn`t hurt a Palin or Republican of any kind of at all.

CARTER: Well, I`m not sure that Bloomberg is seriously considering that. I think it would be a mistake if he did, because he couldn`t win, but he might prevent Obama from winning reelection. And what he would do is just guarantee the Republican would move into the White House. And that`s what happened in 1980, when Ronald Reagan moved in because of the split Democratic Party.

This transcript of the clip is taken from a piece skeptical of Carter’s claims, “Chris Matthews Lets Jimmy Carter Blame Loss to Reagan on Third Party Candidate” by Noel Sheppard. After some analysis arguing against this claim, there is a look at the difference state by state:

Taking this further, an analysis of the statewide results shows that if Carter picked up all of Anderson’s votes, and Reagan got all of [Libertarian candidate Ed Clark's], Carter would have won Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. This would have given him 122 additional electoral votes making Reagan still the victor with 367.

As such, the claim that Anderson gave Reagan the election in 1980 lacks any factual basis. That Carter would make it as he tours the country trying to improve his image is not surprising. That Matthews would let him get away with it without correcting or challenging him is despicable.

I have no interest in stating that Anderson cost Carter the election; what Sheppard does not dispute in his piece is that Anderson cost Carter votes. What Stone says explicitly in both “Political Animal” and his memoir is that they put Anderson on the ticket in New York for the specific reason that it would cost Carter votes, and that it might swing the state to Reagan, an objective achieved.

207 From “Roger Stone, Political Animal” by Matt Labash:

Naïfs might say he’s a cancer on the body politic, everything that is wrong with today’s system. But maybe he is just its purest distillation: Politics is war, and he is one of its fiercest warriors, with the battle scars to prove it.

The first time I laid eyes on Roger Stone he was standing poolside at a press conference on the roof of the Hotel L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills. With a horseshoe pinkie ring refracting rays from the California sun and a gangster chalk-stripe suit that looked like it had been exhumed from the crypt of Frank Costello, Stone was there to help his friend and longtime client Donald Trump explore a Reform party presidential candidacy in 2000.

Actually, it was more complicated than that. After having recruited Pat Buchanan to seek the nod (“You have to beat somebody,” Stone says), he pushed Trump into the race. Trump relentlessly attacked Buchanan as having “a love affair with Adolf Hitler,” but ended up folding. A weakened Buchanan went on to help the Reform party implode, and Republicans suffered no real third-party threat, as they had in 1992, thus helping Stone accomplish his objective. If, in fact, that was his objective. These things are often hard to keep track of with Roger Stone.

208 From “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House” by Wayne Barrett:

Pat Buchanan is on the tube again, co-hosting a Crossfire facsimile on MSNBC. Just a celebrity commentator now, he changed the face of American politics in 2000-unnoticed by a recount-focused media. First, he seized control of the most successful third party in half a century, the Reform Party, whose founder, Ross Perot, cost Bush I the presidency in 1992. Once Buchanan became the party’s presidential nominee, he mysteriously disappeared, getting 2.4 million votes less than Ralph Nader, 80,000 less in Florida alone. The Buchanan saga remains important not only because it reveals the seamy underside of Bush II’s ascent to power, but because it shows how the GOP virtually eliminated a national centrist party that could’ve altered the 2004 race. Alive now in only seven states, the party’s remnants just offered their ballot line to Nader, which could also wind up benefiting Bush. The saga begins with a baby, allegedly born more than four decades ago. Incredibly, just as Bush backers in 2000 used an illegitimate-child scandal in South Carolina to smear John McCain, longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative Roger Stone was simultaneously using just such a scandal to undermine Buchanan.

Stone, who also spearheaded the pro-Bush mob shutdown of the Miami/Dade recount in 2000, says now that he “has no specific recollection” of strategically employing the Buchanan baby story. But a Voice investigation reveals that he pushed it aggressively on reporters early in the 2000 campaign, then just let it hover over Buchanan, who was nose-diving so badly toward November that no explicit threat of a scandal story was even needed.

209 From “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House” by Wayne Barrett:

The Stone-inspired Reform infighting served multiple Bush interests: It killed any possibility of a third Perot run, blocked the candidacy of former Connecticut governor Lowell Weicker, and forced out the party’s only elected official, Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura. Buchanan’s vanishing act-after Stone cajoled him to run Reform-left nearly a dozen party leaders contacted by the Voice convinced that he and Stone were conscious agents of doom.

The trail starts in June 1999 at a lunch at The Palm in Washington. Bay Buchanan, the sister who ran all three of Buchanan’s presidential runs, brought her mentor from the Reagan days, Lyn Nofziger, to a lunch requested by Stone, the scheme-a-day consultant who used to rent her his summer beach home. The Buchanans had already started another Republican run, but “it was Roger’s brilliant idea,” recalls Nofziger, “that Pat ought to leave the party and become the candidate of the Reform Party.” Stone talked about the $13 million in automatic federal matching funds that came with the Reform nomination and “said he knew what to do to get it,” says Nofziger.

Stone also began talking to William Von Raab, the customs commissioner under Reagan who’d been co-finance chair of the 1992 Buchanan campaign. Stone had already recruited Von Raab as a partner in a small Washington-based lobbying and consulting firm, Ikon Holdings, that listed Stone as its president and Von Raab as its chairman. “Roger asked me if I wanted to go to the Reform convention in July and try to promote a Buchanan candidacy,” Von Raab recalls. Stone told Von Raab that Donald Trump, Stone’s longtime top client, was thinking about seeking the Reform line and that Von Raab’s efforts for Buchanan would help Stone “see what the makeup of the convention was.”

Buchanan, who says he did not know about Von Raab’s ties to Stone, did well in an unofficial convention tally, but decided to continue on the Republican primary trail. He was demolished, though, in the August 14 Iowa straw poll, coming in behind Gary Bauer. The next day, Washington pollster Robert Schroth started doing a poll for Stone that showed Buchanan running strongly on the Reform line. Bay Buchanan says Stone sent her the results, which he also dropped in a September news story. Schroth would later do another poll for Stone trumpeting Trump, who, like Buchanan, announced on October 25 that he was changing his registration to Reform and seeking the party’s nod.

By mid February, with the story in limbo, Trump quit the race and Buchanan’s Pat Choate became party chair. Choate now says the Trump/Stone operation was “a Republican dirty trick,” designed “to disgust people and drive them away from the Reform Party. They were doing everything in their power to make a mess. You had Ventura leaving and Trump all over TV saying that Buchanan loved Hitler, ignorant statements.” Bay Buchanan, who stopped talking to Stone during the campaign, says she still “doesn’t understand why he would want us in the Reform Party in the first place” and then assail Buchanan as a Nazi.

210 From “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House” by Wayne Barrett:

“Everyone who worked for Nixon knew about” the alleged Buchanan baby, says Stone, adding that he “lived with it through two Reagan campaigns.” Stone and Buchanan were aides to Nixon and Reagan, and Stone, also a Bush I campaign veteran, was rewarded for his subterranean 2000 efforts with an appointment to the Department of Interior transition team, which he parlayed into a multimillion dollar business as an Indian gaming consultant (see Voice, April 19).

Buchanan says that when he ran for president in 1992, 1996, and 2000, he was dogged by “an unsubstantiated rumor” that he had an illegitimate child while a Georgetown undergrad between 1957 and 1961. “I don’t know who ginned it up,” says Buchanan. “Do I have suspicions? Sure. Reporters realized these people were doing something to damage me and decided not to write it. The same kind of thing was used against McCain.” But in the 2000 campaign, a new allegation was added to the tale that made it more damaging and more likely to see print. Ex-aides were telling reporters that Buchanan had made payments to the mother to kill the story. One reputed 1992 money trail, albeit perfectly legal, involved an intricate chain of personal checks-from Buchanan to his sister to an aide, who then delivered cashier checks to a Washington lawyer. Asked about the child and these payments, Pat Buchanan told the Voice: “I’m not going to go into that. I don’t know the details of anything. It deals with a private matter. We did nothing wrong.”

Bay Buchanan, who goes further than her brother and calls the baby allegation “false,” concedes that in fact she did “make some payments,” delivered by an aide, to the lawyer “because Pat was out of town campaigning for 10 weeks” in New Hampshire and elsewhere in early 1992. She says Pat either prepaid or “reimbursed” her and that she “thinks” the lawyer had “done some legal work for Pat.” She confirmed that the lawyer was once married to a woman Pat had dated during his Georgetown years. Saying that “our opponents were pushing” the story “every time we did well,” Bay Buchanan said she had not heard Stone’s name associated with it, but knew “people close to Roger” were. Stone minced no words when asked about the charges: “There’s no doubt this illegitimate child story is true. My understanding is that Buchanan supported the child and made educational payments. It would be honorable.”

But Stone also cited “a controversy about hush money,” contending that a top Buchanan aide, Scott Mackenzie, “quit because of it.” Reporters in fact contacted Mackenzie in 1999 shortly after Stone discussed the Buchanan issues with him. “I have no specific memory of being one of the people who suggested this story to reporters,” insists Stone now, “but this is widely known information and it’s not inconceivable that someone did.” Stone recalled that the story was “heavily peddled in 1996 by Phil Gramm’s people,” referring to the former Texas senator who was running against Buchanan that February. Stone’s longtime partner Charles Black was running Gramm’s campaign and concedes it “did come up,” though he says he told the staff not to answer press questions about it. John Weaver, however, another top Gramm aide, says he “got reports that phone calls were being made” by the campaign. Black also concedes that he “heard about it in 1992,” when he was running the Bush I campaign, but says he got it from a reporter whose name he could not recall, and that he “shut down” the Bush staff “from discussing it.” Black says he doesn’t “remember discussing it with Roger,” but “wouldn’t be surprised” if Stone was circulating it.

211 From “The Sex Scandal That Put Bush in the White House” by Wayne Barrett:

This circus ended any possibility of Perot belatedly entering the race-always a major Bush concern. Russell Verney, the first national chair of the party and Perot’s closest ally in it, says Buchanan launched a state-by-state delegate war, purging the Perot leadership “to make sure Perot didn’t come in.” Bay Buchanan agrees, saying an unusual party rule would’ve permitted a last-minute convention switch to Perot. The bloody battle led to a convention walkout, legal challenges that cost Buchanan ballot status in states like Michigan, and a Perot endorsement of Bush. Buchanan says he just “played out the hand” after that. He raised $7.1 million before his nomination and less than half a million afterward. He handpicked a John Birch Society vice-presidential candidate who’d claimed workers compensation for a mental disorder. He dumped $10 million of his matching funds into an invisible media buy by a Texas company that did mattress commercials. In the final week he spent two days in Alaska. He went from blasting Bush as “the Prince of Wales,” unequipped for the presidency, to declaring after the election: “I’m glad we didn’t take Bush down with us.” He assured the Voice that he did in fact vote for himself, adding: “It didn’t make any difference in Virginia.”

Buchanan adamantly rejects any notion that the implicit threat of the child story had anything to do with what even old friends like Lyn Nofziger see now as his “nonexistent” campaign. “If you’ve got Roger trying to smear me,” says Buchanan, referring to the Voice findings, “it had no influence over what I did. I wasn’t intimidated into backing off the campaign by anyone or anything.” Indeed, with Buchanan “staying out of the way of the Bush campaign in the battleground states,” as Verney put it, the child story needed no pre-November revival. It had only ever surfaced when Buchanan did well, and aides like Townsend say he trimmed his sails in those races as well. Stone told Von Raab that his Buchanan maneuvers were a “tactical exercise”-an accurate description of his ironic orchestration of Al Sharpton’s campaign this year. The master of convoluted chaos, double agent Stone has left his mark in the dark alleys of presidential politics since Watergate, but the sacking of the Reform Party may be his lasting legacy.

212 The issues dealing with Andrew Breitbart and the plagiarism of a conspiracy involving a small number of jews who control the world is discussed in “Andrew Breitbart: Pychosis in a Political Mask Part One” and “Cultural Marxism, Jewish Conspiracies, Spring Break 83, and Penny Stocks”. The importance of Perot in the 1992 election is explored in “Ross Perot, Last American Leftist” by Moe Tkacik.

213 From “Sleeping With the GOP: A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton’s Campaign” by Wayne Barrett:

Roger Stone, the longtime Republican dirty-tricks operative who led the mob that shut down the Miami-Dade County recount and helped make George W. Bush president in 2000, is financing, staffing, and orchestrating the presidential campaign of Reverend Al Sharpton.

Though Stone and Sharpton have tried to reduce their alliance to a curiosity, suggesting that all they do is talk occasionally, a Voice investigation has documented an extraordinary array of connections. Stone played a pivotal role in putting together Sharpton’s pending application for federal matching funds, getting dollars in critical states from family members and political allies at odds with everything Sharpton represents. He’s also helped stack the campaign with a half-dozen incongruous top aides who’ve worked for him in prior campaigns. He’s even boasted about engineering six-figure loans to Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) and allowing Sharpton to use his credit card to cover thousands in NAN costs-neither of which he could legally do for the campaign. In a wide-ranging Voice interview Sunday, Stone confirmed his matching-fund and staffing roles, but refused to comment on the NAN subsidies.

While Bush forces like the Club for Growth were buying ads in Iowa assailing then front-runner Howard Dean, Sharpton took center stage at a debate confronting Dean about the absence of blacks in his Vermont cabinet. Stone told the Times that he “helped set the tone and direction” of the Dean attacks, while Charles Halloran, the Sharpton campaign manager installed by Stone, supplied the research. While other Democratic opponents were also attacking Dean, none did it on the advice of a consultant who’s worked in every GOP presidential campaign since his involvement in the Watergate scandals of 1972, including all of the Bush family campaigns. Asked if he’d ever been involved in a Democratic campaign before, Stone cited his 1981 support of Ed Koch, though he was quoted at the time as saying he only did it because Koch was also given the Republican ballot line.

From The Time of Illusion by Jonathan Schell:

One questionm though, was how the Republicans in the White House could exercise remote control over the behavior of the Democratic Party. How could the central plank of the Republican platform be something that the Democrats would do; namely, destroy themselves? The planning group had many techniques to suggest. Almost all of them involved covert action, action taken under false pretenses, or action taken for a hidden purpose. Together, the planning group’s proposals added up to the first plan for a wholly subterranean Presidential campaign strategy ever to be devised.

One technique was secretly to promote extreme elements on both the far right and the far left of the Democratic Party. On the right, the candidacy of George Wallace would be promoted. Not long before, the White House, far from trying to promote Wallace’s candidacy, had wished to elimiate him altogether from Presidential politics, and had secretly funnelled four hundred thousand dollars left over from the 1968 Presidential campaign to his rival in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Alabama in 1970. But now the White House had found a use for Wallace. If he ran in the Democratic Presidential primaries, this would be “an excellent vehicle for surrfacing and hardening the divisions within the Democratic Party.” Buchanan wrote in his October 5th memo. On the left, Buchanan wanted the White House to promote a fourth-party movement. “Top level consideration should be given to ways and means to promote, assist, and fund a Fourth Party candidacy of the Left Democrats and/or the Black Democrats,” he wrote. “There is nothing that can so advance the President’s chances for reelection – not a trip to China, not four and a half per cent unemployment – as a realistic black…campaign.” At this point in his memo, Buchanan, shifting to an alternate strategy began to sound like a chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “We should continue to champion the cause of the blacks within the Democratic Party,” he wrote, the point being that a party identified with black people would be less appealing to white people. The policy of promoting extremism while pretending to oppose it was born in 1969 and 1970, during the Presidential Offensive. In those years, the President had systematically exaggerated the threat posed to him by the far left. Now his men were yearning once again for violence, and the President’s chief aide, H.R. Haldeman, was noting on memos that violent and obscene demonstrations against the President were “good.”

214 From “Sleeping With the GOP: A Bush Covert Operative Takes Over Al Sharpton’s Campaign” by Wayne Barrett, on setting the tone of the Sharpton campaign:

Stone acknowledged that he “helped Sharpton” in the campaign’s desperate attempt in November and December to reach the $5,000 matching-fund threshold in 20 states. “I collected checks,” he said. “That’s how matching funds is done. I like Al Sharpton. I was helping a friend.” Sharpton was the last candidate to meet the December 31 deadline and is immediately seeking more than $150,000 in federal funding. If the FEC, which has been reviewing his application for a month, determines that he meets the threshold, Sharpton will be eligible for more.

But he only submitted 21 states, and at least one, Illinois, is unlikely to be certified, since it came in at $5,100 and contains two $250 contributions from the same individual. Only single contributions of up to $250 can count toward the threshold. That means Sharpton’s funding-against which he has already taken a $150,000 bank loan-is the lifeblood of the campaign. Stone and Halloran allies, including staffers Johnson and Ruffin, kicked in the last four $250 contributions in D.C., all on December 30 and 31, that gave Sharpton a perilous $5,332 total.

In Florida, Stone’s wife, Nydia; son Scott; daughter-in-law Laurie; mother-in-law Olga Bertran; executive assistant Dianne Thorne; Tim Suereth, who lives with Thorne; and Halloran’s mother, Jane Stone (unrelated to Roger, he says), pushed Sharpton comfortably over the threshold, donating $250 apiece in December. Jeanmarie Ferrara, who works at a Miami public relations firm that joined Stone in the ’90s fight on behalf of the sugar industry against a tax to resuscitate the Everglades, also gave $250, as did the wife of the firm’s name partner, Ray Casas. Another lobbyist, Eli Feinberg, a Republican giver appointed to a top position by the Republican state insurance commissioner, did $250.

Clive and Lenore Baldwin, entertainers known for their impersonations of Al Jolson and Sophie Tucker, came in at the matchable maximum as well. Stone adopted their act years ago, producing a Clive Baldwin recording, and putting him onstage at the 1996 Republican National Convention. In a Times tale of a recent Baldwin appearance in Long Island, he wound up being “shown the door” after a “confrontation” with angry black caterers. (Apparently Stone could not locate Amos & Andy for a contribution.)

Two vendors for a current campaign assisted by Stone-the senate campaign of Larry Klayman-also donated in Florida, with public relations consultant Michael Caputo and Tasmania Productions owner Teddi Segal donating $250 (she says she doesn’t know Stone). Caputo, ironically, was Stone’s spokesman in 1996, when Stone was embroiled in the most embarrassing scandal of his career-the much ballyhooed revelation that he and his wife had advertised, with photos, for swinging partners in magazines and on the Internet. Caputo has, until recently, been handling press inquiries for Klayman, an evangelical who led the sex assault in Washington on Bill Clinton and is running a moral-majority, retake-Cuba campaign for senate. Stone volunteered behind the scenes for Klayman too, and several Stone-tied vendors, like Baynard and pollster Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, have been retained.

Sharpton would eventually qualify for the matching funds and then have to return them due to improprieties in the contributions. From “Taxpayer Dollars At Work: Libertarian Candidate Poised To Qualify For Matching Funds” by “BuzzFeed Staff”:

Johnson has a hand in this process from a veteran of this particular corner of politics: The flamboyant Republican operative Roger Stone, who legendarily helped the Rev. Al Sharpton qualify for $100,000 in matching funds in 2004. Sharpton was later forced to repay the money, after an FEC audit found he’d broken rules in contributing to his own campaign.

215 From “Sheriff hires aides of Roger Stone and Ken Jenne” by Brittany Wallman:

Stone said Thorne is “one of the most capable and independent women I know” and that when a deputy called him as a reference, he gave her “the highest possible reference. I played no other role in her hiring.”

Here’s more from Stone, who learned his trade as a young man working for someone on CREEP, Committee to Reelect the President, the president being Richard Nixon.

“Diane has not worked for me for over two years. She is an amazing professional, and I have missed her assistance over the past two years since she left my employ

Her expertise is in scheduling and advance and I believe that is what she is working on at BSO.

She is very qualified for her position as opposed to say……Tom Wheeler who became Undersheriff with no law enforcement background whatsoever after being “recommended” by Charlie Crist who, as I recall appointed Lamberti. Seems Wheeler and Crist were frat brothers. Perhaps it was a quid pro quo. I must have missed the SS editorial on this. Dianne is highly qualified. She will serve BSO well.”

216 Roger Stone’s claim that he was paid nothing by thr Gary Johnson campaign is taken from “Johnson Allies Reject Spending Charges” by Rosie Gray:

The email, which is signed by an apparently fictional person named Eric Stevens of Twinsburg, Ohio, also implicates Roger Stone, the longtime operative who became an advisor for Johnson earlier this year.

“How much is “former Republican” Roger Stone being paid? The FEC reports don’t say but you can bet it’s plenty. This mercenary doesn’t come cheap,” the email says.

Joe Hunter, a spokesman for the Johnson campaign, said that he was familiar with the email, but “I have no idea where that particular one is coming from.”

Reached by email, Stone said “I have been paid zero by the Johnson campaign.”

From “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett:

*Two companies controlled by Stone’s secretary Dianne Thorne, and registered out of her Miami apartment, have received a total of $84,320 so far from the campaign. The payments started in March, shortly after the campaign also made the first of $17,000 in payments to Thorne’s stepson, Andrew Miller, who listed a St. Peters, Missouri address. Miller was confounded when the Times told him he’d actually appeared on the payroll for four months longer than he was aware. Thorne, down on the beach, was described as Paladino’s “scheduler.” She actually once had a company registered out of the same address called Hype LLC.

On Thorne operating from Miami Beach, from “Carl Paladino vs. The Tea Party: No Love Lost”:

Of course, the Tea Party Express has been widely credited with pulling off the biggest party victories — Jim Miller in Alaska and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. In fact, world vagabond Caputo, a New York native who’s long called Miami home, had himself just arrived in Buffalo with Floridian Roger Stone to take over Paladino’s campaign. Indeed Paladino’s “scheduler,” Stone’s secretary, still operates from a Miami Beach suite.

The massive increase in debt by the Johnson campaign is covered thoroughly each month by Liberty for America: Journal of the Libertarian Political Movement, their back issues available here. Their coverage of the new, much higher debt starting in Volume 5, Number 9, February 2013:

Johnson Debt: $1,134,602

With the end-of-year FEC filings, the Johnson-Gray campaign has suddenly disclosed huge new debts, more than 1 million dol-lars of them. It is extremely difficult to understand how the debts were incurred so late after the election.

The Johnson-Gray Campaign ended the post-general election period with $197,002 in debt. The campaign raised $212,536 from late November to year’s end. That was enough to pay off every penny it admitted owing.

Now, suddenly, the campaign has revealed the truth. It owes another $1,134,602. That’s the new debt we know about. There may be still more. Your editor has seen references that could be read as implying that another 2/3 of a million is out there.

This newspaper has repeatedly warned that Gary Johnson’s 2012 Presidential Campaign, first as a Republican and then as a Libertarian, owed large sums of money. But not this much.

Furthermore, Johnson has at last revealed how much of his spending went for advertising, and how much went for staff sala-ries. The results are quite staggering.

The FEC reports for the end of 2012 have been filed. Gary Johnson, the man nominated by William Redpath to be our Presidential candidate, the man who in turn nominated Wayne Root to be an LNC, member, has set some remarkable financial records.

For the period of November 27 through December 31, 2012, the Johnson 2012 campaign had $212,537 in receipts and spent $171,547, leaving them with $43,932 in cash on hand at the end of the reporting period. For the entire primary and general elec-tion, the campaign acknowledged $2.22 million in contribu-tions, $2.478 million in expenditures, and managed at the end to owe $1,134, 603 in debts and obligations. That final number represents an enormous increase over the past, mid-November, report in the debts and obligations owed by the committee. In-cidentally, none of the debts and obligations are money owed to the candidate as a result of candidate loans. The candidate did at some point donate $8000 to his own campaign. The re-maining $2.212 million in campaign receipts over the course of the campaign came from individual donors.

The campaign acknowledged receiving for the period $202,026 in federal funds for a total of $333,751 in federal campaign matching funds for the duration of the campaign. In a future report, we will compare federal matching funds received by the Johnson campaign with the campaign’s commitment to the LNC that past debts would only be paid off by means of federal matching funds.

Where did the money go during this end of year? Spending during the end of year period by the Johnson campaign includ-ed $7547 in bank and merchant charges, $2000 for opinion research, $2000 to Wagon Works LLC, and $160,000 to “Political Advisors” of 731 East South Temple, Salt Lake City for “payment on obligation”.

The debts to ‘Political Advisors’ as discharged in the end-of-year period covered

$12,991.95 for Ad Placement, Travel, Shipping, Printing, Email Marketing, Printing, and
$147,008.05 for ‘Staff Hours – Mid-Level, Press Relations, Senior Advisor, Creative Ad Hours, Campaign Consult’

That’s right, under 10% of the money went for advertising, travel, and the like. 92% went to the campaign staff. Readers familiar with my book Funding Liberty, soon to be released in a new edition, will recognize those numbers. They are some-what similar to the numbers found for Harry Browne’s 2000 Presidential campaign.

And the debts: The small parts are: $500 to Wagon Works for fund raising, $4090 to Daines Goodwin and Co PC for ac-counting, and $29,955 to Hackstaff Law Group LLC and Law Office of Douglas C. Herbert for legal services and fees.

Then there is the money owed to “Political Advisors” of Salt Lake City. The listed debts include:

$46,295 for fundraising commissions
$113,437 for preparing the FEC matching funds request.
$150,000 for ‘Consulting for Primary per signed contract’
$535,244.94 for “Staff Hours – Mid-Level, Senior Advisors, Clerical, Creative Advertising, Campaign Consult”
and, oh yes, the real political stuff:

$206,659 for outreach-“Ad Placement – Web, Candidate Staff Travel, Ballot access, attorney fees, Vehicle Wrap,Media etc.” and several slight variations on the same phrasing.

Let’s look at the grand totals here, namely money spent and owed for outreach versus money spent and owed, just by “Political Advisors” for fundraising, filings, and staff hours, including money spent and money still owed in the year-end report. There’s $219,651 on outreach, all the modes noted above, versus $991,985 on staff hours, filings, and fund raising. Said otherwise, that’s 82% on staff hours, filings, and fundrais-ing, and only 18% on outreach.

We had previously reported on the astronomically huge – by Libertarian Presidential campaign standards – number of paid staff members supported by the Johnson campaign. Even if all of them are ill-paid, when there are truly large numbers of them the staff salaries add up.
We’ll try to have a total for the entire campaign in a near-time future issue. That 18% may tend to shrink; most of the other spending and debt is for back office work rather than outreach.

We quote our February 2012 issue “The Johnson 2012 Libertar-ian Presidential nominating campaign has filed its end-of-2011 FEC disclosure. Its total debts at the end of this period were $203,761, which is an unprecedented amount for a Libertarian campaign to owe – not counting loans from candidates them-selves – this far before the National Convention.” The situation has become much worse since.

The 2000 Browne campaign sent emails claiming $60,000 in unpaid debts. The 2008 Barr campaign was perhaps a quarter million, round number, in the hole. Despite massive Federal campaign money, the 2012 Johnson campaign ended in debt nearly five times more than the Barr campaign did.

217 From “Libertarian Donors Pay Johnson’s Republican Campaign Debts”, out of Liberty for America, October 2012:

As we previously reported, in a signed affidavit presented to the United States District Court for Eastern Virginia, Gary Johnson’s campaign man-ager Ronald Nielson last Spring specified under penalty of perjury “…At present OAI [Ed: Our America Initiative, Johnson’s political advocacy commit-tee] is indebted to NSoN [Ed: Nielson’s company] for ser-vices rendered and expenses advanced in the approximate amount of $1.8 million. At present GJ2012 is indebted to NSoN for services rendered and expenses advanced in the approximate amount of $676,000.”

We are led to believe by sources on the LNC that Johnson promised the LNC that his Republican campaign debts would be paid out of Federal campaign matching funds.

In the August FEC Report, covering July, Johnson received Federal campaign matching funds totalling $130,058.91, and other donations totalling $202,921.89, and paid his debts down from $431,722.03 to $296,201.47. The de-crease in Johnson’s debts was a few thousand dollars larger than the Federal matching funds he received that month.

We now come to Johnson’s August spending. In his Sep-tember FEC Report, Johnson reports paying his campaign debts down to $175,087.91, a drop of over $121,000. How-ever, for this same period his Federal Matching Funds in-come was only $73,692.29. Included in the payoff were the Johnson 2012 campaign debts to Jonathan Bydlak, who prior to the nomination had already sued Johnson 2012 for nonpayment of these Republican campaign debts.

If $73,692 of the debt reduction came from Federal cam-paign matching funds, this month more than $47,000 did not. That $47,000 inescapably came from money raised from Libertarian donors during Johnson’s Libertarian Presi-dential campaign.

218 From Dirty Tricks:

219 Stone’s mention of Herge in Dirty Tricks:

The connection between Herge and the two associations, United Seniors Association and the 60 Plus Association, is given in “Drug Money” by Merrill Goozner:

So who are those guys? The predecessor group to United Seniors was launched in the late 1980s by right-wing direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie as a scheme to bolster his faltering enterprise. It failed. The current group emerged from a reorganization orchestrated by J. Curtis Herge, whose legal career traces its roots to Richard Nixon’s law firm and wound through Ronald Reagan’s transition team. After that, Herge ended up as an assistant general counsel in James Watts’ Interior Department. Herge also helped incorporate the 60 Plus association in 1992.

Another piece on Herge and United Seniors Association is “United Seniors Association: Hired Guns for PhRMA and Other Corporate Interests – July 2002 Report” put out by the Public Citizen. The strange advocacy of both the United Seniors Association (also known as USA Next), the 60 Plus Association, as well as Otis’s involvement with True the Vote and the Declaration Alliance is discussed in greater detail in “Maureen Otis: A Mystery Inside A Mystery”.

Maureen Otis, listed as legal contact for the National Women’s Museum of History:

This information is taken out of the 2006 charity list from the secretary of state’s office of Tennessee.

That Our America Initiative was registered in 2010, though its creation by Johnson was announced in 2009, I get from this well-researched blog post, “Gov. Gary Johnson’s documents reveal puzzling trail” by Peter St. Cyr. That there appear to have been problems dealing with proper disclosure is interesting, though I’ve been unable to discover what was their cause. I’ve removed most of the links from the original post – the California registration is broken – leaving in the link for the 4th quarter filing in Utah:

Just days before former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is expected to formally announce his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, we’ve found a complex web of non-profit registrations, and only one quarterly financial report, for his 16-month-old Our America Initiative.

Johnson, who chairs the political advocacy group announced he was forming it in December 2009, but it was not registered as a Non-Profit Corporation in California until March the next year. The only financial disclosure we could find for the IRS exempt 501(c)(4) is this 4th Quarter (2010) filing in Utah.

Attorney Maureen Otis, from Stafford, Texas filed the financial report with the Utah Department of Commerce’s Consumer Protection Division as required this February for the group’s Treasurer Chet Goodwin, who lists his office in Salt Lake City. No financial reports were located at the California Secretary of State’s office for the entire period.

The Our America Initiative registration, date stamped August 9th 2010 is on scribd.

220 From “The Life of the 3rd Party” by Thomas Vinciguerra:

Dinner was at Chin Chin, on East 49th Street. For the candidate (whose initials, he points out, spell WAR), Chinese food has great significance: It was over a meal of Sichuan chicken that Mr. Root and his business partner, Doug Miller, mapped out his professional future. His handicapping insights can be gleaned at his Web site, http://www.winningedge.com.

“That’s what my life has been about, winning,” Mr. Root said. “The Libertarians have been a debate society since 1971. No one ever thought about winning. And then I came along.”

Not that he thinks he and his running mate will triumph in 2008. “Bob Barr and I are going to get a million to three million votes this year,” he predicted, between bites of chicken. “In 2012 I expect to duplicate Ross Perot’s number of 19 million. In 2016 I expect to be a credible third-party candidate, and in 2020 I plan to win.”

221 From “The One-Wing Ticket” by Jesse Walker:

The mistake wasn’t nominating Bob Barr for president. I’ve had a soft spot for Barr ever since I first saw him on C-Span in the mid-’90s, asking the right questions during the House’s Waco investigation. I have disagreed with him on issues ranging from trade with Cuba to the rights of neopagans in the military; most notably, I think he was dead wrong about the drug war, the one area where his general bias in favor of due process and decentralization seemed to go out the window entirely. But he seemed far more interested in liberty than most of his colleagues, and after he left office that interest grew stronger; when I interviewed him for reason in 2003, three years before he joined the LP, he seemed to be on the verge of becoming a full-fledged libertarian. Since then he has revised his stated views on drug laws, the Defense of Marriage Act, and other important areas. I still have my disagreements with him, but I don’t expect to have trouble casting a ballot for him in the fall. And if he pulls enough votes from the candidate of perpetual war to elect the man who, for all his flaws, at least promises to pull out of Iraq, then so much the better.

But given the number of party activists who are wary of the former congressman, and given Barr’s deficiencies on several issues, it would have made sense to round off the ticket with a more hardcore libertarian. The ideal choice was Steve Kubby, a medical marijuana activist whose signature issue could have balanced Barr’s past support for the drug war. Instead the delegates opted for another member of the party’s conservative wing. Worse yet, the conservative they picked was Wayne Allyn Root, a man with the deportment of a Ronco pitchman with a squirrel in his pants.

222 From “Scamdicappers: Beware of Scamdicappers”:

WHAT IS A SCAMDICAPPER?

A common question the public asks is what is a scamdicapper? In this article we will explain what Scamdicappers are. A Scamdicapper is a term that is used to refer to a sports handicapping service that is not in the sports wagering business to help you, but to profit off you and scam you out of your money. Some common practices of Scamdicappers are to claim outlandish winning percentages, go under multiple names, give out both sides of a game, or even call and harass you until you purchase their picks. As a lot of you may know, this industry is mostly made up of con men and thieves. There are over 2800 handicapping services in the US, with only a handful of them being hard working, sophisticated, honest services that are not out to make a quick buck off you. It seems like every day there is some new handicapping service that pops up on the Internet, TV, or radio. Ninety-nine percent of them are run by Scamdicappers.

LIST OF KNOWN SCAMDICAPPERS
(Avoid At All Costs)
Mike Warren
NSA Wins
Vegas Sports Insiders
TodaysPicks.net
Wayne Root
Chet Coppock
Ron Meyer
Sportsaction365
Free-Picks.com
JustWinBaby.tv
KickoffSports.com
Wizofodds.com
Joe Wiz

223 From “WTCG-K: Asset Sale”:

As a result of the asset sale, Winning Edge received shares of Betbrokers, PLC. Winning Edge will use the proceeds of the sale of Betbrokers’ stock to pay off existing debts. Winning Edge is subject to a one year restriction on the sale of Betbrokers’ stock in any public sale. With the approval of Betbrokers, PLC, Winning Edge may sell the stock in a private transaction but any buyer would still be restricted from any public sale of the stock on the AIMS. Since Winning Edge has current obligations which must be paid, it is highly likely we will seek to sell Betbrokers’ stock in a private transaction. Betbrokers’ stock sold in a private transaction would most likely be sold at a discount to market. Once existing debts are paid, Winning Edge would anticipate selling the balance of the Betbrokers’ stock following the one year lock-up. At this time, it is difficult to determine what proceeds will be received from the Betbrokers’ stock, particularly since we will be forced to sell at a discount to market in order to pay existing obligations. Winning Edge has no ability to control the price of Betbrokers’ stock and the price will likely fluctuate over the course of the next year based on factors beyond Winning Edge’s control.

If there are any proceeds left after the sale of Betbrokers’ stock and payment of debts, the remaining proceeds will be distributed to Winning Edge’s shareholders. At this time, management is not certain if there will be any funds to distribute to shareholders and shareholders should consider it unlikely that there will be any distributions. Currently existing obligations of Winning Edge are in excess of $2,400,000. Additionally, Winning Edge is subject to a one year restriction on the sale of the Betbrokers’ stock so no distributions to shareholders will occur for at least one year. Only shareholders of record on September 27, 2007, the record date for distributions, will be entitled to receive any distributions related to the proceeds of the Betbrokers’ stock.

224 From “Winning Edge Settles Lawsuit with Preferred Picks and Don Best Sports” by Reuters:

General Patent Corporation International Acts as Licensing Agent
SUFFERN, N.Y.–(Business Wire)–

General Patent Corporation International (GPCI), a leading patent licensing and enforcement firm, announced today on behalf of its client, Winning Edge International, formerly known as GWIN, that Winning Edge has settled its patent infringement lawsuit against Preferred Picks Publications, Inc. a/k/a Playbook Enterprises of Weston, FL and Corcom, Inc. d/b/a Don Best Sports of Las Vegas, NV.

A lawsuit against Preferred Picks, Don Best Sports, Vegas Insider.com, Vegasexperts.com, Inc., Sports Direct, Inc. and Covers Media Group Ltd. was filed in August 2006 in the Eastern District of Texas (2:06 CV 318) for the infringement of Winning Edge’s U.S. Patent No. 6,260,019 (the Patent).

“We are pleased to have reached settlements with Preferred Picks and Don Best Sports,” said Paul Lerner, GPCI’s Sr. Vice President and General Counsel. He continued, “We look forward to licensing the rest of the defendants in the lawsuit.”

Winning Edge owns U.S. Patent No. 6,260,019 titled “Web-Based Prediction Marketplace”. The patented method and apparatus pertain to the on-line prediction of future events. Winning Edge is a wholly owned subsidiary of Betbrokers Ltd., a publicly traded company on the AIM Exchange in the United Kingdom (BETB:AIM).

225 From “Norway Gaming Board say WMI an illegal pyramid scheme”:

As reported by BehindMLM readers B.F. and M_Norway, the Norwegian Gaming Board has today declared that Wealth Masters International is an illegal pyramid scheme.

The Gaming Board’s decision comes after nearly two months of investigation into WMI and the conclusion that WMI is in breach of section 16 of the Norwegian Lottery Act, (also I believe known as the ‘Gaming Act’).

Section 16 of the Lottery Act states

It is prohibited to establish or participate in pyramid systems, luck chains, chain transactions or similar enterprises where money or other values are ultimately traded among an indeterminate circle of people.

Wealth Masters International was found to be in breach of the act after the Gaming Board established a set of four criteria to assess WMI on. Last month the Gaming Board sent a series of questions off to WMI to better understand the business. Upon receiving the answers to these questions, the Gaming Board applied them to the criteria they had already established.

In doing so the Gaming Board found that

1. Revenues in WMI primarily come from the recruitment of members, not the sale of products.

2. One must give consideration to achieve revenues in the WMI.

3. The cost to be a member of WMI and to purchase WMI’s products are clearly overpriced.

4. WMI has a pyramid-like trading system.

Criteria one comes from the Gaming Boards closer inspection of where the revenue eventuates from the majority of WMI members based in Norway.

Upon inspection, for the Gaming Board to word their findings with such certainty, I can only assume means that the majority of WMI members are generating revenue via direct recruitment rather than from retail sales of the WMI product line.

That Root is associated with Wealth Masters International was gained from his Root for America website, where it’s listed among his “speaking engagements”.

226 “LNC Receives Letter Critiquing LNCC”, from Liberty for America, November 2011 is an example of the concern that the LNCC is Wayne Root’s own fiefdom, allowing him to distort the Libertarian Party to outsiders:

Dear Libertarian National Committee members,

I recently visited the website of the Libertarian National Campaign Committee (formerly the Libertarian National Con-gressional Committee?), LNCC.org, and was troubled by what appears there. Several pages on this site read like promotional puff pieces for Wayne Allyn Root, who is described as a “Reagan Libertarian” and “the face and voice of Libertarian-conservative politics in the mainstream national media” in a
lengthy bio touting his acumen as a prognosticator, among other things.

Other materials make it sound like the Libertarian Party is a conservative party. There is lots of focus on economics and only passing mention of civil liberties. No mention at all of the War on Drugs, “PATRIOT” Act, or “War on Terror” abuses, that I could see. While the party’s non-interventionist stance is noted, someone reading that section could get the impression that extra-national military intervention is okay with the LP so long as it’s done for the purpose of protecting “national inter-ests” and not spreading democracy or getting involved in nation-building. Two current Democrats (Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi) and only one past Republican not seen as a conservative by most conservative Republicans anyway (George W. Bush) are depicted as politicians to oppose. Under the heading “Libertarian Issues” we find things like a national sales tax and a section on “Tea Party Libertarians”.

Wayne Allyn Root should not be allowed to distort what our party stands for and use a national LP website as his own per-sonal promotional vehicle. Does the LNCC have any effective oversight from the LNC, or is it essentially Root’s private fief-dom? What is the term of office for LNCC chair, anyway? Is the contact info being collected from visitors to this site being shared with the rest of the party?

“National Director Concern About LNCC” from Liberty for America, December 2011, sounds another note of concern:

We have had forwarded to us a message to the LNC from Wes Benedict: “The LNCC (and chair of the Audit Commit-tee) now has our entire membership database, email database, and full permission from the LNC to use it without limit. Understanding that cannibalization, plus potential general suppression of overall donations to both organizations if there’s any blow-back, is something worth considering.”

The Libertarian National Congressional Committee, Wayne Root, Chair, was created by the LNC as a match for the Democratic National Congressional Committee and a matching Republican group. It has the same fund raising and spending authority that the LNC does.

The review by George Phillies of Conscience of a Libertarian by Wayne Allyn Root, is in Liberty for America, September 2009:

To give credit where credit is due, Mr. Root successfully transports his vigorous tub-thumping speech patterns from the soap box to print form. If you wonder what he sounds like on stage, you have but to read this volume aloud.

Should you want to find Mr. Root’s positions on particular issues, there is a really excellent index. If we were the right wing anti-tax party with esoteric undertones, we might agree this is a libertarian book. We aren’t, and it isn’t.

Let’s start with that Index. In the real world, the President deals in considerable part with foreign, defense, and trade policy. Foreign policy? Iraq-not listed. Iran-not listed. Afghanistan-not listed. The Bush War on Terror-not listed. Ending foreign wars is buried in a two-page section on decreasing foreign aid, a section that rapidly segues into cutting defense spending, starting with the time-worn Republican rant about eliminated waste and stealing.

Mr. Root piles up all sorts of right-wing nostrums and assertions. Libertarians advocate reality-based politics. Root – read Chapter 27 – is a global warming denier. Libertarians historically come from knowledge-based professions – Root goes into a rant against vaccinating young women for cervical cancer.

Root blames the difficulties of the Detroit car companies on labor unions. It was not the labor unions that tried to sell ‘buy American’ rather than ‘our cars have fewer defects’. It was not the labor unions that won one company President a 100-million-dollar contract. It was not labor unions that invented planned obsolescence, designing cars to fail after a few years. It was not labor unions that told company economists to support import quotas or be fired, when they warned quotas would mean billions in extra profits for Japanese carmakers, exactly as happened. It was not the labor unions that agreed to those contracts. Making labor unions the scapegoat for GM going broke is wrong.

Root does talk about ending prohibition. For most libertarians, that is a truly fine issue. Drug prohibition wastes tens and tens of billions of dollars a year, and has blighted the lives of millions of young men and women. Medical marijuana prohibition is a consummate antilibertarian doctrine. Root instead goes on – entirely justly – about gambling prohibition, especially internet gambling. Drug prohibition…not so much. Of course, during Root’s nominating campaign he claimed that there were vast numbers of internet gamblers out there just waiting to support this campaign issue, which clearly did not happen to the Libertarian Party in 2008.

Libertarians historically have tended to advocate equality before the law. Root instead advocates eliminating taxes on capital gains, which he claims is taxing money twice. People who have honest jobs and work for a living apparently get thrown off the rear of the bus. The Root tax plan qualifies as class warfare, not in a way that is likely to win the support of many voters.

Finally, in a country whose constitution and bill of rights create an iron wall between church and state, and in a party many of whose founders were atheists, agnostics, neo-pagans, or uninterested in the topic, opening your book “Let me start with God” is bit surprising. Claiming that our national success is due to divine intervention rather than to capitalism, thrift, and limited government is certainly peculiar not to mention remote from libertarianism.

227 To try to convey the intense divisions that grew between Root and the old guard of the Libertarian Party would take far too much space. I give one example from Liberty for America, October 2010, when it was discovered that Root was fundraising for a Republican candidate, “Root Raises Money for Republican”:

In another issue, Wayne Root urged people to support the Republican Senate Primary Campaign of Peter Schiff. The core text from Root went “I enthusiastically endorse Peter’s candidacy. His wisdom, guidance and steadfast commitment to the values that built this nation and enshrined by our founders in our constitution, are badly needed in Washington. I urge you to give generously to his camping. He needs your financial support and your time

Schiff is a Republican. (He lost.) Some LNC members called Root on it. Mary Ruwart wrote:

This is an egregious conflict of interest for any LNC member, but especially for the Chair of the Libertarian Congressional Committee, which is supposed to fundraise for Libertarian Party candidates. This conflict of interest, to the best of my knowledge, has not been reported by Mr. Root.

On the other hand, California Regional Representative Daniel Wiener wrote

“Okay, Mary, I read through Wayne’s endorsement of Peter Schiff, and I’m not finding any conflict of interest. What am I missing? Nowhere do I see anything which identifies Wayne as a member of the LNC or Chair of the LNCC or past VP candidate or even the word “libertarian”.

I assume you are not happy that Wayne is endorsing someone who is running for the Republican nomination, even though Schiff has strong libertarian views and was the keynote speaker at the 2009 Connecticut LP convention, and even though there is no Libertarian candidate in the race that he’s running against. You also know from our last LNC meeting that Wayne thinks the LP should be expanding its influence by selectively endorsing candidates from the other parties. You two have a strong disagreement over that issue. But a disagreement over tactics is not the same as a conflict of interest. As long as Wayne is doing this on a personal basis and not as an LP representative, I see nothing in either the Bylaws or the Policy Manual which precludes it. Dan Wiener”

To which Mary Ruwart replied

There would be nothing wrong with Wayne fund-raising for Schiff if he were not 1) raising money for a competing party’s candidates while Chair of the committee that is supposed to be raising money for Libertarian Party candidates; 2) an LNC member, with a fiduciary responsibility to the Libertarian Party, helping candidates from a competing party get elected; 3) calling himself the spokesperson for the Libertarian Party, yet endorsing Republicans.

Doing for a competing political party what you’ve pledged to do for the LP is a HUGE conflict of interest, not a “tactical disagreement.”

The efforts to remove Root from the LNC and LNCC are described in “Florida State Party: Boot Root from LNC!”, from Liberty for America, December 2010:

The Libertarian Party of Florida State Committee has demanded that Wayne Root be removed from the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) and the Libertarian National Congressional Committee (LNCC).

The Florida Libertarian Party statement reads:

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committeeis committed to the platform of the Libertarian Party;and

WHEREAS, Libertarian National Congressional Committee chairman, Wayne Allyn Root made the undisputed quote in the November 11-17, 2010 issue of weekly magazine Vegas Seven, “I’m kind of re-creating libertarianism. I’m just not going to follow the traditional roots. I’m a Ronald Reagan libertarian. Traditional libertarianism mixes in too many things that are liberal”; and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee finds Mr. Roots comments found above will confuse the general public as to what the Libertarian Party’s official positions are; and

WHEREAS, the Libertarian Party of Florida Executive Committee finds Mr. Roots comments highly offensive and in direct contrast to the Libertarian Party’s message and platform; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Root has supported Republican candidates for public office while in his position on the Libertarian NationalCongressional Committee; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Root has made similar and consistent commentsnoted above.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Libertarian Party of Florida fully repudiates Mr. Roots comments as described above and strongly feels Mr. Root should be replaced and removed from his position in any official capacity with the Libertarian National Committee, inclusive of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee.

ADOPTED November 14, 2010
Libertarian Party of Florida
Vicki Kirkland, Chair

228 From the comments of Dondero’s site “Libertarian Vice-Presidential candidate Wayne Root, Post-Election Interview” is Dondero himself making a comment:

Eric Dondero said…

I call Wayne a “Republican” Libertarian. He’s like a GOP infiltrator within the Libertarian Party. Thus, he’s just like us, just bass-ackwards.

Yeah, it was a great interview. He said some profound stuff, that’s sure to rile up some folks.
December 3, 2008 at 6:24 PM

A screenshot, in case the comment disappears:

eric dondero comment cropped

229 The comment is by “joe” (link):

Wow, Wayne Allen Root is an asshole.

‘Or maybe he was involved in Black Radical politics.”

Or maybe you’re an asshole.

230 The invite by Root to Johnson, “Wayne Root would welcome Gary Johnson to Libertarian Presidential race”:

Email from Wayne Root:

Gary Johnson is a friend of mine. We’re fans of each other’s politics. We’ve spoken often over the past few years. He is a constant guest on my radio shows. I was honored to speak back to back with Gary at the Conservative Leadership Conference held in Nevada this past July. I was the opening speaker at FreedomFest, where Gary also spoke this summer.

On all of his many radio appearances with me, I’ve yet to find an issue we disagree on. Gary and I never fail to both comment on “our mutual admiration society.” On most every issue we are compatible Libertarian-conservatives who believe in smaller government, dramatically reduced spending, reduced entitlements, lower taxes, and a pro business attitude.

I’d welcome Gary’s addition to the LP in any capacity. He’d make a wonderful Libertarian officeholder, leader or Presidential/Vice Presidential candidate. His record as the 2-term Governor of New Mexico is among the most fiscally conservative in the nation. I applaud literally everything Gary did as Governor, from his tax cuts, to his spending cuts, to his leading the nation in vetoes. If we had 535 Gary Johnson’s in Congress, this country would not be in economic crisis right now.

I’ve personally encouraged Gary in numerous private conversations- including most recently at the Conservative Leadership Conference- to join the LP and consider running for our Presidential ticket. He’d be one heck of an addition. I look forward to continuing my discussions with Gary in the near future.

From “Gary Johnson: The LNC Chair Race is Exciting! Interesting!” by Garrett Quinn:

Las Vegas – Just before endorsing Wayne Allyn Root and Bill Redpath for at-large spots on the Libertarian National Committee, Gary Johnson reflected on the current battle for chair of the party.

“It’s exciting, it’s interesting,” he said.

231 The endorsement took place on Bill Cunningham’s podcast, here is the transcript of the opening, including the endorsement. Cunningham podcast via “Wayne Root, former Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Candidate and Current Member of the LP’s National Committee: “It’s Gotta Be Romney, There is No Choice” by Brian Doherty:

CUNNINGHAM
I’m Bill Cunningham, the great american, let’s continue now, Wayne Allyn Root, Root for America, libertarian candidate for the presidency, on Obamacare and so much more. Wayne Allyn Root of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Wayne Allyn Root, welcome again to the Bill Cunningham show.

ROOT
Yeah, the one thing you can’t say is I’m not a candidate for the presidency anymore, so we can’t say that anymore. I am not running in this cycle, but I do think in 2016 you might have a good third choice. So, let’s save that for another time.

CUNNINGHAM
Please, I would love, I would work hard, I would vote for you, I would do whatever I could to get you elected. I think it’s wonderful.

ROOT
I think the important thing now is to make sure that Obama is not elected, and that means, in my mind, listen, I would love if a libertarian like Gary Johnson, the two term governor of New Mexico, would actually get elected president, but I think we all know that’s not going to happen, so therefore it’s gotta be Romney, there’s no choice. And then, unfortunately…the good news is that Romney stops Obamacare, I hope, and stops the incredible bankruptcy of America and the looting of taxpayers, a little bit. Slows it down, so we don’t go right off a cliff. But unfortunately, Bill, I don’t have a lot of hope that he turns us around and saves America, because to me, he seems like a big government Northeast liberal, compared to Obama, who’s a Marxist. So, between those two choices, yeah, I guess the lesser of two evils is certainly Romney, but they’re both bad choices, and that’s the problem I have. Big government guys on both sides.

A transcript of the opening remarks to Root’s introduction of Gary Johnson at an event (“Wayne Allyn Root Introduces Gary Johnson at April 9 Las Vegas Fundraising Event” on youtube) a few days after the Cunningham podcast in which he’d endorsed Romney, where he gave a veiled defense of the endorsement as him trying to find common ground with conservatives:

WAYNE ALLYN ROOT
Honored to speak with the LP, honored to introduce Gary Johnson. You know, a lot of you here know my middle name is controversy, it never seems to end, a lightning rod of controversy…instead of the usual introduction, I wanted to introduce Gary the way I’ll be doing on a conservative talk show, “The Bill Cunningham Show”, later on this week. Many of you know that I’m going to be in a lot of conservative talk radio, on Fox news, on conservative web sites, all over the United States. And, that’s my platform. That’s my specialty. I speak to specific groups, tea partiers, conservatives, republicans, small businesspeople, and I try and become friends with them. And I try and find common ground with them. And this sometimes causes controversy in the libertarian party. Because I don’t do it the traditional libertarian way. I’m friendly with my conservative audience, I win them over, I become a regular in their car, in their home, in their living room, and I subtly introduce libertarianism. I get a punch in here; I get a punch in there. I win somebody over slowly over time. And I’m on “The Bill Cunningham Show” later on this week, I convinced them to let me come on to do a segment on one thing and one thing only, and that’s introducing Gary Johnson to his audience. So, I actually wanted to introduce Gary today by giving you the script I’m gonna give to introduce you, and see how you like it, and if you like it a lot, we’ll use it, and if there’s anything you want me to change, we’ll change it. But here’s how I’m gonna introduce Gary to a very Republican conservative audience. And it’s kinda different for a libertarian to do it this way. So, the script goes something like this:

Bill, last week, we talked about the usual suspects. Obamacare, and what a disaster it is for America. And of course, the presidential race between Obama and Mitt Romney. We discussed all the reasons what makes economic issues you and your audience might support Mitt Romney over Obama. If that were your only choice. But, actually the question becomes, are those your only two choices? Why has the mainstream media workded so hard to convince you that there are only two choices? Is the fix in? Are they trying to keep us all away from any alternative that might spoil their corrupt game? Are they worried about keeping the trillions in bailouts and stimulus, and government contracts coming in, fast and furious, both for Republicans and Democrats. What is Obama and Romney weren’t your only choices? What if there was a third choice? What if the third choice was the best choice of all? Now, Gary Johnson is a former two term Republican governor poised to win the Libertarian presidential nomination. Now, perhaps many in your audience haven’t heard of him up until now. Maybe the media likes it that way. Maybe he’s a danger to special interests. Maybe he’s a maverick who they don’t want anywhere near the White House. Let me educate you in a way that the media and conservative talk radio rarely does. Because when I’m done, you might be surprised to find you’re actually thinking about something different and voting for something different for the first time in your life. Because while I understand that many of you, at this moment, think that Mitt Romney is a little better than Barack Obama on economic issues, I’ll concede that anything has to be better than Barack Obama.

But the question is, is that really good enough for you? Will it be enough to save the quality of life for your kids and grandkids? Is it enough to save the American economy? We’re under nearly one hundred trillion dollars in debt, and unfunded liabilities, and sinking fast. We’re not Greece, or Spain, but we’re a thousand times bigger. So, the question is, do you really believe that adding to the national debt, but adding just a little bit less, will save us? When the answer is to dramatically cut the budget, and neither Obama nor Romney will consider doing that. Haven’t you heard the liberal, big government big spending Republicans for years, in for George H.W. Bush, in for Bob Dole, in for Gerald Ford, in for John McCain, promise the world, and then deliver the same big taxes, the same big spending, the same big government, as a democrat? Do you still believe them? Isn’t Obama versus Romney the same old game? Isn’t it big government versus even bigger government? They’re both progressives, one is liberal, the other is ultra-liberal. So, it’s the usual lesser evil, right?

232 From “Wayne Root defects from LP to GOP” by Matthew Reece:

On Thursday, 2008 Libertarian vice-presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root announced that he was resigning from his positions within the Libertarian Party and joining the Republican Party. In the public letter he wrote, Root explains that his decision is much like those of previous Libertarian Party candidates, including David Koch (VP, 1980) and Ron Paul (President, 1988); both of whom left the LP to become influential Republicans.

To add insult to injury, Root announced that he is endorsing Republican nominee Mitt Romney, saying, “I don’t deny that Romney and Ryan aren’t libertarians, but Romney is a pro-business capitalist and Obama is a Marxist-socialist. The economy has been trashed. This is about my kids’ future, it’s about my businesses. There is no hope for America if Obama is re-elected.”

In his resignation letter, Root also announced that he would seek a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada in 2016, saying he “plan[s] to join Tea Party U.S. Senators like Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee in the near future, representing the great state of Nevada.”

233 From “Las Vegas Oddsmaker Explains Why He Predicts Romney Landslide” by Wayne Root:

On May 30th, I made a prediction that shocked the readers of TownHall. I predicted a Romney landslide- with Obama leading in every poll.

I did not make that prediction as a political columnist, or as the former Libertarian Presidential contender, or the 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee. I relied on my career as a Las Vegas oddsmaker. Long before I got into politics, I started out as the Network Oddsmaker and NFL Analyst for CNBC (then known as Financial News Network). I’ve made my living for the past 27 years predicting the winners of sporting events, like the Super Bowl and March Madness. I did it well enough to be awarded my own 180 pound granite star on Las Vegas Blvd- the only oddsmaker ever inducted into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars (along with Vegas legends such as Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, Dean Martin, Liberace, and Sammy Davis Jr).

But it’s my political predictions that have turned heads in the national media.

Today I’m making it official:

Mitt Romney will win the Presidency, and it won’t be close.

I’m predicting a 5 to 7 point popular vote victory. With an outside shot at 10 points. Electorally it won’t be that close. Romney will win many states that went to Obama in 2008. I’m predicting Romney victories in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Indiana. I predict a Romney victory by 100 to 120 electoral votes.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say Romney even wins one or two Democratic “safe states” like Michigan, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey. On election night, Democrats will be in shock and mourning as the results come in.

On buying a star on the “Walk of Stars”, from “Walk of Stars created to honor citys celebrities and contributors” by Amy Baratta:

LAS VEGAS — A $15,000 donation can buy your favorite entertainer a star on the Strip.

Wayne Newton has one. His three-foot-square slab of polished granite, a tribute from his fan club, was placed in October in front of the New Frontier.

Stars celebrating the late entertainer Liberace and celebrity impersonator Frank Marino — hes Joan Rivers in An Evening at La Cage at the Riviera Hotel and Casino — were placed earlier this month along the Strip in front of that property.

And the most recent addition, placed in the walk in front of the Flamingo Las Vegas on Feb. 15, honors impressionist Rich Little.

The Walk of Stars, developed in cooperation with Clark County, was designed to mark Las Vegas centennial by recognizing those who have made a significant contribution to the city. The walk is expected to extend from Sahara Avenue to Russell Avenue.

The McCain prediction from “The Life of the 3rd Party” by Thomas Vinciguerra:

Mr. Root wagered that John McCain would prevail in November, winning 37 to 40 states. To his mind, that would be no coincidence.

“McCain literally stole, word for word, what I’ve been saying in my playbook,” Mr. Root complained. “Like education. I called it ‘the civil rights issue of the 21st century.’ And what did he say in his acceptance speech? Same thing, word for word. He didn’t even give me credit.”

(It should be noted, though, that the phrase “the civil rights issue of the 21st century” itself doesn’t appear to be Mr. Root’s creation.)

The number of states McCain did win is taken from “United States presidential election, 2008″.

On his prediction of the continued dominance of the GOP, from “Just Another Hustler in the Hustler Kingdom” by David Weigel:

With all of that behind him, how could Wayne Root not get into politics, the domain of district attorneys and trial lawyers and promotion-seeking chiefs of staff? “My entire life has been a PERFECT preparation for politics,” Root told the Gambling Newswire in 2005. “I’ve spent the last 20 years giving interviews with the media. I’m on national TV more than any politician in the state of Nevada!” (This was before the still-mystifying triumph of Sen. Harry Reid.) In 2005, Root published a sort of sequel to his first self-help tome dubbed Millionaire Republican, telling readers that “thinking like a Republican,” taking risks and cutting throats, was the surest path to success.

Some sections of the book didn’t hold up so well. “This professional prognosticator,” Root wrote then, “believes that the GOP will dominate American politics (on all levels) for the foreseeable future.”

234 From “What went wrong with my prediction about Mitt Romney and the 2012 election” by Wayne Allyn Root:

This combination of science and common sense would tell you that in this economy, no president could be re-elected. Unless President Obama is more an “American Idol” and even a near-messiah than a politician, and his followers ignore logic, facts, and the misery they are experiencing.

Unless we have reached the tipping point that Thomas Jefferson warned about, where a majority of Americans now get checks from government, and realize that they can vote for the guy who promises to keep the checks coming.

Obama’s re-election proves that bribery as a campaign tactic is validated. Promise enough “free stuff” and you win votes, even if the end result is no jobs, no hope, and a lifetime dependent on government.

You wouldn’t believe this could be true. Not in America. That’s another reason why my prediction went wrong.

235 From “The GOP’s Indispensible Man” by Roger Stone:

The New York Times pointed out the presences of longtime GOP ‘wise man’ and veteran Washington lobbyist, Charlie Black, in presidential nominee presumptive Mitt Romney’s entourage. Black has been a key figure in the campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Bob Dole, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and John McCain.

While it is easy to criticize Black as the consummate establishment Republican and Washington insider, few understand the pivotal role that Black played in Reagan’s 1976 campaign, which laid the groundwork for Reagan’s successful 1980 campaign, reelection in 1984 and the Reagan revolution.

It is a credit to Black’s discipline, judgment, tact, and knowledge that the Ford people were happy to have Black ride shotgun with Vice Presidential nominee, Bob Dole, after the bitter Ford-Reagan Kansas City Convention.

In 1980, Black resigned from the Reagan campaign on the day of Reagan’s smashing victory in the New Hampshire primary. Reagan bested George Bush, who won a surprise victory in the Iowa caucus after a famous debate in which Reagan demanded Bush admit the other Republican candidates, Bob Dole, Phil Crane, Howard Baker, and John Anderson to what had been billed as a two-man debate. This was an elaborate setup by Sears. Many key Reagan operatives played key roles in setting Bush up in the Nashua debate, including former New Hampshire GOP State Chairman Jerry Carman.

Sears was fired on the night of his greatest triumph. Black chose to resign with him, although virtually every Reagan operative at all levels of the campaign sought his advice in the General Election with Carter. It is a testimony to Black’s indispensability to the modern Republican Party that by 1984 he was back as a Senior Advisor to the Reagan-Bush ’84 committee. Romney is both wise and lucky to have him.

236 From the Donald Trump profile, “Trump Solo”, in Character Studies by Marc Singer:

A securities analyst who has studied Trump’s peregrinations for many years believes, “Deep down, he wants to be Madonna.” In other words, to ask how the gods could have permitted Trump’s resurrection is to mistake profound superficiality for profoundity, performance art for serious drama. A prime example of superificiality at its most rewarding: the Trump International Hotel and Tower, a fifty-two-story hotel-condominium conversion of the former Gulf and Western Building, on Columbus Circle, which opened last January. The Trump name on the skyscraper belies the fact that his ownership is limited to his penthouse apartment and a stake in the hotel’s restaurant and garage, which he received as part of his development fee. During the grand-opening ceremonies, however, such details seemed not to matter as he gave this statement: “One of the great buildings anywhere in New York, anywhere in the world.”

During Trump’s ascendancy, in the 1980s, the essence of his performance art – an opera-buffa parody of wealth – accounted for his populist appeal as well as for the opprobrium of those who regard with distate the spectacle of an unbridled id. Delineating his commercial aesthetic, he once told an interviewer, “I have glitzy casinos because people expect it…Glitz works in Atlantic City…And in my residential buildings I sometimes use flash, which is a level below glitz.” His first monument to himself, Trump Tower, on Fifth Avenue at Fifty-sixth Street, which opened its doors in 1984, possessed many genuinely impressive elements – a sixty-eight saw-toothed silhouette, a salmon-colored Italian-marble atrium equipped with an eighty-foot waterfall – and became an instant tourist attraction. In Atlantic City, the idea was to slather on as much ornamentation as possible, the goal being (a) to titillate with the fantasy that a Trump-like life was a lifelike life and (b) to distract from the fact that he’d lured you inside to pick your pocket.

237 The quote is taken from following transcript of “FoxNews: Impact of third-party candidates on election (Youtube)”:

STEVE DOOCEY
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president made history yesterday by earning the most raw votes in his party’s history. It’s not secret that votes for third party candidates typically come at the expense of Republicans, so did Johnson cost Romney the election? Let’s talk right now to political strategist Roger Stone. Good morning to you.

ROGER STONE
Steve.

DOOCEY
You know, people think back to when Ross Perot…many feel, cost George Herbet Walker Bush the election to Bill Clinton, who won with 39% or something like that…what sort of damage did Gary Johnson do to Mitt Romney?

STONE
There’s really no evidence that his votes came disproportionately from Romney. I think he took votes from both Obama and Romney…and he won the votes from some people who may not have voted at all. He did get a million votes, a million two really, he fell short of the five percent you need to get your party federal funding to become a permanent party. I now know how Teddy Roosevelt felt when he became a Bull Moose now.

DOOCEY
You know, interestingly enough, Herman Cain suggested yesterday suggested that perhaps it’s time for another third party. Because the two parties we have right now aren’t really fixing our problems.

STONE
Well, they’re really very similar, they’re both for foreign intervention, they’re both for deficit spending, they’re both for the PATRIOT act, they’re both for the war on drugs, the two parties have become, despite their rhetoric, almost identical.

DOOCEY
But they’re different on social issues, and that’s one of the things about the Libertarian Party and particular Gary Johnson had talked about pot and legalizing pot, and that explains why in Washington State he wound up with one percent and in Calif- rather Colorado he wound up with one point three percent of the vote because pot was also on the ballot.

STONE
Yeah, I think the country is ready for someone who is a fiscal and economic conservative, but socially tolerant. That’s where the majority of the people are. The problem, of course, is that we have a duopoly. The big parties, the two major parties, control ballot access, who gets into the debates, which is crucial, and in the end, it’s really about money. Ross Perot got 19% as a third party candidate, but he also spent ten million dollars of his own money, so he was taken seriously.

DOOCEY
So, if there’s a really rich libertarian out there, they would have a better shot.

STONE
And my phone number is-

DOOCEY
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Alright, Roger Stone, always a pleasure.

STONE
Great to be with you.

238 The quote about the similarity of the two parties comes from the transcript out of the previous footnote:

DOOCEY
You know, interestingly enough, Herman Cain suggested yesterday suggested that perhaps it’s time for another third party. Because the two parties we have right now aren’t really fixing our problems.

STONE
Well, they’re really very similar, they’re both for foreign intervention, they’re both for deficit spending, they’re both for the PATRIOT act, they’re both for the war on drugs, the two parties have become, despite their rhetoric, almost identical.

The point about the Saudis comes from the transcript of the University of Miami class in 2008, from footnote #204:

QUESTIONER
Yeah, in the articles…it seems you think the Bush administration has done great damage to the Republican party…I was kinda wondering, what ways do you see this Bush administration has done damage to the Republican party and why do you prefer John McCain and see him as someone different from this administration?

STONE
Sure. Well, first of all, I’ve never been a Bush Republican. I consider myself a Goldwater Reagan, more libertarian oriented Republican. And, take your pick. The only thing I like about the Bush administration is their tax policy. I am for tax reduction because I do think it makes the economy grow, but you couldn’t be a conservative and spend like this administration is spending. They’re spending us into the millenium. You couldn’t be a conservative and approve of the growth of government in the eight years George Bush has been governor – president – and lastly, I think this war is pointless. I don’t see the point of the war in Iraq. Now, if you wanted to have war against the Saudis, I’m with you. They’re our problem in the region, they’re not our friends. But the Bush administration kisses up to the Saudis and you get a war in Iraq that doesn’t seem to me to have any point. Now, when we need to use hardball tactics against the Iranians, we’ve worn out the goodwill of the American people who don’t have the stomach for more conflict.

239 “Libertarians running 2 Staten Islanders for citywide office” by Judy L. Randall:

El-Meligy, an advocate for the Muslim community, has said as comptroller he would look for ways to reduce wasteful spending.

While ex-madam Kristin Davis has said she is the Libertarian Party candidate for comptroller, El-Meligy is the party-backed candidate.

The email from Roger Stone is taken from “Robert Wenzel: NY State Libertarian Party War!” by Wenzel:

I’d don’t know who this asshole is but the New York City Libertarian convention met on April 9 and 71 people were eligible to vote under the rules.

Kristin Davis was nominated for Comptroller.

A small dissident faction of Libertarians, unhappy with the result, held a rump convention–8 people participated. All of them voted in the previous convention.They “voided” the results of the previous convention and nominated a radical Islamist named El Meligy. No he is not the legitimate nominee of the LP–he is the nominee of a handful of loudmouths who can’t face their crushing defeat and can’t muster more than 8 people for a “convention’

The Libertarian Party is unrecognized in the state of New York. The assertion that prior use of the name or tradmarking of the name or filing of the name as a PAC gives one control of the name is false. The Board of Elections will rule on this if two “Libertarian” candidates file for the same office. If either side is unhappy with the ruling they can sue the BOE. We welcome both the BOE ruling and a law-suit. Some local “libertarians” need to be spanked. They will be.

We will of course challenge El Meligy’s petititons and will refer fraud to the local District Attorney for criminal prosecution.

Worst case – the BOE directs either candidate or both chose another name. Kristin Davis can garner publicity and raise money. It would only be the Libertarian party’s loss. Candidates who cannot raise the New York City Campaign Finance Board matching fund threshold are not required to be in the fall debates. The Al Queda candidate, El Meligy, cannot hope to meet this threshold, despite the strong support he is getting from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban.

Kristin Davis will be on the ballot and in the debates with or without the Libertarian Party label.

Enjoyed doing the show and appreciate your interest in my upcoming book.

A screenshot of the linked page, “Facebook Libertarian Party of Florida”, should the original go down:

NYC second convention Roger Stone reaction crop

240 From “Spitzer’s Ex-Madam Kristin Davis Slips Out of Comptroller Race” by Steve Nelson:

Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced former New York governor seeking election to be New York City’s comptroller, has lost a prominent competitor, his longtime antagonist and former madam Kristin Davis.

Davis won the Libertarian Party’s nomination for the post in April, but did not file last week to appear on the ballot.

The madam-turned-activist was arrested Aug. 5 for allegedly selling the common prescriptions Adderall, Ambien, Oxycodone, Xanax and the muscle-relaxer Soma to a drug dealer the FBI flipped into a cooperating witness.

Davis did not respond to a request for comment about her decision to drop out, nor did her political mentor Roger Stone.

Valerie Vazquez, a spokesperson for the city’s board of elections, confirmed to U.S. News that Davis was not among the candidates who submitted the required 3,750 signatures to appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Hesham el-Meligy, an independent candidate from Staten Island who is supported by some Libertarians, did file to run for the comptroller race, according to Vazquez.

241 From Stone’s Rules:

242A good quick overview of the Fein-Lolavar-Paul affair is “Bruce Fein, Rand Paul, Ken Cuccinelli, and the NSA: Is Mattie Fein right about the plagiarism of her husband’s lawsuit?” by David Weigel – though a perhaps better one, and far more devastating to Paul, is “E-mails back claim that Sen. Rand Paul ‘stole’ NSA lawsuit” by Dana Milbank:

In a telephone conversation Thursday evening, Cuccinelli, joined by Bruce Fein, repeated that Mattie Fein was “not authorized” to speak for Bruce Fein, and said “Mattie sent emails in his name from his account.” But Bruce Fein confirmed on the call that he had, in fact, written one of the two emails forwarded to me from his account, in which he complained about the way he was treated by the Paul team and requested payment. “I was disgruntled with some elements,” he said. Asked about the second email from his account, in which he lists several questions that could be asked at the Paul-Cuccinelli news conference, he declined to comment.

Fein said that Mattie Fein, whom he identifies as Mattie Lolovar, has been his spokeswoman on previous matters but that he “never authorized her to speak for me” on this matter.

Here is the first email Fein wrote, which he sent to Doug Stafford, Paul’s top political advisor.

On Feb 12, 2014, at 1:56 PM, “Bruce Fein” b*****@thelichfieldgroup.com wrote:

Dear Doug,

The protocols for preparing and filing the class action complaint today were hugely suboptimal.

My name was not on the complaint despite the fact that it was predominantly my work product over several weeks and two hundred hours of research, meetings, and drafting. Ken never showed me the final complaint before submission. My name could not be on the complaint under DC Bar Rules because I could not prepare a timely engagement letter. I was never informed until yesterday by Ken of the details of the collaborative arrangement between FreedomWorks and Rand for litigating and paying for the lawsuit. I promptly revised the engagement letter when the information was received, and it has been forwarded via Ken to Rand and FreedomWorks.

I did not learn of the date for filing except by inadvertence from Ken a few days ago.

I was not included in any briefing of Rand about the complaint before filing and press conference today despite the fact that I know vastly more about the Fourth Amendment issue and the history of NSA surveillance than anyone else on the team.

All of this has been especially distressing because I have been an impeccable team player from the outset. I did not ask for an upfront retainer. I did not publicize my role to the media. I heavily discounted my fees. I shared my work product freely with Ken. I responded to all of Ken’s inquiries with alacrity. And I have eagerly defended Rand in the past on Fourth Amendment issues in the media.

Yet I was excluded from key decision points leading up to the filing of the complaint and press conference as though I could not be trusted. I was not only excluded from meetings. I was never informed that they took place and what the decisions were.

My marginalization was thoroughly unfair. Going forward, I expect complete transparency and inclusion on all non-trivial decisions. My name will be on all future pleadings. Ken and I plan to meet shortly to discuss these matters.

My outstanding invoice for work indispensable to the lawsuit should be paid no later than Friday, February 14, an expectation which is completely justified in light of all the circumstances. Please alert me if the work description on the invoice needs alteration.

Thanks for your attention to these matters.

Bruce Fein

From “Libertarian Bum Fights” by Mark Ames:

It’s hard to know what’s bullshit, bluster or truth in the world of DC lobbying and spooks, but Fein backs it up by boasting in his Lichfield Group bio that he was executive editor for a murky private intelligence publication staffed by ex-CIA and ex-MI5 spooks called “The World Intelligence Review.”

An example of Fein’s work for the World Intelligence Review: a letter to the editor of the New York Times in 1995 defending the CIA from revelations about the Agency’s work with torturers, headlined, “Why Hold C.I.A. To Higher Standard?”

It seems that at least one major purpose of the “World Intelligence Review” was to defend the CIA’s public image – letters to the editor, reviews of books and films….Today, a website purporting to be the same “World Intelligence Review” – founded in 1978 and headquartered in Washington DC – mostly serves as an outlet for a paranoid British spook named Nigel West, whom BBC documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis recently described as one of the weirdest of the degenerates who dominate the British spy world:

weirdos who have created a completely mad version of the world that they then impose on the rest of us.

According to Curtis’ piece for the BBC, Nigel West has spooked and scared the public over the years with tales of Soviet moles and traitors inside the MI5, or tales of Iraqi students in Britain acting as Saddam’s sleeper cell terrorists on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War – all accusations that turned out to be nothing but paranoid fantasy. In fact, despite all the hysteria whipped up by people like Nigel West, MI5 never caught a single Soviet mole in the British spy services.

Today, Nigel West is listed as the European Editor of the same weirdo spy publication where Bruce Fein worked as executive editor in the 1990s. And Fein boasts of his ties to that same world: CIA, Homeland Security, National Security Council…outfits which have become less and less effective over time as their bureaucracies bloated, and their personnel regressed into a parallel universe of paranoid fantasy.

In June, after Lon Snowden spoke out against his son’s flight to Hong Kong, Bruce Fein somehow managed to attach himself to Lon Snowden. Ever since, you won’t see or hear a word out of Lon Snowden that isn’t closely monitored by Bruce Fein’s presence. Fein appears to be dragging the father into a funhouse world that makes less and less sense – the same Lon Snowden who told his son not to defect now finds himself groveling to Vladimir Putin, praising His mercy and humanity, all to creepy Bruce Fein’s hovering-vulture approval.

In June 1896, a bomb was thrown at a religious procession in Barcelona, killing eleven and injuring forty. The premier, Antonio Canovas del Castillo, ordered more mass arrests and torture. Four suspected terrorists were executed, seventy-six sentenced to prison terms. An account of the tortures published in a Paris newspaper caused an international outcry. In August 1897, Castillo was taking a holiday at a spa in the Basque mountains when he was approached by a pleasantlooking blond young man, who produced a revolver and killed him. Madame de Castillo hurled herself on him screaming ‘Assassin.’ ‘I am not an assassin,’ replied the young man gravely, ‘I am an avenger.’ He was in due course garrotted.

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Roger Stone: Pretty Reckless Is Going Straight To Hell Part Seven

ROGER STONE:

PRETTY RECKLESS IS GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

THE WELL DRESSED MAN PART SEVEN: MY LOVELY ASSISTANTS / LICENSE TO ILL PART II / MIRROR MAZE

After the miserable loss of Paladino in the governor’s race, there was an unhappy division between him and his staff. Wayne Barrett’s “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” would detail the payouts, sometimes surprisingly large, to some of Stone’s associates. Two of Dianne Thorne’s companies, D. J. Thorne Inc. and Sea-Odyssey Group LLC, would receive over $84,000. Thorne was the scheduler for the New York candidate, though she worked throughout the campaign from a Miami Beach suite. Andrew Miller, her stepson who worked as Kristin Davis’s campaign manager, would be paid nearly $17000 by the Paladino campaign for prep work. With the campaign over, many staffers would express upset about not being paid150.

“I would have expected a nice thank-you from Carl for all the hard work I had contributed, but instead I got screwed,” Tim Suereth would complain. Suereth, as already said, is Thorne’s husband, and served as manager of internal operations. Paladino allegedly refused to reimburse him for $6,300 in expenses. “There are a lot of people who didn’t get paid, and for many of the people who got paid, it took a while, and some did not get full payment,” said Suereth. They included a videographer on the campaign, who billed for a little over $14,000 and was paid a little over $9000. Michael Johns, the man who’d brought in Andries Holst to the Angola affair, was hired as a liaison with the Tea Party. He was not reimbursed for $8000 in fees. “I’m not sure I could explain their position in not paying this, it was so illogical and incomprehensible,” said Johns. “I’ve gotten the sense this problem is very widespread,” Johns analyzed. “It’s a widespread, systematic decision to not live up to specified terms.” Michael Caputo said he was owed about $38000 in fees. Suereth would allege that Paladino had reduced their pay retroactively, a violation of labor codes151. “Everyone who deserved to be paid was paid,” argued Paladino. Both Johns and Suereth would threaten to sue. “My campaign owes nothing to Michael Caputo or his band of parasitic malcontents against whom we have defenses, offsets or counterclaims,” wrote Paladino in a public letter. “None were employees. All were independent contractors on nebulous oral agreements made without authority by Caputo. Their plan was to see what they could rip off before they get caught.”152

Russ Thompson, credited sometimes as a Paladino advisor and sometimes as his driver, would second this opinion. “Michael Johns? Holy crap I cannot believe what he was paid and for what?,” wrote Thompson on the freerepublic board. “He would call me and all he would do is bitch, moan and complain about everything and saying he should have been brought in earlier.” He makes mention of Andrew Miller, Dianne, and Tim. “Tim? He was known as Tim Smith in the campaign, his wife is Diane [sic] Thorne who was in charge of scheduling who also worked for most of her years with Roger Stone,” he writes in the same post. “They were paid incredible amounts of money. Brought in by Caputo they were told of their salaries before Carl was informed of what they would be paid. Their son was brought in at the beginning of it all and was driving Carl a couple times and the campaign was charged 800 bucks a day, plus hotel stays.” He was not happy at all with Suereth. “Tim was hired early on, he drove once and scared the crap out of Carl with his erratic driving,” he writes. A Republican campaign which appeared to be a slow motion trainwreck from its onset, with the opening revelation that Paladino had cheerfully forwarded pictures of a woman having sex with a horse, was supposedly destroyed by the Republican establishment. “I moved in to the drivers seat and continued for 35,000 miles until the republican hacks came in at the primary and worked to get me and the tea party out..They took over and drove the campaign in to the ground. Put Carl in situations some think to blow his chances of winning. The republicans do not like Carl and worked to keep him out including many big name hacks that are all about protecting their kingdoms.”153

Reading these opposing accounts, I have the same question I have with many campaigns that Stone is involved in. Who, is grifting who? A veteran consultant in Reid Pillifant’s “Paladino’s Boys” suggests that the candidate who vowed to spend $10 million of his $150 million real estate fortune might be a mark to be preyed on by his campaign team. His campaign manager, Michael Caputo would deny this. “The people who think that have never met Carl Paladino. No one has ever taken Carl Paladino for a ride,” Caputo would say. “Carl knows where every cent in this campaign is going.” This claim, of course, took place before Paladino refused to pay for the expenses of many of his campaign workers154.

Wayne Barrett relates in “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” several excerpts from Whores, the book by Larry Klayman, Stone’s lawyer at the time of the Enquirer scandal, a pest who subpoenaed officials and requested documents in his endless investigations against the Clinton administration, and a failed Florida Senate candidate in 2004, who hired Stone and his associates for the race, and looks upon them now as a gang of thieves. A certain couple, Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne, show up as well, but as almost always, her first name is mis-spelled. “Commissioning the husband of his secretary Diane [sic] to find space,” writes Klayman. “Roger leased the entire upper floor of a dilapidated building, right above a dry cleaner. Perhaps I should have taken note of that as an omen. I didn’t realize then that Roger and company were taking me to the cleaners.” Stone brought in Tony Fabrizio, a pollster often used by both Stone and Donald Trump. Klayman thought the campaign staff were a bunch of misfits. Stone barely seemed to be working on the campaign, according to Klayman. The lawyer often found him “sitting in an outdoor café salivating at the cavalcade of bodies, both male and female, marching up and down Lincoln Road”. Klayman would let Stone and his associates go during the campaign, and after it was over, Klayman “had a campaign debt of several hundred thousand dollars, much of it on my own lines of credit.” During the first meeting between Klayman, Fabrizio, and Stone, the consultant would say, “Isn’t this great? I feel like Hyman Roth.” Klayman would sometimes ask Stone about his slightly less than competent staff. “This,” Stone would reply, “is beneath you.”155 Klayman would be sued for $60 000 by Fabrizio for a commissioned poll that was never paid for. Stone had a claim for $83 000. Klayman disputed the over $200 000 he owed in bills for political services156.

Dianne Thorne and her husband, Timothy Jay Suereth show up on the Klayman campaign, the Paladino campaign, many Roger Stoe campaigns. They are constantly in the background of his ventures. One cannot help but sometimes see Stone’s life sliding into gothic, with the muscular Stone and his beautiful raven haired Cuban wife mirrored in the well-built Suereth and the raven haired ex-model Dianne Thorne. One remembers that long ago personal ad which damaged Stone’s career, and the line describing Nydia Stone’s wants; super hot babe has a special weakness for in-shape guys in uniform, all military. Tim Suereth is ex-military. Dianne Thorne could be a younger sister of Nydia Stone. There is the obvious salacious mystery: how well, you wonder, do Roger and Nydia Stone know Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne?

Thorne, as said, worked as a treasurer on Committee to Take Back Our Judiciary, and she was there in the prelude to the Trump non-campaign in 2000. A year before the Paladino campaign, Stone, Thorne, and Suereth were involved in a campaign in Ohio. In 2009, Ohio would put forth Issue 3, a constitutional amendment allowing for the construction of casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. Art Schlichter, a former Ohio State quarterback and gambling addict would come out against Issue 3. “I signed for $1 million and immediately blew it on gambling,” he said of his first season with the Colts. He would end up spending over a decade in over forty prisons for a number of charges, including theft157. In the past three years he’d been clean and helping out other gambling addicts. Then, we reach this part of the story, “OSU star, gambling addict campaigns against Issue 3″ by Brad Dicken:

He said he and his mother, with whom he lives, wanted to fight Issue 3 because it doesn’t offer any way to help gamblers. To do so, they founded Families Against Issue 3 a few weeks ago.

Schlichter and another member of the group, Tim Suereth, have been on the road since the group’s inception, but they haven’t had much contact with other casino opponents.

Families Against Issue 3 was funded by TruthPAC, which in turn was funded by MTR Gaming, which owns a horse track and casino in West Virginia, and any casinos built in Ohio would be competition. In the past, MTR had supported efforts to expand gambling in Ohio. During the election, Families Against Issue 3 would refuse to identify the source of their funding. TruthPAC spokesperson Sandy Theis would deny funding Families Against Issue 3 during the election, but acknowledge that the two groups work together158. “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett would go in-depth into the various financial details of both the Paladino campaign and the TruthPAC committee. TruthPAC would give out over $67 000 to Caputo Public Relations Inc., a since dissolved company of Michael Caputo. Caputo’s wife would get two payments of $5000. A company owned by Dianne Thorne got $15 000, while Andrew Miller got over $3000. Tim Suereth got over $20 0000159. In the end, close to $60 million dollars was spent for and against issue 3, almost entirely by rival gaming interests. Those who planned to develop casinos in Ohio ended up spending over $47 million dollars in favor of issue 3. MTR gaming spent over $11 million against. Traiditional anti-gambling groups were almost entirely absent from the fight. “It was Casino A versus Casino B,” said David Zanotti of the Ohio Roundtable. “The race was won before it began.”160

It was around this time that Dianne Thorne and Tim Suereth began work on a truly heroic act of charity. In 2008, they would found the charity Veterans Retreat, which would help get veterans active again by having them participate “in inspirational, educational and challenging recreational activities.” Suereth holds a pilot’s license, and Veterans Retreat worked in co-ordination with a flying service (pilotjourney.com), to give qualified veterans an experience of hands-on flight instruction. Veterans Retreat co-ordinated trips for veterans involving flight instruction, fishing trips, and a racetrack. In 2009, they would hold a raffle for their oceanside condo; tickets were a hundred dollars apiece, and if they sold five thousand or more, the raffle would be for the condo. They sold 767 tickets, and would split the pot with the winner, William Geary. They got $30 850 and so did Geary. Veterans Retreat would be incorporated in 2008, the raffle took place in 2009, with a Daily News story on Geary being given the cheque published on June 21, 2009: “City worker wins in raffle – gives part of windfall to vets” by Stephanie Gaskell. The headline stemmed from a generous action of Geary’s, giving Suereth and Thorne a cheque for $2500 to help soldiers injured in Afghanistan and Iraq. “They’re fighting a dangerous war over there,” said Geary. “I can do my part.” Said Suereth, “I didn’t expect that.”161

(from the appearances of Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne on TV, one promoting the raffle, “CBS News”, and another after the raffle, “CBS News Coverage of Raffle Drawing”; Suereth’s name is mispelled in the first.)

(Raffle winner William Geary with Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne; photo copyright Daily News.)

This was, without doubt, a heroic act of charity. There is one detail I came across, however, that reminded me again of how ignorant I am of many things, especially Florida law. In the March 3, 2009 article “Couple raffles off their Miami Beach condo to help wounded war veterans” by Stephanie Gaskell on the raffle desscribes Veterans Retreat as a charity: “In 2005, Suereth and his wife, Diane Thorne [sic], started Veterans Retreat, a charity group that takes wounded vets on fishing trips.” This I take as a slight mix-up – Veterans Retreat wasn’t started in 2005, but in 2008, when it was incorporated. In 2006, however, Thorne and Suereth started Sea Odyssey Group LLC, a for-profit company involved in yacht chartering. This company gets a mention in an incongruous moment when Paladino disputes his campaign expenses: “Caputo retained Tim Suereth, who we knew as Tim Smith, without authority for $12,000/mo as a driver and general utility person until I discovered that bills from a company named Sea Odessey were from him.” I have no idea who is in the right in the dispute between Paladino and his campaign workers over payment, but what I cannot understand is why a New York campaign for governor would be billed for the expenses of a yacht chartering company. Anyway, the main point is that “Couple raffles off their Miami Beach condo to help wounded war veterans” refers to Veterans Retreat as a charity. “City worker wins in raffle – gives part of windfall to vets,” from later in 2009, refers again to Veterans Retreat as a charity: “The charity didn’t sell enough tickets to cover the value of the $350,000 condo, so instead it split the raffle money with Geary. Each got $30,850.” “Airwork: Honoring the Sacrifice” by Tom Benenson, from Flying Magazine, also refers to Veterans Retreat as a 501(c)(3) organization, a charity: “A 501(c)(3) organization established to show appreciation to wounded veterans is Veterans Retreat (VR).”162 Here is where my ignorance of Florida law comes in; my ignorance, as well as the way everything becomes poisoned with suspicion, when you look at things associated with Roger Stone. Veterans Retreat is incorporated in November 2008 as a not for profit corporation. Then, in February 20, 2009, Veterams Retreat, Inc, files an annual report as a for profit corporation. The February 20 filing precedes the Daily News articles and the article in Flying magazine, which is dated October 16, 2009. In 2010, another for profit corporation annual report filed for Veterans Retreat. In 2011, one more for profit corporation annual report filed. In 2012, presumably because it didn’t filed a report, Veterans Retreat was dissolved. Here I demonstrate my abysmal ignorance of Florida law: why is a charity group filing a for profit corporation annual report, three years in a row, with the state of Florida?163

After the failure of the Paladino campaign, Suereth and Thorne are back in Florida, where they make a few notable appearances. We turn, again, to Wayne Barrett, who highlights another Florida New York connection in “Carl Paladino vs. The Tea Party: No Love Lost”. Barrett spends some time on the fringe parties of New York state that have often played pivotal roles – that Giuliani’s win was possible through the New York Liberal party while Pataki’s victory over Mario Cuomo in 1994 was due in part to the State Conservative Party – before moving on to the contradiction that Paladino won the nomination through Tea Party support at the very same time that his campaign manager, Michael Caputo, was fighting to get rid of a tea party in Florida. He was involved in a lawsuit against the Florida Tea Party that was costing him $20 000 a month, money that he claimed was coming out of his own pocket. The rival tea party group in Florida, that Caputo was backing and which had filed suit against the Florida Tea Party, was the South Florida Tea Party, led by Everett Wilkinson. When Barrett asked Wilkinson about Roger Stone’s role in the affair, Wilkinson rushed off the phone. Wilkinson also claimed to have never met Caputo, that their relationship was entirely by phone. The relationship between Wilkinson and Caputo was set up through a “mutual friend”, who Wilkinson declined to identify. When asked how Caputo had the money to pay $20 000 a month in legal bills, Wilkinson said, “I don’t know. He makes money, he’s a professional consultant.”164

What happens next is one of the stranger episodes in recent American politics. I will try to give an honest and concise summary, but I am still not entirely sure what took place. We either have the passionately real attacking the synthetic imitation, or something like one of those movies where a double agent is pursued by someone who themselves is a double agent, someone whose actual purpose is directly at odds with their outward appearance – The Departed, Infernal Affairs, No Way Out, Blade Runner – the metaphor is imperfect, but you get the idea.

The Florida Tea Party (also known as the TEA Party of Florida – TEA is the obvious acronym Taxed Enough Already), as opposed to the South Florida Tea Party was also an actual political party, a party that might have a name on the ballot. Randy Wilkinson (no relation to Everett Wilkinson, as far as I can tell) would win the post of Polk County commissioner running on the Florida Tea Party ticket. This was announced in “Florida candidate becomes first officeholder with Tea Party affiliation, but analysts say media exaggerates third party” by Alex Pappas. “We’re excited,” said Fred O’Neal, founder of the Florida Tea Party. “Our first officeholder. We’re excited.” Pappas would follow up his initial article with a piece qualifying it, “Floridians debate – and sue – to determine who’s a real Tea Partier”: “Randy Wilkinson is running for Congress as a third party candidate on the Florida Tea Party ticket — but don’t be fooled, some Tea Partiers in the state say, because that political party is a sham.” This was further elaborated on in “The Florida tea party conspiracy theory” by John Frank: “Republicans see a conspiracy theory: a number of the tea party candidates are former Democrats, some appear financially strapped to pay the $1,800 filing and others are filing to run in districts far away from their listed address.” Before founding the Florida Tea Party, O’Neal was a registered democrat. Attention focused on Florida Tea Party candidate Victoria Torres, who had worked as a pollster for Democrat Alan Grayson. Torres has incorporated her polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies Inc, under a name that shared the same name as a very large, very prominent Republican polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Virginia. A Roll Call piece by Nathan L. Gonzales, “Link Between Grayson, Tea Party Questioned” would note that Grayson appeared to use three different pollsters in the same election cycle – his principal pollster, Dr. Jim Kitchens, Middleton Market Research, and Public Opinion Strategies Inc., – and that this was highly unusual in a congressional candidate165.

Another Florida Tea Party candidate, Peggy Dunmire, would end up running in Grayson’s own district in the 2010 race. “Brew-ha-ha? Tea Party could help Grayson win re-election” by Mark Schlueb would point to the possible consequences of this. “As a third-party candidate and political newcomer with scant campaign funding, Dunmire has little chance of winning,” wrote Schlueb. “But with a spot on the ballot listed under the Florida Tea Party mantle, she could attract votes from disaffected conservatives — votes that would otherwise likely go to the Republican candidate.” Dan Fanelli, one of seven Republicans vying for his party’s nomination to go against Grayson in the general, also identified the problem with Dunmire and a second conservative party on the ticket: “”It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that it would split the conservative vote and weaken the Republican Party so that Grayson would have more of a shot at winning.”166

Neither founder of the Florida Tea Party, Fred O’Neal or Doug Guetzloe, had an entirely clean past. While O’Neal had been a registered Democrat, Guetzloe had a long history as a conservative radio host and anti-tax activist, founding the group Ax the Tax, in 1982. The definitive piece on Guetzloe was probably the Orlando Sentinel‘s “A man for all political seasons” by Mark Schlueb, an invaluable piece of local reporting. Ax the Tax was an anti-tax activist group, yet it also picked up several allegations that its opposition to a tax was negotiable. Guetzloe was an anti-tax activist, but he was also a political consultant and lobbyist. Executives at the Orlando Magic would claim that they paid Guetzloe $100,000 in 2001 and $100,000 in 2006 to keep him from attacking plans for a new arena. Guetzloe mobilized anti-tax opposition to the building of a new convention center in Osceola County, at the same time that he was being paid $87,000 by Gaylord Palms Resort which wanted to build a competing facility. Charles Clayton, a real estate developer, would tell the Sentinel that he had paid Guetzloe to drop his opposition to an increased sales tax in schools. The chairman of a school-tax campaign would also allege that Guetzloe had asked him for $20 000 to stay out of the fight. In 2004, officials of Florida’s Maitland County would release faxes and emails where Guetzloe’s lawyer wrote that Guetzloe would drop his challenge to a new Maitland City Hall and public safety building if he was paid $30 000. Who was Guetzloe’s lawyer? Guetzloe’s lawyer was Fred O’Neal167.

O’Neal would register the name Tea Party of Florida, and then contact at least two other Tea Party groups, both of whom opposed O’Neal’s registration of the name, and demand that they stop using the Tea Party name. Everett Wilkinson would warn other conservative activists that Guetzloe and O’Neal were trying to hijack their movement. Caputo and Wilkinson would, as said, sue the Florida Tea Party. O’Neal would countersue for defamation. Caputo, he would allege, is trying to “drive a wedge between us and other Tea Party groups.” Both parties would eventually drop their respective suits. Alan Grayson would lose the 2010 election in Florida’s 8th Congressional district, with an over forty thousand vote divide between himself and Republican Daniel Webster. Peg Dunmire of the Florida Tea Party ticket would pick up over eight thousand votes, over 3% of the vote. On May 21, 2012, Doug Guetzloe would be sentenced to fifteen months in jail for failing to pay his taxes, and would arrive at prison on October 23, 2012. Grayson would return to the House in 2012 after he won election in Florida’s 9th Congressional district168.

There was the possible narrative that this was the “actual” tea party, the South Florida Tea Party, versus an ersatz group, the Florida Tea Party, which was set up for its own ends, or that things were more complicated than that. A profile of the South Florida Tea Party leader, Terrence McCoy’s “Everett Wilkinson: Tea Party Extremist, Media Darling” from the Miami New Times, describes a radical who claims that the federal government has already built hundreds of concentration camps for dissidents, who claims that Barack Obama will help bring about a second civil war, but is also looked on with suspicion by other conservative activists in Florida. He would claim in an interview with New Times that he came from Michigan and set up a successful construction business in Florida. New Times would find no record of Wilkinson owning a business in Florida, ever. “I’m not going to talk about personal stuff,” replied Wilkinson, “period.” The tea party was supposedly an insurrectionary movement against the established order, yet according to Wilkinson, his tea party rallies were organized with the help of Sid Dinerstein, the Palm Beach County Republican chairman who’d backed Mary McCory during her legal troubles. In fact, Dinerstein would claim to be the one who founded the tea party in Florida and that Wilkinson was just a guy who helped. We have a paradox, but perhaps an expected one: the ruling order sets up its own insurrectionary party to the ruling order. Wilkinson’s twitter handle was @teapartyczar. Danita Kilcullen, chairwoman of the Fort Lauderdale Tea Party, would say that he called her up and said, “Anyone who’s in the Tea Party in Florida is under the South Florida Tea Party. We’re heading this up.” But, Kilcullen said, “I didn’t know him from Adam.” Pam Wohlschlegel, the former Palm Beach County Tea Party chairwoman, would say she didn’t know anyone who took Wilkinson seriously. “Five prominent party activists interviewed by New Times all agreed,” wrote the paper, “Wilkinson is pure bluster.”169

There was another detail that stood out in “Everett Wilkinson: Tea Party Extremist, Media Darling”: Wilkinson had organized a rally in Boca Raton for Donald Trump, though he came up short $6000 for security, with Trump having to cover expenses. Trump, as already shown, often had Roger Stone as a consultant, and Caputo would do political work for Trump as well. There was another, perhaps related development, with Wilkinson and the South Florida Tea Party. “Supposed Tea Party Leaders Support Resorts World Miami Casino” by Kyle Munzenreider, again in the Miami New Times, would point out the surprising support of two Tea Party organizations in favor of Genting, a gaming company, building a casino in Florida. The writer found this surprising given that the tea party drew so much support from evangelicals and other religious conservatives170. Of the two Tea Party groups in favor of the Genting casino, one was Wilkinson’s South Florida Tea Party, with Wilkinson explaining “Why I Support the Resort Casinos in South Florida”, and I now give lengthy excerpt:

I have to admit that I was less than thrilled when I received an invitation to attend the unveiling of destination casino resort in Miami last September. My initial thoughts were that I had received the invitation by mistake as I am neither a gambler nor a proponent of gambling. After a quick Internet search and few phone calls, I decided to attend as a representative of the tea party and see the fiscal impact. Specifically I was looking for taxes and government involvement and any taint of a monopoly.

Once I arrived, my preconceived notions quickly disappear. The company was rolling out an incredible, beautiful resort, not a ugly cheap casino. The architecture was iconic, Genting, the developers, had also taken great lengths to invite all members of the community to participate in the roll out of a world class resort casino. I noticed African Americans, Dominicans, Haitians, small business people and both Republicans and Democrats. I can’t begin to applaud the level professional presentation and attention to details. The actual design which resembled giant sails or sea shells was the most unique breathtaking design I have for a casino! I would be proud to have such a beautiful building in South Florida.

Putting back my fiscal conservative hat, I started to dig into the financials and impact to the economy. I started by following the money. To pass a casino bill we must replace about $1 [b]illion now guarantee[d] to the state by the Seminoles under their gaming compact. Three casinos in Dade and Broward would help fill that hole but it requires the inclusion of the seven parimutuel facilities in Dade and Broward that already have slots and cards. These parimutuels must be included in the bill to legalize gaming and given the same table games and tax rate to generate more revenue for the state.

Without the parimutuels the three casino in South Florida would have to gross more than the entire Las Vegas strip at a 10% tax rate to replace the Indian revenues. These facilities in combination with the three casinos proposed by Rep Erick Fresen will likely far surpass the $1B from the Indians. They must fill the hole.

My final thoughts on the proposed resort would be described as optimistic. The resort would have an enormous positive impact financially and for jobs in Miami and South Florida. The resort would create an estimated 5000 new jobs at a temporary facility, 25,000 jobs at the permanent facility, and 10,000 construction jobs (it would be 20,000 if this was a big Union state–and half of them would be working!) I started to think of it as a resort that had gambling versus a Las Vegas casino. It was apparent that all my preconceived notions about Genting were wrong. Although the current legislation is far from perfect, I believe that any legislator that is opposed to building resort casinos which will create thousands of jobs in South Florida should be given the title of “Job Killing Czar”. The Tea Party will be watching this bill closely and hold legislators accountable in November.

The other tea party group to support the Genting casino was Tea Party Miami, whose chairperson was a certain very beautiful, very raven haired, very former model out of Austrlia, who had worked as a scheduler for a candidate for New York governor while working out of a suite on Miami Beach:

“After careful consideration and debate, Tea Party Miami has endorsed Genting’s Casino Destination Resort proposal and efforts by Rep. Erik Fresen to legalize three casinos in Miami-Dade and/or Broward Counties,” said Diane J. Thorne [sic], Chairwoman of Tea Party Miami. “The Fresen proposal fosters competition and will create a boom of economic growth Miami sorely needs.”

“We in the Tea Party are fiscal conservatives, not social conservatives,” said Thorne. “The Fresen proposal makes good financial sense for Miami and for Florida,” she said. Thorne said her organization had received no contributions from any casino gaming company including Genting and that they would not accept any casino company money.

Munzenreider would note the lack of previous activity on the part of Thorne with regards to a casino, and that the largest part of the Miami Tea Party’s website was devoted to the Genting casino. “Very curious,” wrote Munzenreider. “Why or how this woman decided to speak for the entire Tea Party, we’re not entirely sure.” Genting had contributed over $300 000 to the Florida Republican Party, but despite this, a month after the endorsements from the Thorne and Wilkinson tea party groups, the legislature decided to delay its vote on Genting’s Miami resort project171. Note that in Wilkinson’s piece, the assumption is made that the casino run by the Seminole tribe would disappear: “To pass a casino bill we must replace about $1 [b]illion now guarantee[d] to the state by the Seminoles under their gaming compact.” The casinos of the indian tribes are, as we’ve already seen by Donald Trump’s appearance before congress, a competitive threat to non-indian casinos. Stone, in a 2010 interview with the local Miami news show, “The Shark Tank”, would be explicit in his fierce opposition to the Seminole casino. Then governor Charlie Crist had just granted the Seminoles the right to table games like blackjack in their casinos, after which the Florida Supreme Court struck down the compact arguing that Crist had overstepped his authority. The legislature would eventually approve the compact. The interview took place after the supreme court decision. “They are clearly operating illegally,” said Stone of the Seminoles. “The answer is not complicated. Surround every one of their casinos with Florida state patrolmen. And no cars go in. Or out. Till the indians are ready to negotiate. That is our sovereign territory. They are running games that are illegal in the state of Florida.”172 Later, he would say, “It is time for someone to take authority in the state of Florida, as millions of dollars are being stolen from the state of Florida.” Not that he was against gambling in Florida. “I was against Indian casinos. Indians pay no taxes,” explained Roger Stone, the man who once had interests in casinos that might be built on the territory of the Buena Vista Miwoks and the Lytton Pomo band. “Casinos for Florida? Let the People Decide” was a Stone Huffington Post piece written after the casino bill was withdrawn from the legislature. “Disney, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, South Florida Pari-mutuels, and the Seminole Indians were joined by some greedy Las Vegas Casino companies to block this proposal.” Further on, he made this observation: “Ironically, Walt Disney World, the pari-mutuels, and the Seminole Indian Tribe have been the fiercest and most outspoken opponents of legal, regulated gaming coming to Florida.” Ironically, the very man who wrote this, Roger Stone, had led the opposition to Ohio gaming on behalf of casino interests. Stone had a solution: make the Genting casino a ballot initiative, and let the people decide173.

Stone’s associates would make one more notable appearance in Florida politics, the 2012 Broward county sheriff’s race between Al Lamberti and Scott Israel. Lamberti had taken over the sheriff’s office from a legendary Florida figure, Ken Jenne, who’d gone to jail for tax evasion, after falsifying his tax returns and secretly accepting thousands of dollars in return for contracts with the sheriff’s office. Jenne is one of those fascinating characters whose impact on a state is extraordinary, yet who are unknown outside of it. This profile is too long already for us to enter that labyrinth, so we can simply say: Ken Jenne was once a very powerful man in Florida. After leaving jail, he would go to work for Scott Rothstein, who had hired a number of Broward police officers for off-duty security work. When Lamberti ran against Scott Israel in 2008 for sheriff, Rothstein backed Lamberti, and it’s believed that Stone was involved in the campaign against Israel174. Stone himself would say of the campaign, “I agreed to help appointed Sheriff Al Lamberti at a private meeting in the projection room of Rothstein’s home in which Lamberti Aides, Tom Wheeler and David Benjamin, asked for my help. ‘We’re cops,’ said Wheeler. ‘We don’t know anything about getting elected.'”175 Ads by Israel against Lamberti would accuse him of having the dirty trickster Florida election thieves in his corner: “Al Lamberti took campaign money from a convicted drug smuggler and is using the same Bush hatchetmen who tried to steal the 2000 election”176. On the Broward Beat website Buddy Nevins’ piece, “Roger Stone Had Key Role In Lamberti’s Win”, has a comment by “Andrew Miller”: “Stone spoke to Lamberti’s consultant in Tally 3 time s day. The excecution of Stone’s ideas was flawless,” said “Miller”. “Stone also convindenced [sic] the group around Lamberti to seek Gay support for his record and crack down on hate crimes.” Haters were told to stand down. “The Hidden hand of STONE”177.

By 2012, Rothstein was in jail, and Scott Israel was once again running against Lamberti for sheriff. Jenne had been for Israel over Lamberti in 2008, and he was for Israel again. Stone’s associates, meanwhile, now appeared to be working for Israel instead of Lamberti. In the democratic primary for sheriff, Israel was up against another candidate, Louis Granteed. During the race for the democratic candidate for sheriff, voters would receive the following robocall, an endorsement of a democratic candidate by Tea Party Miami:

Hello, I’m calling for Tea Party Miami, one of the largest and most active Tea Party organizations in South Florida. We recommend conservative law and order Democrat Louie Granteed for Broward County Sheriff. Louie Granteed is a tough no-nonsense cop who won’t kowtow to minorities, civil liberties groups or good government types.Louie Granteed will crack down on illegal immigrants in Broward County. Please remember that Tea Party Miami recommends Louie Granteed for Broward County Sheriff. Paid for by Tea Party Miami 501C4 Organization.

Dianne Thorne would deny involvement in the robocall178. Tea Party Miami wasn’t the only group to endorse Granteed; so had the South Florida Tea Party, an endorsement from its head, Everett Wilkinson. Here is the text from the South Florida Tea Party endorsement on their website, “SOUTH FLORIDA TEA PARTY RECOMMENDS GRANTEED FOR BROWARD COUNTY SHERIFF August 11, 2012 – 11:32pm” (archived):

The South Florida Tea Party, the largest and most active tea party organization in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County.

“We recommend Louis Granteed for Sheriff in the August 14th Democratic Primary for Broward County Sheriff” said Everett Dirksen Wilkinson, the South Florida Tea Party Chairman.

“We applaud Asst. Hollywood Police Chief for his refusal to pander to the ultra-liberal Broward County Chapter of the Women’s Political Caucas by seeking their support” said Wilkinson

“Louis Granteed says he will be tough on crime” said Wilkinson

Four years ago we recommended Republican Al Lamberti for Broward County Sheriff. Now Lamberti’s public relations office has a bigger budget than the Vice President of the United States. We have grave reservations about recommending Lamberti in November unless Scott Israel is the Democratic nominee.

If the Democrats nominate Granteed , Broward voters will have choice between two law and order conservatives- Lou Granteed and Al Lamberti.

We have here the obvious echoes of potential head of the BIA, Tim Martin, receiving a letter from Donald Trump, of the $200 contribution of Pete McCloskey from the Young Socialists Alliance, of people in New Hampshire getting phone calls from a “Harlem for Muskie Committee”. Granteed would reject the Tea Party endorsement. Israel won the nomination over Granteed. In the general race, robocalls would let voters in the highly democratic area know that the South Florida Tea Party had endorsed Lamberti. Lamberti would denouce the calls. Everett Wilkinson would insist that the endorsement was sincere. During the race between Israel and Lamberti, Andrew Miller would donate over $120 000 to Taxpayers for Integrity in Government, a pro-Scott Israel group. The chairman of Taxpayers for Integrity in Government was Todd Wilder, Ken Jenne’s deputy when he was sheriff. Tim Suereth and Andrew Miller would also incorporate two non-profit groups in 2011, Oracle Outreach and the Benjamin Franklin Institute. Both had the specific purpose “to educate the public about social and political issues,” which almost inevitably means they were designed to promote a political message, but what their objectives were, I have no idea. Lamberti would be defeated, and Israel would be elected. A week after the election, Ken Jenne would be invited to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Roger Stone would be seen with Scott Israel. During the summer of 2013, Scott Israel would make several hires for the Broward Sheriff’s Office: Todd Wilder of Taxpayers for Integrity, Michael Colapietro, who had co-written The Man Who Killed JFK with a political consultant named Roger Stone, and a beautiful raven haired former Australian and former model named Dianne Thorne179.

There is one final fascinating tangent in the sheriff’s race that I only came across this week. In its spending on the race, Taxpayers for Integrity in Government lists $21 000 in expenditures to Cornerstone Management Partners and Cornerstone Managment LLC at the address 17 Westminster Gate in Bergenfield, New Jersey. Florida Citizens United, another pro-Scott Israel political group spent $225 000 on Cornerstone Managment LLC, address 779 Downing Street, Teaneck, New Jersey. It would also spend $62 000 on The Rutherford Group, an entity the same address, 17 Westminster Gate in Bergenfield, New Jersey, as Cornerstone Management Partners and Cornerstone Managment LLC. Florida Citizens United would be the answer to the question posed by Michael Mayo, “Sheriff’s race: Who’s funding anti-Lamberti slime ads?” The only other expenditures for Florida Citizens United are a few for $25.00 or less to the Chase Bank – the rest are in the tens of thousands to Cornerstone Management LLC and The Rutherford Group for advertising. That the expenditures were to Cornerstone Management makes things a lot easier, because Cornerstone Managment was a firm well-known and infamous, headed up by someone who called himself a “protégé of Roger Stone”: Elnatan Rudolph180

The first incident I came across involving Cornerstone Management was a complaint filed over robocalls made during the election for mayor in 2011 of Miami-Dade County. The contest was between Carlos Giminez and Julio Robaina; the robocalls were made to attack Robaina181:

We aren’t Hialeah. Nor do we want to be. Hialeah mayor and millionaire developer Julio Robaina wants us to trust him. He wants to be mayor. We can’t trust Hialeah’s Robaina. Irresponsible development, traffic congestion and noise, backroom deals and illegal gambling — is that what we want in our neighborhood? Of course not. We aren’t Hialeah. Nor do we want to be. Let’s stop Hialeah’s Robaina from importing his brand of shady politics to our neighborhood. Let’s stop career politician Robaina.

The complaint mentioned that according to financial reports, over $60 000 was paid by the Giminez campaign to Cornerstone. According to the complaint, a search was conducted and no legally registered corporate entity by the name of Cornerstone Partners and matching its address could be found. Attempts to contact Cornerstone at its address and phone number went unanswered. Though the complaint focuses on the Corner stone expenditures possibly violating election laws – the political committee that paid for the calls did not have sufficient funds on hand for payment or they used funds within five days of an election – there is clear and obvious anger over the attempt to tar Robaina as more ethnic, more Hialeah – which also means more shady, more criminal. The complaint would cite a previous mailer campaign from the year before, again put together by Cornerstone, that also played the ethnic card. Then, it was the Florida Attorney General’s race between Pam Bondi and Dan Gelber. The Committee for Florida Education, chaired by Elnatan Rudolph, would produce two fliers attacking Gelber182. One was a wanted poster, “WANTED: For Crimes Against Jewsih Education…Voting ‘No’ On Funding For Jewish Schools,” the other was “Dan Geller: On The Record Against Scholarships To Help Our Needy Children Attend Jewish Schools.” In “Group claims Gelber is against scholarships for Jewish schools”, Politifact would give the ads a rating of “Pants on Fire”. Gelber had been critical of the Florida voucher program and had never mentioned jewish schools, or schools of any specific faith, in his criticisms. It reminded you of that moment from Rick Perlstein’s Nixonland, the ads that appeared in Miami Jewish newspapers, “Muskie, Why Won’t You Consider a Jew as a Vice President?”, though it also reminded you of a more recent event, completely forgotten. It was the race for insurance commissioner in Jacksonville, Florida, and the democratic incumbent, Bill Nelson, was suddenly attacked by the Committee for Justice for Holocaust Victims, which ran vicious ads over the fact that Nelson had approved a loan syndication agreement that involved Swiss banks. That the syndication agreement was made before any actions were ever taken against the Swiss banks for denying holocaust survivors access to their accounts was irrelevant, that no holocaust survivors’ group had ever heard of this committee was irrelevant as well, because the committee was formed entirely to attack a candidate, and not for any purpose of social justice. All the people behind the committee cannot be confirmed, but the top two officers of the committee can be: J. Curtis Herge, the lawyer for NCPAC who Stone met while at CREEP and Dominic DelPapa, a public relations man who, the Florida Times-Union would report, “works for GOP political strategist Roger Stone”183.

10 10 27 Dan Gelber Wanted Poster 650px 10 10 28 Adjusted Dan Gelber flier 1 650px

(the very large actual size versions of the fliers are available on Google Drive: the Dan Gelber “Wanted” flier and the “Against Scholarships for Needy Children” flier)

Cornerstone was used in both the Paladino campaign and the anti-gambling Ohio TruthPAC campaign, receiving $12 500 for the first, and $228 250 for the second. In Chris Bragg’s “Michael Cohen And Elnatan Rudolph: NY Staffers, Well-Paid Consultants, NJ Candidates” from City & State, the most in-depth examination of Rudolph, which also profiled his childhood friend and fellow consultant, Michael Cohen, we hear from Michael Caputo that Rudolph’s connection to Paladino was through Roger Stone. “He’s part of the whole Stone gang,” and mentions that Rudolph worked with Stone on a Russian election campaign184. Neither Cohen nor Rudolph co-operated with the piece, which was written before the two major scandals involving Rudolph would break.

The first came out in March of 2012, and involved the Bergen Regional Medical Center. Bergen County, as said, is where Cornerstone Management is located. The main part of the scandal was that major repairs to the hospital, such as the installation of a new elevator were never made, with hospital officials and the elevator repair companies conspiring to defraud the state agency with responsibility for the Bergen Regional Medical Center, the Bergen County Improvement Authority (BCIA). The BCIA was headed up by Ed Hynes, his deputy was Elnatan Rudolph, and the lawsuit filed over the Medical Center fraud also alleges that Hynes and Rudolph double billed for repairs to the hospital. This was not the first major scandal to involve the BCIA. That would be the fraud investigation where it was revealed that the head of the BCIA had conspired with employees of Residential Mortgage to fake pay stubs, tax documents and rental leases, as well as convincing BCIA employees to lie. This was all done with the intent of creating the fiction that some loan applicants of the Residential Mortgage Corporation received substantial salaries as employees from the BCIA when they didn’t work there at all. Roland O’Malley was chairman of the BCIA as well as co-owner of the the Residential Mortgage Corporation, and he got two years in prison after pleading guilty to one count fraud, which was a pretty good deal, since he’d been indicted on sixty eight counts. The fraud took place between 2006 and 2009, while Rudolph was deputy director of BCIA between 2007 and 2009. The suit over such things as the non-installation of the elevator would also allege that Rudolph’s $95 000 a year deputyship was a no show job. A spokeswoman for the Bergen Regional Medical Center said the lawsuit’s allegations are false185.

The second scandal involved campaign contributions, kickbacks, Elnatan’s firm, and had already resulted in the indictment of one man on nine counts of tax evasion and fraud. It allegedly took place in 2010, involved a political consultant named Melvin Lowe and New York’s Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC), and it began like this (United States of America v. Melvin E. Lowe, specific page 5):

a. On or about June 7, 2010, MELVIN E. LOWE, the defendant, sent an email to an individual who worked on the staff of a person identified herein as Senator #1, then a New York State Senator, stating in part that Vendor #1 “does low price printing.” This staff member forwarded this email to an official at the DSCC (the “DSCC Official”) on the same day;

b. On or about June 8, 2010, the DSCC Official caused the DSCC’s bank in New York City to send by wire transfer $50,000 to Vendor #1’s bank account in New Jersey. An internal DSCC document identified the purpose of the payment as “printing.” Internal DSCC documents further identified the transaction as “non-SD.” Individuals employed at the DSCC at the time of the transaction have informed me that “non-SD” means that the expense did not relate to any particular New York State Senate district; and

c. On or about June 16, 2010, the DSCC Official caused the DSCC’s bank in New York City to wire an additional $50,000 to Vendor #1’s bank account in New Jersey. The internal DSCC document authorizing that payment identified the purpose of the payment as “balance of previous invoice.”

I go to Chris Bragg’s “Feds charge Senate Dems’ operative” for a plain-spoken summary of what took place here:

The complaint refers to an unnamed political consultant “Vendor #1″ that appears to be Cornerstone Management Partners, which is owned by political operative Elnatan Rudolph. “Vendor #1″ is said to have helped Mr. Lowe and an unnamed political consultant bilk $100,000 from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee without providing any actual services.

The $100 000 that the DSCC sent to Vendor #1 in two installments was intended for printing. Vendor #1 did not produce campaign mail, but instead sent $27 500 to a consulting firm owned by Lowe, $20 000 to “a person identified herein as Political Consultant #1, a political consultant based in New York City who has served as a staff member to elected officials in New York City”. $47 500 was later sent to Lowe’s company while Vendor #1 kept $5000. “Political Consultant #1″ does not appear to be anybody mentioned in this series of posts, let alone its title character. The criminal complaint tells us “Political Consultant #1 did not know who Vendor #1 was and had done no work for Vendor #1 (United States of America v. Melvin E. Lowe, specific page 7). In his profile of Michael Cohen and Elnatan Rudolph, Chris Bragg tries to speak to Cohen but is unable to. Bragg speaks to Danielle, Cohen’s wife, but she’s unable to convince her husband to talk to the reporter. Michael Cohen and Elnatan Rudolph, as said, were best friends- “They used to be,” says Danielle Cohen in the final line of “NY Staffers, Well-Paid Consultants, NJ Candidates”, “but when Mike found out about all the crap Elnatan was doing, that stopped.”186

POSTSCRIPT (21/07/2014): On July 3rd, Bob Norman would report that Dianne Thorne had resigned from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, “BSO employee resigns as questions arise regarding her qualifications”:

Now we’ve learned that the $68,000-a-year Thorne, who’d been promoted to become an assistant to Israel’s chief of staff, has abruptly resigned citing a new opportunity in the private sector.

But there’s more to the story. Thorne’s resignation coincides with Norman’s investigation of her BSO application.

Norman learned that Thorne claimed to have a bachelor’s degree, which is required under the job description, from a school in Australia. But she couldn’t provide any proof of it, claiming in an email that the school had shut down.

In a follow-up piece, “After resignation, BSO political hiring at issue”, Norman would hit pay dirt and reveal a bombshell in the background of Thorne’s husband, Timothy Suereth:

In her June 27 resignation letter, Thorne didn’t mention the degree, only that she had an offer in the private sector that she “could not turn down.” But her education was only the start of the questions about Thorne. The BSO background investigation also found that she had reported no earnings to the Internal Revenue Service for the years 2006-2011, despite the fact in her BSO application she listed salaries of $84,000 for those years. As it happens her former boss, Roger Stone, faces a $1.5 million tax lien from the IRS for failing to pay income taxes. Thorne has no such liens.

It appears that Thorne often accepted her compensation from private companies she started, including one called the Sea-Odyssey Group, which she owned with a man named Timothy Suereth. Thorne and Suereth were also partners in a company she listed on her BSO application, Veterans Retreat. A quick check on Suereth would have revealed that he was a convicted felon immigrant smuggler — as well as Thorne’s husband.

In 2001, Suereth was caught by the Lighthouse Point police marine unit on the Hillsboro Inlet in a 25-foot Anacapri cabin cruiser that appeared to be sinking, according to federal court records. When they asked Suereth how much water he was taking in on the sinking vessel, he replied that he wasn’t taking on any water and told them all was okay. The officers contacted Sea Tow anyway, and the company’s captain entered the cuddy cabin to find “people packed in there like sardines.” It turned out there was 19 illegal immigrants crammed into the boat — 17 of them Haitians. Suereth was charged with conspiracy to commit illegal alien smuggling and federal investigators learned he was involved in a shadowy smuggling network between the Bahamas and South Florida.

Suereth pleaded guilty and began cooperating with the feds on a major narcotics smuggling investigation.

“[Suereth] has participated in numerous undercover meetings and recorded phone conversations with the lead target of the investigation which has allowed the government to identify the participants as well as the methods used by the target narcotics traffickers,” wrote federal prosecutors in court documents asking for leniency in Suereth’s sentence.

PART ONE PART TWO PART THREE PART FOUR PART FIVE PART SIX

PART SEVEN PART EIGHT PART NINE PART TEN

FOOTNOTES

150 From “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett:

Two companies controlled by Stone’s secretary Dianne Thorne, and registered out of her Miami apartment, have received a total of $84,320 so far from the campaign. The payments started in March, shortly after the campaign also made the first of $17,000 in payments to Thorne’s stepson, Andrew Miller, who listed a St. Peters, Missouri address. Miller was confounded when the Times told him he’d actually appeared on the payroll for four months longer than he was aware. Thorne, down on the beach, was described as Paladino’s “scheduler.” She actually once had a company registered out of the same address called Hype LLC.

One of the same Thorne companies that appear on the Paladino filings comes in for $15,000 in Ohio, as does stepson Andrew Miller for $3,200. In addition to Miller, Terrence Cronin, also listed at a St. Peters address, collected $1,500. Even Thorne’s husband Tim Suereth, a Florida real estate broker, was paid $20,171. Two Stone companies from Florida that don’t appear on the Paladino filings walked away with over $200,000.

151 From “Paladino campaign reneges on debts” by James Heaney:

Carl Paladino’s campaign stiffed about a dozen consultants, vendors and staff members for some $130,000 in salaries, fees and expenses, according to numerous veterans of his failed gubernatorial bid.

They are pressing for payment from a campaign committee, Paladino for the People, that is deep in debt. Public records show the committee has a balance of only $5,305 and debts of $6.1 million, most of them loans from the candidate.

“I would have expected a nice thank-you from Carl for all the hard work I had contributed, but instead I got screwed,” said Tim Suereth, who first served as manager of internal operations and later as an unpaid volunteer.

While the campaign paid him $31,912 in salary, the millionaire businessman through direct correspondence has refused to reimburse him for $6,300 in expenses, Suereth said.

Michael Johns, who crisscrossed the state for two months as the campaign’s director of Tea Party outreach, said the campaign has refused to reimburse him for about $8,000 in expenses. Johns is a former White House speechwriter under President George H.W. Bush and a national Tea Party leader.

“I’m not sure I could explain their position in not paying this, it was so illogical and incomprehensible,” Johns said.

“I’ve gotten the sense this problem is very widespread,” Johns said of the unpaid bills. “It’s a widespread, systematic decision to not live up to specified terms.”

Michael R. Caputo, who was Paladino’s high-visibility campaign manager, said he is owed about $38,000 in fees, but declined to comment further for this story.

Suereth said his $12,000 monthly salary was cut to $8,000 in April, then to $6,000 in May, and that many other staff members also saw their pay unilaterally reduced.

“Carl then made the cut retroactive from the last time anyone had gotten paid, which was a month behind, effectively shorting us all again,” Suereth said.

“Cutting salaries retroactively is unconscionable and probably illegal.”

A spokesperson for the state Department of Labor said “it is illegal to reduce pay retroactively.”

While some of those owed money sound resigned to never getting paid, Suereth and Johns, of the Tea Party, said they intend to pursue the matter.

“It’s a black-and-white issue. I had terms that were not lived up to,” Johns said. “I’m at the point where the filing of a lawsuit is probable.”

152 The letter Paladino sent out in reply to the piece on his campaign debts is quoted in full in “Paladino vs. the Buffalo News” by Geoff Kelly:

The March 12, 2011 the Buffalo News front-page headline story “Paladino campaign reneges on debts” was apparently more important to its spineless publisher, editor and reporter than the tragic nuclear meltdown in Japan. The unsubstantiated, libelous and defamatory lies and fabrications illustrating the malicious and hostile intent of the News will not go unanswered.

My campaign owes nothing to Michael Caputo or his band of parasitic malcontents against whom we have defenses, offsets or counterclaims. None were employees. All were independent contractors on nebulous oral agreements made without authority by Caputo. Their plan was to see what they could rip off before they get caught.

Michael Johns was retained to study and produce a get-out-the vote plan utilizing Tea Party volunteers. He conspired to change the terms of his oral contract and got caught. He was paid in advance over $18,000 for two months of services and expenses. His bill for $8,000 is more than offset by our claim for services and work product never rendered.

Caputo retained Tim Suereth, who we knew as Tim Smith, without authority for $12,000/mo as a driver and general utility person until I discovered that bills from a company named Sea Odessey were from him. We paid him $31,912.23 for two and one half months work. He only drove me 2 or 3 times before I recognized that he was reckless. His wife was our relentless scheduler/jack of all trades who did a great job for us. Suereth’s claim for expenses of $6,300 pales against our claim for amounts paid fraudulently including the cost of moving Caputo’s pleasure boat from Florida to Albany.

It’s the same basic story for the rest. People with legitimate campaign obligations were paid in full. The scam artists can sue us. The News is not our judge and jury.

The News let itself be used in what is obviously an attempt at blackmail.

My companies and I pay all our legitimate bills.

153 From the Free Republic board, “Paladino campaign reneges on debts”:

To: SubGeniusX

Tim? He was known as Tim Smith in the campaign, his wife is Diane Thorne who was in charge of scheduling who also worked for most of her years with Roger Stone. They were paid incredible amounts of money. Brought in by Caputo they were told of their salaries before Carl was informed of what they would be paid. Their son was brought in at the beginning of it all and was driving Carl a couple times and the campaign was charged 800 bucks a day, plus hotel stays. When Carl had to sign paychecks is only when he found out what these people were getting paid, he got angry, as did I…. They were all from Florida not from here, we had plenty of people from here willing to volunteer and or work for the campaign for much less money and to be honest could have done a better job.

They were all told if they wanted to continue working for the campaign it would be for much less money. They had a choice and some stayed on at a lesser salary. Tim was hired early on, he drove once and scared the crap out of Carl with his erratic driving. I moved in to the drivers seat and continued for 35,000 miles until the republican hacks came in at the primary and worked to get me and the tea party out. They took over and drove the campaign in to the ground. Put Carl in situations some think to blow his chances of winning. The republicans do not like Carl and worked to keep him out including many big name hacks that are all about protecting their kingdoms.

Michael Johns? Holy crap I cannot believe what he was paid and for what? He was suppose to report to me, he was never around. He was doing what I started out doing but I was more involved in the senior staff and the running of the campaign. He wrote a couple speeches and did some research. When I needed him he was no where to be found. He would call me and all he would do is bitch, moan and complain about everything and saying he should have been brought in earlier. He was supposed to put together a report working with another person with all the tea party, 9-12 groups etal and report back to us. I never got the final report. I was hearing from the person he was supposed to be working with saying he was no where to be found.

In any campaign you are going to find disgruntled people who think they are the only ones that can do a particular job, they have egos that will make you sick to be honest. But for Heaney to search out only these people really tells me that the Buffalo News is only out to GET Carl. Of course Carl is in their face with the billboard on the 190, the articles he is writing about them and sending to thousands. They hate him and will do everything possible to take him down and destroy the support he has here. After all he took 70% of the vote in WNY…

Heaney is an ass, if he had called me as he should have, he would have gotten an earful and the truth. But there will be no truth in any of their articles.

10 posted on 03/13/2011 10:03:58 AM PDT by The Mayor (Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty!)

“The Mayor” is above board and clear that he is Rus Thompson, such as this post:

To: Mrs.Nooseman; ST.LOUIE1; Billie; dutchess; DollyCali; GodBlessUSA; Mrs Mayor; Mama_Bear; …

The radio interview I did is now online at WBEN…

http://eod.liquidviewer.com/wben-od/wben/20061205_thompson.wma

If that doesn’t work right for you go to http://www.wben.com/ and there is a link to it, it just has my name for the title. Rus Thompson

19 posted on 12/05/2006 5:42:07 AM PST by The Mayor ( http://albanysinsanity.com/)

154 “Paladino’s Boys” by Reid Pillifant:

“With those emails out there, he’s clearly unelectable,” said one veteran consultant, who speculated that the team that’s having so much fun fighting alongside Mr. Paladino might also be taking the wealthy developer–who has pledged to spend $10 million of his $150 million fortune –for a ride.

“The people who think that have never met Carl Paladino. No one has ever taken Carl Paladino for a ride,” said Mr. Caputo, whose firm has billed more than $350,000 for what he says are a variety of services. “Carl knows where every cent in this campaign is going.”

155 From “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett:

A rather famous right-winger, Larry Klayman, published a book last year called Whores, subtitled “Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment.” The founder of Judicial Watch, the leading anti-Clinton advocacy group in the 90s, Klayman ran for senate in Florida in 2004 and hired Stone to run the campaign in May 2003. He calls the crew Stone brought in the Dirty Dozen, and some of the names should send a chill up Carl Paladino’s spine.

For starters, Klayman refers to Caputo as “a frequently well-lubricated press secretary who had once worked for Boris Yelstsin.”

Then there’s Dianne Thorne. “Commissioning the husband of his secretary Diane (sic) to find space,” wrote Klayman, “Roger leased the entire upper floor of a dilapidated building, right above a dry cleaner. Perhaps I should have taken note of that as an omen. I didn’t realize then that Roger and company were taking me to the cleaners.”

Next Klayman went to Roger’s Miami villa and met a pollster Roger hired, Tony Fabrizio, who’s on the Paladino tab now and has billed $104,200 so far in this campaign. Klayman’s starkest memory of the evening was sitting on the dock with Roger overlooking Biscayne Bay and hearing his campaign manager declare: “Isn’t this great? I feel like Hyman Roth.” Fabrizio runs a company that’s still called Fabrizio McLaughlin but the McLaughlin part of it has split off, and McLaughlin Associates did the TruthPAC campaign. Stone has long been associated with both Fabrizio and John McLaughlin.

Stone’s words to Klayman may ring some alarms for Paladino as well. When Klayman raised questions about the staff, which he said “acted like a bunch of misfits” (exactly the description Caputo later offered of the Paladino team), Roger said: “This is beneath you.” The same happened when Roger picked the office space, which happened to be near Roger’s suite on the same road. Roger also explained that “he would have to keep a low profile” because Klayman was not the candidate favored by the Bushes and “he was not favored by the Bushes either,” though in fact all Stone was doing across the country in his Indian gaming self-promotion was marketing his Bush ties.

Klayman soon discovered that Stone was barely tending to business. He found him “sitting in an outdoor café salivating at the cavalcade of bodies, both male and female, marching up and down Lincoln Road” or in New York, “allegedly attending to his sick father.” By the time Stone and Klayman parted company that fall, “I had a campaign debt of several hundred thousand dollars, much of it on my own lines of credit.”

156 From “Senate candidate sued for campaign debt” (UPI):

MIAMI, June 9 (UPI) — MIAMI, June 9 (UPI) — A Senate candidate and former head of a conservative watchdog organization has been sued in Miami for failing to pay his bills.

Larry Klayman was sued by the Republican polling firm of Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates for reneging on a promise to pay for a $60,000 survey of Florida voters, The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

He is also in danger of being sued for other debts.

Klayman’s federal campaign documents said he is disputing $211,690 in services provided by seven firms, including high-powered Republican consultants, a lawyer and a landlord.

The largest debt is $83,000, allegedly owned to campaign consultant Roger Stone.

157 From “OSU star, gambling addict campaigns against Issue 3″ by Brad Dicken:

ELYRIA – Art Schlichter knows a lot about gambling.

That’s why the former Ohio State quarterback whose professional football career was destroyed by his crippling gambling addiction said he is crisscrossing the state telling anyone who will listen that Issue 3 is a bad idea.

The proposed constitutional amendment would allow the construction of casinos in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo. Its backers say it will create 34,000 new jobs and boost the state’s sagging economy.

Throughout his career, Schlichter said he was addicted to gambling, specifically betting on sports and on horses.

“I signed for $1 million and immediately blew it on gambling,” he said of his first season with the Colts.

Schlichter said he spent time in 44 prisons or jails for a total of about 10 years on a variety of charges, including theft.

Since his latest release in 2006, he said he’s been clean and working to help others deal with gambling addiction.

158 From “Anti-Casino Ad Draws Criticism From Issue 3 Supporters, Opponents” by Patrick Preston:

TruthPAC spokesperson Sandy Theis denied funding Families Against Issue 3, but acknowledged the two groups work together. NBC4 called and emailed Families Against Issue 3 five times on Monday to give the group an opportunity identify its funding sources. They received our messages and replied briefly by email, but chose not respond with a statement.

159 From “Carl Paladino: The Dirty Details in His Campaign Filings” by Wayne Barrett:

This time, in Ohio, Stone was working for Jeffrey Jacobs and MTR Gaming, the big buck backer of something called TruthPAC, which led the fight against the casino ballot issue. Jacobs owns a Columbus racetrack and a West Virginia casino threatened by the Ohio measure. Not only is Stone fungible on gaming issues, he’s never too picky about his politics either. Jacobs’ ties to Ohio Democratic Governor Ted Strickland were so strong that Strickland’s treasurer was Truth Pac’s treasurer, and Stone had to share the strategic workload for TruthPAC with the media adviser for the Ohio House’s Democratic caucus.

So guess who’s on the TruthPAC payroll for $67,701? Caputo Public Relations Inc. at its Florida address (appropriately enough, no Inc. is used on the Paladino filing). State officials actually dissolved the company while Caputo was working for TruthPAC, with two payments totaling $21,500 made after its dissolution. In addition to the payments to the Caputo company, TruthPAC gave $5,000 to Caputo’s wife Maryna, who he married that June and took on a tugboat honeymoon that lasted months. On August 15, after his boat broke down, Caputo blogged: “Now we’re headed to Cleveland to await the repair and win a campaign!”

One of the same Thorne companies that appear on the Paladino filings comes in for $15,000 in Ohio, as does stepson Andrew Miller for $3,200. In addition to Miller, Terrence Cronin, also listed at a St. Peters address, collected $1,500. Even Thorne’s husband Tim Suereth, a Florida real estate broker, was paid $20,171. Two Stone companies from Florida that don’t appear on the Paladino filings walked away with over $200,000.

160 From “Casino backers gambled $47.2M on Ohio election” by Jim Provance:

COLUMBUS – The battle over Las Vegas-style casino gambling on Ohio’s ballot last month became a massive, high-stakes game with casino backers spending $47.2 million to convince voters to approve the measure.

That’s more than $28 each for the 1,663,149 votes cast in favor of Issue 3.

Campaign finance filings show that opponents spent $11.7 million in an attempt to defeat the issue – $7.92 for each of the nearly 1.5 million votes cast against the measure.

The vast majority of spending came from just a handful of gambling interests on both sides that either had a direct stake in Issue 3, wanted to protect their turf from Issue 3, or wanted to be invited to Issue 3’s exclusive table.

There was virtually no media presence from traditional anti-gambling groups.

“Every dollar we had went into strategy,” said David Zanotti, spokesman for the staunch anti-gambling Ohio Roundtable.

“We were there, but what did happen, when it came to media, is there was no anti-casino message. It was Casino A versus Casino B, so voters ignored the whole thing. The race was won before it began.”

161 The details on Veterans Retreat are taken from “Airwork: Honoring the Sacrifice” by Tom Benenson:

Veterans Retreat (veteransretreat.com [site is inactive, but available on archive.org])

A 501(c)(3) organization established to show appreciation to wounded veterans is Veterans Retreat (VR). Tim Suereth, president and founder of Veterans Retreat, says the organization aims to help wounded vets get active again by having them participate in inspirational, educational and challenging recreational activities.

Suereth, the son of a decorated Navy fighter pilot, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1984 at age 17. It was his experiences as a “Navy brat” and his own active duty service that influenced him to found the Veterans Retreat. Always fascinated by flight, Suereth holds a commercial pilot certificate.

Among the challenges and educational courses offered by VR is Introduction to Aviation and Flight Training.

“We intend to inspire others by introducing them to aviation and the thrill of flying,” he says.

The course is offered free to qualified veterans who are interested in flying. In coordination with Pilot Journey (pilotjourney.com), VR will make its aviation courses available throughout the country, at airports near the veterans.

The curriculum of the aviation course includes a ground school class that lasts approximately three hours. Students get a complete overview of the flight instruction process, and each student gets a logbook with an entry for at least one hour of flight time. The vets are also provided information for earning a pilots license or pursuing other aviation options, either for fun or to build a career.

Although VR is capable of offering introduction-to-flight training at FBOs around the country, Suereth says he’d like to bring the veterans to Miami when possible. “They can bring their wives or husbands and make it a weekend vacation of flight training and bonding.”

The GI Bill for education is available to the veterans, and VR plans a link on its website to help the men and women pursue their pilots licenses through the GI Bill. Suereth says if they attend colleges or universities that offer aviation curriculum, they might qualify for 100 percent of the cost.

Word of the VR program has been spreading through the Army’s Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) advocates. An advocate in Tennessee heard of what VR was doing and asked if one of her soldiers could attend. This experience led to six other soldiers from Tennessee signing up for the aviation program, and other state advocates have contacted VR to include their group members.

From “Couple raffles off their Miami Beach condo to help wounded war veterans” by Stephanie Gaskell:

Buy a $100 raffle ticket and you could win a $350,000 condo in Miami Beach.

Sound too good to be true?

A Florida couple is raffling of their waterfront condo and using the proceeds to pay the mortgage – and help wounded veterans.

“We had planned on selling it a couple years ago, but the market started to fall apart,” said Tim Suereth, a 42-year old Army veteran working as a realtor in Miami.

In 2005, Suereth and his wife, Diane Thorne, started Veterans Retreat, a charity group that takes wounded vets on fishing trips.

“City worker wins in raffle – gives part of windfall to vets” by Stephanie Gaskell:

A city employee from Brooklyn won $30,000 in a raffle to benefit injured veterans – and promptly gave some of his payout to the wounded warriors.

William Geary, a 52-year-old engineer with the Citywide Administrative Services Department, bought two $100 tickets for a chance to win a waterfront condo in Miami owned by Veterans Retreat, a Florida-based group that provides fishing and sailing trips for wounded vets.

The charity didn’t sell enough tickets to cover the value of the $350,000 condo, so instead it split the raffle money with Geary. Each got $30,850.

Geary was presented with a check during a ceremony at the Soldiers’, Sailors’, Marines’, Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club in midtown on Friday. He then gave Veterans Retreat founders Tim Suereth and Dianne Thorne a check for $2,500 to help soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They’re fighting a dangerous war over there,” Geary said. “I can do my part.”

Suereth was shoc