Waco Massacre: Janet Reno’s Truth

On this 25th anniversary of the massacre at the Branch Davidian Church near Waco, Texas, AFP concludes its series of articles looking back on that terrible time when U.S. military and law enforcement waged war against a peaceful group of American citizens. This is part four of that four-part series. Parts one to three follow, in full, as published in previous issues of American Free Press.

Janet Reno Responsible for Waco Massacre

Part 4 of 4: The deadly fire at Waco was started by strategies approved by Janet Reno’s Justice Department.

By S. T. Patrick

The plan for the raid on what the mainstream media strategically called a “compound” worked its way up the chain of command to Attorney General Janet Reno on April 12, 1993. It was a two-step plan that the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) hoped would end at step one—injecting tear gas into two areas of Mount Carmel, the Branch Davidian home and church complex outside of Waco, Texas. They had hoped that this would drive the men, women, and children out and the engagement would be short-lived. Part two of the plan to lay siege to Mount Carmel involved tearing down the outer walls in an effort to expose those inside.

Reno was not alone in her decisions. She was often consulted not only by the commanders in the field, but also by FBI Director William Sessions and Assistant Attorney General Webster Hubbell, a Clinton administration appointee tied to the same Arkansas scandals that would trail the president and first lady throughout their tenure in D.C.

Reno suggested a scheme that would involve waiting until the water supply to the home was so depleted that the inhabitants would be thirsted out of Mount Carmel and into the hands of government officials. A later Justice Department report stated that the FBI convinced Reno that “(Branch Davidian leader David) Koresh was rationing water to ensure discipline.” Reno quickly abandoned the water strategy and instead asked the FBI for a written report on entrance options.

The FBI’s report was received by the attorney general on April 17. She quickly gave her approval to an assault plan that would begin on April 19. What was to be a 48-hour plan lasted approximately five minutes.

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“It was not law enforcement’s intent that this was to be D-Day,” a later Justice Department report claimed.

At 6:02 a.m., M6OA1 tanks, modified for demolition, began tearing through the walls of Mount Carmel. The tanks then began firing CS gas into the building. Shortly thereafter, in protection of their home, the residents of Mt. Carmel fired shots at the armored CEVs (combat engineering vehicles). The operations plan, approved by Reno,called for an escalation of government action if the tanks were fired upon. The order of the shots and the identities of the shooters would remain a controversy within the Waco research community.

Regardless of the order of shots, return fire on the part of the Davidians was a certainty. Unlike many Americans, there are those who believe in the literal protection of property rights and the right to exist as a community. When they are threatened and fired upon by others—in an official governmental capacity or not—they will fire back. Self-defense laws protect individuals from other individual intrusions, but it is assumed that individuals are simply supposed to acquiesce when the intruder is a government entity over-aggressively and mortally enforcing its will. The Branch Davidians outside of Waco believed differently.

The Justice Department report detailed Reno’s reactions as those of a surprised attorney general and not as the country’s leading law enforcement official who had pre-planned for all likely outcomes. In defending Reno, allowing her a human reaction to the commanders’ militaristic actions, the report also made the attorney general look incompetent.

Reno “did not read the prepared statement carefully,” the report said. “Nor did she read the supporting documentation. She read only a chronology.” If that is true, then Reno approved fatal violence against American citizens after reading an outline in lieu of carefully studying the actual plans.

Around 11:40 a.m., after a vapor had formed from the over 400 ferret rounds fired into the home, the building caught fire. Within a half hour, Mount Carmel was destroyed and those inside had died.

Reno, President Bill Clinton, and FBI spokesmen all immediately began claiming that the Branch Davidians had started the fire. The BATF and the FBI made sure that no evidence could be investigated, just as Branch Davidian spokesman Steve Schneider said they would on March 10, over a month before the blaze.

“If anybody wanted to come here and burn the place down, kill all the people, what evidence would be left?” Schneider had asked, a month earlier.

Over the next month, Schneider made multiple statements predicting that government agents would, indeed, burn Mount Carmel to the ground in an effort to destroy evidence.

Schneider was correct in his predictions, despite a FBI negotiator once telling him, “No, we’re not going to do something like that.”

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In a statement as callous as Hillary Clinton’s later comment regarding Muammar Qaddafi (“We came, we saw, he died.”), President Clinton summed up the entire horrific tragedy at Waco in one line: “Some religious fanatics murdered themselves.”

On a February 2001 episode of “Larry King Live,” former White House aide Linda Tripp alleged that it was the first lady who had pressured the late Vince Foster, Mrs. Clinton’s partner at Rose Law Firm and Deputy White House Counsel for the Clinton administration, to find a solution to the Waco standoff.

According to author Robert Morrow, “Foster, at Mrs. Clinton’s direction, transmitted the order to move on the Branch Davidians’ Waco compound, which culminated in a military style attack on the wooden building.”

Mike McNulty, producer of the documentary “Waco: Rules of Engagement,” also believed Mrs. Clinton gave the orders from the White House. In 1993, and throughout the Clinton administration, Mrs. Clinton did not have an appointed or elected role in the administration. She had neither been elected, nor had she ever been confirmed by the Senate. She assumed power by proxy, the definition of a shadow government.

Regardless of who gave the orders at the White House level, Reno is on record as having approved the tactics used against the Branch Davidians. She also approved the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols as the only Oklahoma City conspirators, despite evidence that others, including a Middle Eastern man seen with McVeigh, were involved. In 2000, it was Reno who ordered Elian Gonzalez returned to his father’s custody in Cuba. Whether or not she made warm speeches for progressive groups before her 2016 death, she is still responsible for the 80-plus lives lost at Mount Carmel, 21 of which were children. For Reno, the first woman to serve as attorney general, this is her legacy. This is her truth.

Published in American Free Press Issue 17 & 18, April 23 & 30, 2018.


The Waco Massacre

Part 1 of 4: On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the massacre at the Branch Davidian Church near Waco, Texas, AFP begins a series of articles by S. T. Patrick to look back on that terrible time when U.S. military and law enforcement waged war against a group of American citizens. This is part one of a four-part series.

By S. T. Patrick 

Twenty-five years ago, on April 19, 1993, America witnessed one of the most indelible moments of the Clinton presidency as it unfolded on cable news. In a field outside of the small community of Axtell, Texas—13 miles from Waco—a tank, on orders from the U.S. government, powered its way through the front door of Mount Carmel, a home to nearly 100 Branch Davidians. Mount Carmel was quickly ablaze in a gaseous inferno that would take the lives of approximately 80 Davidians, including almost 20 children.

Many questions lie in the smoldering ashes of Mount Carmel. The government spokesmen and national media owned the narrative immediately following the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) siege at Mount Carmel. Made-for-television films such as “In the Line of Duty: Ambush at Waco,” which presented the government’s view of the earlier Feb. 28 conflict with the Davidians, had been made even before the April siege.

In the years following the fire, the political right lifted its own public-relations torch regarding what is now simply known as “Waco.” Militias, Second Amendment activists, and libertarians have all pushed their own causes and anger through the hazy lens of Mount Carmel.

Dick J. Reavis, a former senior editor of Texas Monthlyand reporter for the Dallas Observer, wanted to take the story beyond the conflicts of current events. In 1995 Reavis released The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation, which studied the origins of the Branch Davidians and the trek that found them in McLennan County, Texas, just 90 minutes from Dallas.

In an interview with this writer, Reavis pointed out that the media never discussed the demographics of the Davidian community outside of Waco. They preferred, instead, to paint the Davidians as right-wing gun nuts and religious zealots. To the mainstream media, the labels are synonymous with white racism. Reavis describes a multi-cultural community that is much different.

“There were about 120 people, perhaps 130, living in Mount Carmel at that time,” Reavis said.

“The press never pointed this out—or skipped over it—but those people were of all races on the face of the Earth. About 20% of them were mainly West Indians, but black. . . . In other words, you had an integrated community. There were Asians and there were some Mexican-Americans. The rest were white. There were several nationalities—Brits, Australians, all the West Indies.”

American Freedom Party Conference in TennesseeMost of the Branch Davidians had been born into and raised in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, domestically and internationally. Those living in Waco in 1993 had located there out of a belief that David Koresh was a successor to Ellen White, the founder of the church. They believed that Koresh was next in a line of leaders who could decode prophecies.

The pilgrimage to the McLennan County countryside dates back to Victor Houteff and a schism within the church. Houteff founded the Branch Davidians based upon the ideology of an imminent second coming of Jesus Christ, an apocalyptic event that, it is believed, will also see the final defeat of the armies of “Babylon.” Financial instability led them to Texas rather than to Israel, their intended destination. After Houteff’s death and a failed Armageddon prediction from his widow, control of Mount Carmel—the Davidian home named after the mountain in Joshua 19:26—fell to Benjamin and Lois Roden.

An eventual struggle for leadership ensued after Mr. Roden’s death. Mrs. Roden supported Vernon Howell (who changed his name to David Koresh in 1990) in the position of prophet, because her son, George, was unfit for the position due to mental instability. In 1987, after threatening a Texas court with sexually transmitted diseases if it did not rule in his favor, George Roden was jailed for contempt of court. In 1989 he killed another Davidian with an axe. Found not guilty due to insanity, Roden spent the remainder of his life in an asylum. Koresh assumed the leadership of the Branch Davidians and control of Mount Carmel.

The Davidians at Mount Carmel saw themselves as Messianic Jews who celebrated the traditions of Judaism with the ideology of Christianity. Each generation would have a messenger sent from God that would interpret end-times prophecy. The prophet would then lead the flock via his or her interpretation of God’s word, prophecy, and a biblical analysis of current events.

According to Reavis, Koresh and the Branch Davidians had no problems with local law enforcement and even assisted the local sheriff on one drug case. When local law enforcement found out that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were going to raid Mount Carmel, local officials asked, “Why don’t you just go talk to (Koresh)?”

Reavis is most perplexed by the way political groups have taken up the case since 1993. The Branch Davidians, he explained, were completely apolitical. They aligned with no political ideology and believed American politics were minutia when faced with the Second Coming. Koresh pragmatically believed he could profit from second-hand firearm upgrades and sales if a national gun-grab occurred, but he was not a boisterous Second Amendment advocate.

“What the remaining Davidians think of the gun rights question is, ‘Why do you bring that up?’ ” Reavis explained. “They think they were attacked for religious reasons. They do not believe—because they are ‘End Timers’—that human beings can do anything to improve our circumstances on Earth. Therefore, banning guns or allowing guns is a moot question, because it has to do with life on Earth, and they are anti-political.”

Rather than fleeing the compound when the February raid and the April siege began to threaten their lives, Reavis describes a more devout group of believers that chose to stay. In one intense moment during the fatal burning of Mount Carmel, one Davidian asked another what they would do next. “I guess we wait on the Lord,” he was told.

“They thought they were in something like Noah’s Ark,” Reavis explained. “You don’t jump off Noah’s Ark. They thought that the outside world would be destroyed and not the inside of Mount Carmel. If that was wrong, they also thought, they would go immediately to Heaven. I think there were some who stayed in because of their religious convictions. Those who did flee ran into a great theological problem. . . . (God) wanted to take those people (inside Mount Carmel) to Heaven, and I ran out on that chance.”

Originally published in American Free Press Issue 3 & 4, Jan. 15 & 22, 2018.


David Koresh: Fact vs. Myth

Part 2 of 4: Why was the U.S. government so bent on taking down Waco religious leader?

By S.T. Patrick

The central figure in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) and FBI attack on the Branch Davidian home and church outside of Waco, Texas, was David Koresh. Many have called him a “cult leader,” yet to other researchers, he is a victim of religious and anti-constitutional persecution.

In 1959, Koresh was born Vernon Howell to a 14-year-old mother who would later turn to prostitution. His step-father, a violent alcoholic, was a carpenter-turned-bartender. His biological father had left the family upon meeting another teenage girl. Born dyslexic, Koresh lamented that he spent years being referred to by schoolmates as “Mr. Retardo.” It has been alleged by some researchers that Koresh was gang-raped by a group of older boys when he was eight years old. The peer abuse was so intense that he dropped out of high school to become a non-union carpenter.

Koresh picked up religion through his grandparents, both Seventh-Day Adventists. While working out of Dallas, he met a girl who became pregnant. Bothered by this as fornication and against biblical principles, he felt it was his duty to marry her. She declined, had an abortion, became pregnant again, and then had the child. Conflicted by his own personal decisions, the results of which left him alone, he drifted to Mount Carmel.

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In the mid-1980s, while on a Davidian excursion to Israel, Koresh claimed he was taken up into a sort of spaceship called a merkaba. While inside, the knowledge of the Bible was implanted into his mind. Those around Koresh later said they noticed an instantaneous yet incredible change during this period. He had quickly gained the ability to quote long passages of the Bible without the use of an aid or text. After what other Davidians saw as a spiritual miracle, Koresh’s legitimacy and authority within the group grew. Koresh eventually won leadership over the Branch Davidians and Mount Carmel in 1987 when the mentally unstable George Roden killed another Davidian in a gunfight.

Much ado has been made about Koresh’s affinity for underage girls. The attention paid to the issue has been so deafening that it has overtaken many of the other pertinent religious, constitutional, and legal debates surrounding the Waco story.

Mark Breau, a former Davidian, left the group and reported Koresh to law enforcement for child molestation. The district attorney’s office investigated the complaint, and although they suspected it was true, the parents of the girls refused to either confirm or complain. It was also Breau who told authorities that Koresh had firearm pieces that would convert an AR-15 to an automatic firing weapon.

Dick J. Reavis, the author of The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation, has framed the debate over Koresh’s marriages to underage girls as a religious matter rather than a legal or societal one.

“In the Book of Revelation, which is behind a lot of Koresh’s theology, there are 24 judges who stand in judgment over people,” Reavis explains. “During the End Times, the judges are all born to virgins. Koresh said that he had to father those 24 judges. So the parents who followed [Koresh] thought it was a great honor for their daughters to be picked,” legally underage or not.

Reavis, without making a moral or legal argument favoring either side of the debate, points out the constitutional controversy that exists when genuine religious convictions conflict with both American law and societal norms. The legal age for marriage in many countries is determined by religious practices, whereas in America it can range from the age of 13 (New Hampshire, with court approval) to 21 (Mississippi). Koresh believed his relationships were marriages based upon religious practices.

“What I found most interesting about Mount Carmel was not the fireworks but what it reveals about American society,” Reavis said. “We say we have freedom of religion, but prohibit sex with women under the age of 16 or 18, depending on what state you are in. You can believe what you want, but anything you practice is regulated if the government wants to regulate it. The same thing is true about guns. We claim you have the right to bear firearms, but everyone knows that is regulated. So what happened exposes our mythology . . . freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of gun ownership . . . it exposes our mythology and teaches us a lot about where we are still living today.”

It is not uncommon for members of majority religious denominations to label minority religious sects as “brainwashed cults.” The difference between a so-called cult and a majority religion often boils down to the number of members. Mainstream historians will deride the idea of Koresh as anything other than a cult leader. But at some point, Americans will have to define and deal with the true meaning of freedom.

Minority religions, minority leaders, and minority thought always test the certitude of the majority’s beliefs.

For Koresh and the other 80-plus Davidians who died in the fires of Mount Carmel, the Constitution didn’t work. For the many who supported the raid and still believe in its validity today, the Constitution worked just as they wanted.

Originally published in American Free Press Issue 7 & 8, Feb. 12 & 19, 2018.


Unanswered Waco Questions

Part 3 of 4: Mysteries still loom over the U.S. federal attack on peaceful Waco church members.

By S.T. Patrick

Twenty-five years after a gaseous inferno burned down the last remnants of the Mount Carmel Church near Waco, Texas, unanswered questions puzzle investigators, historians, and journalists still trying to make sense of one of the worst tragedies of the 1990s.

The nature of the gas injected into Mount Carmel has been a controversial issue for scholars and bureaucrats alike. A Justice Department report noted that Attorney General Janet Reno had been concerned that CS gas would harm pregnant women and young children. At a briefing two days after Ms. Reno expressed her concerns, a Ph.D. from an Army research center assured her that no laboratory tests regarding CS gas had been performed on children but that “anecdotal evidence was convincing that there would be no injury.”

CS gas derives from an aerosolized white powder. It is a lachrymator irritant, which stimulates the shedding of tears. According to OSHA manuals, it also causes skin and respiratory irritation. Though an adviser had told Ms. Reno otherwise, CS gas is also flammable. In fact, one CS manufacturer explained that when burned, CS particles can create lethal fumes.

Named for the American inventors that created it—B.B. Corson and R.W. Stoughton—CS gas has been available since 1928. Though its use is quite obviously effective, it has been banned for use in warfare in over 100 countries, including the United States. It is not illegal, however, for a country to use it on its own people.

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Amnesty International has reported that indoor use of CS gas has been known to cause death. Manufacturers, therefore, suggest that its use be limited to large, outdoor areas.

An Army manual on the quelling of civil disturbances highlights its effectiveness on people by stating, “Generally, persons reacting to CS are incapable of executing organized and concerted actions.” It goes on to state that affected persons may be rendered unable to vacate an area.

Waco victim Wayne Martin, who died of smoke inhalation, was found with traces of cyanide and burning CS particles. Cyanide is quite often a byproduct of house fires.

The injection of CS gas into Mount Carmel was a governmental decision. Many have tried to either ascertain or even guess what the motive behind the use of CS gas might have been. If the ramming of a tank through the front door was not enough of an eye-opening maneuver for the Davidians to exit their home, why use gas that could burn them, blind them, disorientate them, and start a towering inferno? What was the government’s goal?

Many have also wondered if the government or the Davidians fired first on April 19, 1993. There were clear bullet holes on the inside of the front door, yet the source of the bullets remains unclear. It would seem that the Branch Davidians were firing from inside Mount Carmel, yet researchers such as Dick J. Reavis, author of The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation, point out that once the door was involuntarily opened, holes seen on the internal side of the door could have also come from outside the home.

The forensics evidence would have given investigators a fuller picture had it not been destroyed in the fire as well.

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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) claimed that videotape from three cameras pointing at the door would prove that the Davidians, and David Koresh, specifically, fired first. The problem with that assertion is that the BATF seems to have lost the videotapes. The BATF’s onsite activities log for April 19, 1993 is also missing.

After the government had contended that no pyrotechnics were used at Mount Carmel, researcher Michael McNulty found expended tear gas and “flash bang” grenades in the evidence collected at Waco.

Ms. Reno stated that the FBI assured her that the pyro was used hours before the fire was ignited.

McNulty also found a memo stating that the Combat Applications Group—now called Delta Force—was present. The FBI had initially denied the presence of Delta Force operatives at Waco. Both the FBI and Ms. Reno, however, eventually admitted their presence but also claimed that Delta Force was “just observing.”

The horrors of Waco remain fresh in the hearts and minds of those who care about governmental abuses of power. And to those interested in the case, questions may always exist. Why didn’t the FBI simply talk to Koresh, as local law enforcement had suggested? Why did the FBI and BATF prepare as if it were a military invasion? If the children’s well-being was of the utmost concern to government forces, why was there such widespread support for the use of CS gas? Who fired first? If there was any compassion for the innocents inside, why were there no rescue efforts as soon as the fire began?

Waco is a puzzle. It is a labyrinth in which all the passions of contemporary political, religious, and constitutional debate are intertwined. To adequately answer one question is to make the others all the more difficult. The saddest reality is that 25 years later, we don’t appear to know much more than we knew after the initial independent investigations were completed. With so much of the evidence left in ashes, the questions may always remain unanswered.

Originally published in American Free Press Issue 9 & 10, Feb. 26 and March 5, 2018.

S. T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




Big Media Lies About Nixon, Trump

President Donald Trump’s battles with special counsel Robert Mueller investigation are being compared to President Richard Nixon’s firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox in the Saturday Night Massacre. But recent comparisons between Trump and Nixon are based on historical fallacies promoted by mainstream media and Hollywood.

By S.T. Patrick

Evaluating CNN’s recent coverage of the predictably named “Russiagate” story reminds informed viewers that lazy journalism and bad history can exist, even on the hallowed airwaves of what the mainstream media regrettably defines as the upper echelon of modern news.

In its attempt to compare President Donald Trump’s tensions with special counsel Robert Mueller to Richard Nixon’s October 1973 firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, CNN has enlisted Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to validate its flawed hypothesis. Woodward and Bernstein famously detailed their Watergate era reporting in the 1974 book All the President’s Men.

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman’s likeable big screen portrayals of “Wood-stein” helped carve for The Washington Post darlings a permanent place in the journalistic pantheon of Big Media. Watergate revisionists such as Len Colodny staunchly deny that the Trump-Nixon comparison, as well as Woodward and Bernstein’s role in the original story, are legitimate.

Colodny, the author of Silent Coup: The Removal of a President, has tangled with Woodward and the Watergate story for close to 30 years. Colodny’s work documents a thesis that Watergate was not about a break-in at all. There were break-ins, which Colodny believes were ordered by Nixon’s White House Counsel John Dean, but the real story of Watergate centers on a shadow government set up by Nixon early in his presidency that inadvertently allowed Gen. Alexander Haig to climb the ranks of Nixon appointees. When Nixon became vulnerable as a result of the Watergate break-ins, Haig then ran a shadow government whose primary goal was to oust Nixon.

In a Feb. 10 piece for CNN.com, Woodward and Bernstein called Trump’s battle with Mueller “an eerily similar confrontation” to Nixon’s firing of Cox, now termed the “Saturday Night Massacre.” The constant comparison of Trump to Nixon has become an outlandish obsession. What Americans are getting isn’t Trump; it’s CNN’s Trump. And the Nixon being portrayed isn’t the historical Nixon, either; it’s Woodward and Bernstein’s Nixon.

An example is the opening line of Gloria Borger’s March 3 CNN.com article, “The Great Unraveling: Trump’s Allies Are Really Worried About Him.” Ms. Borger opens the article, writing, “Not since Richard Nixon started talking to portraits on the walls of the West Wing has a president seemed so alone against the world.”

That Nixon is the one portrayed in Woodward and Bernstein’s second book, The Final Days (1976), the story of Nixon’s final year in office. It shows a president that is crazed, neurotic, crying, praying, hyper-paranoid, and frothing with every emphatic syllable.

Borger’s source is simply called “One source—who is a presidential ally.” Woodward popularized the use of an unnamed source, the most famous of which became the euphemistically named Deep Throat. Though Woodward outed FBI Associate Director Mark Felt as Deep Throat in 2005, some researchers still believe he was a composite character.

Others have for decades believed Deep Throat was Haig, who, not so coincidentally, was also the hero of The Final Days. Haig tested the bounds of disloyalty and illegality in ways that Woodward and Bernstein spun as saving the country from a president that had flown off the rails.

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Though Woodward told Colodny in 1989 that he had “never met or talked to Haig until sometime in the spring of ’73,” Colodny’s research unearthed a biography that contradicted Woodward’s claim.
Colodny confirmed that Navy Lt. Woodward in 1969 and 1970 manned the Pentagon’s secret communications room. In that position, Woodward often transmitted back channel messages to and from Nixon and Henry Kissinger. During this time, Woodward also delivered messages to Haig, Kissinger’s deputy at the National Security Council.

When Colodny and co-author Robert Gettlin wrote that Woodward had briefed Haig as early as 1969, Woodward fired back. “I defy you to produce somebody who says I did the briefing,” Woodward said. “It’s just, it’s not true.”

Colodny and Gettlin confirmed the Woodward-Haig relationship with two high-level sources, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird and Woodward’s own former commanding officer, Adm. Thomas Moorer, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

This is also in direct contrast to how All the President’s Men—the book and the film—portrayed Woodward. He had worked closely with important Nixon administration appointees, despite the film portraying him as a lucky, young reporter whose hard work and shoe-leather muckraking led him to stumble upon the story of the decade.

Bernstein, in his recent CNN appearances, has had even harsher words for Trump. “We have no reason to believe almost anything that Donald Trump says,” Bernstein told CNN. “What is so extraordinary about him and his presidency is the incessant, compulsive, continual lying. . . . We’ve never had a president who lies like this . . . even Nixon.”

Bernstein then reinforced the comparison to Anderson Cooper on “AC360.” In comparing Trump’s rejection of Russian collusion to Nixon’s denials of a Watergate cover-up, Bernstein said, “Ironically enough, you’re dealing with the same allegations in some way.”

With Woodward acting as the smooth scrutinizer and Bernstein as the hit man, CNN has passionately pushed the Trump-Nixon comparison at every turn. Colodny, a self-admitted liberal Democrat, is turned off by it. If Woodward lied about his relationship with Haig, lied about his early ties to Nixon appointees, lied about the complete source list for the Deep Throat information, and lied about giving briefings at the White House, Colodny believes any comparison Woodward and Bernstein make comparing Russiagate to Watergate is both self-serving and inapposite.

In an interview with this writer, Colodny denied that any comparison between the two presidents should be made. However, it may be worth pondering whether there is a valid comparison to be made regarding a more modern Silent Coup thesis itself. Are establishment insiders plotting Trump’s demise with the aiding and abetting of those he trusts? Could Trump’s Haig be a frequent visitor to the West Wing today? And will it take close to 20 years for revisionist researchers to uncover it all?

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent 10 years as a respected educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News” show. You may email him at STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




Hearst Kidnapping Was CIA Op

The author of a new book has powerfully countered CNN propaganda, boldly challenging the accepted mainstream version of “the most notorious American kidnapping since the baby of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was taken in 1932.” In doing so, Brad Schreiber exposes how the U.S. undermines dissident groups through revealing the real history of the Symbionese Liberation Army’s kidnapping of media mogul heiress Patty Hearst. 

By S. T. Patrick

Political kidnappings are rare in North America. More common in Latin America, South Asia, and Africa, they are most often used to gain political concessions, commodity control, money, notoriety or a combination of the four. Someone who may be valuable to a wealthy and powerful entity is kidnapped in exchange for something that is of value to the kidnappers.

Patricia (Patty) Campbell Hearst was an heir to the publishing fortune of William Randolph Hearst. She was valuable. The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and their leader, Donald DeFreeze, wanted to make a statement that would instantly gain them notoriety through the media, a business the Hearsts knew very well.

When Hearst, a sophomore at the University of California-Berkeley, was kidnapped by members of the SLA on Feb. 4, 1974 there was reason to believe the motives were political and monetary. When no ransom demand was given to California authorities, the media began reporting the story as a political kidnapping. It quickly became the most notorious American kidnapping since the baby of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was taken in 1932. As the story unfolded, the characters, events, and history behind the kidnapping became even more bizarre than what was being reported.

In Revolution’s End: The Patty Hearst Kidnapping, Mind Control, and the Secret History of Donald DeFreeze and the SLA, author Brad Schreiber boldly challenges what is still the accepted mainstream version of the story. It is the mainstream version that was featured on CNN’s recent docuseries, “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst.” In challenging the CNN version of the story with documents and archival interviews that have been available since researcher Dick Russell revealed them in 1976, Schreiber is also challenging the work of CNN’s legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, on whose work the CNN series was based.

While Toobin’s work focuses largely on Hearst, Schreiber’s research delves deeper into the history and ideologies of the SLA and DeFreeze, both of which stem from California Gov. Ronald Reagan’s attempts at infiltrating left-wing political groups. California’s infiltration project was led by Reagan’s attorney general, Evelle Younger, as well as the CIA.

Three months before the Hearst kidnapping, the SLA had been responsible for killing Marcus Foster, the first black superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District. The killing baffled journalists and officials. The SLA had come to prominence as a radical left-wing group concerned mainly about the plight of black Americans. The Foster murder created a rift between the SLA and the Black Panthers, which had formed in Oakland in 1966. It is senseless unless you view the rift as an intentionally created one, as Schreiber does.

While DeFreeze was incarcerated at Vacaville Prison, he became associated with the Black Cultural Association (BCA), a group led by UC-Berkeley professor and CIA asset Colston Westbrook. The BCA would bring white, radical students into the prison to help facilitate political and educational discussions with black inmates housed in a wing used and funded by the CIA for mind control and sociological experimentation projects.

It was through the BCA that Hearst first met the incarcerated DeFreeze. Using a fraudulent ID of friend Mary Alice Siem in a time when prison rules were much more lax, she then began sending money to DeFreeze. Hearst and two of Westbrook’s other volunteers, Patricia Soltysik and Nancy Ling Perry, also engaged in sexual activity with DeFreeze while at Vacaville. DeFreeze and other prisoners targeted by Westbrook were placed on heavy doses of medication.

American Freedom Party Conference in Tennessee

DeFreeze was offered a deal by the California Department of Corrections and the CIA. He would be released (portrayed as an escape) in exchange for starting a phony left-wing group—the SLA—and working in chaotic opposition to the goals of the Black Panthers and the New Left. Westbrook would serve as the control agent for DeFreeze, who had previously been used as an informant to set up the Black Panthers for the Los Angeles Police Department.

After DeFreeze left prison, he was reunited with Soltysik and Perry, who became SLA members. The group’s spurious origins were known by Westbrook and DeFreeze, but not by its white, radical members.

“None of the core 10 white followers of the SLA ever knew that DeFreeze was working for the state,” Schreiber said in an interview with this writer. “They believed it was a radical group, and they believed in revolution. They thought America was a racist country . . . and they thought that the Vietnam War was an immoral war. They were following a black prisoner . . . and they had no idea he was setting them up. . . . They were following DeFreeze blindly.”

According to Schreiber, the kidnapping of Hearst was undertaken by the SLA because DeFreeze felt abandoned by Hearst and had animus toward her. It was, therefore, a personal kidnapping and was neither political nor random. Schreiber believes that Hearst did not expect the kidnapping, nor did she take a willing part in it.

Aside from DeFreeze, the SLA members treated Hearst well. She was already politically radical. DeFreeze employed the use of drugs, intimidation, and sex with other members to mentally coerce Hearst into participating with the SLA in the Hibernia Bank robbery and other activities.

Schreiber is often indignant at the mainstream’s focus on the Hearst angle in the story. Reagan, Younger, and the CIA bear responsibility for the programs by which false left-wing groups were created in California. One of those groups, the SLA, murdered a school superintendent before engaging in a robbery of a San Francisco bank. In a later shootout with the LAPD, six SLA members were killed.

The focus of the story, to Schreiber, is the infiltration of the left, the corruption of the California Department of Corrections, the murder of school superintendent Foster, and the sad deaths of the group’s committed believers.

Schreiber’s point of view is a reminder that the truth of history can be found through dissecting the story of someone the mainstream media views as a minor character. Schreiber found both the truth and the true tragedy of the story within the biographies of the supposedly extraneous figures that surrounded Patty Hearst in 1974 rather than through biographies of Hearst herself.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News” show. His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




Uniting on U.S. Prison Reform

Communist China imprisons half of what the United States currently jails—over 2 million people incarcerated in America today and over 4.5 million on probation or parole—yet we are told it is China that’s the “harshly prosecutorial” state. Prison reform movements in the U.S. are working to change the state of affairs in this “land of the free.”  

By S.T. Patrick

In a country that boasts both the largest per capita and total prison populations in the supposedly civilized world, Americans have taken up the cause of prison reform in numbers greater than ever before. Commensurate with the framing of most political issues, reformers are both radical and moderate—yet their political skins have encompassed both liberals and conservatives. One of the more creative movements to arise from this current wave of prison reform activism is the Prison Abolition Movement.

According to Bureau of Justice statistics, there are over 2 million people incarcerated in America today and over 4.5 million on probation or parole. Compare that with the next two countries. The largest country in the world is China, with 1.4 billion people. Its prison population is half that of America, yet China is seen as a harshly prosecutorial country where imprisonment can occur for the slightest wrong. Russia is third-highest with over 800,000 imprisoned. There is sizeable drop to fourth-place Brazil, with over 300,000 incarcerated. To put the per-capita evaluation into perspective, America incarcerates 737 of every 100,000 people. China incarcerates 118 of every 100,000.

Organizations such as Critical Resistance and the California Coalition for Women Prisoners push to dismantle what they call the “Prison-Industrial Complex,” or PIC. The majority of the Prison Abolition Movement seeks not to open bars and allow inmates to filter onto every street, nor does it intend to put the public at harm. What it acknowledges is that, even after decades of massive prison-system expansions, we are not safer as a country. If the overall goal is not being met, then the structure of the system needs to change. When that is acknowledged, the abolitionists believe, it is time to eliminate prisons in favor of more humane and effective systems of correction and rehabilitation.

Hard Time Blues: How Politics Built a Prison Nation, Abramsky
Hard Time Blues: How Politics Built a Prison Nation, by Sasha Abramsky, is available from the AFP Online Store.

Americans are used to the ineffective means of imprisonment—cages and control. It is still a nation of quick-judgment artists. TV judge programs, after all, are some of the most lucrative franchises in syndicated television today. Americans are attracted to shows where the passing of judgment is swift. We are stimulated by the opportunity to quickly vote someone off an island, pass judgment on talk-show guests, and yes, even fire employees on national television. Real life, however, is not simple, and its effects do not end as credits roll an hour later.

Reformers are not abolitionists. Reformers attempt to find answers regarding methods to make imprisonment more effective. Abolitionists believe that caging a human being is a moral wrong that hurts society more than it increases safety.

No amount of imprisonment has solved the initial problems, including inadequate access to education and opportunities, the increase of single-parent homes, addiction, societal insecurity or lack of treatment for mental illness. However, a blind trust in imprisonment has increased the problems of politicized punishment, an epidemic of poor legal representation by public defenders, broken families, children without parents, bloated state budgets, class inequities in punishment, and the covering up of officer-on-inmate violence.

Darren Rainey was a mentally ill inmate under the care, custody, and control of the notorious Florida Department of Corrections until on-duty officers burned Rainey to death on June 23, 2012. Rainey was thrown into a scalding shower by the officers as punishment. The water temperature—controlled by the officers—topped 180 degrees and melted Rainey’s skin from his bones as he begged them to stop. Though it was clear the guards committed the horrible act, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office announced that the four officers overseeing the gruesome murder would not be charged with a crime.

It is a natural defense to fortify societal norms with the “Then what do we do?!” argument. It is also natural to use the worst criminals and the worst crimes to make the argument for imprisonment. But if you disregard the worst 5% for the moment, the remaining 95% deserve a better path to change. Rehabilitation is touted but rarely accomplished.

The prison abolitionists believe that true rehabilitation cannot occur locked behind bars, as a tyrannical security corps treats the inmate as less than human. They believe true rehab should be enacted with one’s family or a team of supporters in an environment that is familiar, such as an offender’s community. The method commonly used and advocated for in America today clearly isn’t working when measured against any of the myriad goals expressed by the citizenry or by government officials.

If America is going to change its definition of reform, rehabilitation, and treatment, it will take a sea change—as it did with the marijuana decriminalization movement. When it does happen and those who have failed are seen as projects rather than objects, society will be better for it.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News” Show. His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




The Waco Massacre

On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the massacre at the Branch Davidian Church near Waco, Texas, AFP begins a series of articles to look back on that terrible time when U.S. military and law enforcement waged war against a group of American citizens. This is part one of a four-part series.

By S.T. Patrick 

Twenty-five years ago, on April 19, 1993, America witnessed one of the most indelible moments of the Clinton presidency as it unfolded on cable news. In a field outside of the small community of Axtell, Texas—13 miles from Waco—a tank, on orders from the U.S. government, powered its way through the front door of Mount Carmel, a home to nearly 100 Branch Davidians. Mount Carmel was quickly ablaze in a gaseous inferno that would take the lives of approximately 80 Davidians, including almost 20 children.

Many questions lie in the smoldering ashes of Mount Carmel. The government spokesmen and national media owned the narrative immediately following the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) siege at Mount Carmel. Made-for-television films such as “In the Line of Duty: Ambush at Waco,” which presented the government’s view of the earlier Feb. 28 conflict with the Davidians, had been made even before the April siege.

In the years following the fire, the political right lifted its own public-relations torch regarding what is now simply known as “Waco.” Militias, Second Amendment activists, and libertarians have all pushed their own causes and anger through the hazy lens of Mount Carmel.

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Dick J. Reavis, a former senior editor of Texas Monthly and reporter for the Dallas Observer, wanted to take the story beyond the conflicts of current events. In 1995 Reavis released The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation, which studied the origins of the Branch Davidians and the trek that found them in McLennan County, Texas, just 90 minutes from Dallas.

In an interview with this writer, Reavis pointed out that the media never discussed the demographics of the Davidian community outside of Waco. They preferred, instead, to paint the Davidians as right-wing gun nuts and religious zealots. To the mainstream media, the labels are synonymous with white racism. Reavis describes a multi-cultural community that is much different.

“There were about 120 people, perhaps 130, living in Mount Carmel at that time,” Reavis said.

“The press never pointed this out—or skipped over it—but those people were of all races on the face of the Earth. About 20% of them were mainly West Indians, but black. . . . In other words, you had an integrated community. There were Asians and there were some Mexican-Americans. The rest were white. There were several nationalities—Brits, Australians, all the West Indies.”

Most of the Branch Davidians had been born into and raised in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, domestically and internationally. Those living in Waco in 1993 had located there out of a belief that David Koresh was a successor to Ellen White, the founder of the church. They believed that Koresh was next in a line of leaders who could decode prophecies.

The pilgrimage to the McLennan County countryside dates back to Victor Houteff and a schism within the church. Houteff founded the Branch Davidians based upon the ideology of an imminent second coming of Jesus Christ, an apocalyptic event that, it is believed, will also see the final defeat of the armies of “Babylon.” Financial instability led them to Texas rather than to Israel, their intended destination. After Houteff’s death and a failed Armageddon prediction from his widow, control of Mount Carmel—the Davidian home named after the mountain in Joshua 19:26—fell to Benjamin and Lois Roden.

An eventual struggle for leadership ensued after Mr. Roden’s death. Mrs. Roden supported Vernon Howell (who changed his name to David Koresh in 1990) in the position of prophet, because her son, George, was unfit for the position due to mental instability. In 1987, after threatening a Texas court with sexually transmitted diseases if it did not rule in his favor, George Roden was jailed for contempt of court. In 1989 he killed another Davidian with an axe. Found not guilty due to insanity, Roden spent the remainder of his life in an asylum. Koresh assumed the leadership of the Branch Davidians and control of Mount Carmel.

The Davidians at Mount Carmel saw themselves as Messianic Jews who celebrated the traditions of Judaism with the ideology of Christianity. Each generation would have a messenger sent from God that would interpret end-times prophecy. The prophet would then lead the flock via his or her interpretation of God’s word, prophecy, and a biblical analysis of current events.

According to Reavis, Koresh and the Branch Davidians had no problems with local law enforcement and even assisted the local sheriff on one drug case. When local law enforcement found out that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms were going to raid Mount Carmel, local officials asked, “Why don’t you just go talk to (Koresh)?”

Reavis is most perplexed by the way political groups have taken up the case since 1993. The Branch Davidians, he explained, were completely apolitical. They aligned with no political ideology and believed American politics were minutia when faced with the Second Coming. Koresh pragmatically believed he could profit from second-hand firearm upgrades and sales if a national gun-grab occurred, but he was not a boisterous Second Amendment advocate.

“What the remaining Davidians think of the gun rights question is, ‘Why do you bring that up?’ ” Reavis explained. “They think they were attacked for religious reasons. They do not believe—because they are ‘End Timers’—that human beings can do anything to improve our circumstances on Earth. Therefore, banning guns or allowing guns is a moot question, because it has to do with life on Earth, and they are anti-political.”

Rather than fleeing the compound when the February raid and the April siege began to threaten their lives, Reavis describes a more devout group of believers that chose to stay. In one intense moment during the fatal burning of Mount Carmel, one Davidian asked another what they would do next. “I guess we wait on the Lord,” he was told.

“They thought they were in something like Noah’s Ark,” Reavis explained. “You don’t jump off Noah’s Ark. They thought that the outside world would be destroyed and not the inside of Mount Carmel. If that was wrong, they also thought, they would go immediately to Heaven. I think there were some who stayed in because of their religious convictions. Those who did flee ran into a great theological problem. . . . (God) wanted to take those people (inside Mount Carmel) to Heaven, and I ran out on that chance.”

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News Show.” His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




Ending SPLC’s Reign of Terror: Christian Ministry Sues National Hatemonger

In an exclusive interview, AFP talked with a senior staffer at the Christian ministry taking a stand against the SPLC hatemongers. He explains the critical importance to every American of D. James Kennedy Ministries’s case, why the ministry also sued Amazon, and why we must prevail against real hate if the First Amendment is to have any meaning at all.

By Dave Gahary

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), one of the legal arms of the cultural Marxist gangsters running rough-shod over this once-great nation’s traditions and institutions, is being called on the carpet. No, not by any governmental agency or regulatory body, but by a conservative, Christian ministry, which is demanding answers as to why the SPLC believes it has the right to classify the Christian charity as a “hate group.”

As this newspaper reported in its Dec. 18 & 25, 2017 edition in the article “Christianity vs. the SPLC,” Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) has the SPLC in its sights and has filed a federal lawsuit against the organization. The importance of this case for free speech cannot be overemphasized.

DJKM became “the fastest-growing Presbyterian church in the U.S.” when at its peak its weekly television programming aired on more than 400 TV stations and four cable networks with an audience of 3.5 million viewers in 200 countries.

In an exclusive interview with AFP, DJKM senior staff member John Rabe, DJKM’s director of creative production and on-air host, delved into great detail about why the organization feels it is critical to stand up to the SPLC ) and what the group’s leaders are hoping to accomplish.

Listen here!

“Because [we take] a biblical position saying that marriage is a God-ordained institution between one man and one woman—which is simply what all Christians at all times have believed over 2,000 years—and because [we say] that marriage is a one-man one-woman union, and because we’ve said that sex is ordained by God,” explained Rabe, “for upholding those views and for broadcasting those views, we have been designated a ‘hate group’ by the SPLC.”

Rabe explained why the SPLC’s designations are dangerous.

“The SPLC sets themselves up as sort of the clearinghouse of information on hate groups in America,” he said, “and so they’re frequently quoted by the media [and] they are often relied upon by law enforcement groups. And because it’s taken seriously by so many, we decided the time has come to act.”

The lawsuit, filed Aug. 23, 2017 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, “alleges, among other things, that the SPLC illegally trafficked in false and misleading descriptions of the services offered by DJKM and committed defamation against DJKM arising from the publication and distribution of false information that libels the ministry’s reputation and subjects the ministry to disgrace, ridicule, odium, and contempt in the estimation of the public.”

Rabe explained the danger the SPLC poses to everyone’s free speech.

“They are trying to marginalize and ultimately silence Christians if they can designate you as a hater,” he said. “So if you can get someone designated as a hater and get their speech designated as hate speech, then you could say they’re not covered by the First Amendment and you can have the government silence them.”

“This lawsuit has been a long time coming,” Rabe continued, “and it’s a way of planting that flag to say, ‘Thus far and no farther,’ that it’s time to take a stand.”

DJKM was founded by pastor, evangelist, and broadcaster Dennis James Kennedy, who built Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church into a $37-million-a-year powerhouse. Kennedy was such a force that the day after his passing in 2007, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush issued a statement saying they were “deeply saddened” by his death, calling him “a man of great vision, faith, and integrity. . . . Dr. Kennedy’s message of love and hope inspired millions through the institutions he founded.”

Rabe explained the genesis of the lawsuit.

“DJKM has continued on Dr. Kennedy’s mission,” he said. “We’ve continued promoting his viewpoints, using his sermons on our television programs, and those issues . . . include issues of sexuality. Well, as you probably know, in today’s culture, to take a biblical viewpoint on those issues—which is essentially a conservative viewpoint on those issues—will make you very unpopular with those who are intent on remaking our society upon new lines.”

Although the First Amendment to the Constitution was designed to protect the states from central government power, the SPLC’s arbitrary “hate group” ratings have the potential to put a serious chill on free speech.

Rabe continued: “The SPLC is a private organization and so it’s not the government, and the SPLC calling us haters is slanderous, but it’s not a violation of the First Amendment.

“But, where the religious liberty concerns come in and the First Amendment concerns come in is that often law enforcement agencies have relied upon the SPLC’s designations. The FBI has relied upon the SPLC’s designations, and so government entities are taking these designations of the highly ideological, far-left SPLC at face value.

“There is a danger in that, and that’s one of the reasons for this lawsuit as well—that the SPLC cannot be allowed to damage people by making these false claims about them, and that the government cannot rely at face value upon the designations of this highly partisan group. It’s part of a larger strategy that will ultimately threaten our First Amendment freedoms, designating people haters and trying to argue that hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment.”

If Americans understand the First Amendment, Rabe explained, “it was to protect dissenters; it is to protect unpopular speech. And so if it doesn’t protect ‘hate speech,’ whether it actually is hate speech or whether it’s just something that someone falsely designates hate speech, if the First Amendment doesn’t cover that, I don’t know what it really does cover.”

Rabe turned his sights on the SPLC and why it is so dangerous to this country.

“The [SPLC] engage[s] in a fallacy by lumping in groups like ours that simply promote mainstream, historic, Christian doctrine with actual violent hate groups,” he said. “We all recognize there is such a thing as a hate group; there are groups based along racial lines or others [that] will designate people for targeting and will incite violence against those kind of people—although [it’s] very interesting to note that radical Islam is largely absent from the SPLC’s hate maps. We’ve had mosques in America where terrorist attacks had been coordinated in the United States—in Virginia and elsewhere—and yet these mosques do not appear on the SPLC’s hate map. They’re very selective about the groups that they choose, and they end up lumping together Christian organizations—like the Family Research Council and DJKM and the Alliance Defending Freedom, who simply defends the First Amendment in court—together with groups like neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan, which is extremely disingenuous.”

Rabe explained how the SPLC’s ostensible mission has swayed far from its beginnings.

“The SPLC was founded after the bulk of the civil rights movement by an attorney named Morris Dees in 1971,” Rabe said. “Early on, they fought some cases in court against the Ku Klux Klan and others and built a reputation as an anti-hate group organization that will do something about it during that period. However, if you look beyond the early ‘70s you will be very hard-pressed to find actual cases of the SPLC going up against true hate groups and being effective against them. What you instead find is that they’ve largely built an enormous fundraising machine [by] basically [scaring] Northeastern liberals who never met a Christian or never met a conservative into thinking that there are hate groups around every corner. They currently have—and this is not speculation, this is in their own financial filings—over $300 million in endowments right now, much of that sitting in offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere.”

Besides the SPLC, DJKM is also suing Amazon, “the world’s largest online shopping retailer,” headed by Jeff Bezos, who is on track to become the wealthiest person in history, worth over $100 billion.

Rabe explained why the online powerhouse is included in the lawsuit. “Amazon.com has been relying upon the SPLC’s hate group designations” for their charity program called AmazonSmile, he said. This program allows customers to donate a portion of the purchase price to a charitable organization, but Rabe said they were barred due to the SPLC’s classification.

“We applied to become one of the charity groups, and they refused us entrance into AmazonSmile,” Rabe explained. “The basis that they gave us was that ‘you’ve been designated by the SPLC as a hate group.’ We view this as religious discrimination because we have been falsely designated a hate group simply for holding traditional orthodox Christian beliefs on issues like sexuality.”

DJKM’s lawsuit is being litigated by Texas-based National Center for Life and Liberty, headed by David C. Gibbs III, who is on the ministry’s board of directors and is a frequent Fox News legal contributor. Gibbs litigated the Terri Schiavo case, the gripping 1990-2005 “right-to-die” legal matter that saw Theresa Marie “Terri” Schiavo in an “irreversible persistent vegetative state” with her husband wishing to remove her feeding tube. Schiavo’s parents challenged the medical diagnosis, and the prolonged series of legal challenges reached state and federal politicians including President George W. Bush, causing a seven-year delay before Ms. Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed, on March 18, 2005. She died 13 days later.

Rabe discussed the federal lawsuit, its cost, and its significance against the arguably out-of-control, rogue SPLC.

“I can tell you right now we do not have a $300 million bank account at DJKM, not anywhere near it,” said Rabe, “so this is a little bit of a David-and-Goliath type of situation. They are far, far larger than we are in terms of resources, in terms of their ability to just sort of overwhelm us with motions and with what lawyers call ‘punitive discovery,’ frivolous discovery claims. So we are gonna be up against it here, so anyone who feels led to help with that, we welcome that, as well as prayer.”

Those wishing to donate to support DJKM’s lawsuit can do so at djameskennedy.org/donate or via U.S. Mail to D. James Kennedy Ministries, P.O. Box 11184, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33339.

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See the website erasingtheliberty.com or call (850) 677-0344 for more information.




USS Liberty Memorial Planned for Visible Site Near Jerusalem

One brave Palestinian-American thinks it’s high time Israel honored the U.S. servicemen it massacred aboard a U.S. spy ship and for all the sacrifices this country has made to the security and well-being of the Zionist state.

By Dave Gahary

Ibrahim “Abe” Ayad, a Dearborn, Mich. born and raised American patriot, has decided to convert a parcel of land in Israel, which his family has owned for decades, into a living memorial to the 34 Americans needlessly slaughtered and 174 wounded, while serving aboard the USS Liberty (AGTR-5), by Israeli air and naval forces on June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War.

Abe sat down with American Free Press, to break the news of this significant announcement, explaining the genesis of it and what he hopes to accomplish.

After his grandfather was killed fighting against the British in World War I, his grandmother was in possession of a lot of property. This rankled the extended family, which took out their jealous frustrations on Ayad’s father, who was just five when his father was killed in battle.

“[She] smuggled him off with his cousin overseas to the United States, running away from his own people,” explained Ayad. As fate would have it, Ayad’s father, like his father before him, would fight in another world war.

“My father wound up in America. World War II had broken out, and he was caught being illegal and they gave him the choice,” said Ayad. “He loved this country so much . . . he volunteered. He was a first-wave lander on Anzio, survived the landing, [and] got wounded during the occupation. He got the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and several others.”

Ayad explained the fascinating story behind how he ended up with this parcel of land in Israel, which dates back to Operation Shingle, or the Battle of Anzio—Jan. 22 to June 5, 1944—in which nearly 15,000 young men paid the ultimate price.

“When [my dad] got wounded, he was lost for three days at a MASH unit during the air war,” said Ayad. “So the Army, in its infinite wisdom, had sent my grandmother a letter telling her he was dead. My grandmother couldn’t read English, so she took it to the village elder [who] told her, ‘Your son is dead.’ And she said, ‘He’s not dead. If he was dead I’d believe it.’ ”

Refusing to believe her only child was dead, she prepared for his return from the war.

“She was working as a nurse at a local hospital and they were trying to trick an old lady whose son they thought had died. They’d come and they’d pawn their land to her,” said Ayad, “and she’d buy it and put it in his name.”

When Ayad’s father eventually returned home, “everybody thought he was a ghost.” As his grandmother had accumulated a significant amount of land, the illegal occupation government of Israel began to make moves on it.

“All of a sudden Israel starts confiscating this land, doing all kinds of stuff to it,” said Ayad. It “was illegally confiscated even according to Israeli law, because it’s occupied territory. It can’t be taxed, and they confiscated it for tax purposes.”

Ayad tried to fight them, but Israel sicced its U.S.-based public relations firm on him.

“I’ve been fighting the Anti-Defamation League for 20 years,” he said, “and they wielded their influence over the [U.S.] Department of Justice. Even James Comey came down personally to oversee their raid against me. They robbed me of over $3 million—and this is my own government, who I pay taxes for, doing all this to me.”

Remember the Liberty cover
New at the AFP Bookstore: Remember the Liberty! by Phillip F. Nelson. Ray McGovern calls it “a must-read for anyone wishing to understand what actually happened to the Liberty and to contemplate the implications.”

Ayad then discussed his plans for the Liberty memorial, which he first started thinking about five or six years ago.

“I don’t see any memorials in Israel: not for World War I, not for World War II,” he explained. “[Israel owes] the United States so much from two world wars, not counting all the financial and military hardware [it’s] getting from America. I would love to see a USS Liberty Memorial Hospital for all the victims of the Liberty, her crew, and all the victims that suffered after and all the victims that have suffered in two world wars and since. And it’s about time they honor America.”

The land Ayad chose for the memorial “is right off the freeway that links Jerusalem to the rest of Israel, so anybody coming into Jerusalem will have to see [it].” It’s in a suburb of Jerusalem called Beit Hanina.

Beit Hanina, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, is on the road to Ramallah, about five miles north of central Jerusalem. Israel split the village in two with its Israeli West Bank barrier, or wall.

The Zionist state claims the separation barrier—built during a September 2000 uprising against the brutal occupation—protects against terrorism. Palestinians know better, and refer to it as an apartheid wall, as it severely restricts travel and interferes with the ability to earn a living. The United Nations has condemned it and the International Court of Justice found the barrier to be a violation of international law.

Winding its way through villages that have existed for thousands of years, the nearly 500-mile obscenity cuts deep into West Bank territory, leaving around 25,000 Palestinians isolated from their history. Initially introduced as a temporary security measure, the Zionists are using it in a conniving way to draw future political borders between Palestine and the illegal occupation government to ensure peace negotiations never succeed, as well as using another blatantly illegal tactic to swallow more and more of the land that is not theirs.

“This village has about five illegal settlements in it,” Ayad explained.

 

Ayad explained another reason why he wants the memorial erected.

“I just wanted to do something for all the people who have died and suffered for needless wars, wars to build up the Federal Reserve so it could keep printing money and we could keep paying interest on it,” he added.

But his main reason for the memorial is the unarmed ship that was attacked by a foreign power in international waters and abandoned by its own government for over 50 years.

“It’s an honor for me to be a part of this,” Ayad told this newspaper, “just an absolute honor for me to be involved with anything that has to do with the Liberty. I will do anything I have to do in order to see it succeed, even if I’m out of the picture totally. I’ll use whatever I have against them—and they know what I’ve got—in order to see this project go through. I’m willing to die for it.”

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See the website erasingtheliberty.com or call (850) 677-0344 for more information.




Manson Innocent of Murders?

The November 2017 death of imprisoned cult leader Charles Manson spurred new interest in research refuting the official story. Famed attorney Vincent Bugliosi helped frame the public’s understanding of the “Manson Family cult” but was his fascinating narrative accurate? Author Nikolas Schreck disagrees with Bugliosi and suggests in a new book there’s much more to the story than a group of deranged druggies gone wild. 

By S.T. Patrick

On Nov. 19, 2017 Charles Manson, 83, died in Bakersville, Calif. while serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the 1969 Tate-LaBianca killings. He was originally sentenced to death until California banned the death penalty in 1972 and his sentence was commuted.

The reaction to Manson’s death has been both typical for and parallel to the mainstream mass media’s coverage of Manson’s case, biography, and personality since 1969. Hollywood has also reacted. Mia Farrow, a friend of murdered actress Sharon Tate, tweeted that her thoughts were with Tate and the rest of “Manson’s victims.”

One of the few undisputed facts of the Manson legal case was that he physically committed none of the Tate-LaBianca murders that rocked the Hollywood hills on Aug. 9 and 10, 1969. They were committed by those associated with Manson—Charles “Tex” Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten. Linda Kasabian was given immunity for her testimony regarding the details of the killings.

After the prosecution rested in the 1970 trial, the defense filed a few formal dismissal motions before resting three days later. Much to the dismay, anger, and surprise of Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten, no witnesses were called for the defense. Manson, in a 1989 interview, angrily said, “Had you let us put on a defense, we could have explained to you why it happened.”

Legend and lore have since been attached to the Manson case by prosecuting attorney Vincent Bugliosi, who in 1974 co-wrote Helter Skelter about Manson and the case. It was Helter Skelter that perpetuated the story regarding the use of the Beatles song for which the book was named. Bugliosi argued that Manson, a failed musician, was obsessed with the Beatles and used the term to describe secret messages that signaled the chaos that would occur when a race war broke out across America. The senseless murders committed by “The Manson Family” would be the spark that ignited that war. According to Bugliosi, the “Family” members were mesmerized, zombie-like followers who executed Manson’s twisted, demented demands.

Nikolas Schreck, the author of The Manson File: Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman, disagrees with what he calls “the Helter Skelter myth.” The picture of Manson and those around him at the Spahn Ranch is very different than the one painted by Bugliosi and dramatized in multiple made-for-television movies. Schreck first wrote to Manson in 1985 and spent decades corresponding with Manson and his associates.

German-English actor Ferdinand Mayne gave Schreck his first breakthrough when he told Schreck it was a well-known secret around Hollywood that Manson and his associates had known the victims personally.

Schreck dispels the myth of Manson as a spurned, untalented musician out to avenge his rock-and-roll failures. Manson was not a parasitic fame chaser, as outlined in the Helter Skelter myth. Rather, Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson was looking for a spiritual mentor at a time when he was lost and needed a cultural spark. Manson, Schreck argues, was that spark.

At over 1,000 pages, The Manson File goes into great depth in an attempt to correct the false narratives of the dramatis personae that surrounded Manson at Spahn Ranch and at trial.

Schreck describes Manson’s circle as a “group marriage” in a polygamous commune, not a cult with a unified ideology. The women were known to peers as “Charlie’s girls” and not “The Family,” which was a title later assigned by the media.

The myth of Manson’s brainwashing was first spread by Atkins, who had a well-known mafia lawyer, Richard Caballero. Schreck believes the financially “poor hippie girl” was given mafia representation to protect the mafia-drug ties that were the real reasons for the murders, a drug robbery that turned violent. Atkins’s grisly prison confessions then were attempts to build a reputation among the hardened inmates.

Van Houten’s testimony also seemed guided, according to Schreck. He believes that Van Houten took part in the LaBianca murders in an effort to free her imprisoned boyfriend, Bobby Beausoleil, jailed for killing Gary Hinman. Van Houten believed that they could commit similar crimes that would make officials believe Beausoleil didn’t actually kill Hinman. Schreck emphasizes that this was not a theory believed by Manson. Now portrayed as the most culpable of the women, The Manson File portrays Van Houten as having the most extreme ideological views of the girls charged in the murders.

Schreck characterizes Krenwinkel as the most violent of the women. He believes that the killings should actually be called the “Watson-Krenwinkel Murders.”

Related: More on Manson from Victor Thorn, in these two books available from the American Free Press Bookstore:

Conspireality by Victor Thorn       

Bugliosi puts a scared Kasabian at the scene only because she had a valid drivers license. Schreck believes she was, with Watson, a major instigator of the murders. Kasabian had already been arrested on drug charges, and Watson, on the day he met her, convinced her to steal $5,000 from her husband. She had also attended drug parties next door to the LaBianca home. Kasabian lives as a free woman today.

Bugliosi, who died in 2015, did not end his career without controversy. Though the JFK assassination research community can often be fracture, there was unity in their disapproval of Bugliosi’s 2007 work on the Kennedy assassination, Reclaiming History, in which he argued that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Schreck doesn’t defend Manson as a human being. Rather, he disagrees with the facts of the case as popularized by the prosecuting attorney with a legend to defend and a brand to build.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer News” show. His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




Tenacious Sandy Hook Researcher Wins One in Court

As questions continue to surround the official story of the devastating 2012 shooting of schoolchildren and staff in Newtown, Conn., one researcher has prevailed in a lawsuit brought against him by the father of one of the slain children. Dave Gahary interviewed former state trooper Wolfgang Halbig to learn more about the situation. 

By Dave Gahary

TAVARES, Fla.—As the five-year anniversary of one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history approached, this small city in central Florida—located 1,144 miles from Newtown, Conn.—recently played host to the ongoing drama around whether or not the Dec. 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took place as the government says it did.

Wolfgang W. Halbig, who is convinced no children were killed at Sandy Hook, prevailed in a lawsuit brought against him by the father—Leonard Pozner—of one of the children murdered by 20-year-old Adam Lanza. Halbig achieved mass notoriety when an interview that this reporter had conducted with him revealed that Halbig had been visited by two homicide detectives from his local sheriff’s office, who asked him to stop asking questions about the shooting.

Halbig, a former Florida State Trooper and school safety consultant, is best known for his request to have his “16 simple questions” about the event answered by calling and emailing multiple agencies as well as by filing dozens of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Pozner brought the suit against Halbig when Halbig revealed on his website the contents of a FOIA request, which included some of Pozner’s personal information.

This reporter attended the Nov. 7 hearing in Tavares and conducted an exclusive interview with Halbig’s attorney, Caleb Payne, who discussed a bit of his client’s history vis-à-vis Sandy Hook and the details of the case.

American Free Press asked him how he got hooked up with Halbig.

“I jumped at the chance to represent Wolf in this case because to me it’s a very clear First Amendment violation,” he said. “The First Amendment is something that is integral to our society and the ability for people in the media and the press to be able to ask questions and keep the rest of the government in check.”

Payne explained how Pozner came to sue Halbig. In a disturbing turn of events, a symptom of the police state warned about by John W. Whitehead in his A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, state agents simply showed up at his house unannounced, wanting to rifle through Halbig’s personal belongings just for asking some questions.

“Mr. Halbig was in his home when some agents with the state showed up and wanted to go through his records,” Caleb explained. “He asked what this was about, and they stated that someone had filed a complaint with the state attorney here, Pam Bondi. So Mr. Halbig then filed a FOIA request to get that [complaint] from Ms. Bondi’s office. He received it, and he put it on the web.”

The FOIA contained Pozner’s mailing address, a post office box, but that was enough for him to hire a lawyer. In response, Halbig not only removed the personal information—which he wasn’t required to do—but also deactivated his website, sandyhookjustice.com. Pozner, however, continued to harass Halbig.

The judge ordered Pozner to be at the next hearing and produce the answers required via discovery—requests for answers to interrogatories, production of documents, and depositions.

The chance to question Pozner under the watchful eye of a video camera never arrived, however, as Pozner dismissed his complaint the afternoon he was required to provide the discovery answers, leaving Halbig with a big legal bill and a shuttered website. Halbig says he will countersue for attorney’s fees and costs.

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.




JFK Researcher Honored in Dallas

Longtime researcher Robert Groden, who saved the Zapruder film from the dustbin of history, received a lifetime achievement award for his JFK research.

By S.T. Patrick

At the recent 5th Annual JFK Assassination Conference in Dallas, veteran researcher Robert Groden—the man who single-handedly saved the famous Zapruder film from the dustbin of history—was given the Garrison-Lane Lifetime Achievement Award for JFK Research.

Groden is considered one of the leading first-generation researchers—researchers who began their work between the day of the assassination in 1963 and the end of the Lyndon Johnson administration in 1968. Groden turned 18 on the day President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dealey Plaza. His work began shortly thereafter.

“Within days, actually, before the [assassination] week was out,” Groden said, “I was already archiving everything I could find and reading everything I could find . . . being fascinated by the fact that the assassination itself had been filmed . . . not by one, not by two, but actually by five different people. I was intrigued as to why these films were all being hidden from public view.”

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Groden would be the catalyst behind the effort to show the most famous film of the assassination to the public. As a photo-optics technician for a New York City motion picture processing lab, he was on staff when Life magazine contracted with the lab to convert the 26-second Zapruder film from 8mm to 35mm.

“As we did it, let’s just say an extra copy was made that Life didn’t know about,” Groden slyly stated. “It became the most important 26 seconds of history ever photographed.”

Fearing legal ramifications and attempts on his life, Groden kept the film private for several years. “There was a conspiracy to kill the president, and I was the only one who could prove it,” he said.

Groden, at the behest of the few researchers for whom he had screened the Zapruder film, showed the film at a Georgetown University symposium but to little national fanfare. Attending the next screening in Boston, however, was comedian-activist Dick Gregory, who urged Groden to show the film to the Rockefeller Commission in 1975. Groden and Steve Jaffe, one of Jim Garrison’s investigators, testified to the commission about CIA excesses and activities related to the JFK assassination. More importantly, Groden projected the Zapruder film for the commission.

While Groden was testifying in Washington, D.C., he received a call from Geraldo Rivera’s “Good Night America” staff. On March 6, 1975, Groden and Gregory appeared on Rivera’s ABC program to show the Zapruder film to the nation.

Within days, Groden was called to testify before the newly formed House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). He served as a photographic consultant for the HSCA, who in 1978 issued their final report, which stated that Kennedy was probably murdered as a result of a conspiracy.

The award given to Groden was named after New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison and author and attorney Mark Lane. Garrison, whose case was dramatized in Oliver Stone’s 1991 film “JFK,” was the only government official to prosecute a case against those he believed were responsible for the murder.

Lane, an attorney who also became one of the leading early researchers in the case, published a critical article in the National Guardian four weeks after the assassination. Lane was also instrumental in setting up American Free Press in August 2001, serving as the newspaper’s corporate attorney for years. Garrison lost the case against New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw in 1969, but he wrote two seminal works on the case, A Heritage of Stone (1970) and On the Trail of the Assassins (1988). Lane’s 1966 book Rush to Judgment became the first widely popular work critical of the Warren Commission, the group set up by President Lyndon Johnson to create an official report on the Kennedy assassination.

Gary Fannin, the author of The Innocence of Oswald and member of the conference board that awarded Groden, called Garrison and Lane the “first two real heroes of the case.” Fannin also emphasized Groden’s importance, noting, “If it weren’t for Garrison, Lane, and Groden, a lot of [the assassination research] would never have been available.”

Lane is best known for his JFK assassination books, which also include A Citizen’s Dissent (1968), Plausible Denial (1991), and Last Word (2011), but Fannin pointed out that Lane should also be lauded for attempting, at the request of Marguerite Oswald, to represent Lee Harvey Oswald, her son, to the Warren Commission. It was this representation that the Warren Commission rejected.

The original publishing of Rush to Judgment became legendary among JFK researchers. Sixteen publishers cancelled contracts with Lane to publish it. Lane had to take the book to Europe to be published and was only paid $1,500 for writing what became a global phenomenon. Rush to Judgment became a No. 1 best seller that spent 29 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Groden today can be found outside the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza on weekends. For 25 years, he has sold books, DVDs, and magazines that he has produced over the life of his research. He answers any and all questions from those researchers and assassination buffs who have made the trek to Dealey Plaza. At 72, he remains the most public and accessible of all the researchers. He also remains the most harassed by local Dallas officials. Groden has been ticketed 84 times for doing commerce in Dealey Plaza, all of which have been thrown out of court. He has been arrested and jailed twice.

“The lie pays more than the truth,” Fannin said. For Groden, there were personal sacrifices and missed professional opportunities that continue to impact his life today. But like Garrison and Lane, Groden is a vital member of an elite group of JFK assassination research figures who have changed the way Americans view the case.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer” News Show. His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.

 




SPLC Wages War on Conservative Pastor

Jacob Tyler recently talked with Pastor Chuck Baldwin for a little background and perspective on why the Southern Poverty Law Center has persistently had him in its sights for nearly a decade. 

By Jacob Tyler

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has had conservative Christian Pastor Chuck Baldwin in its sights since at least 2008, labeling him an extremist and cautioning law enforcement to be wary of his supporters, as they’re potentially “domestic terrorists.” Anyone who has spent time in the trenches for the cause of truth is acquainted with the slanderous shenanigans of the SPLC.

The self-proclaimed arbiter of justice and tolerance, defender of civil rights, and hate-group watchdog purports to shine the bright light of truth on the misdeeds of the mythical right-winger ever skulking in the dark, tirelessly scheming to repress people of color in ever new and more imaginative ways. In truth, however, from the SPLC’s perspective, merely possessing a political outlook even slightly to the right of the leftist behemoth is enough to warrant being targeted. In its zealous pursuit of this paranoid agenda, the SPLC attacks and defames even the most dignified and respectable of individuals.

Its focus on Baldwin is one such example. Baldwin, who now lives in Montana, founded the Crossroads Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., hosted “Chuck Baldwin Live” for eight years, and is a prolific writer. The “shoot first, ask questions later” approach employed by SPLC co-founder and attorney Morris Dees and his lackeys has invited more than a little criticism throughout the years.

 

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An article in the July/Aug. 2017 issue of Politico Magazine notes: “As Dees navigates the era of Trump, there are new questions arising around a charge that has dogged the group for years: that the SPLC is overplaying its hand, becoming more of a partisan, progressive hit operation than a civil rights watchdog. . . . Critics say the group abuses its position as an arbiter of hatred by labeling legitimate players ‘hate groups’ and ‘extremists’ to keep the attention of its liberal donors and grind a political ax. . . . [I]ts authority to police the boundaries of American political discourse is facing its greatest challenge yet.”

It has gotten so bad that even Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer in a December 2016 speech condemned the SPLC as “defamers and blacklisters.”

AFP recently spoke with Baldwin, who explained the chronology of the SPLC’s focus on him. He first came under fire shortly before beginning his presidential campaign in 2008. “A deputy sheriff came into my office one day and asked if I’d come out to his squad car, where he proceeded to show me on his computer a report that had been issued to law enforcement personnel . . . which identified myself and my friend, Pastor Greg Dixon [an independent Baptist preacher who was a principal founder of the American Coalition of Unregistered Churches and an iconic figure in modern Christian circles] on a watch list of potential government extremists,” Baldwin stated.

When asked by AFP what put him on the “extremist” radar to begin with, Baldwin stated he believed that anyone who takes stands such as those he is known for will not go long without receiving a similar level of attention. The SPLC’s attention has continued intermittently since then. In the past decade, there have been other examples of the SPLC targeting Baldwin.

In 2009 law enforcement officials were instructed in a now infamous February 2009 report titled “The Modern Militia Movement,” prepared by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, to be on the lookout for anyone driving vehicles with bumper stickers promoting the campaigns of Ron Paul, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr, or the Constitution Party’s Chuck Baldwin, asserting there was a tangible possibility that such people were “right-wing extremists.”

In 2010, after Baldwin relocated to Montana, another deputy sheriff showed him a copy of a memo released by a local police lieutenant for other law enforcement officials in the area that once again placed Baldwin on a watch list based on reports being disseminated by the SPLC.

In 2011, Baldwin was targeted yet again by the SPLC shortly after starting a non-501(c)(3) church organization, Liberty Fellowship. Again, he was labeled an extremist.

“I have lived under the cloud of these accusations spawned by the SPLC for all of these years,” Baldwin lamented. “Almost without exception, reporters I encounter will bring up claims leveled against me by the SPLC. For the most part, it seems that they have a political agenda, and for the most part they’re going to stick with what the SPLC has to say. But there are also many who are only interested in my message and support me even more when they hear about the SPLC’s attacks. They’ll look me up and become a supporter as a result of the attacks, so it is a mixed bag of results.”

Perhaps most galling about all of this is that Baldwin, a conservative Christian pastor who advocates for traditional American values, is being routinely targeted and slandered by the SPLC while many left-leaning pastors are given a free hand to foment disinformation and division among the American people, then exalted by the SPLC and the media for doing so. AFP asked Baldwin to comment on this.

“It just goes to show the biased agenda of the SPLC,” he stated. “The organization has a very prejudiced agenda in which people they deem to be outside their political persuasion are targeted for destruction while people that favor their political ideology are given a pass.

“It also serves to spotlight the agenda of the mainstream media, as it follows in lockstep with whatever narrative the SPLC decides to run with—which I feel people are definitely waking up to. This has, of course, had a lot to do with the election of Donald Trump—but the underlying answer is that this is a very biased organization with no interest in truth or honesty with a definite political agenda. That agenda is the politics of destruction. They try to destroy the reputation and character of individuals that oppose them. The real hate mongers here are the SPLC.”

When asked if he felt patriots being targeted by the SPLC had any recourse against the persecution, Baldwin concluded:

“They have to recognize that the MSM [mainstream media] and all its facets is deliberately going to lie to them. Start looking to independent news sources instead. American Free Press has been around for a long time and puts out news that other people will not put out. [Much of] the independent media is truly presenting a balanced view on what’s going on and doing some good, old-fashioned journalism, which is virtually a dead art as far as the MSM is concerned.”

Jacob Tyler is a freelance writer and graphic designer based in Tennessee.




Israeli Interests Come Before Recovery

The extensive destruction wrought by Hurricane Harvey has shone a light on a Texas law that prohibits the State from contracting with firms that engage in boycott, divest and sanctions (BDS) actions against Israel. But allotting contracts only after requiring the equivalent of a “loyalty oath” from companies wanting to assist storm-beleaguered Texans is eerily reminiscent of McCarthyism. Dave Gahary and Mark Dankof recently discussed the state’s outrageous anti-BDS law—listen in at the link below. 

By Dave Gahary

If there are still folks out there who question the allegiance of American politicians, all one need do is look to Dickinson, Texas (population around 19,000), where the city elders demanded that denizens who wished rebuilding funds to rectify Hurricane Harvey’s destruction “certify in writing that they will not take part in a boycott of Israel.”

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Hurricane Harvey, the costliest tropical cyclone on record and the second-costliest ($150 billion to $190 billion) natural disaster worldwide, drenched eastern Texas over a four-day period in late August with nearly 65 inches of rain in some areas, which caused catastrophic flooding that destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people, and necessitated over 17,000 rescues.

To force beaten-down Americans to grovel for emergency funds after a disaster of this magnitude may be par for the bureaucratic course, but to require they pledge an oath of fealty to a foreign country in order to get those funds is beyond the pale.

But Israel, as American Free Press readers are painfully aware, has never been short of chutzpah—the Yiddish “audacity,” used to describe someone or something that has overstepped the boundaries of acceptable behavior.

The city’s “Hurricane Harvey Repair Grant Application and Agreement” required that applicants agree to follow building codes, apply for the necessary permits, use funds solely for their project, and—incredibly—pledge to not boycott Israel.

Section 11 stated: “By executing this agreement below, the applicant verifies that the applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this agreement.”

Yes, folks, that’s really what it stated, not states, because the outrage this requirement generated forced Dickinson to reconsider its demand. This “strange stipulation” even had the fake news media raising their collective eyebrows, with a staunchly Zionist Time magazine headline blaring, “A Texas City Will Only Give You Hurricane Aid If You Promise Not to Boycott Israel.”

Most likely, Dickinson finally cried “uncle” when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) weighed in. ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura stated:

The First Amendment protects Americans’ right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression. Dickinson’s requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of “subversive” activity.

The ACLU pointed out in a news story Oct. 19 that the Supreme Court “ruled decades ago that political boycotts are protected by the First Amendment, and other decisions have established that the government may not require individuals to sign a certification regarding their political expression in order to obtain employment, contracts, or other benefits.”

The news story also mentions the ACLU “filed a federal lawsuit challenging a Kansas law on behalf of a high school math teacher who is being required by the state to certify that she won’t boycott Israel if she wants to take part in a teacher training program,” and that the organization had “sent a letter to members of Congress opposing a bill that would make it a felony to support certain boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Dickinson claimed the city was just following the law in Texas, referring to H.B. 89, which was passed by the Texas House on April 20 (voting 131 to 0 with 12 present, not voting) and the Texas Senate on April 27 (voting 27 to 4), and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on May 2. This act took effect on Sept. 1. Significantly, the law is aimed at companies, using the language, “Prohibition on Contracts with Companies Boycotting Israel”; Dickinson’s demand that individuals follow the law was fraught with trouble.

Abbott—like many U.S. politicians who want to keep the Israel lobby’s spigot aimed at their campaign coffers—groveled to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in January 2016, openly stating that he wanted Texas legislators to pass such a ban.

He got his wish, and crowed “any anti-Israel policy is an anti-Texas policy” when he signed the clearly unconstitutional bill into law. Shamelessly kissing Israel’s backside even further, he posted on his official website, “Anti-Israel policies are anti- Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally.”

Yes, this is all true, dear reader. Whoever can kiss Israel’s butt the best wins a prize! If it wasn’t so un-American it might be funny. But it’s not, as it’s a threat to our God-given freedoms. What’s worse is that this law is similar to existing laws in at least 22 other states, leaving only 27 states to go. The United States of Israel, anyone?

What’s behind the nationwide push to protect “our greatest ally” is the success of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS), created in 2005 “to increase economic and political pressure on Israel to end what it describes as violations of international law.” BDS seeks “the end of Israel’s occupation and settler colonization of Palestinian land and the Golan Heights, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and acknowledgement of the right of return of Palestinian refugees.”

AFP asked Mark Dankof, a Texas resident and U.S. Senate candidate, for his views on H.B. 89. [Listen to the full interview with Dankof at the podcast link above.]

“Here in Texas, sadly enough,” Dankof told AFP, “what we refer to as the ‘conservative movement’ is, in many cases, nothing of the type. If you look at the Republican Party state platform of Texas, it’s solidly Zionist, it’s solidly globalist and interventionist, and it’s something that could have been easily penned by Netanyahu himself.

“The notion that any state government, much less the federal government,” he concluded, “should be able to say to any legitimately incorporated business in the United States that they have to sign off, officially, in support of Mr. Netanyahu’s policies—many of which the United States government says are a violation of international law—[is ludicrous].”

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.




Trump Will Release JFK Documents

The CIA and FBI are worried about President Trump’s release of thousands of JFK assassination files. Apparently, 54 years has not allowed them enough time to review the documents, so they’ve asked him for another six-month delay. The new deadline for the withheld documents is April 26, 2018. S.T. Patrick spoke with Joseph Green of the Hidden History Center to discuss the new documents released; podcast link below.

By S.T. Patrick

Though President Donald Trump has acquiesced to the CIA and FBI that requested another 180 days to reevaluate their reasons for redactions, the president did not block the release of over 2,800 John F. Kennedy assassination documents to the public. The releases coincided with the Oct. 26 date that had been set by the JFK Records Act of 1992—25 years to the day after the act was passed by Congress.

In July, the National Archives began releasing the first batch of documents. The releases came earlier than researchers had been expecting and included 441 CIA and FBI documents that had been completely withheld and 3,369 previously released documents that had been redacted to varying degrees.

The first significant revelation from the July records release concerned Earle Cabell, who was the mayor of Dallas in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated. Documents revealed that Cabell had been a CIA asset since 1956. His brother, Charles Cabell, had been deputy director of the CIA until Kennedy forced him to resign in the CIA shake-up that emanated from the Bay of Pigs fallout.

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Another newly released record describes a phone call made 25 minutes before the assassination.  The anonymous call to the British Cambridge News warned a reporter that some “big news” was coming. The caller then suggested that the reporter call the American embassy for details. After the assassination, the reporter informed the Cambridge police, who then relayed the information to MI5, the UK’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency.

Dr. John Newman, author of JFK & Vietnam and Oswald and the CIA, and Jefferson Morley of “JFKfacts.org” have been mining the 2017 releases for information on what and when the CIA knew about alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Morley, the author of The Ghost: The Secret Life of Spymaster James Jesus Angleton, has been using the documents to argue that the CIA controlled, rather than botched, the Warren Commission’s investigation of Oswald.

“The CIA made at least four false statements to investigators,” Morley wrote. “The effect of these statements was to conceal what top CIA officers, including Angleton, knew of Oswald while JFK was still alive.”

The new documents appear to quell many arguments that the KGB was actively involved in both Oswald’s preparation and the assassination itself. However, new questions have been raised about Cuban involvement. Theorists who have claimed involvement from Fidel Castro point to CIA attempts to assassinate Castro as motive. JFK assassination researchers such as Joseph Green of the Hidden History Center disagree in light of Castro’s own comments.

“If you’ve ever read what Castro said on Nov. 23, 1963, it’s an amazing speech,” Green said. “Castro had it figured out immediately. He said, ‘They’re going to blame it on us.’ Castro knew he was losing an ally. Lyndon Johnson’s foreign policy with respect to Cuba was not going to be the same as Kennedy’s. But he also saw that he was being set up.”

Green also believes the withheld documents are equally telling, as they weave a narrative about who is being protected.

“Are we covering up all of this because we are trying to protect the fact that the KGB sent (Oswald)?” Green asked. “Would the CIA be concerned about documents implicating Castro? No. There’s only one reason for the government to be upset and delaying after 54 years the release of documents that should be completely harmless documents.”

On Oct. 21, Trump tweeted that he would be “allowing, as president, the long blocked and classified JFK files to be opened.” Critics condemned the semantics of the tweet, stating that the president does not “allow” the release of the documents. The 1992 law mandates their release. He can, however, choose to block specific releases if he can show, according to the JFK Records Act, that a release would signify an “identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations . . . and that the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was set up by the act to serve as an independent agency that would consider arguments and then render decisions when the release of a record was challenged by a government agency. In its final report, the ARRB cited the Oliver Stone film “JFK” as a catalyst for the passage of the JFK Records Act. Since 1992, the ARRB has declassified over 5 million documents.

The general public still awaits a “smoking gun” document that the vast majority of researchers know will never come. The documents that have already been released add colors and dimensions to a basic construct that was established by first-generation researchers that questioned the Warren Commission immediately after its volumes were released in 1964.

A deadline for those documents withheld for further review has been set for April 26, 2018.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer” News Show. His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.




Homelessness, Infectious Diseases Combine to Create Health Disaster

In an example of America’s rapidly eroding status as a First World nation, an outbreak of hepatitis A—serious enough to lead California’s governor to declare a state of emergency—has hit the homeless populations around both San Diego and Detroit, sickening at least 1,000 people. The general lack of cleanliness that leads to such disease outbreaks is an example of the powers-that-be failing to address problems impacting the rest of us “deplorables,” says one public health physician. 

By Dave Gahary

The breakdown of the United States is manifested in many ways, but perhaps no way illustrates the decline of this once-great nation more than its swelling homeless population, and, with it, diseases that were once seen only in Third World countries. The numbers back up what many of us suspect: According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s November 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, “on a single night in 2016, 549,928 people were experiencing homelessness in the United States.”

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Indicative of the disaster, two separate outbreaks of hepatitis A in California and Michigan that began last year and have killed dozens of people are threatening to spread across the country, and public health officials have very few tools in their arsenal to stop the wave of contagion.

On Oct. 13, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, which will allow state health officials to buy additional doses of the hepatitis A vaccine to try to halt the outbreak, the country’s second largest in more than 20 years. The only one larger occurred in Pennsylvania in 2003, when almost 1,000 people caught hepatitis A from contaminated green onions.

The outbreak, which began in San Diego’s homeless community last year, has now spread into other regions. Los Angeles and Santa Cruz counties are now experiencing outbreaks. It has gotten so bad in San Diego that contractors have started blasting the city’s downtown streets with bleach.

Hepatitis A “is a viral infection that involves the liver and makes people sick for maybe a month or so,” Dr. Jane Orient, the chairman of the Pima County, Ariz. Medical Society’s Public Health Committee for about 30 years and the president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, told American Free Press in an exclusive interview.

“They become jaundiced, and they may have nausea and vomiting,” Dr. Orient continued. “It is generally a self-limited disease, although it is contagious, and people generally get over it and do fine and are immune to it afterwards. It is generally transmitted in contaminated food; it’s a fecal-oral route that is excreted in the stool, and if you contaminate the food with it then that’s how it’s usually transmitted—although the San Diego outbreak does not appear to involve food handlers, but rather people are getting it from the environment, because, I guess, in San Diego they have a particularly filthy environment.”

AFP asked Dr. Orient why a First World nation like the United States has seen 19 people die from the disease in the San Diego area and 14 people die so far in the Detroit area, with over 1,000 infected in both regions.

“I think that we’re just seeing a breakdown in our civilization,” she said, “which includes standards of cleanliness that have been accepted for decades at least and maybe for centuries. Why are we going back to the time when they denied the germ theory of disease?”

The germ theory of disease, Dr. Orient explained, “means that disease is transmitted by microscopic organisms that you can acquire by drinking dirty water or contamination of your food, that these are bacteria or viruses that grow and multiply in your body and that make you sick. This is the most important reason why Third World countries have such high rates of diseases: They do not have clean water and sanitation.”

AFP asked why she thinks the germ theory of disease is not being addressed by those in power.

“I think it’s a matter of political correctness that would involve critiquing things like allowing people to wander through the streets and live in a way that endangers the health of the whole population,” she explained. “It seems that there are people that care more about political correctness than they do about the health of the average American citizen. I think they consider themselves to be sort of immune: They’re protected, they live in an elite community, and they’re in charge of things. They’re not like the rest of us ‘deplorables,’ who are barely getting by on what we can earn in this de-industrializing society, and I think they just really don’t care about the average patient.”

IRS Loses Cases

AFP asked if she believes that unfettered immigration is contributing to this and other outbreaks.

“Oh, I think it definitely is,” she answered. “We have people coming into the country that are not screened medically in any way, and sometimes are deliberately dispersed throughout the country, and go to public schools and infect children with diseases to which the children have never been exposed before and they have no immunity.”

She continued: “That was probably responsible for outbreaks of hundreds of cases of the Enterovirus D68 (EV68) that sent a lot of American children to intensive care units. Some of them became paralyzed because it is a disease somewhat like polio to some people. This probably came in from Central America where it’s endemic in the population. It doesn’t usually make people [who live there] very sick because they have some immunity to it, but American children just don’t.”

As several California counties are offering free hepatitis A vaccine shots to the homeless in order to stem the tide of the outbreak, AFP asked Dr. Orient her opinion on the vaccinations, which are being almost forced on the homeless.

“I just think that mass imposition of any type of medical intervention is a very bad idea,” she said. “It’s contrary to our civil rights, and it’s also just a very imprudent idea, because a lot of times we don’t find out about the bad effects of the medical things we do until it’s too late.”

Dr. Orient warned further about vaccines.

“I think that people who deny that vaccines can have lifelong disabling, very serious complications is rampant,” she said. “Vaccine manufacturers have virtually absolute immunity for any type of liability, so they’re really quite protected, even if they lie and cover up or are negligent about doing safety studies.”

American Free Press asked if the elites had a more nefarious agenda.

“I think there are people who really want to destroy the United States of America—to destroy our economic and our military power—because we’re the biggest impediment to their ideal of a global regime,” she said. “I think the United States is in serious danger, existential hazard really, of loss of the freedom on which our prosperity depends, as well as a decent civilized life.”

Dr. Orient summarized her feelings on this disturbing issue.

“Large populations are using the streets and outdoor areas as a toilet,” she said. “There used to be punishment for merely spitting on the sidewalk. If we tolerate Third World hygiene standards we will have Third World diseases. We have got to break the chain of transmission by just cleanliness. We don’t have a vaccine for every disease that exists. We can’t vaccinate everybody for everything.”

Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, prevailed in a suit brought by the New York Stock Exchange in an attempt to silence him. Dave is the producer of an upcoming full-length feature film about the attack on the USS Liberty. See erasingtheliberty.com for more information and to get the new book on which the movie will be based, Erasing the Liberty.




Top-Tier Treason and the USS Liberty

In his new book, Remember the Liberty! Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas, Philip F. Nelson has documented U.S. treason at the highest levels of government in a planned false-flag operation that called for Israel’s high-seas slaughter of USS Liberty sailors on June 6, 1967.  

By S.T. Patrick

Phillip F. Nelson’s new book, Remember the Liberty! Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas,* seeks to out the American politicians responsible for the planning, execution, and cover-up of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty in 1967. In tracing the planning of the June 8 attack back to 1965, Nelson has written a work that holds President Lyndon B. Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara responsible.

In 1979 Liberty survivor James M. Ennes Jr. wrote the first full treatment concerning the Israeli assault on the unarmed U.S. naval ship. After the release of his book, Ennes pursued further research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas. Within that research, Ennes found a misfiled document that detailed the minutes of a meeting held by a “303 Committee” in April 1967. The 303 Committee was responsible for all covert CIA operations within the Johnson administration.

The 303 Committee consisted of CIA director Richard Helms, former ambassador to the Soviet Union Foy Kohler, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Earle Wheeler, Deputy Secretary of Defense Cyrus Vance, and National Security Adviser Walt Rostow. Rostow also headed a separate White House group that consisted of Johnson’s most adamantly Zionist advisors.

McNamara was often used by LBJ as the key liaison and chief executioner of the covert operations birthed by the 303 Committee and the other groups.

The minutes of the 303 Committee meeting—held two months before the attack on the Liberty—referenced an operation called “Frontlet 615.” Operation Cyanide was found within the subparts of Frontlet 615. The 303 Committee used Frontlet 615 as a code name for the pending Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt. As planned, the war was scheduled to begin on June 15. The Americans had agreed to provide equipment, officer training, and the limited use of aircraft to the Israelis.

Operation Cyanide was a provocative false flag that called for an Israel Defense Force attack on a U.S. ship. The assault on the unarmed ship would use unmarked fighter jets so that the destruction could then be blamed on the Egyptians, and the Americans could enter the war on the side of Israel.

It was not the first time Johnson had dabbled in false-flag operations. Years earlier, he had tasked National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy with “Plan 34A” in Vietnam. Buddy was charged with constructing a series of provocations that would cause the North Vietnamese to attack American destroyers (i.e., Gulf of Tonkin). Some historians cite Tonkin as the primary reason for Johnson’s 1964 win over Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.).

In a decision that confounded LBJ, Israel began its war with Egypt 10 days early. The USS Liberty was rushed from its position off the horn of Africa to the Mediterranean Sea. The Liberty had been chosen as the victim of Operation Cyanide.

In Remember the Liberty! Nelson recalls the tense confusion and abandonment Admiral Lawrence Geis experienced as the Liberty was being attacked. Geis later relayed the tale to Chief Intelligence Officer David Lewis, who agreed not to reveal the information until Geis had died, which he did in 1987.

Geis explained to Lewis that Johnson had ordered two sorties of fighter jets recalled—one that had been en route to the Liberty ten minutes after the attack. Johnson had also recalled two A-4s, launched from the USS America within minutes, armed with nuclear weapons and headed for Cairo, Egypt.

McNamara called Geis and instructed him to recall the aircraft. “We’re not going to war over a few dead soldiers,” McNamara told Geis. McNamara, expecting the Liberty to sink within the hour, told Geis that he could order another sortie of fighter jets in 90 minutes. When the hour-and-a-half had passed, Geis prepared to order assistance. McNamara again instructed him to recall the order.

Geis demanded to speak to the president, who was standing next to McNamara. Johnson confirmed to Geis that he should “recall the wings.” He told Geis that he didn’t care if the Liberty sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean. He was not going to embarrass his ally.

Upon assuming the presidency after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Johnson had told Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Golda Meir in 1963, “You’ve lost a great friend, but you’ve found a better one.” He promised Ms. Meir that there would be no repeat of the Eisenhower incident of 1956. Ike had rebutted Johnson, who had attempted to persuade the president to back off on sanctioning Israel. The threat of sanctions was levied by Eisenhower after Israel had refused to release lands in the Sinai Peninsula.

In Remember the Liberty! Nelson further details the political maneuverings that make Johnson, McNamara, and LBJ’s administration culpable in the 1967 attack on American sailors off the coast of Egypt and Israel. A part of the proceeds from Nelson’s work are donated to the Liberty Veterans Association.

*Remember the Liberty! Almost Sunk by Treason on the High Seas (softcover, 480 pages) by Phillip Nelson is available from the American Free Press Bookstore for $20 plus $4 shipping and handling inside the U.S. If you prefer, send cash, check or money order to AFP, 16000 Trade Zone Avenue, Unit 406, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774. Or call 1-888-699-NEWS Mon. thru Thu. 9-5 ET  to charge.

S.T. Patrick holds degrees in both journalism and social studies education. He spent ten years as an educator and now hosts the “Midnight Writer” News Show. His email is STPatrickAFP@gmail.com.