Was FDR a Victim of Assassination?

While FDR was pronounced dead of a massive cerebral hemorrhage by his cardiologist, a new book from Steve Ubaney, author of the Who Murdered . . . ? series, believes the evidence tells quite a different story. Ubaney says Stalin and the president’s inner circle plotted to remove FDR from postwar decisions, and he was the victim of a “meticulous, systematic poisoning.”

By S. T. Patrick

By March 29, 1945, the United States could sense an end to the war that had both ravaged the globe and rescued the American economy from the straits of the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt had just entered his fourth term as president. Whenever the stresses of the nation’s highest office demanded a calming respite for the ailing president, an excursion to the Little White House in Warm Springs, Ga. was scheduled.

Recuperation was needed. FDR was about to attend a series of organizational meetings to charter the United Nations. In that all-important and lucrative practice of parsing and restructuring the world after a war, Roosevelt was to be the lead figure, maneuvering the chess pieces across the grandest of geopolitical boards. The general secretary of the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin, had led his country for two decades and was about to preside over his army’s victorious march through the streets of Berlin. Stalin believed that he, himself, had earned the right to helm the division of spoils emanating from the Second World War.

On the afternoon of April 12, Roosevelt, who felt increasingly ill, said, “I have a terrible headache,” and slumped forward in his chair, unconscious. After being carried to his bedroom, FDR was pronounced dead of a massive cerebral hemorrhage by his cardiologist Dr. Howard Bruenn. Vice President Harry Truman, an unassuming machine politician from Kansas City, became FDR’s successor.

Stalin must have seen a clearer path upon FDR’s death. In fact, it would be the beginning of a remarkably fatal 18 days. Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini was assassinated on April 28 and Stalin was led to believe that the German Chancellor Adolf Hitler had committed suicide on April 30. Churchill’s Conservative Party would soon lose an election, forcing the resignation of the prime minister, and France’s Charles de Gaulle had neither the financial stability nor the military fortitude to demand a powerful seat at the table of postwar politics.

While many characterize FDR’s death as the culmination of an adulthood riddled with health emergencies, author Steve Ubaney believes the evidence tells quite a different story. Ubaney is the author of the Who Murdered . . . ? book series. His volumes Who Murdered Elvis? and Who Murdered FDR? have questioned the official causes of death, and his upcoming Who Murdered JFK? will focus on the 2017-2018 JFK records releases. Ubaney believes the evidence shows that FDR was not solely suffering from the physical difficulties of a man who had contracted polio, a paralytic illness, in 1921 at the age of 39. Ubaney describes a situation in which Roosevelt was the victim of a meticulous, systematic poisoning that began around the time of the Tehran Conference in December 1943.

Kingdom Identity

When examining the suspects, Ubaney writes as an investigator, examining means, motive, and opportunity. No one is off limits. He examines Eleanor Roosevelt’s growing anger over FDR’s trysts with Missy LeHand, his personal secretary, and Lucy Mercer, Eleanor’s social secretary. FDR was so fond of LeHand that he included her in his will after she suffered a stroke. Mercer was with FDR in Warm Springs when he died. FDR had refused his wife’s request for a divorce, leaving her fastened to a loveless marriage.

Harry Hopkins, FDR’s chief diplomatic advisor and friend, is the book’s most interesting character. Long treated by Roosevelt biographers as the heroic architect of New Deal implementation, Ubaney details Hopkins’s ties to Soviet intelligence, going so far as to label him “a Soviet spy and operative.” Hopkins had always been closer to the Soviets than many American diplomats had wished him to be. When FDR was going through a more difficult stint of immobility, Hopkins would act as the mouthpiece and legs of the president.

Ubaney writes that Hopkins was “the most important man that no one ever knew.”

Elizabeth Schoumatoff and Nicholas Robbins were also present in Warm Springs when FDR died. Schoumatoff, a friend of Mercer, was a Russian-born painter tasked with capturing FDR’s likeness in his fourth term. Robbins was a photographer and longtime friend of Schoumatoff. Both shared Russian backgrounds, ties to high-level anti-FDR financiers, and a presence in Warm Springs.

When Ubaney discusses the practicalities of poisoning, characters reminiscent of the board game Clue enter the story. There is Arthur Prettyman, one of FDR’s personal valets, Howell Crim, the chief usher of the White House, and the cooks who prepare Roosevelt’s daily meals, about which FDR had increasingly complained throughout his presidency.

After his death, many of FDR’s medical records at Bethesda were either lost or stolen. We know this because Mrs. Roosevelt had her own suspicions approximately 10 years later. She wanted a re-evaluation of her husband’s medical history and the records of his death. She soon discovered that what was not locatable could not be re-evaluated.

Though Roosevelt was only 63 when he died, he appeared much older, as many onlookers observed. The severe decline began after Tehran and then seemingly hit bottom after the Yalta Conference of February 1945. Ubaney points out that

the closer FDR traveled in proximity to the Russian delegation, the worse his health deteriorated.

Ubaney writes, “Are we really expected to believe that (FDR) died of natural causes at the same time the Allied troops were closing in on Hitler’s bunker? Are we really expected to believe that Roosevelt, Hitler, and Mussolini died within 18 days by coincidence?”

Though the lions of the Second World War were gone or removed from office, Stalin did not have complete autonomy. He had underestimated both Truman’s resolve and corporate America’s desire to control new markets. What he may have done, however, is end the fourth term of FDR prematurely. Ubaney admits that Stalin is the puppetmaster in the plot. The remainder of Who Murdered FDR? answers the questions of the players, their roles, and the strategies used to poison an American president.

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.




Iranians Have Kept Up Their End of the Nuclear Bargain

By all accounts, Iran has kept up its end of the JCPOA bargain, and most of the world is imploring Donald Trump to leave it alone, and not withdraw from the plan. The president knows “that such a move could lead to Iran resuming its earlier efforts to build a nuclear bomb, thereby destabilizing the Middle East and inviting a major war. Such a war would be applauded by Israeli hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his allies in the Saudi Royal Family, and Zionist elements on Capitol Hill.” Indeed, much is at stake. . . . 

By Richard Walker

According to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, Iran has honored its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the JCPOA, but a stroke of President Donald Trump’s pen could signal its end or lead to a unilateral U.S. withdrawal from it.

Guilt By Association, Gates
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Such an outcome was first promised by Trump as an election pledge, even though he knew that such a move could lead to Iran resuming its earlier efforts to build a nuclear bomb, thereby destabilizing the Middle East and inviting a major war. Such a war would be applauded by Israeli hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his allies in the Saudi Royal Family, and Zionist elements on Capitol Hill.

On the other hand, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, and France, which also signed the JCPOA to end Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions, might well choose to stick with the deal and encourage Iran to do so, too. The EU has called on all sides to ensure the deal is protected. EU chief Federica Mogherini has pleaded with Washington to preserve it for the sake of security, arguing that it is working as planned. Her view is supported by most experts who believe the deal, which took two years to negotiate, represents a major diplomatic achievement. The White House disagrees, claiming it has been a disaster and that the Iranians have been cheating. IAEA inspectors who have conducted strict inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites have shown that claims of cheating have been bogus. The inspections have been the most thorough and strict ever undertaken by the IAEA.

Forgotten in the media coverage of ongoing threats by Trump to scrap the deal is the fact that it was supported in 2015 by a UN Security Council vote of 15-0. That confirms those determined to jettison it would have to overturn a majority UN Security Council vote. China and Russia will not let that happen.

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On April 27, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that it was encouraging all signatories to the JCPOA to “honor and safeguard it.” That followed a similar commitment from the Kremlin with a spokesman pointing out that the deal was a product of “meticulous and intense diplomacy,” and there is no alternative to it. One of the interesting elements of the Kremlin statement was its insistence that Iran’s “stance” on the JCPOA was critical in any consideration of it. In other words, those like Trump or France’s Macron who mused about negotiating a new arrangement could not do so without Iranian approval. Such an approval will not be forthcoming. Iran’s leaders have said they will not allow a word of the nuclear deal to be altered.

Lost in much of the media speculation about the future of the deal is that Iran has kept its commitments even though it has not benefited that much financially, given all the hype in the West about what the deal would do for its economy. That can be explained in part by Trump’s public threats to wreck the deal, a move that has dissuaded international banks and companies from doing business with Tehran.

From the day it was negotiated, the deal was threatened by Netanyahu and his backers on Capitol Hill. It was also vehemently opposed by the Saudis, who have Trump’s ear. Some Israeli intelligence chiefs, however, have disagreed with Netanyahu, pointing out that the Iranians have honored their side of the bargain, thereby making it impossible for them to build a nuclear weapon for at least 20 years.

In a move not mentioned in Congress or in the mainstream media, The Jerusalem Post recently lambasted Trump for his stance on the deal in language that was startling.

“This reality is clear, even to former critics of the deal. Trump’s bombastic rhetoric is not backed up with fact: There is no case in which unilateral withdrawal serves U.S. interests,” reported the Post.

Those familiar with Middle East politics know that White House opposition to the nuclear pact is ultimately aimed at weakening Iran’s influence in the region. It is a strategy applauded by Israel and the Saudis. Russia, Iran’s ally, is watching events carefully and has been negotiating secretly with Iran to boost its missile defenses.

North Korea will no doubt have been studying the Iran issue, wondering if it could ever trust Washington to be a reliable broker in a nuclear deal. However, if North Korea were to give up its nukes, it would continue to pose a major threat to its neighbors because of its massive arsenal of short-range missiles that could obliterate South Korea and strike Japan. The issue of that arsenal does not appear to have been on Washington’s agenda.

Richard Walker is the nom de plume of a former New York mainstream news producer who grew tired of seeing his articles censored by his bosses.




Beware the Ides of May

May is shaping up to be a dangerous month for America and the world, as President Trump decides whether to kill the Iran and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians walks in the Great Return March back to their stolen homes.

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

The Ides of March—March 15—was a bad day for Caesar. But this year, it is May 15 that portends trouble for the empire and the world. Consider the events lining up for that week.

On May 12, President Donald Trump is expected to kill the Iran nuclear deal, ratcheting up Middle East tensions to the breaking point. If Trump does kill the deal, as French President Macron says he will, the Iranians will undoubtedly pull out and start enriching uranium again, as is their right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran is a signatory in good standing of the NPT, unlike the rogue state of Israel with its hundreds of nuclear weapons. When Iran follows Trump out of the nuclear deal, Israel will start screaming, “Bomb Iran!” And Trump, who listens to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, may or may not be able to resist being led by the nose into yet another huge, unwinnable Zionist war.

Another monumental Mideast provocation will follow two days later: the opening of the U.S. embassy in occupied Jerusalem. This move would be Trump’s open declaration of war on the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims. Jerusalem has been administered by Muslims essentially ever since Islam existed. It is in many ways the true spiritual capital of the Islamic world. Every Muslim on Earth worthy of the name would willingly die to defend Jerusalem from the Zionists.

If the U.S. endorses the Zionist claim to Jerusalem by opening an embassy there, America will suddenly be considered a legitimate target by billions of people—including many Christians, who correctly recognize Zionism as Antichrist.

The CIA in Iran
From AFP: The history of U.S./Iran conflict

Then the following day, May 15, the Palestinians’ Great Return March will culminate with hundreds of thousands of Palestinian concentration-camp inmates trying to walk, unarmed except with bolt cutters to snip the barbed wire, back to their stolen homes. The genocidal Zionists will undoubtedly massacre hundreds or even thousands of unarmed people, as they are in the habit of doing. The Zionists have already shot many dozens of people dead and wounded more than 5,000 for the crime of congregating to protest too close to the border.

This series of three massive provocations leading up to May 15 will pit Israel and the nations it secretly controls against the Palestinians and their billions of supporters all over the world. The Palestinians’ major state supporter, Iran, has dozens of military installations in Syria, as well as a battle-hardened ally, Hezbollah, next door in Lebanon. Russia, a supporter of Iran and a major force in Syria, risks being drawn into this imminent conflict.

What makes this situation especially dangerous is that the War Party seems to actually want to draw the Russians in. After a recent fake gassing in Douma, Syria on April 7, the neoconservatives—including National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—as well as a great many liberal armchair warriors, were pushing Trump to bomb Syria in a major way—a way that would have killed Russian troops and forced the Russians to sink the U.S. ships that sent the missiles, as Russian leader Vladimir Putin has promised to do.

The psychopaths pushing for World War III would like nothing better than a “new New Pearl Harbor”—9/11 being the old New Pearl Harbor. They know that getting the Russian military to sink U.S. ships is a great way to rally the American people for war. The false flaggers blew up the USS Maine in 1898, orchestrated the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, orchestrated the treasonous Pearl Harbor eight-point-plan in 1941, plotted to sink ships in Operation Northwoods (1962), and staged the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964.

Will they do it again come mid-May?

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host.




Two Judges in Virginia Rebuke Special Counsel Mueller

Two separate judges have shut down Robert Mueller in the last week, “breathing life into the Constitution.” This is evidence that, as Printus LeBlanc writes, “the investigation has absolutely nothing to do with finding a link between Russia and President Trump, but everything to do with ending the Trump presidency.”

By Printus LeBlanc

As bad weeks go, last week was a pretty bad week for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Two different judges dealt blows to the special counsel while breathing life into the Constitution. From the beginning it was obvious the special counsel was not interested in Russian collusion but was more interested in getting President Trump. Thanks to a pair of federal judges the American people are finally seeing what the special counsel is really up to.

In a blistering exchange with Mueller cronies, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, overseeing Mueller’s case against one-time Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, questioned why the special counsel was handling a case that was years old and had nothing to do with President Donald Trump or the election. The judge stated, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud. . . . What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”

The judge is correct. From the beginning, it has become increasingly clear, the investigation has absolutely nothing to do with finding a link between Russia and President Trump, but everything to do with ending the Trump presidency. The Special Counsel handed over the case involving Mr. Cohen to federal authorities in New York but did not do so in this case, even though Manafort is being charged with crimes that are alleged to have happened years before becoming part of the Trump campaign.

Kingdom Identity

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning agreed with the judge, stating, “Everyone outside the Department of Justice seems to be able to see that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s only objective is to create grounds for the Democrats to impeach the president. That isn’t his job; his job is to investigate Russian collusion if there was Russian collusion in the election. The Manafort case clearly demonstrates the special counsel is well beyond his legal mandate, and Judge Ellis should throw the charges out immediately on this basis.”

Perhaps the most critical issue to come out of the hearing was the judge ordering the Special counsel to turn over the scope memo to the court. The scope memo was written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and laid out the parameters of the Special Counsel’s investigative powers. The DOJ has been guarding this document closely, refusing congressional subpoenas to turn it over. If the Special Counsel and DOJ have nothing to hide and are doing everything legally, why are they refusing to hand over the document?

While Judge Ellis was slamming the Mueller investigation for targeting the president, another judge dealt a potential lethal legal blow to the case against 13 Russians and three companies indicted earlier this year. Federal District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich rejected Mueller’s motion to delay the first hearing after lawyers showed up to defend two of the companies last month when it was expected no one would show up. The lawyers made multiple requests for information, seemingly catching the special counsel off guard.

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It is believed the requests were a plan “to force Mueller’s team to turn over relevant evidence to the Russian firm and perhaps even to bait prosecutors into an embarrassing dismissal in order to avoid disclosing sensitive information,” according to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, citing legal experts. Mueller’s team must now show up on Wednesday. If the team does not turn over all exculpatory Brady material the defendants are entitled to, it risks a dismissal and an extremely embarrassing episode for Mueller and Deputy AG Rosenstein.

Something else we also learned late last week, is that Mueller may have lied to the court. For almost a year, there have been multiple reports on the contacts between Manafort and Russian agents or people connected to Russian agents. On March 28, it was further reported by Newsweek, Mueller told the court Gates knew he and Manafort were dealing with ex-Russian intelligence agents in sentencing documents for Alex van der Zwaan. Manafort’s lawyers challenged the allegation that their client knew anything and asked the special counsel to produce the evidence Manafort had contact with Russian intelligence officials.

The government is allowed to deny the request for the Brady material on national security grounds, but the government is not allowed to deny the evidence exists. This is exactly what the Mueller team did. Manafort’s legal team filed papers stating, “Despite multiple discovery and Brady requests in this regard, the special counsel has not produced any materials to the defense—no tapes, notes, transcripts or any other material evidencing surveillance or intercepts of communications between Mr. Manafort and Russian intelligence officials, Russian government officials (or any other foreign officials). The Office of Special Counsel has advised that there are no materials responsive to Mr. Manafort’s requests.”

Two questions immediately come to mind: Did Mueller lie to the court, and how can there be collusion if there is no evidence of contact? If Robert Mueller can go after Trump officials on specious charges of lying to the FBI, then Mueller’s lies to the federal court should be treated harshly. Apparently, Mr. Mueller lives in a glass house and should have known better than to throw the first three stones.

We are finally seeing the true nature of the special counsel. His sole objective is to be the most expensive and extensive opposition research project in history. He was created to give Congress an excuse to impeach the president, and if he couldn’t find it, make it up. Thanks to the judicial branch, the people can finally see who is pulling the coup strings.

Printus LeBlanc is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.




Memo to Trump: Defy Mueller

Patrick Buchanan tells President Trump, Don’t testify. Ignore a subpoena, defy the courts if they compel you, but don’t testify. He explains, “The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress,” and after two years, Mueller has nothing conclusive. Put it to bed.  

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Donald Trump does not wish to collaborate in the destruction of his presidency, he will refuse to be questioned by the FBI, or by a grand jury, or by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his malevolent minions.

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena, and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower.

If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify to a grand jury, Trump should defy the court.

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The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

The goal of Mueller’s prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions—to which they already know the answers — any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller’s team has all the answers in advance while Trump must rely upon memory.

Why take this risk?

By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump’s impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence.

Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation.

For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge—that Trump’s team colluded with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation.

How did Trump obstruct justice?

Did he suggest that fired NSC Advisor Gen. Mike Flynn might get a pardon? What was his motive in firing FBI Director James Comey? Did Trump edit the Air Force One explanation of the meeting in June 2016 between his campaign officials and Russians? Did he pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller?

Mueller’s problem: These questions and more have all been aired and argued endlessly in the public square. Yet no national consensus has formed that Trump committed an offense to justify his removal. Even Democrats are backing away from talk of impeachment.

Trump’s lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up, or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: Impeach me and be damned.

Will a new Congress impeach and convict an elected president?

An impeachment battle would become a titanic struggle between a capital that detests Trump and a vast slice of Middle America that voted to repudiate that capital’s elite, trusts Trump, and will stand by him to the end.

And in any impeachment debate before Congress and the cameras of the world, not one but two narratives will be heard.

The first is that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and then sought to obstruct an investigation of his collusion.

The second is the story of how an FBI cabal went into the tank on an investigation of Clinton to save her campaign. Then it used the product of a Clinton-DNC dirt-diving operation, created by a British spy with Russian contacts, to attempt to destroy the Trump candidacy. Now, failing that, it’s looking to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

In short, the second narrative is that the “deep state” and its media auxiliaries are colluding to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Unlike Watergate, with Russiagate, the investigators will be on trial as well.

Trump needs to shift the struggle out of the legal arena, where Mueller and his men have superior weapons, and into the political arena, where he can bring his populous forces to bear in the decision as to his fate.

This is the terrain on which Trump can win—an us-vs-them fight, before Congress and country, where not only the alleged crimes of Trump are aired but also the actual crimes committed to destroy him and to overturn his victory.

Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever and previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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Immigrant Caravan a Publicity Stunt

The band of illegal immigrants entering the United States at the Southwestern border is being called a “propaganda ploy” designed to test U.S. resolve. How many of the “caravaners” are actually asylum-seekers from Central America? 

By Mark Anderson

The much-ballyhooed “caravan” of Central Americans, which recently arrived at the Mexico-California border in several buses seeking asylum, looks to be nothing more than a publicity stunt that has been artificially inflated in size and scope for purposes of political agitation.

“This is a provocation to get publicity and excite other migrants . . . so they can do the same thing,” Roger Ogden told AFP by phone May 1, after sharing his video footage and photographs with AFP. “It’s also done to make our government look weak and helpless.”

The retired naval engineer and videographer has been watching the caravan for over a month now from the U.S. border in southern California.

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Ogden cited the well-publicized San Diego beach area where aging metal border fencing ends at the water’s edge. He said that “several hundred” people did gather there on the Mexican side around the time that the mainstream media announced the arrival of the so-called caravan. Mainstream and amateur video footage showed that the fence was breached—evidently by a combination of “caravaners” and migrants from nearby parts of Mexico. Some of the more agile among them were able to climb the fence to the other side.

For months now, the mainstream media has been claiming that a massive caravan of migrants from Central America have walked across Mexico to get to the U.S., claiming that many in the group were fleeing political persecution. Ogden, however, questioned the origins of the migrants.

“I don’t think that many of them were Central American refugees at all,” Ogden said. He emphasized that the “caravan” is political theater—a combination of nearby migrants and some from Central America co-mingling to advance a propaganda war.

He pointed out that protest signs and banners had been already prepared, as it would be cumbersome for scores of people traveling on foot, in buses, and even atop trains to drag along unwieldy signs all the way from Central America.

Ogden also pointed out that many of the arrivals were surprisingly well-groomed and cleanly dressed for supposedly having just endured the 2,000-mile journey from Central America to Tijuana to turn themselves in to customs in the U.S. and seek asylum.

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Referring to a local Fox News report, Ogden noted: “It shows file footage of migrants [on top of] ‘the Beast’ train, but then shows fresh-looking women and children arriving in Tijuana on a comfortable chartered bus.”

A California spokesman for the group Fight Sanctuary State—whose Laotian wife got a green card and strictly followed U.S. citizenship-qualifying rules— told that same Fox News affiliate: “We support legal immigration, but if you want to come over and undermine our system and break our laws, you’re not welcome. They should have to prove their [need for] asylum, prior to getting to the border, and we shouldn’t let them in unless they’ve done that.”

The Department of Homeland Security announced: “DHS continues to monitor the remnants of the ‘caravan’ of individuals headed to our Southern border with the apparent intention of entering the U.S. illegally. A sovereign nation that cannot—or worse, chooses not—to defend its borders will soon cease to be a sovereign nation. The Trump administration is committed to enforcing our immigration laws—whether persons are part of this ‘caravan’ or not.”

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. He invites your thoughtful emails at truthhound2@yahoo.com.




YouTube and the War Against Iran

Was the YouTube shooter, Nassim Aghdam, a victim of the anti-Iran culture war? 

By Kevin Barrett

We are told that Nassim Aghdam, the woman who purportedly shot three people at the headquarters of the video hosting service YouTube before taking her own life, fled her native Iran decades ago in search of freedom, glamor, and creative opportunities.

As a rising YouTube star, she branded herself “Green Nassim” and put out slick, stylish videos advocating animal rights, healthy living, and veganism.

But then something went wrong. As The New York Times video “Who Was the YouTube Shooter?” tells us: “She explains that even though she was a member of the Bahai faith, which is a persecuted faith in Iran, she doesn’t really like life in the United States. And she says, ‘In Iran they kill you with an axe; in the United States they kill you with cotton’—an Iranian expression saying she’s dying a slow death in the United States.”

“Welcome to freedom of speech,” Nassim says sarcastically in the video. “Do you think Iran is better than the USA or the USA is better than Iran?”

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The issue that finally drove her over the edge was YouTube censorship: “I’m being discriminated against, I’m filtered on YouTube. I’m not the only one,” she said in her final message before attacking YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., and then killing herself.

YouTube has indeed been censoring alternative media outlets. Many leading independent channels, including British broadcaster Richie Allen’s, have been shut down on ludicrously flimsy pretexts—a clear violation of the First Amendment, since YouTube, owned by CIA asset Google, has a de facto monopoly and therefore must be considered a public utility, not a private company.

But why would YouTube try to bury Miss Aghdam’s “stylishly sexy Iranian girl promotes healthy living” videos? To understand the likely answer, we need to know more about the Zionist-driven culture war against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

At the behest of Israel and its American assets, the U.S. government has been spending billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to beam pornography and decadence into the minds of the Iranian people. A massive U.S./Zionist Farsi-language media operation, based in the Los Angeles area, produces programming ranging from hardcore pornography to sexually titillating fluff, all of it designed to undermine traditional values and promote the idea that the U.S. is a rich, liberated, sex-saturated paradise. Why? To brainwash hormone-addled Iranian young people into rebelling against their “repressive” Islamic culture and government.

When Miss Aghdam began making YouTube videos, they fit this paradigm reasonably well—so the CIA-Google powers-that-be gave her a free pass, or perhaps even tweaked the algorithms to promote her. The commissars overseeing the anti-Iran culture war must have loved the videos showing “sexy Nassim” dancing happily in front of American and Israeli flags.

But then Miss Aghdam grew disillusioned with American life. She started telling her viewers (most of them in Iran) that the U.S. is definitely not paradise, that in fact it isn’t any better than Iran. Suddenly, for no discernible reason, the number of views drawn by her videos began to drop. Miss Aghdam, no idiot, realized what was happening. She protested, growing ever more critical of the U.S. and the phony “freedom” it pretends to offer. And the more she protested, the more CIA-Google tweaked their algorithms to bury her videos and destroy her career. In a final, desperate gesture of misguided protest, she shot up YouTube’s headquarters.

In the same April 8 issue of The New York Times featuring the video about Miss Aghdam, another article appeared headlined “Many People Taking Antidepressants Discover They Cannot Quit.” The article quoted Edward Shorter, a historian of psychiatry at the University of Toronto: “We’ve come to a place, at least in the West, where it seems every other person is depressed and on medication. You do have to wonder what that says about our culture.”

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No need to wonder. What it says is obvious: Western culture has gone completely insane. The New World Order’s orchestrated destruction of tradition and religion has created a world that may look like paradise on the outside—as Miss Aghdam’s early videos suggested—but is rotting and dying on the inside.

The CIA-Google mind-controllers want Iranians to rise up against their country, destroy their religious traditions, turn Tehran into a third-rate replica of Los Angeles, and start taking anti-depressants to cope with the anomie. Maybe it’s a conspiracy by the pharmaceutical companies looking for new markets.

If Americans were aware of what is being done to them, they would rise up in revolution against the New World Order oligarchs who are dumbing them down, annihilating their religion and spirituality, and robbing their lives of value, purpose, and meaning. In so doing, Americans would be following in the footsteps of the people of Iran, who successfully revolted against the NWO’s hellish materialism and decadence back in 1979.

Kevin Barrett, Ph.D., is an Arabist-Islamologist scholar and one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror. From 1991 through 2006, Dr. Barrett taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin. In 2006, however, he was attacked by Republican state legislators who called for him to be fired from his job at the University of Wisconsin-Madison due to his political opinions. Since 2007, Dr. Barrett has been informally blacklisted from teaching in American colleges and universities. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, public speaker, author, and talk radio host. He lives in rural western Wisconsin.




U.S. Attack on Syria Illegal, Immoral

“Make no mistake,” says Phil Giraldi, “there are certain things that every American should know about the Syrian conflict.” First of all, it’s illegal and a war crime.

By Philip Giraldi

Here we go again. The lesson not learned from Afghanistan, or from Iraq, or from Libya will now be also not learned from Syria. This is the second time that President Donald Trump has used volleys of cruise missiles against a country that in no way threatens the United States or its interests. It also comes on top of Secretary of State designate Mike Pompeo positively boasting over the U.S. military having killed hundreds of Russians in Syria in what was clearly a trap designed to do just that.

Make no mistake; there are certain things that every American should know about the Syrian conflict. First of all, the United States and its allies, who are occupying nearly one-quarter of the country, though in a region that is generally sparsely populated, are in Syria illegally. Under international law, attacking and occupying a country that is not directly threatening you without any justifying United Nations Security Council resolution is illegal. It is also a war crime as defined by the Nuremberg trials that followed after the Second World War, which ruled that a war of aggression is the “ultimate war crime,” as it inevitably leads to many other crimes. So the United States is undeniably a war criminal.

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That the United States has not been brought to justice for its crimes is largely due to its political and military power, which few nations choose to challenge, but also because it is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and is able to veto resolutions criticizing it. There have been numerous motions condemning American behavior, but none of them have made it out of the Security Council. This is not a confirmation of U.S. innocence but rather a result of the politics that operate at the United Nations.

The United States is also in violation of international law because it remains in Syria without the permission of the recognized and legitimate Syrian government. Iranian forces and those of Russia are present on the invitation of Damascus. The United States is not. The United States has also been working to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government acting in collusion with groups of so-called rebels, some of whom are drawn from internationally recognized terrorist groups.

Concerning the assertion being made by the Trump administration that there is responsibility to intervene militarily in Syria to prevent attacks on civilians, there is no such obligation. No country has any right to intervene in the internal workings of any other country without a UN Security Council resolution. If there were such an obligation, the United Nations and the United States would have already intervened in Israel/Palestine, as Israel has been the subject of more resolutions than any other country, nearly all of which have been blocked by the use of the U.S. veto.

If there were actually what the Barack Obama administration used to refer to as a “responsibility to protect” or “R2P,” it would certainly apply to Israel’s current systematic murdering of unarmed demonstrators protesting its occupation of Palestine. Israeli snipers have shot more than 2,000 Gazans who were demonstrating on their own side of the border between Gaza and Israel, targeting in particular individuals who appeared to be leading the protests and also journalists. What Israel is doing to Gaza currently, as well as what it did in 2014, is orders of magnitude worse than what Syria is allegedly doing to rebels on its own territory.

The claim being made by the White House that Syria is a serial user of chemical weapons does not bear scrutiny in any event. Most of the evidence comes from hostile sources, meaning from the rebels themselves, who are not shy about staging atrocities and blaming them on the government in Damascus. Last year’s cruise missile assault on Shayrat Airbase was triggered by assertions that Syria had carried out a chemical weapons attack at Khan Sheikhoun, claims that were dubious at the time and have been challenged repeatedly. Recently, Secretary of Defense James Mattis admitted that there was no actual evidence that the Syrian government had carried out the attack. In the current case, in the Damascus suburb of Douma, the “evidence” for a gassing comes from rebel sources, who controlled the area at the time of the attack, and also from media sources sympathetic to their cause.

A team of investigators from the relatively impartial Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in Damascus on the day of the U.S. attack and were to be given access to the site of the alleged gassing by the Syrian government, which now controls the area, but they had not even begun their work. The U.S., Britain, and France attacked without even allowing the process to play out to determine who had done what, a presumption of guilt based on dubious or no evidence, which is in itself suspicious. It was as if they knew that they must act quickly while nearly everyone was accepting the questionable narrative that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had done it.

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And then there is motive. The Syrian government had no good reason to use chemical weapons on a pocket of rebels that was rapidly being reduced and was ready to fall. To use such weapons would guarantee international outrage and even military reprisals, such as occurred on Friday. The rebels, on the contrary, who are losing to the Syrian army, had every reason to fake an incident precisely to invite foreign intervention.

And finally, there are the practical and constitutional arguments, which start with an appreciation that previous U.S. interventions in Asia and Africa have all failed to make the United States and the American people any safer; quite the contrary. They have cost trillions of dollars better spent at home as well as thousands of American and millions of foreign lives. And the Syrian cruise missile attack staged last week is also unconstitutional. There was no imminent threat and, lacking that, the president has no authority to use lethal force to compel anyone to do anything. Per Article 1, Section 8, the Constitution requires a congressional authorization to go to war.

Bombing Syria is illegal, immoral, ineffective, and dishonest. It is time for the United States to pull out its troops and leave the Syrians alone. Americans killing Syrians just to stop Syrians from killing each other is a recipe for disaster.

Philip Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer and a columnist and television commentator. He is also the executive director of the Council for the National Interest. Other articles by Giraldi can be found on the website of the Unz Review.




Macron: The Last Multilateralist

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Together,” President Macron instructed President Trump, “we can resist the rise of aggressive nationalisms that deny our history and divide the world.”

Before Congress he denounced “extreme nationalism,” invoked the UN, NATO, WTO, and Paris climate accord, and implored Trump’s America to come home to the New World Order.

“The United States is the one who invented this multilateralism,” Macron went on. “You are the one now who has to help preserve and reinvent it.”

His visit was hailed and his views cheered, but, on reflection, the ideas of Emmanuel Macron seem to be less about tomorrow than yesterday.

For the world he celebrates is receding into history.

The America of 2018 is coming to see NATO as having evolved into an endless U.S. commitment to go to war with Russia on behalf of a rich Europe that resolutely refuses to provide for its own defense.

Since the WTO was created in the mid-’90s, the U.S. has run $12 trillion in trade deficits; and among the biggest beneficiaries — the EU.

Under the Paris climate accord, environmental restrictions are put upon the United States from which China is exempt.

As for the UN, is that sinkhole of anti-Americanism, the General Assembly, really worth the scores of billions we have plunged into it?

“Aggressive nationalism” is a term that might well fit Napoleon Bonaparte whose Arc de Triomphe sits on the Champs-Elysees. But does it really fit the Hungarians, Poles, Brits, Scots, Catalans, and other indigenous peoples of Europe who are now using democratic methods and means to preserve a national home for the unique peoples to whom they belong?

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And the United States would seem an odd place to go about venting on “aggressive nationalisms that deny our history.”

Did Macron not learn at the Lycee Henri IV in Paris or the Ecole Nationale d’Administration how the Americans acquired all that land?

General Washington, at whose Mount Vernon home Macron dined, was a nationalist who fought for six years to sever America’s ties to the nation under which he was born.

How does Macron think Andrew Jackson acquired Florida from Spain, Sam Houston acquired Texas from Mexico, and Winfield Scott and Zachary Taylor acquired the Southwest? By bartering?

Aggressive nationalism is a good synonym for the Manifest Destiny of a republic that went about relieving Spain of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines.

How does Macron think the “New World” was conquered and colonized if not by aggressive British, French and Spanish nationalists determined to impose their rule upon weaker indigenous tribes?

Was it not nationalism that broke up the USSR into 15 nations?

Was not the Zionist movement that resurrected Israel in 1948, and, in 1967, captured the West Bank, and then annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, a manifestation of aggressive nationalism?

 

Macron is an echo of that George H.W. Bush who, in Kiev in 1991, warned Ukrainians against the “suicidal nationalism” of declaring independence from the Russian Federation.

“Aggressive nationalisms . . . divide the world,” warns Macron.

Well, yes, they do, which is why we have now 194 members of the UN, rather than the original 50. Is this a problem?

“Together,” said Macron, “we will build a new, strong multilateralism that defends pluralism and democracy in the face of ill winds.”

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Macron belongs to a political class that sees open borders and free trade thickening and tightening the ties of dependency, and eventually creating a One Europe, whose destiny his crowd will forever control.

But if his idea of pluralism is multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural nations, with a multilateral EU overlord, he is describing a future that tens millions of Europeans believe means the death of the nations that give meaning to their lives.

And they will not go gentle into that good night.

In America, too, millions have come to recognize that there is a method to the seeming madness of open borders. Name of the game: dispossessing the deplorables of the country they love.

With open borders and mass migration of over a million people a year into the USA, almost all of them peoples of color from Third World countries who vote 70-90% Democratic, the left is foreclosing the future. The left is converting the greatest country of the West into what Teddy Roosevelt called a “polyglot boarding house for the world.” And in that boarding house the left will have a lock on the presidency.

With the collaboration of co-conspirators in the media, progressives throw a cloak of altruism over the cynical seizure of permanent power.

For, as the millions of immigrants, here legally and illegally, register, and the vote is extended to prison inmates, ex-cons and 16-year-olds, the political complexion of America will come to resemble San Francisco.

End goal: Ensure that what happened in 2016, when the nation rose up and threw out a despised establishment, never happens again.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Foreverand previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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Was Prominent Journalist a Target?

In a new book, journalist Mark Feldstein claims Nixon and his men desperately wanted to get rid of renowned columnist Jack Anderson, who Nixon blamed in part for his loss to JFK in 1960. They considered an assortment of ways to silence Anderson’s criticisms of Nixon and his administration, from criminal prosecution to defamation of character to outright murder.

By S. T. Patrick

The common factors that drove columnist Jack Anderson and President Richard Nixon to the apex of their respective fields are the same that tore them apart and made them adversaries for more than 25 years. The escalating tension between two of the most powerful men in Washington, D.C. climaxed in the year before Watergate, as Nixon’s men wanted Jack Anderson dead.

Anderson and Nixon were both from small, western towns. Their middle-class upbringings often made them uncomfortably conscious of the class warfare inherent within elite society. Anderson was a devout Mormon, while many of Nixon’s social leanings reflected his Quaker upbringing. Both men wrote, walked, talked, and lived like they perpetually had something to prove.

While money was not the driving factor behind the two men personally, they both placed a high value in the same Washingtonian commodity—information. They would gain it in ways that were morally and ethically repugnant to later observers and biographers. They would use it to stay one step ahead of their competition, as well as to belittle opponents who invariably attempted to agitate their most paranoid insecurities. The Beltway was a game, and they were both sore losers.

Nixon believed Anderson was partially responsible for his 1960 presidential loss to John F. Kennedy. Anderson, in his Washington Merry-Go-Round column, had printed a revelation that the Nixon campaign had secretly funneled a private donation from billionaire Howard Hughes. Anderson was in large part responsible for Nixon’s distrust of the establishment media. When the Nixon administration entered the White House in 1969, Anderson’s criticism intensified. He wrote about yet another contribution from Hughes, a favorable tilt toward Pakistan that almost caused a nuclear confrontation with Russia, a covert attempt to oust Chilean president Salvador Allende, and many other brewing scandals.

Mark Feldstein, the chair of broadcast journalism at the University of Maryland, has written Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture, which is simultaneously a biography of Anderson and a well-written account of his conflict with Nixon.

Feldstein details how Nixon’s “Plumbers”—G. Gordon Liddy, E. Howard Hunt, and company—were created to plug the leaks Anderson used to such success. At one point, Anderson’s column was syndicated in over a thousand newspapers, including The Washington Post. He was the subject of a Timemagazine cover story under the headline “Supersnoop,” he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1972, and he was featured on “60 Minutes.”

“Jack Anderson was like Ahab chasing after Richard Nixon, this great white whale, and he plagued Nixon from the very beginning of his career,” wrote Feldstein.

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Nixon explored many options of what could be done with Anderson. On Jan. 3, 1972, he discussed with Attorney General John Mitchell the possibility of criminally prosecuting Anderson for publishing classified documents.

“I would just like to get a hold of this Anderson and hang him,” said Mitchell.

Nixon replied, “So listen, the day after the election, win or lose, we’ve got to do something with [Anderson].”

Liddy and Hunt met with other Nixon aides to discuss what could be done to thwart the muckraking journalist. A spy was placed in Anderson’s office where Colson attempted to plant a false White House document. They considered labeling Anderson as gay, which he was not, and charging that his legman Brit Hume was his gay lover. The administration then tried leaking information on Anderson to The Washington Post, which instead printed a story about how Nixon was trying to smear Anderson.

Exasperated, the Plumbers turned to the one method of silencing Anderson that would work permanently—murder. Hunt and Liddy, under orders from Colson, met and plotted potential ways to kill Anderson. They interviewed a CIA poison expert to determine whether they could poison him without detection. They put Anderson under surveillance to see if there was a location on his regular route to potentially stage a fatal auto accident. They staked out his home to case the vulnerable points of entry that could be penetrated to swap prescription medications for poison. The most bizarre consideration was the idea of lacing Anderson’s steering wheel with LSD, thus causing an accident.

Finally, they decided that the best means would be to stage a mugging that would end in Anderson’s death. Liddy later claimed that he had volunteered for the latter and was satisfied with breaking Anderson’s neck. Before his death, Hunt also corroborated the scheme to kill Anderson.

Colson called off the plan to kill Anderson, as the funds had been earmarked elsewhere. Six weeks later, the burglars were arrested at the Watergate complex.

When the second Watergate break-in occurred in June 1974, Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman tried planting a story that blamed Anderson. Dating back to the 1950s, Anderson had been involved in buggings and break-ins in an effort to acquire damaging information on politicians. Making Haldeman’s plan even more potentially credible, Anderson was also friendly with Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis, who had been his house guest in Washington, D.C. In a strange turn of coincidence, Anderson ran into Sturgis at the airport on the night of the Watergate break-in. Sturgis and the burglars were flying in from Miami. When Anderson first heard about Watergate, he instantly knew who was involved.

Anderson’s later career was plagued with factual errors, dwindling readership, and an affinity for the Reagan administration that took the bulldog out of the aging reporter. Nixon would resign from office and live out his life writing about global issues. Nixon would die in 1994, and Anderson would succumb to the effects of Parkinson’s disease in 2005. He had retired his column a year before at the age of 81.

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.




Progressives Should Defend Gun Rights

It is “likely that new gun control laws will disproportionately harm African-Americans and other minorities” based on history, explains Ron Paul. It makes sense for progressives who are concerned about minority rights to join with libertarians and conservatives in working to protect gun rights.

By Ron Paul

The recent shooting at YouTube’s California headquarters is certain to add momentum to the push for more gun control. Even before the shooting, YouTube was working to undermine gun rights by banning videos promoting firearms, including videos teaching safe gun usage.

As is usually the case, this latest shooting took place in a state with restrictive gun laws. In fact, California’s gun laws may be the nation’s most onerous. California not only registers all firearm purchases, but California residents must obtain permission from their local police before they can legally concealed carry guns. Among the things a Californian must do to obtain permission to legally concealed carry a gun is show “good cause” why the government should allow him to concealed carry.

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California’s Mulford Act prohibits lawful gun owners from openly carrying legal firearms. This law was passed in the late 1960s and signed into law by then-Governor Ronald Reagan. The impetus for the law was the Black Panthers’s armed patrols aimed at protecting the residents of African-American neighborhoods from police brutality.

The Mulford Act is hardly the only example of a gun control law motivated at least in part by racial animus. As Tiffany Ware of the Brown Girls Project, an initiative that teaches African-American women responsible firearms ownership and usage, says, “Throughout much of American history gun control was a method for keeping blacks and Hispanics, ‘in their place.’ ” One of the earliest examples of gun control was laws prohibiting slaves from owning guns. After slavery was ended, Jim Crow laws denied African-Americans respect for their Second Amendment rights.

While the modern gun control movement is not explicitly racist, it is still likely that new gun control laws will disproportionately harm African-Americans and other minorities. Concerns about this are increased by cases like that of 32-year-old Philando Castile. A police officer who had stopped Castile’s car shot Castile after Castile told the officer he had a firearm in his car.

Those behind the new gun control push ignore how gun control has been used against African-Americans in the past and how new gun control laws will disproportionately harm racial minorities. This may seem ironic since many gun control supporters are progressives or cultural Marxists who specialize in finding racism in every aspect of American politics and culture. However, considering that may other policies favored by progressives—such as minimum wage laws that limit job opportunities and occupational licensing that makes it impossible for many to start their own businesses—negatively impact minorities and lower-income Americans, perhaps progressive support for gun control is not so ironic.

What is indisputably ironic is that many of those working to give the Trump Administration new authority to ban guns are the same people who regularly and vigorously oppose President Trump. These so-called “never-Trumpers” no doubt cheered when President Trump endorsed taking an individual’s guns away without due process. These “never-Trumpers” also cheered when Attorney General Jeff Sessions banned bump stocks. A bump stock increases the speed at which a rifle fires. By banning bump stocks, Sessions is taking an action President Obama’s anti-gun rights Attorney General Eric Holder said he refused to take without explicit congressional authorization.

History, including American history, shows that the right to keep and bear arms can be especially valuable to racial and other minorities. Therefore, progressives who are sincerely concerned about protecting minorities from oppressive government should join libertarians and constitutional conservatives in defending the Second Amendment.

Ron Paul, a former U.S. representative from Texas and medical doctor, continues to write his weekly column for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, online at www.ronpaulinstitute.org.




America’s Unsustainable Empire

How long can America continue to expend our blood and treasure to sustain security commitments around the world? And how long should we keep trying to do so? Many would argue we should never have entered into many of these arrangements in the first place. President Trump is facing some very significant foreign policy decisions right now, and one could hope Donald-Trump-the-candidate will resurface soon—the one that promised to clean up rather than join with the neoconservative swamp.

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Before President Trump trashes the Iran nuclear deal, he might consider: If he could negotiate an identical deal with Kim Jong Un, it would astonish the world and win him the Nobel Peace Prize.

For Iran has no nuclear bomb or ICBM and has never tested either. It has never enriched uranium to bomb grade. It has shipped 98% of its uranium out of the country. It has cameras inside and inspectors crawling all over its nuclear facilities.

And North Korea? It has atom bombs and has tested an H-bomb. It has intermediate-range ballistic missiles that can hit Guam and an ICBM that, fully operational, could hit the West Coast. It has shorter-range missiles that could put nukes on South Korea and Japan.

Hard to believe Kim Jong Un will surrender these weapons, his ticket of admission to the table of great powers.

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Yet the White House position is that the Iran nuclear deal should be scrapped, and no deal with Kim Jong Un signed that does not result in the “denuclearization” of the peninsula.

If denuclearization means Kim gives up all his nukes and strategic missiles, ceases testing, and allows inspectors into all his nuclear facilities, we may be waiting a long time.

Trump decides on the Iran deal by May 12. And we will likely know what Kim is prepared to do, and not prepared to do, equally soon.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron is in D.C. to persuade Trump not to walk away from the Iran deal and to keep U.S. troops in Syria. Chancellor Angela Merkel will be arriving at week’s end with a similar message.

On the White House front burner then are these options:

Will North Korea agree to surrender its nuclear arsenal, or is it back to confrontation and possible war?

Will we stick with the nuclear deal with Iran, or walk away, issue new demands on Tehran, and prepare for a military clash if rebuffed?

Do we pull U.S. troops out of Syria as Trump promised, or keep U.S. troops there to resist the reconquest of his country by Bashar Assad and his Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah, and Shiite allies?

Beyond, the larger question looms: How long can we keep this up?

How long can this country, with its shrinking share of global GDP, sustain its expanding commitments to confront and fight all over the world?

U.S. planes and ships now bump up against Russians in the Baltic and Black seas. We are sending Javelin anti-tank missiles to Kiev, while NATO allies implore us to bring Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance.

This would mean a U.S. guarantee to fight an alienated, angered and nuclear-armed Russia in Crimea and the Caucasus.

Sixteen years after 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, we are still there, assisting Afghan troops against a Taliban we thought we had defeated.

We are now fighting what is left of ISIS in Syria alongside our Kurd allies, who tug us toward conflict with Turkey.

U.S. forces and advisers are in Niger, Djibouti, Somalia. We are aiding the Saudis in their air war and naval blockade of Yemen.

The last Korean War, which cost 33,000 U.S. lives, began in the June before this writer entered 7th grade. Why is the defense of a powerful South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of the North, still a U.S. responsibility?

We are committed, by 60-year-old treaties, to defend Japan, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand. Voices are being heard to have us renew the war guarantee to Taiwan that Jimmy Carter canceled in 1979.

National security elites are pushing for new naval and military ties to Vietnam and India, to challenge Beijing in the South China Sea, Indian Ocean, and Arabian Sea.

How long can we sustain a worldwide empire of dependencies?

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How many wars of this century—Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen—turned out to have been worth the blood shed and the treasure lost? And what have all the “color-coded revolutions” we have instigated to advance “democracy” done for America?

In a New York Times essay, “Adapting to American Decline,” Christopher Preble writes: “America’s share of global wealth is shrinking. By some estimates, the United States accounted for roughly 50% of global output at the end of World War II. . . . It has fallen to 15.1% today.”

Preble continues: “Admitting that the United States is incapable of effectively adjudicating every territorial dispute or of thwarting every security threat in every part of the world is hardly tantamount to surrender. It is rather a wise admission of the limits of American power.”

It is imperative, wrote Walter Lippmann, that U.S. commitments be brought into balance with U.S. power. This “forgotten principle . . . must be recovered and returned to the first place in American thought.”

That was 1943, at the height of a war that found us unprepared.

We are hugely overextended today. And conservatives have no higher duty than to seek to bring U.S. war guarantees into conformity with U.S. vital interests and U.S. power.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Foreverand previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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Poison Gas Attack Is Fake News False Flag

In the front page story of AFP’s Issue 17 & 18, just mailed, John Friend looks into the continuing fake news surrounding Syria. He reports doctors and eyewitnesses say the alleged “poison gas attack” in Douma—in response to which the U.S. fired 105 Tomahawk missiles on three Syrian targets—never happened. The real question: Who benefits from drawing the U.S. into yet another no-win war?

By John Friend

Testimony from Syrian civilians and one doctor, along with other reports on the ground, have cast doubt on claims by the West that the Syrian military used chemical weapons on its own people in early April. Despite this uncertainty, Western warmongers still used the allegation to justify launching missiles at alleged key military sites in the Middle Eastern country.

On April 8, major international media outlets reported that the Syrian government, led by the much maligned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, had launched a ruthless chemical attack the previous night on the city of Douma, a suburb just east of Damascus, the Syrian capital. The city largely had been controlled by radical Islamic rebels engaged in a brutal conflict with the Syrian government. Rebel groups affiliated with radical Islamic terrorist organizations, many of them funded and supported by Western intelligence agencies and governments, have been waging war against Assad for years in an attempt to overthrow the stable Syrian government, a key goal of the neocon warmongers holding sway in Washington and other major Western capitals.

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Rebel groups hostile to the Assad regime had controlled Douma and other towns east of Damascus, known collectively as Eastern Ghouta, using it as a base of operations since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war. The Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran, was engaged in a months-long campaign to retake the territory and expel the rebels, establishing sovereignty and the rule of law in the area once again. The towns, under the control of rebel forces close to radical Islamic terrorist organizations, had been subjected to heavy bombardment by Syrian military forces, who were on the verge of recapturing the territory.

Then news broke of the alleged chemical attack, prompting a harsh response from President Donald Trump and other Western leaders, who were quick to demonize not only Assad, but also his government’s primary allies, Russia and Iran.

“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless chemical attack in Syria,” Trump tweeted in the early morning hours following the alleged chemical attack. “Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia, and Iran are responsible for backing animal Assad.”

The Syrian government immediately insisted that the alleged chemical attack was a fabrication perpetrated by the Western media working in conjunction with local forces on the ground in Syria hostile to the Assad regime. Assad was interviewed by Sky News, a mainstream British news channel, and described the alleged chemical attack as a “100% fabrication.”

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Syria’s representative at the UN, Bashar Jaafari, described the situation in Douma as a “Hollywood scene,” before accusing Western governments and their allies in the Mideast of supporting terrorist groups operating in Syria attempting to overthrow al-Assad.

“Today we directly accuse Washington, Paris, London, Riyadh, Doha, Ankara of providing ISIS, al-Nusra Front, Jaish al-Islam, Faylaq al-Rahman and dozens of affiliated terrorist groups with toxic chemical substances to be used against Syrian civilians,” Jaafari told the UN Security Council shortly after the alleged attack was reported by Western media outlets. “We accuse them of starting those massacres, of fabricating evidence to falsely blame the Syrian government of toxic chemical substances to prepare the ground for an aggression against my country, just as the United States and the United Kingdom did in Iraq in 2003.”

The Russian government also questioned the alleged chemical weapons attack, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stating the attack was staged by foreign agents working in collaboration with terrorist groups in Syria supported by the West. During a press briefing shortly after the purported attack, Lavrov told reporters his government had “irrefutable evidence” the attack was a fabrication perpetrated by forces hostile to both the Syrian regime and the Russian government and was part of a broader “Russophobic campaign” led by one country in particular that he did not name. Russian Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Russian defense ministry, specifically criticized the United Kingdom, stating, “We have . . . evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organizing this provocation,” the BBC reported.

The Western press and virtually the entire Western political establishment insisted the alleged attack was carried out by the Syrian military, citing two extremely questionable organizations operating on the ground in Syria: the Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the “White Helmets,” and the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). The White Helmets and SAMS have been operating on the ground in Syria for years and are openly hostile to the Syrian government.

In a joint press release on April 8, the White Helmets and SAMS alleged that there were more than 500 cases of local residents—almost all women and young children—experiencing “symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent,” the press release stated. “Patients have shown signs of respiratory distress, central cyanosis, excessive oral foaming, corneal burns, and the emission of chlorine-like odor.”

Despite the allegations, little hard evidence was presented to demonstrate the Assad government in fact carried out a chemical weapons attack. Traumatic photographs and videos, which originated with the White Helmets and SAMS, were presented in the Western press as proof of a chemical weapons attack, but international investigators were prevented from verifying the details or investigating the scene.

Interviews with local residents cast doubt on the official narrative being disseminated by the Western press and major political figures. Dr. Assim Rahaibani, a doctor operating in Douma, and others explained that the picture painted by the Western media was a deliberate deception fabricated by the White Helmets and SAMS yet was parroted by the Western press in an effort to demonize Assad and justify a military strike.

“There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night—but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived,” Rahaibani explained, describing the night of the alleged attack. “People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a ‘White Helmet,’ shouted ‘Gas!’ and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia—not gas poisoning.”

Marwan Jaber, a Syrian medical student who was in Douma on the night of the alleged chemical weapons attack, told a similar story.

“Some of [the victims] suffered from asthma and pulmonary inflammation,” Jaber told reporters. “They received routine treatment, and some were even sent home. They showed no symptoms of a chemical attack. But some foreigners entered while we were in a state of chaos and sprinkled people with water, and some of them were even filming it.”

It has become more and more obvious that the purported chemical attack allegedly carried out by Assad’s regime was a deliberate deception perpetrated by the White Helmets, SAMS, and others operating in Syria with ties to Western intelligence, working in collaboration with the mainstream news media.

John Friend is a writer based in California.




Why the Authoritarian Right Is Rising

Pat Buchanan asks a question on the minds of many watching election results around the world, especially those who fear the “rise of the right”:  “Why are autocrats rising and liberal democrats failing in Europe?” He then provides a common-sense answer and explains why he says, “The autocrats are addressing the primary and existential fear of peoples across the West—the death of the separate and unique tribes into which they were born and to which they belong.”

By Patrick J. Buchanan

A fortnight ago, Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party won enough seats in the Hungarian parliament to rewrite his country’s constitution.

To progressives across the West, this was disturbing news.

For the bete noire of Orban’s campaign was uber-globalist George Soros. And Orban’s commitments were to halt any further surrenders of Hungarian sovereignty and independence to the European Union, and to fight any immigrant invasion of Hungary from Africa or the Islamic world.

Why are autocrats like Orban rising and liberal democrats failing in Europe? The autocrats are addressing the primary and existential fear of peoples across the West—the death of the separate and unique tribes into which they were born and to which they belong.

Modern liberals and progressives see nations as transitory—here today, gone tomorrow. The autocrats, however, have plugged into the most powerful currents running in this new century: tribalism and nationalism.

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The democracy worshippers of the West cannot compete with the authoritarians in meeting the crisis of our time because they do not see what is happening to the West as a crisis.

They see us as on a steady march into a brave new world, where democracy, diversity, and equality will be everywhere celebrated.

To understand the rise of Orban, we need to start seeing Europe and ourselves as so many of these people see us.

Hungary is a thousand years old. Its people have a DNA all their own. They belong to a unique and storied nation of 10 million with its own language, religion, history, heroes, culture, and identity.

Though a small nation, two-thirds of whose lands were torn away after World War I, Hungarians wish to remain and endure as who they are.

They don’t want open borders. They don’t want mass migrations to change Hungary into something new. They don’t want to become a minority in their own country. And they have used democratic means to elect autocratic men who will put the Hungarian nation first.

U.S. elites may babble on about “diversity,” about how much better a country we will be in 2042 when white European Christians are just another minority and we have become a “gorgeous mosaic” of every race, tribe, creed, and culture on Earth.

To Hungarians, such a future entails the death of the nation. To Hungarians, millions of African, Arab and Islamic peoples settling in their lands means the annihilation of the historic nation they love, the nation that came into being to preserve the Hungarian people.

President Emmanuel Macron of France says the Hungarian and other European elections where autocrats are advancing are manifestations of “national selfishness.”

Well, yes, national survival can be considered national selfishness.

But let Monsieur Macron bring in another 5 million former subject peoples of the French Empire and he will discover that the magnanimity and altruism of the French has its limits, and a Le Pen will soon replace him in the Elysee Palace.

Consider what else the “world’s oldest democracy” has lately had on offer to the indigenous peoples of Europe resisting an invasion of Third World settlers coming to occupy and repopulate their lands.

Our democracy boasts of a First Amendment freedom of speech and press that protects blasphemy, pornography, filthy language, and the burning of the American flag. We stand for a guaranteed right of women to abort their children and of homosexuals to marry.

We offer the world a freedom of religion that prohibits the teaching of our cradle faith and its moral code in our public schools.

Our elites view this as social progress upward from a dark past.

To much of the world, however, America has become the most secularized and decadent society on earth, and the title the ayatollah bestowed upon us, “The Great Satan,” is not altogether undeserved.

And if what “our democracy” has delivered here has caused tens of millions of Americans to be repulsed and to secede into social isolation, why would other nations embrace a system that produced so poisoned a politics and so polluted a culture?

“Nationalism and authoritarianism are on the march,” writes The Washington Post:

“Democracy as an ideal and in practice seems under siege.”

Yes, and there are reasons for this.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people,” said John Adams. And as we have ceased to be a moral and religious people, the poet T. S. Eliot warned us what would happen:

“The term ‘democracy’ . . . does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces you dislike—it can be easily be transformed by them. If you will not have God (and he is a jealous God), you should pay your respects to Hitler and Stalin.” Recall: Hitler rose to power through a democratic election.

Democracy lacks content. As a political system, it does not engage the heart. And if Europe’s peoples see their leaders as accommodating a transnational EU, while failing to secure national borders, they will use democracy to replace them with men of action.

Pat Buchanan is a writer, political commentator and presidential candidate. He is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Foreverand previous titles including The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority. Both are available from the AFP Online Store.

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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.