Showing posts with label Fascism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fascism. Show all posts

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Roy Cohn, General John Medaris, Joe Bonanno, L.M. Bloomfield, theSyndicate and the Mafia.



III -  Roy Cohn, General John Medaris, Joe Bonanno, L.M. Bloomfield, the Syndicate and the Mafia.

Roy M. Cohn, using a representative of Intercontinental Company of Garland, Texas, a subsidiary of Lionel Corporation, provided a Dallas located agent to work with Ferenc Nagy. This agent was Ramon Buenrostro Cortez. Others with Cortez in Texas were Lorenzo Saunders and a Cuban exile, Ignacio Hernandez Garcia, alias Fernandez Feito.43 

In the September 5, 1969 issue of LIFE Magazine, it was reported that J. Edgar Hoover punished three of his FBI agents in New York for cooperating with the United States District Attorney in New York, Robert Morgenthau, in his prosecution against Roy M. Cohn on a number of felony charges. The LIFE report has this to say:
During the McCarthy inquisitions of the early 1950's, Cohn, as Senator McCarthy's chief counsel, had worked closely with (Louis B.) Nichols and the FBI in developing cases against suspected Communists. Agents spent weeks screening FBI security files and extracting them in memos for Cohn during the prolonged hearings. Through these years Cohn's friendship with Director Hoover also developed, and this was further cemented by their mutual regard for the multimillionaire boss of the huge Schenley distillery complex, Lewis Rosenstiel. (Cohn to this day addresses Rosenstiel variously as "commander-in-chief" or "supreme commander" and Rosenstiel refers to his younger friend as "field commander" or "sergeant major").

When Nichols decided to retire from the FBI in 1957, Cohn set out to land him a job with Schenley. He had the willing support of another Rosenstiel friend, the late conservative columnist George Sokolsky, for whom Nichols represented 100% anti-Communist Americanism. At a social evening in August, 1967, Cohn and Sokolsky agreed to try to sell Nichols to Rosenstiel as prime executive timber.

The next night they made their pitch to Rosenstiel. Nichols, Cohn contended, was a genius, truly "one of the greatest men in America", whereupon Rosenstiel dispatched the Schenley private plane to Washington to fly Nichols and his wife to a conference at Rosenstiel's Greenwich, Conn. estate. Under Cohn's continued urging, Rosenstiel agreed to give Nichols a 10-year contract at $100,000 a year, plus stock options, in addition to arranging for Schenley's to buy and furnish a Manhattan apartment for Nichols. The whole package had to be an impressive introduction to corporate business for a middle-aged FBI man who had spent most of his adult life as a modestly paid public servant. Nichols later became executive vice president in charge of corporate development and public affairs and was elected to the Schenley board.

. . . Hoover personally ordered the three agents transferred out of New York. On May 2, each received a letter of censure and was given 30 days to report to his new post - (Donald) Jones to go to St. Louis, (Russell) Sullivan to Louisville, and (Jack) Knox to Pittsburgh.
Bureau men are accustomed to being ordered around in a fairly peremptory way, but such disciplinary transfers usually have a gloss of logic. This time the men were being moved for doing what in essence they were paid to do -- helping a U.S. Attorney protect his case. The ensuing rumble of protest was so loud that it could be heard even outside the Bureau, which virtually never happens. Morgenthau was furious. He confronted Assistant FBI Director John F. Malone, the top man in the New York field office, and Malone promptly reported the confrontation to Washington. The next day Hoover personally directed the New York field office to inform the three wayward agents that they now had until midnight the following day - 36 hours in all - to report totheir new stations, which they did.

LIFE went on to say: 
"Cohn has cultivated a long friendship with Edwin Weisl, President Johnson's handpicked ambassador to New York's Democratic party. Weisl .... is a frequent Cohn luncheon companion."
Weisl was a long time friend of Johnson. As a matter of fact, during the 1950's, Weisl was the general counsel to the Senate Space Committee and he and Johnson were constantly together along with General John B. Medaris, then head of the Army Space Program. Among other groups, Medaris, during this program, had been in charge of Wernher Von Braun and the other Nazi space scientists at Huntsville, Alabama.44

From 1960 to 1963, the ruling hierarchy of Lionel Corporation was General John B. Medaris, Roy Cohn and Joe Bonanno (Joe Bananas), a top Mafia man from New York, Las Vegas, Tucson and Montreal, Canada. Lionel Corporation during this period didover ninety percent of their business with the space agency and army ordnance furnishing such items as electronic equipment, rocket parts, chemical warfare agents and flame throwers. Also, during this period, General Medaris, though having retired in 1960, remained on active duty as special advisor to Army Intelligence in the Pentagon.45

The Lionel Corporation management was in direct contact with Louis Mortimer Bloomfield who, among other things, was a lawyer with offices in Tangiers, Morocco and Paris, France. Bloomfield was also the president of Heineken's Brewers, Ltd., Canada.

General Medaris was a director of one of the land speculation companies of Bobby Baker and Senator George Smathers in Florida. Joe Bonanno (Joe Bananas) in his capacity as a Mafia leader, was associated in the Havana and Las Vegas gambling with L.J. McWillie, Clifford Jones and others.46

In addition to J. Edgar Hoover's close association with Roy Cohn, he was also a long time friend of General Medaris. Joe Bonanno (Joe Bananas) had been a personal informer for J. Edgar Hoover for over a decade during 1963.47

Grant Stockdale, ex-United States Ambassador to Ireland and former George Smathers Administrative Assistant and a stock holder and officer in Bobby Baker's vending machine and Florida land transactions, knew and was closely associated with almost all of the top figures in the cabal.48

Shortly after President Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963, Grant Stockdale was pushed, shoved or fell from the fourteenth story of a Miami building and was killed immediately in the fall. As an officer in the Bobby Baker enterprises, Grant Stockdale had particular knowledge of a good part of the workings of the cabal and his death was one of a series made necessary to protect the group from public exposure.

A number of the conspirators' connections in the early 1960's and the various connections, organizations and financial conduits were revealed in books published in 1969.

Donald R. Cressey revealed in his work, Theft of a Nation, that a "Lelow" was the top guy of the Joseph L. Bonanno group in Montreal, Canada. The name was overheard on a telephone tap and it is believed to be Lazlo Nagy, a close relative of Ferenc Nagy.

There, it is also revealed, "the Bonanno family has for decades had other interests in Montreal which is a bet taking lay-off center for U.S. bookmakers and lay-off men re-insure their bets."

All of the investigators looking into Louis Mortimer Bloomfield's activities in connection with Permindex, the Swiss corporation, reported him as a banker in Montreal, Canada. He is not a banker as such, but a bet lay-off man is always referred to as a banker and this is where the confusion came. In fact, Bloomfield, as has been shown before, was the contract agent in charge of Division Five, the espionage agency of J. Edgar Hoover, and was a Montreal lawyer with offices in Paris, France, and Tangiers, Morocco.49

Among the large number of suppressed Warren Commission Documents were two which are of interest here. Their titles are: 
1.Allegation Oswald was in Tangiers, Morocco
Document Number 1188

2.Allegation Oswald in Montreal, Summer 1963
Document Number 729
Poor's Register for 1963 lists the corporations and dummy corporations through which Bloomfield funneled the funds into and away from the Swiss banks. They are:
Credit Suisse (Canada), Ltd. (a subsidiary of CREDIT SUISSE of Berne, Switzerland)
Manoir Industries, Ltd.
British Controlled Oil Fields, Ltd.
Grimaldi Siosa Lines (Canada), Ltd.
Berkeley Property Corp., Ltd.
Canscot Realty Investments, Ltd.
Canscot Building, Ltd.
Beaver Hall Investments, Ltd.
Israel Continental Oil Co., Ltd.
Lenzing Pulp and Paper Corp., Ltd.
Leviton Mfg. of Can., Ltd.
Mirelia Investments, Ltd.
Progress Luminaire, Ltd.
Protrade Commercial Devel., Ltd.
Heineken's Breweries (Can.), Ltd.
Ed Reid, in The Grim Reapers, reveals one of the other subsidiaries of CREDIT SUISSE and conduits through funds were funneled. There the connection of Bobby Baker, Morris Dalitz, Cliff Jones and others in the conspiracy and their connections with the conduits are shown. The principle funding agency for Permindex was the Credit Bank of Geneva, also known as Credit Suisse.50

The Syndicate Caribbean money structure is partially represented by the Bank of World Commerce, Ltd., which was incorporated in 1961 under British law in Nassau, Bahamas. Nevada's Cliff Jones and Ed Levinson were listed as stockholders.

Tied into the whole structure was a firm known in 1961 as Allied Empire, Inc., formerly Allied Television Films, Inc., of Beverly Hills, California. At that time Allied Empire was listed as a corporate stockholder with ten thousand shares of Bank of World Commerce stock, and was the holding company for the bank.51



The financial structure has myriad connections. A score of Las Vegas gamblers and state and federal politicians were involved in the setup through Anjon Savings and Loan, account Number 804, and Merritt Savings and Loan of Baltimore, Maryland, which was bought out by Anjon Account Number 804. By means of a network of American and British corporate laws, Account Number 804's list of depositor-stockholders includes not only the Bank of World Commerce - $23,000 - but also a number of Las Vegans.

When all the records are put together, we find that the names of a number of individuals involved show up again and again in the complex web of gambling operations in various places on the North American continent and form compass points which chart a course to the truth of the operation.

Account Number 804 listed among its stockholders: Irving Devine, Las Vegas gambler whose wife was named by LIFE as a mob courier, Clifford Jones, Edward Levinson, John Pullman, one time president, Bank of World Commerce, M.A. Riddle, B.E. Seigelbaum and Sav-Way Investment Company.
The persons holding office and stock in the Bank of World Commerce at the time of its inception were: John Pullman, president and director; Edward Dawson Roberts, vice-president and director; Gerald Nelson Capps, secretary and treasurer; N. Roberts, director; Alvin I. Malnic, director, and Philip J. Mathew, director. Among the stockholders were; Leon C. Bloom, Jr., Clifford A. Jones, John Pullman, Irving Devine, Edward Levinson and Allied Empire, Inc.

On September 8, 1967, two of the individuals involved with the Bank of World Commerce and Anjon Savings and Loan, Account Number 804, were named by LIFE as "bagmen" for Meyer Lansky in the syndicate's far-flung gambling kingdom. A third, an alleged "bagwoman", is the wife of one of the Bank of World Commerce stockholders. Cash was carried by these people and others, the article stated, via the Bank of World Commerce into the financial arteries of an organization in the Bahamas known as the Atlas Bank, a working subsidiary of the CREDIT SUISSE in Berne, Switzerland. All three of the boards of directors and staffs of these money entities were what LIFE described as "studded with both skimmers and couriers" for the mob.52

Among the fund couriers listed was Ben Sigelbaum (Seigelbaum), sixty-five years old, political advisor and a long time associate of Ed Levinson in many of his business endeavors. Sigelbaum was also a business associate and confidant of Bobby Baker when the latter was Secretary of the Democratic Majority in the U.S. Senate. Also named was John Pullman, sixty-seven years old, original president of the Bank of World Commerce who once served a prison term for violating U.S. liquor laws and gave up his American citizenship in 1954 to become a Canadian. He now lives in Switzerland. Another courier was Sylvain Ferdmann, a thirty-three year old Swiss citizen described as in international banker and economist and, by U.S. authorities, as a fugitive accused of interfering with federal inquiries into the skimming racket in Las Vegas and elsewhere.53

Ida Devine, wife of Las Vegas gambler Irving (Niggy) Devine, traveled with Sigelbaum from Las Vegas to Miami with skimmed money for Lansky; Ferdmann is said to have carried the skim from the Bahamas to Lansky; and Lansky counted the money in Miami, took his own cut and dispensed other sums, via different couriers, to a few syndicate chieftains in the United States. At that point, the story went on, Ferdmann and Pullman carried the remainder of the funds to the CREDIT SUISSE in Berne, Switzerland and deposited them in numbered accounts in the Swiss haven for secret-money banking.54

An active part in the whole affair was carried out by Ferdmann, who organized the Atlas Bank as the Bahamas subsidiary of the CREDIT SUISSE of Berne, Switzerland.

The foregoing further confirms, Bloomfield, Permindex, Double-Chek and the connections with the same group as was connected earlier in Credit Bank of Geneva which is one and the same as CREDIT SUISSE, Miami Astaldo Vaduz, Double-Chek, Alex Carlson and the other Swiss and Liechtenstein Banks.

Fred Black of Washington, D.C. was a lobbyist for North American Aircraft and business associate with Bobby Baker and Clifford Jones. Black has confirmed the connection between Jones, McWillie, Baker, Ruby and ex-Cuban President, Prio.55

After November 22, l963, Black publicly told many people in Washington, D.C. he had informed J. Edgar Hoover that an income tax conviction against him must be reversed or he would blow the lid off Washington with revelations of the assassination conspirators.56

Lobbyist Black prevailed upon J. Edgar Hoover to admit error before the Supreme Court where his case was reversed in 1966.57 

Hoover did well to rescue Black from the conviction. Fred Black, while socially drinking with acquaintances in Washington has, on numerous occasions, been reported to have told of J. Edgar Hoover's and Bobby Baker's involvement in the assassination through Las Vegas, Miami and Havana gamblers. He named some of these as the Fox Brothers of Miami, McLaney of Las Vegas, New Orleans, Havana and Bahamas, Cliff Jones of Las Vegas, Carlos Prio Socarras of Havana, Bobby Baker and others. He stated there was also a connection in that some of the gamblers were Russian emigres.58

Don Reynolds, Washington, D.C. businessman and associate of Bobby Baker and who had a number of questionable business transactions with Walter Jenkins on behalf of Lyndon Johnson, also gave testimony concerning Bobby Baker's involvement with the principals and he has stated on numerous public occasions that this group was behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.59

Black was a stockholder with Baker in the Waikiki Savings & Loan Association in Honolulu. The other members were Clifford Jones and his law partner, Louis Weiner. There was the Farmers and Merchants State Bank in Tulsa where Jones joined Baker and Black in a stock deal and brought in a Miami pal by the name of Benny Sigelbaum, a courier of funds and documents to the Swiss banks for Permindex and the Syndicate.60

Of all the enterprises, none could compare with the controversial Serv-U Corp., a Baker-Black controlled vending-machine firm. Ed Levinson, president of the Fremont Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, was also a partner. Grant Stockdale, President of Serv-U and his money is covered later.61

Formed late in 1961, Serve-U Corporation provided vending machines for the automatic dispensing of food and drink in companies working on government contracts. In the next two years, Serv-U was awarded the lion-share of the vending business at three major aerospace firms - North American Aviation, Northrop Corporation and Thompson Ramo Wooldridge's Space Technology Laboratories.62

Baker and Black each bought stock in the company for $1 a share, while the others paid approximately $16 a share. Early in 1963 when Baker's Carousel Motel in Ocean City, Md. ran into financial difficulties, it was bought by Ser-U for $1 million.63

McWillie, Baker and Jones were involved in numerous transactions together, one of which was the incorporation of Greatamerica, the conglomerate company. The incorporating papers in Carson City, Nevada dated April 27, 1962 lists Abe Fortas as vice-president, general counsel and director. There is not sufficient evidence made public yet to connect Fortas with the assassination conspiracy.
One of the incorporators of Greatamerica was Clifford A. Jones, Nevada Lieutenant Governor from 1945-54 and a part owner and officer of the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas. The gambling license issued to Jones and a partner in the hotel was revoked by the Nevada Tax Commission in 1955 on grounds that underworld figures had interests in the hotel. The decision was later overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court.64

On January 5, 1966, Clifford Jones was indicted for perjury in connection with the grand jury investigation of Bobby Baker, former secretary to Senate Democrats.65

Baker was indicted the same day for conspiracy, tax evasion and fraudulently converting to his own use nearly $100,000 from California savings and loan executives who thought they were making political contributions.66

Clifford Jones was named a co-conspirator in that indictment. Baker was later convicted of failing to pay tax on the $100,000. Jones' case had not come to trial as of the summer of 1969.67
Abe Fortas was Baker's attorney until Johnson became President in 1963. At that time he withdrew from the case.68 
The two other incorporators of Greatamerica were Helen Irving and Katherine Waldman, both of Las Vegas, and both also listed as directors of a Las Vegas concern which got a gambling license in June, 1964. The same three incorporators - Jones and the two women - were listed as incorporators when Greatamerica filed to do business in Texas on January 29, 1963, records in the Texas Secretary of State's Office in Austin showed.69

Troy Post of Dallas, Texas was the originator of Greatamerica. It was Troy Post working with Bobby Baker and Clifford Jones who put the conglomerate together. Edward Levinson of the Fremont Hotel in Las Vegas was associated with Bobby Baker, Clifford Jones and L.J. McWillie in the plans for the assassination of President Kennedy. Levinson refused to answer any questions before the Senate Committee investigating the Bobby Baker case in 1964. Levinson took the Fifth Amendment seventy-five times.
Levinson and Morris Dalitz of the Desert Inn and Stardust in Las Vegas were also connected with Carlos Prio Socarras, ex-Cuban President, and Cliff Jones in all Havana gambling before and after Castro took control. Morris Dalitz, Roy M. Cohn, H.L. Hunt and J. Edgar Hoover had worked together for years in the anti-Communist movement. They had been active as a group for the Joe McCarthy investigations during the early 1950's.70
Morris Dalitz, for years had been the head of the Cleveland, Ohio underworld and as such had been a business partner of Joe Bonanno of the Mafia and Lionel Corporation. Dalitz and Bonanno had been a constant target of Robert Kennedy in his organized crime fight. We shall later look into Bonanno's activities and connections.
Ed Reid in his 1969 book, The Grim Reapers, published a picture of Lyndon Johnson at Morris Dalitz' Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, taken when Johnson and Bobby Baker met with Dalitz prior to the assassination. Johnson and Dalitz were photographed together a number of times during the important Las Vegas meeting. Also at the meeting with Johnson, Baker and Dalitz, the host, were Ed Levinson, Clifford Jones and Roy Cohn.
The great majority of FBI agents knew nothing about Hoover's actions and capable agents made a conspiracy case against Clifford Jones along with Bobby Baker in connection with their various financial transactions. Jones was indicted in 1964 for the conspiracy and a second indictment was made against him for perjury, that is for lying under oath when testifying for Baker.
J. Edgar Hoover pressured the Justice Department and Jones has not been brought to trial for more than five years after the charges. Hoover and Jones were personally close friends as well as a members of the assassination cabal.
Because of the wide publicity and public pressure, Hoover could not quash the Baker case without a trial. However, he worked through Abe Fortas on the Supreme Court and Baker's appeals were handled in such a way as to block any final decree and to bring questions on the case lasting into late 1969.
Hoover's adroit handling of the Baker case has made it questionable whether Baker will ever serve a day of his sentence.
History has recorded at least as early as World War II the definite working together of the Mafia and J. Edgar Hoover through his espionage department. From 1943 to 1946, Lucky Luciano and selected Mafia members throughout the United States worked on the docks of the various ports in the United States and in other areas with J. Edgar Hoover and the military intelligence agencies in preventing sabotage. Lucky Luciano's prison sentence was suspended in 1946 and he was allowed to leave the country to take up residence in Sicily.71
Vito Genovese and his select Mafia group worked with Mussolini in Italy before and during World War II and were a part of Mussolini's Fascist governing regime. However, in 1943, as the American Forces worked their way up the Italian peninsula, the same Vito Genovese and his group became active agents for the United States intelligence agencies and a number of American officials wrote flowery recommendations for Mr. Genovese citing his American patriotism, intelligence and ingenuity in carrying out his assigned duties for the U.S. espionage agencies.72


Chapter IV - The Assassination Attempt on DeGaulle.
A group of Fascist French generals dedicated to keeping Algeria as a French colony were the middle group in the 1961 and 1962 assassination attempts on French General DeGaulle.

A French colonel, Bastien Thiery, commanded the 1962 group of professional assassins who made the actual assassination attempt on DeGaulle. Colonel Thiery set his group of assassins up at an intersection in the suburbs of Paris in this final attempt in 1962 to kill DeGaulle. The gunmen fired more than one hundred rounds in the 1962 Colonel Thiery assassination attempt. But General DeGaulle, traveling in his bullet proof car, evaded being hit, although all of the tires were shot out. The driver increased his speed and the General was saved.

Colonel Bastien Thiery was arrested, tried and executed for the attempt on DeGaulle's life but he was the breaking point between the operating level of that assassination attempt and the people financing and planning it and he went to his death without revealing the connection. General DeGaulle's intelligence, however traced the financing of his attempted assassination into the FBI's Permindex in Switzerland and Centro Mondiale Comerciale in Rome, and he complained to both the governments of Switzerland and Italy causing Permindex to lose its charter and Centro Mondiale Comerciale to be forced to move to Johannesburg, South Africa.
General DeGaulle was furious at the assassination plots and attempted assassination upon himself. He called in his most trusted officers with the French Intelligence Agency and they advised him that they were already working on the investigation to ferret out who was behind DeGaulle's attempted assassination.
The French Intelligence Agency in a very short while completely traced the assassination attempt through Permindex, the Swiss corporation, to the Solidarists, the Fascist White Russian emigre intelligence organization and Division Five, the espionage section of the FBI, into the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels, Belgium.
French intelligence thus determined that the attempts on General DeGaulle's life were being directed from NATO in Brussels through its various intelligence organizations and specifically, Permindex in Switzerland, basically a NATO intelligence front using the remnants of Adolph Hitler's intelligence units in West Germany and also, the intelligence unit of the Solidarists headquartered in Munich, Germany. The overall command of the DeGaulle assassination unit was directed by Division Five of the FBI.
Upon learning that the intelligence groups controlled by the Division Five of the FBI in the headquarters of the NATO organization had planned all of the attempts of his life, DeGaulle was inflamed and ordered all NATO units off of French soils. Under the contract between France and NATO, General DeGaulle could not force them to move for a period of time somewhat exceeding one year; yet, he told NATO to get off the soil of France and put the machinery in operation to remove them within the treaty agreements with the organization.
The Defense Intelligence Agency, the intelligence arm of all armed forces in the United States and Division Five, the counter-espionage agency for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were both found to have been the controlling agencies in NATO directing the assassination attempts on DeGaulle's life. DIA and Division Five of the FBI were working hand in glove with the White Russian emigre intelligence arm, the Solidarists, and many of the Western European intelligence agencies were not aware of the assassination plan worked directly through NATO headquarters.
Even the high echelons of the United States CIA were not aware of the DIA, FBI and Solidarist directed activities.

Jerry Milton Brooks, a close associate of Maurice Brooks Gatlin, Sr., testified in New Orleans that Gatlin was a transporter for the CIA and Division Five of the FBI. Gatlin in 1962 left New Orleans of behalf of Permindex with $100,000.00 in cash of the FBI's money and delivered the cash on behalf of Division Five and Permindex to the group of Fascist French generals planning the assassination of General DeGaulle. Gatlin flew from New Orleans directly to Paris, France and made the delivery.73

Gatlin was the general counsel to the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, and he worked directly under Guy Bannister. In 1964 Gatlin was thrown, pushed, or fell from the sixth floor of the El Panama Hotel in Panama during the middle of the night and was killed instantly. 
Guy Bannister had been in charge of the Midwestern FBI Division Five operation with headquarters in Chicago up until 1955. At this time, J. Edgar Hoover shifted Bannister from an official basis with Division Five to a retainer and contractual basis with the espionage section of the agency and moved him to New Orleans where Bannister worked with the New Orleans police department and later from a private office at 544 Camp Street. 
In his contractual capacity with Division Five, Bannister had close contacts with all of the armed service intelligence agencies and worked closely with them on the espionage section of the FBI's various projects. Bannister was the officer in charge who dispatched Gatlin with the $100,000.00 cash to Paris for the DeGaulle assassination group.74
We outline the DeGaulle assassination attempt with President Kennedy's assassination because the same organization carried out both operations.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Tea Party Movement Manifests Classical Fascism


Right Wing Tea Party Koch Brothers Trying to Buy the LA Times and Other Papers
April 2nd 2013


As reported by Think Progress and others last month, the right wing Tea Party supporting billionaire Koch Brothers are exploring buying newspapers in an obvious attempt to use their fortune to get a mouthpiece to voters

“Right-wing funders and business industrialists David and Charles Koch may purchase the Tribune Company newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times. The brothers are “interested in the clout they could gain through the Times’ editorial pages,” the Hollywood Reporter notes. Responding to the report, a spokesperson for Koch told the website that the brothers are “constantly exploring profitable opportunities in many industries and sectors” 

Daily Kos and others have entered the fray by purchasing an ad in the LA Times, after initially being rejected. They did so by refiling the ad, linking their statements to articles printed in the LA Times that noted “the Koch Brothers bankrolled the Tea Party, denied global warming and bought politicians.”

The Los Angeles Times advertising department has reversed its earlier decision to reject an advertisement from Daily Kos and the Courage Campaign urging the Chicago-based Tribune Company not to sell the 132-year-old Times to the billionaire Koch brothers. The ad will run in the main news section of Wednesday’s edition of the Times….

Tribune, whose merger in 2000 with Times-Mirror Corp., the Times’s owner at the time, made it the second largest newspaper publisher in the nation, has been reported to be considering selling the Times, the nation’s fourth most widely read newspaper, to the ultra-right-wing Kochs.

The Hollywood Reporter first broke this story on March 13, 2013. The Tribune Company has recently emerged from bankruptcy proceedings and is looking for a buyer for their newspapers. As the Hollywood Reporter points out, the Koch Brothers represent right wing politics in the extreme. They are billionaires and own Koch Industries which is currently the second largest privately owned company in the US. 

The Koch brothers have long dominated American industry; their holdings include Georgia Pacific paper products as well as major fertilizer, refinery and oil pipeline companies. More recently they have become known for their financial support of Republican candidates, especially those from the Tea Party, and the fight against regulations and legislation aimed at curbing climate change.

The Koch Brothers involvement in the Tea Party however goes far beyond just supporting them. As Brendan DeMille of the Huffington Post in February wrote in an article entitled,
“Study Confirms Tea Party was Created by Big Tobacco and Billionaire Koch Brothers“: 

"A new academic study confirms that front groups with longstanding ties to the tobacco industry and the billionaire Koch brothers planned the formation of the Tea Party movement more than a decade before it exploded onto the U.S. political scene.

Far from a genuine grassroots uprising, this astroturf effort was curated by wealthy industrialists years in advance. Many of the anti-science operatives who defended cigarettes are currently deploying their tobacco-inspired playbook internationally to evade accountability for the fossil fuel industry’s role in driving climate disruption."

The Koch Brothers represent a threat to the free exchange of news and information and obviously have a history of trying to push their extreme right wing philosophy and politics at any cost and by any means. Their involvement and purchase in any newspaper or other media ownership poses a real threat to a free press, which we know is an ideal, yet special interests pushing their own extreme political biases over objectivity because they have the money and resources to own the media threatens our society and basic democratic values and principles in our country and the world.


FTR #726 The Kochtopus: The Tea Party Movement Manifests Classical Fascism

ORIGINALLYPOSTED BY DAVE EMORY NOVEMBER 4, 2010   

Listen:
MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

Introduction: The Tea Party movement has garnered tremendous media attention, most of which has focused on superficiality–images of “the angry voter,” false or misleading statements about Obama, and the assumption that somehow “they” are responsible for the discomfort felt by the adherents to the Party.

Introduction: The Tea Party movement has garnered tremendous media attention, most of which has focused on superficiality–images of “the angry voter,” false or misleading statements about Obama, and the assumption that somehow “they” are responsible for the discomfort felt by the adherents to the Party.

What has not received much publicity until recently is the fact that what appears to be a broad-based, “populist”, “grass-roots” movement is actually driven in considerable measure by institutions financed by the very wealthy and dedicated to advancing the interests of that element of society. That advance is at the considerable expense of Tea Party adherents, many of whom will succumb to the outgrowths of the philosophy they have embraced.

Labeling Obama alternately “a Muslim” and/or “a Marxist” (failing to understand the contradiction), attacking him for raising taxes (85% of Americans are paying lower taxes under Obama) and for “trying to take away” their guns (he signed into law a bill allowing the carrying of loaded firearms on public park lands), the Tea Party rank and file are moving in the direction of “intensifying politics of free-market fundamentalism at the very historical moment that proves the failure of such an ideology.”

Epitomizing the political dualism embodied in the Tea Party movement is the political machine put together by the billionaire Koch brothers, David Koch in particular. (David Koch is pictured above, at right.) Son of one of the prime movers of the John Birch Society, David Koch was a driving force behind the genesis of the Libertarian Party in the early 1980’s, running for Vice-President in 1980 against Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

The formidable array of think tanks and NGO’s, journalists and political pundits who owe their careers to the brothers and their institutions, together constitute the machine termed “The Kochtopus.”

The foundation of the Kochs political philosophy–embodied in the political realities underlying the Tea Party–is one of “corporatism” or “the Corporate State” as Mussolini put it. Indeed, Birch Society kingpin Fred Koch openly admired Mussolini’s supposed “suppression” of the communists. (In fact, communism was already waning in Italy when Mussolini took over. SeeMiscellaneous Archive Show M42.)

In this context, one should never forget the inclusion of Nazis and fascists in the Republican Party at a fundamental level.

Indeed, Charles Koch has opined that America could be on the verge of “the greatest loss of liberty and prosperity since the 1930s.” The reference is, of course, to the New Deal. Many of this country’s top industrialists and financiers attempted tooverthrow Roosevelt in 1934, hoping to set up a dictatorship like Mussolini’s. The Bush family appear to have been involved with the plotting of the ’34 coup.

This translation of Corporatism into a broad-based political movement is a manifestation of classical fascism. Even former close friends and associates of the Kochs admit that the brothers have confused “freedom” with what will maximize their corporate profits.

Program Highlights Include: The Koch brothers’ founding of the Mercatus Center–an archetypal Kochtopus element; the Mercatus Center’s profound influence on Bush (II) administration policy; the Koch brothers manipulation of environmental regulations; the effect of that manipulation on regulation of formaldehyde–a carcinogen produced by Koch Industries; David Koch’s role in financing cancer research–one of a number of roles that places him in a position of conflict of interest.

1. Despite their attempts at cultivating the image of patrons of the arts and benefactors to society, the Kochs are, in fact, at the epicenter of the anti-Obama movement. The brothers main commercial undertaking is Koch Industries, a conglomerate with major participation in the fossil-fuels and chemical industries, in particular.

. . . In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. . . .

“Covert Operations” by Jane Mayer; The New Yorker; 8/30/2010.

2. As major polluters and members of the ultra-rich, the Kochs stand to benfit from a frustration of the Obama political agenda.

. . . The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

In a statement, Koch Industries said that the Greenpeace report “distorts the environmental record of our companies.” And David Koch, in a recent, admiring article about him in New York, protested that the “radical press” had turned his family into “whipping boys,” and had exaggerated its influence on American politics. But Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, “The Kochs are on a whole different level. There’s no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.” . . .

Ibid.

3. As indicated above, the brothers learned their political philosophy from their father Fred Koch, a seminal member of the John Birch Society.

. . . . In 1958, Fred Koch became one of the original members of the John Birch Society, the arch-conservative group known, in part, for a highly skeptical view of governance and for spreading fears of a Communist takeover. Members considered President Dwight D. Eisenhower to be a Communist agent. In a self-published broadside, Koch claimed that “the Communists have infiltrated both the Democrat and Republican Parties.” He wrote admiringly of Benito Mussolini’s suppression of Communists in Italy, and disparagingly of the American civil-rights movement. “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America,” he warned. Welfare was a secret plot to attract rural blacks to cities, where they would foment “a vicious race war.” In a 1963 speech that prefigures the Tea Party’s talk of a secret socialist plot, Koch predicted that Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the President is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.”. . .

Ibid.

4. Disclaimers to the contrary notwithstanding, the Tea Party movement is deeply involved with the Kochtopus.

A few weeks after the Lincoln Center gala, the advocacy wing of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation—an organization that David Koch started, in 2004—held a different kind of gathering. Over the July 4th weekend, a summit called Texas Defending the American Dream took place in a chilly hotel ballroom in Austin. Though Koch freely promotes his philanthropic ventures, he did not attend the summit, and his name was not in evidence. And on this occasion the audience was roused not by a dance performance but by a series of speakers denouncing President Barack Obama. Peggy Venable, the organizer of the summit, warned that Administration officials “have a socialist vision for this country.”

Five hundred people attended the summit, which served, in part, as a training session for Tea Party activists in Texas. An advertisement cast the event as a populist uprising against vested corporate power. “Today, the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests,” it said. “But you can do something about it.” The pitch made no mention of its corporate funders. The White House has expressed frustration that such sponsors have largely eluded public notice. David Axelrod, Obama’s senior adviser, said, “What they don’t say is that, in part, this is a grassroots citizens’ movement brought to you by a bunch of oil billionaires.”

In April, 2009, Melissa Cohlmia, a company spokesperson, denied that the Kochs had direct links to the Tea Party, saying that Americans for Prosperity is “an independent organization and Koch companies do not in any way direct their activities.” Later, she issued a statement: “No funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, or Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the tea parties.” David Koch told New York, “I’ve never been to a tea-party event. No one representing the tea party has ever even approached me.”

At the lectern in Austin, however, Venable—a longtime political operative who draws a salary from Americans for Prosperity, and who has worked for Koch-funded political groups since 1994—spoke less warily. “We love what the Tea Parties are doing, because that’s how we’re going to take back America!” she declared, as the crowd cheered. In a subsequent interview, she described herself as an early member of the movement, joking, “I was part of the Tea Party before it was cool!” She explained that the role of Americans for Prosperity was to help “educate” Tea Party activists on policy details, and to give them “next-step training” after their rallies, so that their political energy could be channeled “more effectively.” And she noted that Americans for Prosperity had provided Tea Party activists with lists of elected officials to target. She said of the Kochs, “They’re certainly our people. David’s the chairman of our board. I’ve certainly met with them, and I’m very appreciative of what they do.”

Venable honored several Tea Party “citizen leaders” at the summit. The Texas branch of Americans for Prosperity gave its Blogger of the Year Award to a young woman named Sibyl West. On June 14th, West, writing on her site, described Obama as the “cokehead in chief.” In an online thread, West speculated that the President was exhibiting symptoms of “demonic possession (aka schizophrenia, etc.).” The summit featured several paid speakers, including Janine Turner, the actress best known for her role on the television series “Northern Exposure.” She declared, “They don’t want our children to know about their rights. They don’t want our children to know about a God!”

During a catered lunch, Venable introduced Ted Cruz, a former solicitor general of Texas, who told the crowd that Obama was “the most radical President ever to occupy the Oval Office,” and had hidden from voters a secret agenda—“the government taking over our economy and our lives.” Countering Obama, Cruz proclaimed, was “the epic fight of our generation!” As the crowd rose to its feet and cheered, he quoted the defiant words of a Texan at the Alamo: “Victory, or death!”

Americans for Prosperity has worked closely with the Tea Party since the movement’s inception. In the weeks before the first Tax Day protests, in April, 2009, Americans for Prosperity hosted a Web site offering supporters “Tea Party Talking Points.” The Arizona branch urged people to send tea bags to Obama; the Missouri branch urged members to sign up for “Taxpayer Tea Party Registration” and provided directions to nine protests. The group continues to stoke the rebellion. The North Carolina branch recently launched a “Tea Party Finder” Web site, advertised as “a hub for all the Tea Parties in North Carolina.”

Ibid.

5. Epitomizing the construct of the Kochs’ political apparatus is the Mercatus Center, established at a private university in Virginia. It has asserted tremendous influence on policy, particularly in the administration of George W. Bush, for whose election the Kochs worked very hard.

. . . In the mid-eighties, the Kochs provided millions of dollars to George Mason University, in Arlington, Virginia, to set up another think tank. Now known as the Mercatus Center, it promotes itself as “the world’s premier university source for market-oriented ideas—bridging the gap between academic ideas and real-world problems.” Financial records show that the Koch family foundations have contributed more than thirty million dollars to George Mason, much of which has gone to the Mercatus Center, a nonprofit organization. “It’s ground zero for deregulation policy in Washington,” Rob Stein, the Democratic strategist, said. It is an unusual arrangement. “George Mason is a public university, and receives public funds,” Stein noted. “Virginia is hosting an institution that the Kochs practically control.”

The founder of the Mercatus Center is Richard Fink, formerly an economist. Fink heads Koch Industries’ lobbying operation in Washington. In addition, he is the president of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the president of the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, a director of the Fred C. and Mary R. Koch Foundation, and a director and co-founder, with David Koch, of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

Fink, with his many titles, has become the central nervous system of the Kochtopus. He appears to have supplanted Ed Crane, the head of the Cato Institute, as the brothers’ main political lieutenant. Though David remains on the board at Cato, Charles Koch has fallen out with Crane. Associates suggested to me that Crane had been insufficiently respectful of Charles’s management philosophy, which he distilled into a book called “The Science of Success,” and trademarked under the name Market-Based Management, or M.B.M. In the book, Charles recommends instilling a company’s corporate culture with the competitiveness of the marketplace. Koch describes M.B.M. as a “holistic system” containing “five dimensions: vision, virtue and talents, knowledge processes, decision rights and incentives.” A top Cato Institute official told me that Charles “thinks he’s a genius. He’s the emperor, and he’s convinced he’s wearing clothes.” Fink, by contrast, has been far more embracing of Charles’s ideas. (Fink, like the Kochs, declined to be interviewed.)

At a 1995 conference for philanthropists, Fink adopted the language of economics when speaking about the Mercatus Center’s purpose. He said that grant-makers should use think tanks and political-action groups to convert intellectual raw materials into policy “products.”

The Wall Street Journal has called the Mercatus Center “the most important think tank you’ve never heard of,” and noted that fourteen of the twenty-three regulations that President George W. Bush placed on a “hit list” had been suggested first by Mercatus scholars. Fink told the paper that the Kochs have “other means of fighting [their] battles,” and that the Mercatus Center does not actively promote the company’s private interests. But Thomas McGarity, a law professor at the University of Texas, who specializes in environmental issues, told me that “Koch has been constantly in trouble with the E.P.A., and Mercatus has constantly hammered on the agency.” An environmental lawyer who has clashed with the Mercatus Center called it “a means of laundering economic aims.” The lawyer explained the strategy: “You take corporate money and give it to a neutral-sounding think tank,” which “hires people with pedigrees and academic degrees who put out credible-seeming studies. But they all coincide perfectly with the economic interests of their funders.” . . .

Ibid.

6. David Koch has spent millions to fund cancer research. With his industrial concerns producing known carcinogens, such as formaldehyde, this constitutes a conflict of interest–a type of conflict that often results in resolutions that satisfy the major donors.

. . . And he became a patron of cancer research, focusing on prostate cancer. In addition to his gifts to Sloan-Kettering, he gave fifteen million dollars to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, a hundred and twenty-five million to M.I.T. for cancer research, twenty million to Johns Hopkins University, and twenty-five million to the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston. In response to his generosity, Sloan-Kettering gave Koch its Excellence in Corporate Leadership Award. In 2004, President Bush named him to the National Cancer Advisory Board, which guides the National Cancer Institute.

Koch’s corporate and political roles, however, may pose conflicts of interest. For example, at the same time that David Koch has been casting himself as a champion in the fight against cancer, Koch Industries has been lobbying to prevent the E.P.A. from classifying formaldehyde, which the company produces in great quantities, as a “known carcinogen” in humans.

Scientists have long known that formaldehyde causes cancer in rats, and several major scientific studies have concluded that formaldehyde causes cancer in human beings—including one published last year by the National Cancer Institute, on whose advisory board Koch sits. The study tracked twenty-five thousand patients for an average of forty years; subjects exposed to higher amounts of formaldehyde had significantly higher rates of leukemia. These results helped lead an expert panel within the National Institutes of Health to conclude that formaldehyde should be categorized as a known carcinogen, and be strictly controlled by the government. Corporations have resisted regulations on formaldehyde for decades, however, and Koch Industries has been a large funder of members of Congress who have stymied the E.P.A., requiring it to defer new regulations until more studies are completed.

Koch Industries became a major producer of the chemical in 2005, after it bought Georgia-Pacific, the paper and wood-products company, for twenty-one billion dollars. Georgia-Pacific manufactures formaldehyde in its chemical division, and uses it to produce various wood products, such as plywood and laminates. Its annual production capacity for formaldehyde is 2.2 billion pounds. Last December, Traylor Champion, Georgia-Pacific’s vice-president of environmental affairs, sent a formal letter of protest to federal health authorities. He wrote that the company “strongly disagrees” with the N.I.H. panel’s conclusion that formaldehyde should be treated as a known human carcinogen. David Koch did not recuse himself from the National Cancer Advisory Board, or divest himself of company stock, while his company was directly lobbying the government to keep formaldehyde on the market. (A board spokesperson said that the issue of formaldehyde had not come up.)

James Huff, an associate director at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, a division of the N.I.H., told me that it was “disgusting” for Koch to be serving on the National Cancer Advisory Board: “It’s just not good for public health. Vested interests should not be on the board.” He went on, “Those boards are very important. They’re very influential as to whether N.C.I. goes into formaldehyde or not. Billions of dollars are involved in formaldehyde.” . . .

Ibid.

7. When citizens have become sickened by pollutants produced by the Koch brothers and their ilk, they will have less chance of receiving adequate treatment if the Kochtopus has its way. The brothers have been implacable opponents of health care reform.

. . . Americans for Prosperity also created an offshoot, Patients United Now, which organized what Phillips has estimated to be more than three hundred rallies against health-care reform. At one rally, an effigy of a Democratic congressman was hung; at another, protesters unfurled a banner depicting corpses from Dachau. The group also helped organize the “Kill the Bill” protests outside the Capitol, in March, where Democratic supporters of health-care reform alleged that they were spat on and cursed at. Phillips was a featured speaker.

Americans for Prosperity has held at least eighty events targeting cap-and-trade legislation, which is aimed at making industries pay for the air pollution that they create. Speakers for the group claimed, with exaggeration, that even back-yard barbecues and kitchen stoves would be taxed. The group was also involved in the attacks on Obama’s “green jobs” czar, Van Jones, and waged a crusade against international climate talks. Casting his group as a champion of ordinary workers who would be hurt by environmentalists, Phillips went to Copenhagen last year and staged a protest outside the United Nations conference on climate change, declaring, “We’re a grassroots organization. . . . I think it’s unfortunate when wealthy children of wealthy families . . . want to send unemployment rates in the United States up to twenty per cent.”

Grover Norquist, who holds a weekly meeting for conservative leaders in Washington, including representatives from Americans for Prosperity, told me that last summer’s raucous rallies were pivotal in undermining Obama’s agenda. The Republican leadership in Congress, he said, “couldn’t have done it without August, when people went out on the streets. It discouraged deal-makers”—Republicans who might otherwise have worked constructively with Obama. Moreover, the appearance of growing public opposition to Obama affected corporate donors on K Street. “K Street is a three-billion-dollar weathervane,” Norquist said. “When Obama was strong, the Chamber of Commerce said, ‘We can work with the Obama Administration.’ But that changed when thousands of people went into the street and ‘terrorized’ congressmen. August is what changed it. Now that Obama is weak, people are getting tough.”

As the first anniversary of Obama’s election approached, David Koch came to the Washington area to attend a triumphant Americans for Prosperity gathering. Obama’s poll numbers were falling fast. Not a single Republican senator was working with the Administration on health care, or much else. Pundits were writing about Obama’s political ineptitude, and Tea Party groups were accusing the President of initiating “a government takeover.” In a speech, Koch said, “Days like today bring to reality the vision of our board of directors when we started this organization, five years ago.” He went on, “We envisioned a mass movement, a state-based one, but national in scope, of hundreds of thousands of American citizens from all walks of life standing up and fighting for the economic freedoms that made our nation the most prosperous society in history. . . . Thankfully, the stirrings from California to Virginia, and from Texas to Michigan, show that more and more of our fellow-citizens are beginning to see the same truths as we do.”

While Koch didn’t explicitly embrace the Tea Party movement that day, more recently he has come close to doing so, praising it for demonstrating the “powerful visceral hostility in the body politic against the massive increase in government power, the massive efforts to socialize this country.” Charles Koch, in a newsletter sent to his seventy thousand employees, compared the Obama Administration to the regime of the Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez. The Kochs’ sense of imperilment is somewhat puzzling. Income inequality in America is greater than it has been since the nineteen-twenties, and since the seventies the tax rates of the wealthiest have fallen more than those of the middle class. Yet the brothers’ message has evidently resonated with voters: a recent poll found that fifty-five per cent of Americans agreed that Obama is a socialist. . . .

Ibid.

Posted by Dave Emory