Part 7 of Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States concerns the Johnson and Nixon presidencies.
The Johnson Presidency
Johnson continued Kennedy’s glorious tradition of overthrowing foreign democratic governments. He openly admitted the military aggression he authorized wasn’t about fighting communism – but about fighting third world peoples for their resources. He saw no other way 6% of the world’s population could control 50% of its wealth.
In 1963 Johnson reversed Kennedy’s order to draw down US “military advisors” and introduced ground troops to Vietnam.
In 1964 he ordered US troops to overthrow the democratically elected government of Brazil.
In 1965 he invaded the Dominican Republic to crush a popular insurrection against a CIA-inspired right wing coup.
In 1966-67 he authorized a bloody CIA coup to oust President Sukarno in Indonesia and replace him with the right wing dictator Suharto.
In 1967, he ordered the CIA to (illegally) spy on anti-Vietnam War protestors through Operation Chaos.
In 1967, he fired Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara when he opposed escalating the bombing in Vietnam.
When a bipartisan group of elder statesman called for US troop withdrawal from Vietnam, Johnson decided to focus on Vietnam peace negotiations instead of running for a second term in 1968.
The Nixon Presidency
Robert Kennedy was the clear front runner in the 1968 election prior to his assassination in July 1968.
Despite basing his campaign on a “secret plan” to end the war in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger (who secretly undermined the Paris peace negotiations to help Nixon win the elections) vastly expanded the war, which would last seven more years. More than half the GI deaths in Vietnam occurred under Nixon.
As president, Nixon made 13 separate threats to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam. Stone believes it was only the massive anti-war protests (which deeply unnerved Nixon) that prevented their use.
Nixon and Kissinger were also responsible for secretly and illegally bombing Cambodia and Laos, the 1973 coup that overthrew Chile’s democratically elected government, and Operation Condor, a secret dirty war against pro-democracy movements in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia.
Part 7: Johnson, Nixon and Vietnam: Reversal of Fortune – Cataclysm in Vietnam
The second of two posts about the late political researcher Mae Brussell
In addition to her other research, Mae Brussell also played a vital role in bringing the CIA’s Operation CHAOS to public attention. According to Brussell CHAOS, which was launched in 1967, played a significant role in “neutralizing” popular rock musicians who were contributing to the rise of the New Left. According to Brussell, most of these murders were disguised to look like accidental drug overdoses or plane crashes. However, as with the JFK assassination, there was always a typical pattern of lost or destroyed evidence and an official report that was full of contradictions and discrepancies.
The list of prematurely dead rock musicians, entertainers and managers Brussell investigated includes John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendris, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Duane Allman, Mama Cass Elliot, Phil Oakes, Keith Moon Jim Reaves, Jim Croce, Lenny Bruce, Bon Scott (AC/DC), Bob Marley, Sal Mineo, Rod McKernan (Grateful Dead), Brian Epstein (Beatles manager), Michael Jeffery (Jimi Hendrix’s manager and Donald Rex Jackson (grateful Dead manager).
John Lennon’s Assassin Mark Chapman
Brussell had a special interest in John Lennon’s alleged assassin Mark Chapman and all the unanswered questions posed by the “official” police account. In a 1981 interview with Tom Davis, Brussell talks at length about Chapman’s unusual background, which clearly suggests prior intelligence involvement.
She also raises a number of troubling questions the New York police should have investigated (and which likely would have come out at trial if Chapman hadn’t been pressured to plead guilty):
• Why did a security guard Chapman met in DeKalb Georgia arrange for him to spend six months in war torn Lebanon (Brussell believed it was to attend a CIA-run military training camp)?
• Why did Chapman return from Lebanon to Fort Chaffee Arkansas to work at a World Vision camp for Vietnam refugees (World Vision, run by Bush senior’s friend John Hinckley Sr, was closely linked with the CIA, which frequently used their refugee camps to recruit operatives)?
• Who paid for Chapman, who was chronically unemployed, to take a long round the world trip shortly before he shot Lennon?
• Where did Chapman get the money to purchase $7,500 worth of Norman Rockwell lithographs and to stay in expensive hotels?
• How could someone who was hospitalized for mental illness in Hawaii manage to buy a weapon there – and transport it to the mainland? And why did the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have no interest in investigating this?
Forced Off the Air by Death Threats
After 17 years on the radio, Brussell left the air in March 1988 as a result of a death threat related to her investigation of followers of satanic cults in the military. She continued to record weekly audiotapes, which she sent to her followers, until June 1988. She died, from breast cancer, in October 1988.
In the following 1971 broadcast, she discusses the 28,000 page cross filing system she used to analyze the Warren Commission report and establish clear links between Oswald, his probable CIA handler George DeMohrenschildt and 28 white Russian CIA assets in Dallas/Fort Worth.
Part I of a two-part post on political researcher Mae Brussell
For more than 25 years, Mae Brussell (1922-1988) was America’s preeminent researcher into the suppressed history of political assassinations, covert operations, mind control, secret societies, organized banking crime and international fascism.
When I first learned of her work in 1992, Brussell had already been dead for four years. I had contacted the Christic Institute* to request copies of the literature they were putting out regarding their lawsuit against CIA operatives involved in either the Iran Contra Affair** or the CIA-backed cocaine trafficking used to finance the Contra war against Nicaragua. The staff member I talked to phone informed me the judge had dismissed their suit as frivolous and stripped them of their non-profit status. They had turned all their literature and tapes over to Prevailing Winds Research (PWR) in Santa Barbara. If I wanted more information, I would need to contact them.
Accessing Suppressed Documents Before the Internet
As I was to learn, PWR was an archival service for political activists, journalists, academics and former intelligence operatives whose writing on government crimes had been suppressed by the mainstream media. In 2015, most of this material is widely available on the Internet. Back in 1992, you had to order it through the PWR catalog.A week after I contacted them, they sent me an astonishing catalog of economically priced books, articles, tapes and monographs that had suppressed by the mainstream media (including, but not limited to, Philip Agee, Peter Dale Scott, Mae Brussell, Ralph Schoenman, Larry Flynt, John Judge, Seymour Hersh, John Stockwell and Abbie Hoffman).Given my strong interest in the JFK assassination, my first order consisted of Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal by William Torbitt, a collection of interviews with the late JFK assassination researcher John Judge*** and a collection of Mae Brussell’s articles.
Just an Ordinary Housewife (and Mother of Five)
Brussell had doubts about the official version of the JFK assassination from the moment she watched Jack Ruby assassinate Lee Harvey Oswald on live nation televisions. When Brussell’s daughter first saw Oswald in the hallway of the Dallas jail, it was obvious he’d been beaten and she felt sorry for him. She was wrapping up her teddy bear to send him when they saw Ruby shoot him.
Because it also bothered Brussell that the newspaper and TV coverage regarding Oswald’s background was full of discrepancies and contradictions. In 1964 she paid $86 to purchase the 26 volume Warren Commission report of the Kennedy assassination, which contained even more discrepancies and contradictions. As she stated in a 1974 interview with Playgirl Magazine, “Twenty-three adjectives were used to describe him in the Warren Report. They said he had no friends, no meaningful relationships, couldn’t hold a job, and so on. But the evidence all pointed in the opposite direction.”
So she began a seven-year project to cross index all the key witnesses and findings, filling dozens of notebooks with 28,000 pages of files on each witness and their specific link to Oswald. What she ultimately discovered was that the international terror network had gone underground and were continuing their fascist campaign to take over one country after another, including the US.
Thirty-Nine File Cabinets
Her determination to dig deeper into the JFK and other assassinations led her to read 15 newspapers every day and subscribe to more than 150 periodicals. The clippings she cut and saved would eventually fill 39 file cabinets.
As a result of her careful research, Brussell would conclude that the Kennedy assassinations, Martin Luther King’s assassination, the Manson family murders, Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick affair and the Patty Hearst kidnapping were all orchestrated by the far right, the CIA, the FBI and the Mafia with the dual purpose of discrediting the left and establishing a fascist state.
World Watchers International
Starting in 1971, Brussell hosted a weekly radio program called World Watchers International. She broadcast on KLRB in Carmel from 1971 from 1971 to 1983 and on public radio station KAZU in Pacific Grove from 1983-1988. Her program was syndicated to a half dozen stations around the country (including Sacramento, Boston, Syracuse and San Francisco), and hundreds of followers subscribed to her tapes and bibliographies. She also lectured extensively and had articles published in the Realist, People’s Almanac, Berkeley Barb, Penthouse and Hustler.
In addition to researching the US intelligence link to the Kennedy assassinations, the Martin Luther King Assassination and the attempted assassinations on Ronald Reagan, George Wallace and Pope John Paul II, assassination researcher Mae Brussell investigated the assassination of John Lennon and the suspicious deaths of dozens of other rock stars.
She was the first to uncover the role of former Nazi war criminals in the JFK assassination, as well as the US intelligence link to the Watergate break-in in June 1972. Brussell always believed Watergate was a coup to remove Nixon from power, a hypothesis corroborated more than thirty years later by Russ Baker in his 2009 book about the Bush family, Family of Secrets. In investigating the assassination attempt on Reagan, Brussell was the first to uncover that the father of the alleged assassin, John Hinkley Sr was an oil tycoon and close family friend and supporter of vice president George H. W. Bush.
Brussell’s friend (and former Chicago 7 defendant****) Paul Krassner published her the article she wrote about Watergate in August 1972, Why Was Martha Mitchell Kidnapped? John Lennon, who had undergone years of FBI surveillance and harassment, paid the $5,000 printing bill.
The following is an early interview with Mae from 7/21/71. In it she discusses the longstanding power struggle between the Eastern banking/oil elite and the Western military/space elite and the role of John Kennedy’s murder in this power struggle. She also discusses Oswald’s role as an intelligence operative.
*The Christic Institute was a public interest law firm founded by Daniel Sheehan in 1980. Christic represented victims of the nuclear disaster at Three Mile Island; they prosecuted KKK members for killing civil rights demonstrators in the Greensboro Massacre, and they defended Catholic workers providing sanctuary to Salvadoran refugees (American Sanctuary Movement). Most famously, the Christic Institute uncovered the Iran Contra Affair, and led the lawsuit at the heart of the scandal.Along with the suit, the Institute launched a massive public education campaign to raise public consciousness about the Iran Contra affair. Their work eventually led to the appointment of Iran Contra special Prosecutor Lawrence Welsh. His investigation led to the convictions of both former National Security Adviser John Poindexter and National Security Council member Oliver North, although both convictions were subsequently reversed.
**The Iran–Contra affair, also referred to as Irangate, was a political scandal in which senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of weapons to Iran, which was illegal under a US embargo. The allowed the CIA to fund efforts by the Nicaraguan Contras to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.
***In addition to his work as an independent assassinations researcher, John Judge (1947-2014) was also co-founder of 9-11 Citizen Watch, Special Projects Assistant to former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and cofounder of the Coalition on Political Assassination. COPA was founded in 1994 following the release of thousands of classified JFK documents by Clinton’s Assassination Review Board, and Special Projects Assistant former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.
****The Chicago Seven were seven defendants charged with conspiracy, inciting to riot, and other charges related to street protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Counter-intelligence is a five-part documentary examining the history, structure and function of America’s National Security State. The latter is a secretive, quasi-legal bureaucracy whose primary purpose is to enforce the will of the wealthy elite without interference by elected representatives. Laying out the series like a college course, filmmaker Scott Noble reveals the mechanism by which this invisible shadow government exercises near total control over US foreign and domestic policy. Part 1 discusses the CIA, the Joint Services Operation Command and the NSA
Noble defines “black operations” as illegal clandestine operations that are carried out without Congressional oversight or accountability. The National Security Act President Harry Truman signed in 1947 made covert operations the responsibility of the Central Intelligence Group, which wouldn’t become part of the CIA until the 1950s. .
Truman appointed a number of Wall Street bankers and lawyers to run covert operations. Their foreign trade experience (especially with fascist countries) supposedly made them “experts” in foreign relations. Traditionally top CIA officials have been recruited from the children of Wall Street elites at Harvard, Yale and other Ivy League universities.
Yale’s secretive Skull and Bones society has been a particularly fertile ground for recruiting CIA officers. The requirement for new Skull and Bones members to commit an illegal act (usually grave robbing) prepares them for the illegal covert operations they will carry out for the CIA.
“The Company” emphasizes the role of private foundations and contractors (mercenaries) in concealing the CIA’s role in assassinations, foreign coups and drug trafficking. The CIA funded the 2002 against Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez by funneling millions of dollars through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). This made it possible for the Bush administration to deny they played any role whatsoever in the coup.
A major feature of the National Security State is the total absence of oversight or accountability to any elected branch of government. Budgets are virtually unlimited, and there is no requirement for agencies that engage in black operations to report how they spend their funding.
The Joint Services Operation Command (JSOC) is a prime example. The JSOC, which technically falls under Pentagon, receives even less oversight than the CIA. JSOC has a 75 billion dollar budget and employs 200,000 covert operatives, many of them mercenaries. Noble believes the JSOC is a major culprit in trillions that have gone missing from the Pentagon budget.
Owing to its total lack of oversight or accountability, the JSOC is free to contract with a scumbag company like DynCorps, despite their collaboration with the Serbian mafia in sex trafficking – or the sex parties, involving little boys, they throw for Afghan officials.
The National Security Administration (NSA) enjoys even less fiscal accountability. The NSA, which has more operatives than the CIA and FBI combined (40,000), had an $11.6 billion budget in 2012. It also has its own film festival, ski club and yacht club.
CIA Domestic Spying
Noble concludes by touching on the CIA’s repeated and ongoing violation of the federal law prohibiting them from engaging in domestic covert operations. He briefly discusses Operation Chaos (a 1967-73 covert operation against anti-Vietnam war and civil rights activists), MK-Ultra (a 1957-73 project involving mind control experimentation on unwitting Americans) and Operation Mockingbird (a 1950-ongoing operation in which the CIA “recruits” journalists to present the Company in a favorable light).
Counter-intelligence: Shining a Light on Black OperationsScott Noble Metanoia Films (2013)
While the majority of Americans were stunned and outraged at Edward Snowden’s revelations that the government was secretly monitoring their phone calls and emails, the US government has been systematically spying on law abiding citizens for nearly 100 years. In July 2013, University of Wisconsin professor Alfred McCoy, one of America’s foremost experts on CIA narcotics trafficking, laid out an elegant history of government domestic spying in Tomgram: Obama’s Expanding Surveillance Universe. It should be required reading for every high school graduate. Below are some highlights:
1898 -1901 US Occupation of the Philippines
The US Army first developed the capacity to spy and keep records on civilians when they occupied the Philippines (following the Spanish American War) in 1898. n when they occupied the Philippines following the Spanish American War. The local population already had a large, well-organized resistance movement which had been battling Spain for independence. In 1901, as director of the army’s first field intelligence unit, Captain Ralph Van Deman, compiled detailed personal and financial records on thousands of Filipino leaders.
1917 – 1921 World War I and the Palmer Raids
After the US entered World War I in 1917, President Woodrow Wilson engaged Van Deman to create the US Army’s Military Intelligence Division to spy on US civilians. Van Deman, in turn, enlisted a patriotic vigilante group called the American Protective League to assist in collecting a million pages of surveillance reports on Americans of German ancestry (like my grandfather and great grandfather, who was forced to flee to South America).
After the war ended in 1918 they joined with the Bureau of Investigation (renamed the FBI in 1935) to engage in strike breaking in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest and round up and deport European labor activists.
In 1921, incoming president Warren Harding condemned Wilson’s oppressive secret police apparatus and forced the Army and FBI to cut their ties with vigilante groups. Although Van Deman was forced into retirement, he and his wife continued to compile files on 250,000 so-called subversives.
1940 – 1945 World War II
In 1940, Hoover made use of Van Deman’s files and a network of 300,000 informants to carry out illegal FBI wiretaps, break-ins, and mail intercepts against political dissidents – based on allegations, which were never substantiated, that they posed a threat against wartime defense plants were never substantiated.
1960-74 Vietnam War and COINTELPRO
From 1960-74, Hoover expanded this operation, which he renamed COINTELPRO. As well as spying on activists, this operation also subjected them to extensive personal harassment. According to the senateChurch Committee investigating COINTELPRO, Hoover’s vicious tactics included “anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might results in deaths.” As most activists over fifty can tell you, COINTELPRO never ended. I write about my personal encounter with the 1980s version of COINTELPRO in my 2010 memoir The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee.
In 1974, New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh revealed that the CIA, which is forbidden under federal law to operate on US territory, was also engaged in illegal surveillance of antiwar activists under a program known as Operation Chaos. Following his election in 1978, President Jimmy Carter pushed for enactment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This made government wiretaps illegal unless they were approved by a special FISA court.
2003 – 2008 US Occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq (under Bush)
By the time the US attacked Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003-2003, the intelligence security state had a vast array of new spying technologies (including electronic surveillance, biometric identification, and spy drones) at their disposal. In an attempt to bring the Iraqi resistance under control, General McChrystal ordered the collection of 3 million Iraqi fingerprints and iris scans.
Meanwhile Bush attempted to resurrect Hoover’s old vigilante networks via Operation Tips, which was blocked by major opposition from Congress, civil libertarians, and the media. A parallel initiative called Total Information Awareness, which would have compiled electronic files on millions of Americans, was also banned by Congress.
Despite these setbacks, Bush’s defiance of FISA by ordering the NSA to commence collecting email and phone records of American civilians (exposed by the New York Times in 2005) was retroactively ratified by Congress in 2007.
2009 – present US Occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, and Somalia
Obama substantially expanded NSA spying by collaborating with British intelligence to tap into trans-Atlantic cables carrying phone and email traffic and authorizing NSA spying on residents in NATO ally countries Germany, France, and Italy.
Between 2006-10 the US launched the planet’s first cyberwar. In 2010 Obama ordered cyberattacks (Stuxnet) against Iran’s nuclear facility.
Obama’s Vision for Future Surveillance
According to McCoy, since 2012 Obama has been cutting conventional armaments and investing billions in global information control and space warfare technology. New programs include a National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency with 6,000 employees coordinating surveillance data from predator drones, Reapers, U-2 spy planes, Global Hawks, X-37B space drones, Google Earth, Space Surveillance Telescopes, and orbiting satellite. Alongside their surveillance capabilities, new generation spy satellites will have the capability of enveloping the Earth in an electronic grid capable of pulverizing suspected terrorists or entire armies.
Hear Jeff Blankfort interview McCoy about his Tomdispatch article at Radio 4