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Friday, November 22, 2013

The Cardinal Crisis -> 50 Years Ago: The Assassination of President John Kennedy > World Transits: The Mutable Years: 2015, 2016, 2017 > Baby Boomers Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal > U.S. Republicans Hit Rock Bottom > Also, Astromet Climate Forecast: Global Cooling Is On The Way > N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens? > And Featuring: American Courage: How Laura Poitras Helped Edward Snowden Reveal Massive U.S. Government Spying Against Everyone


The Cardinal Crisis
American President John F. Kennedy & Jacqueline Kennedy

President Kennedy gave a speech at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on April 27, 1961 before the American Newspaper Publishers Association:

"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings.

We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.

Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions.

Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it.

And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.

That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes, or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.


"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence, on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.

It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.


Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed..."

50 Years Ago:
The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
1963-2013

Also,


The Mutable Middle Years: 
2015, 2016, 2017

Plus,

Astromet Climate Forecast:
Global Cooling Is On The Way

And,

Ripping Off Young America: 
The College-Loan Scandal

Also,

U.S. Republicans Hit Rock Bottom?

&

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens

Also Featuring,

American Profile In Courage: 
How Laura Poitras Helped Edward Snowden Reveal Massive U.S. Government Spying Against... Well, Everyone

GLOBAL ASTROLOGY
By
Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.sci

Praise be to IAO, the Immortal God

Peace & Goodwill to All Humanity

After several months of intense astrological work, I return with this special edition of Global Astrology, as we head into the major cardinal year of 2014.

In completing various client natal reports I have been working on for some time into the middle years of this decade, I have seen, through their eyes, the things they will see, not only in this decade, but also in the next.

The solar year of 2013 is waning, and as it gives way to the new solar year of 2014, we can expect stronger planetary configurations to form through the months ahead toward major planetary formations - a grand cardinal cross - of April and May 2014.

The planetary configurations of our present times brings to a close the outmoded ways of the late 20th century, here, in the early 21st century.

Over the last 50 years, the United States of America has been run by a thieving, ideological reactionary no-good, and murderous evil cabal.

A generation of vipers.

After the murder of an American president and other officials, including innocent witnesses, their five-decades in power is now coming to a certain end.

Let's hear Jesus Christ describe, in detail, what these murderers can expect; as they shuffle off this mortal coil and enter the next world - the real world - for their sure punishment:

Mary Magdalene said: "Woe, woe, unto sinners!"

Salome answered said:

"My Lord Jesus, a murderer who has never committed any sin but murdering, if he comes out of the body, what is his chastisement?

Jesus answered and said: 

"A murderer who has never committed any sin but murdering, if his time is completed through the sphere {Earth} that he comes out of the body, the receivers of Yaldabaōth come and lead his soul out of the body and bind it by its feet to a great demon with a horse's face, and he spends three days circling round with it in the world.

"Thereafter they lead it into the regions of the cold and of the snow, and they take vengeance on it there, for three years and six months.

"Thereafter, they lead it down into the Chaos before Yaldabaōth and his forty-and-nine demons, and every one of his demons scourges it another three years and six months.


"Thereafter they lead it down into the chaos before Persephonē and take vengeance on it with her chastisements another three years and six months.

"Thereafter they carry it on to the way of the Midst, and every one of the rulers of the way of the midst takes vengeance on it with the chastisements of its regions another three years and six months.

"Thereafter they lead it unto the Virgin of Light, who judges the righteous and the sinners, that she may judge it. 

And when the sphere turns itself, she commands that it shall be cast into the outer darkness until the time when the darkness of the midst shall be upraised; then it, the soul, will be destroyed and dissolved.

"This is the chastisement of the murderer."

~ Jesus Christ, the Pistis Sophia

In these months before the powerful cardinal year of 2014, as we enter the middle years of the Twenty-Tens, a time where the events of the last 50 years, as the domination of the oligarchy and baby boomer establishment comes to an end - the world is discovering the truths behind decades of corruption, greed, theft, lies and murder.

The entire lying edifice is being shown for what it has been for the last 50 years.

World transits are forcing that to happen.

All the horrendous crimes against humanity, which have signified the five decades since the murder of an American president, and tens of thousands of other innocent people after Kennedy death, has nearly arrived at its fated time - 50 years later.

Let's explore those events further, as well as recent events that are connected, so that we can better understand why the world is in such a mess today.


The Cardinal Crisis
50 Years Ago:
1963-2013
The Assassination of President John Kennedy

by Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.Sci

The murder of an American president in broad daylight.

On Friday, November 22, 1963, that’s exactly what happened.

By November 22, 2013, it will have been 50 years since U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas.

One of the most controversial murders in history continues to beguile the world.

As many people wax memorials, speeches, and remembrances on the assassination, with all kinds of opinions and ideologies, we have to be clear on one thing:

And to get right to the point, from a mundane perspective, the conspiracy to murder Kennedy was real and some of those involved are still walking this Earth.

However, as Jesus Christ explained, not for long, and where these murderers are going, no one ever wants to even dream about, for Christ described the many regions of Hades, of Hell itself, as "exceedingly evil."

Regarding the assassination of John Kennedy, the U.S. secret service was complicit, along with the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and elements of the U.S. military as well as then vice-president Lyndon Johnson.

With rifle fire going off around his presidential limousine as it cruised in a motorcade in downtown Dallas, Texas, President Kennedy was first struck in the throat by rifle fire, along with Texas Governor John Connolly, also riding in the presidential limousine, himself shot and wounded.

As Connolly's wife attended to him, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy attended to her husband, the president.

The fatal shot that killed President Kennedy came from the weapon of  the secret service, the driver of presidential limousine, agent William Greer. 

The man who killed President Kennedy, secret service agent William Greer, who is one of those individuals now suffering what Christ described happens to murderers.

It was Greer who fired the fatal shot with a top-secret gun, as he was driving the presidential limousine.

While driving the limo through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Greer slowed the car down, grabbed the weapon and fired it over his shoulder.

The bullet struck the president’s head, throwing his head back (not forward.) This was the shot that killed him. We shall see proof of that fact in the evidence further below.

Transits on November 22, 1963, Dallas, Texas
click on chart to enlarge

The chart of that deadly day in Dallas, Texas, clearly shows a wide range of suspects, working together, who conspired to kill the president. 

The Ascendant rising at Dallas on November 22, 1963 was 29-degrees Scorpio. This clearly shows the conspiracy of others to kill the president. It had been building for some time, particularly in the spring and summer of 1963.

By September, October and early November, there were a rat's nest of well-known people all part of the conspiracy.

Three people in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, later reached the presidency, the first being Lyndon Johnson, the second, Richard Nixon and the third, George Herbert Walker Bush.

Uranus sits on the Mid-heaven (MC) at 9-Virgo showing detailed plans of the conspirators as Uranus is indicative of radical ideological forces.

Uranus is also part of the YOD between itself, Jupiter in Aries (head of state) and the transiting Moon in Aquarius (the United States) while Saturn sits in Aquarius square to Neptune in Scorpio, which features a wide range of deception at the highest levels of government to perpetuate a crime.

Both Venus and Mars in Sagittarius show the president and first lady being seen as ‘guests’ in Texas. 


Nativity of John Kennedy: May 29, 1917
click on chart to enlarge

The natal horoscope of John Kennedy clearly shows how his birth was fated to include the destiny of the United States in the late 20th century.

As the 35th President of the United States, Kennedy faced a wide range of diverse challenges and crisis as the decade of the 1960 began, among them:

The Bay of Pigs Debacle of the CIA
The Cuban Missile Crisis
The Berlin Wall Crisis

The Space Race With the Soviet Union
The Civil Rights Movement
The Vietnam War

Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he lived with family for the first 10 years of his life before the large Kennedy family moved to the state of New York in 1927.

His Ascendant at the time of birth was 20-Libra, with his IC at 23-Capricorn and Midheaven at 23-Cancer.

John Kennedy's natal Sun in Gemini and Moon in Virgo indicated a man with a wide-range of interests including journalism, history and science. His Moon in Virgo proved his adept skills at handling matters of great detail.

In Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, the transiting Lunar Nodes on the Capricorn/Cancer axis crossed Kennedy’s own natal lunar nodes.

This occurred just as Kennedy’s progressed Moon in Gemini had made a new moon conjunction to his natal Gemini Sun in his natal 8th House.

His nativity and progressions clearly show that by the time he became president that he already had a number of enemies, who grew in number because of their association with a wide-range of illegal, criminal and murderous events.

The ideological state of the United States in the early 1960s reflected a need for change and Kennedy represented that change – to the opposition of the military/industrial complex and those who serve it.

The Military/Industrial Complex
“For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” - President John F. Kennedy

Before leaving office in 1961, just before Kennedy was to be sworn in as president, the outgoing president, Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a farewell speech to the nation, and said:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."

John Kennedy was a threat to that military industrial complex. 

After his death, the United States headed in a completely different direction, leading to dysfunction, disruptions and additional assassinations and murders in the 1960s and 1970s.

The passage of time and changing attitudes over the decades always alter people’s perceptions of our presidents. 

However, the most important legacy of President John Kennedy’s administration will never change: and that was that the 1962 Cuban missile crisis did not escalate into all-out nuclear war.

John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy rejected the war hawks, who advised using American military power to crush the threat. 

The United States and the Soviet Union holstered their power and avoided nuclear disaster.

"Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings." - John F. Kennedy

As history illuminated the role of the war hawks to push unnecessary and tragic wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, we should be deeply grateful that President Kennedy’s restraint prevented a nuclear conflagration that in the fall of 1962 seemed imminent.

Kennedy bargained for time and again and defused the nuclear threat.

After the Cuban Missile Crisis had been settled, Kennedy knew for sure that the ideological forces in the Central Intelligence Agency and the within the U.S. military industrial complex were a direct threat to the United States itself.

He also knew that his vice-president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was not a man to be trusted.


President Kennedy’s secretary Evelyn Lincoln wrote in her 1968 book Kennedy and Johnson that November 19, 1963 had been “one of the most pleasant days” she could remember in the White House.

Kennedy’s schedule was light and he had spent long stretches of time in the rocking chair in her office, speaking pensively as he rocked. “You know, if I am reelected in ’64,” he said. 


“I am going to spend more and more time making government service an honorable career,” adding, “I am going to advocate changing some of the outmoded rules and regulations in Congress, such as the seniority rule. To this I will need as a running mate in sixty-four a man who believes as I do.” 

As if thinking out loud, he continued, “ ... it is too early to make an announcement about another running mate - that will perhaps wait until the convention.”

“Who is your choice of a running mate?” Lincoln asked.

Looking straight ahead and without hesitating he replied, “At this time I am thinking about Governor Terry Sanford of North Carolina. But it will not be Lyndon.”

Lyndon Johnson (left) and President John Kennedy

By 1963, Kennedy had become increasingly concerned that Johnson was unfit to assume the only vice-presidential duty that mattered: assuming the presidency.

He had made him chairman of the Presidential Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity only to have its members gripe that he showed little leadership. 

“That man can’t run this committee,” he complained to Bobby. “Can you think of anything more deplorable than him trying to run the United States?” 

His uneasiness about a Johnson presidency may have also prompted him to ask Charlie Bartlett in September 1963, “How do you think Lyndon would be if I got killed?”


In Ted Sorensen’s 2008 memoirs he reported that when he asked Jackie Kennedy to read the manuscript of his 1965 book, Kennedy, and make comments in the margins, she had deleted or modified every complimentary reference to Johnson.

She criticized his statement that the two men had enjoyed “a deep mutual respect,” writing, “I think you overstate this a bit - from JFK’s side,” and then crossed out the entire sentence. 

Jackie told him that his “glowing references” to Johnson did not “reflect President Kennedy’s thinking,” and added, “You must know - as well or better than I - his steadily diminishing opinion of him then.

As his term progressed, he grew more and more concerned about what would happen if LBJ ever became president. He was truly frightened at the prospect.”

The transcripts of Jackie Kennedy’s 1964 oral history interviews with Arthur Schlesinger were published in 2011.

In them she described her husband becoming increasingly worried about the prospect of a Johnson presidency, repeatedly telling her, “Oh, God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Johnson was president?”

The U.S. military, Secret Service, CIA and FBI

The events of post-World War II America was really about a war on young people.

The decades of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s is proof positive of the spiritual bankruptcy of the establishment of those decades.

All one has to do is to examine the history of those decades to see how spiritually empty those who formed the oligarchy and establishment.

They hated the young and in the process, those old people, some dead, others dying, head straight into perdition for the crimes and murders they have committed, as the passage of transits - of time itself - settles many scores.

This is Oliver Stone's version, explaining the conspiracy to kill President Kennedy in Stone's 1991 film 'JFK':


Secret service agent, Thomas Shipman, aged 51, who was to be the actual driver for President John Kennedy, mysteriously died at Camp David, Maryland of a ‘heart attack’ on October 14, 1963 - a month before the assassination - while waiting for the president to return from a trip.


Shipman had been with the secret service for 13 years.

He was replaced by William Greer, the secret service agent who drove the presidential limousine through Dealey Plaza.

It was Greer who shot the president in the head. His partner, Roy Kellerman, is also complicit.

There were two secret service agents in the presidential limo: driving was Bill Greer and sitting beside him is secret service agent Kellerman.


Greer's right hand is on the steering wheel, but the left hand holds a gun.

Some have said the Greer's left hand was on the steering wheel the whole time.

It seems that way because frames have been removed and blurred, but if you look at his hands in the earplug sequence, you can see that the right hand is on the bottom of the wheel, but the left is too far back, and its grip has a different orientation than if it had been on the wheel. 

And there's a dark splotch on top of the grip, and it casts a shadow down the hand. That is the gun, and he blew out Kennedy's brains with it.

The involvement of the Secret Service is very ominous because this is a CIA operation. 

It is Rip Robertson who signals Kellerman and Greer at Main and Houston. 

It would be easier to restrict the conspiracy to the CIA anti-Castro network if Kellerman and Greer were not involved, but the Secret Service wasn't involved with the Bay of Pigs.

How can they be taking cues from the CIA? It only makes sense if there is a common authority over both the CIA and the Secret Service, and that can only be Lyndon Johnson.

Jean Hill, the woman wearing the red coat as Kennedy’s car passed by saw the kill shot. She was immediately arrested in the chaos that followed and told to shut up. 


She claimed that she was harassed by the FBI the rest of her life.

Jean Hill was asked this question about what she saw during the Warren Commission:

"Yeah? Then why didn't anybody see it? Huh?"

Jean Hill to the Warren Commission: 

“...and I thought, because I guess from the TV and movies, that it was Secret Service agents shooting back.

There are other witnesses too:

Austin L Miller Warren Commission testimony:

Mr. MILLER. Well, the way it sounded like, it came from the, I would say from right there in the car.
Hugh Betzner deposition Dallas PD: "I saw what looked like a firecracker going off in the president's car".

Just below is another video of secret service Bill Greer firing the kill shot with a top-secret weapon at President Kennedy’s head, as secret service agent Roy Kellerman holds the steering wheel of the car.

Greer clearly turns his head looking at the president and is easily seen raising the gun over his right shoulder and fires it. 

(Note that the presidential limousine just passes Jean Hill and her friend. Jean Hill is the woman wearing the bright red coat)


Moreover, prior to this, see the unique video below of Kennedy’s arrival in Dallas on November 22, 1963. 

It blatantly shows that how the secret service top brass, which should provide protection for the president, called off Kennedy’s closest protectors to the limousine, just minutes before the assassination (watch the secret hand movements). 

In this video - at the 4:00 minute mark - you can see, once again, the secret service driver of Kennedy’s car, Bill Greer, turn his head, and then raise the weapon over his left right shoulder to fire the fatal head shot that killed President Kennedy.


Author Matthew Smith, who wrote the 1992 book, “JFK: The Second Plot,’ argues that Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA agent.

Smith quotes James Wilcott, a former CIA man, who claimed that Oswald had been "recruited from the military for the express purpose of becoming a double agent assignment to the USSR." 

The Soviets were suspicious of Oswald and he was allowed so little freedom in Russia that was decided by the CIA to bring him home.

On his amazing and easy arrival back in the United States with the help of the CIA, Oswald continued to pose as a left-wing activist.

Smith argues that Oswald was "taken over and run by renegade CIA agents who were dedicated to assassinating President Kennedy."


Smith claims that J. D. Tippit and Roscoe White were also involved in this plot although he suggests that Oswald was not aware of what was going on and was being set up as a patsy.

Tippit was supposed to take Oswald to Redbird Airport where he was to be flown to Cuba in order to implicate Fidel Castro in the assassination.

Smith then proceeds to tell the story of the only African-American secret service agent who was hired specifically by President John Kennedy to serve on his detail.

Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden
Abraham Bolden, the first African-American secret service agent, was hand-picked by President Kennedy himself.  His amazing story as an agent to protect Kennedy is little known - until now.

Smith writes, 

“One of the outstanding examples of a witness being frustrated in his attempt to speak out when he had something important to say is to be found in the story of Abraham Bolden. 

Abraham Bolden was a member of the White House detail of the Secret Service - the first African-American to be appointed to that body. 

Abraham Bolden had heard of a Chicago plot to kill the President and was anxious to tell what he knew.

Bolden was also critical of the personnel appointed to guard the President, claiming that they were "lax" in their duties.


It was believed that an attempt on Kennedy's life had been foiled on November 1, 1963 in Chicago due to Bolden's outstanding work and attention to detail in protecting the president.

However, three weeks before President Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, and it would have been extremely embarrassing to the Warren Commission, heavily involved in establishing their "lone killer - no conspiracy" theory, to have had Bolden telling the commission of the Chicago plot.

Bolden's superior officers blocked his request.

Then, just a few months after Kennedy's assassination, Abraham Bolden was falsely charged with soliciting a huge bribe for disclosing secret information on a counterfeiter, Joseph Spagnoli.

Bolden was jailed for six years.

Spagnoli later confessed that he had lied about Bolden, at the request of Prosecutor Richard Sikes, he claimed.

In spite of this Bolden was still made to serve his full sentence.”

Note this very unusual telegram I dug up referring to the great injustice done to Abraham Bolden and his family and the peculiar words and terms used in the western union telegram below:

click on telegram to enlarge

Bolden wrote a book detailing the harassment he took from his supervisors and many of the Caucasian secret service agents, as Bolden was the only African-American secret service agent at that time.



Bolden also stated - unequivocally - that Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill President Kennedy.
click on image to enlarge

Over 100 + murders, 'suicides' & mysterious deaths - the strange fates of witnesses who saw President Kennedy killed, or knew secrets of the high-level conspiracy

by Penn Jones Jr.

[*Editor's Note: The victims' names are highlighted in bold.]

Shortly after dark on Sunday night November 24, 1963, after Ruby had killed Lee Harvey Oswald, a meeting took place in Jack Ruby's apartment in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas.

Five persons were present. George Senator and Attorney Tom Howard were present and having a drink in the apartment when two newsmen arrived.

The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the Long Beach California Press Telegram, and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald.

Attorney C.A. Droby of Dallas arranged the meeting for the two newsmen. Jim Martin, a close friend of George Senator's, was also present at the apartment meeting.
    
This writer asked Martin if he thought it was unusual for Senator to forget the meeting while testifying in Washington on April 22, 1964, since Bill Hunter, who was a newsman present at the meeting, was shot to death that very night.

Martin grinned and said: "Oh, you're looking for a conspiracy."
   
I nodded yes and he grinned and said, "You will never find it."
   
I asked soberly, "Never find it, or not there?"
   
He added soberly, "Not there."

    Bill Hunter, a native of Dallas and an award winning newsman in Long Beach, was on duty and reading a book in the police station called "Public Safety Building."

Two policemen going off duty came into the press room, and one policeman shot Hunter through the heart at a range officially ruled to be "no more than three feet."

The policeman said he dropped his gun, and it fired as he picked it up, but the angle of the bullet caused him to change his story.

He finally said he was playing a game of 'quick draw' with his fellow officer. The other officer testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place.

    Hunter, who covered the assassination for his paper, the Long Beach Press Telegram, had written:

"Within minutes of Ruby's execution of Oswald, before the eyes of millions watching television, at least two Dallas attorneys appeared to talk with him."

    Hunter was quoting Tom Howard who died of a heart attack in Dallas a few months after Hunter's own death.

Lawyer Tom Howard was observed acting strangely to his friends two days before his death. Howard was taken to the hospital by a "friend" according to the newspapers.

No autopsy was performed.

Dallas Times Herald reporter Jim Koethe was killed by a karate chop to the throat just as he emerged from a shower in his apartment on September 21, 1964.

His murderer was not indicted.

    Jim Koethe 
   
What went on in that significant meeting in Ruby's and Senator's apartment?

    Few are left to tell.

There is no one in authority to ask the question, since the Warren Commission has made its final report, and The House Select Committee has closed its investigation.
   
Dorothy Kilgallen
was another reporter who died strangely and suddenly after her involvement in the Kennedy assassination.

Miss Kilgallen is the only journalist who was granted a private interview with Jack Ruby after he killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

Judge Joe B. Brown granted the interview during the course of the Ruby trial in Dallas - to the intense anger of the hundreds of other news people present.

    We will not divulge exactly what Miss Kilgallen did to obtain the interview with Ruby.

But Judge Brown bragged about the price paid.

Only that was not the real price Miss Kilgallen paid. She gave her life for the interview.

Miss Kilgallen stated that she was "going to break this case wide open."

She never did.

Journalist Dorothy Kilgallen.

She died on November 8, 1965. Her autopsy report took eight days. She was 52 years old.

Then, just two days later Mrs. Earl T. Smith, a close friend of Miss Kilgallen's, died of undetermined causes.

Tom Howard,
who died of a heart attack, was a good friend of District Attorney Henry Wade, although they often opposed each other in court.

Howard was close to Jack Ruby and other fringes of the Dallas underworld.

    Like Ruby, Howard's life revolved around the police station, and it was not surprising when he and Ruby (toting his gun) showed up at the station on the evening of the assassination of President Kennedy.

Nor was it unusual when Howard arrived at the jail shortly after Ruby shot Oswald, asking to see his old friend.

   Jack Ruby, imprisoned, waiting for trial for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, and demanding to see justices from the Supreme Court, was taken to the hospital with pneumonia. Twenty eight days later, he was reportedly dead, not from pneumonia, but from cancer?

Howard was shown into a meeting room to see a bewildered Ruby who had not asked for a lawyer.

For the next two days - until Ruby's brother, Earl, soured on him, and had Howard relieved - he was Jack Ruby's chief attorney and public spokesman.

Howard took to the publicity with alacrity, called a press conference, wheeled and dealed.

He told newsmen the case was a "once-in-a-lifetime chance," and that "speaking as a private citizen," he thought Ruby deserved a Congressional medal.

He told the Houston Post that Ruby had been in the police station Friday night (November 22, 1963) with a gun.

Howard dickered with a national magazine for an Oswald murder story.

He got hold of a picture showing the President's brains flying out of the car, and tried to sell it to Life magazine.

Ruby's sister, Eva Grant, even accused Howard of leaking information to the DA. It was never quite clear whether Howard was working for Ruby or against him.
    On March 27, 1965, Howard was taken to a hospital by an unidentified person and died there.

He was 48. The doctor, without benefit of an autopsy, said he had suffered a heart attack. Some reporters and friends of Howard's were not so certain. Some said he was "bumped off."

    Earlene Roberts was the plump widow who managed the rooming house where Lee Harvey Oswald was living under the name 'O. H. Lee.'

She testified before the Warren Commission that she saw Oswald come home around one o'clock, go to his room for three or four minutes and walk out zipping his light weight jacket.

A few minutes later, a mile away, officer J. D. Tippit was shot dead.

    Mrs. Roberts testified that while Oswald was in his room, two uniformed cops pulled up in front of the rooming house and honked twice - "Just tit tit," she said.
   
The police department issued a report saying all patrol cars in the area, except Tippit's, were accounted for.

The Warren Commission let it go at that.
   
After testifying in Dallas in April 1964, Mrs. Roberts was subjected to intensive police harassment.

They visited her at all hours of the day and night. Earlene complained of being "worried to death" by the police.

She died on January 9, 1966 in Parkland Hospital (the same hospital where President Kennedy was taken).

Police said she suffered a heart attack in her home.

No autopsy was performed.

Warren Reynolds was minding his used car lot on East Jefferson Street in Oak Cliff in Dallas, when he heard shots two blocks away. 

He thought it was a marital quarrel. Then he saw a man having a great difficulty tucking "a pistol or an automatic" in his belt, and running at the same time. 

Reynolds gave chase for a short piece being careful to keep his distance, then lost the fleeing man. 

He didn't know it then, but he had apparently witnessed the flight of the killer (or one of the killers) of Dallas patrolman Jefferson David Tippit. 

Feeling helpful, he gave his name to a passing policeman and offered his cooperation. Television cameras zeroed in on him, got his story, and made him well known. 

Warren Reynolds, the amiable used car man, was making history.

Warren Reynolds
 
 Reynolds was not questioned until two months after the event.

The FBI finally talked to him in January 1964.

The FBI interview report said, "... he was hesitant to definitely identify Oswald as the individual."

Then it added, "He advised he is of the opinion Oswald is the person."

    Two days after Reynolds talked to the FBI, he was shot in the head.

He was closing up his used car lot for the night at the time. Nothing was stolen.

Later after consulting retired General Edwin Walker (the man Oswald allegedly shot at before he assassinated President Kennedy), he told the Warren Commission Counsel that Oswald was definitely the man he saw fleeing the Tippit murder scene.

    A young hood was arrested for the murder attempt.

Darrell Wayne Garner had called a relative bragging that he shot Reynolds.

But Garner had an alibi, Nancy Jane Mooney, alias Betty McDonald, who said Garner was in bed with her at the time he was supposed to have shot Reynolds.

Nancy Jane had worked at Jack Ruby's Carousel Club.

Garner was freed.
   
Nancy Jane was picked up a week later for fighting with a girlfriend.

She was arrested for disturbing the peace. The girlfriend was not arrested.

Within hours after her arrest, Nancy Jane was dead.

Police reports said she hanged herself with her toreador pants.

    Reynolds and his family were harassed and threatened.

But upon giving the Warren Commission a firm identification of Oswald as being the Tippit murder fugitive, he said, "I don't think they are going to bother me any more."

Hank Killam was a house painter who lived at Mrs. A.C. Johnson's rooming house at the same time Lee Harvey Oswald lived there.

His wife, Wanda, once pushed cigarettes and drinks at Jack Ruby's club.

    Hank was a big man, over six feet and weighing over 200 pounds.

After the assassination, federal agents visited him repeatedly causing him to lose one job after another.

   Hank Killam 

Killam was absorbed by the assassination, even obsessed.

Hours after the event, he came home, "white as a sheet."

Wanda said he stayed up all night watching the television accounts of the assassination. Later he bought all the papers and clipped the stories about Kennedy's death.

    Before Christmas, Killam left for Florida. Wanda confessed where he was.

Federal agents hounded him in Tampa, Florida where he was working selling cars at his brother-in-law's car lot.

He lost his job.

    Killam wrote Wanda that he would be sending for her soon. He received a phone call on St. Patrick's day. 

He left the house immediately.

He was found later on a sidewalk in front of a broken window. His jugular vein was cut.

He bled to death en route to the hospital.

    There is no mention of Killam by the Warren Commission. A number of FBI documents on Killam relating to the assassination were withheld, along with documents prepared by the CIA.

What is clear is that SOMEBODY considered Hank Killam a very important guy.

William Whaley was known as the "Oswald Cabbie."

He was one of the few who had the opportunity to talk alone with the accused killer of President Kennedy.

He testified that Oswald hailed him at the Dallas Greyhound bus station.

Whaley said he drove Oswald to the intersection of Beckley and Neches - half a block from the rooming house - and collected a dollar.

Later he identified Oswald as his fare in a questionable police line-up.

Whaley was killed in a head-on collision on a bridge over the Trinity River, December 18, 1965; his passenger was critically injured.

The 83 year old driver of the other car was also killed. Whaley had been with the City Transportation Company since 1936 and had a perfect driving record.

He was the first Dallas cabbie to be killed on duty since 1937.

When I went to interview the manager of the cab company about Whaley's death, he literally pushed me out of the office, "If you're smart, you won't be coming around here asking questions."

Domingo Benavides, an auto mechanic, was witness to the murder of Officer Tippit. Benavides testified he got a "really good view of the slayer."
   
Benavides said the killer resembled newspaper pictures of Oswald, but he described him differently, "I remember the back of his head seemed like his hairline went square instead of tapered off..."

Benavides reported he was repeatedly threatened by the police who advised him not to talk about what he saw.

    In mid-February 1964, his brother Eddy, who resembled him, was fatally shot in the back of the head at a beer joint on Second Avenue in Dallas.

The case was marked "unsolved."

    Benavides's father-in-law J. W. Jackson was not impressed by the investigation. He began his own inquiry.

Two weeks later, J.W. Jackson was shot at his home. As the gunman escaped, a police car came around the block. It made no attempt to follow the speeding car with the gunman.

 The police advised that Jackson should "lay off this business."

"Don't go around asking questions; that's our job."

Jackson and Benavides are both convinced that Eddy's murder was a case of mistaken identity and that Domingo Benavides, the Tippit witness was the intended victim.


The testimony of Lee Bowers is perhaps as explosive as any recorded by the Warren Commission.

Lee Bowers

Lee Bowers was one of the 65 witnesses who saw the President's assassination, and who thought shots were fired from the area of the Grassy Knoll.

(The Knoll is west of the Texas School Book Depository Building.)

But more than that, Bowers was in a unique position to observe some pretty strange behavior in the Knoll area before, and during the assassination.

Bowers, who was working as a tower-man for the Union Terminal Co., on November 22, 1963, was stationed in his 14 foot tower directly behind the Grassy Knoll.

He faced the scene of the assassination. He could see the railroad overpass to his right.

Directly in front of him was a parking lot and a wooden stockade fence, and a row of trees running along the top of the Grassy Knoll.

The Knoll sloped down to the spot on Elm Street where President Kennedy was killed.

Police had "cut off" traffic into the parking lot, Bowers said, "so that anyone moving around could actually be observed."
   
Bowers made two significant observations which he revealed to the Warren Commission.

First, he saw three unfamiliar cars slowly cruising around the parking area in the 35 minutes before the assassination; the first two left after a few minutes.

The driver of the second car appeared to be talking into a "mic or telephone"; "he was holding something up to his mouth with one hand and he was driving with the other."

A third car with out-of-state license plates and mud up to the windows, probed all around the parking area.

Bowers last remembered seeing it about eight minutes before the shooting, pausing "just above the assassination site."

    Bowers also observed two unfamiliar men standing on the top of the Knoll at the edge of the parking lot, within 10 or 15 feet of each other.

"One man, middle aged or slightly older, fairly heavy set, in a white shirt, fairly dark trousers.

Another man, younger, about mid-twenties, in either a plaid shirt or plaid coat or jacket."

Both were facing toward Elm and Houston in anticipation of the president's motorcade.

The two were the only strangers he remembered seeing. His description shows a remarkable similarity to Julia Ann Mercer's description of two unidentified men climbing the Knoll.

    When the shots rang out, Bowers's attention was drawn to the area where he had seen the two men; he could still make out the one in the white shirt:

"The darker dressed man was too hard to distinguish from the trees."

    Bowers said that he observed "some commotion" at that spot... something out of the ordinary, a sort of milling around...  which attracted my eye for some reason which I could not identify."

At that moment, a motorcycle policeman left the Presidential motorcade and roared up the Grassy Knoll, straight to where the two mysterious gentlemen were standing.

Later, Bowers testified that the "commotion" that caught his eye may have been a "flash of light or smoke."
   
Less than three years later, on the morning of August 9, 1966, Lee Bowers, now a vice-president of a construction firm, was driving south of Dallas on business.

He was two miles south of Midlothian, Texas when his brand new company car veered from the road and hit a bridge abutment.

A farmer who saw it, said the car was going about 50 miles an hour, a slow speed for that road.
 
 Bowers died in a Dallas hospital. He was 41 years old.

There was no autopsy and he was cremated.

A doctor from Midlothian who rode to Dallas in the ambulance with Bowers, noticed something peculiar about the victim.

"He was in some strange sort of shock... " the doctor said, "... A different kind of shock than an accident victim experiences. I can't explain it. I've never seen anything like it."

    When I questioned his widow, she insisted there was nothing suspicious, but then she became flustered and said:

"They told him not to talk."

Harold Russell was with Warren Reynolds when the Tippit shooting took place.

Both men saw the Tippit killer escape.

Russel was interviewed in January 1964, and signed a statement that the fleeing man was Oswald.
    A few months after the assassination, Russell went back to his home near David, Oklahoma.

In July of 1965, Russell went to a party with a female friend.

He seemingly went out of his mind at the party and started telling everyone he was going to be killed.

He begged friends to hide him. Someone called the police.

When the policemen arrived, one of them hit Russell on the head with his pistol.

Russell was then taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead a few hours later: cause of death was listed as "heart failure."

Among others who died strangely were James Worrell, who died in a motorcycle accident on November 9, 1966.

Worrell had said that he saw a strange man run from the back door of the Texas School Book Depository shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy.

 Gary Underhill was shot. This death was ruled suicide on May 8, 1964. Underhill was a former CIA agent and claimed he knew who was responsible for killing President Kennedy.

Delilah Walle was a worker at Ruby's club. She was married only 24 days when her new husband shot and killed her. She had been working on a book of what she supposedly knew about the assassination.

William "Bill" Waters died May 20, 1967. Police said he died of a drug overdose (demerol). 

No autopsy was performed.

His mother said Oswald and Killam came to her home before the assassination and her son tried to talk Oswald and Killam out of being involved.

Waters called FBI agents after the assassination. The FBI told him he knew too much and to keep his mouth shut. 

He was arrested and kept in Memphis in a county jail for eight months on a misdemeanor charge.

  Albert Guy Bogard, an automobile salesman who worked for Downtown Lincoln Mercury, showed a new Mercury to a man using the name "Lee Oswald." 

Shortly after Bogard gave his testimony to a Commission attorney in Dallas, he was badly beaten and had to be hospitalized. 

Upon his release, he was fearful for his safety. Bogard was from Hallsville, Louisiana. 

He was found dead in his car at the Hallsville Cemetery on St. Valentine's day in 1966. 

A rubber hose was attached to the exhaust and the other end extending into the car. The ruling was suicide. 

He was just 41 years old.

David Ferrie of New Orleans, before he could be brought to trial for his involvement in the Kennedy assassination, died of brain hemorrhage. 

Just what caused his brain hemorrhage has not been established. Ferrie was to testify in the famous Jim Garrison trial, but death prevented him.

David Ferrie

Dr. Mary Stults Sherman,
age 51, was found stabbed and burned in her apartment in New Orleans. Dr. Sherman had been working on a cancer experiment with Ferrie.
Dr. Mary Stults Sherman

    Another Ferrie associate, Eladio Cerefine de Valle, 43, died on the same day as Ferrie.

His skull was split open and then he was then shot.

DeValle had used Ferrie as a pilot. DeValle had been identifying some men in a photo taken in New Orleans for Jim Garrison.

One of the men in the photo was Lee Harvey Oswald.



Paul Dyer, of the New Orleans Police force died. He was the first police officer to question David Ferrie. He got sick on the job and then quickly died a month later of cancer.

He had just interviewed Ferrie.

News reporters were not exempt either.

Two female reporters died strangely. Lisa Howard supposedly committed suicide. She knew a great deal about the "understanding" which was in the making after the Bay of Pigs, between President Kennedy and the Cubans.

Journalist Marguerite Higgins bluntly accused the American authorities of the November 2nd, 1963 killing of Premier Diem and his brother Nhu, just 20 days before Kennedy's murder. A few months after her accusation, Higgins died in a landmine explosion in Vietnam.

Just a day day after Kennedy was killed, on Saturday November 23, 1963, Jack Zangetty, the manager of a $150,000 modular motel complex near Lake Lugert, Oklahoma, remarked to some friends that "Three other men - not Oswald - killed the President."

He also stated that, "A man named Ruby will kill Oswald tomorrow and in a few days a member of the Frank Sinatra family will be kidnapped just to take some of the attention away from the assassination."
   
Two weeks later, Jack Zangetty was found floating in Lake Lugert with bullet holes in his chest. It appeared to witnesses he had been in the water one to two weeks.

The killings fell off in the early 1970s, then, in the wake of Watergate, and President Nixon's impeachment and forced resignation in 1974, the House of Representatives began new inquiries and hearings into the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy.

Lou Staples, a radio announcer who was doing a good many of his radio shows on the Kennedy assassination, lost his life sometime on Friday night May 13, 1977.

This was near Yukon, Oklahoma. He had been having radio shows on the assassination since 1973 and the response to his programs was overwhelming.

Lou's death was termed suicide, but the bullet ending his life entered behind his right temple and Lou was left handed. He joined Gary Underhill, William Pitzer and Joe Cooper whose "suicides" were all done with the "wrong hand" shots to the head.

Karyn Kupcinet, daughter of Irv Kupcinet, was trying to make a long distance call from Los Angeles.

According to reports, the operator heard Miss Kupcinet scream into the phone that President Kennedy was going to be killed.

    Two days after the assassination, she was found murdered in her apartment. The case is unsolved.

She was 23.

Rose Cherami, 40, was an employee of Jack Ruby's club. She was riding with two men on a return trip from Florida carrying a load of narcotics.

She was thrown from the car when an argument began between her and one of the men.

She was hospitalized for injuries and drug withdrawal. She told authorities that President Kennedy was going to be killed in Dallas.

After her release from the hospital, she was a victim of a hit and run accident on September 4, 1965 near Big Sandy, Texas.

Robert L. Perrin was a gun runner for Jack Ruby. His wife, Nancy testified before the Warren Commission that Robert took a dose of arsenic in August 1962.

    Robert L. Perrin

Guy Bannister was a private detective who was closely involved in the Jim Garrison trial.

Guy and his partner, Hugh Ward, died within a 10 day period as the Warren Commission was closing its hearings.

Bannister supposedly died of a heart attack, but witnesses said that he had a bullet hole in his body. 

George deMohrenschildt
was another man who was to give testimony but never made it.

DeMohrenschildt, in his final days, became suspicious of everyone around him, even his wife, who also had connections to the CIA like he did.

He was nearing a nervous breakdown some people thought.

He died of gun shot wounds. The verdict was suicide.

But deMohrenschildt was a member of the White Russian society and very wealthy.

He visited Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald when they lived on Neely Street.

Marina visited the deMohrenschildts when she and Lee Harvey Oswald were having some of their disagreements.

Cliff Carter, LBJ's aide who rode in the vice-President's follow up car in the motorcade in Dealey Plaza where President Kennedy was gunned down, was LBJ's top aide during his first administration.

Carter died of mysterious circumstances. It was said that he died of pneumonia and that no penicillin could be located in the entire city of Washington, D.C. in September 1971.

This was supposedly the cause of  Carter's death.

Buddy Walthers, Deputy Sheriff, was at the kill sight of President Kennedy He picked up a bullet in a hunk of brain matter blown from the President's head.

Walthers never produced the bullet for evidence.


Walthers was also at the Texas Theater when Oswald was arrested.

In a January 10th, 1969 shooting, Walthers was shot through the heart. In the shootout Walthers and his companion Deputy Alvin Maddox, were fired upon by Cherry, an escaped prisoner.

Walthers and Maddox were trying to capture Cherry when Walthers was shot through the heart. Walthers's widow received $10,000.00 for her husband dying in the line of duty.

Clay Shaw, age 60, died five years after he was charged by Jim Garrison for his involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Some reports have it that he had been ill for months after surgery for removing a blood clot. Other newspaper reports of his death stated he had cancer.

It was revealed that Shaw was a paid contact for the CIA.

Clay Shaw

A neighbor reported that an ambulance was seen pulling up to the Shaw home.

Then a body was carried in and an empty stretcher brought out.

A few hours later, Shaw was reportedly found dead in his home. He was given a quick embalming before a Coroner could be notified. It was then impossible to determine the cause of death.

On May 15, 1975, Police Officer Roger Dean Craig died of a massive gun shot wound to the chest.

Supposedly, it was his second try at suicide and a success.

Craig was a witness to the slaughter of President Kennedy.

Only Craig's story was different from the one the police told.

   
Craig testified in the Jim Garrison trial.

Before this, Craig had lost his job with the Dallas Police Department.

In 1961, he had been "Man of the Year." Because he would not change his story of the assassination, he was harassed and threatened, stabbed, shot at, and his wife left him.

    Craig wrote two manuscripts of what he witnessed. "When They Kill A President" and "The Patient Is Dying."
   
Craig's father was out mowing the lawn when Craig supposedly shot himself. Considering the hardships, Craig very well could have committed suicide. But no one will ever know.

John M. Crawford, 46, died in a mysterious plane crash near Huntsville, Texas on April 15, 1969. It appeared from witnesses that Crawford had left in a rush. Crawford was a homosexual and a close friend of Jack Ruby's. Ruby supposedly carried Crawford's phone number in his pocket at all times. 

Crawford was also a friend of Buell Wesley Frazier's, the neighbor who took Lee Harvey Oswald to work on that fatal morning of November 22, 1963. 


Hale Boggs
was the only member of the Warren Commission who disagreed with the conclusions. Hale Boggs did not follow Earl Warren and his disciples.

He totally disagreed.

Boggs was in a plane crash lost over the frozen state of Alaska, and was never seen again.

Nicholas J. Chetta, M.D. age 50, was Orleans Parish coroner since 1950.

He died at Mercy Hospital on May 25, 1968. Newspaper reports were sketchy. It was said he suffered a heart attack.

Dr. Chetta was the coroner who served at the death of David Ferrie.

    Dr. Chetta was also the key witness regarding Perry Russo against Clay Shaw. Shaw's attorney went into federal court only after Dr. Chetta was dead.

Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered, then his assassin not captured until over a year later. Dr. King was the only hope this country had for bringing about equality.

The death of Robert Kennedy, only shortly after Dr. King's death on June 5th, 1968, was a brazen act that gave notice to this entire nation that many things were wrong.

It became imperative, when Senator Robert Kennedy became a threat as a Presidential candidate, that he had to be killed.

Robert Kennedy, running for president in the 1968 elections, is seen here dying after he was assassinated in Los Angeles - June 1968.  

There is evidence that two persons, a man, and a woman were with the accused killer of Bobby Kennedy, but authorities have found no trace of them.

Coroner Thomas Noguchi told the Grand Jury that the powder burns indicated the murder gun was fired not more than two to three inches from Robert Kennedy's right ear.

Eyewitnesses testified that Sirhan was never closer than four or five feet from Robert Kennedy
    I have not, by any means, listed "all" of the strange deaths.

I have a complete list in my books. I have listed the most significant ones that occurred after the assassination.

The strange deaths after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, in my estimate, numbered over 100, but I am certain I know of only a fraction.

    Many strange deaths occurred after the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

No one yet knows the exact number.
~
Jim Garrison:

"There is no statute of limitations on murder.
Remember, the assassination of President Kennedy and the murders of witnesses are crimes - conspiracy to murder and murder one."
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, who in 1966 began his investigation of the president’s assassination and the involvement of individuals in New Orleans, Louisiana, authored a 1988 book, ‘On the Trail of the Assassins,’ where he wrote:

“According to Dallas Police Lieutenant Jack Revill, an F.B.I, agent came up to him at Dallas police headquarters at 2:50 P.M. and said that the Bureau had "information that this suspect was capable of committing the assassination." 

The agent who brought this welcome news and was the first to mention the name of Lee Harvey Oswald, was none other than FBI agent James Hosty.

President Kennedy, Caroline and John Jr., playing in the Oval Office.

Was Hosty merely an innocent messenger, or had he and possibly others in the Bureau been involved in a plot to set up Oswald as the patsy?
Oswald and his wife, Marina.

If F.B.I, employees had been part of the conspiracy, then that might explain why the Bureau had mysteriously failed to act on the warning sent over its telex system five days before the assassination and why no one responded to the letter of warning that Richard Case Nagell claimed to have sent to J. Edgar Hoover.

It also might explain why Oswald, who evidently did not get along with Hosty and may have sensed that he was being set up, had sent a telegram to the secretary of the Navy ten days before the assassination.

I began to formulate a possible scenario. 

Long in advance, the engineers of the assassination had selected the idealistic and gullible Oswald as a patsy.


Oswald was born with a natal Mars in Aquarius, which clearly shows his close-mouthed intelligence background helped to assure not only success in the venture, but subsequent support from the government, which would not want to admit that the assassination originated in its own intelligence community.


If Oswald was on the government payroll as a confidential informant in Dallas and New Orleans, he might well have believed that his job was to penetrate subversive organizations, including Fair Play for Cuba and perhaps Guy Banister's apparatus, in order to report back to the F.B.I, about them.

Along the way, he was allowed to penetrate a marginal part of the assassination project, again with the idea that he was engaged in an officially sponsored effort to obtain information about it.


He may even have filed reports on the plot to kill the President with his contact agent, James Hosty.

When Oswald sensed that Hosty was not responsive, he may have gone over his head and telegraphed some kind of warning to the secretary of the Navy, who in turn may have informed the F.B.I.'s Washington headquarters, which then sent out its warning telex.”

Garrison's investigation scared the establishment so much that a campaign had begun to attempt to discredit Garrison, who fought back.

Then, on July 15, 1967, NBC allowed New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to respond to an NBC program that was highly critical of Garrison's pursuit of alleged Kennedy assassination conspirators in New Orleans:


Here's what Garrison had to say to a national television audience.



Lee Harvey Oswald, an innocent man who had turned 24 years old a month before being arrested for assassinating President Kennedy and a Dallas police officer said that he did not shoot or kill anyone and he was being used as a "patsy."

Oswald asked for legal help.

 Oswald with wife Marina and child.

Oswald, who spoke to the media at a press conference at Dallas Police Headquarters, continued to claim that he did not kill anyone.

As Oswald was being transferred, and surrounded by dozens of top police commanders, detectives and officers, he was fatally shot by Jack Ruby in front of live television cameras.
Another innocent person - this time Lee Harvey Oswald - killed in public with Dallas police everywhere.

Peter Dale Scott, who authored the 1993 book, ‘Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, wrote:

“Such an explanation is less plausible for the FBI's interference with leads that appeared to be guiding its agents to the actual assassins of the President - a case, seemingly, of obstruction of justice, or worse. 

How else should one assess the response of FBI headquarters to a report from Miami that Joseph Adams Milteer, a white racist with Klan connections, had in early November 1963 correctly warned that a plot to kill the President "from an office building with a high-powered rifle" was already "in the working"? 


These words are taken from a tape-recording of a discussion between Milteer and his friend, Miami police informant Bill Somersett. 

Miami police provided copies of this tape to both the Secret Service and the FBI on November 10, 1963, two weeks before the assassination, and this led to the cancellation of a planned motorcade for the President in Miami on November 18.20

Although an extremist, Milteer was no loner.

Southern racists were well organized in 1963, in response to federal orders for desegregation; and Milteer was an organizer for two racist parties, the National States Rights party and the Constitution party.

In addition he had attended an April 1963 meeting in New Orleans of the Congress of Freedom, Inc., which had been monitored by an informant for the Miami police.

A Miami detective's report of the Congress included the statement that "there was indicated the overthrow of the present government of the United States," including "the setting up of a criminal activity to assassinate particular persons."

The report added that "membership within the Congress of Freedom, Inc., contain high ranking members of the armed forces that secretly belong to the organization."


In other words, the deep politics of racist intrigue had become intermingled, in the Congress as elsewhere, with the resentment within the armed forces against their civilian commander.

Perhaps the most important example in 1963 was that of General Edwin Walker, whom Oswald was accused of stalking and shooting at.

Forced to retire in 1962 for disseminating right-wing propaganda in the armed forces, Walker was subsequently arrested at the "Ole Miss" anti-desegregation riots. 

Nor was the FBI itself exempt from racist intrigue: Milteer, on tape, reported detailed plans for the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., whom Hoover's FBI, by the end of 1963, had also targeted for (in their words) "neutralizing ...  as an effective Negro leader."

Four days after the assassination Somerset reported that Milteer had been "jubilant" about it: 

"Everything ran true to form. I guess you thought I was kidding you when I said he would be killed from a window with a high-powered rifle." 


Milteer also was adamant that he had not been "guessing" in his original prediction. In both of the relevant FBI reports from Miami, Somersett was described as "a source who had furnished reliable information in the past."

The authors, Mark North (Act of Treason) and George O'Toole (The Assassination Tapes) both believe that J. Edgar Hoover either knew of plans to kill Kennedy and did nothing to stop them, or he helped to organize the assassination.

The president and first lady enjoying a laugh.

In his book, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993) Peter Dale Scott provides information that Hoover and the Federal Bureau of Investigation helped to cover-up the real identity of the people who assassinated John F. Kennedy.

In his book, Best Evidence, David Lifton claims that members of the Secret Service agents were involved in the killing of Kennedy. This included providing the assassins with a good opportunity to kill Kennedy.

Lifton was highly critical of the behaviour of William Greer, Roy Kellerman and Winston G. Lawson during the assassination.

Lifton also believes that after the assassination of Kennedy they hijacked his  body in order to alter the corpse.


James H. Fetzer says that the Secret Service played a key role in the assassination. In his book, Assassination Science, he writes:

"I have discovered at least fifteen indications of Secret Service complicity in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

From the absence of protective military presence to a lack of coverage of open windows, to motorcycles out of position, to Secret Service agents failing to ride on the Presidential limousine, to the vehicles arranged in an improper sequence, to the utilization of an improper motorcade route, to the driver bringing the vehicle to a halt after bullets began to be fired, to the almost total lack of response by Secret Service agents.

To the driver washing out the back seat with a bucket and sponge at Parkland Hospital, to the car being dismantled and rebuilt (on LBJ's orders), to the driver giving false testimony to the Warren Commission, to the windshields being switched, to the autopsy photographs being taken into custody before they were developed."

50 Years Later:
November 22, 2013
Then Senator John Kennedy and infant daughter Caroline

As the nation marks a half-century since the assassination of President John. F Kennedy, cities nationwide - including Dallas, Texas, where he was murdered - have been holding events to mark the 50 year anniversary.

The first real film before Oliver Stone's film to deal with the Kennedy Assassination of November 22, 1963 was released 21 years earlier, in the year 1970.

I saw this film as a child when it aired on television in the mid-1970s, the film was called ‘Executive Action’ and can be watched here on Global Astrology:



As we enter the second half of the solar year of 2013, we near the Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014 which is eight months away from September 2013.

In these contentious years of the Twenty-Tens, we continue to witness how the corruption, lies and fallacies of a dying oligarchy and baby boomer establishment have wrought dysfunction, disruption and despair on the world.

The events to come in 2014 usher in the middle years of the Twenty-Tens, and I warn all to prepare for these middle years as these world transits are quite stark in light of the dying oligarchy and baby boomer establishment that has been the root cause of all the 'doom and gloom' the world has been witnessed for decades.

Let's explore these 'mutable middle years.'


The Cardinal Crisis
The Mutable Middle Years: 
2015, 2016, 2017

Prepare for Times to Come:
The Mutable Middle Years of 2015, 2016 & 2017

By
Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.sci

Although we are in the solar year 2013, I am always looking further ahead.

After the Grand Cardinal Cross year of 2014, there are the middle years of this decade that will require the serious attention of those who want to get through them unscathed.

The time-wasters out there who take valuable time away from people are doing absolutely no good, and frankly, those time-wasters are putting you and yours in danger, considering the planetary configurations ahead.

If you can concentrate, take notes and begin to prepare now, then you will be successful in your endeavors as well as be able to navigate the noisy and irrational middle years just ahead.

These coming years will be a serious challenge to those who have been moving sideways without progress.

By the time we are into late 2014 and early 2015 many should see signs of what I have forecasted.

Therefore, be keen and mark your calendars.

Presently, let's look at three transpersonal planets: Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.

Jupiter is now in tropical Cancer, the northernmost Sign, while Saturn transits Scorpio and Neptune transits Pisces.

Jupiter will leave Cancer in July 2014 and enter Leo, while Saturn will continue to transit Scorpio.

In 2015-2016, Jupiter and Saturn will produce a world square in two of the Triplicities: one fixed and the other, mutable.

The fixed squares are bad enough, but the mutable squares are sure trouble.

They show serious problems for the economies of many nations with deeper recessions on the way – virtual depression - as well as major declines in societies.

The atmosphere by September 2015 changes dramatically with the motion of the outer planets.

So this post is a 'heads up' for those with attention spans longer than two minutes.

The major player here is Jupiter, as it is Jupiter's transit in Cancer, Leo, Virgo and then into Libra by 2017 that applies much of the pressure.

At the same time, knowledge of Jupiter's aspects allows one to prepare in advance, thus neutralizing the transits when they do arrive.

The Mutable Middle Years: 2015, 2016, 2017

Going into the second half of 2013, into 2014 and the first half of 2015, many people will hear from economists and politicians how the economies of their nations have improved.

For instance, British Chancellor George Osborne has claimed that critics of his economic policy have decisively lost the argument.

He says that the British economy has "turned a corner" and that a sustainable recovery is underway.

British Chancellor George Osborne 

Though Osborne and those like him will insist that it is premature to consider any slowdown in deficit reduction in the light of better economic forecasts, those like him will also state that it is vital to stay the course that has been set.

Of course, what is happening in England, as well as in the rest of Europe, and the United States will be tied to parliamentary elections in 2014, as well as general elections in the UK in 2015 and the general election in the United States in 2016.

What is actually happening is that economists believe that England's economic growth that they say is now underway after the impact of commodity price shocks at the end of 2010 has worked its way through the economy.


They believe that the Euro-zone crisis that began in 2010 and which intensified over the summer of 2011 has finally wanted because of the European Central Bank's intervention in 2012.

They believe that that has removed the enormous risks which have been held back investment and dampened consumption.

Back in the real world, unemployment in the UK remains at 2.5 million - with one million of the unemployed non-baby boomers - all of them young people.


Millions of Brits exist on what are called 'zero- hour contracts,' while the UK slides closer to the bottom of the G-20 pay league.

So, it is not a wonder that many in Britain ask: "Who is this actually a recovery for?"

 People say that they do not see any economic recovery.


What they do see are food banks everywhere, along with the record high youth unemployment. They also see frozen and/or cut public and private sector wages (except for the wealthiest) with above inflation increases on food, utilities, train travel, etc.

Meanwhile, in the United States:

The August 2013 jobs report pointed to weakness in the economy, even though payrolls rose 169,000 and the unemployment rate dipped to a 4 ½-year low of 7.3 percent, according to economist John Williams who runs the 'Shadow Government Statistics' electronic newsletter.

"Given recognized margins of error, ... neither of those statistics was meaningful by itself," Williams wrote.

"Yet, seriously deteriorating unemployment trends have solidified."

The drop in the unemployment rate didn't result from strong hiring, Williams notes, rather it stems from job seekers giving up and leaving the American workforce.

"The broad economic outlook has not changed, although the economic downside may be picking up a little more credibility with consensus forecasters," he states.

The labor force participation rate slumped to a 35-year low of 63.2 percent in August 2013.

"The nature of reported declines in the headline unemployment rate is symptomatic of an imploding economy," Williams said.

As for payrolls, they are still 1.9 million jobs shy of the pre-recession high, he explains. And payroll gains were revised downward for June and July 2013.

"Net of prior-period revisions, the monthly August gain would have been 95,000," Williams claims.

"The story from the August labor data is that the economy has not recovered, that it is not about to recover and that it is turning down anew."

Another economist left unimpressed by the employment data is Peter Morici, professor of international business at the University of Maryland.

The 169,000 payroll gain is "about half of what we would need under normal circumstances, and we're not even normal in circumstances," Morici says.


"A good deal of those jobs, about three-fourths, were part-time positions. Essentially employers are dividing up full-time jobs and creating multiple part-time jobs."

To prove this out, all we have to look at is the fact that 2013 is the fourth consecutive year where youth employment has been anchored on record lows.

This prompted experts to fear that an entire generation of young people are likely to be economically stunted with lower earnings and opportunities in years ahead.

The trend is all the more striking given that the official unemployment rate has steadily dropped - to 7.4 percent - in August 2013.

In 1999, slightly more than 52 percent of teens aged 16 to 19 had worked a summer job. By 2013, that figure had plunged to about 32.25 percent in June and July.

click on graphic to enlarge

"We have never had anything this low in our lives. This is a Great Depression for teens, and no time in history have we encountered anything like that," said Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. "That's why it's such an important story."

Summer is traditionally the peak period of employment for teens because they are off from school. Summer jobs give them their first brush with employment and the responsibilities that come with it.

Falling teen employment, however, is just as striking in the 12-month numbers over the past decade.

The picture the depressing teen employment statistics show looks even worse when viewed by race.

Sum and colleagues did just that. They compared June & July 2000 and these same two months in 2013.

For instance, the year 2000, figures show that 61.28 percent of Caucasian teens aged 16 to 19 held a job - a number that fell to 39.25 percent in summer 2013.

For African-Americans, the number was already low in 2000 - with 33.91 percent of 16-to-19-year-olds holding a job. That was even worse in summer 2013 - falling to a low of 19.25%.

For Latinos, the percentage of employed teens fell from 40.31 percent in the two-month period of 2000 to 26.7 percent in June and July 2013.

One of the more surprising findings of Sum's research is that teens whose parents were wealthy were more likely to have a job than those whose parents had less income.

Some 46% of white male teens whose parents earned between $100,000 and $149,000 held a job in summer 2013 - compared with just 9.1 percent of black male teens whose family income was below $20,000 and 15.2 percent for Hispanic teen males with the same low family income.

That finding is important because research shows that teens who work do better in a wide range of social and economic indicators.

"Kids that get work experience when they are 17 or 18 end up graduating from college at a higher rate," said Michael Gritton, executive director of the Workforce Investment Board, which promotes job creation and teen employment in Louisville, Ky., and six surrounding counties.

"There are economic returns to those young people because they get a chance to work."


So, some mundane advice:

Get yourselves in order. Have your head no further from the planets and stars than your feet are from the ground.

Begin to save money and store other valuable resources that you will need during the middle years of the Twenty-Tens.

These preparations will serve you very well, and will also put you in a position to help others during the mutable middle years just ahead.

The general period I am talking about extends about 20 months – overall, from September 2015 to May 2017. It will feel longer than that too.

Now, the Lunar Nodes will enter the Virgo-Pisces axis on November 12, 2015 and will transit there until May 9, 2017.

So that nodal period is the one you should concentrate on as it begins during the late summer of 2015 and extends out to the spring of 2017.

Between now (September 2013) and September 2015, there are effectively two years before the Mutable Middle Years arrive.

These are irrational, strange, neurotic and difficult years.



Survival will be hard for people who did not prepare.

Beware those times as many people may not recover and then will have to face the coming decade of the 2020s greatly reduced in lifestyle.

Doing business during the mutable middle years will also be difficult to survive the economic and financial hardships - and that means very confusing times for society at large.

The psychological impacts on most people will require advanced preparation by those in the know of the ‘weather’ to come.


By September 2015, nearly seven years after the 2008 Economic Crisis, the world will have gone through the world emergency of spring 2014. That is the Grand Cardinal Cross which I have covered before.

Then, into the second half of 2014 and into the time that Jupiter transits Leo from July 2014 to August 2015.

Jupiter in Leo transits can be deceiving.

Ruled by the Sun, the sign of Leo shows that 2015 is warmer-than-normal year, also featuring extreme heat waves and dryness. There is also an Indian summer that year which extends into the autumn of 2015.

By 2015, the world will be in the second to last year of solar-forced global warming. By the end of the common year 2017, global cooling will officially begin.

The 'party-like' atmosphere of Jupiter in Leo, joined by Venus and Mars in Leo, sees a complacency that ends badly during the late summer of 2015, and from what I can see, leads straight into a deeper period of economic and social depression that lasts all of 2016.


By the summers of 2014 and 2015, Jupiter and Saturn see-saw in square aspects to one another, in the fixed signs of Leo and Scorpio.

This shows a diverse series of stand-offs worldwide, in many nations, between governments, public and private institutions and society in general.

The first of these are the near squares between Jupiter and Saturn occur in Oct./Nov. 2014 in the second decanate of Leo for Jupiter and Saturn's transit in the third decanate of Scorpio.

Coming out of the summer of 2014 in the northern hemisphere, post-Grand Cardinal Cross into the expected solar year of 2015, there is a sense of things looking better for some countries economically, but it is deceiving.

It's not the real thing.

By early December 2014, Jupiter stations retrograde at 22-Leo.

That degree is known in mundane astrology as one's own worst enemy, so there will be signs of the deep economic drop, but many people will party like there's no tomorrow and what they spend and splurge on they will come to deeply regret.

In late 2014, Saturn in Scorpio races ahead and by Dec. 23, 2014, enters tropical Sagittarius. Saturn will continue in Sagittarius in January and February 2015 then begins to slow down, and by March 14, 2015, will station retrograde at 4-degrees Sagittarius.

That span - December 2014 to March 2015 - show signs of the coming troubles of the mutable era I am writing about.

While Saturn retrogrades in Sagittarius (eventually to re-enter Scorpio by June 14-15, 2015) the planet Jupiter turns direct at 12-Leo in April 2015.

And, by the end of June 2015, Jupiter will be within eight degrees of re-establishing a fixed square to Saturn, which has returned to Scorpio - this time, not peregrine.

All these motions indicate that serious times are ahead for the middle years of this decade. It would be wise to make preparations early.

The mutable square of Jupiter in Virgo to Saturn in Sagittarius also unfavorably aspect Neptune, which is making a long transit in Pisces.

Jupiter in Virgo will oppose Neptune in Pisces twice:

September-October 2015
April, May & June 2016

JUPITER OPPOSES NEPTUNE
September 2015

click on chart to enlarge

The main feature of Jupiter’s opposition from Virgo to Neptune in Pisces is an atmosphere of distortions where practical discipline will be needed to maintain a grip on reality.

This mutable era shows escapist tendencies among people. There is drinking, drug abuse, daydreaming, and woolgathering.

There are delusions of grandeur and emotional co-dependency that will be seen widely in society.

The general overall period is from September 2015 through to June 2016. And remember that the transiting Lunar Nodes will be on the Virgo-Pisces axis as well.

This reinforces the effects of these planets in mutable signs.

The atmosphere is unfavorable. There are bizarre events, uncontrolled imaginations that can lead people off-course.

There’s all manner and forms of deception – from others and also those that are self-imposed.

Materialist class & false social status bullshit in the United States

You will notice during 2015 and 2016 that some people will express maudlin sentimentality as well as show misplaced sympathy.

Some will fall victim to unworthy appeals and/or sob stories for help. There are con artists about and those who work ‘get-rich-schemes’ that must be avoided at all costs.

There are also plenty of impractical religious idealism about.

During this time, as Jupiter transits Virgo near the North Lunar Node and Neptune transits Pisces near the South Lunar Node, there is an inflated sense of one’s cultural and spiritual importance running rampant in hard times.

This often can take place in the form of false humility and vicarious attempts to achieve ‘status’ through some spiritual teacher or involvement in groups and sects.

There is plenty of ‘undoing’ about during these middle years as the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune transit in the mutable signs.

SATURN SQUARE NEPTUNE
November 2015
click on chart to enlarge

While Jupiter opposes Neptune, transiting Saturn in Sagittarius will square both Jupiter and Neptune.

This planetary square has long been associated with psychological problems and mental illness among society.

It really exacerbates the ongoing troubles in society.


Most of this will be as a result of the serious economic and generational transitional problems quite evident in world society by the middle years of the Twenty-Tens.

This will be seen in public as the atmosphere of Saturn in Sagittarius in square to Neptune in Pisces will feature some rather sorry sights in society of many countries.

Saturn is not at home in a fire sign like Sagittarius. The Saturnine influence in Sagittarius can produce self-righteous, harsh individuals with puritanical mindsets.

These kinds of people in society can become set in their philosophies and ideologies, thus leading to various forms of fanaticism. Losses from lawsuits in higher courts is also presaged.

There is a sustained period of professional confusion, misconceptions, neuroses, dangers from alcohol and drugs.


There is secret slander, hidden enemies, but most of all, a confusing and irrational atmosphere that tends to make the individuals his or her own worst enemy.

The people that many may have to deal will manifest irrational tendencies that are a feature of the kind of difficult atmosphere most evident in 2015-2016.

Irrational fears, phobias, and anxieties characterize this transit. There is often a desire to avoid practical responsibilities and work.

The psychological problems of one's family members or others with whom one must deal are likely to interfere with one's professional work performance and success.

Mental illness is also associated with Saturn square Neptune.

In the mutable signs of Sagittarius and Pisces what you will notice is that some individuals, or those whom they have to deal with, will manifest disturbing and irrational tendencies.

Drug abuse in the Ukraine

Drug abuse, depression, paranoia are common, as are negative emotional states.

The added problems of alcohol and drug abuse will be widespread. It really is a sad, confusing and deceptive era, amid economic depression and societal decline.

There will be some aggressive behaviors mixed in with the mental illness and irrational scenes in society.

The misuse of alcohol and drugs will have strong destabilizing effects on those who abuse them under this mutable square between Saturn and Neptune.

JUPITER SQUARE SATURN
March 2016
click on chart to enlarge

Meanwhile, the square between Jupiter in Virgo and Saturn in Sagittarius, by 2015 and 2016 will be mutable.

This, after the fixed square between both planets in Leo and Scorpio that took place, first in the autumn of 2014, then again, in July & August 2015.

Emerging out of the summer of 2015, the fixed Jupiter-Saturn square then translates to ‘mutable’ as Jupiter enters Virgo in August 2015, followed by Saturn in September 2015.

This is a bad sign for the middle years of 2015 & 2016.

Business will continue to get worse. Things are generally falling apart as the Obama administration goes into the last two years of its term.


The atmosphere is not conducive to positive business, economic and financial growth.

We've heard from British mundane astrologer Shane Ward on the serious austerity problems in the United Kingdom, which is suffering economically, socially and politically as much as the European continent.

In the United States, I have continued to write about the economy for years as has American mundane astrologer William Stickevers who warns about the impending effects of the financial crisis, the political incompetence and the economic collapse that is just ahead.

Under Jupiter squares to Saturn, what we have here is a sustained period of business, professional and domestic difficulties.

The problems of 2007-2008 has worsened and become more protracted during the mutable middle years in this cardinal crisis decade.

The tendency and atmosphere of these middle years will be one of vacillation between extremes of optimism and pessimism.

Generally, business timing is very poor, and it is not a good time to begin changes in business and professional affairs.

There are difficulties in getting support from official institutions that are already in decline by this time in 2015 and 2016.

I advise caution when it comes to business expansion in 2015 and 2016, as the mutable transits of these middle years show that the global economy has worsened from the previous corruption of banks, economists, politicians, Wall Street and government regulators.

Jupiter in Virgo square Saturn in Sagittarius, in these two mutable signs, also indicate that there will be a moral crisis in making cultural, ethical and religious decisions.

The breakdown and decline that has been evident since the decade of the 2000s has rapidly sped up by this time.

Over the longer-range of past world transits, American mundane astrologer Tony Dickey has noted the effects of the outer planets on civilizations.

These long-term cyclic motions of these transpersonal planets directly relate to the role that history plays in our present, as well as in our future.

Our current world transits, and those to come in the mutable middle years show me that those in positions of power have come to the end of their time.

However, during 2015 & 2016 the general tendency will be to neglect important responsibilities and/or to compromise principles for the sake of expediency.

We've seen this happen far too often in human history before.

As you can see, the mutable years of 2015, 2016 into 2017 will be difficult to say the least.

The irrationality of those years – again, generally extending from September 2015 to May 2017 will be hard for many people to survive.

Under the unfavorable influences of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune in the mutable signs of Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, you can make changes to adapt.

Jupiter in Virgo

Jupiter rules Pisces, where it is exalted. However, in the opposite sign of Virgo, Jupiter is considered to be in detriment and that is where Jupiter will be found in late 2015 and 2016.

In this mutable earth Sign, Jupiter will more than likely emerge with a more grounded but duller qualities to the social atmosphere.

So, the Intellectual thoughts are the natural antidote to the thought-elements that are given activity by Jupiter’s transits.

In Virgo, Jupiter's natural process in synthesizing large ideas and concepts becomes limited toward expanding on the smallest details and practical considerations.

This means taking pleasure in applying intelligence and care to the activities is the best method of converting them into a compound which will attract fortunate events.

Jupiter’s transit in Virgo from August 11, 2015 to Sept. 9, 2016 will work in the nature of Mercury.

Astrologer Curtis Manwaring once wrote about Jupiter in Virgo:

"According to medieval tradition, Jupiter is in detriment in this Sign. This means that Jupiter's propensity for expansion and prosperity is not well supported.

"This is because the lord of this place, Mercury, prefers to ‘travel light’ and is frugal with money and possessions. It is commonly said that people with this position have a tendency to make something out of nothing.

"This is due to Jupiter making more of the details provided by Mercury. Therefore these natives need to focus on maintaining a proper perspective and a valid set of priorities more than most.

"One could also argue that because Virgo belongs to the fall quadrant, that it is melancholic by nature with a propensity for dryness and cold. This is in conflict with Jupiter's warm and moist nature.”

I agree. These transits of Jupiter in Virgo should be prepared for well in advance to be able to apply them well, as during the transit itself, it is more difficult to get things started as one wants.

Although most of Jupiter’s transit in Virgo is squared by Saturn and opposed by Neptune, during these mutable middle years, Jupiter’s transit along with the North Lunar Node can offer protection for those who do think and plan ahead.

In Virgo, under the rulership of Mercury, this transit of Jupiter in Virgo can show that the power of the concrete mind can be enhanced, because Virgo is also a practical sign.

Jupiter in Virgo expresses a version of the spiritual saying, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first,” and that “the proud shall be humbled and the humble shall be lifted up.” Jupiter in Pisces means the same as well.

Jupiter’s transit in Virgo can deliver the mental facility to handle many details in a coordinated way as the mind, if practical, is able to think with ease of diverse things to understand how best they call can be made to work well together.

Adapting to a kind of administrative mind will help, but the squares from Saturn and the opposition from Neptune in the mutable middle years will make this a challenge for many people.

During late 2015 and all of 2016, the transit of Jupiter in Virgo indicates that growth and understanding can come from doing what must be done.

It also means refraining from attempting to do those things that are not glamorous in the least. Virgo is very much down to earth and means business.

Also, remember that for most people, money will be tight and many people will be in dire straights with Jupiter’s transit in Virgo square to Saturn and opposed to Neptune.

By 2016, the world's economy will be in much worse shape as many millions of people who have been unemployed for years may fall further into poverty.


Jupiter in Virgo will expand the need to force matters in business and commercial sectors and many will be preoccupied with doing just that.

But, the mutable square to Saturn in Sagittarius and opposition to Neptune in Pisces means that it will be a much tougher road to navigate.

So that means preparation - in advance - will be the key to survival and success.

Saturn in Sagittarius

By late November 2014, Saturn will leave its peregrine state in Scorpio.

Then, from December 2014 onward, Saturn will have ‘awakened’ from its wandering state through most of Scorpio in the years 2013 and most of 2014.

Saturn will briefly enter Sagittarius on Dec. 24, 2014, but by March 14, 2015, will turn retrograde and then re-enter tropical Scorpio on June 14, 2015.

Saturn will then station direct at 28-Scorpio on August 2, 2015 and by September 18, 2015 will re-enter Sagittarius for good.

Now, Saturn’s transit in Sagittarius (2015-2017) shows a trend of the thoughts of society to look upon the dark side of things.

People seek ‘safety’ and this is exactly what Saturn’s crystalline influence desires.

The planetary vibrations of Saturn, received by the thought-cells at the terminal of the world’s stellar mundane aerials, are heavy, morose and self-centered.

Saturn fashions the necessary order, the structures, forms and functions that often work to mitigate the chaotic factors inherent in the negotiations of group enterprises.


Associated with institutions representing the legal system, civil service, and all restraining/restricting forces in society, Saturn rules the procedures and guidelines.

It is also associated with the administration of justice Saturn and has affiliations with law enforcement as well as the regimentation of military life and discipline.

The attitude of a nation toward law, order, taboos, old practices, the old guard in politics, etc., are also associated with Saturn.

Saturn’s transit in Sagittarius lacks the kind of buoyancy and flexibility and imparts a feeling in society that causes people to attract ‘want,’ ‘responsibility’ and ‘loss.’

The Mundane Ninth House of Sagittarius governs long distance travel as well as national and international law. This includes shipping, international water routes, maritime law, space travel, religion, belief systems and philosophy.

To neutralize Saturn’s placement in the mutable sign of Sagittarius, the Power Thoughts of the Sun can be cultivated by holding thoughts of courage, determination and stamina.

Safeguarding one’s interests by means of positive action, rather than by negative fear, is necessary under afflictions by Saturn.

It is not wise to press into activity in the areas of life that are influenced by the unfavorable transit of Saturn in Sagittarius.

Rather, it will mean forcing oneself to experience lightheartedness during Saturn’s mutable pressing forward against Jupiter and Neptune.

This will require great fortitude, even with social slights and financial losses ongoing, to be able to mix with people, to dance, to sing, go to movies, to be merry and to take joy in the arts, sciences and music.

There is nothing better to drive away Saturn’s mutable blues than to add happy thought elements to the heavy and persistent Safety thoughts that Saturn brings to the atmosphere.

Neptune in Pisces

Neptune entered Pisces in February 2012 and will continue to transit here until January 2026.

The long transit of Neptune in Pisces calls for attention during the middle mutable years of the Twenty-Tens to creativity, but being practical and prudent at the same time.

This transit can be generally positive over the long 14-year transit of Neptune in Pisces but then again, there are also the negative influences of Neptune that should never be ignored.

The planet Neptune co-rules Pisces, along with Jupiter, so the positive benefits can be applied well in the arts and sciences, in music, film, in fiction writing and dramatic works of all genres.

An octave of Neptune, which is Venus, also shows that the thought-cells that relate to the feelings and affections, when brought into discordant aspect to planets like Jupiter and Saturn for instance, can give psychokinetic power that brings disappointing events into the life.

What works to counter this are the Safety Thoughts of Saturn, which provide a cold appraisal of any situation. Using reason to therefore ground Neptune does works.

However, during the middle mutable years, with Saturn square Neptune, this means that what should usually be rational has turned into the irrational. Many of you will see and experience this during 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Those born in the 1970s with natal Neptune in Sagittarius will experience the square of transiting Neptune in Pisces through to the mid-2020s.

Therefore, it is important to maintain a grounded and practical perspective mixed with enhanced creativity and proper use of imagination that Neptune brings to the global atmosphere.

Neptune’s transit can incite a shrinking sensitiveness in society and dreaminess that its vibrations by transit strongly encourages - especially its negative octave - which attracts discord by means of schemes perpetuated under foggy cover.


Though imaginary advantages under Neptune’s transit in Pisces appear to be attractive on the surface, what usually can result is loss.

Meanwhile, imaginary dangers tends to harass those who are afflicted.

This is especially true when planets like Jupiter and Saturn afflict Neptune by unfavorable aspect and this will occur on a wide scale during the middle years of 2015, 2016 and 2017.

So know that to be successful in the powerful mutable years just ahead, that it will be necessary to prepare in advance.

All of it can be done consciously. It will be imperative not to become caught up in the confusion and complacency of the times, especially in 2014 and the first half of 2015.

Again, one of the general themes will be irrationality, schemes, lots of irritating noise, and confusing fogged up situations. None of it is good for progress.

Preparation for the mutable middle years in this cardinal crisis decade requires thinking long-term as well.

This is because after the mutable middle years are over by May 2017, the path to the next decade of the Twenty-Twenties will either be made much easier, or will have become more complicated for many millions of people worldwide.

How you emerge out of the mutable middle years just ahead depends on you.
~

The Cardinal Crisis
U.S. Republicans Hit Rock Bottom
Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner

By
Theodore White, mundane Astrolog.Sci

During the 1930s and all through the 1940s in the United States, the Republican Party was basically a 'non-player in the events of those two decades.

It was not until the early 1950s that the GOP began to reassert itself and by then two major events: The Great Depression and the Second World War - have come and gone.

Mundane transits similar to those of the 1930s are now in play during the Twenty-Tens, particularly the Uranus-Pluto square.

And not only that, by synodic mundane cycles, both Mercury and Mars are also in play, like they were back in the 1930s.

Since the American General Election last year, when Mercury stationed retrograde on election day in November 2012, I saw this at play in transits.

That was that Mercury's direct motion was to happen after the general election which was won by Barack Obama, who began his second-term as U.S. President in what was widely seen as a landslide victory.

Mercury's transit and retrograde from Sagittarius back into Scorpio in the wake of the 2012 election played a role in the Mercury transit and retrograde of October and November 2013.

This, as the extremists in the Republican Party and their ideological money-backers, schemed for a way to continue not to accept the results of the general election.


The federal government shutdown in the United States by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has turned on the GOP like they never considered.

Polls and surveys since the federal government was shutdown on October 1, 2013, by the GOP-led House, just as Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act law went into full operation show a disaster in the making for the Republicans.

Polls on the GOP from October 11-12 reflected that.

click on graphic to enlarge
Just a few highlights:

- By a 22-point margin, the public thinks the Republican Party is more to blame for the shutdown than President Obama. NBC's Mark Murray notes that that's "a wider margin of blame for the GOP than the party received during the poll during the last shutdown in 1995-96."

- Like Gallup, this poll shows the Republican Party at record levels of unpopularity. Only 24 percent have a favorable opinion of the GOP, and only 21 percent have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party. Both are "all-time lows in the history of the poll."

- The Democratic party, by contrast, has a 39 percent favorability rating. That's pretty much unchanged from recent months, and is in fact the precise same favorability number Democrats posted in May 2013.

- In September 2013, voters preferred a Democratic Congress to a Republican Congress by three points. By early October 2013, month, it was up to eight points.

Obama's approval rating nudged up by two percent.

That was similar finding to the Washington Post/ABC News poll, which found Obama's numbers slightly improved even as the GOP plummeted.

And the good news for Democrats was that 70 percent thought the same of the GOP.


- Despite the awful launch, what is called 'Obamacare' is becoming more popular with Americans.

- In September 2013, about 31 percent said it was a good idea and 44 percent said it was a bad idea. By early October, 38 percent said it was a good idea and 43 percent said it was a bad idea.

- Americans polled said by 63 percent that it'd be a huge problem for the government to not raise the debt ceiling. But by a four percent margin, the public is more concerned that increased spending will drive the nation further into debt than if the debt ceiling wasn't raised.

- The best news for the Republicans is that by a 43-40 margin, the public said that Obama should negotiate even before the government is reopened and the debt ceiling is lifted.

- 73 percent of the country thinks the government shutdown is "very serious" or "quite serious."

Only 9 percent think it's "not that serious."

Back in 1995 during the last government shutdown, only 57 percent thought the shutdown was "very" or "quite" serious, while 18 percent thought it was "not that serious."

- 14 percent of Americans said the the nation is on the right track; while 78 percent said the country is on the wrong track. That might be because Americans are highly pessimistic about the trajectory of the economy; as 42 percent say they believe the economy will get worse and 17 percent think it will get better.

Now, considering the astrological transits of the cardinal crisis decade, the irony in this entire mess is that Republicans brought all their political warfare arsenals to destroy Obama's presidency.

Consider these GOP sayings of the recent past:

"My number job is to make him a one-term president," grumbled Senator Mitch McConnell.

"That Obamacare will be his Waterloo moment," yelled former senator Jim DeMint.

"Hell NO, you can't!" screamed Speaker John Behoner.

And of course, in the middle of President Obama's State of the Union speech came, "You lie!" shirked Republican Joe Wilson.

The Business front is led by the Koch industries, the Heritage Action, Freedom Work, Cross Road GPS, under the guiding hand of bush's brain, while the air wave front is led by entertainment complex under the command of Rush Limbaugh of Talk Radio, the Fox News regiment led by Hanity, and Bilo, and finally the Tea Party brigades under Ted Cruz and Company.

The first major battle was the Affordable Healthcare Act.

The Republicans and the Tea Party members within the GOP lost that battle.

Then came 2012's debt ceiling debacle, followed by fiscal cliff.

The Supreme Court upheld the healthcare act in June 2012 and then the November 2012 general election saw Obama re-elected by landslide.

When nothing else as the base is worked to a frenzy the GOP pulled it's last trick, the climax of the war is now rest on shutdown of the federal government of the United States and flirt again with debt ceiling in an ironic twist is seriously burning the Republican party in public polls.

The man that the GOP so despise and so very desperately wanted to defeat shut down the federal government and risked defaulting on debt payments just to defeat him is actually destroying the GOP.

The GOP is its own mortal enemy, not Barack Obama.


The Cardinal Crisis
The Last Days of the GOP?
Could We Be Witnessing the Death Throes of the Republican Party?

By John Judis

I once wrote about lobbying, and this week I called some Republicans I used to talk to (and some that they recommended I talk to) about the effect the shutdown is having on the Republican Party in Washington.

The response I got was fear of Republican decline and loathing of the Tea Party:

One lobbyist and former Hill staffer lamented the “fall of the national party,” another the rise of “suburban revolutionaries,” and another of “people alienated from business, from everything.”

There is a growing fear among Washington Republicans that the party, which has lost two national elections in a row, is headed for history’s dustbin.

And I believe that they are right to worry.

The battle over the shutdown has highlighted the cracks and fissures within the party.

The party’s leadership has begun to lose control of its members in Congress.

A obviously worried and stressed out Speaker of the House John Boehner leaves a press conference during the October 2013 shutdown that was blamed by a majority of the American public on the GOP

The party’s base has become increasingly shrill and is almost as dissatisfied with the Republican leadership in Washington as it is with President Obama.

New conservative groups have echoed, and taken advantage of this sentiment by targeting Republicans identified with the leadership for defeat.

And a growing group of Republican politicians, who owe their election to these groups, has carried the battle into the halls of Congress.

That is spelling doom for the Republican coalition that has kept the party afloat for the last two decades.

American party coalitions are heterogeneous, but they endure as along as the different groups find more agreement with each other than with the opposition.

After Republicans won back the Congress in 1994, they developed a political strategy to hold their coalition together.

Many people contributed to the strategy including Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Paul Coverdell, Paul Weyrich, and Ralph Reed, but the chief architect was probably Grover Norquist, a political operative who, along with Rove and Reed, came of age in the early Reagan years.

The strategy was based on creating an alliance between business, which had sometimes divided its loyalties between Republicans and Democrats, and the array of social and economic interest groups that had begun backing Republicans.

In weekly meeting held on Wednesdays at the office of his Americans for Tax Reform, Norquist put forth the idea that business groups, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), but also including the specialized trade associations, should back socially conservative Republican candidates, while right-to-life or gun rights organizations should back tax cuts and deregulation.

What would bind the different parts together was a common opposition to raising taxes, which Norquist framed in a pledge he demanded that Republican candidates make.

Business could provide the money, and the single-issue and evangelical groups the grassroots energy to win elections.

The strategy worked reasonably well, especially in House races. The Chamber and NFIB became election-year arms of the Republican Party.

In Congress, a succession of leaders, including Gingrich, Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay, and Roy Blunt, followed the strategy.

Gingrich initially overreached, and DeLay took ethical end-runs, but by the time John Boehner became Minority Leader in 2007, it had been refined.

Its economic approach consisted of promoting cuts in taxes, spending, and regulation.

Boehner, as lobbyists close to him explained to me, wanted to use the battle over continuing resolutions and the debt ceiling to achieve incremental changes on these fronts. He did not contemplate shutting down the government or allowing the government to default on its obligations.

But Boehner was forced to adopt the more extreme strategy.

Norquist blames Ted Cruz.

“Boehner had a strategy,” Norquist told me, “but Ted Cruz blew it up.”

Senator Ted Cruz

That is, however, giving Cruz too much credit (or blame) for the result.

Cruz did help convince House Republicans that if they linked passage of a continuing resolution to repealing Obamacare, he could get the votes in the Senate to follow suit.

But Cruz was following a script that had been developed earlier.

What has happened over the last two months, leading to the shutdown, and political paralysis in Washington, is the result of deeper factors that have put Norquist’s entire “center-right” strategy in jeopardy.

Since the late 1960s, America has seen the growth of what the late Donald Warren in a 1976 book, 'The Radical Center' called “middle American radicalism.”

It’s anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-big business and anti-labor; it’s pro-free market. It’s also prone to scapegoating immigrants and minorities.

It’s a species of right-wing populism.

It ebbed during the Reagan years, but began to emerge again under the patrician George H.W. Bush and found expression in support for Ross Perot and for Pat Buchanan with his “peasants with pitchforks.”

And it under-girded the Republican takeovers of Congress in 1994.

It ebbed during George W. Bush’s war on terror, but has re-emerged with a vengeance in the wake of the Great Recession, Obama’s election and expansion of government, and continuing economic stagnation.


In his column in The New York Times, Tom Edsall cited the extensive polling evidence for this rising anger.

According to a Pew survey in late September, anger against the government “is most palpable among conservative Republicans” and overlaps with Republicans who “support the Tea Party.”

But as with the Perot and Buchanan voters, these conservatives direct their anger equally at Republican and Democratic leaders.

According to another Pew survey, 65 percent of the Republicans vote in primaries “disapprove of Republican leaders in Congress.”

They see Republican leaders as being complicit in whatever they find wrong with Washington.

This anti-Washington sentiment, which is loosely identified with the “Tea Party,” has overshadowed and transformed grassroots Republicanism.

Republican leaders like DeLay were able to keep the evangelicals and other social conservatives in line by battling gay marriage or late-term abortions.

But, as I recounted three years ago, many of these social issue activists have been absorbed into the Tea Party’s anti-government, anti-establishment ethos.

In their current report on the GOP, based on focus groups, the Democracy Corps affirms this conclusion. Evangelicals, the report says, “think many Republicans have lost their way” and that the party leadership “has proved too willing to ‘cave’ to the Obama agenda.”

They identify with the Tea Party groups (even though they may disagree on social issues) because they see them “standing up and pushing back.”

During George H.W. Bush’s presidency, these kind of sentiments were directed at moderates like House Minority Leader Robert Michel or Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, but they are now aimed at erstwhile conservatives like Mitch McConnell and Boehner.

The new grassroots Republicans are Warren’s middle American radicals.

They don’t necessarily have clear overall objectives.

They do want to blow up government - whether by eliminating the debt or repealing Obama’s Affordable Care Act.


And, whatever they want to do, they want done immediately and without compromise. And they regard those like Boehner who compromise and are willing to settle for incremental changes as “RINOs” - Republicans-in-name-only.

As this Republican anti-establishment has surged, new groups have arisen in Washington to respond to it, while older groups have attempted to adapt and keep pace.

The Club for Growth, perhaps the best known of these, and the one with which I am the most familiar, actually dates back to the early ‘90s when several Wall Streeters created a club to fund promising candidates.

The Club’s initial agenda was to promote Jack Kemp-style growth policies, and their first big success was in getting Christy Whitman (a RINO if there ever was one!) elected governor of New Jersey on an anti-tax platform.

The current Club, under former Congressman Chris Chocola, expends much of its effort on backing conservative Republicans against other conservative Republicans whom it believes are too close to the Republican leadership in Washington.

The operative terms in the Club’s jargon are “outsiders” against the “establishment.”

In 2012, for instance, the Club poured over $700,000 into backing a little known dentist, Scott Keadle, against Richard Hudson.

The two men had very similar positions, but Keadle, Chocola explained to me, was “very much an outsider,” while Hudson had worked for a Republican House member and was backed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s PAC.

Other groups have followed a similar strategy of backing maverick conservatives against establishment conservatives.

They include 'FreedomWorks' and 'Americans for Prosperity,' both of which came out of the breakup of Citizens for a Sound Economy, and the Senate Conservatives Fund, which was founded by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint in 2010 before he resigned to become head of the Heritage Foundation.

They are supplemented by blogs and web pages like Erick Erickson’s RedState and by policy groups like the Heritage Foundation’s Heritage Action.


These groups don’t get most of their funding from traditional Republican sources on K Street.

Much of their money comes from multi-millionaires and billionaires who are not responsible to stockholders.

These include the Koch Brothers, who fund 'Americans for Prosperity,' and investors and hedge fund operators J.W. Childs, James Simons, and Robert Arnott, who are among the chief funders of the Club for Growth.

Most of these funders espouse an extreme libertarianism - the Koch brothers were early backers of the Cato Institute - but they also stand to benefit from the kind of drastic reduction in government regulations and taxes that the groups and their candidates advocate.

The groups are sometimes believed to be part of a single giant conspiracy led by the Koch brothers, but that is not the case.

The Koch brothers started 'Americans for Prosperity' after they became dissatisfied with Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, and the two groups are now rivals.

The Kochs are also not major funders for the 'Club for Growth.' The groups themselves often back the same candidates and causes, but are sometimes at odds.

FreedomWorks has taken a harder line on the government shutdown than Americans for Prosperity, and the Senate Conservatives Fund is currently running ads in Arizona denouncing one of the Club for Growth’s favorite senators, Jeff Flake, for opposing the attempt to link the continuing resolution to the repeal of Obamacare.

What the groups share is an attempt to tap into the spirit of middle American radicalism.

They espouse a somewhat sanitized (less anti-big business and Wall Street) version of the Tea Party’s economic libertarianism.

They want to elect “champions of economic freedom” who are for “limited government.”

They scorn compromise and the Republicans who make the compromises. “I think the whole concept of compromise and bipartisanship is silly,” Chocola says.

Their ultimate goal, Chocola says, is to elect a “majority of true fiscal conservatives” who will transform the government - or in the meantime, gum up the works by making compromise difficult, if not impossible.

To date, the groups have had a mixed record in elections.

They screwed up in Nevada, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, and Missouri by backing extreme Republicans in Senate primaries who lost winnable elections to Democrats.

But they helped elect Senators Toomey, Cruz, Rubio, Flake, and Paul and about 15 House members, including Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton whom they are now backing in the Arkansas senate race.

These are still relatively small numbers, but in the peculiar American system, a few people can exert an inordinate amount of power. In the Senate, the Tea Party adherents can disrupt any attempts at compromise, as Senator Ted Cruz did recently.

John Boehner 'eyes' President Obama

In the House, they can threaten John Boehner’s job, because Boehner needs an absolute majority of House members to retain his speakership.

And numbers aside, the threat of a primary challenge (now converted into a verb “to primary”) hovers over the all Republican Senate and House members, most notably McConnell, and has forced Boehner and McConnell to follow dutifully the shutdown strategy of Cruz and his House allies.


John Boehner 'eyes' President Obama (again.)

Under pressure from grassroots radicals and the new outsider groups, the old Republican coalition is beginning to shatter.

The single-issue and evangelical groups have been superseded by right-wing populist groups, which are generally identified with the Tea Party, although there is no single Tea Party organization.

These groups can’t easily be co-opted by the party’s Washington leadership.

And the business groups in Washington, who funded the party over the last two decades, have grown disillusioned with a party that appears to be increasingly held hostage by its radical base and by outsider groups.


The newspapers are now filled with stories about business opposition to the shutdown strategy, and there are even hints of business groups backing challenges to Tea Party candidates.

“The business community has got to stand up and say we are not going to back the most self-described conservative candidate. We are going to back the candidates that are the most rational,” says John Feehery, a former aide to DeLay and Hastert who is now president of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a Washington lobbying firm.

What Washington business lobbyists say on-the-record about the House Republicans and about Tea Party activists pales before what they are willing to say if their names aren't used.

One former Republican staffer says of the anti-establishment groups:

“They want to go in and fuck shit up."


"These non-corporate non-establishmentarian guys - that is exactly what they are doing. And the problem with that is obvious," he said.

"What next?

"What happens after you fuck shit up?”


Other lobbyists I talked to cited John Calhoun, Dixiecrats and Richard Hofstadter’s essay on “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” to explain the rise of the populist right.

It’s the kind of reference you’d expect to read in a New Republic article, but not necessarily in a conversation with a business lobbyist.

One could argue, of course, that the Republican Party will re-adapt to its right wing base and eventually create a new majority of “true fiscal conservatives” who will disdain compromise.


But there is reason to believe that Chocola and the Club for Growth will never achieve their objective.

Rightwing populism, like its predecessor, Christian conservatism, is intense in its commitment, but ultimately limited in its appeal.

Tea Party Republicans and the outsider groups probably had their greatest impact when they were still emerging phenomena in the 2010 elections.


But, when the Republican Party becomes identified with the radical right, it will begin to lose ground even in districts that Republicans and polling experts now regard as safe.

That happened earlier with the Christian Coalition, which enjoyed immense influence within the Republican Party until the Republican Party began to be identified with it.

In Washington, today’s business lobbies may come to understand what the lobbies of the ‘50s grasped - that the Democratic Party is a small “c” conservative party that has sought to preserve and protect American capitalism by sanding off its rough edges.

Joe Echevarria, the chief executive of Deloitte, the accounting and consulting firm, recently told The New York Times, “I’m a Republican by definition and by registration, but the party seems to have split into two factions.”

Echevarria added that while the Democrats also had an extreme faction, it had no power in the party, while the Republican’s extreme faction did.

“The extreme right has 90 seats in the House,” he said. “Occupy Wall Street has no seats.”

That realization could lead business to resume splitting its contributions, which would spell trouble for the Republicans.

Republicans in Washington could repudiate their radical base and shun the groups that appeal to it.

That is roughly what people like Feehery are suggesting. But the question, then, is what would be the Republican base? How would Republicans win elections?

Are there enough rational Republicans to make up for the loss of the radical ones?

What is happening in the Republican Party today is reminiscent of what happened to the Democrats in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

At that time, the Democrats in Washington were faced by a grassroots revolt from the new left over the war in Vietnam and from the white South over the party’s support for civil rights.


It took the Democrats over two decades to do undo the damage - to create a party coalition that united the leadership in Washington with the base and that was capable of winning national elections.

The Republicans could be facing a similar split between their base and their Washington leadership, and it could cripple them not just in the 2014 and 2016 elections - but for decades to come.


Astromet Climate Forecast:
Global Cooling Is On The Way

By
Theodore White, astrometeorologist.sci

In this climate year of 2013, we have seen that my prior outlook for a wet, cold spring and wet humid summer have taken place.

Dryness, then drought, wildfires, then torrential rains and super storms, like the super typhoon that struck the Philippines in November 2013, have shown us clearly that we are in-between climate regimes - what I call 'extremes of weather.'

For instance, the heat waves that were felt in July 2013 in North America, also were felt in July and early August in Central Europe, which had warmer-than-usual temperatures for the second month after temperatures rose sharply after July's sweltering temperatures.

In western Europe, both Belgium and Germany experienced severe hot temperatures. In Brussels, Belgium's capital, temperatures reached 35 Celsius (95 F) in the shade.

"This is the highest temperature we have measured so far. It is beginning of August [2013] if there are no more heatwaves it will remain as the highest temperature for this year," Pierre Gallet, weather analyst from the Belgian Royal Meteorological Institute, said.

Then, in Colorado, which faced hot temperatures, drought and wildfire, then heavy rains followed that led to widespread flooding along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains:



As we enter into the autumn and winter seasons of the northern hemisphere, my outlook calls for cooler-than-normal temperatures in the months of September, October and November, to be followed by a warming up of temperatures in December that will lead to record heavy snowfalls in that month and again in January 2014.

This will be followed by cold winds and record cold temperatures in Winter 2014 for the northern hemisphere as arctic air plunges south with the jet streams

Meanwhile, the rage on 'man-made global warming' continues unabated, even with increasing proof that the world is cooling - not warming.

I forecasted this and maintain that we are on the road to a new climate regime - global cooling.

As some of you know, for years I have been warning about the coming of global cooling.

The extent of solar-forced global warming actually began to slow down about 15 years ago just as the trending toward cooling began.

We saw this in the anomalous weather events during the last decade of the 2000s that were associated with the signs of a new climate regime inching its way into view.

According to my long-range calculations, global cooling will officially begin in mid-December 2017 and will last approximately 36 years.

We are in the waning years of solar-forced global warming. The years 2014, 2015, 2016 and most of 2017 will see the end of the global warming climate that began in 1980-81.

We will also see record warm temperatures in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as solar-forced global warming winds down. This will feature continuing and spreading droughts and heatwaves.

However, do not be misled, global cooling is on the way and will arrive, on time, officially by mid-December 2017. This means that there are few years to prepare as global cooling will be the new climate regime.

Now, despite opinions to the contrary, especially from those climate scientists who have bought into the lie of 'man-made global warming,' I continue to state that the laws of physics which govern the Earth's climate have not changed and that there is no such thing as humanity ever causing the Earth's climate to change.

That is accomplished by the Sun and modulated by the planets and there isn't a thing that all of humanity can do about that either.

Astrometeorologist Theodore White states that all climate change is caused by the activity and condition of the Sun. 

For instance, despite the constant 'predictions' of doom and gloom from the lie of 'man-made global warming,' featuring such silliness and alarmism "as all the glaciers will melt."

For years, in all the hysteria, marked by political ideology, rampant careerism, personal attacks on those who did not agree, hijacking, being called a 'denier' if one did not agree with man-made global warming, all of it has simply wasted valuable time in preparing for what I maintain is coming and that is global cooling.

"The Earth has a fever,” we were told.

“The science is settled and the debate is over. Scientists are unanimous - 97% of them agree: climate change is real, and is happening now, and we’ve got to act quickly.”

For more than 20 years, repeatedly and loud, we were all told, and even schoolchildren were pulled into the lies, that everywhere the world was warming faster and faster. Doom and gloom, the polar bears were not going to have ice to sleep on and these powerful marine bears who are excellent swimmers, were going to drown.

We were told that winters were warming up quickly. That snow would become a relic and children would soon not know what snow was like. They would not be able to experience winter season any longer.

“The warm winters that we are seeing are just a harbinger of what’s to come,” the media declared just a few years ago. We were told that the 'science was settled. That there was no debate and anyone who questioned this was a 'denier.'

I remember all of this when I was forecasting the weather in the 2000s and was repeatedly attacked on weather forums as an 'astrologer' who practiced pseudoscience, even though my weather forecasts were coming true. I stated that global warming was real, but that it was natural and not man-made.

I also stated that global cooling was ahead and would be here officially in 2017 and that leading up to that year we would certainly see snow falling and cold temperatures. Winter wasn't going anywhere.

But no, this 'astrologer' who somehow accurately forecasted the weather was just throwing sticks into the air and somehow he was forecasting by making guesses.

Chuckle, chuckle, ha ha.

Yet, when ENSO arrived in mid-2009 (as I had forecasted it would back in 2006) and then was followed by heavy snows and La Nina in 2010-2011, the laughter began to stop.

How did Astromet do it? How did he beat out 22 international climate centers, along with the British MET, the Australian MET, the National Weather Service and NOAA?

Then, not just in North America, but also winters on the European continent  began to turn colder and more severe.

Since the mid-to-late 2000s for instance, Central Europe experienced its 5th consecutive colder-than-normal winter in a row – that's a record since measurements began in the 19th century.

I kept saying that global cooling was trending, that it was coming closer.

But, meteorologists and climate scientists climate scientists reacted by saying to me, “One winter does not make a trend.

Some said that the cold winters were a local phenomenon.

Then, to my utter surprise and contempt, they then said that, “Cold winters now fit the picture of global warming!”

Excuse me?

Now, can you relate to Astromet?

What is actually happening is that the glaciers are spreading out and this is a sign of the global cooling climate regime that I have forecasted is just ahead.

Just recently, during the summer of 2013, a cold Arctic summer has led to a record increase in the ice cap and this has all of a sudden led leading experts to 'predict' a period of global cooling.

Funny how opinions formed into 'predictions' from climate scientists can change overnight, isn't it?

The actual slowdown in global warming occurred in the late 1990s as climate research centres now have come to accept that there indeed has been a 'pause'  in global warming since 1997.

For instance, news out of the United Kingdom's Telegraph newspaper reported on September 8, 2013 that,

"There has been a 60 percent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, they equivalent of almost a million square miles.


In a rebound from 2012's record low an unbroken ice sheet - more than half the size of Europe - already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia's northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin.


The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year, forcing some ships to change their routes.

A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on Sunday, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century.

If correct, it would contradict computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming. The news comes several years after the BBC predicted that the arctic would be ice-free by 2013.

Despite the original forecasts, major climate research centres now accept that there has been a “pause” in global warming since 1997.

The original predictions led to billions being invested in green measures to combat the effects of climate change.

The change in the predictions has led to UN's climate change's body holding a crisis meeting, and the the IPCC was due to report on the situation in October. 

A pre-summit meeting will be held later this month.

But leaked documents show that governments who fund the IPCC are demanding 1,500 changes to the Fifth Assessment Report - a three-volume study issued every six or seven years – as they claim its current draft does not properly explain the pause.

The extent to which temperatures will rise with carbon dioxide levels, as well as how much of the warming over the past 150 year, a total of 0.8C, is down to human greenhouse gas emissions are key issues.

The IPCC says it is “95 per cent confident” that global warming has been caused by humans - up from 90 per cent in 2007 – according to the draft report.

However, US climate expert Professor Judith Curry has questioned how this can be true as that rather than increasing in confidence, “uncertainty is getting bigger” within the academic community.

Long-term cycles in ocean temperature, she said, suggest the world may be approaching a period similar to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was a clear cooling trend.

At the time some scientists forecast an imminent ice age.

Professor Anastasios Tsonis, of the University of Wisconsin, said: 

'We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least. There is no doubt the warming of the 1980s and 1990s has stopped.”

The IPCC is said to maintain that their climate change models suggest a pause of 15 years can be expected. Other experts agree that natural cycles cannot explain all of the recorded warming."

As we can see, the IPCC and their ideologues that have served the lie 'man-made global warming' for over two decades have wasted many years of valuable time, money and resources on something that the laws of physics say cannot exist on Earth.

Now, time is shorter with global cooling on the way.

Jamie Whyte, a British economist, says this:

"The fundamental flaw in the warmist argument is its failure to a use a realistic discount rate.

None of the projected disastrous effects of climate change exists in the present but only in an imaginary future (which may never come to pass: these are only unverifiable computer model 'projections', remember.) 



So we ought, when considering our expensive prevention/mitigation policies, factor in the key point that "future generations" are going to be richer than we are and therefore better able to pay for any problems that "climate change" may cause them.


But the alarmists cannot afford to admit this, for to do so would be fatally to weaken their case that the time for action is now and that any delay will be fatal. 

Their emphasis on their imminence of catastrophe is designed to preclude rational analysis, so as to railroad through policies before more temperate heads notice their flaws.

In order to give this catastrophism more credibility, alarmists are wont to appeal to the authority of the "consensus.'

The climate models that predict AGW have not been tested and they are not mere entailments of well-known physics and chemistry. 

Why, then, do scientists have such high levels of confidence in them? 



In other words, if a scientific consensus really does exist, this is what needs to be explained. It cannot explain itself, nor justify itself.


We do not have confidence in the predictions of physics because physicists say we should. Rather, our confidence is founded on the extraordinary success of physics. 


Physical theory does not merely allow us to anticipate the existence and location of previously unobserved planets or the speed at which little trolleys will travel across school science laboratories; it allows us to build televisions, spaceships, microwave ovens and so on. 



Physicists inherit their credibility from physics, not vice-versa. That is why their special credibility is restricted to physicists.


Those who build climate models are scientists. But their branch of science has no success with which to impress us, neither in its predictions nor in its applications. 



In the absence of such success, their assertions of confidence should carry little weight. Especially when such assertions are predictable even in the absence of proper grounds for confidence."


The generational establishment in mainstream climate science and their ridiculous alarmism over 'man-made global warming,' have more in common with religious zealots than seekers of truth - that physics.

I continue to remind all that C02 is a thermostat and in the thermosphere of the Earth it works vigorously to eject heat back out into space - not capture it.

Moreover, the Earth can never become a 'greenhouse' and that is because the Second Law of Thermodynamics says so.

And, I remember everyone that that physical law has been in operation since the origin of the Earth and continues to this very day.

I continue to state that global warming is caused by the condition of the Sun and that global warming has always been good for the Earth.

However, global cooling is not good for the Earth and that is the climate regime that will begin, according to my calculations, officially in mid-December of the year 2017.

It will continue all through the 2020s, and peak in the mid-2030s, before waning gradually in the decade of the 2040s and then officially come to an end in the early 2050s.

“Global climate alarmism has been costly to society," says Dr. Richard Lindzen, "and it has the potential to be vastly more costly."

"It has also been damaging to science, as scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions.

How can one escape from the Iron Triangle when it produces flawed science that is immensely influential and is forcing catastrophic public policy?”

The cost of wasting more than two decades on the lie of 'man-made global warming' is going to have serious implications for the future.

You see, by losing all that time, nations and populations were not able to prepare for global cooling, which is far, far worse than anything global warming could ever do to the Earth.

There isn't much time to prep either, but make no mistake about it, according to my calculations, the Earth is heading to a new climate regime: global cooling, and it will be with all of us for 36 years. That has been my climate forecast for a long time now, and it has not changed.

And global cooling will arrive officially by mid-December 2017. That is my climate forecast.

Until that time, we will continue to see the 'extremes of weather' as we are in-between the old climate state of global warming and the approaching new climate state, global cooling.

Expect extreme temperature ranges, from warmer-than-normal to colder-than-normal and back again, along with heat waves, drought, heavy snowfalls, torrential rains and floods.


Warming Climate Theories Crumble as Data & Experts Say No, It's Global Cooling?

By Alex Newman
The New American

August 2013 -- So-called global-warming alarmists are in a frenzy after the latest climate data confirmed the Earth actually appears to be entering a potential cooling trend, sea-ice cover in Antarctica is growing to record levels, tornadoes and hurricanes are at record lows, and more.

According to experts, the most recent revelations continue to make a mockery of alarmist claims - debunking United Nations theories about human-caused global warming and the wildly inaccurate supposed “climate models” used to forecast doom and gloom by forces seeking carbon taxes and more centralized government.

Proponents of what is known as “anthropogenic global warming” theories, which claim that human activity is to blame for alleged warming, have long warned that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would lead to “catastrophic” warming.

The problem is that even based on data gathered by the planet’s premier climate alarmists - the U.K. Met Office, for example, or various U.S. agencies - shows that global warming stopped more than a decade and a half ago, as The New American reported last year.

Now, a leaked version of the upcoming UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlighted in the media suggests that the global body’s “climate scientists” are struggling hard to publicly explain the lack of warming they predicted with such confidence.

Among the possible explanations offered by the UN’s supposed experts: “ash from volcanoes,” a “decline in heat from the sun,” or more heat being “absorbed by the deep oceans,” according to news reports.

Apparently, however, the draft UN report, set to be released over the next year, does allow for the possibility that the climate is not as “sensitive” to CO2 as the alarmists and their now-debunked models expected.

Still, a spokesperson for the IPCC quoted in the government-funded BBC - long criticized for pushing the climate “hoax” despite real evidence - warned the public not to pay attention to the leaked draft because "it is guaranteed it will change" before being officially released.

Scientists and experts who have worked on the UN body have told The New American over a period of years that the IPCC is only interested in pushing climate hysteria, regardless of what the facts show.

Of course, CO2, a natural gas exhaled by humans and fundamental to life on earth, has long been vilified by UN climate alarmists as a “pollutant.”

Despite the well-known fact human emissions of the gas make up just a fraction of one percent of the greenhouse gasses present naturally in the atmosphere, supporters of man-made global-warming theories insist that humanity must, under UN guidance, destroy the economy to reduce emissions and stave off alleged disaster.

However, with the latest data suggesting that increased levels of CO2 has not led to the “expected” warming, experts say it is time for the UN and its cohorts to re-think their controversial theories.

Even the mainstream press in some countries - longtime bastions of climate alarmism - has finally started to report on the potential for global cooling.

Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, for example, ran an explosive article on August 7, 2013 about the lack of warming over the last 15 years featuring experts who suggested the earth may actually be entering another “little ice age.”

Reminding readers that the most recent ice age ended just over a century ago, the article was headlined “The behavior of the sun may trigger a new little ice age.”

Among other experts, the piece quoted Irish solar specialist Ian Elliott, who warned that “we may be on the path to a new little ice age,” very low solar activity, and “some very cold winters.”

Danish astrophysicist Henrik Svensmark, meanwhile, explained that from the 1940s to about the turn of the century, “we have had the highest solar activity in 1000 years.”

The last time the sun was so active, Svensmark added, was during the Medieval Warm Period, which climate alarmists consistently downplay or ignore because it does not fit with their “theories.”


“This could mean that the temperature will not rise for the next 30 years or maybe begin to decrease,” the expert continued, adding that "many of the climate models used by IPCC and others overestimate the influence of CO2 and underestimate the influence of the Sun.”

As far as the upcoming IPCC report goes, Svensmark said the UN body “is very one-sided,” so he does not believe there will be “anything reasonable in the next report.”

The prominent Danish astrophysicist concludes by noting that despite claims about the ocean absorbing the supposed global warming, “several thousand buoys put into the sea to measure temperature haven’t registered any rise in sea temperatures.”

Earlier this month, meanwhile, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its “State of the Climate in 2012” showing that last year was among the coldest so far this century.

According to analysts, despite the government agency’s wildly misleading attempts to spin the findings and drum up unwarranted hysteria, the data actually confirm that the globe has stopped warming for the last 15 years.

The report also exposes the bogus “climate models” that predicted major warming based on increasing CO2 levels as wrong, which credible scientists have been arguing all along.

“The stagnation of the last 15 years defies all computer model projections, thus confirming that the models all exaggerated CO2 climate sensitivity,” explained prominent climate skeptic Pierre Gosselin, who was educated in mechanical engineering, but now spends time ripping apart climate hysteria.

“In order for the models to be correct, the global temperature over the last 6 years would have to be 0.2 to 0.3°F warmer.”

Despite those inconvenient and embarrassing truths, Gosselin suspects that NOAA and other U.S. agencies like NASA will soon start trying to “readjust” the data to make it say what they need.

“Such dubious (and perhaps criminal) manipulation of data has long since become NASA’s ‘scientific’ approach over the recent years,” he said.

“It kind of reminds us of the days when Stalin tried to change history by cutting and pasting photos.”

Already, in an apparent effort to save face - and perhaps huge amounts of taxpayer funding - NOAA was caught using cherry-picked “scattered weather anecdotes” as “evidence” that the globe is warming.

“If you think scientists just couldn’t get any more incompetent, then think again,” Gosselin continued in his report demolishing the government’s bogus claims.

“NOAA scientists even appear to believe that cold events are now signs of warming?

It includes expanding Antarctic sea ice as evidence the globe is warming.”

Indeed, NOAA cited record high levels of sea-ice cover in Antarctica in its report.

As if all of that was not embarrassing enough, fear-mongering climate alarmists like President Obama have been threatening Americans and humanity with increased hurricanes and tornadoes due to “global warming.”

Between calls for more power and money, UN bosses have also been shrieking about the alleged “extreme” weather supposedly caused by human emissions of CO2.

Recent data, however, has left AGW proponents with egg on their faces once again.


According to the latest records on tornadoes in the United States, the nation is currently in the midst of what one prominent analyst referred to as a “tornado drought,” setting a new record for the last 60 years.

For hurricanes, which alarmists have also claimed would increase in frequency and severity, the situation is similar.

Analysts say Obama’s term in office has seen the lowest number of hurricanes making landfall of any U.S. president.

It has been eight years since a major one struck the United States.

While the facts and data continue to make a mockery of UN theories and tax-funded climate alarmism, that does not mean that officials plan to stop the fear mongering anytime soon.

Indeed, the Obama administration and its front groups such as “Organizing for Action” are hyping the discredited hysteria to unprecedented heights, engaging in what amounts to an attempted witch-hunt against so-called “climate deniers.”

It appears to analysts and serious scientists as though, after squandering billions in taxpayer money and putting its credibility on the line pushing the “climate scam,” the establishment is not yet ready to abandon its largely discredited theories.

Once humanity realizes that the justifications for higher taxes, more regulations, increased government power, and the erosion of liberty and national sovereignty around the world are crumbling, it will be much harder to push similar efforts in the future.
~


NOAA Confirms Model-Defying Global Temperature Stagnation…

... Rather, 2012 Was Among Coolest In 21st Century? 

By Pierre Gosselin
The political beauty about climate data is that it can be easily manipulated in order to fool the public.

The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released its State of the Climate in 2012: Highlights.

To no one’s surprise, the report gives the reader the impression that warming is galloping ahead out of control.

But their data show just the opposite.


NOAA says 2012 was the 8th or 9th warmest on record, but fails to mention it was one of the coolest of the decade, and thus confirms the cooling trend. Above sequence estimated using the chart. Trend line is only approximate.

When one carefully reads the report, we find that the NOAA findings actually do confirm precisely what the skeptics have been claiming all along:

1. The Earth has stopped warming.

2. The climate models exaggerated future warming. CO2 climate sensitivity is much lower than we first thought.

That’s the real issue at hand.

On global temperatures, the NOAA report itself states (my emphasis):

Four major independent data-sets show 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record, ranking either 8th or 9th, depending upon the dataset used."

click on graphic to enlarge
Image: NOAA

The year 2012 one of the coldest this decade?

But if 2012 is only the 8th or 9th warmest and we are told again and again that almost all the warmest years occurred since 2000 - then it can only mean that 2012 was one of the coolest so far this century.

And indeed the above NOAA chart confirms just that.

Moreover, the stagnation of the last 15 years defies all computer model projections, thus confirming that the models all exaggerated CO2 climate sensitivity.

In order for the models to be correct, the global temperature over the last 6 years would have to be 0.2 to 0.3°F warmer.

We suppose that the NOAA and NASA will soon be going to work re-adjusting the 1998 to 2005 data downwards to get the curve shape they need.

Such dubious (and perhaps criminal) manipulation of data has long since become NASA’s “scientific” approach over the recent years. It kind of reminds us of the days when Stalin tried to change history by cutting and pasting photos.

NOAA admits using random weather anecdotes as “data” to show warming 

Now that we see that the global temperature data show there’s been NO WARMING and that the models all exaggerate, how does NOAA arrive at the conclusion that the globe is warming?

Answer:

They use scattered weather anecdotes as evidence. Something that even 6th grade students learn not to do.

Their science is that bad.

NOAA even admits this: “The report used dozens of climate indicators to track and identify changes and overall trends to the global climate system.”

These “climate indicators,” as you are about to see, are merely cherry-picked weather events.


For example, NOAA writes that the Arctic Sea Ice extent last year reached a record low “during the satellite era."

However, the satellite era only goes back 33 years, and NOAA couldn’t be bothered to tell readers that low Arctic sea ice also persisted in the 1950s and is all part of natural cycles, and is thus not “unprecedented.“

NOAA in its report also uses a single 4-week-long period of weather over Greenland last summer as conclusive data that our planet is warming. But this is just a weather event.

Another remarkable single event that NOAA uses is:

“A weak La Niña dissipated during spring 2012 and, for the first time in several years, neither El Niño nor La Niña … prevailed for the majority of the year.” 

A La Niña naturally disappearing is evidence of global warming?

You gotta be kidding.

NOAA’s scientific incompetence reaches a new high


NOAA just released it’s State of the Climate: Extreme Events chart.

Again, NOAA confuses weather events as “climate events.”

The scientists at the NOAA are no longer able to distinguish between a single tropical storm like Sandy and climate. Scientific incompetence has reached a new high.

If you think scientists just couldn’t get anymore incompetent, then think again.

NOAA scientists even appear to believe that cold events are now signs of warming!

It includes expanding Antarctic sea ice as evidence the globe is warming:

NOAA Quote:

"Antarctica sea ice extent reaches record high … reached a record high of 7.51 million square miles on September 26. 

"This is 0.5 percent higher than the previous record high extent of 7.47 million square miles that occurred in 2006 and seven percent higher than the record low maximum sea ice extent of 6.96 million square miles that occurred in 1986.” 

When the traditional fundamental data stop supporting your claims and you’re scientifically desperate, then I guess you have to resort to fringe weather anecdotes.

Who would have thought that the NOAA would devolve to such a low level?

And as the warming stagnation continues, expect a lot more comedy to come from the NOAA in the years ahead.
~



For those of you out there who still wonder why this mundane astrologer despises the baby boomer generation establishment - considering all the proof I have offered on multiple occasions over the years - should then continue to read on. 



There are plenty of facts at hand to prove to you why.



However, if you remain confused as to why this is so, then please, consider the following and perhaps you will join me in my utter contempt for a generation that went to college nearly debt free, either to avoid the Vietnam War, or to consume untold amounts of drugs and LSD in a rock-n-roll and sex-fueled hitchhiking craze as they dropped out and then dropped back in society to get back their degrees, so that they could butt f***k the young people of the 21st century.



These are the same baby boomers, mind you, who have been running government, pigging it out in Congress, sitting in their dying establishment, corrupting the banks, giving out their 'student loans' and these are the very same baby boomers who administer the universities of today and who, as I will show, literally hate young people who they are putting into massive levels of life-long debt...



The Cardinal Crisis
Baby Boomers Ripping Off America: 
The Massive College-Loan Scandal

The federal government has made it easier than ever to borrow money for higher education - saddling a young generation with crushing debts & inflating a bubble that could bring down the entire American economy

by Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone

On May 31, 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama strolled into the bright sunlight of the Rose Garden, covered from head to toe in the slime and ooze of the Benghazi and IRS scandals.

In a Karl Rove-ian masterstroke, he simply pretended they weren't there and changed the subject.

The topic?

Student loans.

Unless Congress took action soon, he warned, the relatively low 3.4 percent interest rates on key federal student loans would double.

Obama knew the Republicans would make a scene over extending the subsidized loan program, and that he could corner them into looking like obstructionist meanies out to snatch the lollipop of higher education from America's youth.

"We cannot price the middle class or folks who are willing to work hard to get into the middle class," Obama said sternly, "out of a college education."

Flash-forward through a few months of brinkmanship and name-calling, and not only is nobody talking about the IRS anymore, but the Republicans and Democrats are snuggled in bed together on the student-loan thing, having hatched a quick-fix plan on July 3, 2013, to peg interest rates to Treasury rates, ensuring the rate for undergrads would only rise to 3.86 percent for the coming year.

Though this was just the thinnest of temporary solutions – Congressional Budget Office projections predicted interest rates on undergraduate loans under the new plan would still rise as high as 7.25 percent within five years, while graduate loans could reach an even more ridiculous 8.8 percent – the jobholders on Capitol Hill couldn't stop congratulating themselves for their "rare" "feat" of bipartisan cooperation.

"This proves Washington can work," clucked House Republican Luke Messer of Indiana, in a typically auto-erotic assessment of the work done by Beltway pols like himself who were now freed up for their August 2013 vacations.

Not only had the president succeeded in moving the goal posts on his spring scandals, he'd teamed up with the Republicans to perpetuate a long-standing deception about the education issue: that the student-loan controversy is now entirely about interest rates and/or access to school loans.

Obama had already set himself up as a great champion of student rights by taking on banks and greedy lenders like Sallie Mae.

Three years earlier, he'd scored what at the time looked like a major victory over the Republicans with a transformative plan to revamp the student-loan industry.

The 2010 bill mostly eliminated private banks and lenders from the federal student-loan business.

Henceforth, the government would lend college money directly to students, with no middlemen taking a cut.

The president insisted the plan would eliminate waste and promised to pass the savings along to students in the form of more college and university loans, including $36 billion in new Pell grants over 10 years for low-income students.

Republican senator and former Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander bashed the move as "another Washington takeover."

The thing is, none of it – not last month's deal, not Obama's 2010 reforms – mattered that much.

No doubt, seeing rates double permanently would genuinely have sucked for many students, so it was nice to avoid that.

And yes, it was theoretically beneficial when Obama took banks and middlemen out of the federal student-loan game.

But the dirty secret of American higher education is that student-loan interest rates are almost irrelevant.


It's not the cost of the loan that's the problem, it's the principal – the appallingly high tuition costs that have been soaring at two to three times the rate of inflation, an irrational upward trajectory eerily reminiscent of skyrocketing housing prices in the years before 2008.


How is this happening?

It's complicated.

But throw off the mystery and what you'll uncover is a shameful and oppressive outrage that for years now has been systematically perpetrated against an entire generation of young adults.


For this story, I interviewed people who developed crippling mental and physical conditions, who considered suicide, who had to give up hope of having children, who were forced to leave the country, or who even entered a life of crime because of their student debts.

They all take responsibility for their own mistakes. They know they didn't arrive at gorgeous campuses for four golden years of boozing, balling and bong hits by way of anybody's cattle car.

But they're angry, too, and they should be.


Because the underlying cause of all that later-life distress and heartache – the reason they carry such crushing, life-alteringly huge college debt – is that our university-tuition system really is exploitative and unfair, designed primarily to benefit two major actors.

First in line are the colleges and universities, and the contractors who build their extravagant athletic complexes, hotel-like dormitories and God knows what other campus embellishments.

For these little regional economic empires, the federal student-loan system is essentially a massive and ongoing government subsidy, once funded mostly by emotionally vulnerable parents, but now increasingly paid for in the form of federally backed loans to a political constituency – low- and middle-income students – that has virtually no lobby in Washington.

Next up is the government itself.


While it's not commonly discussed on the Hill, the government actually stands to make an enormous profit on the president's new federal student-loan system, an estimated $184 billion over 10 years, a boondoggle paid for by hyper-inflated tuition costs and fueled by a government-sponsored predatory-lending program that makes even the most ruthless private credit-card company seem like a "Save the Panda" charity.

Why is this happening?

The answer lies in a sociopath marriage of private-sector greed and government force that will make you shake your head in wonder at the way modern America sucks blood out of its young.

In the early 2000s, a thirty-something scientist named Alan Collinge seemed to be going places. He had graduated from USC in 1999 with a degree in aerospace engineering and landed a research job at Caltech.

Then he made a mistake: He asked for a raise, didn't get it, lost his job and soon found himself underemployed and with no way to repay the roughly $38,000 in loans he'd taken out to get his degree.

Collinge's creditor, Sallie Mae, which originally had been a quasi-public institution but, in the late Nineties, had begun transforming into a wholly private lender, didn't answer his requests for a forbearance or a restructuring.

So in 2001, he went into default.

Soon enough, his original $38,000 loan had ballooned to more than $100,000 in debt, thanks to fees, penalties and accrued interest. He had a job as a military contractor, but he lost it when his employer ran a credit check on him.

His whole life was now about his student debt.


Collinge became so upset that, while sitting on a buddy's couch in Tacoma, Washington, one night in 2005 and nursing a bottle of Jack Daniel's, he swore that he'd see Sallie Mae on 60 Minutes if it was the last thing he did.

In what has to be a first in the history of drunken bullshitting, it actually happened.

"Lo and behold, I ended up being featured on 60 Minutes within about a year," he says.

In 2006, he got to tell his debt story to Lesley Stahl for a piece on Sallie Mae's draconian lending tactics that, curiously enough, Sallie Mae itself refused to be interviewed for.

From that point forward, Collinge – who founded the website StudentLoanJustice.org – became what he calls "a complaint box for the industry."

He heard thousands of horror stories from people like himself, and over the course of many years began to wonder more and more about one particular recurring theme, what he calls "the really significant thing – the sticker price."

Why is college so expensive?

Tuition costs at public and private colleges were, are and have been rising faster than just about anything in American society – health care, energy, even housing.

Between 1950 and 1970, sending a kid to a public university cost about four percent of an American family's annual income. Forty years later, in 2010, it accounted for 11 percent.

Moody's released statistics showing tuition and fees rising 300 percent versus the Consumer Price Index between 1990 and 2011.

After the mortgage crash of 2008, for instance, many states pushed through deep cuts to their higher-education systems, but all that did was motivate schools to raise tuition prices and seek to recoup lost state subsidies in the form of more federal-loan money.

The one thing they didn't do was cut costs.

"College spending has been going up at the same time as prices have been going up," says Kevin Carey of the nonpartisan New America Foundation.

This is why the issue of student-loan interest rates pales in comparison with the larger problem of how anyone can repay such a huge debt – the average student now leaves school owing $27,000 – by entering an economy sluggishly jogging uphill at a fraction of the speed of climbing education costs.


"It's the unending, gratuitous, punitive increase in prices that is driving all of this," says Carey.

As Collinge worked to figure out the cause of those cost increases, he became focused on several highly disturbing, little-discussed quirks in the student-lending industry.

For instance:

A 2005 Wall Street Journal story by John Hechinger showed that the Department of Education was projecting it would actually make money on students who defaulted on loans, and would collect on average 100 percent of the principal, plus an additional 20 percent in fees and payments.


Hechinger's reporting would continue over the years to be borne out in official documents.

In 2010, for instance, the Obama White House projected the default recovery rate for all forms of federal Stafford loans (one of the most common federally backed loans for undergraduates and graduates) to be above 122 percent.

The most recent White House projection was slightly less aggressive, predicting a recovery rate of between 104 percent and 109 percent for Stafford loans.

When Rolling Stone reached out to the DOE to ask for an explanation of those numbers, we got no answer.

In the past, however, the federal government has responded to such criticisms by insisting that it doesn't make a profit on defaults, arguing that the government incurs costs farming out negligent accounts to collectors, and also loses even more thanks to the opportunity cost of lost time.

For instance, the government claimed its projected recovery rate for one type of defaulted Stafford loans in 2013 to be 109.8 percent, but after factoring in collection costs, that number drops to 95.7 percent.

Factor in the additional cost of lost time, and the "net" projected recovery rate for these Stafford loans is 81.8 percent.


Still, those recovery numbers are extremely high, compared with, say, credit-card debt, where recovery rates of 15 percent are not uncommon.

Whether the recovery rate is 110 percent or 80 percent, it seems doubtful that losses from defaults come close to impacting the government's bottom line, since the state continues to project massive earnings from its student-loan program.

After the latest compromise, the 10-year revenue projection for the DOE's lending programs is $184,715,000,000, or $715 million higher than the old projection – underscoring the fact that the latest deal, while perhaps rescuing students this coming year from high rates, still expects to ding them hard down the road.

But the main question is, how is the idea that the government might make profits on defaulted loans even up for debate?

The answer lies in the uniquely blood-draining legal framework in which federal student loans are issued.


First of all, a high percentage of student borrowers enter into their loans having no idea that they're signing up for a relationship as unbreakable as herpes.

Not only has Congress almost completely stripped students of their right to disgorge their debts through bankruptcy (amazing, when one considers that even gamblers can declare bankruptcy!)

It has also restricted the students' ability to refinance loans.

Even Truth in Lending Act requirements – which normally require lenders to fully disclose future costs to would-be customers – don't cover certain student loans.

That student lenders can escape from such requirements is especially pernicious, given that their pool of borrowers are typically one step removed from being children, but the law goes further than that and tacitly permits lenders to deceive their teenage clients.

Not all student borrowers have access to the same information.

A 2008 federal education law forced private lenders to disclose the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) to prospective borrowers; APR is a more complex number that often includes fees and other charges.

But lenders of federally backed student loans do not have to make the same disclosures.

"Only a small minority of those who've been to college have been told very simple things, like what their interest rate was," says Collinge.

"A lot of straight-up lies have been foisted on students."


Talk to any of the 38 million Americans who have outstanding student-loan debt, and he or she is likely to tell you a story about how a single moment in a financial-aid office at the age of 18 or 19 – an age when most people can barely do a load of laundry without help – ended up ruining his or her life.

"I was 19 years old," says 24-year-old Lyndsay Green, a graduate of the University of Alabama, in a typical story.

"I didn't understand what was going on, but my mother was there.

She had signed, and now it was my turn. So I did."

Six years later, she says, "I am nearly $45,000 in debt. . . . If I had known what I was doing, I would never have gone to college."


"Nobody sits down and explains to you what it all means," says 24-year-old Andrew Geliebter, who took out loans to get what he calls "a degree in bullshit."

He entered a public-relations program at Philadelphia's Temple University. His loan payments are now 50 percent of his gross income - leaving only about $100 a week for groceries for his family of four.

Another debtor, a 38-year-old attorney who suffered a pulmonary embolism and went into default as a result, is now more than $100,000 in debt.

Bedridden and fully disabled, he accepts he will likely be in debt until his death.

He asked that his name be withheld because he doesn't want to incur the wrath of the government by disclosing the awful punch line to his story:

After he qualified for federal disability payments in 2009, the Department of Education quickly began garnishing $170 a month from his disability check.

(Way to go with all that 'peace' and 'love' in the 'Age of Aquarius' baby boomers.)


"Student-loan debt collectors have power that would make a mobster envious" is how Sen. Elizabeth Warren put it.

Collectors can garnish everything from wages to tax returns to Social Security payments to, yes, disability checks.

Debtors can also be barred from the military, lose professional licenses and suffer other consequences no private lender could possibly throw at a borrower.

The upshot of all this is that the government can essentially lend without fear, because its strong-arm collection powers dictate that one way or another, the money will come back.

Even a very high default rate may not dissuade the government from continuing to make mountains of credit available to naive young people.


"If the DOE had any skin in the game," says Collinge, "if they actually saw significant loss from defaulted loans, they would years ago have said, 'Whoa, we need to freeze lending,' or, 'We need to kick 100 schools out of the lending program.'"

Turning down the credit spigot would force schools to compete by bringing prices down. It would help to weed out crappy schools that hawked worthless "degrees in bullshit."

It would also force prospective students to meet higher standards – not just anyone would get student loans, which is maybe the way it should be.

But that's not how it is.

For one thing, the check on crappy schools and sleazy "diploma mill" institutions is essentially broken thanks to a corrupt dynamic similar to the way credit-rating agencies have failed in the finance world.

Schools must be accredited institutions to receive tuition via federal student loans, but the accrediting agencies are nongovernmental captives of the education industry.

"The government has outsourced its responsibilities for ensuring quality to weak, nonprofit organizations that are essentially owned and run by existing colleges," says Carey.

Fly-by-night, for-profit schools can be some of the most aggressive in lobbying for the raising of federal-loan limits.

The reason is simple – some of them subsist almost entirely on federal loans.

There's actually a law prohibiting these schools from having more than 90 percent of their tuition income come from federally backed loans.

It would seem to amaze that any school would come even close to depending that much on taxpayers, but Carey notes with disdain that some schools use loopholes to go beyond the limit (for instance, loans to servicemen are technically issued through the Department of Defense, so they don't count toward the 90 percent figure).

Bottomless credit equals inflated prices equals more money for colleges and universities, more hidden taxes for the government to collect and, perhaps most important, a bigger and more dangerous debt bomb on the backs of the adult working population.

The stats on the latter are now undeniable.


Having passed credit cards to became the largest pile of owed money in America outside of the real-estate market, outstanding student debt topped $1 trillion by the end of 2011. Last November, the New York Fed reported an amazing statistic:

During just the third quarter of 2012, non-real-estate household debt rose nationally by 2.3 percent, or a staggering $62 billion!


And an equally staggering $42 billion of that was student-loan debt!

The exploding-debt scenario is such a conspicuous problem that the Federal Advisory Council – a group of bankers who advise the Federal Reserve Board of Governors – has compared it to the mortgage crash, warning that "recent growth in student-loan debt . . . has parallels to the housing crisis."

Agreeing with activists like Collinge, it cited a "significant growth of subsidized lending" as a major factor in the student-debt mess.

One final, eerie similarity to the mortgage crisis is that while analysts on both the left and the right agree that the ballooning student-debt mess can be blamed on too much easy credit, there is sharp disagreement about the reason for the existence of that easy credit.

Many finance-sector analysts see the problem as being founded in ill-considered social engineering, an unrealistic desire to put as many kids into college as possible that mirrors the state's home-ownership goals that many conservatives still believe fueled the mortgage crisis.

"These problems are the result of government officials pushing a social good – i.e., broader college attendance" is how libertarian writer Steven Greenhut put it.

Others, however, view the easy money as the massive subsidy for an education industry, which spent between $88 million and $110 million lobbying government in each of the past six years, and historically has spent recklessly no matter who happened to be footing the bill – parents, states, the federal government, young people, whomever.

Carey talks about how colleges spend a lot of energy on what he calls "gilding" – pouring money into superficial symbols of prestige, everything from new buildings to celebrity professors, as part of a "never-ending race for positional status."

"What you see is that spending on education hasn't really gone up all that much," he says. "It's spending on things like buildings and administration. . . . 

... Lots and lots of people getting paid $200,000, $300,000 a year to do . . . something."


Once upon a time, when the economy was healthier, it was parents who paid for these excesses. "But eventually those people ran out of money," Carey says, "so they had to start borrowing."

If federal loan programs aren't being swallowed up by greedy schools for expensive and useless gilding, they're being manipulated by the federal government itself.

The massive earnings the government gets on student-loan programs amount to a crude backdoor tax increase disguised by cynical legislators (who hesitate to ask constituents with more powerful lobbies to help cut the deficit) as an investment in America's youth.

click on graphic to enlarge

"It's basically a $185 billion tax hike on middle-income and low-income citizens and their families," says Warren Gunnels, senior policy adviser for Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the few legislators critical of the recent congressional student-loan compromise.

Gunnels notes with irony that a few years ago, when Obama moved to eliminate private-lender middlemen from the servicing of federally backed loans, much hay was made out of the enormous profits private industry had long earned on the backs of students.

The Congressional Budget Office issued a report estimating that Obama's program would save $86.8 billion over a 10-year period by eliminating private profits from the system.

Obama said taxpayers were "paying banks a premium to act as middlemen," adding that it was a "premium we cannot afford."

The outrage over profits, however, was short-lived.

"It was wrong when banks were making an $86 billion profit on students, but somehow it's OK when the government makes a $185 billion profit on them," says Gunnels.

One of the reasons the money has kept flying out the government's door over the years is that data about student-loan-default rates has been carefully concealed from the public and from Congress.

For years, when it reported statistics about student defaults, the DOE relied upon a preposterous arbitrary calculation called the "cohort default rate," which essentially measured the rate of default only within the first two years of graduation.

In 2008, Congress passed a law forcing the DOE to switch to a theoretically more accurate three-year measurement, which it sent to Congress for the first time last year.

Overnight, the picture looked a good bit grimmer.


The 2009 number, based on the old two-year 2009 "cohort" rate, was 8.8 percent.

When the new three-year number came out - the rate had jumped to 13.4 percent.

The Department of Education refuses to release more accurate default numbers.

But outsiders think the DOE is low-balling it.

The Chronicle of Higher Education charges that the government "vastly under-counts defaults."

In 2010, it estimated that one in five had defaulted on their loans since 1995, that 31 percent of community-college students default and that an astonishing 40 percent of students attending for-profit schools end up defaulting.


A report by the Inspector General of the Department of Education has come to similar conclusions about the reliability of the absurd and arbitrary "cohort" figure.

However high that default number really is, what's clear is that the state is still able to turn billions in profit on its lending, and expects to continue to do so for the next 10 years.

The reason for that, again, lies in something everyone who has a student loan understands implicitly – the state and its collectors are not ­squeamish collecting the money they're owed.

The government is in the pain business - and business is good.

"They called me at work, sometimes two to three times a day, doing all the stuff they aren't supposed to do: threats, et cetera," says 41-year-old Shawn FitzGerald, who owes $300 a month and says he expects to be paying off education loans into his sixties.

"They told the receptionist at my job that I was in legal trouble."

"Sallie Mae has started sending letters to my deceased mother," says Thomas Daggett of Chesterfield, Massachusetts, who left school in the Nineties and owes $35,000.


"I have been told I made the wrong decision going to college, as well as being told I was a failure, an idiot and a mooch," says Larissa, a young woman from a blue-collar town outside Chicago.

"I've had ex-boyfriends that I never even lived with contacted by collection agents, my childhood friend's distant relatives contacted by them, as well as distant relatives of my own. . . ."

"I try not to look at the balances because the prospect of paying them off with my shit salary is so goddamn depressing it makes me want to chug vodka until I pass out," says Robert Boardman, a proud but underemployed owner of a doctorate from the University of Michigan.

There's a particularly dark twist to the education story, which is tied to the collapse of the middle class and the overall destruction of our economic landscape:

College degrees are actually considered to be more essential than ever.

The New York Times did a story earlier this year declaring the college degree to be the "new high school diploma," describing it as essentially a minimum job requirement.

They found an Atlanta law firm that requires even clerks, secretaries and runners to have four-year degrees and cited research that everyone from hygienists to cargo agents needs to have graduated from college to get hired.

You can look at this development in one of two ways.

One way is to see a college degree as a better investment than ever, which was the conclusion of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which noted that the difference in earnings between the poorly and well-educated has risen in recent years with the worsening economy.

But another way to look at this new truth is that, because of the poor job market, young people may have less of a chance than ever to actually get a good job commensurate with their education.

If they don't have the degree, then they have no chance at all.

So if they even want a clerking job, they must dive face-first into the debt muck and take their chances that they won't end up watching the federal government take bites out of disability checks while their law degree gathers dust downstairs somewhere.

So, yes, a college education is a great thing, and you probably need one now more than ever – the problem is that it may very well be mandatory, may have less of a chance of ever getting you a job, and you may still be paying for it on your deathbed no matter what.

There are powerful reasons for both the left and the right to be willfully blind to the root problem.

Democrats – who, incidentally, receive at least twice as much money from the education lobby as Republicans – like to see the raging river of free-flowing student loans as a triumph of educational access.


Any suggestion that saddling befuddled youngsters with tens of thousands of dollars in school debts is somehow harmful or counterproductive to society is often swiftly shot down by politicians or industry insiders as an anti-student position.

The idea that limitless government credit might be at least enabling high education costs tends to be derisively described as the "Bennett hypothesis," since right-wing moralist and notorious gambler/dick/hypocrite Bill Bennett once touted the same idea.

"It is wrong to suggest that student aid is a cause for growing college costs, in any sector," David Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, wrote in The Washington Post last year, bemoaning the "re-emergence" of the Bennett theory.

"To argue so is counterproductive to the goal of making higher education accessible and affordable."

Conservatives, meanwhile, with their usual "Fuck everybody who complains about anything unless it's us" mentality, tend to portray the student-loan "problem" as a bunch of spoiled, irresponsible losers who are simply whining about having to pay back money they borrowed with their eyes wide open.

When Yale and Penn recently began suing students who were defaulting on their federal Perkins loans, a Cato Institute analyst named Neal McCluskey pretty much summed up the conservative take.

"You could take a job at Subway or wherever to pay the bills," he said. "It seems like basic responsibility to me."


But conservatives most of all should hate the current system for any number of reasons – for being a massive hidden tax, for being a market-defying subsidy artificially keeping ineffective and poor-performing institutions in business, and for being an example of arbitrary government power seizing not just money borrowed plus interest - but billions in additional fees and penalties from ordinary people.

Progressives should hate the predatory tactics of lenders and the sleazy way universities rely upon loan-shark collection methods to keep themselves in fancy new waterfalls, swimming pools and tenure-track jobs.

But nobody hates it enough, except for the people actually trying to pay the bills with increasingly worthless degrees.


Instead, the credit keeps flowing and the debt bubble keeps expanding, thanks to 'leaders' like John Boehner (whose daughter reportedly works at Sallie Mae's student-collections firm, General Revenue Corp.) and Dianne Feinstein, who introduced legislation to increase limits on Pell grants, this, while her husband was heavily invested in for-profit colleges.

{More baby boomer 'love'}

In a way, America itself is violating the Truth in Lending Act.

It's cheering millions of high school graduates toward college every year, feeding them into the debt grinder under the banner of increased opportunity, when full disclosure would require admitting that there isn't a hell of a lot waiting for them on the other side, where the middle class has nearly vanished and full employment is going the way of the dodo.

We're doing the worst thing people can do - lying to our young.


Nobody, not even President Obama, who was swept to victory in large part by the raw enthusiasm of college kids, has the stones to tell the truth:

And that truth is that a lot of them will end up being pawns in a predatory con game designed to extract the equivalent of home-mortgage commitment from 17-year-olds dreaming of impossible careers as nautical archaeologists or orchestra conductors.


One former law student I contacted for this story had a nervous breakdown while struggling to pay off six-figure debt.

It wasn't until he tapped into one of the few growth industries open to young Americans that his outlook brightened.

"I got my life back on track by working for a marijuana delivery service in Manhattan," he says.

"I've had to compromise who I am . . . because I started down a path that I couldn't turn away from.

Student loans aren't hope. They're despair."

And some still hold their hands up and ask, Theodore, why do you hold the baby boomer establishment in such utter contempt?

However, here's to the 'Age of Aquarius' and all that 'peace' and 'love.' 

Isn't that baby boomer establishment 'love' grand?


We now go on to another serious topic, which is even more proof that the boomer establishment has been outside of their own minds, here in the early 21st century.

Those who think that TIA - 'Total Information Awareness' -- which was American Admiral John Poindexter's idea to create an 'omnipresent state data-mining agency,' an idea ridiculed publicly at the time (then quietly put in actual practice) can be a benign presence shielding society, should think again.


Astrological transits have long confirmed that the National Security State is omnipresent, if not omnipotent. Its tentacles grow longer by the hour, dig deeper with every passing day, reach everywhere and touch everyone and everything.


And law does not restrain them. They actually believe that they are above the law. 



However, in the near future, we shall discover that the dead oligarchy and dying baby boomer generational establishment are certainly not 'above any law' as both aged generations shuffle off this mortal coil, headlong into perdition as they leave behind a legacy filled with paranoia, fear, hate, widespread corruption, crime, massive theft and outright disgust - for all the world to see and to know.


The Cardinal Crisis Years
N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens?

By James Risen & Laura Poitras

Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.

The spy agency began allowing the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in November 2010 to examine Americans’ networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes after N.S.A. officials lifted restrictions on the practice, according to documents provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.


The policy shift was intended to help the agency “discover and track” connections between intelligence targets overseas and people in the United States, according to an N.S.A. memorandum from January 2011.

The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. 

Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.

The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. 

They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners.

N.S.A. officials declined to say how many Americans have been caught up in the effort, including people involved in no wrongdoing. 


The documents do not describe what has resulted from the scrutiny, which links phone numbers and e-mails in a “contact chain” tied directly or indirectly to a person or organization overseas that is of foreign intelligence interest.

The new disclosures add to the growing body of knowledge in recent months about the N.S.A.’s access to and use of private information concerning Americans, prompting lawmakers in Washington to call for reining in the agency and President Obama to order an examination of its surveillance policies. 

Almost everything about the agency’s operations is hidden, and the decision to revise the limits concerning Americans was made in secret, without review by the nation’s intelligence court or any public debate. 

As far back as 2006, a Justice Department memo warned of the potential for the “misuse” of such information without adequate safeguards.

An agency spokeswoman, asked about the analyses of Americans’ data, said, “All data queries must include a foreign intelligence justification - period.”

“All of N.S.A.’s work has a foreign intelligence purpose,” the spokeswoman added. “Our activities are centered on counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation and cyber-security.”

The legal underpinning of the policy change, she said, was a 1979 Supreme Court ruling that Americans could have no expectation of privacy about what numbers they had called. 

Based on that ruling, the Justice Department and the Pentagon decided that it was permissible to create contact chains using Americans’ “metadata,” which includes the timing, location and other details of calls and e-mails, but not their content. 

The agency is not required to seek warrants for the analyses from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

N.S.A. officials declined to identify which phone and e-mail databases are used to create the social network diagrams, and the documents provided by Mr. Snowden do not specify them. 

The agency did say that the large database of Americans’ domestic phone call records, which was revealed by Mr. Snowden in June and caused bipartisan alarm in Washington, was excluded. (N.S.A. officials have previously acknowledged that the agency has done limited analysis in that database, collected under provisions of the Patriot Act, exclusively for people who might be linked to terrorism suspects.)

But the agency has multiple collection programs and databases, the former officials said, adding that the social networking analyses relied on both domestic and international metadata. 

They spoke only on the condition of anonymity because the information was classified.

The concerns in the United States since Snowden’s revelations have largely focused on the scope of the agency’s collection of the private data of Americans and the potential for abuse. But the new documents provide a rare window into what the N.S.A. actually does with the information it gathers.

A series of agency PowerPoint presentations and memos describe how the N.S.A. has been able to develop software and other tools - one document cited a new generation of programs that “revolutionize” data collection and analysis - to unlock as many secrets about individuals as possible.


The spy agency, led by Gen. Keith B. Alexander, an unabashed advocate for more weapons in the hunt for information about the nation’s adversaries, clearly views its collections of metadata as one of its most powerful resources. 

 General Keith B. Alexander

N.S.A. analysts can exploit that information to develop a portrait of an individual, one that is perhaps more complete and predictive of behavior than could be obtained by listening to phone conversations or reading e-mails, experts say.

Phone and e-mail logs, for example, allow analysts to identify people’s friends and associates, detect where they were at a certain time, acquire clues to religious or political affiliations, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner or exchanges with a fellow plotter.

“Metadata can be very revealing,” said Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University. 

“Knowing things like the number someone just dialed or the location of the person’s cellphone is going to allow them to assemble a picture of what someone is up to. It’s the digital equivalent of tailing a suspect.”


The N.S.A. had been pushing for more than a decade to obtain the rule change allowing the analysis of Americans’ phone and e-mail data.

Intelligence officials had been frustrated that they had to stop when a contact chain hit a telephone number or e-mail address believed to be used by an American, even though it might yield valuable intelligence primarily concerning a foreigner who was overseas, according to documents previously disclosed by Mr. Snowden. 

N.S.A. officials also wanted to employ the agency’s advanced computer analysis tools to sift through its huge databases with much greater efficiency.

The agency had asked for the new power as early as 1999, the documents show, but had been initially rebuffed because it was not permitted under rules of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that were intended to protect the privacy of Americans.

A 2009 draft of an N.S.A. inspector general’s report suggests that contact chaining and analysis may have been done on Americans’ communications data under the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants, which began after the Sept. 11 attacks to detect terrorist activities and skirted the existing laws governing electronic surveillance.

In 2006, months after the wiretapping program was disclosed by The New York Times, the N.S.A.’s acting general counsel wrote a letter to a senior Justice Department official, which was also leaked by Mr. Snowden, formally asking for permission to perform the analysis on American phone and e-mail data. 

A Justice Department memo to the attorney general noted that the “misuse” of such information “could raise serious concerns,” and said the N.S.A. promised to impose safeguards, including regular audits, on the metadata program. In 2008, the Bush administration gave its approval.


A new policy that year, detailed in “Defense Supplemental Procedures Governing Communications Metadata Analysis,” authorized by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, said that since the Supreme Court had ruled that metadata was not constitutionally protected, N.S.A. analysts could use such information “without regard to the nationality or location of the communicants,” according to an internal N.S.A. description of the policy.

After that decision, which was previously reported by The Guardian, the N.S.A. performed the social network graphing in a pilot project for 1 ½ years “to great benefit,” according to the 2011 memo.

It was put in place in November 2010 in “Sigint Management Directive 424” (sigint refers to signals intelligence).

In the 2011 memo explaining the shift, N.S.A. analysts were told that they could trace the contacts of Americans as long as they cited a foreign intelligence justification.

That could include anything from ties to terrorism, weapons proliferation or international drug smuggling to spying on conversations of foreign politicians, business figures or activists.

Analysts were warned to follow existing “minimization rules,” which prohibit the N.S.A. from sharing with other agencies names and other details of Americans whose communications are collected, unless they are necessary to understand foreign intelligence reports or there is evidence of a crime.

The agency is required to obtain a warrant from the intelligence court to target a “U.S. person” - a citizen or legal resident - for actual eavesdropping.

The N.S.A. documents show that one of the main tools used for chaining phone numbers and e-mail addresses has the code name Mainway.

It is a repository into which vast amounts of data flow daily from the agency’s fiber-optic cables, corporate partners and foreign computer networks that have been hacked.

The documents show that significant amounts of information from the United States go into Mainway.

An internal N.S.A. bulletin, for example, noted that in 2011 Mainway was taking in 700 million phone records per day.

In August 2011, it began receiving an additional 1.1 billion cellphone records daily from an unnamed American service provider under Section 702 of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, which allows for the collection of the data of Americans if at least one end of the communication is believed to be foreign.

The overall volume of metadata collected by the N.S.A. is reflected in the agency’s secret 2013 budget request to Congress.


The budget document, disclosed by Mr. Snowden, shows that the agency is pouring money and manpower into creating a metadata repository capable of taking in 20 billion “record events” daily and making them available to N.S.A. analysts within 60 minutes.

The spending includes support for the “Enterprise Knowledge System,” which has a $394 million multiyear budget and is designed to “rapidly discover and correlate complex relationships and patterns across diverse data sources on a massive scale,” according to a 2008 document.

The data is automatically computed to speed queries and discover new targets for surveillance.

A top-secret document titled “Better Person Centric Analysis” describes how the agency looks for 94 “entity types,” including phone numbers, e-mail addresses and IP addresses. In addition, the N.S.A. correlates 164 “relationship types” to build social networks and what the agency calls “community of interest” profiles, using queries like “travelsWith, hasFather, sentForumMessage, employs.”

A 2009 PowerPoint presentation provided more examples of data sources available in the “enrichment” process, including location-based services like GPS and TomTom, online social networks, billing records and bank codes for transactions in the United States and overseas.

At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, General Alexander was asked if the agency ever collected or planned to collect bulk records about Americans’ locations based on cellphone tower data. He replied that it was not doing so as part of the call log program authorized by the Patriot Act, but said a fuller response would be classified.

If the N.S.A. does not immediately use the phone and e-mail logging data of an American, it can be stored for later use, at least under certain circumstances, according to several documents.


One 2011 memo, for example, said that after a court ruling narrowed the scope of the agency’s collection, the data in question was “being buffered for possible ingest” later.

A year earlier, an internal briefing paper from the N.S.A. Office of Legal Counsel showed that the agency was allowed to collect and retain raw traffic, which includes both metadata and content, about “U.S. persons” for up to five years online and for an additional 10 years offline for “historical searches.”

However, again, they are not above the law of the land - the U.S. Constitution - as future transits also confirm. 

And those who have committed countless crimes believing that they were 'above the law' will ultimately be tried and convicted by it too.

Let's see how one Generation Xer came upon what will surely be called one of the most explosive scandals in American history.

A scandal of such proportions that has seriously undermined the entire credibility of the United States government in the eyes of many nations - worldwide.




The Cardinal Crisis
American Profile In Courage:
Generation X documentary filmmaker, Laura Poitras, in Berlin, Germany.

How Laura Poitras Helped Edward Snowden Reveal Massive U.S. Government Spying Against... Well, Everyone

by Peter Maas

This past January, Generation Xer Laura Poitras received a curious e-mail from an anonymous stranger requesting her public encryption key.

For almost two years, Poitras had been working on a documentary about surveillance, and she occasionally received queries from strangers.

She replied to this one and sent her public key - allowing him or her to send an encrypted e-mail that only Poitras could open, with her private key - but she didn’t think much would come of it.

The stranger responded with instructions for creating an even more secure system to protect their exchanges.

Promising sensitive information, the stranger told Poitras to select long pass phrases that could withstand a brute-force attack by networked computers.

“Assume that your adversary is capable of a trillion guesses per second,” the stranger wrote.


Before long, Poitras received an encrypted message that outlined a number of secret surveillance programs run by the government.

She had heard of one of them - but not the others.

After describing each program, the stranger wrote some version of the phrase, “This I can prove.”

Seconds after she decrypted and read the e-mail, Poitras disconnected from the Internet and removed the message from her computer.

“I thought, O.K., if this is true, my life just changed,” she told me last month.

“It was staggering, what he claimed to know and be able to provide. I just knew that I had to change everything.”

Poitras remained wary of whoever it was she was communicating with.

She worried especially that a government agent might be trying to trick her into disclosing information about the people she interviewed for her documentary, including Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks. “I called him out,” Poitras recalled.

“I said either you have this information and you are taking huge risks or you are trying to entrap me and the people I know, or you’re crazy.”

The answers were reassuring but not definitive.

Poitras did not know the stranger’s name, sex, age or employer (C.I.A.? N.S.A.? Pentagon?)

In early June 2013, she finally got the answers.

Along with her reporting partner, Glenn Greenwald, a former lawyer and a columnist for The Guardian, Poitras flew to Hong Kong and met the NSA contractor Edward J. Snowden, who gave them thousands of classified documents, setting off a major controversy over the extent and legality of government surveillance.

Poitras was right that, among other things, her life would never be the same.

Greenwald lives and works in a house surrounded by tropical foliage in a remote area of Rio de Janeiro. He shares the home with his Brazilian partner and their 10 dogs and one cat, and the place has the feel of a low-key fraternity that has been dropped down in the jungle. 

Glenn Greenwald, a writer for The Guardian, at home in Rio de Janeiro.
Image: Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

The kitchen clock is off by hours, but no one notices; dishes tend to pile up in the sink; the living room contains a table and a couch and a large TV, an Xbox console and a box of poker chips and not much else. 

The refrigerator is not always filled with fresh vegetables. A family of monkeys occasionally raids the banana trees in the backyard and engages in shrieking battles with the dogs.

Greenwald does most of his work on a shaded porch, usually dressed in a T-shirt, surfer shorts and flip-flops. 

Over the four days I spent there, he was in perpetual motion, speaking on the phone in Portuguese and English, rushing out the door to be interviewed in the city below, answering calls and e-mails from people seeking information about Snowden, tweeting to his 225,000 followers (and conducting intense arguments with a number of them), then sitting down to write more NSA articles for The Guardian, all while pleading with his dogs to stay quiet. 

During one especially fever-pitched moment, he hollered, “Shut up, everyone,” but they didn’t seem to care.

Amid the chaos, Poitras, an intense-looking woman of 49, sat in a spare bedroom or at the table in the living room, working in concentrated silence in front of her multiple computers. 

Once in a while she would walk over to the porch to talk with Greenwald about the article he was working on, or he would sometimes stop what he was doing to look at the latest version of a new video she was editing about Snowden. 

They would talk intensely - Greenwald far louder and more rapid-fire than Poitras - and occasionally break out laughing at some shared joke or absurd memory. 

The Snowden story, they both said, was a battle they were waging together, a fight against powers of surveillance that they both believe are a threat to fundamental American liberties.

Two reporters for The Guardian were in town to assist Greenwald, so some of our time was spent in the hotel where they were staying along Copacabana Beach, the toned Brazilians playing volleyball in the sand below lending the whole thing an added layer of surreality. 

Poitras has shared the byline on some of Greenwald’s articles, but for the most part she has preferred to stay in the background, letting him do the writing and talking. 

As a result, Greenwald is the one hailed as either a fearless defender of individual rights or a nefarious traitor, depending on your perspective. 

“I keep calling her the Keyser Soze of the story, because she’s at once completely invisible and yet ubiquitous,” Greenwald said, referring to the character in “The Usual Suspects” played by Kevin Spacey, a mastermind masquerading as a nobody. 

“She’s been at the center of all of this, and yet no one knows anything about her.”

As dusk fell one evening, I followed Poitras and Greenwald to the newsroom of O Globo, one of the largest newspapers in Brazil. 

Greenwald had just published an article there detailing how the National Security Agency was spying on Brazilian phone calls and e-mails. 

The article caused a huge scandal in Brazil, as similar articles have done in other countries around the world, and Greenwald was a celebrity in the newsroom. 

The editor in chief pumped his hand and asked him to write a regular column; reporters took souvenir pictures with their cellphones. 

Poitras filmed some of this, then put her camera down and looked on. I noted that nobody was paying attention to her, that all eyes were on Greenwald, and she smiled. “That’s right,” she said. “That’s perfect.”

Poitras seems to work at blending in, a function more of strategy than of shyness. 

She can actually be remarkably forceful when it comes to managing information. During a conversation in which I began to ask her a few questions about her personal life, she remarked, “This is like visiting the dentist.” 

The thumbnail portrait is this: 

She was raised in a well-off family outside Boston, and after high school, she moved to San Francisco to work as a chef in upscale restaurants. 

She also took classes at the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied under the experimental filmmaker Ernie Gehr. In 1992, she moved to New York and began to make her way in the film world, while also enrolling in graduate classes in social and political theory at the New School. 

Since then she has made five films, most recently “The Oath,” about the Guantánamo prisoner Salim Hamdan and his brother-in-law back in Yemen, and has been the recipient of a Peabody Award and a MacArthur award.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Poitras was on the Upper West Side of Manhattan when the towers were attacked. 

Like most New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed she was swept up in both mourning and a feeling of unity. It was a moment, she said, when “people could have done anything, in a positive sense.” 

When that moment led to the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq, she felt that her country had lost its way. “We always wonder how countries can veer off course,” she said. 

“How do people let it happen, how do people sit by during this slipping of boundaries?” 

Poitras had no experience in conflict zones, but in June 2004, she went to Iraq and began documenting the occupation.

Shortly after arriving in Baghdad, she received permission to go to Abu Ghraib prison to film a visit by members of Baghdad’s City Council. 

This was just a few months after photos were published of American soldiers abusing prisoners there. A prominent Sunni doctor was part of the visiting delegation, and Poitras shot a remarkable scene of his interaction with prisoners there, shouting that they were locked up for no good reason.

The doctor, Riyadh al-Adhadh, invited Poitras to his clinic and later allowed her to report on his life in Baghdad. Her documentary, “My Country, My Country,” is centered on his family’s travails - the shootings and blackouts in their neighborhood, the kidnapping of a nephew. 

The film premiered in early 2006 and received widespread acclaim, including an Oscar nomination for best documentary.

Attempting to tell the story of the war’s effect on Iraqi citizens made Poitras the target of serious — and apparently false - accusations. 

On Nov. 19, 2004, Iraqi troops, supported by American forces, raided a mosque in the doctor’s neighborhood of Adhamiya, killing several people inside. 

The next day, the neighborhood erupted in violence. Poitras was with the doctor’s family, and occasionally they would go to the roof of the home to get a sense of what was going on. 

On one of those rooftop visits, she was seen by soldiers from an Oregon National Guard battalion. Shortly after, a group of insurgents launched an attack that killed one of the Americans. 

Some soldiers speculated that Poitras was on the roof because she had advance notice of the attack and wanted to film it. Their battalion commander, Lt. Col. Daniel Hendrickson, retired, told me last month that he filed a report about her to brigade headquarters.

There is no evidence to support this claim. 

Fighting occurred throughout the neighborhood that day, so it would have been difficult for any journalist to not be near the site of an attack. The soldiers who made the allegation told me that they have no evidence to prove it. Hendrickson told me his brigade headquarters never got back to him.

For several months after the attack in Adhamiya, Poitras continued to live in the Green Zone and work as an embedded journalist with the U.S. military. 

She has screened her film to a number of military audiences, including at the U.S. Army War College. An officer who interacted with Poitras in Baghdad, Maj. Tom Mowle, retired, said Poitras was always filming and it “completely makes sense” she would film on a violent day. 

“I think it’s a pretty ridiculous allegation,” he said.

U.S. Government Harassment of Poitras?

Although the allegations were without evidence, they may be related to Poitras’s many detentions and searches. 

Hendrickson and another soldier told me that in 2007 - months after she was first detained - investigators from the Department of Justice’s Joint Terrorism Task Force interviewed them, inquiring about Poitras’s activities in Baghdad that day. 

Poitras was never contacted by those or any other investigators, however. “Iraq forces and the U.S. military raided a mosque during Friday prayers and killed several people,” Poitras said. 

“Violence broke out the next day. I am a documentary filmmaker and was filming in the neighborhood. Any suggestion I knew about an attack is false. The U.S. government should investigate who ordered the raid, not journalists covering the war.” 

In June 2006, her tickets on domestic flights were marked “SSSS” -  Secondary Security Screening Selection -  which means the bearer faces extra scrutiny beyond the usual measures. 

She was detained for the first time at Newark International Airport before boarding a flight to Israel, where she was showing her film. 

On her return flight, she was held for two hours before being allowed to re-enter the country. 

The next month, she traveled to Bosnia to show the film at a festival there. 

When she flew out of Sarajevo and landed in Vienna, she was paged on the airport loudspeaker and told to go to a security desk; from there she was led to a van and driven to another part of the airport, then taken into a room where luggage was examined.

“They took my bags and checked them,” Poitras said. “They asked me what I was doing, and I said I was showing a movie in Sarajevo about the Iraq war. 

And then I sort of befriended the security guy. I asked what was going on. 

He said: ‘You’re flagged. You have a threat score that is off the Richter scale. You are at 400 out of 400.’ " 

I said, ‘Is this a scoring system that works throughout all of Europe, or is this an American scoring system?’ 

He said, ‘No, this is your government that has this and has told us to stop you.’ ”

After 9/11, the U.S. government began compiling a terrorist watch list that was at one point estimated to contain nearly a million names. 

There are at least two subsidiary lists that relate to air travel. The no-fly list contains the names of tens of thousands of people who are not allowed to fly into or out of the country. 

The selectee list, which is larger than the no-fly list, subjects people to extra airport inspections and questioning. 

These lists have been criticized by civil rights groups for being too broad and arbitrary and for violating the rights of Americans who are on them.

In Vienna, Poitras was eventually cleared to board her connecting flight to New York, but when she landed at J.F.K., she was met at the gate by two armed law-enforcement agents and taken to a room for questioning. 


It is a routine that has happened so many times since then - on more than 40 occasions - that she has lost precise count. 

Initially, she said, the authorities were interested in the paper she carried, copying her receipts and, once, her notebook. 

After she stopped carrying her notes, they focused on her electronics instead, telling her that if she didn’t answer their questions, they would confiscate her gear and get their answers that way. 

On one occasion, Poitras says, they did seize her computers and cellphones and kept them for weeks. 

She was also told that her refusal to answer questions was itself a suspicious act. Because the interrogations took place at international boarding crossings, where the government contends that ordinary constitutional rights do not apply, she was not permitted to have a lawyer present.

“It’s a total violation,” Poitras said. 

“That’s how it feels. They are interested in information that pertains to the work I am doing that’s clearly private and privileged. It’s an intimidating situation when people with guns meet you when you get off an airplane.”

Though she has written to members of Congress and has submitted Freedom of Information Act requests, Poitras has never received any explanation for why she was put on a watch list. 

“It’s infuriating that I have to speculate why,” she said. 

“When did that universe begin, that people are put on a list and are never told and are stopped for six years? 

I have no idea why they did it. It’s the complete suspension of due process.” 

She added: “I’ve been told nothing, I’ve been asked nothing, and I’ve done nothing. It’s like Kafka. Nobody ever tells you what the accusation is.”

What Is The U.S. Government So Afraid Of?

Laura Poitras filming the construction of the massive NSA facility in Utah.
Image: Conor Provenzano

After being detained repeatedly, Poitras began taking steps to protect her data, asking a traveling companion to carry her laptop, leaving her notebooks overseas with friends or in safe deposit boxes. 

She would wipe her computers and cellphones clean so that there would be nothing for the authorities to see. Or she encrypted her data, so that law enforcement could not read any files they might get hold of. 

These security preparations could take a day or more before her travels.

It wasn’t just border searches that she had to worry about. Poitras said she felt that if the government was suspicious enough to interrogate her at airports, it was also most likely surveilling her e-mail, phone calls and Web browsing. 

“I assume that there are National Security Letters on my e-mails,” she told me, referring to one of the secretive surveillance tools used by the Department of Justice. 

A National Security Letter requires its recipients - in most cases, Internet service providers and phone companies - to provide customer data without notifying the customers or any other parties. 

Poitras suspected (but could not confirm, because her phone company and I.S.P. would be prohibited from telling her) that the F.B.I. had issued National Security Letters for her electronic communications.

Once she began working on her surveillance film in 2011, she raised her digital security to an even higher level. 

She cut down her use of a cellphone, which betrays not only who you are calling and when, but your location at any given point in time. 

She was careful about e-mailing sensitive documents or having sensitive conversations on the phone. 

She began using software that masked the Web sites she visited. 

After she was contacted by Snowden in 2013, she tightened her security yet another notch. 

In addition to encrypting any sensitive e-mails, she began using different computers for editing film, for communicating and for reading sensitive documents - the one for sensitive documents is air-gapped, meaning it has never been connected to the Internet.

These precautions might seem paranoid - Poitras describes them as “pretty extreme” - but the people she has interviewed for her film were targets of the sort of surveillance and seizure that she fears. 

William Binney, a former top NSA official who publicly accused the agency of illegal surveillance, was at home one morning in 2007 when FBI agents burst in and aimed their weapons at his wife, his son and himself. 

Binney was, at the moment the agent entered his bathroom and pointed a gun at his head, naked in the shower. 

His computers, disks and personal records were confiscated and have not yet been returned. Binney has not been charged with any crime.

Jacob Appelbaum, a privacy activist who was a volunteer with WikiLeaks, has also been filmed by Poitras. 

The government issued a secret order to Twitter for access to Appelbaum’s account data, which became public when Twitter fought the order. 

Though the company was forced to hand over the data, it was allowed to tell Appelbaum. 

Google and a small I.S.P. that Appelbaum used were also served with secret orders and fought to alert him. 

Like Binney, Appelbaum has not been charged with any crime.

Poitras endured the airport searches for years with little public complaint, lest her protests generate more suspicion and hostility from the government, but in 2012 she reached a breaking point. 

While being interrogated at Newark after a flight from Britain, she was told she could not take notes. 

On the advice of lawyers, Poitras always recorded the names of border agents and the questions they asked and the material they copied or seized. 

But at Newark, an agent threatened to handcuff her if she continued writing. She was told that she was being barred from writing anything down because she might use her pen as a weapon.

“Then I asked for crayons,” Poitras recalled, “and he said no to crayons.”

She was taken into another room and interrogated by three agents - one was behind her, another asked the questions, the third was a supervisor. 

“It went on for maybe an hour and a half,” she said. “I was taking notes of their questions, or trying to, and they yelled at me. 

I said, ‘Show me the law where it says I can’t take notes.’ 

We were in a sense debating what they were trying to forbid me from doing. They said, ‘We are the ones asking the questions.’ It was a pretty aggressive, antagonistic encounter.”

Poitras met Greenwald in 2010, when she became interested in his work on WikiLeaks. 

In 2011, she went to Rio to film him for her documentary. He was aware of the searches and asked several times for permission to write about them. 

After Newark, she gave him a green light.

“She said - ‘I’ve had it,’ ” Greenwald told me. 

“Her ability to take notes and document what was happening was her one sense of agency, to maintain some degree of control. 

Documenting is what she does. I think she was feeling that the one vestige of security and control in this situation had been taken away from her, without any explanation, just as an arbitrary exercise of power.”

At the time, Greenwald was a writer for Salon. 

His article, “U.S. Filmmaker Repeatedly Detained at Border,” was published in April 2012. 

Shortly after it was posted, the detentions ceased. 

Six years of surveillance and harassment, Poitras hoped, might be coming to an end.

The Shocking Revelations On Massive U.S. Government Surveillance By Edward Snowden


Poitras was not Edward Snowden’s first choice as the person to whom he wanted to leak thousands of NSA documents. 

In fact, a month before contacting her, he reached out to Greenwald, who had written extensively and critically about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the erosion of civil liberties in the wake of 9/11. 

Snowden anonymously sent him an e-mail saying he had documents he wanted to share, and followed that up with a step-by-step guide on how to encrypt communications, which Greenwald ignored. 

Snowden then sent a link to an encryption video, also to no avail.

“It’s really annoying and complicated, the encryption software,” Greenwald said as we sat on his porch during a tropical drizzle. 

“He kept harassing me, but at some point he just got frustrated, so he went to Laura.”

Snowden had read Greenwald’s article about Poitras’s troubles at U.S. airports and knew she was making a film about the government’s surveillance programs; he had also seen a short documentary about the NSA that she made for The New York Times Op-Docs. 

He figured that she would understand the programs he wanted to leak about and would know how to communicate in a secure way.

By late winter, Poitras decided that the stranger with whom she was communicating was credible. 

There were none of the provocations that she would expect from a government agent - no requests for information about the people she was in touch with, no questions about what she was working on. 

Snowden told her early on that she would need to work with someone else, and that she should reach out to Greenwald. 

She was unaware that Snowden had already tried to contact Greenwald, and Greenwald would not realize until he met Snowden in Hong Kong that this was the person who had contacted him more than six months earlier.

There were surprises for everyone in these exchanges -  including Snowden, who answered questions that I submitted to him through Poitras. 

In response to a question about when he realized he could trust Poitras, he wrote: 

“We came to a point in the verification and vetting process where I discovered Laura was more suspicious of me than I was of her, and I’m famously paranoid.” 

When I asked him about Greenwald’s initial silence in response to his requests and instructions for encrypted communications, Snowden replied: 

“I know journalists are busy and had assumed being taken seriously would be a challenge, especially given the paucity of detail I could initially offer. 

"At the same time, this is 2013, and [he is] a journalist who regularly reported on the concentration and excess of state power. 

"I was surprised to realize that there were people in news organizations who didn’t recognize any unencrypted message sent over the Internet is being delivered to every intelligence service in the world,” 
Snowden said.

In April 2013, Poitras e-mailed Greenwald to say they needed to speak face to face. 

Reporter Glenn Greenwald
Image: Lia De Paula, AFP/Getty Images

Greenwald happened to be in the United States, speaking at a conference in a suburb of New York City, and the two met in the lobby of his hotel. 

“She was very cautious,” Greenwald recalled. 

“She insisted that I not take my cellphone, because of this ability the government has to remotely listen to cellphones even when they are turned off. 

"She had printed off the e-mails, and I remember reading the e-mails and felt intuitively that this was real. The passion and thought behind what Snowden - who we didn’t know was Snowden at the time - was saying was palpable.”

Greenwald installed encryption software and began communicating with the stranger. 

Their work was organized like an intelligence operation, with Poitras as the mastermind. “Operational security - she dictated all of that,” Greenwald said. 

“Which computers I used, how I communicated, how I safeguarded the information, where copies were kept, with whom they were kept, in which places. 

"She has this complete expert level of understanding of how to do a story like this with total technical and operational safety. 

"None of this would have happened with anything near the efficacy and impact it did, had she not been working with me in every sense and really taking the lead in coordinating most of it.”

Snowden began to provide documents to the two of them. 

Poitras wouldn’t tell me when he began sending her documents; she does not want to provide the government with information that could be used in a trial against Snowden or herself. 

He also said he would soon be ready to meet them. When Poitras asked if she should plan on driving to their meeting or taking a train, Snowden told her to be ready to get on a plane.

In May 2013, he sent encrypted messages telling the two of them to go to Hong Kong. 

Greenwald flew to New York from Rio, and Poitras joined him for meetings with the editor of The Guardian’s American edition. 

With the paper’s reputation on the line, the editor asked them to bring along a veteran Guardian reporter, Ewen MacAskill, and on June 1, the trio boarded a 16-hour flight from J.F.K. to Hong Kong.

Snowden had sent a small number of documents to Greenwald, about 20 in all, but Poitras had received a larger trove, which she hadn’t yet had the opportunity to read closely. 

On the plane, Greenwald began going through its contents, eventually coming across a secret court order requiring Verizon to give its customer phone records to the NSA.

The four-page order was from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a panel whose decisions are highly classified. 

Although it was rumored that the NSA was collecting large numbers of American phone records - the U.S. government always denied it.

Poitras, sitting 20 rows behind Greenwald, occasionally went forward to talk about what he was reading. 

As the man sitting next to him slept, Greenwald pointed to the FISA order on his screen and asked Poitras: 

“Have you seen this? Is this saying what I’m thinking it’s saying?”

At times, they talked so animatedly that they disturbed passengers who were trying to sleep; they quieted down. 

“We couldn’t believe just how momentous this occasion was,” Greenwald said. 

“When you read these documents, you get a sense of the breadth of them. It was a rush of adrenaline and ecstasy and elation.

"You feel you are empowered for the first time because there’s this mammoth system that you try and undermine and subvert and shine a light on - but you usually can’t make any headway, because you don’t have any instruments to do it - [and now] the instruments were suddenly in our lap.”

Snowden had instructed them that once they were in Hong Kong, they were to go at an appointed time to the Kowloon district and stand outside a restaurant that was in a mall connected to the Mira Hotel. 

There, they were to wait until they saw a man carrying a Rubik’s Cube, then ask him when the restaurant would open. 

The man would answer their question, but then warn that the food was bad. When the man with the Rubik’s Cube arrived, it was Edward Snowden, who was 29 at the time but looked even younger.

“Both of us almost fell over when we saw how young he was,” Poitras said, still sounding surprised. 

“I had no idea. I assumed I was dealing with somebody who was really high-level and therefore older.

But I also knew from our back and forth that he was incredibly knowledgeable about computer systems, which put him younger in my mind.

So I was thinking like 40s, somebody who really grew up on computers, but who had to be at a higher level.”

In our encrypted chat, Snowden also remarked on this moment: 

“I think they were annoyed that I was younger than they expected, and I was annoyed that they had arrived too early, which complicated the initial verification. As soon as we were behind closed doors, however, I think everyone was reassured by the obsessive attention to precaution and bona fides.”

They followed Snowden to his room, where Poitras immediately shifted into documentarian mode, taking her camera out. 

“It was a little bit tense, a little uncomfortable,” Greenwald said of those initial minutes. “We sat down, and we just started chatting, and Laura was immediately unpacking her camera. The instant that she turned on the camera, I very vividly recall that both he and I completely stiffened up.”

Greenwald began the questioning:

“I wanted to test the consistency of his claims, and I just wanted all the information I could get, given how much I knew this was going to be affecting my credibility and everything else. We weren’t really able to establish a human bond until after that five or six hours was over.”

For Poitras, the camera certainly alters the human dynamic, but not in a bad way.

When someone consents to being filmed - even if the consent is indirectly gained when she turns on the camera - this is an act of trust that raises the emotional stakes of the moment. 

What Greenwald saw as stilted, Poitras saw as a kind of bonding, the sharing of an immense risk. “There is something really palpable and emotional in being trusted like that,” she said.

Snowden, though taken by surprise, got used to it. 

Edward Snowden
images: Laura Poitras

“As one might imagine, normally spies allergically avoid contact with reporters or media, so I was a virgin source - everything was a surprise," Snowden said.

"But we all knew what was at stake. The weight of the situation actually made it easier to focus on what was in the public interest rather than our own. I think we all knew there was no going back once she turned the camera on.”

For the next week, their preparations followed a similar pattern -  when they entered Snowden’s room, they would remove their cellphone batteries and place them in the refrigerator of Snowden’s minibar. 

They lined pillows against the door, to discourage eavesdropping from outside, then Poitras set up her camera and filmed. It was important to Snowden to explain to them how the government’s intelligence machinery worked because he feared that he could be arrested at any time.

Greenwald’s first articles - including the initial one detailing the Verizon order he read about on the flight to Hong Kong - appeared while they were still in the process of interviewing Snowden.

It made for a strange experience, creating the news together, then watching it spread. “We could see it being covered,” Poitras said. 

“We were all surprised at how much attention it was getting. Our work was very focused, and we were paying attention to that, but we could see on TV that it was taking off. We were in this closed circle, and around us we knew that reverberations were happening, and they could be seen and they could be felt.”

Snowden told them before they arrived in Hong Kong that he wanted to go public. He wanted to take responsibility for what he was doing, Poitras said, and he didn’t want others to be unfairly targeted, and he assumed he would be identified at some point. 

She made a 12½-minute video of him that was posted online June 9, a few days after Greenwald’s first articles. It triggered a media circus in Hong Kong, as reporters scrambled to learn their whereabouts.

There were a number of subjects that Poitras declined to discuss with me on the record and others she wouldn’t discuss at all - some for security and legal reasons, others because she wants to be the first to tell crucial parts of her story in her own documentary. 

Of her parting with Snowden once the video was posted, she would only say, “We knew that once it went public, it was the end of that period of working.”

Global Media Onslaught Begins
A protest in Hong Kong in support of Edward Snowden on June 15, 2013
Image: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Snowden checked out of his hotel and went into hiding. 

Reporters found out where Poitras was staying - she and Greenwald were at different hotels - and phone calls started coming to her room. 

At one point, someone knocked on her door and asked for her by name. She knew by then that reporters had discovered Greenwald, so she called hotel security and arranged to be escorted out a back exit.

She tried to stay in Hong Kong, thinking Snowden might want to see her again, and because she wanted to film the Chinese reaction to his disclosures. 

But she had now become a figure of interest herself, not just a reporter behind the camera. On June 15, 2013, as she was filming a pro-Snowden rally outside the U.S. consulate, a CNN reporter spotted her and began asking questions. Poitras declined to answer and slipped away. 

That evening, she left Hong Kong.

Poitras flew directly to Berlin, where the previous fall she rented an apartment where she could edit her documentary without worrying that the F.B.I. would show up with a search warrant for her hard drives. 

“There is a filter constantly between the places where I feel I have privacy and don’t,” she said, “and that line is becoming increasingly narrow.” 

She added: “I’m not stopping what I’m doing, but I have left the country. I literally didn’t feel like I could protect my material in the United States, and this was before I was contacted by Snowden.

"If you promise someone you’re going to protect them as a source and you know the government is monitoring you or seizing your laptop, you can’t actually physically do it.”

After two weeks in Berlin, Poitras traveled to Rio, where I then met her and Greenwald a few days later. 

My first stop was the Copacabana hotel, where they were working that day with MacAskill and another visiting reporter from The Guardian, James Ball. 

Poitras was putting together a new video about Snowden that would be posted in a few days on The Guardian’s Web site. 

Greenwald, with several Guardian reporters, was working on yet another blockbuster article, this one about Microsoft’s close collaboration with the NSA. 

The room was crowded - there weren’t enough chairs for everyone, so someone was always sitting on the bed or floor. A number of thumb drives were passed back and forth, though I was not told what was on them.

Poitras and Greenwald were worried about Snowden. 

They hadn’t heard from him since Hong Kong. At the moment, he was stuck in diplomatic limbo in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, the most-wanted man on the planet, sought by the U.S. government for espionage. 

(He would later be granted temporary asylum in Russia.) 

The video that Poitras was working on, using footage she shot in Hong Kong, would be the first the world had seen of Snowden in a month.

“Now that he’s incommunicado, we don’t know if we’ll even hear from him again,” she said.

“Is he O.K.?” MacAskill asked.

“His lawyer said he’s O.K.,” Greenwald responded.

“But he’s not in direct contact with Snowden,” Poitras said

When Greenwald got home that evening, Snowden contacted him online. Two days later, while she was working at Greenwald’s house, Poitras also heard from him.

It was dusk, and there was loud cawing and hooting coming from the jungle all around. 

This was mixed with the yapping of five or six dogs as I let myself in the front gate. Through a window, I saw Poitras in the living room, intently working at one of her computers. 

I let myself in through a screen door, and she glanced up for just a second, then went back to work, completely unperturbed by the cacophony around her. 

After 10 minutes, she closed the lid of her computer and mumbled an apology about needing to take care of some things.

She showed no emotion and did not mention that she had been in the middle of an encrypted chat with Snowden. 

At the time, I didn’t press her, but a few days later, after I returned to New York and she returned to Berlin, I asked if that’s what she was doing that evening. 

She confirmed it, but said she didn’t want to talk about it at the time, because the more she talks about her interactions with Snowden, the more removed she feels from them.

“It’s an incredible emotional experience,” she said, “to be contacted by a complete stranger saying that he was going to risk his life to expose things the public should know. 

He was putting his life on the line and trusting me with that burden. My experience and relationship to that is something that I want to retain an emotional relation to.” 

Her connection to him and the material, she said, is what will guide her work. “I am sympathetic to what he sees as the horror of the world [and] what he imagines could come. 

"I want to communicate that with as much resonance as possible. If I were to sit and do endless cable interviews -  all those things alienate me from what I need to stay connected to. It’s not just a scoop. It’s someone’s life.”

A Shadow Secret Government?

Poitras and Greenwald are an especially dramatic example of what outsider reporting looks like in 2013. 

They do not work in a newsroom, and they personally want to be in control of what gets published and when. 

When The Guardian didn’t move as quickly as they wanted with the first article on Verizon, Greenwald discussed taking it elsewhere, sending an encrypted draft to a colleague at another publication. 

He also considered creating a Web site on which they would publish everything, which he planned to call NSADisclosures. 

In the end, The Guardian moved ahead with their articles. 

But Poitras and Greenwald have created their own publishing network as well, placing articles with other outlets in Germany and Brazil and planning more for the future. They have not shared the full set of documents with anyone.

“We are in partnership with news organizations, but we feel our primary responsibility is to the risk the source took and to the public interest of the information he has provided,” Poitras said. “Further down on the list would be any particular news organization.”

Unlike many reporters at major news outlets, they do not attempt to maintain a facade of political indifference. 

Greenwald has been outspoken for years; on Twitter, he recently replied to one critic by writing: “You are a complete idiot. You know that, right?” 

His left political views, combined with his cutting style, have made him unloved among many in the political establishment. His work with Poitras has been castigated as advocacy that harms national security. 

“I read intelligence carefully,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, shortly after the first Snowden articles appeared. 

Senator Dianne Feinstein

“I know that people are trying to get us, " Feinstein said. "This is the reason the FBI now has 10,000 people doing intelligence on counterterrorism. It’s to ferret this out before it happens. It’s called protecting America.”

Poitras, while not nearly as confrontational as Greenwald, disagrees with the suggestion that their work amounts to advocacy by partisan reporters. 

“Yes, I have opinions,” she told me. “Do I think the surveillance state is out of control? Yes, I do.

"This is scary, and people should be scared.

"A shadow and secret government has grown and grown, all in the name of national security and without the oversight or national debate that one would think a democracy would have. It’s not advocacy. We have documents that substantiate it.”


Poitras possesses a new skill set that is particularly vital - and far from the journalistic norm - in an era of pervasive government spying: she knows, as well as any computer-security expert, how to protect against surveillance. 

As Snowden mentioned, “In the wake of this year’s disclosure, it should be clear that un-encrypted journalist-source communication is unforgivably reckless.” 

A new generation of sources, like Snowden or Pfc. Bradley Manning, has access to not just a few secrets but thousands of them, because of their ability to scrape classified networks. 

They do not necessarily live in and operate through the established Washington networks - Snowden was in Hawaii, and Manning sent hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks from a base in Iraq. 

And they share their secrets not with the largest media outlets or reporters but with the ones who share their political outlook and have the know-how to receive the leaks undetected.

In our encrypted chat, Snowden explained why he went to Poitras with his secrets: 

“Laura and Glenn are among the few who reported fearlessly on controversial topics throughout this period, even in the face of withering personal criticism, [which] resulted in Laura specifically becoming targeted by the very programs involved in the recent disclosures.

"She had demonstrated the courage, personal experience and skill needed to handle what is probably the most dangerous assignment any journalist can be given - reporting on the secret misdeeds of the most powerful government in the world - making her an obvious choice.”

Snowden’s revelations are now the center of Poitras’s surveillance documentary, but Poitras also finds herself in a strange, looking-glass dynamic, because she cannot avoid being a character in her own film. 

She did not appear in or narrate her previous films, and she says that probably won’t change with this one, but she realizes that she has to be represented in some way, and is struggling with how to do that.

She is also assessing her legal vulnerability. Poitras and Greenwald are not facing any charges, at least not yet. 

They do not plan to stay away from America forever, but they have no immediate plans to return. 

One member of Congress has already likened what they’ve done to a form of treason, and they are well aware of the Obama administration’s unprecedented pursuit of not just leakers but of journalists who receive the leaks. 

While I was with them, they talked about the possibility of returning. Greenwald said that the government would be unwise to arrest them, because of the bad publicity it would create. It also wouldn’t stop the flow of information.

He mentioned this while we were in a taxi heading back to his house. It was dark outside, the end of a long day. Greenwald asked Poitras, “Since it all began, have you had a non-NSA day?”

“What’s that?” she replied.

“I think we need one,” Greenwald said. “Not that we’re going to take one.”

Poitras talked about getting back to yoga again. Greenwald said he was going to resume playing tennis regularly. “I’m willing to get old for this thing,” he said, “but I’m not willing to get fat.”

Their discussion turned to the question of coming back to the United States.

Greenwald said, half-jokingly, that if he was arrested, WikiLeaks would become the new traffic cop for publishing N.S.A. documents.

“I would just say: ‘O.K., let me introduce you to my friend Julian Assange, who’s going to take my place. Have fun dealing with him.’ ”

Poitras prodded him: “So you’re going back to the States?”

He laughed and pointed out that unfortunately, the government does not always take the smartest course of action. “If they were smart,” he said, “I would do it.”

Poitras smiled, even though it’s a difficult subject for her. She is not as expansive or carefree as Greenwald, which adds to their odd-couple chemistry. 

She is concerned about their physical safety. She is also, of course, worried about surveillance. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who discovered that the National Security Agency and American intelligence agencies had been eavesdropping on her private personal and political conversations for well over a decade. It has caused a major rift with Washington as the German government demanded answers from the Obama Administration who said that they ordered the surveillance of Merkel to stop.

“Geo-location is the thing,” Poitras said. “I want to keep as much off the grid as I can. I’m not going to make it easy for them.

"If they want to follow me, they are going to have to do that. I am not going to ping into any G.P.S. My location matters to me. It matters to me in a new way that I didn’t feel before.”

There are lots of people angry with them and lots of governments, as well as private entities, that would not mind taking possession of the thousands of N.S.A. documents they still control. 

They have published only a handful - a top-secret, headline-grabbing, Congressional-hearing-inciting handful - and seem unlikely to publish everything, in the style of WikiLeaks. They are holding onto more secrets than they are exposing, at least for now.

“We have this window into this world, and we’re still trying to understand it,” Poitras said in one of our last conversations.

“We’re not trying to keep it a secret, but piece the puzzle together. That’s a project that is going to take time.

Our intention is to release what’s in the public interest, but also to try to get a handle on what this world is, and then try to communicate that.”

The deepest paradox, of course, is that their effort to understand and expose government surveillance may have condemned them to a lifetime of it.

“Our lives will never be the same,” Poitras said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to live someplace and feel like I have my privacy. That might be just completely gone.”


"We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.

"Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans - born in this century - tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage - and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world." - John F. Kennedy
Rest in Peace, Bobby, Teddy & Jack
~

3 comments:

Stephanie Georgieff said...

Wonderful post, I had the pleasure of hearing you this summer on a webinar and have been looking for a post for a while now. I have a few questions. While much of your blog is informative, I am curious how the posts on the NSA, Student Loans and the GOP, how this relates to astrology? The Kennedy assassination, what was the astrological significance of this? And, like many Americans, I was watching a lot of documentaries on the 50th anniversary of his death, there was a lot of honest discussion on the conspiracy theories, which were challenged. Why still cover this incident up, who exactly benefitted and what are your ideas or astrological insights on when we will ever have any concrete answers to these questions? Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I follow your and Shane Wards posts and I ask of you, when would the best time to begin stocking food for a family in the southeastern US? It seems as though by jan 2015?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

I am starting to come into agreement with your regarding Boomers. I have over the past few years have had some horrible personal experiences with them that have really thrown me and my life over the cliff so to speak due to sabotage. The contempt and hate that they have for younger generations is real. I saw a program recently where this Boomer, who was nostalgic about his hippie days, was suggesting that Boomers and Millenials join forces to change the world. I am a cusper and for me that didn't sound right. I remember thinking how are you going to just jump over a whole generation (Gen X) as if they are not relevant? Although Xers can be abrupt, they are straight shooters. If I want the truth about anything I ask a Gen Xer. Not a Boomer. I don't trust them at all.