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NY State Senate Passes Draconian Bill

By Stephen Lendman | April 6, 2021

Passed by New York state senators, draconian NY State Assembly Bill A416 states the following:

“Upon determining by clear and convincing evidence (sic) that the health of others is or may be endangered (sic), the governor may order the removal and/or detention of such… person(s) or group of such persons by issuing a single order (sic).”

“Identifying such persons either by name or by a reasonably specific description of the individuals or group being detained,” they shall be indefinitely held “in a medical facility or other appropriate private facility.”

The measure targets individuals unwilling to self-inflict harm by hazardous to health covid jabs.

If taken, they risk contraction of the illness they’re supposed to protect against — but don’t.

They also risk possible irreversible harm to health or death if taken as directed.

If New York Governor Cuomo signs this draconian measure into law, and if similar measures are adopted by other states and/or congressional legislation is passed and signed into law on this issue, preserving and protecting health by refusing to be jabbed with experimental, unapproved, toxic drugs could be considered the equivalent of a criminal offense.

Involuntary/indefinite detention if ordered will become de facto concentration camp imprisonment.

Under federal law, experimental drugs cannot be mandated.

The Nuremberg Code requires voluntary consent on matters relating to human health.

It prohibits mandatory participation in medical experiments.

Procedures must yield positive results that benefit individuals and society.

None of the above applies to mass-jabbing with toxic, experimental drugs that don’t protect and risk serious harm to health or death.

Under NY State Assembly Bill A416, healthy individuals and ones they came in contact with can be labeled “disease carriers” — by politicians, their public heath handmaidens, and/or go-along judicial authorities.

Longterm involuntarily detention may follow under draconian conditions able to destroy health.

If in the “opinion of (New York) governor” Cuomo or his minions, anyone considered a public health threat — even when healthy and threatening no one — can be forcibly interned against their will.

According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR):

“Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person.”

“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention.”

“No one shall be deprived of his (or her) liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”

“Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release.”

“Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his (or her) detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.

“Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.”

Depriving individuals of liberty for refusal to self-inflict harm by jabbing with hazardous drugs is a flagrant breach of international law.

Is that where things are heading in New York?

Is something similar coming in other states, possibly nationwide in the US?

Will rule of law protections no longer apply when conflict with federal, state or local diktats?

Is guilt by accusation the new standard?

If NY State Assembly Bill A416 and similar measures are adopted in the US, rights guaranteed by international law and the Constitution no longer will apply.

Tyranny enforced by police state harshness will be the new standard — including indefinite detention of anyone accused of virtually anything no matter how untrue.

What’s going on in the US and West ominously resembles how the scourge of Nazism imposed tyrannical rule in Germany.

Is that where things are heading?

Fundamental rights are disappearing in plain sight while Americans and others in the West are distracted by bread, circuses, and establishment media propaganda.

April 6, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 2 Comments

New York’s Covid Vaccine Passport Makes No Sense

By Paul Craig Roberts | Institute For Political Economy | March 29, 2021

NY Governor Cuomo is establishing a Covid passport that will show vaccination or a recent negative test. It will serve as permission to enter events or venues.

Will this passport be efficacious, or is its purpose to get us accustomed to a “your papers please” way of life?

Allegedly, the combination of people with vaccinations and those recovered from infection have, or are, bringing about “herd immunity.” If so, what is the point of a passport?

There are credible reports that some who have been vaccinated have nevertheless come down with Covid, which raises doubt about the efficacy of the vaccine. There are other reports that antibodies produced by the vaccines are not long lasting.

How recent must the Covid test be to make the passport valid. A person could have a negative test and catch Covid on the way home. If the passport relies on a negative test, the passport will have to expire after some designated period unless the passport is renewed with a new test.

There is also the problem that the widely used PCR test produces false negatives and false positives. In other words, is the information on which the passport is issued valid information?

We can laugh at the passport as a silly over-reaction to a virus that in most cases is hardly more dangerous than flu, or we can understand it as a control measure over our freedom of movement and association. We are the safer if we view it as the latter.

Police already have too much power to invade homes without warrants and to stop and search people on the streets without warrants. “Probable cause” has been used to curtail civil liberty.

I am convinced that no health purpose will be served by Covid passports, and that the public should protest the introduction of a Soviet-style internal passport.

Once established, the Covid passport will be a boon for Big Pharma. A yearly booster shot will be decreed, and without it your passport will expire.

Keep in mind that Florida avoided lockdowns and mask mandates and has no worse infection and death rate than lockdown states.

Notice also that many highly qualified experts have criticized the lockdowns, mask mandates, use of untested vaccines, and the prohibition on using safe effective treatments such as HCQ and Ivermectin. Why were their voices censored and the information kept from the public? The only explanation I can think of is that Covid is being used for an unstated agenda. We should not be deceived into cooperating with this unstated agenda.

A democracy that censors expert testimony and prohibits public debate is well on its way to a police state.

A public that can be stampeeded by orchestrated fear into being jabbed with vaccines that could be more dangerous than Covid is not a public that can expect to remain in freedom.

March 29, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , | 1 Comment

Governor Andrew Cuomo Imposes Vaccination Passports in New York

By Adam Dick | Ron Paul Institute | March 4, 2021

Some politicians can’t stop coming up with new ways of bossing people around and preventing the return of normal life, all in the name of countering coronavirus. A prime example of such coronavirus tyrants is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

This week, Cuomo, who has been imposing on people in New York for a year some of the harshest coronavirus-related restrictions in America, announced he is rolling out yet another rights abuse. Cuomo is requiring in a new “pilot program” that people obtain and present vaccination passports to gain entrance to certain places and take part in various activities that have been curtailed by government over the last year.

Cuomo calls the vaccination passports Excelsior Passes. No matter the name the state’s vaccination passports are marketed under, they are a mechanism for government tracking people’s movements, pressuring people into taking experimental coronavirus vaccines that carry risk of serious injury and death, and implementing a vaccinations-based caste system.

Elizabeth Elizalde writes at the New York Post that in the New York state pilot program people are being required to present their vaccination passports “in order to enter sports arenas, theaters and other businesses.” To receive a vaccination passport, Elizalde writes, a person must prove he has received one of the experimental coronavirus vaccines or that he has recently tested negative for coronavirus.

With time — after the experimental coronavirus vaccines have become more widely available — expect Cuomo to adjust the program so proof of injection with one of the not-really vaccines will be the only means to receive an Excelsior Pass and, thereby, the ability to take part legally in many activities.


Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute

March 4, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cuomo and the Failure of Covid Absolutism

By James Bovard | AIER | February 24, 2021

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is falling from grace at epic speed. His administration is now the target of a Justice Department probe for policies that resulted in the death of one out of eight nursing home residents in the state. Regardless of whether the New York legislature impeaches Cuomo, the standard he championed poses a continuing peril.

From the start of the Covid pandemic, the media idolized Cuomo for his “safety through absolute power” mantra. Last March 20, Cuomo imposed a statewide lockdown on 20 million New Yorkers, closing schools and businesses. Cuomo labeled his decree a “pause” and declared: “If everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.” At that point, most counties in New York state had five or fewer people who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Cuomo’s “just one life” standard for lockdowns should have obliterated his credibility. Instead, Cuomo’s maxim was treated as a triumph of idealism and benevolence. Cuomo’s power grab was enabled by media allies that fanned hysteria. As AIER editorial director Jeffrey Tucker recently noted, the New York Times’ Donald G. McNeil Jr. “was the first reporter from a major media venue to stir up virus panic and advocate for extreme lockdown measures… The Times allowed its voice to be used to promote a primal and primitive disease panic, which they surely knew would create a cultural/political frenzy.” Presidential candidate Joe Biden hailed Cuomo last Spring for setting the “gold standard” for leadership on Covid.

After Cuomo swayed the New York legislature to give him “authorization of absolute power,” as the New Yorker declared, he issued scores of decrees, including one compelling nursing homes to admit Covid-infected patients and permitting Covid-infected staffers to keep working at those homes. A New York democratic legislator said that Cuomo was “inclined towards tyranny. But in a crisis that’s what people want.”

New Yorker profile, entitled “Andrew Cuomo, King of New York,” explained that Cuomo and his aides saw the battle over Covid policy as “between people who believe government can be a force for good and those who think otherwise.” For many liberals and much of the nation’s media, placing people under house arrest, padlocking schools, bankrupting business, and causing two million people to lose their jobs vindicated government as “a force for good.”

MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace declared that Cuomo is “everything Trump isn’t: honest, direct, brave.” Entertainment Weekly hailed Cuomo as “the hero that America never realized it needed until he was on our television screens every night.” As National Review recently noted, local reporters failed to ask questions on his nursing home edict “for months, as the governor held his much-praised daily press briefings about the pandemic. There were literally hundreds of hours of Cuomo press conferences in the first half of 2020 where not a single question was asked about nursing homes.”

The docile media paved the way to Cuomo winning an Emmy award for his “masterful use of television” during the pandemic. The media’s valorization of Cuomo helped make his self-tribute book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemica bestseller. 

Cuomo has always known how to milk the media. When he was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he explained to the Washington Post in 1999 how he would fix HUD’s dismal image: “The PR is the most important thing I do … Eighty percent of the battle is communications.” (I christened Cuomo as “the Clinton administration’s most megalomaniacal cabinet secretary in a 2000 American Spectator piece titled, “Andy At It Again: How to Keep Reinventing HUD to Advance Yourself.”) Flash forward to last June, and Cuomo prematurely issued a poster celebrating his and New York state’s victory over Covid. The political art (sold for $14.50 plus shipping and handling) featured a steep mountain symbolizing the rise and fall of Covid cases. The poster was plastered with insipid phrases such as “The sun on the other side, “The power of ‘We,’” “Winds of Fear,” “Follow the Facts,” and “Love Community Support,” and included a jibe against Trump. Though poster sales failed to deter second and third waves of Covid outbreaks, the PR campaign further encouraged the media to focus on Cuomo’s words instead of his deeds.

During the pandemic, “legitimacy” came not from adhering to the U.S. and state Constitutions but from continually invoking “science and data,” as Cuomo did. Cuomo’s entitlement to absolute power came from modeling concocted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a Washington State-based institution bankrolled by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel noted last week in an AIER analysis, IHME forecasts presumed a death rate 30 times higher than the rate that actually occurred. That horrendous miscalculation sufficed for one governor after another to nullify Americans’ freedom with lockdown orders. Absurd statistical extrapolations forecasting future harm made tyranny irrelevant.

Cuomo describes himself as a “great progressive,” perhaps thereby entitling himself to any power he presumes necessary “for the good of the people,” Bill of Rights be damned. November, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York state restrictions that limited religious gatherings to ten or fewer people while permitting far more leeway for businesses to operate, declaring that Cuomo’s rules were “far more restrictive than any Covid-related regulations that have previously come before the Court… and far more severe than has been shown to be required to prevent the spread of the virus.” Cuomo’s allies in the liberal establishment reacted with horror to the limit on his sway. An American Civil Liberties Union official fretted to the New York Times that “the freedom to worship… does not include a license to harm others or endanger public health.” Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe and Cornell professor Michael Dorf babbled that the ruling signaled that the Supreme Court belonged in “the theocratic and misogynist country in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’”

Cuomo remained revered even though his repressive policies failed to prevent New York from having among the nation’s highest Covid death rates. But a Justice Department probe into his nursing home policies launched last August may be his undoing. New York state reported barely half of the total of more than 12,000 New York nursing home patients who died of Covid.  Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, told Democratic legislative leaders that “basically, we froze” when the feds demanded information. “We were in a position where we weren’t sure if what we were going to give to the Department of Justice… was going to be used against us,” DeRosa said according to a leaked transcript.

But Cuomo’s culpability goes beyond hiding corpses. Early in the pandemic, he pushed to include a legislative provision written by the Greater New York Hospital Association to give a waiver of liability to nursing homes and hospitals whose patients died of Covid. A report last month by the New York Attorney General warned, “The immunity laws could be wrongly used to protect any individual or entity from liability, even if those decisions were not made in good faith or motivated by financial incentives.” As the Guardian noted, “Cuomo’s political machine received more than $2 million from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), its executives and its lobbying firms.”

But Cuomo’s credibility should have been dethroned long before the latest disclosures. As early as last May, barely two months after the start of the state lockdown, a New York Post columnist groused: “So Gov. Andrew Cuomo killed Grandma and cratered New York’s economy. But he looked good doing it.” Cuomo’s cachet derived almost entirely from media scoring that until recently ignored almost all of the harms he inflicted.

Cuomo and other politicians have used Covid policy lodestars that were akin to crossing the Pacific Ocean with navigators who insisted the earth was flat. Melinda Gates admitted last December: “What did surprise us is we hadn’t really thought through the economic impacts.” The politicians who imposed shutdowns based on data from the Gates’ funded by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation apparently never bothered to estimate the collateral damage from their decrees. Similar myopia spurred crackdowns and restrictions in many states that helped cause the sharpest reduction in Americans’ life expectancy since World War Two.

Unfortunately, there is no indication that either politicians or the media have recognized the authoritarian dangers inherent in governors or presidents claiming a right to boundless power to save “just one life.”

A similar standard is helping justify keeping schools closed in many areas. Teachers’ unions have rallied around the motto: “If one teacher dies, isn’t that too many?” But like Cuomo’s shutdowns, that standard ignores the horrific collateral damage on American children. A Journal of the American Medical Association analysis concluded that shutting down the schools would reduce the current crop of students’ collective years of life by more than five million, based on “lower income, reduced educational attainment, and worse health outcomes.” It remains to be seen how much, if any, the role of the well-being of children plays in school policy in the coming months.

While it is unlikely that the media lapdogs who adore Cuomo and other prominent politicians will admit their follies, the exposure of hard facts may help blunt the next stampede to submission. The Justice Department investigation into nursing home policies that boosted Covid death tolls in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania could tarnish some of the nation’s most aggressive Covid lockdowners. Other investigations by the media or private groups could expose far more evidence of misconduct or of gross negligence that boosted Covid death tolls.

In a tour of television talk shows shortly after President Biden was inaugurated, Cuomo recited his latest catchphrase: “Incompetent government kills people.” This intended slapdown of Trump is recoiling badly on the New York governor. If Cuomo is impeached or forced to resign for his Covid fiascos, maybe he could score plenty of media appearances with a new slogan: “Absolute power with impunity kills.”

February 26, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

NJ Lawmaker Wants MANDATORY Corona Shot For All Kids WITH NO EXEMPTIONS

By Steve Watson | Summit News | December 11, 2020

A State Senator in New Jersey wants the coronavirus vaccine made mandatory for all school age children, despite them being the least at risk group.

Middlesex Democrat Senator Joseph Vitale also wants to eliminate exemptions that have been used in the past to prevent their children from receiving shots.

“When it is that a vaccine is appropriate for children, I believe it ought to be included in that list of vaccines that are required for children,” Vitale told reporters.

“I’d like to incorporate it into the other vaccination bill that would require children to get vaccinated as a condition to entering school,” he added.

Vitale also says there is a separate effort underway to make the vaccine mandatory for University students in the state.

“It’s not complicated to decide whether or not to include a COVID vaccine as a condition of school,” he said, adding “The decision is going to be whether or not the vaccine is available, and if the science supports its efficacy.”

New Jersey currently mandates that children must have several vaccines in order to attend school, including MMR, polio, and chickenpox. However, thousands of children have been exempted from the shots, with parents citing religious beliefs.

There was an attempt last year by lawmakers to eliminate such exemptions and mandate the vaccinations across the board, but it failed when angry parents stormed the statehouse:

While New Jersey officials have stopped short of saying they will force everyone to get the vaccine, Governor Phil Murphy has signed an executive order that will see everyone who does get it automatically enrolled into a ‘New Jersey Immunization Information System’, a move that some have seen as a way of coercing people to take the shot.

Speaking to reporters, Sue Collins, co-founder of the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccine Choice said “Putting the cart before the horse and saying when it’s available everyone has to get it does not build trust.”

“No medical procedure should ever be mandated for anyone — especially something so new, with so many unknowns and no long-term knowledge at all,” Collins added.

Pushing back against the creep toward mandating the vaccine in the state, Republican Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger, has sponsored a bill to prevent it from becoming compulsory.

While he says he is not anti-vaccine, Scharfenberger says he cannot support mandating medication, and is responding to the concerns of constituents.

The developments in New Jersey come after a State Assemblymember in New York introduced legislation that would make it compulsory for residents to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

Democrat Linda Rosenthal said she introduced the bill because “there has been a “concerning uptick in dangerous anti-science, anti-vax rhetoric.”

As soon as the FDA approves the vaccine for children, there will likely be a torrent of states moving to add it to the compulsory vaccination list for school kids. Reports have suggested that Pfizer has begun conducting some tests of its vaccine on children, with Moderna also scheduling trials for tests on kids.

Currently, California, Mississippi and West Virginia are the only states that allow medical exemptions to vaccinations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A further 30 states, including New Jersey, currently allow religious exemptions, with 17 more states still allowing exemptions for religious and personal or philosophical beliefs.

December 11, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

Sudan’s new PM wants to withdraw troops from Yemen

Press TV – December 6, 2019

Sudan’s new Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has vowed to withdraw troops from the Saudi-led war in Yemen, saying his country’s role should be limited to assisting in a political resolution of the conflict.

“The conflict in Yemen has no military solution, whether from us or from anywhere in the world,” Hamdok told the Atlantic Council, a US-based think tank, on Thursday.

He added that the war “has to be resolved through political means,” and that his country will seek to “help our brothers and sisters in Yemen and play our role with the rest to help them address this”.

Sudan has been one of the main contributors to the so-called Saudi coalition against Yemen, formed in 2015 in a bid to install a pro-Saudi government in Sana’a and crush Yemen’s Houthi Ansarllah movement.

According to reports, up to 40,000 Sudanese troops were deployed in the country during the peak of the conflict in 2016-2017.

Late October, however, Sudanese officials said the country had withdrawn thousands of troops from Yemen, with only a “few thousand” remaining.

Speaking on Thursday, Hamdok said “not many” Sudanese forces remain in Yemen.

Hamdok, who is leading the country’s transitional government in a power-sharing pact with the military, further stated that he will be “absolutely” able to withdraw the remaining troops from Yemen.

The new prime minster said his government had “inherited” the deployment in Yemen from Sudan’s former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir who was ousted following a popular uprising against his rule in April.

Hamdok pledged to “address” the country’s involvement in the Saudi-led war “in the near future” without further elaborating on the matter.

While Sudanese officials have abstained from publishing official casualty numbers in Yemen, Yemen’s armed forces have said a total 4,253 Sudanese troops have been killed in the conflict.

The developments come as the Saudi-led mission in Yemen has come to a standstill due to the resistance and increasingly sophisticated attacks of Yemeni forces.

Earlier this year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Riyadh’s most influential partner in the war, was reported to have withdrawn most of its troops from Yemen.

UAE officials have reached the conclusion that the war has become “unwinnable” and that the Houthis will eventually “have a role in the future in Yemen”, reports said.

Fearing a long-lasting quagmire in Yemen, Riyadh has also been reportedly seeking to negotiate an end to the conflict through discussions with the Houthis.

December 6, 2019 Posted by | Militarism, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , , | 1 Comment

Update On New York’s Self-Inflicted Energy Crunch

By Francis Menton | Manhattan Contrarian | December 3, 2019

As I have noted many times before, this whole green energy thing is all just so much talk until the point hits where energy shortages start to emerge or consumer prices begin to soar. At that point, the people will notice. And then, how will the politics shift? Will the politicians press forward with green energy — and impose energy deprivation on the people in the process? Or will they promptly back off the green energy blather, and return to the cheap and reliable fossil fuels?

Here in New York, where professing the green religion is the indispensable ticket to entry into polite society, we’re in the early phases of seeing this process play out. Out there in the hinterlands, you may be interested in the dynamics.

Our Governor Andrew Cuomo clearly thirsts to be part of polite society. Same with the members of the legislature. Thus, fealty to green orthodoxy must be regularly demonstrated. Result: We have had one measure after another over the past several years to restrict fossil fuels and promote energy from wind and solar sources. First came an outright ban on fracking in the state for oil and gas, imposed in 2014 despite the fact that a broad swath of upstate sits right atop the rich Marcellus shale formation. Then came the blocking of two major pipeline enhancements across the Hudson River and New York Harbor, most recently a denial in May of this year of a water quality permit for a cross-harbor project. Then there have been announcements of plans for multiple massive pie-in-the-sky wind and solar projects — none of which, however, has actually begun construction. In June the legislature passed a law (signed by the Guv) declaring that the entire state of New York will be “carbon neutral” by 2050!

But is any of this stuff real, in the sense that it will stand up when the crunch hits?

In August, the first inklings of the crunch began to hit. As I reported on September 3, after the cross-harbor pipeline was blocked in May, the natural gas utility named National Grid, which covers Long Island (including the parts of New York City known as Brooklyn and Queens) announced that it could not accept any additional gas customers. By August, some 3000 potential customers in that area had been denied service. These included people who had just renovated a house and now found that they had no functioning heat system, and others who planned to open restaurants but now found they had no functioning stove or oven. Within days, the affected customers were all over their state legislators, and the legislators were demanding action.

In other words, we had upon us a one hundred percent self-inflicted impending crisis, about 90% of it the personal responsibility of the Governor, with maybe a 10% assist from the legislature. So how has the Governor reacted? If the answer is not obvious to you, then you clearly will never qualify for political office.

The answer is that the Governor reacted by blaming National Grid. On November 12 he issued a letter to the utility, claiming that it had failed to provide “adequate and reliable service,” and threatening to revoke its operating permit unless it immediately resumed acceptance of new customers in its service area. Excerpt:

The essential responsibility for a utility to provide adequate and reliable service is to manage the supply and demand. The very lack of supply you now point to as the reason for your denial of service to thousands of customers exhibits your failure to plan for supply needs. Your fundamental legal obligation as mandated by your certificate of operation was to plan and provide for future needs. You failed by your own admission.

But hadn’t they made a perfectly reasonable plan for a pipeline that then got blocked by the Governor himself? That doesn’t count!

National Grid has made clear that its only plan for future supply was based on a single, speculative project: construction of a private pipeline through New Jersey and New York. The plan to build such a pipeline was risky at best. . . . There are existing short-term options to contract for non-piped gas from other sources, which National Grid either deliberately, negligently or incompetently did not secure. National Grid should have explored all options before denying service. Gas can be trucked, shipped, or barged. . . .

The only meaningful “risk” of the pipeline was that the Governor himself (or his minions) would disapprove. Anyway, instead of a safely buried pipeline, are we now going to have thousands of trucks bringing highly-explosive natural gas across the George Washington Bridge to get to Long Island? I’ll bet Cuomo didn’t clear that one with his environmentalist friends. (And by the way, don’t even think about moving the gas by rail. Federal regulations currently do not permit transport of liquefied natural gas by rail at all. However, there is a proposal by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration — I’ll bet you never heard of that one — to begin to allow such transport. Your comments on the proposed rulemaking are due December 23.)

And I’ll also bet that the response of National Grid will not surprise you. They crumbled like a stale cookie. On November 25 they agreed to resume hookups, and also to pay a “penalty” of some $36 million for the period of the moratorium. Presumably, they continue to have at least a small amount of spare capacity in existing pipelines that will permit additional hookups for perhaps a few months until new supply alternatives are in place. Supposedly there will now be a “study” of how to make additional supply available. The only option that makes any sense is the pipeline.

So great victory there Cuomo. You went to battle against the evil utility, and like David against Goliath you emerged victorious. Except, let’s have a review of what this “victory” looks like:

  • Progress toward green energy? Of course not. At this point there is no reasonable alternative to natural gas for most home heating and cooking. One way or another, you have to let the people have their natural gas.

  • To be brought in by truck rather than pipeline? How is that a victory for anybody? Trucks are far more costly, far more dangerous, and far more likely to have adverse environmental effects.

But how about all those offshore wind turbines that are supposedly on the way? According to this piece at Smart Energy on October 28, New York finally let its first major contract for an offshore wind development on that date. The capacity will be 880 MW, although readers here will know that it will deliver at best a third of that over the course of a year, and at unpredictable times. There is no indication that construction has begun, or when it might begin.

Essentially, our Governor has patched together a temporary kludge to paper over the uselessness of his green energy schemes for another few months or years, until the next piece of the crunch hits. Yes, this can go on for quite a while. But not forever. Meanwhile, it’s very hard to underestimate the stupidity of the New York electorate.

December 6, 2019 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Hidden in Plain Sight: The Shocking Origins of the Jeffrey Epstein Case

A composite image shows from left to right, Lewis Rosenstiel, Jeffrey Epstein, and Roy Cohn. Graphic | Emma Fiala
By Whitney Webb | MintPress News | July 18, 2019

Despite his “sweetheart” deal and having seemingly evaded justice, billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was arrested earlier this month on federal charges for sex trafficking minors. Epstein’s arrest has again brought increased media attention to many of his famous friends, the current president among them.

Many questions have since been asked about how much Epstein’s famous friends knew of his activities and exactly what Epstein was up to. The latter arguably received the most attention after it was reported that Alex Acosta — who arranged Epstein’s “sweetheart” deal in 2008 and who recently resigned as Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary following Epstein’s arrest — claimed that the mysterious billionaire had worked for “intelligence.”

Other investigations have made it increasingly clear that Epstein was running a blackmail operation, as he had bugged the venues — whether at his New York mansion or Caribbean island getaway — with microphones and cameras to record the salacious interactions that transpired between his guests and the underage girls that Epstein exploited. Epstein appeared to have stored much of that blackmail in a safe on his private island. 

Claims of Epstein’s links and his involvement in a sophisticated, well-funded sexual blackmail operation have, surprisingly, spurred few media outlets to examine the history of intelligence agencies both in the U.S. and abroad conducting similar sexual blackmail operations, many of which also involved underage prostitutes.

In the U.S. alone, the CIA operated numerous sexual blackmail operations throughout the country, employing prostitutes to target foreign diplomats in what the Washington Post once nicknamed the CIA’s “love traps.” If one goes even farther back into the U.S. historical record it becomes apparent that these tactics and their use against powerful political and influential figures significantly predate the CIA and even its precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). In fact, they were pioneered years earlier by none other than the American mafia.

In the course of this investigation, MintPress discovered that a handful of figures who were influential in American organized crime during and after Prohibition were directly engaged in sexual blackmail operations that they used for their own, often dark, purposes.

In Part I of this exclusive investigation, MintPress will examine how a mob-linked businessman with deep ties to notorious gangster Meyer Lansky developed close ties with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) while also running a sexual blackmail operation for decades, which later became a covert part of the anti-communist crusade of the 1950s led by Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-WI), himself known throughout Washington for having a habit of drunkenly groping underage teenaged girls.

Yet, it would be one of McCarthy’s closest aides who would take over the ring in later years, trafficking minors and expanding this sexual blackmail operation at the same time he expanded his own political influence, putting him in close contact with prominent figures including former President Ronald Reagan and a man who would later become president, Donald Trump.

As will be revealed in Part II, after his death, this blackmail operation continued under various successors in different cities and there is strong evidence that Jeffrey Epstein became one of them.

Samuel Bronfman and the Mob

The Prohibition Era in the United States is often used as an example of how banning recreational substances not only increases their popularity but also causes a boom in criminal activity. Indeed, it was Prohibition that greatly increased the strength of the American mafia, as the top crime lords of the day grew rich through the clandestine trade and sale of alcohol in addition to gambling and other activities.

It is through the bootlegging trade of the 1920s and the early 1930s that this story begins, as it brought together key figures whose successors and affiliates would eventually create a series of blackmail and sex trafficking rings that would give rise to the likes of Jeffrey Epstein, the “Lolita Express” and “Orgy Island.”

Samuel Bronfman never planned to become a major producer of liquor but true to his family’s last name, which means “brandy man” in Yiddish, he eventually began distributing alcohol as an extension of his family’s hotel business. During Canada’s Prohibition period, which was briefer than and preceded that of its southern neighbor, the Bronfman family business used loopholes to skirt the law and find technically legal ways to sell alcohol in the hotels and stores the family owned. The family relied on its connections with members of the American mafia to illegally smuggle alcohol from the United States.

Soon after Prohibition ended in Canada, it began in the United States and, by the time the flow of illegal alcohol had turned the other way, the Bronfmans – whose business ventures were then being led by Sam Bronfman and his brothers — were relatively late to an already flourishing bootlegging trade.

“We were late starters in the two most lucrative markets – on the high seas and across the Detroit River. What came out of the border trade in Saskatchewan was insignificant by comparison,” Bronfman once told Canadian journalist Terence Robertson, who was then writing a biography of Bronfman. Nonetheless, “this was when we started to make our real money,” Bronfman recounted. Robertson’s biography on Bronfman was never published, as he died under mysterious circumstances soon after warning his colleagues that he had uncovered unsavory information about the Bronfman family.

Samuel Bronfman mob

Samuel Bronfman pictured in 1937 with his sons Edgar and Charles

Key to Bronfman’s success during American Prohibition were the ties his family had cultivated with organized crime during Canada’s Prohibition, ties that led many prominent members of the mob in the United States to favor Bronfman as a business partner. Bronfman liquor was purchased in massive quantities by many crime lords who still live on in American legend, including Charles “Lucky” Luciano, Moe Dalitz, Abner “Longy” Zwillman and Meyer Lansky.

Most of Bronfman’s mob associates during Prohibition were members of what became known as the National Crime Syndicate, which a 1950s Senate investigative body known as the Kefauver Committee described as a confederation dominated by Italian-American and Jewish-American mobs. During that investigation, some of the biggest names in the American mafia named Bronfman as a central figure in their bootlegging operations. The widow of notorious American mob boss Meyer Lansky even recounted how Bronfman had thrown lavish dinner parties for her husband.

Years later, Samuel Bronfman’s children and grandchildren, their family’s ties to the criminal underworld intact, would later go on to associate closely with Leslie Wexner, allegedly the source of much of Epstein’s mysterious wealth, and other mob-linked “philanthropists,” and some would even manage their own sexual blackmail operations, including the recently busted blackmail-based “sex cult” NXIVM. The later generations of the Bronfman family, particularly Samuel Bronfman’s sons Edgar and Charles, will be discussed in greater detail in Part II of this report.

Lewis Rosenstiel’s dark secret

Crucial to Bronfman’s Prohibition-era bootlegging operations were two middlemen, one of whom was Lewis “Lew” Rosenstiel. Rosenstiel got his start working at his uncle’s distillery in Kentucky before Prohibition. Once the law banning alcohol was in force, Rosenstiel created the Schenley Products Company, which would later become one of the largest liquor companies in North America.

Though he was a high school drop-out and not particularly well-connected socially at the time, Rosenstiel happened to have a “chance” meeting with Winston Churchill in 1922 while on vacation in the French Riviera. According to the New York Times, Churchill “advised him [Rosenstiel] to prepare for the return of liquor sales in the United States.” Rosenstiel somehow managed to secure the funding of the elite and respected Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers to finance his purchase of shuttered distilleries.

Officially, Rosenstiel is said to have built his company and wealth after Prohibition, by following Churchill’s advice to prepare for Repeal. However, he was clearly involved in bootlegging operations and was even indicted for bootlegging in 1929, though he evaded conviction. Like Bronfman, Rosenstiel was close to organized crime, particularly members of the mostly Jewish-American and Italian-American mob alliance known as the National Crime Syndicate.

Subsequent New York state congressional investigations would allege that Rosenstiel “was part of a ‘consortium’ with underworld figures that bought liquor in Canada [from Samuel Bronfman]”, whose other members were “Meyer Lansky, the reputed organized crime leader; Joseph Fusco, an associate of late Chicago gangster Al Capone and Joseph Linsey, a Boston man Mr. Kelly [the congressional investigator testifying] identified as a convicted bootlegger.” Rosenstiel’s relationship with these men, particularly Lansky, would continue long after Prohibition and Samuel Bronfman, for his part, would also maintain his mob ties.

In addition to his friends in the mob, Rosenstiel also cultivated close ties with the FBI, developing a close relationship with longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and making Hoover’s right-hand man and longtime assistant at the FBI, Louis Nichols, the Vice President of his Schenley empire in 1957.

Despite their similar backgrounds as bootlegger barons turned “respectable” businessmen, Bronfman’s and Rosenstiel’s personalities were drastically different and their relationship was complicated, at best. One example of the dissimilarities between North America’s top liquor barons was how they treated their staff. Bronfman was not necessarily known for being a cruel boss, whereas Rosenstiel was known for his erratic and “monstrous” behavior towards employees as well as his unusual practice of bugging his offices in order to hear what employees said about him when he wasn’t present.

Lewis Rosenstiel Roy Cohn

Rosenstiel was connected to both the FBI and to organized crime

Such differences between Bronfman and Rosenstiel were also reflected in their personal lives. While Bronfman married only once and was loyal to his wife, Rosenstiel was married five times and was known for his relatively closeted bisexual antics, a part of his life that was well-known to many of his close associates and employees.

Though for years there were only hints to this other side of the controversial businessman, details emerged years later during a divorce proceeding brought by Rosenstiel’s fourth wife, Susan Kaufman, that would back the claims. Kaufman alleged that Rosenstiel hosted extravagant parties that included “boy prostitutes” that her husband had hired “for the enjoyment” of certain guests, which included important government officials and prominent figures in America’s criminal underworld. Kaufman would later make the same claims under oath during the hearing of the New York’s State Joint Legislative Committee on Crime in the early 1970s.

Not only did Rosenstiel organize these parties, but he also made sure that their venues were bugged with microphones that recorded the antics of his high-profile guests. Those audio recordings, Kaufman alleged, were then kept for the purpose of blackmail. Though Kaufman’s claims are shocking, her testimony was deemed credible and held in high regard by the former chief counsel of the Crime Committee, New York Judge Edward McLaughlin, and committee investigator William Gallinaro and aspects of her testimony were later corroborated by two separate witnesses who were unknown to Kaufman.

These blackmail “parties” offer a window into an operation that would later become more sophisticated and grow dramatically in the 1950s under Rosenstiel’s “field commander” (a nickname given by Rosenstiel to an individual to be named shortly in this report). Many of the people connected to Rosenstiel’s “field commander” during the 70s and 80s have again found their names in the press following the recent arrest of Jeffrey Epstein.

The “Untouchable” Mobster

Bronfman and Rosenstiel became legendary in the North American liquor business, in part due to their fight for supremacy in the industry, which the New York Times described as often erupting “into bitter personal and corporate battles.” Despite their dueling in the corporate world, the one thing that united the two businessmen more than anything else was their close connection to American organized crime, particularly renowned mobster, Meyer Lansky.

Lansky is one of the most notorious gangsters in the history of American organized crime and is notable for being the only famous mobster that rose to notoriety in the 1920s that managed to die an old man and never serve a day in jail.

Lansky’s long life and ability to avoid prison time was largely the result of his close relationships to powerful businessmen like Bronfman and Rosenstiel (among many others), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. intelligence community as well as his role in establishing several blackmail and extortion rings which helped him keep the law at arm’s length. Indeed, when Lansky was finally charged with a crime in the 1970s, it was the Internal Revenue Service that brought the charges, not the FBI, and he was charged with and acquitted of tax evasion.

Lansky was remarkably close to both Bronfman and Rosenstiel. Bronfman regularly threw “lavish dinner parties” in Lansky’s honor both during and after Prohibition. These parties were remembered fondly by Lansky’s wife, and Lansky, in turn, did favors for Bronfman ranging from exclusive protection of his shipments during Prohibition to getting him tickets to coveted “fight of the century” boxing matches.

Rosenstiel also threw regular dinner parties honoring Lansky. Susan Kaufman, Rosenstiel’s ex-wife, claimed to have taken numerous pictures of her ex-husband and Lansky socializing and partying together, photos that were also seen by Mary Nichols of The Philadelphia Inquirer. In addition, Lansky, per Kaufman’s recollection, was one of the individuals that Rosenstiel sought to protect from legal scrutiny as part of his child prostitution and blackmail ring targeting high-ranking officials, and he was overheard saying that if the government “ever brings pressure against Lansky or any of us, we’ll use this [a specific recording taken at one of the “parties”] as blackmail.”

Lansky was known to address Rosenstiel as “Supreme Commander,” a title that would later be used to refer to Rosenstiel by another individual deeply connected to the mob and sexual blackmail operations, previously referred to in this report as Rosenstiel’s “Field Commander.”

Lansky also had close ties to the CIA and U.S. military intelligence. During World War II, Lansky –along with his associate Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel — worked with Naval intelligence in what was codenamed “Operation Underworld,” an operation that the government denied for over 40 years.

Journalist and noted chronicler of CIA covert activities, Douglas Valentine, noted in his book The CIA as Organized Crime: How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World that the government’s cooperation with the mafia during World War II led to its expansion after the war and set the stage for its future collaboration with U.S. intelligence.

According to Valentine:

Top government officials were also aware that the government’s Faustian pact with the Mafia during World War II had allowed the hoods to insinuate themselves into mainstream America. In return for services rendered during the war, Mafia bosses were protected from prosecution for dozens of unsolved murders. […]

The Mafia was a huge problem in 1951 [when the Kefauver Committee was convened], equivalent to terrorism today. But it was also a protected branch of the CIA, which was co-opting criminal organizations around the world and using them in its secret war against the Soviets and Red Chinese. The Mafia had collaborated with Uncle Sam and had emerged from World War II energized and empowered. They controlled cities across the country.”

Indeed, the CIA forged ties with Lansky not long after its creation at the behest of CIA counterintelligence chief James J. Angleton. The CIA would later turn to the Lansky-linked mob in the early 1960s as part of its consistently fruitless quest to assassinate the Cuban leader, showing that the CIA maintained its contacts with Lansky-controlled elements of the mafia long after the initial meeting with Lansky took place.

The CIA also had close connections to associates of Lansky, such as Edward Moss, who did public relations work for Lansky and was said to be of “interest” to the CIA by the agency’s then-inspector general J.S. Earman. Harry “Happy” Meltzer was also another Lansky associate that was a CIA asset and the CIA asked Meltzer to join an assassination team in December 1960.

In addition to the CIA, Lansky was also connected to a foreign intelligence agency through Tibor Rosenbaum, an arms procurer and high-ranking official in Israel’s Mossad, whose bank – the International Credit Bank of Geneva – laundered much of Lansky’s ill-gotten gains and recycled it into legitimate American businesses.

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Lansky outside the High Court of Israel where he sought permission to emigrate in 1972. Photo | AP

Journalist Ed Reid, author of the Virginia Hill biography The Mistress and the Mafia, wrote that Lansky was attempting to entrap powerful people through sexual blackmail as far back as 1939. Reid contends that Lansky sent Ms. Hill to Mexico, where his West Coast connections had established a drug ring that later involved the OSS, the forerunner to the CIA, to seduce numerous “top politicians, army officers, diplomats and police officials.”

Eventually, Lansky was credited with obtaining compromising photos of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover sometime in the 1940s, which showed “Hoover in some kind of gay situation”, according to a former Lansky associate who also said that Lansky had often claimed, “I fixed that sonofabitch.” The photos showed Hoover engaged in sexual activity with his long-time friend, FBI deputy director Clyde Tolson.

At some point, these photos fell into the hands of CIA counterintelligence chief James J. Angleton, who later showed the photos to several other CIA officials, including John Weitz and Gordon Novel. Angleton was in charge of the CIA’s relationship with the FBI and Israel’s Mossad until he left the agency in 1972 and, as was recently mentioned, he was also in contact with Lansky.

Anthony Summers , former BBC journalist and author of Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, has argued that it was not Lansky, but William Donovan, the director of the OSS, who obtained the original photos of Hoover and later shared them with Lansky.

Summers also stated that “To [gangster Frank] Costello and Lansky, the ability to corrupt politicians, policemen and judges was fundamental to Mafia operations. The way they found to deal with Hoover, according to several mob sources, involved his homosexuality.” This anecdote shows that Lanksy and the CIA maintained a covert relationship, which included, among other things, the sharing of blackmail material (i.e. “intelligence”).

It is also possible that Hoover was ensnared by the mob during one of Rosenstiel’s blackmail “parties,” at which Hoover sometimes found himself in attendance with prominent figures of the mafia. Hoover was said to have worn women’s clothing at the some of the events and Meyer Lansky’s wife later said that her husband had photos of the former FBI director in drag. Furthermore, Hoover is on record showing an unusual concern in the FBI’s handling of Rosenstiel’s criminal links as early as 1939, the same year that his close associate Lansky was actively orchestrating the sexual blackmail of powerful political figures.

The blackmail acquired on Hoover and the mob’s possession of the evidence has been cited as a major factor in Hoover’s decades-long denial that nationwide networks of organized crime were a serious issue. Hoover asserted that it was a decentralized, local issue and therefore outside of the bureau’s jurisdiction. By the time Hoover finally acknowledged the existence of national organized crime networks in 1963, it was so entrenched in the U.S. establishment that it was untouchable.

Congressional crime consultant Ralph Salerno told Summers in 1993 that Hoover’s willful ignorance of organized crime for most of his career as FBI director “allowed organized crime to grow very strong in economic and political terms, so that it became a much bigger threat to the wellbeing of this country than it would have been if it had been addressed much sooner.”

J. Edgar Hoover: Blackmail Victim?

Most records place the beginning of Hoover’s relationship with Rosenstiel in the 1950s, the same decade when Susan Kaufman reported that Hoover was attending Rosenstiel’s blackmail parties. Rosenstiel’s FBI file, obtained by Anthony Summers, cites the first Rosenstiel meeting as taking place in 1956, though Summers notes that there is evidence that they had met much earlier. After requesting the meeting, Rosenstiel was granted a personal face to face with the director in a matter of hours. The FBI file on Rosenstiel also reveals that the liquor baron heavily lobbied Hoover to aid his business interests.

During that time, the salacious details of Hoover’s sex life were already known to the U.S. intelligence community and to the mob, and Hoover was aware that they knew of his closeted sexuality and penchant for women’s clothing. Yet, Hoover apparently seemed to embrace the very type of sexual blackmail operation that had compromised his private life, given that he was seen at many of Rosenstiel’s “blackmail” parties in the 1950s and 1960s, including at venues such as Rosenstiel’s personal home and later at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel. Hoover’s penchant for dressing in drag was also described by two witnesses who were not connected to Susan Kaufman.

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Hoover with Dorothy Lamour on the set of The Greatest Show on Earth in 1951

Soon after their first “official” meeting, the public relationship between the two men quickly flourished, with Hoover even sending Rosenstiel flowers when he fell ill. Summers reported that, in 1957, Rosenstiel was heard telling Hoover during a meeting, “your wish is my command.” Their relationship remained close and intimate throughout the 1960s and beyond.

Like Rosenstiel, Hoover was well-known for amassing blackmail on friend and foe alike. Hoover’s office contained “secret files” on numerous powerful people in Washington and beyond, files he used to gain favors and protect his status as FBI director for as long as he wished.

Hoover’s own propensity for blackmail suggests that he may have associated with Rosenstiel’s sexual blackmail operation more directly, given he already knew he was compromised and his involvement in the operation would have served as a means of procuring the blackmail he coveted for his own purposes. Indeed, if Hoover was merely being blackmailed and extorted by the Lansky-Rosenstiel connected mob, it is unlikely that he would have been so friendly to Rosenstiel, Lansky and the other mobsters at these gatherings and participated in them with such regularity.

According to journalist and author Burton Hersh, Hoover was also tied to Sherman Kaminsky, who ran a sexual blackmail operation in New York involving young male prostitutes. That operation was busted and investigated in 1966 extortion probe led by Manhattan District Attorney Frank Hogan, though the FBI quickly took over the investigation and photos of Hoover and Kaminsky together soon disappeared from the case file.

Hoover and Rosenstiel’s deep ties would continue to develop over the years, an example of which can be seen in Rosenstiel’s hiring of long-time Hoover aide Louis Nichols as the Vice President of his Schenley liquor empire and Rosenstiel’s donation of over $1 million to the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, which Nichols also ran at the time.

There is also more than one documented occasion wherein Hoover attempted to use blackmail to protect Rosenstiel and his “field commander,” none other than the infamous Roy Cohn, the other key figure in Rosenstiel’s sexual blackmail operation involving minors.

The Making of a Monster

Decades after his death, Roy Cohn remains a controversial figure in large part because of his close, personal relationship with current U.S. President Donald Trump. Yet reports on Cohn, both in recent and in past years, often miss the mark in their characterization of the man who became closely associated with the Reagan White House, the CIA, the FBI, organized crime and, incidentally, many of the figures who would later surround Jeffrey Epstein.

To understand the true nature of the man, it is essential to examine his rise to power in the early 1950s, when at just 23 years old, he became a key figure in the high-profile trial of Soviet spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and later in the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) led by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Cohn’s dedication to anti-communist activities in the 1950s is allegedly what first endeared him to J. Edgar Hoover who he first met in 1952. During that meeting, as described by Hersh in Bobby and J. Edgar: The Historic Face-Off Between the Kennedys and J. Edgar Hoover That Transformed America, Hoover expressed admiration for Cohn’s aggressive and manipulative tactics and told Cohn to “call me directly” whenever he had information worth sharing. From that point on, Cohn and Hoover “traded favors, effusive compliments, gifts and elaborate private dinners. It quickly became ‘Roy’ and ‘Edgar.’” Hersh also describes Hoover as Cohn’s soon to be “consigliere.

The date and circumstances around Cohn’s introduction to Rosenstiel is harder to come by. It is possible that the connection was made through Roy Cohn’s father, Albert Cohn, a prominent judge and an influential figure in the New York City Democratic Party apparatus then-run by Edward Flynn. It was later revealed that the Democratic organization dominated by Flynn and based in the Bronx had long-standing connections to organized crime, including associates of Meyer Lansky.

Regardless of how or when it began, the relationship between Cohn and Rosenstiel was close and was often likened to that of a father and son. They were said to frequently salute each other in public and remained close until Rosenstiel was near death, at which point Cohn attempted to trick his then-barely conscious and senile “friend” and client into naming him the executor and trustee of the liquor magnate’s estate, valued at $75 million (more than $334 million in today’s dollars).

LIFE magazine reported in 1969 that Cohn and Rosenstiel had for years referred to one another as “Field Commander” and “Supreme Commander,” respectively. Media references to these nicknames appear in other articles from the period.

Though LIFE and other outlets had interpreted this as merely an anecdote about the nicknames shared in jest between close friends, the fact that notorious crime lord Meyer Lansky also called Rosenstiel “Supreme Commander” and the fact that Cohn and Rosenstiel would later become intimately involved in the same pedophile sex ring, suggests that there may have been more to these “nicknames.” After all, the mob to which Rosenstiel was connected often used military-themed titles like “soldier” and “lieutenant” to differentiate the rank and importance of its members.

Once he had made his connection with Hoover, Cohn’s star began to rise even higher in Washington. Hoover’s recommendation of Cohn would become the deciding factor in his appointment as Sen. McCarthy’s general counsel over Robert Kennedy, a rival and bitter enemy of Cohn’s.

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McCarthy covers the mic while having a whispered discussion with Cohn during a 1954 committee hearing. Photo | AP

Though Cohn was ruthless and seemingly untouchable as McCarthy’s counsel and helped the Senator destroy many careers during both the red and lavender scares, his antics in relation to his work on the committee would eventually lead to his downfall after he attempted to blackmail the Army in return for preferential treatment for committee consultant and Cohn’s rumored lover, David Schine.

After he was forced to leave McCarthy’s side due to the scandal, Cohn returned to New York to live with his mother and practice law. A few years later New York Judge David Peck, a long-time associate of former CIA director Alan Dulles, orchestrated Cohn’s hire to the New York law firm, Saxe, Bacon and O’Shea, which would later become Saxe, Bacon and Bolan after Tom Bolan, a friend of Cohn’s, became a partner in the firm. Upon his hire, Cohn brought the firm a slew of mafia-linked clients, including high-ranking members of the Gambino crime family, the Genovese crime family and, of course, Lewis Rosenstiel.

What happened in Suite 233?

The connections Roy Cohn built during the 1950s made him a well-known public figure and translated into great political influence which peaked during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Yet, as Cohn built his public image, he was also developing a dark private life which would come to be dominated by the same blackmail pedophile racket that appears to have first begun with Lewis Rosenstiel.

One of the “blackmail” parties Susan Kaufman attended with her then-husband Lewis Rosenstiel was hosted by Cohn in 1958 at Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel, suite 233. Kaufman described Cohn’s suite as a “beautiful suite… all done in light blue.” She described being introduced to Hoover, who was in drag, by Cohn, who told her that Hoover’s name was “Mary” in a fit of barely concealed laughter. Kaufman testified that young underage boys were present and Kaufman claimed that Cohn, Hoover and her ex-husband engaged in sexual activity with these minors.

New York attorney John Klotz, tasked with investigating Cohn for a case well after Kaufman’s testimony, also found evidence of the “blue suite” at the Plaza Hotel and its role in a sex extortion ring after combing through local government documents and information gathered by private detectives. Klotz later told journalist and author Burton Hersh what he had learned:

Roy Cohn was providing protection. There were a bunch of pedophiles involved. That’s where Cohn got his power from — blackmail.”

Perhaps the most damning confirmation of Cohn’s activities in Suite 233 comes from statements made by Cohn himself to former NYPD detective and ex-head of the department’s Human-Trafficking and Vice-related Crimes division, James Rothstein. Rothstein later told John Decamp, a former Nebraska state senator who investigated a government-connected child sex ring based in Omaha, among other investigators, that Cohn had admitted to being part of a sexual blackmail operation targeting politicians with child prostitutes during a sit-down interview with the former detective.

Rothstein told John DeCamp the following about Roy Cohn:

Cohn’s job was to run the little boys. Say you had an admiral, a general, a congressman, who did not want to go along with the program. Cohn’s job was to set them up, then they would go along. Cohn told me that himself.”

Rothstein later told Paul David Collins, a former journalist turned researcher, that Cohn had also identified this sexual blackmail operation as being part of the anti-communist crusade of the time.

The fact that Cohn, per Rothstein’s recollection, stated that the child-sex blackmail ring was part of the government-sponsored anticommunist crusade suggests that elements of the government, including Hoover’s FBI, may have been connected at a much broader level than Hoover’s own personal involvement given that the FBI closely coordinated with McCarthy and Cohn for much of the red scare.

It is also worth noting that among Hoover’s many “secret” blackmail files was a sizeable dossier on Senator McCarthy, the contents of which strongly suggested that the Senator himself was interested in underage girls. According to journalist and author David Talbot, Hoover’s file on McCarthy was “filled with disturbing stories about McCarthy’s habit of drunkenly groping young girls’ breasts and buttocks. The stories were so widespread that they became ‘common knowledge’ in the capital, according to one FBI chronicler.”

Talbot, in his book The Devil’s Chessboard, also cites Walter Trohan, Washington Bureau Chief of the Chicago Tribune, as having personally witnessed McCarthy’s habit of molesting young women. “He just couldn’t keep his hands off young girls,” Trohan would later say. “Why the Communist opposition didn’t plant a minor on him and raise the cry of statutory rape, I don’t know.” Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that those “planting” minors on their political foes were McCarthy’s allies and close associates, not his enemies.

The question that necessarily arises from revelations regarding Cohn’s activities in Suite 233 is who else was Cohn “protecting” and servicing with underage prostitutes? One of them could very well have been one of Cohn’s close friends and clients, Cardinal Francis Spellman of the Archdiocese of New York, who was said to have been present at some of these parties Cohn hosted at the Plaza Hotel.

Spellman, one of the most powerful figures in the Catholic Church in North America who was sometimes referred to as “America’s Pope” was accused of not only condoning pedophilia in the Catholic church and ordaining known pedophiles including Cardinal Theodore “Uncle Teddy” McCarrick, but also engaging in it himself to such an extent that many New York area priests widely referred to him as “Mary.” Furthermore, J. Edgar Hoover was said to have a file detailing the Cardinal’s sex life, suggesting Spellman’s involvement in the ring and pedophile protection racket in which Cohn and Hoover were personally involved.

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Cardinal Francis ‘Franny’ Spellman. Photo | Museum of the City of New York

People close to Cohn often remarked that he was frequently surrounded by groups of young boys, but seemed to think nothing of it. Similar off-handed comments about Epstein’s penchant for minors were made by those close to him prior to his arrest.

Controversial Republican political operative and “dirty trickster” Roger Stone, who — like Donald Trump — was also a protégé of Cohn, said the following about Cohn’s sex life during an interview with The New Yorker in 2008:

Roy was not gay. He was a man who liked having sex with men. Gays were weak, effeminate. He always seemed to have these young blond boys around. It just wasn’t discussed. He was interested in power and access.” (emphasis added)

Compare this quote from Stone to what Donald Trump, who was also close to Cohn, would later say about Jeffrey Epstein, with whom he was also closely associated:

I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” (emphasis added)

Though it is unknown how long the sex ring at the Plaza Hotel continued, and if it continued after Cohn’s death from AIDS in 1986, it is worth noting that Donald Trump purchased the Plaza Hotel in 1988. It would later be reported and confirmed by then-attendees that Trump “used to host parties in suites at the Plaza Hotel when he owned it, where young women and girls were introduced to older, richer men” and “illegal drugs and young women were passed around and used.”

Andy Lucchesi, a male model who had helped organize some of these Plaza Hotel parties for Trump said the following when asked about the age of the women present: “A lot of girls, 14, look 24. That’s as juicy as I can get. I never asked how old they were; I just partook. I did partake in activities that would be controversial, too.”

The Roy Cohn Machine

Roy Cohn was only at the beginning of his career when he waded his way into the underground sexual blackmail ring apparently led by Lewis Rosenstiel. Indeed, when Cohn first met Hoover, he was only 23 years old. Over the next three decades or so, before his death from AIDS-related complications in 1986 at the age of 56, Cohn built a well-oiled machine, largely through his close friendships with some of the country’s most influential figures.

Among Cohn’s friends were top media personalities like Barbara Walters, former CIA directors, Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy, media moguls Rupert Murdoch and Mort Zuckerman, numerous celebrities, prominent lawyers like Alan Dershowitz, top figures in the Catholic Church and leading Jewish organizations like B’nai B’rith and the World Jewish Congress. Many of the same names that surrounded Cohn until death in the late 1980s would later come to surround Jeffrey Epstein, with their names later appearing in Epstein’s now-infamous “little black book”.

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Reagan meets with Rupert Murdoch, U.S. Information Agency Director Charles Wick, and Roy Cohn in the Oval Office in 1983. Photo | Reagan presidential library

While President Trump is clearly connected to both Epstein and Cohn, Cohn’s network also extends to former President Bill Clinton, whose friend and longtime political advisor, Richard “Dirty Dick” Morris, was Cohn’s cousin and close associate. Morris was also close to Clinton’s former communications director, George Stephanopoulos, who is also associated with Jeffrey Epstein.

Yet, these were only Cohn’s connections to respectable members of the establishment. He was also known for his deep connections to the mob and gained prominence largely for his ability to connect key figures in the criminal underworld to respected influential figures acceptable to the public sphere. Ultimately, as New York attorney John Klotz stated, Cohn’s most powerful tool was blackmail, which he used against friend and foe, gangster or public official alike. How much of that blackmail he acquired through his sexual blackmail operation will likely never be known.

As Part II of this exclusive investigation will reveal, Cohn and Epstein, and the sexual blackmail operations they ran share many things in common, including not only many of the same famous friends and patrons, but also connections to intelligence agencies and consortiums of mob-linked businessmen, the modern-day equivalents of Samuel Bronfman and Lewis Rosenstiel who have since rebranded as “philanthropists.”

Part II will also reveal that Cohn’s operation was known to have successors, as revealed by a series of scandals in the early 1990s that have since been swept under the rug. The significant amount of overlap between Epstein’s and Cohn’s covert activities in sexual blackmail and their ties to many of the same powerful individuals and circles of influence strongly suggest that Epstein was one of Cohn’s successors.

As will be shown in the final installment of this report, Epstein is only the latest incarnation of a much older, more extensive and sophisticated operation that offers a frightening window into how deeply tied the U.S. government is to the modern-day equivalents of organized crime, making it a racket truly too big to fail.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

July 18, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 5 Comments

Many States Out of Step with the Constitution on the Use of Force by Police

By José-Antonio Orosco | CounterPunch | July 18, 2016

Recently, President Obama held a town hall meeting to address the growing tension between minority communities and police forces after the shootings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the police officers in Dallas.  He urged police officers to forge trust with communities and recommended better training and more resources.

Many groups around the country have been asking for better training programs, mandatory body cameras, and other reforms. These may indeed help to reduce shootings of civilians, but a deeper concern has to do with the laws surrounding the use of deadly force by law enforcement. What legal standards exist that police officers can use to defend their actions after the fact?

Last year, Amnesty International conducted an investigation into the legal standards for the use of deadly force by police officers in the United States, comparing them with current Supreme Court rulings and international human rights standards, and found enormous disparities.

* It turns out that nine states and the city of Washington, DC have absolutely no legal standards about when officers may use deadly force in arresting suspects.

* There are no states in the country that comply with international law enforcement standards. The current United Nations standard is that police officers should only use deadly force when it is a last resort, and then, only to prevent grave harm or imminent death to themselves or another person.

* What is even more astounding is that there are 13 states that that do not even comply with current constitutional standards set by the US Supreme Court.  In the 1985 case of Tennessee v. Garner, the Court ruled that police officers may only use deadly force if they have probable cause that the suspect poses significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officers or others.

My home state of Oregon is one of these places out of step with the Constitution, along with the very populated states of New York, New Jersey, Florida, and California.  In Oregon, for instance, police officers are allowed to shoot to kill if the police officers have a reasonable belief that a fleeing suspect has committed a kidnapping, arson, burglary, or indeed, any felony at all, even if the suspect is not posing an immediate threat of death of physical harm. Oregon law does not require that a suspect be given a warning of the use of deadly force, even though such a warning is an international legal standard. Up to 20 states allow police officers to kill a suspect simply for trying to escape prison or jail.

Given this legal framework, incidents of police shootings will not be reduced by body cameras or better training alone since it is the law itself that licenses wide discretion on whom and when police can kill.

This year, at least one state, Missouri, has started working to change that. After the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the protests that followed, legislators looked at the use of force provisions (which allowed officers to kill suspects who they believed had committed a felony) and found that it was out of step with the Garner standard.

Everyone who is concerned about the tension in the country and the grievances of the Black Lives Matter movement should press their state lawmakers to ensure that law enforcement officials in their states are at least upholding the US Constitution.

July 18, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli settler appointed as Consul General in New York after being rejected in Brazil

Palestinian Information Center – March 28, 2016

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Monday morning the former head of Yesha settlement council Danny Dayan as Israel’s Consul General in New York after he failed to nominate him as an ambassador to Brazil.

In appointing Dayan, Netanyahu withdrew Dayan’s apportionment as Israel’s ambassador to Brazil after the Brazilian government refused to accept him due to his former role as a settler leader. Asked to comment, Dayan told Army Radio that he was not influenced by Brazil’s refusal. “There was no alternative but New York.”

Dayan was earlier nominated to be Israeli ambassador to Brazil, but Brazil strongly refused his appointment due to his ties to Israeli illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Dayan headed the Yesha Council of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank between 2007 and 2013.

March 28, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | 1 Comment