Friday, December 11, 2009

Ron Paul's Hour of Power

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The decades-long campaign of Ron Paul to have the Government Accountability Office do a full audit of the Federal Reserve now has 313 sponsors in the House.

Sometimes perseverance does pay off.

If not derailed by the establishment, the audit may happen.

Yet, many columnists and commentators are aghast.

An auditors’ probe, they wail, would imperil the Fed’s independence and expose it to pressure from Congress to keep interest rates low and money flowing when the need of the nation and economy might call for tightening.

They cite Paul Volcker, who to squeeze double-digit inflation out of the economy in the late Carter and early Reagan years, drove the prime rate to 21 percent, causing the worst recession since the Depression. Volcker, they claim, prepared the ground for the Reagan tax cuts and seven fat years of prosperity.

That decade, America created 20 million jobs — and another 22 million in the Clinton era. Without Volcker putting the economy through the wringer, it could not have happened. And had he been forced to explain his decisions, Congress would have broken his policy.

Such is the cast for Fed independence.

But if true, what does this say about our republic?

Is it not an admission that, though Congress was created by the Constitution, and the Fed is a creation of Congress, our elected representatives cannot be trusted with the money supply, cannot be trusted with control of the nation’s central bank? To have decisions made in the national interest, we need folks who do not have to answer to voters.

If this be true, the republic is closer to its end than its beginning, when Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, let us hear no more of trust in men, but rather bind them down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution.”

Others contend that were it not for the independence and vision of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, the economy might have gone over the cliff and into the abyss after the Lehman Brothers collapse in October 2008.

What opponents of Paul’s audit are thus saying is that elected legislators must be kept out of the temple where the great decisions about the economy are made, that these decisions must rest with bankers and economists answerable, as is the Supreme Court, to themselves and no one else.

But has the performance of the Fed been so brilliant any intrusion upon its privacy is sacrilege?

Among the failures of the Fed is the Great Depression. As Milton Friedman related in his Monetary History of the United States, for which he won a Nobel Prize for Economics, the Fed hugely expanded the money supply in the mid-to-late 1920s.

Following a path of least resistance, the money flowed into the equity markets, where stocks could be bought on 10 percent margin. The market soared, and a huge bubble was created. When it popped, scores of thousands of investors conducted a run on the banks to get their money out to meet their margin calls.

Thousands of banks, short on cash, closed. One-third of the money supply was wiped out, and the Fed failed to replenish the lost blood. Thus did the Fed cause the Great Depression.

Smoot and Hawley were framed.

Moreover, every bubble from the dot-com of the late 1990s to housing this decade is a result of Fed policy. For unless there is an excess of money sloshing around, funds that surge into one market, be it housing, stocks or Third World loans, have to come out of another.

Moreover, if the Fed has not failed dismally in its duty to keep prices stable, how come candy bars and Cokes that cost a nickel in the 1950s cost 50 or 75 cents today, and new Cadillacs that sold for $3,200 in the late 1940s cost $55,000 or $60,000 now? Who is responsible for inflation, if not the Fed?

Moreover, it is now conceded that the Fed, in the early years of this 21st century, kept interest rates near 1 percent for too long, and created the bubble that popped in 2008 and almost brought down our own and the global economies.

Because the Fed can create money out of thin air, we have been able to wage wars on credit, shovel out trillions in foreign aid, World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans, and run humongous budget and trade deficits that have brought our country to the brink of ruin.

And if Bernanke is a genius, how is it he didn’t see the train wreck coming and had to double-time it to the Hill with Hank Paulson to plead for $700 billion to bail out AIG, Fannie and Freddie, and buy all that rotten paper on the books of Citibank & Co.?

The greatest economy the world had ever seen has been horribly mismanaged and virtually ruined by the decisions of presidents, Congress and the Federal Reserve. Main Street has been wiped as Wall Street was bailed out. Why?

Bring on the auditors!

Source: Buchanan.Org

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Wake Up America-Current State of Affairs in a Nutshell

Stephen Byers, Sr
Whitefield, NH USA

To my Fellow Americans,

“I am concerned for the security of our great nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within” – General Douglas MacArthur.

What exactly did General MacArthur mean? Let me try to explain. The United States was founded as a Constitutional Republic based on liberty and the unalienable rights of the individual; and where the government exercised it’s limited power and authority with the consent of “We the people”. But slowly, over the course of the past 100 years, “invisible” forces have turned us into a socialist “Democracy” where government is the Ultimate power and authority; where every action of our lives is legislated and restricted, and where Rights are becoming nonexistent. (If that sounds like an absurd statement, then think about this: the United States, a supposed Free society, has a population of 300 Million; yet this Free society has a total of 2.3 million adults held in prison; or one in every 99.1 adults. That puts the US far head of ANY other country: including Communist China, a supposed repressive society. China has a population of 1.3 Billion people, yet they have only 1.5 million people behind bars).

To those who believe that we continue to be a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, and that the government is limited in it’s power and authority as enumerated in the Constitution, I say take the blinders off your eyes and wake up! If you do, and honestly seek the truth, this is what you will see. That today the true seat of Power in Washington is the “Invisible Government”, which exercises its total control from behind the scenes. Who is this Invisible Government? It is a small elite group of individuals who own and control the Giant International Banks and Corporations, and who exercise their control through the Military-Industrial Complex. Through their foundations and organizations, like the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission , they train and groom those who would be the “movers and shakers” of both U.S. political parties; in other words, they own and control the Republican and Democratic parties.

In his book, “With No Apologies,” former Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater wrote, “The Trilateral Commission is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power– political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical. What the Trilateral Commission intends is to create a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nation-states involved. As managers and creators of the system, they will rule the future.”

In 1961, John F. Kennedy warned in a speech “For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily 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”. Sadly, Kennedy ignored his own advice, took these people on, and was “silenced”!

The Invisible Government also owns and controls the Media. In 1915 JP Morgan interests and their subsidiary organizations purchased the editorial policies of the 25 most important newspapers in the U.S. By controlling the policy of the most important newspapers, they were able to control the general policy of the whole media. The Rockefellers eventually took over the Morgan empire. They gained control of the Associated Press. They also own the trend setting magazines Time, Life, Fortune, and Newsweek. The “elite” own and control ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, ect….

In 1991, the founder of the CFR, David Rockefeller praised the major media for their complicity in helping to facilitate the globalist agenda by saying, “We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. . . . It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”

This criminal cabal of power elites, banks, corporations, government officials, and the mainstream media have effectively destroyed our economy, and the foundation of constitutional government which we have taken for granted. These evil people have stolen the wealth of the US Treasury whilst exploiting the power and might of the US Military to achieve their agenda. Meanwhile, corrupt government officials continue to pass unconstitutional laws to the benefit of themselves and the elite. They believe our Constitution and Laws don’t pertain to them. It is imperative everyone know that both political parties are controlled by the “Invisible Government”, and that our presidential election is a fraud between their two preselected candidates. Their “man” always wins.

We have just transitioned from the lies, deceit and prevarication of one administration to the lies, deceit and prevarication of another; it is, in fact, a continuation of the same betrayal of constitutional guarantees, unlawful and unrestricted immigration, insecure borders, wild frivolous spending, and government encouragement of the continuing transition to a deeply immoral society. The government will persist in eroding our constitutionally protected unalienable rights, and what little is left of the people’s sovereignty will most assuredly be legislated away. In days gone by our leaders were chosen from among the people: they were the servants and we were the Master. Now our leaders are chosen from (and by) the elite: they are the Master, and “we the people” are their servants.

Realize this: If the Republicans or the Democrats could have fixed this nation, they would have done it long before now. The more you look, the more you see that both major U.S. political parties are dominated and controlled by this “Invisible Government”. Both major U.S. political parties do NOT work for, nor do they represent “We the People”; but instead represent the the global elitists; the super-rich foundations; the NGO’s; the global bankers; the global corporations; and the lobbyists. Bankrolled by the Rothschild money dynasty (principal owners of the federal reserve banks), they have emerged as our present day aristocracy, the “ruling elite families” which includes generations of Rockefellers, Kennedys, and the Bush family; perennial “intellectuals” like Kissinger, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Albright, Christopher, and Rubin; all the members of the “Council on Foreign Relations” and the “Trilateral Commission”; and all of the one-time and/or yearly attendees at the annual “Bilderberg” conference.

The much anticipated Obama “change” has been to simply change one CFR perennial appointee for another. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s look at Obama’s top cabinet picks. When considering their collective histories, a trend becomes clear, proving that the more things “change” under Obama, the more they stay the same.

Timothy Geithner – Treasury Secretary : Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, president and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, formerly of Kissinger Associates.

Paul Volcker – Economic Recovery Advisory Board : Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, North American chairman of Trilateral Commission, Federal Reserve chairman under Presidents Carter and Reagan, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, chairman Rothschild Wolfensohn Company.

Lawrence Summers – National Economic Council : Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Treasury Secretary during Clinton administration, chief economist at World Bank, chief economist at IMF.

Hillary Clinton – Secretary of State : Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, US Senator.

Joseph Biden – Vice President : Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, US Senator.

Robert Gates – Defense Secretary: Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations, Defense Secretary under President Bush, former CIA Director.

General James Jones – National Security Advisor : Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, European supreme allied commander, special envoy for Middle East Security during Bush administration, board of directors for Chevron and Boeing, and member of Brent Scowcroft’s Institute for International Affairs along with Bilderberg Icon Henry Kissinger, top Obama Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bobby Ray Inman, and former CIA Director John Deutch.

Barack Obama is himself a Council on Foreign Relations member. Corporate members of the CFR include ABC News, General Electric (owner of NBC News), News Corporation (owner of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal), and Time Warner (owner of CNN and Time). (Remember, I told you they own and control ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, ect…). In regard to key economic policy advisors, all of Obama’s selections maintain a close relationship with one or more of these long time CFR, Trilateral Commission, government insiders: Ben Bernanke, Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan; as well as ties to bailout engineer Henry Paulson.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner picked former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson as a top aide. Patterson will serve as Geithner’s chief of staff at Treasury, which just happens to oversee the Trillions being handed out through the financial bailout programs. The list of former Goldman Sachs employees holding top positions in the Obama administration includes: Mark Patterson, a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist, who is the chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Geithner. Reuben Jeffery III, former managing partner at Goldman Sachs, who holds the post of undersecretary of state for economic, business, and agricultural affairs. Neel Kashkari, former Goldman Sachs vice president, who is the assistant secretary of the treasury for financial stability, responsible for administering the TARP funds. Dianna Farrell, former financial analyst at Goldman Sachs, who serves as deputy director of the National Economic Council. 2 Former chairmen of Goldman Sachs, Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin, also held the job of US Treasury Secretary.

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Powerful Israel Lobby Has Death Grip On U.S. Politics, Elections, Policies

By Jim Traficant

“We, the Jewish people, control America and the Americans know it.” —Ariel Sharon, Oct. 3, 2001.

Yes, folks they do! The Israelis manifest their control over America through a series of powerful lobbies. Yes, a series, hundreds of them, all under the umbrella of the parent organization known as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). No one ever told you this?

AIPAC controls America with money, big money, that is funneled into the campaign funds of U.S. senators, representatives and yes, even candidates for the president of the United States.

AIPAC channels money through a number of innocently named Political Action Committees (PACS) that no one (I don’t believe anybody wants to) can trace to AIPAC—Israeli money.

As an example—XYZ PAC (for example only/not real). Sounds like it could be an educational lobby, or a science lobby—but alas, it’s money from Israel, routed to political candidates of their choice.

I can’t name all these PACS, but I suspect there are 200 or more such phony lobbies whose real purpose is to elect politicians at all levels, especially state and federal offices, who will support Israel without fail. These politicians will support Israel even when Israel is caught spying on America—yes, spying on America.

To provide background as the precursor to the official AIPAC lobby I cite an infamous Israeli spy. Check this out:

1. Jonathan Pollard was turned down by the CIA (after leaving graduate school) for failing a polygraph test. Pollard lied about his use of illegal drugs. He later admitted to prolific illegal drug usage between 1974 and 1978.

2. Guess what: That didn’t hurt Pollard with the Navy. He was hired as an “intelligence specialist.” The CIA refused to give the Navy any information they had on Pollard.

3. Within two months, Director Richard Haver wanted him fired on suspicion, but Pollard was only transferred to Naval Investigative Service (NIS).

4. In his new position, Adm. Sumner Shapiro ordered Pollard’s official clearance be revoked for suspicious behavior. Once again, Pollard was reassigned.

5. Pollard now complained he was being abused, and, in 1984, he received “excellent performance” reviews and was returned to Naval Intelligence. How’s that for a pat on the back?

6. Shortly after, in June 1984, documents show that Pollard “started to pass classified information” to Israel. The full extent of those crimes/info, that he gave to Israel has “never been revealed.”

7. Israel claimed that Pollard was a “rogue” without Israeli authority or knowledge. If you believe that garbage, it’s no wonder America is a puppet state for Israel. And guess what? Bingo! Israel’s memory improved—10 years later Israel admitted that Pollard was indeed working
for—and with—Israel as a spy.

8. America asked for the return of all documents and materials that Pollard had given to Israel. Israel turned over—“a few, paltry dozen of lowly classified documents” even though our government knew that “Pollard had given Israel close to a million documents,” according to U.S. informants. Uncle Sam really shows great concern over this? I wonder why? I think you can start to figure this out.

9. Israel’s contact/handler of Pollard was withheld by Israel until finally pressured. One Aviem Selvia came forward to “satisfy” America, and then stepped down.

10. America now offered Pollard a plea agreement. In May 1986, Pollard accepted a life sentence.

11. Upon sentencing, Pollard’s wife said, “My husband and I did what we were expected to do for Israel. As Jews, we had a moral obligation to Israel.” Allegiance to Israel, not America! (I get sick reporting this to you, and you should be getting sick as well.)

12. Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Olmert all asked for Pollard to be pardoned. All of these leaders are/were prime ministers of Israel. They said, “He was only spying for Israel—set him free!”

13. “After all—Israel is America’s greatest ally.” They also said “Pollard is a dear friend of both our countries.” Some friend to America!

14. Attorney Alan Dershowitz summed it up quite pointedly—“as an American and a Jew, I am outraged at Pollard’s life sentence. Pollard pleaded guilty to spying on America and should have received a lesser sentence.” Yeah, he only spied on America! I guess that’s no big deal for Dershowitz. I always thought traitors and spies were put to death. They should be.

You see folks, it’s all about power, pure power. I say that Pollard had big, powerful American power brokers behind him from the very start.

Think again about what Ariel Sharon said again: “We, the Jewish people control America, and the Americans know it!”

I keep reminding you of this statement because I’m the man who’s been targeted by both Israel and America for proclaiming that “Israel has a stranglehold on American government, commerce and the media.”

I also said, “Israel has involved us in foreign wars to aid Israel expansion, bankrupts our great nation and has our kids shipped back to us in body bags.”

Source: American Free Press

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh pictured in center at Palestinian Solidarity Protest

Sinn Féin gets it right again. TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has come out swinging after Israel refused entry of Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin into Gaza recently. He is calling for a suspension of all diplomatic ties with Israel:
Israel, a rogue, racist and belligerent state, has no right whatsoever to deny any Irish Minister a visit to Palestine to see for himself or herself the humanitarian crisis that has been created by their criminal war actions.

“No Irish Minister – with a scintilla of backbone – can allow matters to rest here. I am calling on Minister Micheal Martin to take a stand. It is high time that a hard line is taken on the issue of Israel – to stand out among European and world leaders – and to stand up for the people of Palestine.

“He must demand access and make every effort to get to Gaza and Palestine despite what the Israeli authorities say. If the Israeli authorities refuse access again diplomatic relationships should immediately be broken off and the Israeli Ambassador sent home.

Read The rest at Irish4Palestine
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CIA Efforts to Control World Distribution of 'Illicit' Drugs

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

DEA agents were photographed among first responders on 911. That's curious. What interest have drug enforcement agents in this alleged act of 'terrorism'?

Connect some dots: upon the 911 pretext, the US invaded Afghanistan whose 'cash crop' of 'poppies' was under threat. Without poppies, US drug dealers may be hard pressed to stay in business. That applies, as well, to the CIA which most certainly financed Iran-Contra almost entirely 'off the books'.

If the US/CIA hoped to control this lucrative trade, the Taliban had to go. I wonder how many CIA 'black ops' have been financed 'off the books' (as was Iran/Contra) with the proceeds of its various drug sales? An August, 1996, series in the San Jose Mercury News by reporter Gary Webb linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the contras, a guerrilla force backed by the Reagan administration that attacked Nicaragua's Sandinista government during the 1980s. Webb's series, "The Dark Alliance," has been the subject of intense media debate, and has focused attention on a foreign policy drug scandal that leaves many questions unanswered. This electronic briefing book is compiled from declassified documents obtained by the National Security Archive, including the notebooks kept by NSC aide and Iran-contra figure Oliver North, electronic mail messages written by high-ranking Reagan administration officials, memos detailing the contra war effort, and FBI and DEA reports. The documents demonstrate official knowledge of drug operations, and collaboration with and protection of known drug traffickers. Court and hearing transcripts are also included.--The Contras, Cocaine, and Cover Operations

Read The rest Here at The Existentialist Cowboy
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BBC Exposes 'Fudge Factor' in ClimateGate Global Warming Computer Programming Code

By Jeff Poor

Even the BBC didn't let this scoop get away.

A segment on the Dec. 3 broadcast of BBC's "Newsnight," showed the implications of the story behind the so-called "ClimateGate" scandal are more than just e-mails concealing data, but an incompetence analyzing the data by way of faulty computer code.

John Graham-Cumming, a British programmer known for the open source "POPFile email filtering program" explained how the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had wholesale problems with its computer programming analyzing climate change data, with billion, if not even trillions of dollars, on the line.

"This is the source code from the Climatic Research Unit," Susan Watts, science editor at the BBC explained. "John Graham-Cumming is a software engineer. He's not a skeptic on climate change, but he is shocked by what he's seen in the programming. He compared it with the code in the same language written by NASA."

Graham-Cumming criticized the CRU programming for its lack of professionalism and showed faults with it.

"Well, if you look at the NASA stuff, it's really professional," Graham-Cumming said. "You can look at it, you can see the history. If you look at -- what's done here by these alleged CRU files - it's not the thing you'd expect to see in certainly a commercial industry. You would not see this sort of source code because it's not clearly documented. There's not audit history of what's happened to it. So it would be below the standard in any commercial software. "

According to the author of "The Geek Atlas," the programmer even included steps to skip over errors, which shows some of the data analyzed by the East Anglia CRU is completely neglected.

"The programming language actually has a problem," Graham-Cumming said. "And they put in some code to deal with that error. Unfortunately, in doing so they produced another error. And the upshot of this is the error occurs - the underlying error, they will skip over data that they're trying to plot without any warning to the end user. So in some sense there is data that is being lost."

The programmer, unnamed in the BBC segment, even documented his lack of programming skills.

"So in here, he says some things like, ‘Something is very wrong - it's my programming ability, isn't it,'" Graham-Cumming explained. "‘You know, once again, it's further confirmation my abilities are below what is required here.'"

Watts questioned if someone was betting billions or trillions of dollars, should they "be comfortable with" it and Graham-Cumming explained it wasn't.

"I don't think I would be comfortable with that because it is not obvious what it is doing, why it is doing it," Graham-Cumming said. "It needs to be made clear."

Source: News Busters

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On eve of receiving Nobel, Obama's DOJ files amicus brief upending Nuremberg Protocols.

by ImpeachKingBushII

If you thought that your vote for President Obama last November helped usher in a new era of justice for the ones who turned the United States of America into a nation of lawless torturers and war crminals, and thus guaranteed the restoration of the rule of law and America's standing in the world, then you better hang on to your ruby slippers baby, because Dorothy you're not in Kansas anymore.

Not only are the authors of the infamous Bush torture memos, John Yoo, Jay Bybee, and Steven Bradbury --which gave Bush and everyone else in his regime of thugs legal cover to torture in all of our names-- not going to face a Judge and answer to anyone in our Judicial system for their war crimes, but our new president(sic) has taken it upon himself to defend Bush's enablers in Federal Court, thus upending the 64 year old Nuremberg and Tokyo precedents that sent the Judges and lawyers of the German Reich and Imperial Japan to prison. Apparently, the only change we're going to see here is the same old obfuscation, secrecy and lack of transparency we all grew to love so much about Bush.
More under the fold...

Nan Aron of the Huffington Post writes on 12.10.09, basically saying there's a new Sheriff in town, and he's determined to keep his jails locked-up to keep criminals from getting inside them::

"The Department's amicus brief is, as a substantive matter, disingenuous at best. As Scott Horton notes, federal law has long held that government officials who are responsible for torturing individuals may be held accountable in court for their conduct - a principle enshrined in lawyer can be held accountable for unethical and/or illegal conduct that in some way involves matters of national security is through internal review by the Department's OPR and Office of Inspector General, bar disciplinary action, and crimdecisions from the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals which DOJ failed to cite in its brief. DOJ now argues that the only way a government inal prosecution. As Horton, writes, "It effectively boils down to the Justice Department saying that it alone will decide about the accountability of its staffers for wrongful conduct that damages others."

Constitutional law Professor and licensed and practicing world renowned defense attorney, Jonathan Turley, appeared on KO last night and writes on his blog yesterday, 12.09.09:

"John Yoo is being defended in court this month by the Administration. Not the Bush Administration. The Obama Administration. As with the lawsuits over electronic surveillance and torture, the Obama administration wants the lawsuit against Yoo dismissed and is defending the right of Justice Department officials to help establish a torture program — an established war crime. I will be discussing this issue tonight on MSNBC Countdown.
The Obama Administration has gutted the hard-fought victories in Nuremberg where lawyers and judges were often guilty of war crimes in their legal advice and opinions. The third of the twelve trials for war crimes involved 16 German jurists and lawyers. Nine had been officials of the Reich Ministry of Justice, the others were prosecutors and judges of the Special Courts and People’s Courts of Nazi Germany. It would have been a larger group but two lawyers committed suicide before trial: Adolf Georg Thierack, former minister of justice, and Carl Westphal, a ministerial counsellor.
If successful in this case, the Obama Administration will succeed in returning the world to the rules leading to the war crimes at Nuremberg. Quite a legacy for the world’s newest Nobel Peace Prize winner."

all emphases mine
For the full article please visit Professor Jonathan Turley's blog at the link below:

After 8 long years under the Bush Caligula years, where the Constitution was treated with no more respect than a common street whore and America's good name and reputation was nothing less than "quaint and irrelevent", I was proud to support and vote for Obama last year. I bought the bill of goods that he was selling us, that he was our best hope to restore the rule of law, a rule of law that was barely on life support by the time Bush had left office. "Little boots" trampled it under foot at every turn by the pleasure of his own will so many times that its face was barely recognizable by anyone, including its closest of kin.

Source: Daily Kos

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UK issues new guidance on labelling of food from illegal West Bank settlements

Stickers could read 'Israeli settlement produce' , but move is not a boycott, says Foreign Office

Britain has acted to increase pressure on Israel over its West Bank settlements by advising UK supermarkets on how to distinguish between foods from the settlements and Palestinian-manufactured goods.

The government's move falls short of a legal requirement but is bound to increase the prospects of a consumer boycott of products from those territories. Israeli officials and settler leaders were tonight highly critical of the decision.

Until now, food has been simply labelled "Produce of the West Bank", but the new, voluntary guidance issued by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), says labels could give more precise information, like "Israeli settlement produce" or "Palestinian produce".

Nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which were conquered in the 1967 war. The British government and the EU have repeatedly said Israel's settlement project is an "obstacle to peace" in the Middle East.

EU law already requires a distinction to be made between goods originating in Israel and those from the occupied territories, though pro-Palestinian campaigners say this is not always observed.

Separately, Defra said that traders would be committing an offence if they did declare produce from the occupied territories as "Produce of Israel".

Foods grown in Israeli settlements include herbs sold in supermarkets, such as Waitrose, which chop, package and label them as "West Bank" produce, making no distinction between Israelis and Palestinians. A total of 27 Israeli firms operating in settlements and exporting to the UK have been identified: their produce includes fruit, vegetables, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, plastic and metal items and textiles.

Other retailers selling their products include Tesco, Sainsbury's, Somerfield, John Lewis and B&Q.

Goods from inside Israel's 1967 borders are entitled to a preferential rate of import duty under an agreement with the EU. Palestinian goods from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem also enjoy duty-free or reduced-tariff treatment. Settlement products fall outside these two categories.

"This is emphatically not about calling for a boycott of Israel," a Foreign Office spokesman said. "We believe that would do nothing to advance the peace process. We oppose any such boycott of Israel. We believe consumers should be able to choose for themselves what produce they buy. We have been very clear both in public and in private that settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace."

The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, welcomed the public clarification that marking produce from illegal settlements on occupied territory as "produce of Israel" was illegal, but said the government should have gone further.

Barbara Stocking, Oxfam's chief executive, said: "We support the right of consumers to know the origin of the products they purchase. Trade with Israeli settlements – which are illegal under international law – contributes to their economic viability and serves to legitimise them. It is also clear from our development work in West Bank communities that settlements have led to the denial of rights and create poverty for many Palestinians."

Dani Dayan, the Argentinian-born leader of the Yesha Council, which represents Israeli settlers, said the decision was the "latest hostile step" from Britain. "Products from our communities in Judea and Samaria should be treated as any other Israeli product," he said, using an Israeli term for the West Bank.

Israeli officials said they feared this was a slide towards a broader boycott of Israeli goods. Yigal Palmor, Israel's foreign ministry spokesman, said his country's produce was being unfairly singled out.

"It looks like it is catering to the demands of those whose ultimate goal is the boycott of Israeli products," he said. "The message here will very likely be used by pro-boycott campaigners. It is a matter of concern."

He said the issue of different European customs tariffs should not extend to different labelling on supermarket shelves. "It is a totally different thing and not required by the EU."

Israel came under intense US pressure early this year to halt construction in settlements, but has only adopted a temporary, partial freeze. Palestinian leaders say they will not restart peace negotiations until there is a full settlement freeze in line with the US road map of 2003.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said it welcomed the new guidance but urged Defra to go further: "The government must seek prosecutions of companies which smuggle settlement goods in under false labels.

"We have received many calls from people who were distressed when they bought goods labelled 'Produce of the West Bank' because they thought they were aiding the Palestinian economy, then realised they were economically aiding Israel's illegal occupation.

"Particularly following Israel's massacre in Gaza, consumers have been shocked at Israel's war crimes and want to take action. They do not want to feel complicit in Israel's occupation by buying stolen goods."

'Customers will now have honest information'

The most recent government figures suggest only about £800,000 of food products, about three-quarters of it olive oil (below right), was imported from occupied Palestinian territories in the three years between 2006 and 2008.

Sainsbury's, which sells dates and small amounts of basil and tarragon, welcomed "the greater clarity on how to label produce from occupied territories".

"This allows us to fulfil our commitment of providing customers with clear and honest information about the origins of their food," the supermarket chain said."We have full traceability back to settlement and/or grower."

Waitrose also said it would be following the guidance on the small number of West Bank lines it sold. "We source a small selection of herbs from the West Bank area, grown on two Israeli-managed farms, on which a Palestinian and Israeli workforce have worked side by side for many years," said a spokesman.

"We are not motivated by politics. Instead our policy is to ensure high standards of farming and worker welfare on the farms from which we source. Our buyers … have visited the two farms in the West Bank to ensure that worker welfare meets the high standards that we insist on. As part of our normal sourcing policy we will be carrying out an audit on these farms in the next six months."

This year the Co-op began selling Fairtrade olive oil from the West Bank – a move hailed by Gordon Brown, who said it meant British shoppers could help Palestinian farmers make a living.

Toby Quantrill, head of public policy for the Fairtrade Foundation, said farmers in Palestine faced barriers to trade which jeopardised opportunities to trade internationally on equal terms with people making similar products

Source: The Guardian

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Revisiting the `Good War's' Aftermath

Dwight D. Murphey

Those who honestly chronicle human events, present or past, are a rare and honorable breed. We should certainly ennoble them within the pantheon of our earthly gods. As we do so, we will no doubt include those who, not out of alienation against the West or the United States or its people but out of a thirst for truth, are bringing to light the awful events that followed in the wake of World War II (as well as the enormities that were committed as part of the way in which the war was fought against civilian populations, although that is a subject we won’t be exploring here). That war has been known among Americans as “the good war,” and those who fought it as “the greatest generation.” But now, slowly, we are hit by the realities so commonplace to a complex human existence: there was much that was not good, and along with the self-sacrifice and high intentions there was much that was venal and brutal. These realities are coming to the surface because there are some scholars, at least, who are aware that an ocean of wartime propaganda spawns a myth that continues for several decades and who have a commitment to truth that overrides the many inducements to conform to the myth.

This article began as a simple review of Giles MacDonogh’s book that is identified above. His book is largely of the myth-breaking sort I have just praised. Because, however, there is valuable additional material that I am loath to leave unmentioned, I have expanded it to include other information and authors, although leaving it primarily a review of After the Reich.

MacDonogh’s is a puzzling book, both brave and craven, mostly (but not entirely) worthy of the high praise we must give to incorruptible scholars. As we have noted, the American public has long thought of the Allied effort in World War II as a “great crusade” that pitted good and decency against Nazi evil. Even after all these years, it is likely that the last thing the public wants to learn is that vast and unspeakable wrongs were committed by both the Western Allies and the Soviet Union during the war and its aftermath. It flies in the face of that reluctance for MacDonogh to tell “the brutal history” at great length.

That willingness is commendable for its intellectual bravery. In light of it, it is puzzling that even as he does so he puts a gloss over that history, in effect continuing in part a cover-up of historic proportions that has been fixed in place by the overhang of wartime propaganda for almost two-thirds of a century. The great value of his book thus cannot be found in its completeness or its strict candor, but rather in its providing something of a bridge—albeit quite an extensive one—that can start conscientious readers toward further study of an immensely important subject.

For this article, it will be valuable to begin by summarizing the history MacDonogh relates (and to add somewhat to it). It is only after doing this that we will discuss what MacDonogh obscures. All of this will then lead to some concluding reflections.

In his Preface, MacDonogh says his purpose is to “expose the victorious Allies in their treatment of the enemy at peace, for in most cases it was not the criminals who were raped, starved, tortured or bludgeoned to death but women, children and old men.” Although this suggests the tone of the book will be one of outrage, the narrative is in the main informative rather than polemical. MacDonogh’s scholarly background includes several books of German and French history and biography (as well as four books on wine).

The expulsions (today called “ethnic cleansing”). At the end of the war, MacDonogh tells us, “as many as 16.5 million Germans were driven from their homes.” 9.3 million were expelled from the eastern portion of Germany, which was made a part of Poland. (Both the eastern and western boundaries of Poland were drastically shifted westward by agreement of the allies, with Poland taking an important part of Germany and the Soviet Union taking eastern Poland.) The other 7.2 million were forced from their ancestral homes in Central Europe where they had lived for generations.

This mass expulsion was settled upon in the Potsdam Agreement in mid-1945, although the Agreement did make it explicit that the ethnic cleansing was to take place “in the most humane manner possible.” Churchill was among those who supported it as conducive “to lasting peace.”

In fact, the process was so inhumane that it amounted to one of history’s great atrocities. MacDonogh reports that “some two and a quarter million would die during the expulsions.” This is at the lower end of such estimates, which range from 2.1 million to 6.0 million, if we take only the expellees into account. Konrad Adenauer, very much a friend of the West, found himself able to say that among those expelled “six million Germans… are dead, gone.”[1] We will be seeing MacDonogh’s account of the starvation and exposure to extreme cold to which the post-war population of Germany was subject, and it is worth mentioning at this point (even though it goes beyond the expulsions) that the historian James Bacque says that “the comparison of the censuses has shown us that some 5.7 million people disappeared inside Germany between October 1946 [a year and a half after the war ended] and September 1950….”[2]

What MacDonogh calls “the greatest maritime tragedy of all time” occurred when the ship the Wilhelm Gustloff, carrying Germans from Danzig in January 1945, was sunk with “anything up to 9,000 people,… many of them children.” In mid-1946, “pictures show some of the 586,000 Bohemian Germans packed in box cars like sardines.” At another point MacDonogh tells how “the refugees were often packed so tightly that they could not move to defecate and emerged from the trucks covered with excrement. Many were dead on arrival.” [This calls to mind the scenes described so vividly in Volume I of Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago.] In Silesia, “streams of civilians were forced from their homes at gunpoint.” A priest estimated that a quarter of the German population of one Lower Silesian town killed itself, as entire families committed suicide together.

The condition of the German population--starvation and extreme cold. Germans refer to 1947 as Hungerjahr, the “year of hunger,” but MacDonogh says that “even by the winter of 1948 the situation had not been remedied.” People ate dogs, cats, rats, frogs, snails, nettles, acorns, dandelion roots and wild mushrooms in a feverish effort to survive. In 1946, the calories provided in the U.S. Zone of Germany dropped to 1,313 by March 18 from the mere 1,550 provided earlier. Victor Gollancz, a British and Jewish author and publisher, objected that “we are starving the Germans.”[3] This is similar to the statement made by Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana in a speech to the U. S. Senate on February 5, 1946: “For nine months now this administration has been carrying on a deliberate policy of mass starvation….”[4] MacDonogh tells us that the Red Cross, Quakers, Mennonites and others wanted to bring in food, but “in the winter of 1945 donations were returned with the recommendation that they be used in other war-torn parts of Europe.” In the American zone of Berlin, “it was American policy that nothing should be given away and everything should be thrown away. So those German women who worked for the Americans were fantastically well fed, but could take nothing home to their families or children.” Bacque says “foreign relief agencies were prevented from sending food from abroad; Red Cross food trains were sent back to Switzerland; all foreign governments were denied permission to send food to German civilians; fertilizer production was sharply reduced… The fishing fleet was kept in port while people starved.”[5]

Under the Russian occupation of East Prussia, MacDonogh sees “striking similarities” to Stalin’s “deliberate starvation of the Ukrainian kulaks in the early 1930s.” As in the Ukraine, “cases of cannibalism were reported, with people eating the flesh of their dead children.”

The suffering from extreme cold mixed with the starvation to create misery and a heavy death toll. Even though the winter in 1945-6 was a normal one, “the terrible lack of coal and food was acutely felt.” Abnormally cold winters struck in 1946-7 (“possibly the coldest in living memory”) and 1948-9. In Berlin alone, 60,000 people were thought to have died within the first ten months after the end of the war; and “the following winter killed off an estimated 12,000 more.” People lived in holes among the ruins, and “some Germans—particularly refugees from the east—were virtually naked.”

In his book Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War Against The German People, Ralph Franklin Keeling cites a quote from a “noted German pastor”: “Thousands of bodies are hanging from trees in the woods around Berlin and nobody bothers to cut them down. Thousands of corpses are carried into the sea by the Oder and Elbe Rivers—one doesn’t notice it any longer. Thousands and thousands are starving in the highways… Children roam the highways alone….”[6]

In his The German Expellees: Victims in War and Peace, Alfred-Maurice de Zayas told how in Yugoslavia Marshal Tito used camps as extermination centers to starve Germans.[7]

Mass rape—to which one must add the “voluntary sex” obtained from starving women. The onslaught of rape by invading Russian forces is, of course, infamous. In the Russian zone of Austria, “rape was part of daily life until 1947 and many women were riddled with VD and had no means to cure it.” MacDonogh tells us that “conservative estimates place the number of Berlin women raped at 20,000.” When the British arrived in Berlin, “officers later recalled the shock of seeing the lakes in the prosperous west filled with the corpses of women who had committed suicide after being raped.” The age of the victim made little difference, with those raped ranging from 12 to 75. Nurses and nuns were among the victims (some as many as fifty times). “The Russians were particularly hard on the nobles, setting fire to their manor houses and raping or killing the inhabitants.” Although “most of the unwanted Russian children were aborted,” MacDonogh says “it is estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 ‘Russian babies’ survived.” The Russians raped wherever they went, so that it wasn’t just German women who were raped, but also women of Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, and Yugoslavia even though it was on the same side.

There was an official policy against rape, but it was so commonly ignored that “it was only in 1949 that Russian soldiers were presented with any real deterrent.” Until then, “they were egged on by [Ilya] Ehrenburg and other Soviet propagandists who saw rape as an expression of hatred.”

Although there was a “widespread incidence of rape by American soldiers,” there was an enforced military policy against it, with “a number of American servicemen executed” for it. Criminal charges brought for rape “rose steadily” during the final months of the war, but declined sharply thereafter. What did continue was arguably almost as bad: the sexual exploitation of starving women who “voluntarily” sold sexual services for food. In Gruesome Harvest, Keeling quotes from an article in the Christian Century for December 5, 1945: “The American provost marshal… said that rape represents no problem for the military police because ‘a bit of food, a bar of chocolate, or a bar of soap seems to make rape unnecessary.’”[8] The extent of this is shown by the figure MacDonogh provides of an “estimated 94,000 Besatzungskinder or ‘occupation children’ [who] were born in the American zone.” He says that in 1945-6 “many female children resorted to prostitution to survive. Boys, too, performed a service for Allied soldiers.”

Keeling, writing for the 1947 publication of his book [which explains his use of the present tense], said there was “an upsurge in venereal diseases which has reached epidemic proportions,” and went on to say that “a large proportion of the contamination has originated with colored American troops which we have stationed in great numbers in Germany and among whom the rate of venereal infection is many times greater than among white troops.” In July 1946, he says, the annual rate of infection for white soldiers was 19%, for black troops 77.1%. He reiterated the point we are making here when he pointed to “the close connection between the venereal disease rate and availability of food.”[9]

If MacDonogh mentions rape by British soldiers, it has escaped me. He does tell, however, of rape by Poles, the French, Tito’s partisans, and displaced persons. In Danzig, “the Poles behaved as badly as the Russians… It was the Poles who liberated the town of Teschen in the north [of Czechoslovakia] on 10 May. For five days they raped, looted, torched and killed.” He writes of “French soldiers’ behaviour in Stuttgart, where perhaps 3,000 women and eight men were raped,” says “a further 500 women [were] raped in Vaihingen,” and reports “three days of killing, plunder, arson and rape” in Freundenstadt. Of the displaced persons, he says that “there were around two million POWs and forced labourers from Russia who had formed into gangs and robbed and raped all over central Europe.”

Treatment of the prisoners of war. In all, there were approximately eleven million German prisoners of war. One and a half million of these never returned home. MacDonogh expresses an appropriate outrage here: “To treat them with so little care that a million and a half died was scandalous.”

The Red Cross had no role vis a vis those held by the Russians, since the Soviet Union had not signed the Geneva Convention. MacDonogh says the Russians made no distinction between German civilians and prisoners of war, although we know that a KGB report does sort them out for deaths and other purposes. At war’s end, they held approximately four to five million within Russia (and here, again, the KGB archives are worth consulting, as historian James Bacque has done; they show a figure of 2,389,560). Large numbers were held for over ten years, being sent back to Germany only after Konrad Adenauer’s visit to Moscow in 1956. Nevertheless, in 1979—34 years after the end of the war!—“there were believed to be 72,000 prisoners still alive in—chiefly Russian—custody.” Some 90,000 German soldiers were captured at Stalingrad, but only 5,000 made it home.

The Americans made a distinction between the 4.2 million soldiers captured during the war, who were entitled to the shelter and subsistence called for by the Hague and Geneva Conventions, and the 3.4 million captured in the West at its end. MacDonogh says the latter were classified as “Surrendered Enemy Persons” (SEPs) or as “Disarmed Enemy Persons” (DEPs), and were denied the protections of the Conventions. He doesn’t give a total figure for those who died in American custody, saying “it is not clear how many German soldiers died of starvation.” He tells, however, of several situations: “The most notorious American POW camps were the so-called Rheinwiesenlager.” Here, the Americans allowed “anything up to 40,000 German soldiers to die from hunger and neglect in the muddy flats of the Rhine.” He says “any attempt to feed the prisoners by the German civilian population was punishable by death.” Although the Red Cross was empowered to inspect, “the barbed wire surrounding the SEPs and DEPs was impenetrable.” Elsewhere, at “the Pioneers’ Barracks in Worms… there were 30,000-40,000 prisoners sitting in the courtyard, jostling for space. With no protection from the rain they froze.” The prisoners were starved at Langwasser, and at a “notorious camp” at Zuffenhausen where “for months lunch was turnip soup, with half a potato for dinner.”

It would be a mistake to think that a world food shortage caused the United States to be unable to feed its prisoners. Bacque writes that “Captain Lee Berwick of the 424th Infantry who commanded the guard towers at Camp Bretzenheim… told me, ‘Food was piled up all round the camp fence.’ Prisoners there saw crates piled up ‘as high as bungalows.’”[10]

What MacDonogh tells us about Britain’s treatment of German POWs seems conflicting. It had 391,880 prisoners working in Britain in 1946, and a total of 600 camps there in 1948. He says “the regime was not so hard, and in terms of percentages the number of men who died in British custody is strikingly low compared to the other Allies.” Elsewhere, however, he tells how “the British could evade [the Geneva Convention’s stipulation]… that they provide 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day,” so that “for most of the time levels fell below 1,500 calories.” The British had a camp in Belgium that “was meant to be particularly grueling.” There, “conditions for the 130,000 prisoners were reported to be ‘not much better than Belsen’… When the camp was inspected in April 1947 there were found to be just four functioning lightbulbs…there was no fuel, no straw mattresses and no food apart from ‘water soup.’”

A Reuters report in December 2005 adds an important dimension: “Britain ran a secret prison in Germany for two years after the end of World War II where inmates including Nazi party members were tortured and starved to death, the Guardian says. Citing Foreign Office files that were opened after a request under the Freedom of Information Act, the newspaper says Britain had held men and woman [sic] at a prison in Bad Nenndorf until July 1947… ‘Threats to execute prisoners, or to arrest, torture and murder their wives and children were considered “perfectly proper” on the grounds that such threats were never carried out,’ the paper reports.”[11]

The French wanted German labor to help rebuild the country, and for this purpose the British and Americans transferred about a million German soldiers to them. MacDonogh says “their treatment was particularly brutal.” Not long after the war, according to the Red Cross, 200,000 of the prisoners were starving. We are told of a camp “in the Sarthe [where] prisoners had to survive on 900 calories a day.”

The stripping of the German economy. Allied leaders disagreed among themselves about the Morgenthau Plan to strip Germany bare of industrial assets and turn it into an agrarian country. The opposition of some and hesitation of others did not, however, prevent a de facto implementation of the plan. By the time the confiscation was ended, Germany was largely bereft of productive assets.

MacDonogh says that under the Russians “Berlin lost around 85 percent of its industrial capacity.” Every machine was taken from Vienna. The ships were taken from the Danube, and “one Soviet priority was the seizure of any important works of art found in the capital [Vienna]. This was a fully planned operation.” But “worse than the full-scale removal of the industrial base of the land was the abduction of men and women to develop industry in the Soviet Union.”

Under the Americans, the dismantling of industrial sites continued until General Lucius Clay stopped it a year after war’s end. Until Clay acted, Clause 6 of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Order 1067 embodied the Morgenthau Plan. MacDonogh says that where “American official theft was carried out on a massive scale” was in “seizing scientists and scientific equipment.”

The British took much for themselves and passed other industrial property on to “client states” such as Greece and Yugoslavia. The British royal family received Goering’s yacht, and the British zone of Germany was stripped of “plants that might later offer competition with British industries.” MacDonogh says “the British… had their own brand of organized theft in [something called] T-Force, which sought to glean any industrial wizardry….”

For their part, the French asserted “the right to plunder.” “The French… made no bones about pocketing a chlorine business in Rheinfelden, a viscose business in Rottweil, the Preussag mines or the chemicals groups Rhodia,”… and much more.

If the Plan had been fully implemented over a longer period of time, the effects would have been calamitous. Keeling, in Gruesome Harvest, says that by seeking “the permanent destruction of Germany’s industrial heartland” it would have had as an “ineluctable consequence… the death through starvation and disease of millions and tens of millions of Germans.”[12]

The forced repatriation of Russians to Stalin. MacDonogh’s book limits itself to the Allied occupation, but there are, of course, many other aspects of the aftermath of the war that deserve mention, although here we will limit ourselves to just one of them. (MacDonogh does give some details about it.) It is the Allied repatriation of captured Russians to the Soviet Union. In The Secret Betrayal, Nikolai Tolstoy tells how between 1943 and 1947, a total of 2,272,000 Russians were returned. The Soviets harvested 2,946,000 more from the parts of Europe taken by the Red Army. Those sent to the Soviet Union by the Western democracies included thousands of people who were Tsarist emigres and had never lived under the Soviet regime. Tolstoy says that even though there were many who did want to return to Russia (while many others desperately did not, and were sent back, in effect, kicking and screaming), they were uniformly brutalized, executed, raped or made into slaves. Some of the repatriates were Russians who had volunteered to fight for Germany against the Soviet Union and who were led by General Vlasov. Some were Cossacks, many of whom were not even Soviet citizens. The violent repatriations began in August 1945. Tolstoy recounts how deception, clubbings, bayonets, and even threats from a flame-throwing tank were employed to force the removal.[13]

Victors’ justice. When the war was over, there was a consensus among the Allies’ leaders that the top Nazis should be put to death. Some wanted immediate execution, others “a drumhead court martial.” There was an odd virtue in the insistence by the British on following “legal forms,” which is what was decided upon. The result was a series of trials with the trappings of normal judicial proceedings, but that were actually a travesty from the point of view of the “rule of law,” lacking both the spirit and particulars of “due process.” In two chapters, MacDonogh gives an account of the main Nuremberg trial and of the series of trials that continued for years afterwards. Among these, the Americans conducted several trials in Nuremberg after the main one; thousands of cases were brought before “denazification courts”; the German courts, after they were operational, continued the process; and of course we know of Israel’s trial and execution of Eichmann.

There are many reasons to call it “victors’ justice.” For it to have been otherwise, a truly impartial tribunal would have had to have been convened somewhere in the world (if such a thing had been possible in the aftermath of a world war), and war crimes committed by all sides prosecuted. But, of course, we know that such impartial justice was not in contemplation. In the Nuremberg indictment, the Nazis were charged with the mass killing of the Polish officer corps at the Katyn Forest, a charge that was discretely (and with great intellectual and “judicial” dishonesty) overlooked in the final judgment after it became clear to all that the Soviet Union had done the killing.[14] Another of the many possible examples would be that Nazi deportations were charged as both a war crime and a crime against humanity at Nuremberg. By contrast, no one was ever “brought to justice” for the Allies’ expulsion of the millions of Germans from their ancestral homes in central Europe.

A source readers will find instructive. Because of the credibility of its source, the account given by U.S. Air Force Major (retired) Arthur D. Jacobs in his book The Prison Called Hohenasperg will be useful to readers as they absorb (and assess) the information contained in MacDonogh’s book and those of the other authors referred to here. It is valuable as a story both of American brutality and American compassion.

Jacobs spent 22 years in the Air Force, retiring in 1973, and then became a member of the faculty at Arizona State University for another twenty years. His book tells the following personal story: His German parents emigrated to the United States from Germany in 1928 and 1929. They had two sons born in Brooklyn (who were hence U.S. citizens), one of them Arthur Jacobs. The boys lived their early years in Brooklyn, attending elementary school. The family was taken and held for some time at Ellis Island near the end of the war, and was then interned for seven months at the Crystal City Internment Camp in Texas, where they were well treated. They were “voluntarily repatriated” to Germany (after being threatened with deportation) in October 1945, several months after Germany’s surrender.

When they arrived in Germany, Jacobs’ mother was sent to one camp, the father and two sons to another. The latter reached an internment camp in Hohenasperg after a 92-hour journey locked inside a boxcar in freezing weather with mostly women and children, fed only bread and water, and “without heat, without blankets, and without toilets, except for an open, stinking bucket.” Jacobs himself was twelve, and turned thirteen during his week at Hohenasperg before he was sent to another camp at Ludwigsburg. At the Hohenasperg prison, he was placed under strict discipline as a prisoner, and guards threatened him repeatedly with hanging if he disobeyed.

The camp at Ludwigsburg was in effect a holding center pending release. It is informative that Jacobs tells us of the meager diet: “At breakfast we received one glass of ‘gray’ milk and one slice of black bread. There was no lunch meal.” At supper, “each person received one bowl of soup..., mostly water flavored by bouillon. There were no second helpings… I always had hunger pangs.” While he and his brother were at Ludwigsburg, they were forced to watch films of German death camps.

The mother, father and brothers were released from their respective camps in mid-March 1946, and went to live with Jacobs’ grandparents in the British Zone. They weren’t welcomed by Germans they met, because “we were four more mouths to feed.” Jacobs saw that “Germany was war-torn and starving.” He was befriended by an American soldier, who got him a job with Graves Registration. He lost his job when the soldier was transferred, and it became a struggle to “live through this starvation period—the winter of 1946-1947.” After much knocking about, he got another job with the American Army, this time in a motor pool. An American woman took an interest in him who knew of a ranch couple in southwest Kansas who would bring them to America to live with them. Accordingly, Jacobs and his brother left for the United States in October 1947. They had been in Germany for 21 months. It was eleven years before Jacobs saw his parents again. He went on, as we have said, to become a career officer in the U.S. Air Force. After obtaining his MBA at Arizona State University, he became an industrial engineer and later a member of the ASU faculty.

If MacDonogh wrote all that we have reported (and more) from his book, how can it be said that in important ways he continued the cover-up of such horrors, a cover-up that since 1945 has consigned them to a memory hole? This brings us to the book’s deficiencies, which are of such a nature as to give readers a lessened realization of the extent of the atrocities and of who was responsible for them.

Most egregious is MacDonogh’s treatment of the work of Canadian historian James Bacque, author of Other Losses and Crimes and Mercies. When he refers to the first of these books, he says that Bacque “claimed the French and Americans had killed a million POWs,” a claim that “was called a work of ‘monstrous speculation’ and was dismissed by an American historian as an ‘absurd thesis.’” According to MacDonogh, “it has since been proved that Bacque misinterpreted the words ‘other losses’ on Allied charts to mean ‘deaths’….” Accordingly, he speaks of “Bacque’s red herring.” So greatly does he dismiss Bacque that in a section on “Further Reading” at the end of the book, MacDonogh apparently forgets about Bacque entirely, saying that “on the treatment of POWs there is nothing in English, and the leading American expert—Arthur L. Smith—publishes in German.”

I thought it fair to ask Bacque what his response is to MacDonogh’s dismissal. Bacque replied that “the word speculation describes my critics well, because it is they who have not been in all the relevant archives and who have not interviewed the thousands of survivors who have written to newspapers, TV journalists and other authors about their near-death experiences in the camps of the Americans, French and Russians.” Far from admitting that he had misinterpreted the category of “Other Losses,” Bacque says that “the meaning of the term… was explained to me by Colonel Philip S. Lauben, United States Army, who was in charge of movements of prisoners for SHAEF in 1945. I have the interview on tape and Lauben’s signature on a letter confirming this. Lauben has never denied what he told me.” Lauben later told the BBC that he was “mistaken,” but the likelihood of a mistake is slight since he was a responsible officer on the ground and saw both the camps and the reports.

The difference between MacDonogh’s and Bacque’s treatment of the subject of German prisoners of war in American hands is apparent when we compare the attention each gives to the cutting off of food. MacDonogh reports in one sentence that “any attempt to feed the prisoners by the German civilian population was punishable by death.” This is astounding in itself and certainly deserves explication. Bacque tells us considerably more: “General Eisenhower sent out an ‘urgent courier’ throughout the huge area that he commanded, making it a crime punishable by death for German civilians to feed prisoners. It was even a death-penalty crime to gather food together in one place to take it to prisoners.” He says “the order was sent in German to the provincial governments, ordering them to distribute it immediately to local governments. Copies of the orders were discovered recently in several villages near the Rhine….” On pages 42-3 of Crimes and Mercies, Bacque publishes a German and an English copy of a letter dated May 9, 1945, by which district officials were notified of the prohibition.

Bacque provides evidence such as that of Professor Martin Brech of Mahopac, NY, who was a guard at the U.S. camp at Aldernach in Germany. Brech said that “he fed some loaves of bread through the wire, and was told by his superior officer, ‘Don’t feed them. It is our policy that these men not be fed.’” “Later, at night, Brech sneaked some more food into the camp, and the officer told him, ‘If you do that again, you’ll be shot.’”

Thus, we find in Bacque a much sharper description and attribution of responsibility than we do in MacDonogh. In light of the immense detail given in MacDonogh’s book, this would be forgivable were it not for his attempt to blot out the work of a major scholar who has studied the subject exhaustively.

A similar cutting-short diminishes a reader’s comprehension of other important subjects, which MacDonogh touches on so briefly that the reader is hardly able to form a full mental picture. For example, MacDonogh tells how in the execution of Joachim von Ribbentrop at Nuremberg “the hangman botched the execution and the rope throttled the former foreign minister for twenty minutes before he expired.” In his book Nuremberg: The Last Battle, historian David Irving tells considerably more, including the fact that the gallows had been designed in a way that allowed the trapdoor to swing back and smash “every bone” in the faces of Keitel, Jodl and Frick. He says that Goering’s body (after Goering had committed suicide by taking poison) “was dragged into the execution chamber… [where] the army doctors [made] frantic attempts to revive him so that he could be hanged.”

There are a number of places at which MacDonogh half-tells about something important, only to leave it incomplete. We’ve already noted his mention of “30,000-40,000 prisoners sitting in the courtyard [at the Pioneers’ Barracks in Worms]… With no protection against the rain they froze.” We are left to guess the consequences of their freezing. At another place, he reports that “the Americans maintained camps for up to 1.5 million… Nazis or members of the SS.” That is his only mention of those camps, which one might suppose were even more punitive than the others. Was MacDonogh too overloaded with other detail to pursue such matters further? Did he deliberately refrain from exploring certain things? Or was the failure due a scatter-gun recital of fragmentary details?

A reader will need to assess the degree to which After the Reich is a work of scholarship as distinguished from a narrative for popular reading. MacDonogh includes many pages of endnotes, citing a large number of sources. Very occasionally, he speaks critically of a given source. But for the most part he accepts whatever a given source has to tell. The book would profit greatly from a bibliographical essay in which he would evaluate the principal sources, sharing with the reader a careful analysis of the evidentiary basis for his narrative. An example of where a critical evaluation is essential comes with his reference, say, to Ilse Koch’s “lampshades and trophies made from human skin and organs,” which MacDonogh says the psychologist Saul Padover claims to have been shown. We need to know what MacDonogh would conclude if MacDonogh were to consider the counter-evidence that calls the lampshade collection a “legend.” The same holds true for MacDonogh’s many citations to Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews. There is a vast scholarly literature questioning every aspect of the Holocaust. One would never know that that literature exists from reading MacDonogh, who either doesn’t know of it or finds it prudent, as so many do, not to mention it.

Notwithstanding the book’s limitations, After the Reich accomplishes much when it provides another link in the chain of disclosures that, over time, are providing conscientious readers with a more complete understanding of modern history.

The fact that, at the time of the events and for so many decades thereafter, enormities of the greatest importance have been scrubbed clean by propaganda suggests implications far beyond the events themselves. The British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli observed that “all great events have been distorted, most of the important causes concealed,” and went on to say that “If the history of England is ever written by one who has the knowledge and the courage, the world would be astonished.”[15] The implications suggest profound questions, which we would be remiss not to mention:

How is it that a certain version of reality can, on so many subjects, hold almost total sway, while the voices of millions and of a good many serious scholars are marginalized into nothingness? (Fortunately, so far as Bacque’s work is concerned, it is available in twelve languages in 13 countries, even though it has long been unavailable in the United States.)

Do we really know the truth about much of anything? Or are countless subjects veiled in a miasma of omission and distortion?

Where are our academic historians? Most historians like to give us pleasing myths, which is something expected of them and for which they are rewarded with medals, prizes and high sales.

How pervasive is a cravenness that will put almost anything ahead of a search for truth? Does mankind care very deeply about truth?

To what extent is a society or an age “democratic” if its citizens’ minds are filled with phantoms, so that most of the judgments they make are either vacuous or manipulated?

And to what extent is it “democratic” if those citizens don’t even have a vital say in decisions of the gravest importance? It is significant that Keeling says that “the people of no nation in modern history, including ourselves, have ever enjoyed an important voice in the making of the great decisions either of going to war or of framing the peace arrangements.”[16]

Dwight D. Murphey

[1] Adenauer is quoted in James Bacque, Crimes and Mercies: The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company (Canada) Limited, 1997), p. 119. Readers may wish also to consult Theodore Schieder, ed., The Expulsion of the German Population from the Territories East of the Oder-Neisse-Line (Bonn: Federal Ministry for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims, 1958). Alfred-Maurice de Zayas is the author of three additional books on this subject: The German Expellees: Victims in War and Peace (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986); A Terrible Revenge: The Ethnic Cleansing of the East European Germans, 1944-50 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994); and Nemesis at Potsdam: The Expulsion of the Germans from the East (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988).

[3] See two books by Victor Gollancz on the treatment of refugees: Our Threatened Values and In Darkest Germany.

[4] Capehart is quoted in Ralph Franklin Keeling, Gruesome Harvest: The Allies’ Postwar War Against The German People (Torrance, CA: Institute for Historical Review edition, 1992), p. 64. The book was first published in 1947 by the Institute of American Economics in Chicago.

[5] Bacque, Crimes and Mercies, p. 91.

[6] Keeling, Gruesome Harvest, p. 64.

[7] Zayas, de, The German Expellees, p. 97.

[8] Keeling, Gruesome Harvest, p. 64.

[9] Keeling, Gruesome Harvest, pp. 62, 63.

[10] Bacque, “A Truth So Terrible,” Abuse Your Illusions; article sent to me by author.

[11] “Britain Ran Torture Camp After WWII: report

[12] Keeling, Gruesome Harvest, p. VI.

[13] Nikolai Tolstoy, The Secret Betrayal (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1977), pp. 371, 24, 315, 40, 183, 242, 343. Readers will do well to read, as well, Julius Epstein, Operation Keelhaul: The Story of Forced Repatriation from 1944 to the Present (Old Greenwich, CN: 1973) and Nicholas Bethell, The Last Secret: Forcible Repatriation to Russia 1944-7 (London, 1974).

[14] See the discussion of the Katyn Forest killings in Bacque, Crimes and Mercies, pp. 74-5, 135.

[15] Disraeli is quoted in Keeling, Gruesome Harvest, p. 135.

[16] Keeling, Gruesome Harvest, p. 134.

Source: The Book Review

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