Sunday, November 22, 2020
In 1992, John Judge sat down with L. Fletcher Prouty (author of THE SECRET TEAM and JFK: THE CIA, VIETNAM, AND THE PLOT TO ASSASSINATE JOHN F. KENNEDY) to discuss the assassination of JFK, the Vietnam War, the secret machinations of General Edward Lansdale, the Bay of Pigs, "Murder, Inc.," Project Paperclip, and other cryptoscatological aspects of American history....
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Julian Schnabel's film of Lou Reed's masterpiece, BERLIN, is streaming for free from November 20 to November 29. Reed's performance was recorded in 2007 at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn. If you've been looking for a beautifully depressing soundtrack for Thanksgiving, you've found it.
Click HERE to see Schnabel's film.
Previous Cryptoscatology posts about Lou Reed can be found HERE and HERE.
Friday, November 20, 2020
From Alison Flood's 11-16-20 GUARDIAN article entitled "Harlan Ellison's The Last Dangerous Visions May Finally Be Published, After Five-decade Wait":
It is the great white whale of science fiction: an anthology of stories by some of the genre’s greatest names, collected in the early 1970s by Harlan Ellison yet mysteriously never published. But almost 50 years after it was first announced, The Last Dangerous Visions is finally set to see the light of day.
The late Ellison changed the face of sci-fi with the publication of anthologies Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions, in 1968 and 1972, which featured writing by the likes of Philip K Dick, JG Ballard, Kurt Vonnegut and Ursula K Le Guin. Ellison, who was known for his combative nature – JG Ballard called him “an aggressive and restless extrovert who conducts life at a shout and his fiction at a scream” – announced a third volume, The Last Dangerous Visions, would be published in 1974. Contributors were said to include major names such as Frank Herbert, Anne McCaffrey, Octavia Butler and Daniel Keyes.
But the work never appeared, and in the words of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, it “became legendary for its many postponements”. The encyclopedia notes that “a series of illnesses certainly impaired Ellison’s fitness for the huge task of annotating what had soon become an enormous project”; in their study of Ellison, The Edge of Forever, Ellen Weil and Gary K Wolfe say the anthology ran to over a million words.
To read the entire article, click HERE.
From Julian Borger's 11-17-20 GUARDIAN article entitled "Fears of Foreign Policy Chaos in Trump's Final Days Fueled by Iran Bombing Report":
Fears that Donald Trump might try to wreak havoc on the world stage in his final, desperate, weeks in office appear to have been well-founded, after he reportedly asked for options on bombing Iran.
A report in the New York Times said Trump was advised against strikes on Iranian nuclear sites by senior officials warning of the risk of triggering a major conflict. But it added that the president may not have entirely given up on the idea of staging attacks on Iran or its allies and proxies in the region [...].
The turmoil in foreign and defence policy comes at a time when Trump is refusing to accept election defeat and is preventing Joe Biden’s incoming team from receiving intelligence or policy briefings.
Former officials have suggested that Trump is aware he will eventually have to leave office and is considering another run at the presidency in 2024. To that end, he is looking at last-minute options for fulfilling campaign promises he can point to, to build a narrative that he ran a successful administration that was removed by a rigged election.
“This will be his version of the Lost Cause,” a former official from the Trump White House said, referring to attempts after the civil war to romanticise the Confederacy. “He can go out in a blaze of glory, and the stab in the back theory gets strengthened because he can point to all the things that he did.”
The former official added there were also factions in the Trump administration who view the weeks until Biden’s inauguration as a last chance to achieve their objectives [...].
“What I’ve always worried about was that people around Trump would try to persuade him that he’s the last thing standing between the ‘weak Democrats’ who would take over after him, and Iran developing a bomb,” said Rob Malley, a former Obama administration official who was one of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] negotiators, and is now head of the International Crisis Group.
On Tuesday’s report that Trump’s aides had persuaded him against carrying out strikes on Iran, Malley said: “I’m not sure this is the end of the story. There may be a covert operation that would be less risky than what the president might have been talking about … And unlike in the years past, he would not have to carry the consequences.”
Click HERE to read the entire article.
Saturday, November 14, 2020
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
From Drew Harwell and Craig Timberg's 11-10-20 WASHINGTON POST article entitled "‘My Faith Is Shaken’: The QAnon Conspiracy Theory Faces a Post-Trump Identity Crisis":
President Trump’s election loss and the week-long silence of “Q,” the QAnon movement’s mysterious prophet, have wrenched some believers into a crisis of faith, with factions voicing unease about their future or rallying others to stay calm and “trust the plan.”
The uncertainty has been compounded by the abrupt public resignation, also last Tuesday, of Ron Watkins, the administrator of Q’s online sanctuary on the message board 8kun.
Q has gone quiet before. But the abrupt lack of posts since last Tuesday — Election Day, which the anonymous figure had touted for months as a key moment of reckoning — has sparked speculation and alarm among the movement’s most ardent followers.
Some QAnon proponents have begun to publicly grapple with reality and question whether the conspiracy theory is a hoax. “Have we all been conned?” one user wrote Saturday on 8kun.
Wrote another: “HOW CAN I SPEAK TO Q???? MY FAITH IS SHAKEN. I FOLLOWED THE PLAN. TRUMP LOST!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT NOW?????? WHERE IS THE PLAN???”
Trump’s defeat threatens to undermine the tale that Q, a supposed top-secret government operative, has woven over years: that Trump and his allies would soon vanquish a cabal of “deep state” child abusers and Satan-worshiping Democrats, exiling some to the U.S. detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
QAnon believers treat Q’s thousands of cryptic posts as scripture, and many stretch to connect them to real-world events, often in nonsensical ways. Some prominent Q believers said Trump’s back-to-back golf outings over the weekend were proof that the president was in control and that all was going according to plan.
Others connected Rudolph W. Giuliani’s bizarre Saturday news conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, on an industrial block in Philadelphia between a crematorium and an adult-video store, with two Q posts in the past year in which he used the words “landscape.”
One QAnon account, known as Praying Medic, told its more than 400,000 Twitter followers that many supporters “had to be talked off the ledge” in the past week but that Trump’s strategy remained in motion. Praying Medic tweeted: “He’s going to stick the knife in and twist it. He has no plans to leave office. Ever.”
Travis View, a researcher and co-host of the podcast “QAnon Anonymous,” said he expects that whoever is behind the Q “drops” — as Q’s messages are known — is just waiting to see how things shake out. Q has disappeared for weeks at a time before, shaking some loyalists, including during a three-month absence last year following a public revolt over the message board’s ties to real-world terrorist attacks.
In the meantime, QAnon’s devoted fan base has been left to struggle with the meaning of Trump’s election loss — which many argue was actually a win.
“The majority reaction from QAnon followers has been outright denial,” View said. Many expect Trump will seal his reelection through his team’s so-far-unsuccessful legal skirmishes, and “if that doesn’t happen and Joe Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20, the cognitive dissonance will be absolutely as big as it’s ever been for QAnon followers.” [...]
Rita Katz, the executive director of SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremism, said she expects the QAnon following will continue to grow online, regardless of who created or operated its presence online.
“It’s a dangerous network. It’s a dangerous movement that truly believes that Biden and other Democrats are killing kids,” Katz said. “And now, with Biden’s projected victory, the QAnon movement believes with the same zealous certainty that the whole thing is a sham. And that’s a major problem, because … these aren’t a bunch of harmless keyboard warriors — they’re adherents of a movement that has resulted in real-life violence.”
The FBI said last year that QAnon and other “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” represented a major terrorism threat. Its supporters have been linked to kidnapping plots and violent threats, including in 2018, when an armed man in Arizona barricaded a bridge at the Hoover Dam with an armored truck.
QAnon followers have more recently pushed one another to keep the faith. On the far-right message board Gab, one user reposted a Q drop from June: “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
For some core QAnon believers, who call themselves “digital soldiers,” the election seemed to fuel new calls for violent action in the real world.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
From Will Sommer's 11-9-20 DAILY BEAST article entitled "Infamous ‘Hoax’ Artist Behind Trumpworld’s New Voter Fraud Claim":
As Donald Trump refuses to concede the election, some of his most loyal allies have become obsessed with a bizarre new conspiracy theory about the race, insisting that Trump only lost the election because a deep-state supercomputer named “Hammer” and a computer program named “Scorecard” were used to change the ballot count.
The head of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has called the claim about supercomputer election fraud “nonsense,” and urged Americans not to promote it.
But the mythical supercomputer claim has been embraced by prominent Trump backers, including former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik, former Trump 2016 campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, right-wing pundit John Cardillo, and Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson.
The election fraud claims center on Dennis Montgomery, a former intelligence contractor and self-proclaimed whistleblower who claims to have created the “Hammer” supercomputer and the “Scorecard” software some Trump fans believe was used to change the votes.
“He’s a genius, and he loves America,” Thomas McInerney, a retired Air Force lieutenant general and one-time leader in the birther movement, said of Montgomery on Tuesday on Bannon’s podcast, as Bannon praised an article on Montgomery’s claims. “He’s the programmer that made all this happen, and he’s on our side.”
Montgomery’s lawyer, Larry Klayman—a favorite attorney for fringe right-wing figures—didn’t respond to a request for comment. Klayman himself was temporarily suspended from practicing law in June.
What Trump allies tend to leave out, however, is that Montgomery has a long history of making outlandish claims that fail to come true. As an intelligence contractor at the height of the War on Terror, Montgomery was behind what’s been called “one of the most elaborate and dangerous hoaxes in American history,” churning out allegedly fictitious data that once prompted the Bush administration to consider shooting down airplanes.
And now, Trump allies want voters to believe Montgomery’s claims about the election.
Click HERE to read the entire article.
From Julian Borger's 11-9-20 GUARDIAN article entitled "Mark Esper Fired As Pentagon Chief After Contradicting Trump":
Donald Trump has fired his defence secretary, Mark Esper, in the latest sign that the transition to a new Biden administration in January is going to be turbulent on both domestic and foreign fronts.
Esper was fired by tweet on Monday afternoon, with the president declaring he was “pleased to announce that Christopher C Miller, the highly respected director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be acting secretary of defense, effective immediately.
“Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”
Esper had been at odds with Trump on a number of issues, most importantly his insistence at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer that there were no legal grounds to deploy active-service troops on the streets of US cities.
He was also working with Congress on legislation to rename US army bases named after Confederate generals. In a final interview Esper predicted that he would be followed by a “yes man”, adding “And then God help us.”
In a coolly worded final letter to the president, Esper wrote: “I serve the country in deference to the Constitution, so I accept your decision to replace me.” He left the Pentagon quietly on Monday without the “clap-out” from staff traditionally accorded to a departing secretary.
Miller arrived at the Pentagon on Monday amid questions about the legality of his appointment. By law, the deputy secretary of defence, currently David Norquist, would become acting secretary in the event of a sudden departure at the top. Furthermore, the law requires that a secretary of defence to have been out of active duty military service for seven years. Miller, a former Green Beret, only left the military in 2014.
The law can be sidestepped by a vote in Congress, as was done for Esper’s predecessor James Mattis, a retired marine.
To read the entire article, click HERE.
Monday, November 9, 2020
From Maura Ewing, Rachel Weiner, Craig Timberg and Mark Berman's 11-6-20 WASHINGTON POST article entitled "Two Charged With Carrying Weapons Near Philadelphia Vote-counting Site Amid Election Tensions":Prosecutors here charged two Virginia men with weapons violations after police arrested them while they carried guns near the convention center, where votes from the presidential election have been counted this week amid dueling demonstrations outside [...].
Philadelphia police said they located the armed men near the convention center late Thursday after being tipped off about people with guns traveling there in a silver Hummer with Virginia license plates. Police found the Hummer and then two bike patrol officers spotted the two men, both of whom were arrested for having guns they were not allowed to carry in the city, the department said [...].
Photos of the Hummer captured what appeared to be a hat inside bearing an insignia for QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory, as well as a decal on its rear window bearing an abbreviation of that group’s rallying cry, “Where we go one, we go all."
In a statement announcing the charges Friday, Krasner said police had been told the armed people were coming to Philadelphia, “possibly for a reason related to the ongoing canvas of votes.” He also said the investigation is ongoing and that more charges could follow.
Danielle Outlaw, the Philadelphia police commissioner, said LaMotta was seen carrying a 9mm pistol visible in a hip holster, while Macias had a handgun concealed under his jacket. Outlaw said that Macias had a Virginia concealed carry permit. After the men gave police consent to search their Hummer, an AR-15-style rifle was recovered inside it, she said. In total, Krasner said about 160 rounds of ammunition were found.
Click HERE to read the entire WASHINGTON POST article.
Here's further information about the above incident from a 11-7-20 TIMES OF INDIA article entitled "Armed Men Arrested Outside Counting Centre in Philadelphia Were Trying to Deliver Fake Ballots":
Two heavily armed men "coming to deliver a truck full of fake ballots" have been arrested near the Philadelphia convention center where election workers were counting votes from the undecided US presidential election, police said. Antonio LaMotta, 61, and Joshua Macias, 42, both of Chesapeake, Virginia, were arrested on Thursday night outside the center on suspicion of carrying handguns in Pennsylvania state without permits, according to US media reports [...].
Details about the alleged fake ballots -- including where they came from, whether they were found in the Hummer, or what was marked on them -- were not immediately available, CNN reported.
It's unclear what those men were allegedly intending to do. The FBI and Philadelphia Police are investigating the incident, CBS News reported.
Prosecutors say text messages show the men say they were concerned about the vote counting happening at the Convention Center and they were "coming to deliver a truck full of fake ballots to Philly." [...]
Stickers and a hat with logos of the far-right QAnon conspiracy movement were found in the vehicle, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said....
Click HERE to read the entire TIMES OF INDIA article.