4 November 2013, 10:16

US leaders 'in bed' with spies

November 5 will see a peaceful non-violent event at the Washington National Monument to help bring about awareness of political corruption and encourage government transparency. The Million Mask March will be a global event covering over 400 locations around the world to affirm peace, justice, privacy, democracy and freedom. Participants are encouraged but not obliged to wear masks. The Voice of Russia spoke to Andrew Kreig, one of the speakers at the march and an author of the book Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters. Mr. Kreig says that justice and transparency have long been compromised in the US because every recent president, since Jimmy Carter, has had a secret intelligence or FBI relationship before entering politics.

Mr. Kreig, the first question that I have is this: let’s talk about the rally first. Could you tell us a little bit more about your organizational part of the rally and what you do to contribute to its preparations?

Well, a very important theme that’s become controversial in the past week is that there are really no organizers because the emphasis is on democracy and participation and not having people try to take any credit. And yet there does need to be some organization. So to answer your question almost goes against the themes of the event which is: everyone should come, be peaceful and have an orderly discussion of the very compelling interest. But to get a little bit behind the scenes, one of the key things is ‘do you get a permit or not?’ And some people say ‘well, it’s a protest rally, there’s no need for a permit.’ But to peek a little bit behind that, I’ve been associated with those who say ‘if you’re trying to get a message after a larger public in the world on a weekday, you don’t disrupt other people’s events, other people’s traffic going to work and you try to give a message of inclusion, of peace, of justice and lawful protest and not create a lot of conflict and antagonism with everyone.

Is this a protest rally?

It’s a protest, yes, I believe, and here I’m just speaking for myself. I’m a speaker and not an organizer but it’s my understanding that it’s kind of a combination of the Anonymous Movement, Occupy, WikiLeaks, and in general for peace, justice, transparency against surveillance and for privacy. So to an extent that the world and the United States has these problems, yes, it’s a protest.

You mentioned a lot of different groups and they are all coming together. I’d like to ask you what kind of the issues the rally is trying to draw attention to then. WikiLeaks or Anonymous – what issues people should pay attention to here?

Well, I’m again speaking personally. I’ve just written this book that I’m announcing at the rally, Presidential Puppetry, and my own issue is that I think many news accounts leave out important aspects that educate readers, listeners in the United States and around the world about how the US government in particular works but also many European governments. And a huge common denominator is the national security emphasis behind politics and how many of our leaders have kind of hidden pass cooperating with the CIA and FBI before they enter politics. I understand the patriotic motives. My own mother was one of the first women in the United States to join the US Marine Corps in 1943 to fight in WW2, while actually female marines didn’t fight, but they replaced men who did. And I reveal in the book that she was both a famous author but also an undercover CIA asset.

In the Marine Corps?

Sorry, I wasn’t clear. She went on to become a famous author, was invited to then Communist China for a VIP tour before Americans were allowed to go because they respected her so much as a writer. But I reveal in the book that she was also an asset who debriefed the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1960s. So what I’m trying to say here in perhaps convoluted way is that there are many patriotic motives for political figures, writers and others in the United States to have a hidden relationship with the security agencies and at the time and place, and even now that’s fine. But I think for democracy to function the public should get a better understanding of what’s involved, who’s doing what and finally to go back to your original question: I’m just one of a number of speakers at the Million Mask March in funded locations around the world. So when I mention this it’s hopefully with a very clear understanding that the point of the demonstrations, the talks, the gatherings is for each participant to bring their own message, to give a voice to the public – whoever wants to show up – and they can wear their mask, I’m not wearing a mask, maybe at the beginning for showmanship, I’m out there. But other people don’t have to identify themselves, just participate, say what’s on their mind.

What other issues will be discussed during the rally? You touched on it a little bit. You said that people can come together and discuss whatever is on their mind. Let me play the devil’s advocate here. I’m for more government. I think we need more government. Can I also say my piece there?

Sure. Just come to the open mic. That’s the central part of this. It’s not some big shots talking. It’s everybody comes up and says what’s on their mind and tries to have an unfiltered conversation. That’s the theme.

You mentioned that there are 400 locations across the world. Is there any kind of interconnectivity going on there, some kind of life streaming? Are these events going to be run individually or they are somehow synchronized?

I think they may be loosely synchronized in ways that I don’t personally know. I’m a bit of a latecomer to this, and I know that the individual in Washington who did obtain the permit – her name is Christine N. Sands – and she’s also been quite active in creating websites, domain names under Million Mask March and so forth, so there’s kind of a loose discussion of these themes. But the whole point is bottom-up democracy, whoever wants to be there should be there. Can I mention one dramatic element to all of this?

Sure.

One of the things that I touched on at the beginning is the question of do you get a permit? And there are some very vocal people involved who’ve actually been involved for a long time who feel that no, it’s a protest, you don’t need a permit, you just do what seems best.

If you have a protest rally you do need a permit.

That’s not the way I feel. I feel that you’ve got to take other people into consideration. Until the last week another group that had nothing to do with this had a permit to be at the Washington Monument. So we had potential for conflict. And one of the things that has just come up is that there’s a faction that’s long been involved in this that wants to gather and then proceed from the Washington Monument to go and try to arrest the president of the United States and all members of Congress and all members of the Supreme Court with the group that’s at the rally.

That sounds like anarchy.

It’s certainly anarchy. It’s not just a suggestion, it’s in a very aggressive manner of suggestion where people will say ‘gee, this doesn’t seem to make sense.’ People are not going to show up if they think there is some violent stupid action that’s not going to go anywhere. I run a bipartisan pro-justice group called the Justice Integrity Project and I wrote a column on this on Friday where I said this is stupid. I said furthermore, it’s not just stupid, it’s counter-productive. But it’s also the type of thing that trolls, or stealth agent provocateurs would suggest, because it makes everybody look bad. There’s a long history around the world – of course, it’s a French term “agent provocateurs,” it’s not just in the US or elsewhere – of people intentionally causing disruptions. And if you want to talk about disruption try to get a bunch of peace-attending people to arrest the entire US government unarmed. It’s a ticket to disaster and it’s exactly what agents provocateurs do.

Let me play the devil’s advocate here again: they will get press. Isn’t that also one of the objectives here?

Depends what kind of press. I go back to the 1960s. I was a college student then but I covered such events as the 1968 Democratic National Convention. I actually earned my first money working for some Chicago newspapers trying to cover the formation of the STS radical weatherman. I didn’t get much money and I didn’t make much of a contribution but it is part of history that is very relevant now, particularly because President Obama is accused by the right of being friends with the two most notorious people coming out of that Convention, Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn. What I’ve done in my book is take another look at this and say yeah, they were famous but these whaco mad bummers helped destroy the peace movement and the civil rights movement in the US and lead to right-wing governments for most of the next years until the 1990s.

They did promise to bomb the Pentagon or attempted to bomb the Pentagon.

Exactly, and one of the interesting things which I tie somewhat closely to President Obama’s ascendancy is why weren’t these people prosecuted more vigorously? Here you have total all-out efforts against Snowden, many former NSA whistleblowers, CIA whistleblowers who are just trying to inform the public. And here these two bummers really suffered very few consequences, went on to distinguished careers. This again has the indicia of agents provocateurs who did their work or at least became informants back in the days 30-40 years ago and they’ve gotten the good conduct medal from important people, perhaps.

It’s an interesting take. Let me ask you this. In your books you curtail abuses by the CIA and NSA surveillance status, as well as Wall Street efforts to impose harsh and needless austerity on the public. Let’s talk a little bit more about this.

One of the themes – and it’s where the title of Presidential Puppetry comes from – is that almost all of political commentary acts as if these presidential candidates, and presidents, and senators are the absolute most important people on the political landscape. And what I do is I go back over a century to show that many of these famous people are really the minions or operatives of much more important puppet masters who are in the private sector, who occasionally go into government for brief times through a revolving door. Just to give you an example that might be relevant to Russia particularly and the rest of your worldwide audience. Everybody with a sense of history knows who the Dulles brothers were. One was Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, the other was one of the founding leaders of the CIA, his brother Allen Dulles. And like many government officials we know them most entirely through the government work. But one of the things I do, which is actually quite easy, is show that they were essentially Wall Street lawyers for the moneyed interest. One of the key ones was Averell Harriman who was at one point US ambassador to Russia. But the Dulles brothers primarily served the interests of the leading plutocrats, whatever one might call them, and Wall Street and the important financial interests that they had. And that’s pretty typical if you look throughout government at these relationships that are right there but people don’t connect the dots.

I haven’t got the heart to actually connect the dots. I went to school, I grew up with some guys and they all went off and became part of the government. I mean they are not helping me out in anyway.

That’s the whole point. Let me ask you: are you a Boehner?

Not yet.

OK. I am sure you are on your way. But the point is that the puppet masters want people in there who help them and many of the people that they’ve put in there from both parties are very good at building constituencies but ultimately there’s a strong sense of loyalty of the people who have put them there. And it’s very confusing to the public because the media is involved in this, not at the ordinary level of reporter, editor. By the way, my career was… background is in mainstream journalism as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer before I became an attorney here in Washington. So I’m very sympathetic to reporters who are out covering the story on deadline and talking to the sources and feel no sense of control, only freedom to do the story. But we as reporters don’t often get a chance to sit in at the meetings of the very highest levels of the publishing interests and their financiers who fund movies, books, book publishing and so forth. I’ll just float one quick concept here. When I started this research I thought secret societies and all of that was just old-fashioned and not very important. I’ve changed my view of things like the Bilderberg Group which meets every year some place around the world, Yale’s Skull and Bones. I’m a Yale graduate and I never gave it a thought for 20 years after I graduated, I wasn’t part of it. But the Bilderberg Group is about 130 people who meet every year. They were originally chosen by the Rockefeller and Rothschild family in 1954. And this year, to fast forward to the meeting just outside of London, there’s always media executives, there are all the CEOs from all social media companies, there’s The Washington Post, there’s David Rockefeller, who is still alive aged 98…

But you cannot blame people who are very similar for hanging out together. I mean I have a little bit more money and all of a sudden I start going to better clubs, I go to better restaurants and I start seeing people around me who are like me.

Well, a very good question. But here’s the point: you have many-many top media executives, for example Donald Graham, until recently the head of The Washington Post. He goes every year, he is one the American Bilderberg board of directors with Henry Kissinger and other plutocrats. They won’t dream of covering this stuff. So is they are just hanging out why don ‘t they do it at the Post Pub which is a tavern right next to the Washington Post, why do they have to have secret meetings, invite every year Keith Alexander? I heard mentioned that he goes every year, except this year when the Snowden controversy broke out. What is the head of the NSA doing every year at the Bilderberg Group with Rockefeller, these foreign potentates, the CEOs of Facebook, Amazon and all these media companies and nobody has got anything to say about it? It’s either important or not.

There are several ways to look at this. On the one hand, all of these people you mentioned are very busy people. If they come together they have this time to discuss issues, why not? On the other hand, it is very secretive. There’s a lot of powerful people coming together to do what? We don’t know exactly, that’s the problem.

That is the problem. And when the media executives are working with the national security executives and they say it’s not important. And you pointed out the contradiction here: they are very busy people. Why are they meeting every year with media executives, surveillance executives and the titans of industry? What are they talking about? Alex Jones was in a boat with a bullhorn 400 yards away blaring out at the castle where they were meeting but he had no information about what they were doing inside and the point is that… by the way, the new owner of The Washington Post Jeffrey Bezos is there. My book points out again – it’s not the original research, just connects the dots – that the new owner of The Washington Post, his company Amazon is the finalist to do the new contract for the CIA’s cloud computing. Nobody is connecting these obvious dots.

What’s the problem with Amazon’s Jeffrey Bezos? Their entire business is built on using Internet technologies. Seems like he’s the right guy to talk to.

It might be. But what’s he saying and what are the implications in the US if the person who founded the company that’s got all this consumer information – everything that we buy – is also the head of the most important news organization in Washington and next to The New York Times in the whole country. And he is currying favor with the CIA to run their cloud computing through Amazon.com and he’s going to this secret meeting of the Bilderbergs and nobody has got any chance to ask anything about that, except we right here on you show.

Let me ask you this. I’m looking at some information on your book calledPresidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters. It seems that the book has been reviewed somewhat ironically well on Amazon. What was the biggest discovery that you made when you were researching this book?

I would say that every recent president since Jimmy Carter has had intelligence or FBI relationship that’s secret before they entered politics and I’ve documented that. I started by saying it’s patriotic, particularly in the old days of the Cold War, but I don’t think that you can have a functioning democracy without understanding these relationships.

Let’s talk about that for a minute. Bush, of course, was a CIA director in the 1970s for about a year, although maybe he was in the top echelon for many more years. Reagan? Where was Reagan’s connection?

There’s a very thorough book by Seth Rosenfeld who spent 30 years documenting it. The book came out last year. It’s based on 300,000 pages released over freedom of information litigation over three decades and it shows that while Reagan was an FBI informant as early as 1950. Ultimately he developed a very close relationship with J. Edgar Hoover and that was extremely helpful both to Reagan as he tried to transition from an actor to the union president, to governor, to president. It was back and forth at different times. He was more of a supplicant to the FBI trying to get their help and ultimately, of course, they helped him. There’s a whole book on it that is undisputed but nobody wants to connect the dots.

What about Clinton?

That’s a fairly brief section of the book but I think rather compelling. It assembles the evidence that is part of his efforts to avoid the draft, finish a few more months at least of his scholarship. It seems like he took advantage – according to contemporaries and other experts – of the CIA’s willingness to help people with their draft board problems at the height of the Vietnam War. What this might involve is describing in the same way my mother did what he might have seen. There is a very interesting Russia aspect of this. His roommate was Strobe Talbott. Right after that time I was doing a lot of book reviews and I reviewed the Khrushchev Remembers books. Strobe Talbott, while at Oxford as a roommate of Clinton, was the translator of Khrushchev’s memoirs. If you start looking at that it’s a little circumstantial but…

I do remember reading a little bit about this. Clinton was here in Moscow one or two times in the 1960s or ‘70s when he was a student, when he was in studying. And right, Talbott was the translator. Interesting story there. Let’s go back to the Bilderbergs. There are a lot of different interesting groups here. You talked about the overlapping mentions between the halls of power and Wall Street. Some of the other groups that are included in that are The Trilaterals. On the English side you have different round tables. I still don’t see how all of these are connected to each other. How are they influencing my life today?

Part of it is this huge campaign in the United States and around the world for austerity. If you look at it this is kind of a Wall Street creation where they hire extremely effective public relations experts to plant certain ideas in the media through the think tanks, through the universities and so forth. One idea that seems extremely popular in Washington from both parties is the concept that America has to face austerity and that the people who get what is called entitlements have to learn to live with less. Obviously the Republicans are much more gung-ho on this, but even the corporate Democrats, President Obama and others go along with it to a certain extent. So what it’s doing it’s moving the entire debate way to the right from an alternative view that never gets voiced or rarely gets voiced, except by people who often don’t have much credibility or aren’t showcase. But the alternative view is that all this talk about austerity is based on suspect economics.

Mr. Kreig, unfortunately we’ve come to the end of our time. I’d love to have you back and speak with you more about this.

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