Friday, October 29, 2010



Chicago is playing host to a story that is virtually ignored by the media almost everywhere else in the United States. Namely, the conviction earlier this month of Antoin "Tony" Rezko on 16 counts of corruption -- and a connecting probe that threatens to bring down Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

Rezko is remanded in custody while awaiting sentence in September.

So, who is Tony Rezko, and why should his conviction merit our attention?

A naturalized American citizen born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1955, Rezko is an influence peddler and slumlord--and one of Democrat presidential hopeful Barack Obama's earliest financial supporters. 

 The two met in 1990 when Obama attended Harvard Law School; they became better acquainted between 1993 and 1995 when Obama worked for the Chicago law firm David Miner Barnhill, whose specialty was representation of low-income housing developers, including Rezko, with whom Obama liaised.

In 1995, when Obama launched his campaign for the Illinois state senate, Rezko immediately flexed his financial muscle to the candidate's benefit. 

Eight years later Rezko joined Obama's U.S. Senate campaign finance committee.

In a sweetheart deal that continues to badger Obama's presidential aspirations, Rezko with his wife, Rita, joined Mr. and Mrs. Obama in the purchase of adjacent properties in the Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago.

Rezko was indicted in October 2006, accused of receiving kickbacks from companies seeking state business, $10,000 of which went to Obama's U.S. Senate campaign (donated to charity after word of it leaked).

Rezko has links to Nadhmi Auchi, 71, an Iraqi-born billionaire and resident of the UK since 1980. 

Auchi owns the Luxembourg-headquartered General Mediterranean Holdings, a $5 billion to $6 billion company focused on the worldwide hotel industry and used by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as a mechanism through which to purchase weapons.

Auchi loaned Rezko $3.5 million dollars on May 23, 2005--one month before the Obamas and Rezkos bought their adjacent Chicago properties for $2.275 million.

A few years earlier, Auchi was convicted in France of corruption and fraud, and implicated in the "oil-for-food" scandal. 

He was given a 15-month suspended sentence and fined the equivalent of $3 million.

Since 2005, Auchi has been banned--as an undesirable alien--from entering the United States. 

Earlier that same year he loaned money to the Obama campaign through his Panamanian company Fintrade, and attended a fundraiser at the Chicago Four Seasons Hotel, although both Obama and Auchi have matching "no recollection" memories of ever having met.

Rezko connects to another Iraqi-born (dual U.S. citizen) named Aiham Alsammarae, 57, who put up $1.9 million of Rezko's $8.5 million bail when he was first jailed in early April. 

Alsammarae had met Rezko at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the late 1970s while both were students.

In July 2003, Alsammarae was appointed Iraq's Minister of Electricity--a ministry he then plundered. 

He got caught, was convicted of corruption and imprisoned. 

But several months after his family and friends sought help from Obama's office, Alsammarae escaped--on Dec. 19, 2006--during a transfer from one Baghdad prison to another.

In a well-planned operation, Alsammarae changed cars three times and flew in a private plane (which had been waiting a week) to Jordan, where a new U.S. passport awaited him. 

From Jordan, Alsammarae made a quick business trip to Dubai--to check on ill- gotten gains (he siphoned $650 million from Iraqi reconstructionfunds)--and flew to the US.

Alsammarae now resides at his palatial home in Chicago, even though he remains on Interpol's fugitive watch list.

This is where the connections grow even murkier and we break new ground.

According to a former senior CIA operations officer who was chief of a large station overseas, "Nadhmi Auchi links to a Syrian named Nadi Sajid, who is bagman to President Bashar El-Assad of Syria. Auchi and Sajid are directly connected in an influence peddling business to bring American and British politicians into their camp." 

Added the former CIA operations officer, who requested anonymity from The Investigator: "These people aren't interested in friendship. They develop relationships for the specific purpose of making more money.

They especially like to establish links with American and British politicians because of their need for visas and travel flexibility and movement of money."

Was the Clinton campaign aware of the Syrian web into which Barack Obama has been snagged? 

"Hillary knows that Obama is tied to the Syrians," said the former CIA operative. "But she wouldn't use it (in her campaign)."

With Rezko in prison, Mr. Auchi persona non grata, and Alsammarae stuck in the United States, how can Syria's President Assad and the mysterious Nadi Sajid be of any influence? 

"Look at the list of people who came up with bail money for Rezko," said the former senior CIA operative, who has extensive experience in the Middle East. "A number of Syrian-Americans have put their homes on the line. How many people do you know would mortgage their lives to spring your bail? The Arab culture is family-and community-based. The guys who want to influence things will always find a way."

In all the murkiness, one thing is clear: Syria adores Obama. 

 Journalist Judith Miller visited Damascus recently and reported, "Obamamania has definitely infected the heart of Arab nationalism.  The political elite seemed captivated by Mr. Obama well before it was clear that the Democrats' charismatic young superstar would be the party's presidential nominee."

Calls from The Investigator to Auchi and Alsammarae for comment were not returned.


This is one of the earliest articles published on the Bilderberg Group. It was published in the November 1976 edition of Verdict, a UK magazine.

In these pages, VERDICT tells the story of the Bilderberg Group, a story that will astonish all the freedom-loving citizens of the Western world that prides itself on democracy.

Bilderberg is a gathering of the most powerful, most political influential and most wealthy men in the West.

Every year for the last 24 years they have met in heavily-guarded secrecy, covertly influencing the economies and politics of independent nations.

All attempts to uncover the workings of Bilderberg have been systematically suppressed from the highest level.

In this world exclusive (by Robert Eringer), VERDICT reveals for the first time the activities of this secret group and the names of the powerful men behind it.


Gerald Ford was an obscure member of the U.S. House of Representatives when he went to the secret conferences of 1964 and 1966. In the wake of Nixon and Watergate shambles, it was Ford who emerged from nowhere to become President of the world's most powerful nation.

Henry Kissinger was a regular Bilderberg attender long before he became Richard Nixon's Secretary of State.

French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing joined the discussions while he was still a rising star of the French Republic.

So did Helmut Schmidt, now Chancellor of West Germany.

Britain's Prime Minister, Jim Callaghan, was at the meetings in 1963 and 1966, and Chancellor Denis Healey was on the steering committee and attended all meetings from 1955 onwards until high office called him.

It seems the policy of the Group that internationally famous leaders who have risen from its obscurity keep away from the conferences, probably because it is impossible for them to move about in the secrecy that Bilderberg demands.

Two other politicians who rose to almost immediate prominence after attending Bilderberg conferences are Donald Rumsfield, appointed U.S. Defence Secretary after being at the 1975 conference and Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter's Democratic running mate in this year's U.S. Presidential election and almost certainly the next Vice President, who was at the 1974 conference at Megeve in France.

Other influential men who attend regularly are David Rockefeller, chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank; Henry J Heinz, chairman of the Heinz group; banker Baron Edmund de Rothschild of France; Marcus Wallenberg, chairman of Sweden's Enskilda Bank; Sir Eric Roll, chairman of S.G Warburg Bank, Chrysler director, Times Newspapers Director, and director of the Bank of England; Andrew Shonfield, director of Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs; and Ralf Dahrendorf, director of the London School of Economics.

Famous people, yet the Foreign Office in London has denied all knowledge of the Bilderberg group. When I inquired, I received a reply, dated June 24, 1976, from S B Hughes in the North America Dept. It said: 'Thank you for your letter of June 12 inquiring about the Bilderberg Group. Unfortunately, we can find no trace of the Bilderberg Group in any of our reference works on international organizations.'

One British journalist has tried to write about the Bilderberg Group. He is C Gordon Tether, a highly-respected journalist, who for eighteen years wrote the influential Lombard column in the prestigious Financial Times. He did mention the Group in his column on May 6, 1975. Mr. Tether wrote: "If the Bilderberg Group is not a conspiracy of some sort it is conducted in such a way as to give a remarkably good imitation of one."

It was Mr. Tether's last reference to the group. All subsequent articles mentioning Bilderberg were dropped from publication in the Financial Times. The Last one was written for the edition of March 3, 1976, and titled The Prince and Bilderbergism. It was never published. Mr. Tether has since been dropped from the Financial Times by editor Freddie Fisher and the Lombard column is now written by different specialists from the paper's staff each day.

It can hardly be a surprise that Mr. Tether's efforts were suppressed from the higher reaches of the Press world. At the time of the last Bilderberg Conference in Britain, which was held at St John's College, Oxford, Cecil King was chairman of the International Publishing Corporation, owners then of the Daily Mirror, The Sun, The Sunday Mirror, The People, The Sporting Life, Reveille, and numerous magazines and local papers, and was also chairman of the Newspaper Proprietors Association.

According to Private Eye, Mr. King issued a memorandum to his fellow publishers of the British national newspapers reminding them that 'on no account should any report or even speculation about the content of the conference be printed.'

The great British Press, so proud of its freedom, printed nothing about Bilderberg. No wonder respected British journalists who have worked for twenty-five years on British newspapers, have never even heard of the Bilderberg Group.

They are not alone. Powerful and influential men from the following countries have attended Bilderberg: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


This is one of the earliest articles published on the Bilderberg Group. It was published in the November 1976 edition of Verdict, a UK magazine.

In these pages, VERDICT tells the story of the Bilderberg Group, a story that will astonish all the freedom-loving citizens of the Western world that prides itself on democracy.

Bilderberg is a gathering of the most powerful, most political influential and most wealthy men in the West.

Every year for the last 24 years they have met in heavily-guarded secrecy, covertly influencing the economies and politics of independent nations.

All attempts to uncover the workings of Bilderberg have been systematically suppressed from the highest level.

In this world exclusive (by Robert Eringer), VERDICT reveals for the first time the activities of this secret group and the names of the powerful men behind it.

“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.”

Those words were written by Benjamin Disraeli, empire-building Prime Minister of Great Britain, almost a hundred years ago.

If they were true of Britain then, they are as true today of a Western world which boasts of its freedom and democracy.

How else can the Bilderberg Group be explained?

It has certainly never been explained to the British public, for practically no one in Britain has ever heard of the Bilderberg Group.

Yet the conclusions and decisions of this privately convened group—reached behind the tightly shut doors of its heavily-guarded and very secret meetings have, in the last twenty-five years, affected everyone.

The Bilderberg Group consists of between eighty and one hundred of the richest, economically and politically most powerful influential men in the Western world. Each year they lock themselves away for three days to discuss foreign policies and world economics.

The men who attend are bankers, politicians and leaders of giant multi-national companies. Their meetings can hardly be just friendly get-togethers.

Victor Marchetti, a former top assistant to the director of the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency, has said privately, “It would be ridiculous to think that the world’s most influential men hold meaningless discussions. No discussion is meaningless when it involves men of such status.”

Author Phyllis Schafly, in a little-known book called A Choice Not An Echo described the Bilderberg Group as “a little clique of powerful men who meet secretly and plan events which appear to just happen.”

The Group was started twenty-five years ago at the instigation of a Polish political philosopher, Joseph Retinger, a powerful advocate of a unified Europe. He approached Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who, with enthusiastic help from top men in the Dwight Eisenhower Administration, was able to set up steering committees in America and Europe.

These committees have organized a meeting at a secret venue every year since 1954, when the first one was held at Hotel de Bilderberg—hence the Group’s name—in Ooosterbeek, Holland.

This year, for the first time since the Hotel De Bilderberg get-together, the annual meeting was cancelled. It was due to be held in April in Hot Springs, Virginia. The steering committee regrettably called it off because they already knew what the reest of the world was to find out months later: that their permanent chairman for the last twenty-four years, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, was about to be publicly disgraced for taking a 500,000 pound bribe from the Lockeed Aircraft Company.

But the Group will be meeting again next year. The date and venue have already been fixexed: Late April at the Devon resort of Torquay, the constituency of rich Tory M.P. Sir Frederic Bennett, who is on the European steering committee and has attended every Bilderberg Group meeting since 1963.

In calling Sir Frederic into their confidential conclave, the steering committee of Bilderberg made one of their few miscalculations about rising politicians. They have been uncannily right about choosing the right men to join their secret deliberations. Every single of one of the present, major leaders of the West has emerged from the ranks of the Bilderberg Group.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010



With April Fool’s Day looming, let us examine a recent fooling of royal proportions.

The mark?  

Prince Albert II of Monaco.

The ruse? 

A woman fooled him into believing she was the daughter of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Kathryn Aikterini, who is actually Greek, not Russian, and who speaks not a word of Russian, possessed all the credentials necessary for suckering the Monegasque Monarch, who turned 51 earlier this month: blonde hair, blue eyes, and 24 years young.

She weaseled her way into a princely meeting at the Royal Palace and convinced him to patronize, as honorary chairman, a local branch of an environmental charity—Green Cross International—that she claimed to represent.

Apparently, no one at the Palace checked her credentials—not even the Prince, beyond her physical attributes.

Only much later, after Aikterini’s admission to a psychiatric hospital for depression, was her true identity discovered.

At the time—around last April Fool’s Day—the (UK) Daily Mail reported that “police in Monaco believe Aikterini was the front person for the mafia who wanted to get a toehold into the Royal Family and the elite of Monaco for criminal purposes.”

Which suggests that Monaco’s constabulary doesn’t need to be fooled by anyone; it is content fooling itself, while robberies and burglaries continue to proliferate under police chief Andre Muhlberger.

Russian intelligence services and the Russian Mafia—often one in the same these days—are much too clever to use a psychologically troubled woman to gain the Prince’s confidence.

Moreover, the Russians have no need for a “toehold” because they already have at least one whole foot, probably a whole leg, in the door—if generally misunderstood by the Prince and Chief Muhlberger, either by design or ignorance.

The New Russian presence in Monaco began with Prince Albert’s trek to the Russian side of the North Pole, when Russia agreed to assist his party’s luxury expedition with logistical support and a landing base, Camp Arctichesky. 

This evolved into a state dinner at the Kremlin hosted by Vladimir Putin to climax the excursion—and a burgeoning relationship between the Prince’s senior aide-de-camp and General Vladimir Pronichev, Commander of the Federal Border Guards.

Shortly after the Prince and his gang returned home, the Russians offered to construct a dacha (second home) from scratch on the grounds of Roc Agel, Prince Albert’s private estate in the French Alps behind Monaco.

Their offer was accepted—and a team of Russian builders soon arrived to bang the split-level cottage into place, with nary a word in Monaco’s news media.

The Prince did not seem to realize that taking a personal gift of such high value was an act of corruption. 

Nor did he seem to be aware, or care, that his new dacha would undoubtedly be bugged to the hilt with concealed microphones. (Old habits die hard with the KGB’s successor services.)

The senior aide-de-camp, whose alleged under-the-table commissions until then had been confined to local activities, presumably hit pay dirt with Russians, who are intent on laundering money through Monaco banks and real estate, and gaining residency as a safe haven from dirty deeds and prosecution by the Russian judicial system.

For no sooner had the Prince returned to his Principality from the North Pole and the Kremlin, his aide-de-camp choreographed him to board a yacht berthed in Monaco’s port for introduction to Chalva “Chig” Tchirinsky, a Georgian oligarch of dubious character associated with one of the Red Mafia’s biggest names, Simeon Mogilevich

Chig wanted to dabble in Monaco real estate.

The Prince’s aide-de-camp had much earlier welcomed Gocha Arivadze, a Georgian from Moscow, into his close circle of the Prince’s personal friends, which he co-opted as his own, including two Americans, Michael McNamara and Robert Munsch.

Thus Arivadze, ex-operator of “ARSI” gas stations in Russia, successfully penetrated the Prince’s social orbit—perhaps with some “generosity” toward the senior aide-de-camp (who coordinates Prince Albert’s schedule) for access, and perhaps on behalf of Russian intelligence. 

Indeed, on the evening of January 12th, 2007 Mr. Arivadze hosted a dinner meeting of Russian intelligence and senior energy executives at the old Machiavelli estate (Villa Mangiacane) in San Casciano, near Florence, Italy. 

He purported to represent Prince Albert and claimed the Prince placed in his possession a brand-new Rolls-Royce with Monaco tags (T245) parked outside.

Little wonder Arivadze received a medal from President Putin in the Kremlin—a presentation witnessed by the Prince’s aide-de-camp and buddies McNamara and Munsch, who were hanging off the Prince’s coattails to hatch their own business deals in Moscow.

All this, while Monaco’s derelict police, under Muhlberger, fretted about a possible “toehold” through a deranged woman.

As early as 2000, the Russian SVR determined that glamorous Monaco was strategically important to them as a base for running covert intelligence and financial operations that span the globe.

“The SVR has been studying ways and means to influence and control Prince Albert,” states an intelligence report in our possession. “The SVR will not attempt to recruit Prince Albert in the classic sense of that word, but it does intend to use its considerable resources to establish what it envisages as a ‘special, intimate’ relationship with him.”

To this end, the SVR prepared a psychological profile of Prince Albert, who had not yet ascended the throne. (He did so after his father, Prince Rainier, died in April 2005.)

“He is a fragile personality suffering from multiple inferiority complexes and is quite vulnerable,” states the profile, a copy of which we possess. “He is extremely self-centered with a distinct lack of loyalty to others. His personal desires and interests always come first.”

The SVR concluded that Prince Albert was an excellent candidate for operational development and recommended the use of several named persons as a way of gaining access to him, including a senior Monegasque politician who had compromised himself in illegal business transactions with two wealthy Russians.

But in the end, the SVR did not need to play those cards. The advent of Gocha Arivadze, the North Pole trek, and the Prince’s own aide-de-camp sealed the deal beyond their wildest expectations.

Now, oligarchs like Sergei Pugachev, who reportedly launders money for Putin along the Cote d’Azur, feel delightfully secure within the principality’s borders. It matters not that Pugachev’s Monaco police file includes numerous notations citing links to the Russian Mafia. Pugachev even bought a Monte Carlo restaurant & bar for his two sons (Viktor and Alexander). their own little Moscow-by-the-Med.

And the aide-de-camp? 

Promoted to Palace Charge d’Affaires.

So it wasn’t just an emotionally unstable Greek woman who fooled Monaco’s Prince Albert.

Many of his closest friends and subordinates, but most especially Russian intelligence, play him year round.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010




Double agents selling secrets to foreign governments; defectors running amok in the streets of Washington; allies betraying allies--these days spies are out of the shadows and on the spot.

Yet espionage isn't what it once was, and at least one Cold War vet fondly remembers overthrowing unfriendly governments, planning assassinations and performing dirty tricks.

Most of all, retired CIA officer Miles Copeland (whose brood of rock & roll overachievers includes oldest son Miles Copeland III, manager of the Police and solo Sting; Ian, founder of the music booking agency FBI; and youngest son Stewart, drummer first for Curved Air and later for the Police) yearns for the good old days when secret agents kept their secrets secret--from the government and especially from the press.

ERINGER: The white House has given the CIA part of the job handling terrorism. What do you think they will do that is different from what has already been done?

COPELAND: You're opening a real can of worms here. The difference between the CIA's counter-terrorism experts and this new kind that's been proliferating all over the place is that the CIA has operators who know the terrorists, who've actually talked to a few, who've even lived with them, or who, like myself, have actually been terrorists.

ERINGER: Who's winning?

COPELAND: It's not a matter of winning. Just different viewpoints. The president of the United States has got to say what is necessary to keep himself in office. We have a domestic foreign policy and a foreign foreign policy. The domestic foreign policy, which is the more nimportasnt one,, he what he has to do to make the American public think he's doing the right thing. Whether it's the right thing or not doesn't matter. The American people have to think he's doing the right thing because we have a democratic society. We Americans get highly indignant and want to do something. We want to punish people without regard to the consequences. But professionals inside the government worry about the consequences of this. Because what it takes to please the American people is not what it takes to please a lot of people who did not grow up in the American culture but grew up in cultures quite different from our own. We've got most of the word against us at the moment.
When we bomb villages and kill a lot of women and children we turn the world against us. And the American people don't care. But those people whose job it is to look after the interests of the U.S. government abroad, they've got to care. They have to think of the consequences of everything we do. And they know the consequences of dragging out the gunboats are absolutely the wrong ones. In fact, these are the consequences the terrorists created acts of terrorism in order to provoke. That's the purpose of terrorism, not to kill maim or destroy but to terrorize, to frighten, to anger, to provoke irrational responses Terrorism gains more from the responses than it gains from the actions themselves.

ERINGER: So how do you deal with it?

COPELAND: You've got to know who they are. You've got to know their reasons for doing it. And you've got to manipulate them in one way or another.

They're terrorists because their orange groves have been destroyed and they've got nothing to do. The main job of the CIA is to go to the White House and explain to the president that the only reason these terrorists are terrorists is because of the way they've been treated. If people came into Alabama, my home state, and destroyed my farms and kicked me around, I'm going to become a terrorist. just as the French became terrorists under the Germans in World War II. The CIA understood this very well. But we had pressures from Congress. Members of Congress don't give a damn about foreign affairs. They give a damn about their next election. They have to do what makes them popular with their constituents to get reelected. And their constituents care about one place in this world, and that's the United States.

ERINGER: So what's the answer to terrorism?

COPELAND: We have to find the reason these people are terrorists. There are two categories. People who have ben deprived and ruined. And the second category: A lot of these guys have found a way of life, like gunslingers in the Old West. They drive Mercedes. There are professional terrorists now. It's a profitable business. Maybe they were criminals originally, criminally inclined, but now they have political motivations to justify themselves. Many of them are in Paris, and the French pollice don't give a damn.

ERINGER: What are Miles Copeland's principles of democracy?

COPELAND: Let me tell you about democracy. We decided we were goijng to bring democracy to Syria. So we got a translator in Arabic, and wegot signs. We were going to have an election. This was 1946, '47. The signs say, GET OUT AND VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE OF YOUR CHOICE. We had people coming in the embassy and saying. "Look, these signs are no good--they don't tell us who the candidate of our choice is."

In the United States, if we had true democracy, it would be a good thing. But true democracy is impossible because of the fact that the general population cannot possibly keep themselves well informed enough to decide on issues except on a very parochial basis. The average person, the best he can do is something he's not allowed to do--that's to vote for a man because he's known to be honest and competent. These days a candidate has to tell you what his issues are and get elected on that basis. We have to sell the idea to the American public that there are many things about foreign policy the American public simply cannot understand, because foreign policy requires, above all else, juding people according to their own standards. The emphasis should be on choosing people we trust.

ERINGER: Who gets your highest marks as CIA director?

COPELAND: I'd name two people. I think George Bush was the best. He came in knowing he didn't know a damn thing about the CIA, but he did n know how to judge people whose opinions he could trust, and he listened to them.

ERINGER: Who is second.

COPELAND: Dick Helms.

ERINGER: Helms lied to a congressional committee.

COPELAND: That's one of his better traits, that he's willing to lie to a congressional committee. William Colby didn't have the guts to do this. Lacking patriotism, he did not lie to a committee.

ERINGER: Wait a minute--lacking patriotism?

COPELAND: Absolutely. Why should he tell a group things he knew would leak to the newspapers? He should lied to them. If he were really a patriotic American, he wouldn't have thought of telling them the truth.

ERINGER: And Helms gets high marks for perjury?

COPELAND: With me and with everyone who has ever been a career officer in the government. Absolutely. You can call it perjury if you like, and maybe it was, but he should have been willing to go to jail for it.

ERINGER: It's okay to lie under oath if you're in the CIA?

COPELAND: I said nothing of the sort. If what nyou know means that telling the truth is going to damage the national interest, it is your obligation...

ERINGER: Who decides the national interest?

COPELAND: Do you want me to give you a hard time or do you want an answer?


COPELAND: The CIA is set up so it's impossible for a person as an individual to aggrogate to himself the right to lie to a congressional committee or to anyone else. But what he can or cannot say is clearly specified from the day he is sworn in. He can lie to people who are not his bosses, who do not have security clearances. I like Colby very much, but he's just the wrong kind of guy to be head of the CIA. He's a good guy.

ERINGER: You've got to be a bad guy to head the CIA?

COPELAND: You have to be prepared, as a good soldier does. A good soldier could be religious and have read the Bible, but he's got to go out and kill people. The CIA has to have a separate set of morals. In that sense, you have to be amoral.

ERINGER: What else did you get up to in the CIA?

COPELAND: I got my foot in the door of the psychopharmacological department by virtue of my interest in assassination. There are two categories: those which are made to look like nastural deaths and those which serve their purpose only if they are known to be assassinations.

For the first kind, there is a variety of methods, most of them involving poison. Somehow you introduce into the body of your victim two separate substances, at different times, each of which is harmless by itself but which becomes poisonous when mixed with the other.

You wouldn't beliueve what those weirdos came up with! The congressional committee got only the barest glimpse.

ERINGER: What did they miss?

COPELAND: You can kill a man by putting certain substance on a letter you send him which gets into his system simply through holding the letter in his fingers. You can make him allergic to almost anything--alcohol, Aspirin, even coffee or tea--that if he takes even a small quanity he will drop[ over dead. You can program a pair of dogs--even his own dogs--to savage him to death upon a given signal. But you don't have to kill him. You can make a fool out of him.

ERINGER: For example?

COPELAND: You can slip an LSD pill into his lemonade as he is about to make a speech or have an electric fan blow 'distress gas' onto him, oryou can doctor his notes so that simply by holding them in his hands he will absorb enough hallucinatory materials to make him think he is God.

ERINGER: You seem to take an active interest in American politics. Do your sons share your interest?

COPELAND: My older son, Miles, has contributed to Republican congressional campaigns. But he wants everything everybody says about him these days to be cleared in advance.

ERINGER: Does you son have anyone in mind for the presidency?

COPELAND: Miles is pretty serious about his affairs. He should have been in the CIA instead of me. Yeah, I'm 'blah, blah. blah.' and he's 'hush hush.' I'm not sure he's thought through all the implications of the power he's got.

ERINGER: What do you mean?

COPELAND: The necxt time youi go to a Police concert, say, one like that in Shea Stadium with 70,000 young minds open to whatever the police decide to put into them, you can answer that question for yourself.

Sting almost fired Miles Copeland III as his manager when this interview was published because of his father's final words about manipulating the minds of young concert-goers.

Monday, October 25, 2010



David Irving, the controversial British historian, will speak today at a secret fascist convention staged by men in America whose aim is to whitewash Hitler.

The three-day conference, staged by the Institute for Historical Review, is so secret that participants were told to to arrive yesterday at Los Angeles International Airport from where they would be bussed to the conference site at a motel somewhere in southern California. One hundred and twenty-five Nazi symnpathizers are expected to attend.

The Institute claims that the Holocaust never happened and The Diary of Anne Frank is a hoax.

This group was formed five years ago by a mysterious American named Willis Carto, an "invisible" tycoon of the Far Right in the United States, and a British National Front activist named David McCalden.

Until he left the institute after a dispute with Carto in 1981, McCalden served as the institute's director under the alias Lewis Brandon. He helped organize the institute's first convention at Northrup University in California in September 1979. It was there that a reward of $50,000 was offered to anyone who could prove Jewish prisoners were gassed by the Nazis during World War II.

California businessman Mel Mermelstein soon staked a claim. Baited relentlessly by institute mailings to his home, Mermelstein submitted an affidavit detailing his experience at Auschwitz, where he last saw his mother and two sisters as they were led away to what he later discovered was a gas chamber.

The institute dragged its feet so Mermelstein filed a $16 million suit in Los Angeles Superior Court for breach of contract, mental anguish and injurious denial of established fact.

The institute has offices in an industrial zone of Torrance, a Los Angeles suburb not far from Carto's home. It conducts its sordid business through a local post office box, an address it onee shared with the Noontide Press, Carto's publishing house. The institute publishes and distributes anti-Semitic and racist books, and a quarterly "academic" journal.

Until this weekend, David Irving, author of Hitler's War and a host of other controversial books, has kept his distance from Carto and the "revisionists."

The Toronto Star received a letter from Liberty Lobby lawyer Fleming Lee threatening to sue for libel and demanding a retraction.

No retraction was published.

No lawsuit was filed.

In 2005, David Irving was arrested and jailed in Austria for denying the Holocaust.

Friday, October 22, 2010



This article was bylined Charles Bermant, but most of the material was investigated and written by Robert Eringer.

Willis Carto and Liberty Lobby sued The Investigator and its owner, Jack Anderson, the syndicated columnist. It went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and became a landmark case.

Willis Allison Carto is a trim 56 year-old of medium-build and thinning pate.

Why does the Anti-Defamation League believe Carto to be the leading anti-Semite in the country? And why did the late Drew Pearson describe Carto as a "Hitler fan?"

Why does Scott Stanley, the managing editor of the John Birch Society's American Opinion, say, "In my opinion, the preservation of anti-Semitism as a movement has occured because the the activities of Willis Carto?"

Carto was born to a family of Huguenot stock on July 19, 1926 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He grew up in Mansfield, Ohio and served with the Army in the Philippines during World War II. After the war, he attended Denison University.

In 1952, Carto moved to San Francisco and went to work as a debt collector for Household Finance Corporation.

After drifting from one right-wing group to another, he decided to organize "a lobby for patriotism" he would call Liberty Lobby. In an attempt to raise $75,000 seed money, he wrote to 700 conservartives whose names and addresses he borrowed from right-wing mailing lists.

By 1970, Liberty Lobby's annual income had risen to nearly a million dollars.

Another significant benchmark was reached in September, 1975, with publication of The Spotlight, a weekly newspaper with 36 pages per issue and a staff of 25.

Though he was founder, sole owner and motivating force behind Liberty Lobby, Willis Carto's name does not appear on the masthead of The Spotlight. He refuses to be interviewed and keeps an unlisted telephone number.

He directs his operations from a plush penthouse in Torrance, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, and conducts his business from a public telephone, according to Spotlight Managing Editor Jim Tucker.

The Spotlight trafficks in sensationalism, character assassination, innuendoes and outright misrepresentations. Typical of the headlines splashed across its pages are "Soviet Spy in White House," "Rockefeller Named Dope Overlord" and "The Diary of Anne Frank is a Fraud."

Vincent A. Drosdik III, a one-time assistant editror of The Spotlight who says he quit after nine months because he "couldn't take the inside-the-office racism," tells of an instance where a feature was contrived to serve Carto's political prejudices. The target was Yugoslavia's Marshal Tito.

"Tito was schedculed to come to town," drosdik recalls. "Carto had this wild hair up his ass about getting Croatian exiles to protest the visit. We couldn't find any. So we went to our typesetter and renamed her 'Ginny Dragonovich.' We quickly made up a poster for her and took her to the Capitol building. Well, the 'protest' lasted all of two minutes--just enough time to photrograph her."

Carto also owns Noontide Press, his personal publishing house, and The Institute for Historical Review, which publishes books, a purported "adademic" quarterly, and stages conventions.

The Institute was set up to disprove that any Jews died in World War II gas chambers. The Institute argues that perhaps 35,000 Jews died of disease and war injuries, but that none died in extermination programs.

The Institute first attracted media attention when it offered a $50,000 "reward" to anyone who could prove that the death of six million Jews in the Holocaust ever took place. The Institute also offered $25,000 for proof of the authenticity of Anne Frank's diary.

An ex-Liberty Lobbyiest says, "Carto has a lot of organizations he sets up solely for the purpose of raising money. They vanish as soon as they've served their purpose." And Birch Society editor Scott Stanley notes that "Whenever you find anti-Semitic literature coming out from some little fly-by-night front, it seems to be associated with the Carto network."

This article marked the beginning of the end of Willis Carto's influence among American populists. For many years thereafter, Carto was mired in lawsuits, self-initiated and as a defendant, and in 2001 Liberty Lobby ceased to exist.

Thursday, October 21, 2010



"I was once asked if I could slip an LSD pill in Nasser's drink."

"Who asked you?"

"Some kook in the scientific section."

"What was the purpose?"

"To make a fool out of him. Suez had just come on and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and British Prime Minister Anthony Eden hated Gamal Nasser's guts. We were asked to concoct a way to kill Nasser. Eden would have shot Nasser personally."

These are the words of former CIA official Miles Copeland. Miles is different from most critics of the CIA. While others complain of assassinations and dirty tricks, Miles maintains that the problem with the CIA is that it didn't overthrow enough governments, assassinate enough foreign leaders, commit enough dirty tricks. His criticism revolves around its "bureaucratic inefficiency."

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, in America's deep south, Miles joined the U.S. Army in 1940 and was assigned to the Army's Counterintelligence Corps in Washington. In 1942 he was transferred to General Wild Bill Donovan's newly formed Officie of Strategic Services, the first American secret intelligence service.

In this capacity he was sent to London where the British, "didn't see fit to confide in us. They thought us lovable boobs with lots of money, and tried to keep us driunk and laid every night, and out of their business. In fact, the British liaison officer became an alcoholic in the process of entertaining his American guests!"

At the war's end Miles continued counterintelligence work in the Strategic Services unit, remnants of the wartime OSS. He was transferred to Damascus, Syria, where he spent several years as station chief, "putiing Syria on the path to democracy by starting a military dictatorship. Nobody knows more about changing governments, by force or otherwise, than I do." For this he received a citation from President Harry Truman.

Miles became one of the founder members of the Central Intelligence Agency when it was formed by Truman in 1947. In 1950 he became head of the CIA's Political Action Staff, the "dirty tricks department." Miles, ever the conservative maverick among the Ivy-League liberals who made up the Agency's ranks, was a staunch defender and advocate of dirty tricks. "Criteria for a dirty trick: Will the dirty trick prevent dirtier things from happening?"

He resigned from the CIA in 1953 to become an associate with Booz-Allen & Hamilton, a firm of management consultants. On behalf of this firm, he went to Cairo to head a team of consultants reorganizing the newly formed government of President Nasser. Miles kept the CIA informed of Nasser's movements, and Nasser used Miles "to put over arguments to President Dwight Eisenhower."

In 1957 Copeland assumed an "off-and-on" consultancy status with the CIA, and formed a company of government relations consultants to advise American industrial organizations on doing business in Africa and the Middle East.

ERINGER: What do you think of Philip Agee's book, CIA DIary?

COPELAND: My objection to Agee's book is that it's dull. He didn't know anything about the Agency. He was a very minor official, and he missed the point of what he was doing in the CIA. Philip is a nice boy, but full of complexes, and he's convinced himself that he's sincere, but he kniws better. Philip's complains about Fascism and Nazism and repressive police in South America. He forgets that's the only kind of police there are in a society, the nicest chaps just don't become policemen. So that's what happens in any country in the world, with the possible exception of Britain. Look at Italy, look at France, look at our police in Alabama where I come from. Their idea of police detection method is to round up a lot of suspects and beat the shit out of them until one of them confesses. That's police methods. Well in South America this was particularly true, as Agee correctly states.

But the CIA objected to these methods. You can't get the truth out of a guy if you're going to beat him up because he'll tell you what you want to hear other than what the truth happens to be. So all sorts of attempts were made to clean up the interrogation methods of South American police. And the CIA did a hell of a lot to make them stop beating people up. There reason for doing this was to make methods more effective.

But Philip claims we're bad people for helping them. And the irony of it all is that the Cubans, who are his friends, are far worse when it comes to torture interrogation methods. The main thing Philip's living on is the matyr image he constructed for himself, and being supplied with so-called proof that the CIA was out to kill him. Former London CIA station chief Cord Meyer's main worry while in England was that the Cubans were going to kill Agee. It is well known that the primary reason to assassinate somebody is because he is in a position to start a war or do something horrible which his removal would obviate. The other reason is to blame it on someone else.

ERINGER: The Church Committee has shown CIA participation in plots to assassinate foreign leaders. One example is the plot to assassinate President Patrice Lumumba of the Congo in the summer of 1960.

COPELAND: I'll tell you a brief story to illustrate what a great farce that was. The CIA station chief in the Congo at the time, who I knew very well, was a very sober, conservative fellow who harbored the ambition to get into the State Department. Since he was really a CIA officer, his State Department job was only a cover. The State Department makes a practice of cutting a guy down a peg or two, so he had a lower grade than his CIA grade, to the disgrace of his wife and children. And his main worry was his wife, who was complaining that she wasn't invited to parties and wasn't seated high enough above salt at dinners. And he was wondering how he got this lousy job in the Congo.

One day he was contemplating the sadness of his lot, and he gets this message from Washington and it has on it a code word meaning he has to take it seriously because it comes from the White House. Ordinarily, when you get an order from headquarters you never obey it the first time, because you're not sure they mean it. It might be some guy telling you to do something to get himself off the hook--being on records as having ordered it. So you always wait till the second time.

But if there's a White House code word, you better take this one seriously. He was supposed to assassinate Lumumba--to explore means to terminate with extreme prejudice. He couldn't believe his eyes! The last thing he wants to do is assassinate anyone, except perhaps his wife. But this thing says he has to kill Lumumba. He hadn't the faintest idea how to go about it. Well then another cable comes in, saying somebody was coming out from the scientific section, and up showed this weird little Dr. Strangelove type. So not only does this guy have an order from the White House, he's actually got this creep on hand, this Dr. Strangelove, who was going to show him how to do it!

Well, he just blows his top and says, the hell with this, and tells Dr. Strangelove to get the hell out of there.

That was the end of that. It was a hell of a joke around the Agency at the time. Except now it doesn't look so funny when you have Senator Frank Church with all his virtue breathing down your neck.

ERINGER: Do you think the Church Committee has done an effective job investigating assassination?

COPELAND: Absolutely not. I think it has probably dawned on Church, since he's not a complete crook, just a 50 percent crook, that this idea of pointing out CIA's assassination attempts is nonsense. The CIA hasn't assassinated anybody. What has happened, however, is that if you're in the CIA you work with some pretty strange people. The CIA would work with the devil if they were going to accomplish something in somebody else's country.

The CIA has indeed worked with people who have in turn assassinated people. But they're absolutely beyond control. That is the only CIA involvement in assassination. They have worked with groups that believe in assassination as a way of life. And, again, assassination is not such a bad idea if it means preventing a war.

ERINGER: On the subject of assassination, when the notorious double-agent Kim Philby disappeared from Beirut and it was presumed he had defected to Moscow, the CIA began a search for him. Had they found Philby, what would have been his fate?

COPELAND: I was in Beirut at the time, and I knew Kim Philby very well. I was supposed to have dinner with Philby the night he disappeared, and did indeed have dinner with his wife. We learned the next day Philby had fled to Moscow. The CIA wanted to get him. I thought alive.

Finally, the CIA officer in charge told me, "We've got to find Philby because we suspect the British are going to let him go."

And I said, "What are you going to do if you find him?"

And he said, "We're going to kill the sonofabitch."

And I have reason to believe this was exactly what they would have done.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010



Local KEYT TV news reporter John Palminteri has fallen victim to the latest trend in the art of revenge.

Adversarial Web sites, a.k.a. gripe sites, are usually created in the name of the intended victim, or some derivation (such as, to ensnare Web surfers in search of information about that person or entity and provide negative or embarrassing data.

The goal of gripe site operators is to be among the top hits in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

Someone--in this case, anonymous--has created a Web site with the domain name for the sole purpose of trying to publicly embarrass Mr. Palminteri with various allegations.

If one searches the newsman's name, this Web site is currently No. 5 on Google's hit list, hurdling the first measure of success for any gripe site creator: high visibility.

Another local gripe aim at UCSB. (It is ninth on Google if one searchers "UCSB.")

Alfred and John Donovan, a father and son in Colchester, England, several years ago established the world's most effective adversarial Web site.

Feeling aggrieved by treatment from the oil giant Shell, they created their site under the company's name, It strives, on a daily basis, to expose Shell's underside through research, investigation and leaks from inside Shell, which earned $35 billion in 2008.

"It is a way of taking on Goliath," John Donovan told The Investigator. "The Internet provides a low cost public platform for anyone to reach a global audience, giving ordinary individuals the opportunity to take on the powerful. Our David has already given Goliath--with its 100,000 employees and business in 140 countries--the PR equivalent of two black eyes."

Continued Mr. Donovan: "Our anti-Shell Web site receives several million hits every month and has become an interactive hub of dissent attracting whistleblowers who, through our Web site, have leaked many Shell secrets to the news media, resulting in huge embarrassment to Shell senior management--and also to the resignation of a Shell senior executive."

The Donovans do not earn money from their Web site (they do not sell advertising or solicit donations), but strive purely to sway public opinion against Shell and damage its business prospects.

There are a number of reasons why those with a gripe may turn to the World Wide Web over more traditional routes for finding remedy to a perceived injustice.

-- You can do it yourself, with little training necessary;

-- You can do it for the minuscule cost of a domain name and whatever time you're prepared to expend filling it with material;

-- It is an alternative to the judicial system for lodging a complaint. These days, no matter how merited your complaint, you are looking at paying a $10,000 retainer just to engage the services of a lawyer. This can quickly escalate to six figures without resolution;

-- It may lead to a pay-off of your complaint from the target of your site in exchange for terminating the gripe site;

-- It is good therapy; it relieves stress suffered from an oppressor;

-- It is more stimulating than solving crossword puzzles.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010



The National Tap Water Quality Database in Washington DC reports that California ranks at the top nationwide as the state with the most polluted tap water.

It further states that the Santa Barbara Water District--whose tap water it tested for five successive years, 1998 and 2003--supplied drinking water to consumers containing no fewer than twenty-four pollutants, including arsenic, pesticide and fertilizer.

Arsenic, just by itself, the report continues, can cause cancer and blood, kidney and liver toxicity, and also gastrointestinal toxicity and neuro-toxicity.

This study will come as a surprise to Mayor Marty Blum, who spearheaded a resolution at the U.S. Conference of Mayors two weeks ago to phase out bottled water from city offices and city events so that city workers and event attendees have no choice but to drink tap water.

"Thousands of studies have shown that tap water is contaminated with many pollutants," Tap Water Quality Database spokeswoman Jovana Ruzicic told The Investigator. "Bottled water is not necessarily a better option, because the bottled water industry is unregulated- and sometimes bottled water is tap water. The safest water to drink is filtered tap water."

The National Tap Water Quality Database operates under the auspices of the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, a public health research organization created in 1993 that is funded 80 percent by foundation grants and 20 percent by donations from individuals.

Another environmental action group, the New York City-based Natural Resources Defense Council, reports: "Each year up to 7 million Americans become sick from contaminated tap water, which can also be lethal. Pollution, old pipes and outdated treatment threaten tap water quality."

And a recent study emanating from the University of Manchester in the U.K. concluded that chlorinated tap water consumed by pregnant women might lead to birth defects.

So The Investigator ventured to the William B. Cater Filtration Plant on San Roque Road, which treats water for Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria.

Santa Barbara's water guardian is plant Superintendent Susan Thomson. She has served for thirty years and clearly knows every square inch of the plant. Thomson told The Investigator she is proud of the water produced at Cater, and she regularly drinks it herself without hesitation.

"That wasn't always the case" Thomson added. "I wasn't so sure until they covered the reservoirs a few years ago." Before then, she said, "ducks floating on it and raccoon poop put me off."

Water from the nearby Lauro Reservoir (emanating from Cachuma and Gibraltar lakes) first undergoes coagulation, followed by flocculation, after which the flocculated (large) particles are removed through sedimentation. The water is then filtrated and disinfected before delivery to pump stations.

Thomson supervises a clean, efficient operation, overseen by a staff of sixteen. The system is completely computerized and has a 1,000- kilowatt electrical generator as backup in case of power outages. After 9/11, Cater installed a formidable iron fence around the plant's compound and implemented a security program inspected by The Investigator, details of which shall remain undisclosed.

The Investigator asked if the plant's filtration process has been improved since 2003, when the National Tap Water Quality Database concluded its five-year testing program.

"We've had improvements at the plant," said Thomson, "but the process itself hasn't changed."

Water pumped from Cater meets requirements laid down by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency- and that, according to the Environmental Working Group, is the problem.

"The EPA's guidelines," Ruzicic told The Investigator, "are not tough enough about the percentage of pollutants that get through. And there are 141 pollutants that the EPA has not even regulated, including pharmaceutical waste. We need a strong federal law to regulate what gets into our drinking water."

What about the Safe Water Drinking Act?

"Under this act," Ruzicic explained, "the EPA sets standards based not just on health consideration, but also cost. The agency is required to prove that the cost of removing a contaminant does not exceed the benefits of removal. Because of that provision, EPA has set legal limits for 40 percent of regulated contaminants at levels higher than their own recommended health-based limits."

In other words, it's not cost effective to insist on pollutant-free tap water.

"Furthermore," continued Ruzicic, "the EPA is allowed to set maximum legal limits for contaminants as if people are exposed to just one contaminant at a time. That's not the reality of human exposure. Studies show that people carry hundreds of chemicals in their bodies at any given time."

Whatever your misgivings now about tap water, do be grateful for the Cater filtration plant. "Before it was built in 1964," Thomson told The Investigator, "water from Lake Cachuma was not treated in a filtration plant. It was disinfected with chlorine and fed directly to the consumer." And now WTP is working triple time to filter out charred debris--"organics"--from last year's Zaca Fire.

However much drinking water costs, whether paid for in taxes or over the counter for the bottled variety, it is a bargain we all take for granted. Less than 3 percent of our planet's water is potable, and supplies are dwindling; humankind has polluted the very rivers that once gave birth to cities.

Even the Potomac River, which flows into our nation's capital, has become a sewer of fowl waste dumped from numerous poultry farms upriver in Maryland.

Many experts on global water conditions agree that twenty years from now fresh water will be as precious as oil--and countries will fight wars over territorial rights to it.

Monday, October 18, 2010



On Presidents Day we think mostly of George Washington, whom conspiracy theorists link to membership in the Illuminati. If you don't know about the Illuminati, you will this May, when the movie Angels & Demons (sequel to The Da Vinci Code) is released. That version will come equipped with a great deal of hype.

Here's all you need to know:

The Illuminati was an anti-royal, anti-clerical secret society founded in Bavaria on May 1, 1776, by a disgruntled ex-Freemason named Adam Weishaupt who envisioned a utopian super-state devoid of monarchs, clergymen and landowners.

Needless to say, monarchs, clergymen and landowners were not amused. They outlawed Illuminati membership in 1785 and drove it underground, where it organized the French Revolution, which toppled, well, the French monarch, the Church of France, and wealthy landowners.

Nearly a half-century later, a Yale University student named William Huntington Russell spent two semesters in Germany on a college exchange program and discovered Illuminist occultism, which so entranced him that he took it home to New Haven, Connecticut--and created an American chapter: Skull & Bones.

The mystic Bones number 322 derives from its year of incorporation (1832) as the Russell Trust Association, and its status as the second chapter (2) of the Illuminati. In 2004, two Yale "Bonesmen," George W. Bush and John Kerry, squared off for the U.S. presidency, setting conspiracy buffs atwitter.

"I suspect whatever bond exists among Skull & Bones members at school dissipates rapidly after graduation," a former senior CIA official told The Investigator. "Far more dangerous to our country is the class system whereby graduates from Harvard and Yale and a few other top schools consider themselves some kind of ruling elite. Our new president, by the way, shares this elitism."

George Washington was not an Illuminist; he was a fervent Freemason, inducted as an "Entered Apprentice" into the "Craft" on November 4, 1752 (aged 21) at Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Va.

From the White House to the Capitol Building and beyond, President Washington constructed the "Federal City" named after him to Masonic code, utilizing Masonic ritual and regalia at the laying of cornerstone--a subject Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, is expected to tackle in his next novel.

Radical rightists and lunatic leftists perceive a formal evolution of the Illuminati into the Round Table groups of the late 1800s, and the founding of (the UK) Chatham House and its American counterpart, the Council on Foreign Relations--up to the Bilderberg Group and its better known spin-off, The Trilateral Commission. They subscribe to a belief that most everything that happens of any global significance--assassinations, wars, 9/11, even hurricanes--is part of a carefully choreographed grand design to form a single world government that would maintain control over everyone.

This school of thought (in this case, elementary school) in the 1970s produced two colorful conspiracy theorists: Peter Beter and Mae Brussell.

Dr. Beter, a former Import-Export bank official, worked himself into weekly frenzies about "Soviet nuclear warheads buried in U.S. coastal waters!" He even provided precise longitudes and latitudes of every concealed warhead. A lake in West Virginia was cited--and a panicked sheriff named Harley Mooney actually had it drained.

Oops. No nuclear warhead.

"Darn Soviets," said Dr. Beter. "They moved it."

He also railed about "robotoids and automatons." In particular, Henry Kissinger, he claimed, had been replaced by a Soviet robotoid.

Three thousand miles away, in Carmel, Mae Brussell used her Sunday evening radio program to weave a vast web of conspiracy and intrigue around The Gemstone File, which neatly tied everything from the assassination of JFK through Watergate to the late Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

The Gemstone File never won a Pulitzer, but it found a widespread underground audience and, circulated by photocopy, became a cult classic.

Both Beter and Brussell are no longer among us. A Brit named David Ickes now holds their torch. He has propelled the so-called "Illuminati Conspiracy" to new heights, proclaiming that most world leaders are "hybrid reptilians" disguised as humans.

When it comes to Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez, and Robert Mugabe, we are inclined to believe him.

While on the subject of conspiracy theories, this being Valentine's Day, think of Marilyn Monroe. Almost every man who met Marilyn fell in love with her. And she fell in love with a number of men--and married a few of them, including baseball great Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller. Flirting with danger, she also fell in love with two married men: the Kennedy brothers--first President JFK, then Bobby, the Attorney General.

To the President, Marilyn was just one in a series of bombshell actresses—including Jayne Mansfield and Angie Dickenson--who helped him relieve the pain of a damaged spine; Marilyn must have realized this, so she allowed JFK to pawn her off on his younger brother. Bobby she fell for, inferring from their pillow talk that he would divorce his wife Ethel and marry her. Soon, Marilyn's incessant, pesky phone calls to the Attorney General's office convinced Bobby that he had to terminate the affair.

Peter Lawford--the British actor, Marilyn pal and Kennedy-in-law--was consigned to convey the caddish communiquè.

Marilyn went bananas. She told Lawford that she would go public, maybe call a press conference. This would be part revenge for the fraternal double-whammy, and part calculation/rationalization that if Ethel learned of the affair, she would surely dump her husband and clear the deck for Bobby to do what Marilyn believed he truly wanted.

Lawford freaked and reported Marilyn's frame of mind to Bobby.

What happened next remains a mystery. But Marilyn Monroe was dead within a few days.

Some say she died from a self-administered drug overdose. Others say the overdose was assisted.

But one intelligence source we know suggests that an injection of a tiny amount of pure nicotine in the anus has the result of killing someone without leaving a mark.

We're still trying to get to the bottom of this.