The New Abwehr Hypothesis of The Operation Trump: A Study In Political Psychology, Political Criminology, and Psychohistory, and as the aid for the General, Criminal and the Counterintelligence Investigations of Donald Trump - by Michael Novakhov, M.D. (Mike Nova): Web Research, Analysis, Hypotheses, and Opinions | Current News | Reviews of media reports | Selected reading lists | Site: http://trumpinvestigations.org/
Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency - Thursday January 24th, 2019 at 1:16 PM
On May 1, 2003, the day President George W. Bush landed on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in front of the massive “Mission Accomplished” sign, I was in Baghdad performing what had become a daily ritual. I went to a gate on the side of the Republican Palace, in the Green Zone, where an American soldier was receiving, one by one, a long line of Iraqis who came with questions and complaints. I remember a man complaining that his house had been run over by a tank. There was a woman who had been a government employee and wanted to know about her salary. The soldier had a form he was supposed to fill out with each person’s request and that person’s contact information. I stood there as the man talked to each person and, each time, said, “Phone number?” And each person would answer some version of “The phone system of Iraq has been destroyed and doesn’t work.” Then the soldier would turn to the next person, write down the person’s question or complaint, and then ask, “Phone number?”
I arrived in Baghdad on April 12th of that year, a few days after Saddam’s statue at Firdos Square had been destroyed. There were a couple of weeks of uncertainty as reporters and Iraqis tried to gauge who was in charge of the country and what the general plan was. There was no electricity, no police, no phones, no courts, no schools. More than half of Iraqis worked for the government, and there was no government, no Army, and so no salaries for most of the country. At first, it seemed possible that the Americans simply needed a bit of time to communicate the new rules. By the end of April, though, it was clear: there was no plan, no new order. Iraq was anarchic.
We journalists were able to use generators and satellite dishes to access outside information, and what we saw was absurd. Americans seemed convinced things were going well in Iraq. The war—and the President who launched it—were seen favorably by seventy per cent of Americans. Then came these pictures of a President touting “Mission Accomplished”—the choice of words that President Trump used in a tweet on Saturday, the morning after he ordered an air strike on Syria. On the ground, we were not prophets or political geniuses. We were sentient adults who were able to see the clear, obvious truth in front of us. The path of Iraq would be decided by those who thrived in chaos.
I had a similar feeling in December, 2007. I came late to the financial crisis. I had spent much of 2006 and 2007 naïvely swatting away warnings from my friends and sources who told me of impending disaster. Finally, I decided to take a deep look at collateralized debt obligations, or C.D.O.s, those financial instruments that would soon be known as toxic assets. I read technical books, talked to countless experts, and soon learned that these were, in Warren Buffett’s famous phrase, weapons of financial mass destruction. They were engineered in such a way that they could exponentially increase profits but would, also, exponentially increase losses. Worse, they were too complex to be fully understood. It was impossible, even with all the information, to figure out what they were worth once they began to fail. Because these C.D.O.s had come to form the core value of most major banks’ assets, no major bank had clear value. With that understanding, the path was clear. Eventually, people would realize that the essential structure of our financial system was about to implode. Yet many political figures and TV pundits were happily touting the end of a crisis. (Larry Kudlow, now Trump’s chief economic adviser, led the charge of ignorance.)
In Iraq and with the financial crisis, it was helpful, as a reporter, to be able to divide the world into those who actually understand what was happening and those who said hopeful nonsense. The path of both crises turned out to be far worse than I had imagined.
I thought of those earlier experiences this week as I began to feel a familiar clarity about what will unfold next in the Trump Presidency. There are lots of details and surprises to come, but the endgame of this Presidency seems as clear now as those of Iraq and the financial crisis did months before they unfolded. Last week, federal investigators raided the offices of Michael Cohen, the man who has been closer than anybody to Trump’s most problematic business and personal relationships. This week, we learned that Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months—his e-mails have been read, presumably his phones have been tapped, and his meetings have been monitored. Trump has long declared a red line: Robert Mueller must not investigate his businesses, and must only look at any possible collusion with Russia. That red line is now crossed and, for Trump, in the most troubling of ways. Even if he were to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and then have Mueller and his investigation put on ice, and even if—as is disturbingly possible—Congress did nothing, the Cohen prosecution would continue. Even if Trump pardons Cohen, the information the Feds have on him can become the basis for charges against others in the Trump Organization.
This is the week we know, with increasing certainty, that we are entering the last phase of the Trump Presidency. This doesn’t feel like a prophecy; it feels like a simple statement of the apparent truth. I know dozens of reporters and other investigators who have studied Donald Trump and his business and political ties. Some have been skeptical of the idea that President Trump himself knowingly colluded with Russian officials. It seems not at all Trumpian to participate in a complex plan with a long-term, uncertain payoff. Collusion is an imprecise word, but it does seem close to certain that his son Donald, Jr., and several people who worked for him colluded with people close to the Kremlin; it is up to prosecutors and then the courts to figure out if this was illegal or merely deceitful. We may have a hard time finding out what President Trump himself knew and approved.
However, I am unaware of anybody who has taken a serious look at Trump’s business who doesn’t believe that there is a high likelihood of rampant criminality. In Azerbaijan, he did business with a likely money launderer for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. In the Republic of Georgia, he partnered with a group that was being investigated for a possible role in the largest known bank-fraud and money-laundering case in history. In Indonesia, his development partner is “knee-deep in dirty politics”; there are criminal investigations of his deals in Brazil; the F.B.I. is reportedly looking into his daughter Ivanka’s role in the Trump hotel in Vancouver, for which she worked with a Malaysian family that has admitted to financial fraud. Back home, Donald, Jr., and Ivanka were investigated for financial crimes associated with the Trump hotel in SoHo—an investigation that was halted suspiciously. His Taj Mahal casino received what was then the largest fine in history for money-laundering violations.
Listing all the financial misconduct can be overwhelming and tedious. I have limited myself to some of the deals over the past decade, thus ignoring Trump’s long history of links to New York Mafia figures and other financial irregularities. It has become commonplace to say that enough was known about Trump’s shady business before he was elected; his followers voted for him precisely because they liked that he was someone willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, and they also believe that all rich businesspeople have to do shady things from time to time. In this way of thinking, any new information about his corrupt past has no political salience. Those who hate Trump already think he’s a crook; those who love him don’t care.
I believe this assessment is wrong. Sure, many people have a vague sense of Trump’s shadiness, but once the full details are better known and digested, a fundamentally different narrative about Trump will become commonplace. Remember: we knew a lot about problems in Iraq in May, 2003. Americans saw TV footage of looting and heard reports of U.S. forces struggling to gain control of the entire country. We had plenty of reporting, throughout 2007, about various minor financial problems. Somehow, though, these specific details failed to impress upon most Americans the over-all picture. It took a long time for the nation to accept that these were not minor aberrations but, rather, signs of fundamental crisis. Sadly, things had to get much worse before Americans came to see that our occupation of Iraq was disastrous and, a few years later, that our financial system was in tatters.
The narrative that will become widely understood is that Donald Trump did not sit atop a global empire. He was not an intuitive genius and tough guy who created billions of dollars of wealth through fearlessness. He had a small, sad global operation, mostly run by his two oldest children and Michael Cohen, a lousy lawyer who barely keeps up the pretenses of lawyering and who now faces an avalanche of charges, from taxicab-backed bank fraud to money laundering and campaign-finance violations.
Cohen, Donald, Jr., and Ivanka monetized their willingness to sign contracts with people rejected by all sensible partners. Even in this, the Trump Organization left money on the table, taking a million dollars here, five million there, even though the service they provided—giving branding legitimacy to blatantly sketchy projects—was worth far more. It was not a company that built value over decades, accumulating assets and leveraging wealth. It burned through whatever good will and brand value it established as quickly as possible, then moved on to the next scheme.
There are important legal questions that remain. How much did Donald Trump and his children know about the criminality of their partners? How explicit were they in agreeing to put a shiny gold brand on top of corrupt deals? The answers to these questions will play a role in determining whether they go to jail and, if so, for how long.
There is no longer one major investigation into Donald Trump, focussed solely on collusion with Russia. There are now at least two, including a thorough review of Cohen’s correspondence. The information in his office and hotel room will likely make clear precisely how much the Trump family knew. What we already know is disturbing, and it is hard to imagine that the information prosecutors will soon learn will do anything but worsen the picture.
Of course Trump is raging and furious and terrified. Prosecutors are now looking at his core. Cohen was the key intermediary between the Trump family and its partners around the world; he was chief consigliere and dealmaker throughout its period of expansion into global partnerships with sketchy oligarchs. He wasn’t a slick politico who showed up for a few months. He knows everything, he recorded much of it, and now prosecutors will know it, too. It seems inevitable that much will be made public. We don’t know when. We don’t know the precise path the next few months will take. There will be resistance and denial and counterattacks. But it seems likely that, when we look back on this week, we will see it as a turning point. We are now in the end stages of the Trump Presidency.
By and – The Washington Times – Tuesday, December 18, 2018
A federal judge on Tuesday delayed the sentencing of after unleashing a stinging verbal attack on President Trump’s former national security adviser, accusing him of selling out the country.
Judge said he couldn’t hide his “disgust and disdain” with ’s crimes, including working to covertly advance the interests of the during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out,” Judge said.
But the judge agreed to delay sentencing to give a chance to prove he is cooperating with other Justice Department criminal cases.
It was a major reversal for , who strode into the courtroom in the District of Columbia on Tuesday morning with a recommendation from special counsel Robert Mueller that he not serve time for lying to the FBI.
But Judge quickly made clear he wasn’t bound by that recommendation.
“I cannot assure you if you proceed today you will not receive a sentence of incarceration,” the judge said.
’s body tightened and his jaw clenched as Judge continued, telling that his lies caused government officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and others, to lie to the American people.
was fired from the Trump administration for lying to Mr. Pence about his s with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak after the 2016 presidential election. He later lied to FBI investigators about it, too.
“This is a very serious offense,” Judge said. “A high-ranking senior official of the making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation while in the White House.”
Prosecutors with Mr. Mueller’s team had urged Judge not to send to prison, citing his cooperation with the Russia probe and other Justice Department investigations. Mr. Mueller said deserves credit for providing substantial assistance during 19 meetings and encouraging others to come forward and cooperate.
The White House stood by its former national security adviser. Mr. Trump wished “good luck” in a tweet, and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said was essentially tricked into lying to the FBI.
“What we do know that was inappropriate … is the way FBI broke standard protocol and the way they came in and ambushed ,” she said.
Mrs. Sanders said former FBI Director James B. Comey, whom Mr. Trump fired, treated the Trump administration unfairly.
’s attorneys have maintained that he did not lie to investigators. They said in a sentencing memo last week that FBI agents duped him into lying and did advise him that making false statements to federal authorities is a crime.
The Mueller team rejected that suggestion and said , a former military intelligence officer, knew he would face criminal prosecution for lying to agents.
“Nothing about the way the interview was arranged or conducted caused the defendant to make false statements to the FBI on Jan. 24,” Mr. Mueller wrote in a court filing last week.
On Tuesday, ’s attorneys seemed to agree.
When asked by Judge whether was “entrapped by the FBI,” his attorney responded, “No, your honor.”
The sentencing hearing was held a day after prosecutors unsealed indictments against two of ’s former business associates. The government accuses the former associates of plotting with Turkish officials to pressure the U.S. government to extradite a cleric living in Pennsylvania to Turkey.
The cleric, Fethullah Gulen, is accused of masterminding a failed 2016 coup against the . Prosecutors said the two defendants illegally and covertly hid the ’s involvement in the lobbying effort, which enlisted .
is cooperating in that investigation and is expected to testify if the case goes to trial, said attorney Robert Kelner.
The hope is that ’s assistance in that case will bolster the effort to keep him out of prison.
“We are prepared to take you up on his suggestion of delaying sentencing so he can eke out the last modicum of cooperation in the Eastern District of Virginia,” Mr. Kelner said.
Judge agreed to delay sentencing but said he was “not making any promises would be spared prison at a future sentencing date.”
A status conference is scheduled for March.
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Even more remarkable is what these investigations tell us about the levels of criminality among America's business and political elite.
Tax evasion, money laundering, financial fraud and campaign finance violations: Every turned stone reveals thick webs of financial misdeeds. These white-collar crimes, which often implicate the powerful and the wealthy, notoriously thrive in the loose regulatory environments created when big money exerts undue influence on politics.
The Trump investigations join a growing body of evidence pointing to lax enforcement of high-level financial crimes.
The courts have similarly contributed to the lax regulatory environment. As a professor of constitutional law (and an ex-prosecutor), I have watched with concern as recent Supreme Court cases extended ever-increasing constitutional protections to the alliance between big money and politics.
Six months before Trump's election, the Supreme Court reversed the criminal conviction of a former Virginia governor on federal corruption charges. Gov. Robert McDonnell received personal gifts and loans worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Virginia businessman.
In exchange, McDonnell sought to influence the University of Virginia to conduct free research on the man's commercial product.
The conviction, said the court, raised serious constitutional concerns because it could chill interactions between politicians and their supporters.
As in McDonnell's own case, the decision's significance extends beyond matters of campaign finance. The case was recently cited as a cause for the acquittal, on federal bribery charges, of a high-ranking New York City police official who for years received lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen.
Business and political elite
The rich rewards of the Trump investigations suggest that big-money illegalities are rife in America. And while Trump may be in a league of his own, the problem is not limited to Trump.
Indeed, some of the people embroiled in the Trump scandals have long been situated at the heart of America's business and political elite.
In 2012, Vance ordered prosecutors to drop a promising fraud case against Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. for lying to investors in a Trump project in Manhattan. The order was made after their father's attorney paid Vance a visit.
That is the wider scandal suggested by the investigations of Trump and his cronies: The high levels of brazen big-money illegalities that ordinarily go unaddressed and unpunished. Indeed many of the alleged crimes are no longer chargeable due to the statute of limitations.
There is deep irony in the fact that Trump and his cronies are being pursued for the sort of crimes whose chronic under-enforcement generated the inequality and resentment that helped catapult Trump to the presidency.
Once again former FBI Director slithers into our collective consciousness with his tap-dancing appearances before the oversight committees of the House of Representatives. We are reminded — though we had not forgotten — why the inspector general of the Department of Justice found ’s self-promoting, stage-hogging performance as FBI director to be, among other blistering criticisms, “insubordinate.”
did more to mess up the 2016 election than the ham-handed Russians could ever do. President Obama should have fired the guy long before President Trump so rightfully did so. Had Mr. Obama fired , we would have been spared the Mueller circus with his clown car of deep-state careerists trying hard to undo a democratically elected president based on payments to shady ladies for Trump dalliances many years ago. They were hoping to nail Mr. Trump for being a KGB agent, but that doesn’t seem to be working out.
Much of this sorry affair, which has the potential to be so much more dangerous than the petulant political and media establishments realize, started with the bumbling and ubiquitous . He is like Anthony Weiner in how his mischief making far exceeds any real import he ever had. Now he is the one who is going to rescue the FBI’s soiled reputation? Give me a break. should just go get a job at MSNBC, fail there, and then go away. Please.
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It was flattering when Felix Sater reached out to me to see if I would follow up on my idea to write a screenplay based on his life, but I’m really not very interested in getting mixed up in his business. The idea was actually a joke, but Sater took it seriously. In truth, I don’t think I’d be up to the challenge of trying to unravel his life for the big screen.
Sater is in the news again because of his central role in brokering a deal between IC Expert CEO Andrey Rozov and the Trump Organization to build a skyscraper in Moscow that would have been the tallest building in Europe. On Tuesday, Buzzfeed News published the detailed plans for that tower. I now have reason to believe that there’s a connection between the Moscow Tower deal, which was formalized in a letter of intent signed on October 28, 2015, and the infamous Trump Tower meeting that occurred on June 9, 2016. But fully explaining the link is not possible in a blog-length post. Instead, I will just point you in the right direction.
Back in October 2018, independent journalist Wendy Siegelman did some sleuthing and discovered that in December 2015 Felix Sater and Andrey Rozov had teamed up to sell a Manhattan property located at 22 West 38th Street. It’s not that surprising that Sater and Rozov were working on two distinct real estate deals at the same time, but the New York-based accountant, Ilya Bykov, who was involved in the West 38th Street transaction is the same accountant who helped Azerbaijani oligarch Aras Agalarov create a shell company in Delaware just prior to the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting. Agalarov, you will remember, was responsible for bringing Donald Trump’s beauty contest to Moscow in 2013, and it was his son Emil who reached out to Donald Trump Jr. to offer dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The shell company, called Silver Valley Consulting, has attracted the attention of investigators because eleven days before the June 9 meeting, Mr. Agalarov moved “$19.5 million from an offshore investment vehicle to a US bank account” for the newly established corporation.
A Russian billionaire who orchestrated the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting formed a new American shell company a month beforehand with an accountant who has had clients accused of money laundering and embezzlement.
The billionaire, Aras Agalarov, created the US company anonymously while preparing to move almost $20m into the country during the time of the presidential election campaign, according to interviews and corporate filings.
The company was set up for him in May 2016 by his Russian-born accountant, who has also managed the US finances of compatriots accused of mishandling millions of dollars. One of those clients has its own connection to the Trump Tower meeting.
As independent investigator Scott Stedman put it, “The intersection of Rozov, Sater, Bykov, Agalarov and the shell company that purchased 22 West 38th Street, resulting in an $8M profit for Rozov in the midst of negotiating Trump Tower Moscow will surely pique the interest of congressional and federal authorities.”
The reason these connections cannot be concisely explained in a blog post is because they sprawl into many different areas of interest. Much of this can be explored in Siegelman’s article from last October. The Cliff Notes version that I will give you here is that it centers around the Russians’ efforts to fight back against the Magnitsky Act. All the work that Natalia Veselnitskaya was doing in the United States centered around that effort, very much including her agenda in the Trump Tower meeting. In fact, the simplest way of understanding the Trump Tower meeting is that it was a proposed deal to provide the campaign with dirt on Clinton in exchange for a commitment to roll back the Magnitsky Act if Trump were elected.
Up until now, there has been no suggestion that there was a similar connection between the Moscow Tower proposal and the Magnitsky Act, but some of same players are emerging as having been involved in both of these negotiations. For example, the accountant Ilya Bykov connects both with Sater and Rozov’s real estate deal and with Agalarov’s shell company. In the latter case, the suspicion is that Agalarov was moving $20 million into an American account for some purpose related to the Trump Tower meeting.
Some of the best reporting on the Russia investigation has been done by independent journalists. Scott Stedman has been doing excellent work tracking down the financial shenanigans involved, and he reported in December that the Trump Organization had not done much due diligence before partnering with the IC Expert to build their Moscow skyscraper.
Andrey Rozov, the IC Expert Chairman and Trump LOI signatory, founded the company in 2005. The company’s first project was awarded in 2011 for a residential development project called Novokosino-2 in the city of Reutov, a suburb of Moscow. Sberbank appears to have provided the initial financing for the project, as well.
That same year, Rozov was involved in a fatal boating accident in the harbor of Crocus City. Rozov was charged with negligent homicide, yet the case stalled and it is unclear what became of the charges.
By the end of 2014, IC Expert had become mired in scandal over its failure to construct thousands of apartment units paid for by home buyers. The Novokosino project has required ongoing intervention by local and regional government officials to address the growing protests of co-investors. Even under this supposed government supervision, many of the buildings — first promised in July 2015 and then December 2015 — still remain under construction.Yet in 2015, Rozov’s scandal-plagued IC Expert was looking to expand into the luxury skyscrapers sector in Moscow City. The licensing deal with Trump was predicated on the firm’s ability to secure financing, land, and government permission. It included an initial $4 million dollar ‘upfront’ payment to ‘Trump Acquisition LLC and/or one or more of its affiliates’. It is unclear whether such a payment was ever made.
The project was deemed so “important” to Cohen that in January 2016, he reached out to Putin’s spokesperson Peskov for help. In that email, Cohen wrote, “without getting into lengthy specifics, the communication between our two sides has stalled.”
Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, is the lead defense counsel for Sberbank in a Manhattan case. During Trump’s trip to Moscow in 2013, he met with the Sberbank CEO Herman Gref. “There was a good feeling from the meeting,” Gref said in an interview. “He’s a sensible person, very lively in his responses, with a positive energy and a good attitude toward Russia.”
The deal signed by Trump and his lawyer Michael Cohen offers no signs that they properly vetted IC Expert. Neither mystery offshore owners nor a homicide appears to have deterred them from signing the Letter of Intent. Doing business deals with shady characters in foreign countries open political candidates up to potentially being compromised. This material can be held against the political figure in order to ensure loyalty.
In that piece, Stedman does not mention Felix Sater. But, of course, it was Sater who took the lead in making these connections on Michael Cohen’s behalf. Whether by design or by accident, Sater could have compromised Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, leaving them vulnerable to exposure and blackmail. As with everything else in his life, it’s very hard to understand here who Sater was working for and what kind of game he was playing. In some ways, I’d enjoy writing a screenplay about his life, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand all of this well enough to do him justice.
As for the implications for the Russia investigation, there is clear evidence here that the Trump Organization was looking for ways to ingratiate itself with Vladimir Putin in furtherance of getting a deal to build a tower in Moscow. The Russians dangled a deal, got Trump to sign on the dotted line, and then held that over him as they attempted to get him to make commitments should he actually become president. The Magnitsky Act was one of their main targets, but so was undermining the European Union, breaking up NATO, getting America to leave Syria, getting a recognition of their right to Crimea, and sanctions relief. Trump has pursued all of these things and more since becoming president.
A strong majority of Americans blame President Donald Trump for the record-long government shutdown and reject his primary rationale for a border wall, according to a new poll that shows the turmoil in Washington is dragging his approval rating to its lowest level in more than a year.
Overall, 34 percent of Americans approve of Trump's job performance in a survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. That's down from 42 percent a month earlier and nears the lowest mark of his two-year presidency. The president's approval among Republicans remains close to 80 percent, but his standing with independents is among its lowest points of his time in office.
"Trump is responsible for this," said poll respondent Lloyd Rabalais, a federal contractor from Slidell, Louisiana, who's not affiliated with either political party.
The 47-year-old has been furloughed for more than a month. He said he'd need to start drawing on his retirement savings next week to pay his bills if the shutdown continues.
"I do support a wall, but not the way he's handling it," Rabalais added. "Trump guaranteed everybody that Mexico would pay for the wall. Now he's holding American workers like me hostage."
The drop in approval comes as Trump begins the third year of his presidency under the weight of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, an international trade war that's straining the global economy and new revelations about his push for a real estate deal in Russia during his 2016 campaign.
Compared with earlier presidents, Trump's approval rating has been relatively stable over the course of his presidency, ranging from the mid-30s to the mid-40s.
By contrast, President Barack Obama never fell below 40 percent in polling by Gallup. Still, five presidents since Gallup began measuring presidential approval have had their rating fall into the 20s at least once, including Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Trump has never fallen into that range of historic lows, but he's also the only president never to have reached 50 percent in Gallup's polling.
The new AP-NORC poll shows most Americans see the shutdown as a major problem, and they blame Trump far more than congressional Democrats for the mess that has ensnared the lives of roughly 800,000 government workers who are going without pay.
Sixty percent of Americans say Trump bears a great deal of responsibility for the shutdown. About a third place the same amount of blame on congressional Democrats (31 percent) or Republicans (36 percent).
Sixty-five percent of Americans, including 86 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents and 33 percent of Republicans, call the shutdown a major problem.
Trump may be popular overall with Republicans, but a sizable share holds him responsible for the current situation. Almost 3 in 10 Republicans think Trump bears a great deal of responsibility, while 73 percent of his party says he's at least partly responsible.
"The large part of the responsibility belongs to the president because he made the decision," said poll respondent Sandra Olson, of Northwood, Iowa. The 76-year-old registered Republican said she voted for Trump once and likely will again.
"We have never in my lifetime seen a president who has been so maligned and attacked and vilified," Olson said.
Trump's demand for a $5.7 billion border wall is also unpopular.
Overall, 49 percent of Americans oppose the plan to build a massive wall along the Mexican border; 36 percent of the nation is in favor. Opinions fall largely along ideological lines, with 8 in 10 Democrats opposing the wall and nearly 8 in 10 Republicans supporting it.
About 7 in 10 supporters of the wall prefer to extend the shutdown than to reach a deal without funding it, while a nearly identical number on the other side would rather the shutdown continue than provide that funding.
The poll shows significant skepticism of the president's argument that a wall would significantly reduce crime, stem the flow of illegal drugs or help the U.S. economy. The poll was conducted the week after Trump used such factors to justify his demand for the wall during a primetime address from the Oval Office.
In the nationally televised speech, he highlighted the case of one immigrant in the country illegally accused of beheading and dismembering an American citizen.
About 6 in 10 Americans do say the wall would at least slightly decrease the number of people entering the U.S. illegally, though only 3 in 10 think the number would significantly decrease. Yet just 35 percent of Americans believe the wall would make the country safer, while a majority of Americans — 57 percent— believe it would make no difference to safety in the U.S. Only 21 percent believe the wall would significantly reduce the availability of illegal drugs in the nation, though 28 percent say access to illegal drugs would be slightly reduced; 49 percent say the wall would have no effect.
On the economy, about as many Americans say the border wall would do more to help — almost 3 in 10 — as say it would do more to hurt; 43 percent say the wall would not make much difference to the U.S. economy.
Poll respondent Kelley Thorson, of St. Robert, Missouri, who backed Trump in the 2016 election, says she supports the wall but largely disagrees with the president's rationale.
"I can't say it would make us safer," the 57-year-old said. "Criminals are going to get here no matter what."
While partisan opinions of Trump have remained relatively constant throughout his presidency, the poll shows that disapproval has grown particularly among independents who do not lean toward either party.
Just 28 percent of independents say they approve, compared with 71 percent who disapprove. In December, 37 percent of independents approved of Trump's job performance, while 58 percent disapproved.
Women also are more likely to disapprove today compared with a month ago — 71 percent to 58 percent. And 76 percent of college graduates disapprove today, compared with 65 percent who disapproved in December.
The president isn't doing anything well right now, said poll respondent J. Edwin Hixson, a 71-year-old retired truck driver from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who didn't vote for Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
"This isn't a reality show. We're in serious trouble," he said.
The AP-NORC poll of 1,062 adults was conducted Jan. 16 to 20 using a sample drawn from NORC's probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.
»Service record of Reinhard Heydrich 24/01/19 05:43 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks Michael_Novakhov shared this story . SS- service record cover of Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich The service record of Reinhard Heydrich was a collection of official SS documents maintained at the SS Pers...
Adolf Hitler’s spymaster, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, was actually a dedicated anti-Nazi who did everything he could to frustrate the Führer’s plans.
by David Alan Johnson
In most popular spy thrillers, secret agents are tall, handsome, virile, and irresistible to women. Whether their name is Dirk Pitt, Jack Ryan, or James Bond, all are hard-drinking, well-tailored ladies’ men. At the end of the last chapter, the hero invariably saves the world, wins the girl and drives off into the sunset behind the wheel of a fancy sports car.
The many plots to assassinate the madman responsible for the death of millions... Get your copy of Warfare History Network’s FREE Special Report, Killing Adolf Hitler
Wilhelm Canaris was no James Bond. He was just under five feet, four inches tall, which nearly kept him out of the German Navy. He only drank one glass of wine with dinner, and he had no women in his life except his wife, Erika, and their two daughters. But despite his outwardly non-heroic appearance and lifestyle, he might well have done more to save the world from Adolf Hitler than any of his contemporaries, either German or Allied.
One thing Canaris did have in common with James Bond was that both were naval officers. Canaris entered the German Navy in April 1905, as an 18-year-old cadet at the Kiel naval academy. By the time World War I broke out in 1914, he was an officer on the cruiser Dresden serving under Admiral Graf von Spee, who sank the British cruisers Good Hope and Monmouth off the coast of Chile in November 1914. A few weeks later, von Spee’s squadron was cornered by the British off the Falkland Islands. Canaris’s ship managed to escape, but was trapped in Cumberland Bay, Chile, and blown up to prevent capture. The crew was interned by the neutral Chileans, but Canaris escaped. He was given a counterfeit passport by the German consulate in Santiago and crossed the Andes Mountains into Argentina. From Buenos Aires, he sailed to Rotterdam and traveled by train to Berlin.
After recovering from the effects of his trip—he was a physical wreck when he arrived in Berlin—Canaris was assigned as an intelligence officer in Spain, a job that was to change his life. He was good at his new work, and passed a great deal of useful information regarding Allied shipping back to naval headquarters, but he wanted to return to sea. Eventually, Canaris got his wish, finishing the war as the captain of a U-boat. Between his intelligence activities and his U-boat service, he was credited with sinking 18 Allied ships.
Canaris Approved of the Early Nazi Party
After the armistice in 1918, Canaris remained in the navy. He served aboard the cruiser Berlin and the battleship Schlessein, and spent most of the 1920s at sea. In September 1934, a year and a half after Adolf Hitler came to power, Canaris was appointed commander of the naval base at Swinemünde. It was a dead-end job and Canaris, by this time a captain, fully expected to remain at Swinemünde until he retired. But a few months later, he was offered the position as head of Germany’s secret military intelligence, the Abwehr. The high command had noticed his excellent record as an intelligence officer in 1916, and suggested him for the new post. Canaris was appointed chief of the Abwehr on New Year’s Day 1935, his 47th birthday, and was promoted to admiral a short time later.
When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Canaris thought they were just what the new Germany needed. Hitler promised to rearm Germany and re-build the German navy, two goals that the old sailor strongly supported. But when Hitler began murdering his political rivals, Canaris became a determined opponent of the Nazi regime. The event that turned him into a dedicated anti-Nazi took place on June 30, 1934. During the infamous “Night of the Long Knives,” Hitler ordered the execution of hundreds of his political rivals. Among those assassinated was Ernst Röhm, Hitler’s former friend and chief of staff. After that, Canaris became Hitler’s sworn enemy. On the day that World War II began, he predicted that a victory by Hitler would mean catastrophe. And when France surrendered in June 1940, Canaris told associates: “Should Hitler win, this will certainly be the end of Germany. And if Hitler loses, this will also be the end of Germany and ourselves, too, for having failed to get rid of him.”
Canaris began using his position to oppose Hitler. He was at Berchtesgaden on August 22, 1939, when Hitler announced his plans for invading Poland. Although everyone at the meeting had been prohibited from taking notes, Canaris stood at the back of the room and surreptitiously jotted down everything Hitler said. As soon as the meeting ended, he drove to the Hotel of the Four Seasons in Munich and wrote down everything he could remember about Hitler’s invasion plans, using his notes to refresh his memory. When he had finished, Canaris gave his summary to Colonel Hans Oster, a fellow anti-Hitler conspirator. Oster made a copy of the comments and gave it to the Dutch military attaché in Berlin, Major G.J. Sas, who passed it along to members of the French and British diplomatic corps.
“Nothing Should be Omitted That Would Shorten This War”
As the result of Canaris’s warning, Great Britain and France placed their forces on full alert, and both nations promised to come to Poland’s assistance if attacked by Germany. At dawn on Friday, September 1, the Luftwaffe began bombing targets inside Poland; the Wehrmacht joined the attack a few hours later. World War II had begun. As they had promised, England and France declared war on Germany two days later. On that same day, September 3, Canaris made a promise of his own: “Nothing should be omitted that would shorten this war.”
Canaris decided that the best way for him to shorten the war was to mislead and misinform Hitler at every possible opportunity. A few weeks after the invasion of Poland, he informed Hitler that the French were planning a massive attack in the Saarbrücken area. Hitler did not believe him, telling the admiral that Saarbrücken was the strong point in the German line. Hitler was right. No French offensive took place, at Saarbrücken or anywhere else. The Führer would remember this particular incident whenever he was given information by Canaris, and he would also remember that he had been right and Canaris had been wrong.
Hitler’s misgivings were reinforced about six months later, just prior to the invasion of Norway in April 1940. Canaris reported that the British Navy was on the alert, and warned that German transports would be annihilated if a landing was attempted. Hitler read the report and went ahead with the invasion just the same. The landings took place on April 9, 1940, and encountered no interference from the British fleet, although a British destroyer squadron sank several German ships off Narvik the following day.
Hitler was not sure what to make of Canaris, the Abwehr, or the intelligence service in general. They seemed to have a knack for getting things wrong. Hitler and most of his senior officers quickly lost all faith in intelligence because of Canaris’s mistakes, which they had no idea were actually calculated moves. This lack of trust in the Abwehr, and the concomitant refusal to believe any information related by the intelligence wing, would inadvertently become a tremendous advantage for the Allies. Even when Hitler was given reliable information, he usually refused to believe it.
Canaris was not alone in his campaign to oppose Hitler and the Nazis. He had begun a conspiracy that has come to be known as the Schwarze Kapelle, or Black Orchestra. Among its members were General Ludwig Beck, chief of staff of the Army; Colonel Hans Oster, Canaris’s aide; General Erwin von Witzleben, and a number of other high-ranking officers. Besides misleading Hitler, they intended to supply the Allies with all pertinent military, technical and scientific information.
One successful attempt at supplying the Allies with technical information took place in 1939. A package containing many technical drawings and documents was left on the doorstep of the British Embassy in Oslo, from where it was sent on to London via diplomatic pouch. In London, the papers were examined by Dr. R.V. Jones, a scientific expert at British intelligence. When Jones first saw the documents, his mind must have boggled. He was looking at the plans for Germany’s most secret weapons, including radar sets, X-beams (which guided bombers to their targets at night), a homing torpedo and a guided missile that would become known as the V-2 rocket.
No one has ever proven conclusively that Canaris was behind the delivery of the Oslo Report. It contained a note that was signed by “a well-wishing German scientist,” which was the only clue regarding its origin. But no German scientist would have been able to collect so many top secret documents, smuggle them out of the country and deliver them safely to British Intelligence. The Oslo report clearly had the mark of Canaris’s handiwork.
The admiral’s next move against Hitler came in October 1940, just as the Battle of Britain was winding down. Hitler had the idea to invade and capture Gibraltar. With Gibraltar in German hands, Britain would be cut off from their forces in North Africa. The plan looked a good deal easier than an invasion of England, which had already been postponed indefinitely, and might be just as costly to Great Britain and her war effort. The plan, code-named Operation Felix, was put in Canaris’s hands. He spoke fluent Spanish, knew Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, and had a number of agents in place in Spain.
Canaris went to work on Operation Felix immediately, but not in the way that Hitler expected. First, he wrote a long, detailed report explaining why Operation Felix could not possibly succeed. Next, he had one of his Schwarze Kapelle associates, Dr. Joseph Müller, meet with Spanish Foreign Minister Ramon Serrano Suner. Müller gave Suner a confidential message from Canaris advising that Hitler did not have the men or the resources to attack Spain if Franco refused to give in to Hitler’s demands. Suner relayed the message to Franco. When Hitler came to Spain to discuss Gibraltar on October 23, Franco was prepared. He told Hitler that he intended to remain neutral, and that he would not allow German troops to attack Gibraltar from Spain. Hitler bullied and badgered Franco for over nine hours, but finally gave up. “I would rather have four teeth out than go through that again,” he told Italian dictator Benito Mussolini afterwards.
The meeting with Franco was a major setback for Hitler. If Gibraltar has been attacked via Spain and had fallen into German hands, supplying British troops in North Africa through the Straits of Gibraltar would have been impossible. This advantage might well have allowed Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps to defeat the British Eighth Army and capture the Suez Canal. Canaris’s derailing of Operation Felix probably cost Hitler the North African campaign.
By now, Allied intelligence had reached the conclusion that Canaris really was working against Hitler and could be trusted. A few sharp-eyed British agents noted that the admiral made frequent trips to the Spanish town of Algeciras, supposedly on business, but also as an excuse to get away from Berlin. The agents submitted a plan to kidnap Canaris and take him to London, which included the time and place of Canaris’s abduction and details of how to force him across to Gibraltar at gunpoint. As soon as London heard about the project, they ordered it cancelled. Canaris was far more valuable where he was. British intelligence was shrewd enough to let Canaris work in his own way, without interference from any of their own bright young agents.
Hitler Began to Grow Angry…
It was a smart move. Canaris knew exactly what he was doing in his war against Hitler. In the autumn of 1942, the German high command received word that an Allied landing was about to take place, but the time and place of the landing were not yet known. A German agent in Britain managed to find out that the invasion would take place in French North Africa, and sent a full report to Hamburg, the Abwehr’s primary station. Nobody ever saw the report—it simply vanished. Canaris claimed that he never received any such communication. When Allied troops came ashore at Casablanca, Algiers and Oran during the early hours of November 8, 1942, the landings took Hitler and his generals completely by surprise. Only Canaris was not surprised—he had read the report on the coming operation several weeks earlier.
Hitler was growing increasingly angry with Canaris and his supposed inefficiency. The success of Operation Torch did not ease his anxieties. Allied transports and warships sailed right through the Straits of Gibraltar, and the head of the Abwehr apparently knew nothing about it. Hitler removed some of Canaris’s authority and gave it to Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Nazi Party’s intelligence branch, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). But Canaris was given a reprieve when Heydrich was assassinated by British-trained Czech partisans. He remained in charge of the Abwehr, but Hitler had absolutely no confidence in him or any of the intelligence services.
In January 1944, Canaris was given another chance. He was ordered to report to the headquarters of Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, commander of all German forces in the Mediterranean. Kesselring had heard rumours about a possible Allied landing on the coast of Italy, and wanted to know what Canaris knew about any impending attack. Canaris immediately put everyone’s mind at ease. He said that there was no need to fear any impending Allied landing. One of Kesselring’s commanders asked Canaris if he knew where the British battleships might be. “We’re looking after them. Don’t you worry,” Canaris reassured him.
The Tragic Fate of Wilhem Caniris
At that very moment, about 250 Allied ships were approaching the Italian coast. At dawn on the following day, 50,000 men of the American 3rd Division and the British 1st Division would come ashore at Anzio, in one of the largest amphibious operations of the war. As far as Hitler was concerned, this was Canaris’s last mistake. He removed the admiral as head of the Abwehr and replaced him with a reliable Nazi, Walter Schellenberg. Canaris was banished to a 14th century castle in Franconia, Burg Lauenstein. But although he was now forcibly retired, he was far from being finished. He managed to keep in contact with the Allies, as well as with his colleagues in the Schwarze Kapelle. Among the data that Canaris managed to get through to SHAEF was the German order of battle, a highly valuable piece of information. He still had his connections for obtaining such data, as well as the means of sending it over to England. And nobody, from Hitler down, ever found out.
If Canaris had been a character in a spy novel, his story would have had a happy ending. But he lived in Nazi Germany, not in Ian Fleming’s creative imagination. On the afternoon of July 20, 1944, members of the Schwarze Kapelle attempted to assassinate Hitler at his headquarters in east Prussia. A thorough investigation by the Gestapo implicated several members of the Schwarze Kapelle, including Canaris, in the assassination plot. Canaris was taken to Berlin for interrogation, where he denied knowing anything about the plot against Hitler.
Canaris spent most of the winter of 1944-45 in a cell at Gestapo headquarters, before being moved to Flossenburg concentration camp on February 7, 1945. Although he was questioned every day, Canaris told his investigators nothing. As General George S. Patton’s American Third Army steadily approached, it began to look as though Canaris might escape death at the hands of the Gestapo. But on April 8, he was beaten and tortured by Gestapo guards. The following day he was hanged, and his body was cremated behind the cell block. His principled opposition to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime had proved fatal to Canaris, as it had for thousands of other victims of the Third Reich. His had been a higher patriotism.
(8/20/01 12:32:55 pm)
Reply Canaris and Heydrich
One of the strangest relationship in the Third Reich is that between Wilhelm Canaris and Reinhard Heydrich. While both were well acquainted during their naval days, their struggle for control began when Canaris was made head of the Abwehr, and Heydrich wanted his SD to become involved in foreign intelligence and espionage. Likewise, control over the Secret Field Police was often a target of a paper war (which like the Abwehr, was eventually absorbed into the SS). Yet despite it all, both Canaris and Heydrich continued to spend a lot of time together - seemingly living next to each other, enjoying their morning horse rides, and having dinners and playing music at each other's houses. If there ever was a classic example of "keeping your friends close ; your enemies even closer", this was it.
Yet Canaris reportedly wept at Heydrich's funeral in 1942. This is indeed strange behaviour of the respectable naval officer. Was he really devastated that an intimate rival had been killed? Or is he merely trying to keep up appearances - as he is known to do - while playing the 2-faced Janus to continue plotting against Hitler? Does anyone want to comment on this?
(8/20/01 4:13:36 pm)
Reply Re: Canaris and Heydrich
I don´t know if they really were such good friends. Since I read that Canaris was one of the officers responsible for Heydrich being forced to leave the Navy. This due to Heydrich not being willing to marry a girl he made the family way.
Moderador foro SB
(8/20/01 7:32:28 pm)
Reply Re: Canaris and Heydrich
Canaris was a traitor that worked for allied forces during all the war. He constantly misinformed German High Command about everything and gave vital information to allies. He also conspired to kill Hitler since the first day.
Heydrich was about to prove Canaris treason and to destroy the high inner circle of anti-German conspirators. To save Canaris and his network of traitors, allies sent a suicide unit of Jews paratroops to kill him.
Source: Derrota Mundial, Salvador Borrego. (homepage.mac.com/abadillo...mun.html).
(8/20/01 7:40:07 pm)
Re: Canaris and Heydrich
I always thought the paratroopers who killed Heydrich were Czechs, with one exception(Gabcik) who was Slovak.
(8/21/01 12:30:51 am)
...traitor, suicide unit of jews, Derrota Mundial (=world defeat).....
Well, it is clear on what side you are.
(8/22/01 6:46:13 am)
Reply Canaris' role in the Reich's intrigue
I think there is evidence that both Heydrich and Himmler knew for a long time that Canaris was very much against the Hitler regieme, and went along with it (like many others) only because it was the better alternative than the chaotic reign of the Weimer Republic. I am just interested in knowing more about the double-cross, and the back-stabbings that went on (almost like the movie "Wild things"!).
There are often stories that Himmler often protected Canaris, and keep his own adjutant, Heydrich, on his (Heydrich's) toes. He saw Canaris as an important counter-weight to prevent Heydrich from becoming too powerful.
Likewise, it was often wondered why Himmler would support Stauffenburg's promotion to full Colonel in the Reserve Army. While some people see this as a lack of effectiveness of the Gestapo in nutting out the Resistance Movement in the Third Reich, I read that Himmler actually DID know of Stauffenburg's role in the Resistance, and was willing to allow him to assassinate Hitler. Himmler often played this cat-and-mouse game.
Heydrich? Is he doing the same thing?
And Canaris? Is he a hero, for trying to save a few Jews? Is he another unknown saviour - one who trys to save a few lives ? Or is he a traitor to his country?
cover of Obergruppenführer und General der Polizei Reinhard Heydrich
The service record of Reinhard Heydrich was a collection of official SS documents maintained at the SS Personnel Main Office in Berlin from 1934 until the fall of Nazi Germany in 1945. Most of Reinhard Heydrich's record was captured by the Allies and used for subsequent investigation into Heydrich's duties as head of the RSHA and overall performance in the SS in general.
Heydrich began his military career in 1922, joining the Reichsmarine as a midshipman (Seekadet). He was promoted to senior midshipman (Oberfähnrich zur See) on 1 April 1924 and commissioned an ensign (Leutnant zur See) in 1926. Serving as a signals officer, in 1928 he was promoted to sub-lieutenant (Oberleutnant zur See). However, the promotion further fuelled his arrogance and ambition, resulting in difficult relations with his fellow officers and sailors. Gaining a reputation as a womaniser, in April 1931 he was court-martialled and dismissed from the Navy for "conduct unbecoming to an officer and a gentleman." 
Summary of SS careerThe early years
Chief of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD)
Mann through Standartenführer
Create an internal Nazi Party security service, assist Heinrich Himmler in gaining complete control of the SS, help the Nazis gain power in Germany
Commissioning order for Reinhard Heydrich to assume duties as an SS-officer
Heydrich's formal appointment as Chief of the Sicherheitsdienst
When Heydrich joined the SS, it was with the understanding that he would be a primary assistant to Heinrich Himmler and also Himmler's "right hand man" when it came to SS activities in southern Germany. The SS in 1931 was divided by shifting loyalties and geographical divisions, with two SS power bases building up in northern and southern Germany respectively. Two years before the Nazis were in power, this stage of the SS did not encompass the state police forces that Heydrich would eventually be put in command of by Himmler, and his task in 1931 was to develop an internal security group and help Heinrich Himmler to gain more power within the Nazi Party and the SS.
Heydrich was enlisted into the SS in the summer of 1931. After three weeks, Heydrich was given a commission as an SS-Sturmführer and began working out of a Munich apartment to establish his Ic-Dienst which would later become the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). By Christmas, Heydrich was an SS-captain which, at that time, was known as Sturmhauptführer (prior to 1934, SS officer ranks were the same as the SA. This rank would eventually become Hauptsturmführer). Just two weeks later, Heydrich was made an SS-major as he continued to build his security service. Six months later, in the summer of 1932, he became an SS-colonel (Standartenführer) as the SS at this point had no lieutenant colonel rank. An important irony of Heydrich's standing at this point in his career is that senior SS leaders considered him rather unimportant and he was referred to by one SS Group Leader in northern Germany as a "mere" Standartenführer.
Chief of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD)
Establish the SS and SD as state security organizations throughout all of Germany, crush and destroy the Sturmabteiluing
The event which catapulted Heydrich into the ranks of the SS Generals was the Nazi Party's assumption to power in January 1933. Two months later, in March, Heydrich was promoted to Oberführer and it is in this capacity that the first official photographs of him were taken. Some private photographs exist showing him as an Standartenführer from 1932, but there are no known pictures of Heydrich wearing a junior SS rank from before this time.
The year of 1933 was occupied by Heydrich and Himmler attempting to consolidate SS power and eliminate the divisions which had developed between regional SS leaders. The effort was begun to take over control of the state police forces and also to transfer SS headquarters from Munich to Berlin. Thus, by the end of 1933, Heydrich had been promoted to Brigadeführer, basically the equivalent of a major general and had moved his office to Berlin from where he commanded the SD. On 20 April 1934, Göring and Himmler agreed to put aside their differences (largely because of their mutual hatred and growing dread of the Sturmabteilung; SA). Göring transferred full authority over the Gestapo to Himmler, who was also named chief of all German police forces outside of Prussia. Himmler on 22 April 1934 named Heydrich the head of the Gestapo. With the Gestapo under their control, the two men plotted as to its use along with the SS to crush the SA.
The Night of the Long Knives (30 June to 2 July 1934) was another event which significantly helped Heydrich's career as his SD apparatus (along with other branches of the SS, such as the Totenkopfverbande) and the Gestapo were used to destroy the leadership of the SA. This established the SS as the dominant paramilitary group within the Nazi Party. For Heydrich's role, he was made an SS-Gruppenführer which was the second highest rank at the time. However, at this stage in his career, Heydrich was still mainly regarded as the commander of the SD but had already begun to exert himself into other police forces including the Gestapo.
Chief of the SD, Gestapo & Sicherheitspolizei (SiPo)
Run the security forces and secret police forces of Germany, enforce anti-Jewish measures, oversee security at the 1936 Olympics
For the next five years, Heydrich became feared throughout Germany. Himmler, after being named the chief of all German police in 1936, incorporated together the Gestapo and the Kripo or Kriminalpolizei (Criminal Police) into sub-departments of the Sicherheitspolizei or SiPo (Security Police). They were considered a complementary organisation to the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). Reinhard Heydrich was given control of the SiPo (Gestapo & Kripo) and remained head of the SD. Although Heydrich was chief of the Gestapo, Heinrich Müller ran this unit's day-to-day operations. Simultaneously during this time, Heydrich had begun to focus on anti-Jewish measures throughout Germany and he was tasked with overseeing security at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
Chief of the Reichsicherheitshaumptamt (RSHA)
Director of security forces and secret police forces within Germany and occupied territories, oversee the Einsatzgruppen, continue anti-Jewish measures within Germany
Deputy Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia, Chief of the Reichsicherheitshaumptamt (RSHA)
Obergruppenführer and General der Polizei
Conduct the extermination of the Jewish race, subjugate Czech population under Nazi rule. Chief of the Reich Main Security Office which included the security forces and secret police forces within Germany and occupied territories.
In September 1941, Heydrich was given his first political posting as he became the Deputy Reichsprotector of Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Promoted to Obergruppenführer (a full SS-General), just a few months later Heydrich was tasked by Göring to chair the Wannsee Conference at which he presented to heads of a number of German Government departments a plan for the deportation and transporting of Jewish people from every country in Europe to be worked to death or outright killed in the East.
Heydrich's position in the spring of 1942 was one of great power, but his career was cut short. In May, Heydrich was attacked by British Special Operations Executive (SOE) trained soldiers of the Czechoslovakia’s army-in-exile, Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš in Prague. Heydrich died in early June 1942 of his wounds.
Service as fighter pilot
Reinhard Heydrich served as Reserve Hauptmann, then major in the Luftwaffe. He served in the Invasion of Poland as a turret gunner. Then, despite his age, he completed a fighter pilot course in 1940. Heydrich wanted to set an example and show that the SS were not "asphalt" soldiers behind the front lines, but the elite of the Third Reich. In April 1940 he flew a Bf 110 in the Fighter Group II./JG 77"Herz As" in Norway. The planes flown by Heydrich had an ancient Germanic runic character S for Sieg -- "victory" painted on the side of the fuselage. On May 13, 1940 his plane crashed during take-off and Heydrich was injured. For a short time in May, he flew patrol flights over North Germany and the Netherlands. Then, after another accident, he returned to Berlin. In mid-June 1941, before the German attack on the USSR, he resumed flying, ignoring Himmler's orders. He flew his personal Bf 109 again with Group II./JG 77 from Bălţi, Romania on the southern Eastern Front, which put the wing commander under pressure due to Heydrich's position and lack of experience. On 22 July 1941, while on a combat mission, his plane was badly damaged over Yampil by Soviet anti-aircraft fire. Heydrich made an emergency landing in no-man's land, evaded a Soviet patrol and made his way back to German lines. After this, Hitler forbade him to fly in combat, as it was realized that his capture as a POW would be a major security breach for Germany. He never flew another operational sortie.
Heydrich was decorated with the Iron Cross Second (1940) and First (1941) Classes. The number of missions he flew is not known, but he was awarded the Frontflugspange (Front Pilot Badge) in silver, which usually was awarded after 60 combat missions. According to Ballantine Books' Illustrated History of the Violent Century (1973), Heydrich flew 97 missions in a Bf-110 twin engine fighter.
Possible late war assignments
Documents recovered from Heinrich Himmler's personal journals, as well as draft orders from the SS-Hauptamt, indicate that in early 1942 Heydrich was under consideration for appointment as the Military Governor of France, in an effort to supplant the army control of that posting which was by 1942 already heavily suspected of involvement in anti-Hitler conspiracies (Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel, who held the position of Military Governor, was later executed for participation in the 20 July Plot). Both Himmler and Hitler further had plans to create a supreme security posting, possibly known as "Commander Security Forces Europe" (Oberbefelshaber des Sicherheitsdienstleistung Europa) for which Heydrich was the natural candidate. Had Heydrich lived, he almost certainly would have been granted Waffen-SS general rank in 1944; however, a promotion to SS-Oberst-Gruppenführer and assumption to the position of Colonel General of Police is debatable, given that no other SS security officer was promoted to SS-Colonel General during the Second World War (Kurt Daluege was the only police officer to hold this position). Heydrich was also known to have stated that he had no desire to become the Reichsführer-SS, leaving the question open as to who would have succeeded Himmler had the SS Chief been killed or relieved of his position during the course of the Second World War (Hitler appointed Karl Hanke to the position in the last days of World War II).
Dates of rank
Cashiered and dismissed from the service for conduct unbecoming an officer in April 1931.
Task force at the center, once headed by Bruce Ohr, now directed by Deputy AG Rosenstein
The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) program was established in 1982 as a means to combat increasingly organized drug traffickers.
The program is an unusually broad coalition that, as noted by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “brings together just about every federal law enforcement agency there is. It’s the Swiss Army knife of law enforcement.”
The OCDETF strategy, which currently operates under the direction of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, aims to “focus federal drug resources on reducing the flow of illicit drugs and drug proceeds by identifying and targeting the major trafficking organizations, and eliminating the financial infrastructure of drug organizations.”
In October 2017, Sessions announced that he was designating the international criminal gang MS-13 as a priority for the OCDETF. Sessions came under some criticism for his actions, with many noting that MS-13 didn’t represent a significant force in the drug-trafficking business. But Sessions himself acknowledged this, while at the same time, noting the strength of OCDETF’s reach:
“MS-13 sells drugs, but they are not primarily a drug-trafficking organization. I have ordered OCDETF to prioritize MS-13 not because of their drug trafficking—but because OCDETF is such a powerful weapon.
“OCDETF is able to hit MS-13 from all angles.”
Interestingly, until early January 2018, the OCDETF operated under the direction of Department of Justice (DOJ) official Bruce Ohr. On Dec. 7, 2017, Ohr was demoted and stripped of his title as associate deputy attorney general. A month later, on Jan. 8, 2018, it was reported by Fox News that Ohr had been removed as the head of the OCDETF, as well.
Ohr was demoted and stripped of his responsibilities after it was learned that the FBI used Ohr as aconduit for unofficial information from former MI6 spy Christopher Steele—who authored the now-infamous dossier on then-presidential candidate Donald Trump—after Steele was formally terminated by the FBI. Ohr hadn’t informed his superiors of this ongoing relationship.
It would later be learned that Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, the firm that hired Steele to produce the dossier.
But Ohr’s troubles don’t end there. Fox News confirmed in January 2018 that Ohr, “as the head of OCDETF, was directly involved with Project Cassandra, the interagency investigation spearheaded by the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] that tracked a massive international drug and money-laundering scheme allegedly run by Hezbollah.”
Bruce Ohr (C), a Justice Department official demoted from the posts of associate deputy attorney general and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, on Capitol Hill for testimony on Aug. 28, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)
Project Cassandra was the subject of a lengthy, detailed, and highly critical Politico report, “The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook,” which examined how the Obama administration may have derailed a “campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah.”
Begun in 2008, after the DEA amassed evidence that Hezbollah was engaging in drugs and weapons trafficking, along with other crimes, the investigation traced its way to the “innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.” According to the Politico report, “Hezbollah’s network moved metric ton quantities of cocaine [to] launder drug proceeds on a global scale, and procure weapons and … explosives.”
It was at this point that roadblocks began to appear:
“As Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way… When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests, and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.”
The Politico article quoted Katherine Bauer, a former Treasury official in the Obama administration, who had testified to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs:
“Under the Obama administration … these [Hezbollah-related] investigations were tamped down, for fear of rocking the boat with Iran and jeopardizing the nuclear deal.”
Ohr’s demotion occurred on Dec. 7, 2017, following the release of that Politico report. Then, on Dec. 22, Sessions announced that the allegations in the Politico report would be reviewed:
“While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropriate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans. We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug-trafficking organizations.”
Then, just days after Ohr was removed as the head of the OCDETF in early January 2018, Sessions announced the creation of the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team (HFNT):
“HFNT prosecutors and investigators are tasked with investigating individuals and networks providing support to Hezbollah, and pursuing prosecutions in any appropriate cases. The HFNT will begin by assessing the evidence in existing investigations, including cases stemming from Project Cassandra, a law enforcement initiative targeting Hezbollah’s drug trafficking and related operations.”
“In an effort to protect Americans from both threats, the Justice Department will assemble leading investigators and prosecutors to ensure that all Project Cassandra investigations as well as other related investigations, whether past or present, are given the needed resources and attention to come to their proper resolution. The team will initiate prosecutions that will restrict the flow of money to foreign terrorist organizations as well as disrupt violent international drug-trafficking operations.”
On Oct. 15, 2018, Sessions broadened OCDETF’s mandate, and in doing so, designated five different groups as the nation’s top transnational organized-crime threats. Notably, Hezbollah made the list:
• Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, or CJNG,
• the Sinaloa Cartel,
• Clan del Golfo, and
• Lebanese Hezbollah.
Sessions selected the five groups based on recommendations he received from the FBI, DEA, OCDETF, and the DOJ’s Criminal Division.
Sessions singled out Hezbollah for additional focus in his discussion and specifically noted the previously created HFNT task force:
“The subcommittee on Lebanese Hezbollah will be led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ilan Graff of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. AUSA Graff is overseeing the prosecution of two alleged members of Hezbollah’s External Security Organization, the first such operatives to be charged with terrorism offenses in the United States.
“This subcommittee will be led and staffed by members of the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team, which is a group I created in January.
“This team is composed of experienced international narcotics trafficking, terrorism, organized crime, and money-laundering prosecutors who are tasked with investigating individuals and networks providing support to Hezbollah.”
As part of his announcement, Sessions also announced the formation of a “transnational organized crime task force of experienced prosecutors” tasked with coordinating the government’s efforts and developing plans to “take each of these groups off of our streets for good.”
Rosenstein Takes Over
Sessions had, to this point, been the man directing the OCDETF’s efforts. Concurrent with his Oct. 15th announcement, Sessions appointed Deputy AG Rosenstein to lead the new transnational task force and direct OCDETF’s actions. Working underneath Rosenstein are separate subcommittees for each of the target groups, each led by an experienced prosecutor.
This was a major assignment, given the priority that President Donald Trump has given to the topic. It also appeared to indicate a shifting of responsibility as Sessions had previously been leading the prosecutorial effort on MS-13. Notably, the appointment occurred after Trump’s Oct. 8 affirmation of Rosenstein, following their meeting on Air Force One.
Additionally, Rosenstein’s appointment hinted at a pre-planned succession occurring in the weeks prior to Sessions’ formal resignation, which occurred Nov. 7, 2018, following a request by the president.
Targeting Mexican Drug Cartels
Meanwhile, efforts by the OCDETF continue. Immediately following Sessions’ October press conference, 15 indictments, along with new measures aimed at destroying the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, were unveiled Oct. 16, 2018.
Money-laundering and fraud activities are also being pursued. On Oct. 31, 2018, a “former executive director at the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), pleaded guilty for his role in a billion-dollar international scheme to launder funds embezzled from PDVSA.” Notably, the Politico report highlighted Venezuela’s prominent role in the flow of drugs from Hezbollah:
“In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez was personally working with the then-Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Hezbollah on drug trafficking and other activities aimed at undermining U.S. influence in the region, according to interviews and documents.”
“Venezuelan cocaine exports skyrocketed from 50 tons a year to 250, much of it bound for American cities.”
Other Key Investigations
On Dec. 4, 2018, U.S. prosecutors announced criminal charges against four people, including a former lawyer for Mossack Fonseca, the firm highlighted by the leak of the Panama Papers. The leak included 11.5 million documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, then the world’s fourth-biggest provider of offshore services, that detailed secret, offshore accounts.
The four men, three of whom have been arrested, have been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit tax evasion and money laundering. The DOJ release notes the following:
“For decades, the defendants, employees and a client of global law firm Mossack Fonseca allegedly shuffled millions of dollars through offshore accounts and created shell companies to hide fortunes. In fact, as alleged, they had a playbook to repatriate un-taxed money into the U.S. banking system. Now, their international tax scheme is over, and these defendants face years in prison for their crimes.”
The announcement of the criminal charges came after the prior week’s news that German authorities had raided the offices of Deutsche Bank in an investigation related to the leaks of the Panama papers.
On Dec. 5, 2018, the Associated Press reported that prosecutors were ramping up their investigation of the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs. Both firms were accused of FARA violations resulting from the special counsel’s probe into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Mueller had previously referred both cases to the Southern District of New York as they fell outside of the scope of his investigation, but news regarding both cases has become limited in recent months.
According to AP, DOJ prosecutors had begun the process of interviewing witnesses and reportedly contacted lawyers to schedule new questioning relating to both companies.
The Podesta Group registered to lobby on behalf of Russian Sberbank, a firm implicated in the Panama papers, just weeks before the 2016 leak occurred.
Also on Dec. 5, 2018, it was announced that Wanzhou Meng, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei has been arrested in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities on suspicions that she violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran. Meng was reportedly arrested on Dec. 1, 2018, but the arrest wasn’t made public immediately.
According to Canada’s Globe and Mail, “Since at least 2016, U.S. authorities have been reviewing Huawei’s alleged shipping of U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws.”
The investigation into Huawei is being run out of the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn. U.S. intelligence experts have deemed Huawei a security threat to the United States and other nations. Huawei has been the subject of concern for a number of years and was the subject of a House Intelligence Committee investigation in 2012.
Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat who met with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in London, was a board member of Huawei until 2014, when he accepted the top diplomat post to London.
Ringing in the new year, on Jan. 4, the DOJ handed down a significant indictment on the former Attorney General for the state of Nayarit, Mexico, Edgar Veytia. Veytia pleaded guilty to one count of international conspiracy to manufacture and distribute heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.
According to court filings, “from January 2013 until February 2017, Veytia used his official position as State Attorney General to assist and abet drug-trafficking organizations operating in the Mexican State of Nayarit in exchange for bribes.”
Meanwhile, the trial of infamous drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán continues—and as it does, the level of complicity throughout the entirety of the Mexican government, as well as elements within the U.S. government, is gradually being revealed. In a startling turn of events, on Jan. 3, the son of El Chapo’s former partner, Vicente Zambada Niebla, took the stand:
“He told the jurors stories not only about the drug lord’s operations in Mexico, Honduras, and Belize, but also about his suppliers, distributors, bodyguards, assassins, cousins, brothers, and sons.”
“He also said that his father routinely bribed a military officer who once served as a personal guard to Mexico’s former president, Vicente Fox.”
Zambada’s tale is particularly intriguing. In 2007, he asked his father and El Chapo for permission to retire from the cartel. What happened next surprised even him:
“Mr. Guzmán made an astonishing proposal: He offered to reach out to his “contacts” in the Drug Enforcement Administration and see if they would meet with the young man.
“American authorities have acknowledged that within two years of floating the idea of leaving the cartel, Mr. Zambada sat down with agents from the D.E.A. at a clandestine meeting in Mexico.”
Although details remain murky, in 2011, Zambada’s lawyer presented his version of events, noting, “the United States government entered into a conspiracy with one of the largest drug cartels in the world.”
These streams of indictments, although seemingly unrelated, are linked through commonalities in the borderless drug trade and money-laundering operations.
Hopefully, someone is asking Bruce Ohr some hard questions concerning Project Cassandra, the international drug trade, and U.S. government involvement during the Obama administration.
Jeff Carlson is a CFA® Charterholder. He worked for 20 years as an analyst and portfolio manager in the high-yield bond market. He runs the website <a href="http://TheMarketsWork.com" rel="nofollow">TheMarketsWork.com</a>.
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