The Hunt for Bin Laden’s Corpse: Part II

Did Osama Bin Laden really die in Pakistan? Was his corpse truly stuffed into a rubber-lined canvas body bag, weighed down with lead, and then buried in the North Arabian Sea?

Where is the Osama Bin Laden’s Corpse?

That was the subject of the second blog post ever at Guerrilla Explorer, way back on June 29, 2011. At the time, treasure hunter Bill Warren had declared his intention to recover Bin Laden’s body from the bottom of the Arabian Sea. It turns out that would probably be a huge waste of time, and not just for the obvious reasons.

Recently, WikiLeaks began publishing over 5 million emails from Stratfor, a “global intelligence” firm. Several of those emails contradict the official story about Bin Laden’s body, confirming what many of us had already suspected. That is, Bin Laden wasn’t buried at sea at all. Instead his body was transported to the United States. Here’s more on the mysterious fate of Osama Bin Laden from Business Insider:

At 5:26 a.m. on May 2, the morning after Barack Obama announced the successful raid on bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, Stratfor CEO George Friedman sent an email with the subject “[alpha] OBL” that said: Reportedly, we took the body with us. Thank goodness.

Fred Burton, Stratfor’s vice president for intelligence, followed that up at 5:51 a.m. with an email titled “[alpha] Body bound for Dover, DE on CIA plane” that said: Than [sic] onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda…

(See Business Insider for more on the mysterious fate of Osama Bin Laden)

Did Eisenhower Steal the Presidency?

According to popular legend, Dwight Eisenhower was a shoo-in for the Presidency in 1952. He won the Republican primary on the first ballot by a large margin. He then proceeded to crush Adlai Stevenson in the general election. But in truth, he came very close to losing the primary race and only prevailed thanks to some questionable tactics. Did Eisenhower steal the nomination and thus, the Presidency?

General Eisenhower versus “Mr. Republican”?

In the aftermath of World War II, General Eisenhower was immensely popular with Americans and both parties courted him as a Presidential candidate. Initially, “Ike” showed little interest. However, that changed when he met Robert Taft, aka “Mr. Republican.”

Taft was the leader of the Old Right wing of the Republican Party (a mantle now carried by Dr. Ron Paul). He believed in reducing the size of government and supported a policy of non-interventionism. But his opposition to the Cold War didn’t sit well with Eisenhower. At the same time, the Democrats looked particularly vulnerable thanks to public disgust with corruption in President Truman’s administration. Many people thought that the Republican nominee, regardless of who it was, would easily win the Presidency.

Although Eisenhower had yet to commit to the race, his name was put forth on the New Hampshire ballot by Thomas Dewey, Taft’s arch rival. He didn’t campaign. He hadn’t even expressed his opinion on political issues. And yet, he won convincingly. Shortly afterward, Eisenhower decided to throw his hat into the ring.

The Race for the Republican Nomination?

The campaign that followed was one of the most bitter and hotly contested races in history. Eisenhower enjoyed tremendous popularity and attracted tons of new voters to the party who were derisively referred to as “Republicans for a Day.” But Taft was popular as well. In addition, he faced a structural advantage. Back then, the majority of convention delegates were chosen by caucuses. And most of those caucuses were controlled by Taft supporters. As the Republican Convention neared, Taft had 530 delegates to Ike’s 427. Still, although Taft was in control, he was short of the 604 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

Eisenhower’s team swiftly accused Taft of stealing delegates from Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia. Supposedly, Taft supporters had kept Eisenhower voters from participating in these caucuses. The voters proceeded to form their own pro-Eisenhower delegations, which resulted in conflicting delegations being sent to the Republican Convention. Taft’s team offered a compromise split of the delegates but Ike’s people refused, believing that they could use the issue to their advantage at the Convention.

The 1952 Republican Convention?

In July 1952, the Convention opened. Taft had every reason to be optimistic. Besides his lead in delegates, the committees were largely controlled by his team. But Ike’s people were prepared. They quickly proposed the “Fair Play” rule, which would forbid contested delegates from participating in roll call votes. Taft’s team badly mishandled the parliamentary issue and as a result, lost the fight. This vote remains controversial today as many people believe that third-place candidate Earl Warren’s decision to support “Fair Play” was influenced by Eisenhower offering him a position on the Supreme Court.

With Taft’s delegates forced to sit on the sidelines, Eisenhower had the numerical advantage for the remainder of the roll call votes. This led to a series of votes in which Taft’s contested delegates were rejected and Eisenhower’s were approved. Still, Taft thought he had a chance. Even with the newfound delegates, Eisenhower seemed likely to garner just 560 votes, well short of 604. But during the first roll call vote, Ike took 595 votes to just 500 for Taft thanks to the support from several uncommitted delegations. Recognizing a patronage opportunity, Minnesota party leaders quickly switched their 20 votes to Eisenhower and the battle was over. Others followed suit and Eisenhower ended up winning on the first ballot by a vote of 845 to 280 (with an additional 77 delegates supporting Earl Warren).

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

So, did Eisenhower steal the primary election and thus, the Presidency? He didn’t do anything illegal. Still, his victory can be attributed largely to parliamentary trickery that kept Taft’s delegates from having a voice at the Convention. It’s possible that Eisenhower deserved those delegates in the first place although Taft vigorously denied any wrongdoing. It should also be noted that Taft won the popular vote handily, with 2.8 million votes to just 2.1 million votes for Ike. Still, he wasn’t the clear favorite since this represented just 35.8% of all votes.

The various Republican factions were clearly divided over their choices in 1952. But after the Convention, they joined forces and thus propelled Eisenhower to the Presidency in a landslide. As for Taft, he fell sick soon after the Convention and passed away in 1953. His death, coupled with Ike’s victory, marked the end of the Old Right wing of the Republican Party and the subsequent rise of the Conservative movement.

President Obama’s War on Civil Rights

For civil libertarians, it appears that “Hope and Change” means more of the same. Last week, President Obama announced his intention to sign into law a bill that “would deny suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention.”

President Obama’s War on Civil Rights?

Human Rights Watch summed it up pretty well when it stated that “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.” Not surprisingly, the only presidential candidate who’s voiced disagreement is Ron Paul, who recently pointed out that the bill is “literally legalizing martial law.” Here’s Glenn Greenwald for more on this sinister development:

In one of the least surprising developments imaginable, President Obama – after spending months threatening to veto the Levin/McCain detention bill – yesterday announced that he would instead sign it into law (this is the same individual, of course, who unequivocally vowed when seeking the Democratic nomination to support a filibuster of “any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecom[s],” only to turn around – once he had the nomination secure — and not only vote against such a filibuster, but to vote in favor of the underlying bill itself, so this is perfectly consistent with his past conduct). As a result, the final version of the Levin/McCain bill will be enshrined as law this week as part of the the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). I wrote about the primary provisions and implications of this bill last week, and won’t repeat those points here.

The ACLU said last night that the bill contains “harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world” and added: “if President Obama signs this bill, it will damage his legacy.” Human Rights Watch said that Obama’s decision “does enormous damage to the rule of law both in the US and abroad” and that “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”

(See Obama to sign indefinite detention bill into law for the rest)

Why did America Really Bomb Hiroshima?

On August 6, 1945, the United States of America dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, it dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki. These bombs remain the only two nuclear devices ever deployed during war and, according to many experts, decisive reasons for Japans’ subsequent surrender on August 15. But a substantial amount of experts think the Hiroshima atomic bomb and the Nagasaki atomic bomb were unnecessary and worse, were dropped for political purposes. So, who’s right?

The Chaos Book Club

Today is Day 17 of the Chaos book club. Chaos is an adventure thriller along the lines of Indiana Jones or books written by Clive Cussler, James Rollins, Douglas Preston, or Steve Berry. Thanks to those of you who’ve bought the novel already. If you haven’t already done so, please consider picking up a copy at one of the following locations:

Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iBooks * Smashwords * Paperback

The Hiroshima Atomic Bomb: The Official Story

As I mentioned above, the official story of the Hiroshima atomic bomb is that it caused Japan to surrender and thus, ended World War II. This saved hundreds of thousands of American lives since soldiers were spared from having to conduct Operation Downfall, or the planned invasion of Japan.

Problems with the Official Story

But here’s the problem with that scenario. Prior to the Hiroshima atomic bomb, President Harry Truman was aware of the fact that Japan was willing to surrender as long as Emperor Hirohito was allowed to keep his position and was not forced to stand trial for war crimes. Hirohito’s stated purpose was that he wanted to maintain discipline and order in Japan after the war was over. President Truman insisted on an unconditional surrender however, and went ahead with the bombings. But after Japan surrendered, Hirohito was allowed to keep his throne and escape prosecution. This strange sequence of events begs the question…what purpose did the Hiroshima atomic bomb serve?

Incidentally, this isn’t a new question. In fact, people started asking it almost immediately. And it wasn’t just ordinary people…it was prominent American leaders. Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Fleet Admiral William Leahy, Brigadier General Carter Clarke, and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz all found reason to disagree with the bombings. In a letter to President Truman, Fleet Admiral Leahy went so far as to say:

“The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons… The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.” ~ Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman

And this wasn’t just post-war regrets either. In his book, The Decision to Use the Bomb, Gar Alperovitz shows that practically every single American civilian and military advisor suggested that Truman accept Japan’s terms. But Truman chose to listen to the lone dissident, James Byrnes, instead. So, what was Byrnes up to? Clues can be found in discussions surrounding the 1945 Potsdam Conference.

“It was Byrnes who encouraged Truman to postpone the Potsdam Conference and his meeting with Stalin until they could know, at the conference, if the atomic bomb was successfully tested. While at the Potsdam Conference the experiments proved successful and Truman advised Stalin that a new massively destructive weapon was now available to America, which Byrnes hoped would make Stalin back off from any excessive demands or activity in the post-war period.” ~ John Denson, The Hiroshima Lie

The Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Myth & Damage Control?

So, there’s a case to be made that the Hiroshima atomic bomb was deployed to scare Russia rather than to defeat Japan. But if this is true, then why is the general public largely unaware of this today?

According to Alperovitz, the “Hiroshima myth” started shortly after Japan’s surrender. Admiral Halsey, Commander of the Third Fleet, called the bombs “a mistake.” Albert Einstein took to The New York Times to tell people that “a great majority of scientists were opposed to the sudden deployment of the atom bomb.” Other military leaders started to come forward, expressing their misgivings over the decision.

James Conant, Chairman of the National Defense Research Committee, decided that it was important to convince the American public that the atomic bombs were necessary. He approached Secretary of War Henry Stimson, who wrote a long article on the subject for Harper’s magazine. This became the basis for the story that is widely-accepted today. Truman would later uphold this point of view, adding that his decision saved half a million lives.

“The most influential text is Truman’s 1955 Memoirs, which states that the atomic bomb probably saved half a million US lives— anticipated casualties in an Allied invasion of Japan planned for November. Stimson subsequently talked of saving one million US casualties, and Churchill of saving one million American and half that number of British lives.” ~ Kyoko Iriye Selden, The Atomic Bomb: Voices from Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Hiroshima Atomic Bomb…the first shot of the Cold War?

World War II is often called “The Last Good War.” Unfortunately, at least in this case, the facts point to a different conclusion. The atomic bombs killed 90,000-166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000-80,000 in Nagasaki. Many of these people were women and children. Worse, there is reason to believe that the bombs were deployed to scare the USSR rather than for military purposes. If true, then the atomic bombs weren’t just the last shots of World War II…they were the first shots of the Cold War.

By the way, my purpose here isn’t to find fault with America. Indeed, too often citizens conflate the idea of “America the government” with “America the country.” It’s quite possible to find fault with one and not the other. In this case, I’m questioning the choice of President Harry Truman and the motives of James Byrnes.

The Hiroshima Atomic Bomb & Chaos

In my mind, the most interesting fictional villains are the ones that have a point. They may pursue evil goals and commit horrible atrocities along the way. But if you strip away everything, I think the best villains are the ones that have a legitimate gripe. Since much of the backstory for my novel Chaos takes place during World War II, it seemed only natural that the villain would draw his rage from that conflict as well. But since adventure novels are full of ex-Nazis, I wanted to go in a different direction. Thus, I created Jack Chase. His motive (SPOILER ALERT!), which you can probably guess from this post, is atomic in nature…

Chase grabbed both side of his silk shirt and yanked. It burst open, revealing a disgusting mass of scars, welts, and discoloration.

Bile rose in my throat. “What the hell happened to you?”

“August 6, 1945.” His voice took on a harsh, bitter edge. “The Enola Gay dropped Little Boy on Hiroshima. Eighty thousand civilians died instantly. Thousands more perished afterward, due to injuries and radiation fallout.”

“You were there? But that’s impossible. You told me your father was an American soldier who died while you were an infant. You said you wanted justice for him.”

“My father was an American soldier. He was also a prisoner of war. The Japanese kept him in Hiroshima, along with at least eleven others, as a deterrent to prevent American bombings. Somehow, a Geisha girl found her way into his cell. She gave birth to me. But the politicians didn’t care about any of that. The deterrent, if you will, wasn’t large enough.” ~ David Meyer, Chaos

Chaos by David MeyerBy the way, Chase’s past is based on fact. According to Barton Bernstein’s, Unraveling a Mystery: American POWs Killed at Hiroshima, at least 11 and possibly as many as 23 American POWs died in the Hiroshima blast. It’s a sad and often forgotten footnote to that awe-inspiring disaster.

Later, we see the full extent of Jack Chase’s fury as he races to unleash his sinister plan…a plan that promises to rewrite the world as we know it. If you want to know what happens, pick up a copy of Chaos at one of the links above.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow, we’re going further back in time, specifically to Manhattan circa 1869. Stop by tomorrow to explore one of New York City’s greatest secrets…I hope to see you then!

 

Chaos Book Club

President Lincoln’s Greatest Nemesis?

If you were to ask the typical American about President Abraham Lincoln’s greatest enemy, he or she would most likely answer with Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America. But recent scholarship suggests that Lincoln faced a far more hated enemy much closer to home…Judge Roger Taney, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In 1861, Lincoln’s hatred of Taney nearly exploded into a Constitutional crisis of epic proportions.

Judge Roger Taney versus President Lincoln?

On May 25, 1861, a Confederate sympathizer named John Merryman was arrested and charged with treason. He petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus, a judicial order forcing the Union Army to appear before a judge and justify his imprisonment. Judge Roger Taney granted the writ.

But General George Cadwalader refused, stating that he was under no obligation to do so since President Lincoln had ordered the suspension of habeas corpus. This led to the famous Ex parte Merryman ruling, in which Judge Taney stated that only Congress had the power to suspend habeas corpus.

“And if the President of the United States may suspend the writ, then the Constitution of the United States has conferred upon him more regal and absolute power over the liberty of the citizen than the people of England have thought it safe to entrust to the Crown–a power which the Queen of England cannot exercise at this day, and which could not have been lawfully exercised by the sovereign even in the reign of Charles the First.” ~ Judge Taney, Ex parte Merryman

President Lincoln orders Roger Taney’s Arrest?

The judgment was an embarrassing repudiation to President Lincoln and Confederate sympathizers seized upon it as an example of Lincoln’s tyranny. In either May or June 1861, President Lincoln’s anger inspired him to call for the arrest of Judge Roger Taney.

“After due consideration the administration determined upon the arrest of the Chief Justice. A warrant or order was issued for his arrest. Then arose the question of service. Who should make the arrest and where should the imprisonment be? This was done by the President with instructions to use his own discretion about making the arrest unless he should receive further orders from him.” ~ Ward Hill Lamon

According to his own words, Ward Hill Lamon, who was a friend and bodyguard to President Lincoln as well as a United States Marshall, was given the warrant and ordered to arrest Roger Taney. Strangely though, the warrant was never served.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

Nobody knows for sure why Lamon never followed through with the arrest. President Lincoln certainly wasn’t above arresting his political opponents, as the cases of Clement Vallandigham and Judge Merrick have shown. But we do know that the two men continued their bitter feud over Lincoln’s efforts to curtail civil liberties for several additional years.

I should point out that Lamon is the sole primary source for this story. Interestingly enough, most current Lincoln scholars consider it ridiculous. They dismiss Lamon as an alcoholic and point to the fact that he didn’t include the story in any of his published books (which, by the way, are highly treasured by these same scholars). Still, there is some corroborating evidence. Records indicate that Roger Taney himself as well as a colleague named Judge Curtis were aware of the near-imprisonment.

We may never know for certain how close President Lincoln came to arresting Judge Roger Taney. But we can all be thankful that he didn’t follow through on it. The ramifications might have been disastrous.

“It would have destroyed the separation of powers; destroyed the place of the Supreme Court in the Constitutional scheme of government. It would have made the executive power supreme, over all others, and put the President, the military, and the executive branch of government, in total control of American society. The Constitution would have been at an end.” ~ Charles Adams

The Guatemala Syphilis Scandal

In 2005, Professor Susan Reverby made a shocking discovery. Between 1946 and 1948, the U.S. Public Health Service, with the blessing of Guatemalan officials, deliberately exposed 1,300 Guatemalans to syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases. 83 people may have died as a result. How did the Guatemala Syphilis Scandal happen? And why does new evidence indicate that the experiments were “more shocking than was previously known?”

Dr. John Cutler & the Guatemala Syphilis Experiment?

Dr. John Cutler was a surgeon and acting chief of the U.S. Public Health Service’s venereal disease program. At one time, he was viewed as a respectable doctor and even rose to the rank of Assistant Surgeon General under President Eisenhower. Now, after being tied to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment as well as the Guatemala syphilis experiment, he is considered a monster.

Starting in 1946, Dr. Cutler and his researchers oversaw the deliberate infection of 1,300 Guatemalans with syphilis, gonorrhea, and chancroid. This was accomplished by paying prostitutes to sleep with prisoners as well as through direct inoculations. The goal, while somewhat unclear, seems to have been to determine the efficacy of penicillin in dealing with the various venereal diseases. While some Guatemalan officials knowingly participated in the conspiracy, they were not always privy to the experiment’s details. The so-called Guatemala syphilis experiments ended in 1948, due to increasing gossip about the study as well as difficulties in obtaining adequate amounts of penicillin.

News on the Guatemala Syphilis Scandal?

Recently, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, which had been tasked to investigate the experiments, announced its findings. Out of the 1,300 infected people, only 700 received treatment. It is unknown how many people died thanks to the experiment but at least 83 were deceased by 1953.

The Commission, which has yet to release its full report, also announced some particularly disturbing details. None of the victims gave their informed consent to participate in the project. Also, some of the subjects were treated in horrific fashion, including one terminally-ill woman who was “infected…with gonorrhea in her eyes and elsewhere.”

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

Five years after Professor Reverby began to unearth the decades-old conspiracy, it became national news. President Obama called Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom to apologize and ordered the Commission to begin reviewing the study. Guatemala is conducting its own investigation. Reparations are possible and I believe that surviving victims of the study are preparing a lawsuit against the U.S. government.

Unfortunately, there is no turning back the clock. Dr. Cutler’s experiments, which came in the wake of the horrific Nazi experiments, are a permanent part of American history, one that all of us wish we could forget.

The Double Eagle Scandal

In May 1933, the U.S. Mint printed the very last Saint-Gaudens double eagle. These $20 gold coins were never officially released to the public. A few managed to avoid destruction and the U.S. government has spent more than 60 years and untold millions of dollars tracking them down. Why is the 1933 double eagle the most controversial coin in history?

President Roosevelt Seizes America’s Gold

On April 5, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102 which, in effect, forced American citizens to turn in “all gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates” to the Federal Reserve. On January 30, 1934, Congress followed up that Order with the United States Gold Reserve Act, which allowed the President to seize the Federal Reserve’s newly-acquired gold supply. The federal government built Fort Knox in 1936 in order to store its newfound treasure.

The U.S. Government Declares War on the 1933 Double Eagles

Suddenly, gold coins became a thing of the past. The director of the Philadelphia Mint ordered the recently pressed 1933 double eagles to be melted down into gold bars and sent off to Fort Knox, a task which would take several years to complete. Only two of the coins were slated to survive. They were sent to the Smithsonian for safekeeping.

But, double eagles began to pop up. One coin made its way into the hands of Egypt’s King Farouk. Another one was offered via auction. The Secret Service quickly decided that someone had stolen the double eagles from the Philadelphia Mint. They actually debated the “advisability of trying to get [the] coin back from King Farouk.” However, since World War II was in progress and Egypt was an important American ally, they decided not to risk infuriating him. However, they did seize the other coin, an act which launched a decades-long war against private ownership of the 1933 double eagles.

“The government has been fanatical about seizing and destroying these coins. They’re famous because the government has been seizing them since the 1940s.” ~ Robert W. Hoge, American Numismatic Society

The 1933 Double Eagle becomes the Most Expensive Coin in History

The Secret Service traced the coins to a Philadelphia-based jeweler named Israel Switt. Switt claimed that he didn’t have any records pertaining to the eagles. However, he did state that they weren’t purchased from a Mint employee. The Justice Department disagreed but was unable to press charges due to the statute of limitations.

For the moment, the investigation was at an impasse. But after King Farouk was overthrown, his double eagle found its way into the hands of a coin dealer named Stephen Fenton. Fenton attempted to sell the coin in 1996 but the end buyer betrayed him. Secret Service agents rushed the room and seized the double eagle.

Incredibly, Fenton was charged with “conspiring to convert to his own use and attempt to sell property of the United States.” No one seemed to care that FDR’s ridiculous and unconstitutional Executive Order had been repealed in 1974 by President Ford. And the fact that there was no proof the coins were stolen in the first place didn’t seem to strike anyone as strange.

Fortunately, the charges were quickly dropped. And eventually, Fenton and the Justice Department agreed to auction off the coin and split the proceeds. After an extended publicity campaign, it sold for a grand total of $7.6 million, making it the most expensive coin in history until the 2010 sale of a 1794 silver dollar. The anonymous buyer lent it to the American Numismatic Society, which in turn lent it to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Double Eagle Double-Cross?

The story of the 1933 double eagle should’ve ended with that auction. But there was still another chapter to come. In 2004, Israel Switt’s only child Joan Langbord along with her son Roy discovered ten 1933 double eagles in a safety deposit box. She took the coins to the U.S. Mint for authentication. The Mint agreed but ended up pulling a fast one. It refused to return the property and instead told the media that it had “recovered” ten additional coins.

The Langbord family sued. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero claimed that any 1933 double eagles that left the Mint did so illegally. The Langbord family argued that most of the Philadelphia Mint records, which were ill-kept, had been destroyed in 1978. Also, no surviving witnesses remained. Finally, they identified a “window of opportunity” where Israel Switt could’ve obtained the coins in a legal manner.Shockingly, the jury sided with the government. While the Langbord’s are expected to appeal the verdict, the story has come to an end, at least for now. And government representatives are quite pleased with their success.

“People of the United States of America have been vindicated.” ~ Jacqueline Romero, Assistant U.S. Attorney

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

The government spent more than six decades vigorously pursuing these coins. They confiscated private property. They treated citizens very differently, allowing Fenton to profit from his coin while not giving the same courtesy to the Langbords. And they paid untold millions of tax dollars throughout the investigation as well as during the court case. That leaves me with one question…Do you feel vindicated?

Who Killed JFK?

On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. Authorities blamed the JFK assassination on a man named Lee Harvey Oswald. However, legions of conspiracy theorists, as well as the vast majority of the American public, remain unconvinced. Now, newly-announced tape recordings from President Kennedy’s wife have added a new wrinkle to the case. Who did Jackie Onassis blame for her husband’s death?

The JFK Assassination?

John F. Kennedy was the thirty-fifth President of the United States. His term was marked with chaos and controversy, including the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the deepening of American involvement in Vietnam. These days, he’s a mythic figure in American politics, one who engenders cult-like fascination, thanks in no small part to his untimely death.

The story of the JFK assassination is a long one and indeed, thousands of books and tens of thousands of articles have already told the tale. So, I’ll stick to the basics of the official version. In 1963, President Kennedy was shot while riding in a motorcade in Dealey Plaza. Thirty minutes later, doctors pronounced him dead.

The police were provided with a suspect’s description. A short while later, Officer J.D. Tippit spotted Lee Harvey Oswald three miles from the crime scene. Since Oswald matched the description, Tippit attempted to engage him. But Oswald killed Tippit instead and fled to a movie theater where he was eventually arrested. Despite claims of being a patsy, he was formally charged that evening. But he never made it to trial. Two days after his arrest, he was shot and killed by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

The Lone Gunman Theory

President Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, established the Warren Commission to investigate the JFK assassination. Ten months later, the Commission famously concluded that Oswald acted alone, driven by insanity and a love for Marxism.

But the mystery was just beginning. The Lone Gunman Theory quickly came under attack and holes began to pile up. Then, in 1975, Good Night America showed Abraham Zapruder’s film of the assassination. It appeared to depict Kennedy being shot in the front rather than from the rear where Oswald had been positioned. Further bombshells followed, including the fact that Special Agent James Hosty of the FBI had been in contact with Oswald prior to the JFK assassination. Even more suspiciously, the FBI attempted to cover up this information.

Who was behind the JFK Assassination?

Despite the passing of nearly five decades, President Kennedy’s assassination continues to captivate the public. Conspiracy theorists have pointed to numerous suspects, including the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the KGB, Fidel Castro, Anti-Castro Cubans, and the Mafia. It seems that practically everyone had a motive to kill the President.

New theories appear frequently, along with supporting circumstantial evidence. The latest theory arrives from Jackie Onassis herself, who at that time was President Kennedy’s wife. And her testimony promises to reignite even more interest in the case, especially since it comes from beyond the grave.

Jackie Onassis’ Theory?

You see, a historian named Arthur Schlesinger recorded an interview with Jackie back in 1964. She agreed to the interview although she stipulated that it was not to be made public until fifty years after her death. Since Jackie died in 1994, that meant a release date of 2044. However, her wishes have been subverted. Supposedly, her daughter Caroline agreed to release the tapes in exchange for ABC dropping a drama series about the Kennedy family. That’s a conspiracy in its own right, especially since there was never any word that ABC planned to show the miniseries in the first place.

Anyways, according to early reports, Jackie believed Lyndon Baines Johnson along with a group of southern businessmen were behind the assassination. While its not evidence, this revelation is nonetheless quite significant. Conspiracy proponents are often depicted as being on the fringes of society. As far as I know, Jackie is the first member of the so-called establishment to declare her belief in a prevailing conspiracy.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

So, where do we go from here? About 98% of all documents surrounding the assassination have been released to the public. The remaining documents will be released in 2017. It seems unlikely that these documents will add much to the debate. It will be up to independent researchers to continue investigating the case. If a conspiracy did exist, let’s hope they are able to uncover the necessary evidence. After all, America deserves to know who perpetrated it…

And why.

Who Framed Captain Kidd?

Captain William Kidd is one of the most notorious pirates in history. In 1701, he was executed in London after being found guilty of murder and five charges of piracy. Two hundred years later, documents emerged that called into question the official story. Was Captain Kidd framed? If so, why?

The Adventures of Captain Kidd

In 1698, King William III offered pardons to pirates who surrendered themselves to England. Only two men, the apparent worst of the worst, were denied such pardons. The first such pirate was “Long Ben” Avery, who eluded punishment and vanished. The second pirate was a man known as Captain William Kidd.

Kidd was a Scottish sailor turned British privateer. Privateers were essentially government-sponsored pirates. They were issued letters of marque and were only permitted to attack ships belonging to enemy nations. As such, Captain Kidd received a government license, some funding from prominent members of the Whig Party, and permission to keep a percentage of his profits. In turn, King William III gained another vessel to disrupt enemy trade as well as rights to ten percent of all of Kidd’s profits.

In September 1696, Kidd launched from London in the Adventure Galley and set course for Madagascar. Hopes for a successful voyage quickly crumbled and the ship’s crew suffered an outbreak of cholera, constant leaks, and few prizes. By October 30, 1697, part of the crew had deserted and the rest were openly talking about mutiny. On that day, Captain Kidd fought with gunner, William Moore. The argument ended when Kidd slammed a bucket into Moore’s head, fracturing the man’s skull. Moore died the next day.

Captain Kidd becomes a Pirate

A few months later, on January 30, 1698, Kidd finally captured the large prize that had eluded him and his crew. The Quedah Merchant was a four-hundred-ton Armenian ship, filled with satins, muslins, silks, sugar, opium, guns, silver, and gold. However, although the vessel was under French control, it was captained by an Englishman. After news of the Quedah Merchant reached England, Captain Kidd was declared a pirate.

After capturing at least four smaller ships, Kidd learned that he was being hunted. He sought support from Lord Bellomont, one of his investors and the newly appointed governor of Massachusetts. Bellomont offered him clemency. But when Kidd arrived in Boston, Bellomont had him arrested instead.

Kidd’s trial started on May 8, 1701 in England. He was accused of Moore’s murder and five counts of piracy. Kidd claimed that his attack on Moore was due to the man’s role in an attempted mutiny. He also claimed that four counts of piracy were done against his wishes by the mutineers.

The fifth count proved more troubling to explain. The Quedah Merchant was captained by an Englishman and carried strong connections to the England-based, East India Company. Also, Kidd did not take his spoils back to England as his contract required. Instead, he dispersed it amongst his crew and kept the rest for himself. Kidd fought back, alleging that his mutinous crew took the spoils. He also insisted that the Quedah Merchant was clearly a French ship and that he had the papers to prove it. However, these papers mysteriously disappeared prior to his trial. On May 23, 1701, Captain Kidd was executed via hanging.

Was Captain Kidd Framed?

While the charges were serious, many people continue to believe that Captain Kidd was framed or at the very least, sacrificed for the sake of politics. Its important to note that he didn’t dispute the killing of William Moore or the seizure of four of the ships. His defense for those crimes hinged on his statement that he was under constant attack by a band of mutineers. Regardless, his crimes weren’t exactly unusual given the times.

As for the Quedah Merchant, Kidd based his defense on a “French pass,” which was a piece of paper indicating that the ship was controlled by France. Kidd reported that he took the pass from the vessel’s captain and sent it to Lord Bellomont, his old business parter. Bellomont wrote a letter to Kidd which seemed to confirm the pass’s existence. However, it vanished prior to trial. Over two hundred years later, in 1911, a writer named Ralph Paine made an astonishing discovery. While searching London’s Public Record Office, he found the missing French pass. Its existence caused many to question if it had been hidden on purpose, in order to throw doubt on Kidd’s story.

Several groups stood to gain from his execution. He was initially backed by prominent members of the Whig Party. After news of the Quedah Merchant went public, the Whigs found themselves under heavy attack from the Tories. Wishing to avoid an embarrassing situation, the Whigs were eager to abandon Kidd. They went so far as to declare that he’d turned rogue after they’d outfitted him and his ship.

Another group who stood to benefit from Captain Kidd’s death was the East India Company. Kidd’s capture of the Quedah Merchant angered the India emperor, who threatened to close down trade routes. The East India Company, eager to placate the emperor and discourage future piracy, had strong motive to make an example out of Kidd.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

Captain Kidd was a privateer who either turned pirate or was forced to do so by a mutinous crew. He never gained much success and if it hadn’t been for his sensational trial and his subsequent attempt to barter his life for a vast, hidden treasure, he would’ve been easily forgotten.

So, was he framed? Not exactly. After all, he committed at least some of the crimes of which he was accused. However, other pirates got away with far worse. It seems clear that both the Whigs and the East India Company had strong reasons to see him hang. This caused his supporters to abandon him and most likely led Lord Bellomont to file away the French pass rather than present it at his trial. While Kidd wasn’t framed, he was a victim…a victim of politics.

The Federal Reserve Conspiracy

On November 22, 1910, seven men secretly boarded a private railcar in New Jersey. Between them, they represented more than 25% of the entire world’s wealth. Under the cover of darkness, they stole away to Jekyll Island, Georgia where they proceeded to lay the groundwork for the mysterious entity known today as the Federal Reserve. What exactly is the Federal Reserve? And why is it, perhaps, the most incredible conspiracy of all time?

The Federal Reserve Conspiracy?

The Federal Reserve, or the Fed, is a bonafide, wide-open conspiracy. It was hatched in 1910 by bankers in order to increase profits at the public’s expense. In the following years, representatives of those same bankers sold it to the public as a way to protect people from the banks. It was unconstitutional at the time of its passing and it remains unconstitutional to this day.

Its actions have exaggerated the boom-bust cycle, leading to nearly twenty recessions and/or depressions (including the current one). It enabled the creation of America’s massive debt, stole money from the poor, and along the way, wiped out 96% of the public’s purchasing power. Wow!  How can such an institution still exist? The answer lies in the details. The Fed doesn’t hide its existence. But it is an incredibly complicated beast. Few know about it. Even fewer understand it.

It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning – Henry Ford

How does the Federal Reserve Work?

The Fed is America’s central bank. It is a monopoly, having complete control over the setting of interest rates and the printing of money. The Fed and its member banks generate profits by printing money, loaning this money to others, and then collecting interest on it. This is possible because U.S. dollars are inherently worthless. They do not represent claims on gold or silver or anything else. They are just pieces of paper. The only reason they have any value is because the U.S. government requires citizens to use them.

Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value…zero – Voltaire

The Federal Reserve Conspiracy: Winners & Losers?

So, the Fed is able to create as much money as it wants and profits handsomely from this practice. But printing money does not create value for the public. Instead, it dilutes the worth of existing money, causing prices to rise (this is often called inflation). This is a “hidden tax.” And like all taxes, there are winners and losers. Some of the winners include:

  • Bankers: As I already mentioned, banks make enormous profits by creating money out of thin air and charging people, businesses, and governments to borrow it.
  • Politicians: By printing money, the Fed allows politicians to spend money without raising actual tax rates.
  • The Well-Connected: Government employees and well-connected individuals and businesses are the first ones to receive newly-printed money. They are able to spend it before it loses purchasing power.

The losers include everyone else, most tragically savers, poor people, and those on fixed incomes. These individuals suffer from the hidden tax of inflation and thus, lose purchasing power that they can’t afford.

Government spending is always a “tax” burden on the American people and is never equally or fairly distributed. The poor and low-middle income workers always suffer the most from the deceitful tax of inflation and borrowing – Congressman Ron Paul

Some might forgive all of this if the Fed managed to provide a financially stable, growing economy over the long haul. However, since its inception, America has suffered eighteen recessions or depressions.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

For nearly one hundred years, the Fed has wreaked havoc on the American economy. It has stolen wealth from ordinary Americans and redistributed it to bankers and those with connections. It has lent endless amounts of money to politicians, leading to the creation of a massive public debt. And yet, it has failed to stabilize the economy.

The Federal Reserve is a genuine, ongoing conspiracy. And remarkably, it exists in plain sight, protected by a shroud of secrecy and poor understanding amongst the general public. However, all of that is starting to change. For the first time in decades, the Fed is under real pressure, led by the efforts of Ron Paul and others. Will it survive the onslaught? Or will someone finally find a way to end the Fed?