Friday, October 31, 2008

Ed Whelan's Petulant, Fact-Free Right-Wing Victimhood

Ed Whelan

By Glenn Greenwald
Salon (updated below- Update II)
OCT. 27, 2008

" ... When your worldview is grounded in the belief that everything is stacked against you and nothing is your fault -- the flagship view of the right-wing faction dominating the GOP -- then spouting accusations without any concern for truth is a natural behavior. ... "

Ed Whelan is a former Bush DOJ/Office of Legal Counsel official during 2001-2004 -- when that Office authorized torture, illegal surveillance and a host of other radical, disgraceful policies -- as well as a former law clerk to Antonin Scalia and current contributor to National Review. At National Review Whelan today complains (of course) that "there are plenty of big examples of the abject failure of the mainstream media to investigate Barack Obama’s background and record with even a fraction of the vigor and skepticism with which they have investigated Sarah Palin's," and cites this example:
From my use of the [Washington] Post’s (not always reliable) search engine, it seems that the Post never actually reported to its readers the striking news that the real Joe Biden had said words very similar to the SNL Joe Biden: namely, that if Obama is elected, “we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

This is what "never" means in National Review World:
Washington Post, 10/20/2008: "Later, speaking at a high school football field in Belton, McCain latched onto a remark last weekend by Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden who said, 'Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'"

Washington Post, 10/20/2008: "John McCain has not been talking too much about international affairs in recent days, but the suggestion by Democratic running mate Joe Biden that the world may try to test a President Obama early in his administration prompted him to dive back in.
"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. . . ." Biden was quoted telling a fundraiser in Seattle on Sunday. . . . 'Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'"

Washington Post, 10/23/2008: Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin misrepresented to a campaign audience Thursday what her Democratic counterpart Joe Biden has said about Barack Obama's ability to handle a foreign crisis. . . . "That is not what Biden told fundraisers last weekend. . . . Biden did say, "Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

Washington Post, 10/23/2008: "'Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year old senator president of the United States of America...Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'
--Joe Biden, Seattle Fundraiser, October 19, 2008."

Washington Post, 10/23/2008: "On Sunday Biden spoke at a Seattle fundraiser and suggested that if Barack Obama is elected president, 'We're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'"

Washington Post, 10/23/2008: "Joe Biden is taking heat for saying that running mate Barack Obama will face a manufactured foreign policy crisis designed to test his leadership if he is elected. . . . BIDEN: 'Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America ... Watch. We're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.'"

How did I discover these secret, hidden passages? By entering the phrase that Whelan claims was never in the Post in the Post's search function at the top of its page, which immediately generated all of these articles. It's pitiful enough watching the Right blame everyone but themselves for their looming defeat -- self-pitying grievance is the crux and fuel of that movement -- but the fact-free hysteria to which National Review has sunk in its state of enraged desperation is really something to behold.
Bruce Fein, the former Reagan DOJ official who became one of the country's most outspoken and eloquent critics of the radical and lawless DOJ policies Whelan helped to implement, has released an excellent new book about America's constitutional crisis. Yesterday, I wrote a review of Fein's book, and hosted a discussion with him at FDL regarding the constitutional challenges the country faces, both of which can be read here.

UPDATE: In response to emails, Whelan has now posted an update acknowledging one of the above-linked stories. Since several of them are wire stories and blog items, it's unclear how many others were included in the print edition, but literally millions upon millions of Post readers read that paper online, making Whelan's suggestion that they have tried to conceal Biden's quote yet another reflection of the Right's inability to accept responsibility for anything -- just as was true for the Iraq War and the collapsing economy, a GOP defeat will be blamed on the media, the Left, even "moderate Republicans" (like David Frum, Ken Adleman and Charles Fried) -- everyone except for the conservatives who have spent the last eight years running the country.

UPDATE II: Whelan "responds" here. As Roy Edroso writes:
How about that. I was just talking about how rightbloggers don't like to acknowledge their own errors, and a fresh example jumps out at me. Glenn Greenwald investigates a claim by National Review's Ed Whelan that the Washington Post failed to report Joe Biden's "international crisis" comments. Greenwald, using the clever expedient of the Washington Post's own search feature, discovers the quote in several Post articles.

Greenwald is understandably snarky in his report. Nonetheless you'd think Whelan, as a seeker after truth, would be grateful at least for the information. Instead, he flips out . . . He also calls Greenwald "unhinged."

Like juvenile delinquents, these people have been shielded from the consequences of their actions for so long that when correction comes, they take it pathetically hard.

Exactly. Whelan emailed me to notify me of his response, and to tell me: "Seems to me that your post is, hmmm, just a bit over the top." As I replied:
Thanks for the notice. I guess we just have different standards. Before accusing a newspaper of concealing a quote, I would be pretty careful about making sure that what I was saying was, you know . . . true. At a bare minimum, that would entail searching for the supposedly concealed quote.

If, for whatever reasons, I accused a newspaper of bias without bothering to do the most minimal research first, and someone showed that my accusation was inaccurate, I'd be grateful to the person who corrected me and humble about correcting myself -- not pompous and defensive about it.

As I said, we clearly just have different standards.

When your worldview is grounded in the belief that everything is stacked against you and nothing is your fault -- the flagship view of the right-wing faction dominating the GOP -- then spouting accusations without any concern for truth is a natural behavior.

Politico Plays Dumb about Right-Wing Bloggers

by Eric Boehlert
Oct 31, 2008

Ben Smith puts together a round-up of all the nasty rumors that have surfaced about Obama and McCain during the campaign and notes that Politico reporters have been inundated with emails from partisans demanding they investigate the stories, which are mostly just conspiracy theories.

This is an important topic and could have been a chance for Politico to pull back the curtain on the behavior of right-wing bloggers during his election cycle who have been pushing some of the flimsiest and loopiest conspiracies ever recorded. It could have been chance for Politico to document how the right-wing bloggers have become a joke.

It could have been, but that's now how the Beltway press treats right-wing bloggers. Instead, the Beltway press prefers to look away when partisan GOP bloggers embarrass themselves, as they've done continuously this campaign.

Smith never even types up the phrase "right-wing bloggers" and in fact he never even mentions them in his article. (He does though, call out the "die-hard pro-Hillary section of the blogosphere" for shoddy behavior.) His article also strains mightily to pretend the anti-Obama and anti-McCain conspiracy theories were roughly equal in number this season. (i.e. Smith presents three targeting each candidate.)

Basically, it's a whitewash.

What's curious is that Smith himself last week linked to a definitive blog post by Jon Swift, which cataloged all the idiotic anti-Obama rumors the bloggers chased this season. Rather than amplifying those findings in his rumor article, Smith just ignored them.

Since Politico won't highlight the smears peddled by conservative blogs this campaign, we will:

*While attending Columbia University in the early 1980's and interested in the South African divestiture movement, Obama was involved in violent protests, including domestic terrorist bombings, that erupted when a South African rugby team toured America.

*Obama's deeply personal memoir, Dreams of My Fathers, was actually ghost-written by Bill Ayers, the former '60's radical-turned college professor who befriended Obama in Chicago in the 1990's.

*When Obama went to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii in October, he was really traveling there in order to deal with controversy about his birth certificate.

* Obama was getting answers in the first debate through a clear plastic hearing aid in his ear.

*The Obama campaign conspired with a Los Angeles PR firm to peddle anti-Palin video smears on YouTube.

*Michelle Obama gave an unsolicited phone interview to an obscure Norway-based news organization in which she railed against "American white racists" trying to derail her husband's campaign.

That's what right-wing bloggers have been obsessing about this campaign. But Politico remains mum.

WorldNetDaily: The CIA's Richard Mellon Scaife Ostensibly Goes LIBERAL

Scaife Endorses 'Marines-are-Killers' Murtha
'Right-wing conspiracy' leader pushes congressman who called constituents racists
October 30, 2008
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – Richard Mellon Scaife, formerly No. 1 on Bill Clinton's enemies list as the so-called "marionette" of the "vast right-wing conspiracy," has chosen to endorse Pennsylvania Democrat Congressman John Murtha, who infamously declared U.S. Marines in Haditha, Iraq, were cold-blooded killers and in recent days called his constituents "racist."

Scaife, who personally funded many of the investigations of the Clinton administration that led to the president's impeachment, used his Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper to express support for Murtha.

"Mr. Murtha, seeking his 18th House term, has become a lot of people's favorite whipping boy. Just this month, he was eviscerated for – GASP! – confirming there are racists and rednecks in our midst. And his sharp words following the Haditha killings in Iraq might not have been the most artful but they certainly did force a change in basic tactics, as did his call for U.S. forces to leave Iraq. The military still has no better champion. It's no contest. Re-elect Jack Murtha," the editorial in the newspaper said.

Murtha is facing a challenge in the state's 12th Congressional District from Republican Bill Russell.

Murtha, who recently called constituents in his western Pennsylvania town "racist" because Barack Obama may not win big there, later explained his use of "racist," saying he meant only that skin color will be a factor in the race between Obama and Sen. John McCain.

He also called individuals living in that region "rednecks."

Murtha is being sued by one of the Marines cleared of charges after he publicly accused them of being murderers in a firefight with insurgents in Iraq. Eight Marines were charged for the firefight, and so far six have been cleared or had their charges dropped. The top officer involved, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, also was cleared of charges, but the government is attempting to re-try the case. The last case still remains to be heard.

The choice of Murtha was not entirely unexpected, given the recent endorsements of the newspaper. Just months ago, Scaife, who also is a principle owner of, declared how impressed he was with Hillary Clinton.

"Her meeting and her remarks during it changed my mind about her," Scaife wrote.

There is little question that when then-first lady Hillary Clinton famously lashed out at foes as a "vast, right-wing conspiracy," Scaife was one of the people on her mind. It was Scaife, an heir to fortunes made in banking, oil and aluminum, who subsidized the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and underwrote countless conservative and Republican causes – including "the Arkansas Project," specifically designed to expose Clinton scandals.

But this is now.

Scaife has joined the anti-war movement, directing his newspaper in 2007 to call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and watching another of his media prizes,, embrace Clinton with a surprisingly friendly interview about his new book, "Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World."

It is nearly impossible to overstate the antagonism that existed between Scaife and Clinton throughout the 1990s.

Time magazine identified him as "King of the Clinton Haters" and also as a "super-Clinton hater." Its April 13, 1998, issue referred to ''Richard Mellon Scaife, the rabidly anti-Clinton billionaire, and the American Spectator, the gleefully anti-Clinton magazine that Scaife has supported.''

And in the April 27, 1998, issue of Newsweek, reporter Mark Hosenball wrote: ''The evidence linking Starr to conservative Clinton-haters traces back to a single figure: Richard Mellon Scaife. ... Scaife is also a fervent Clinton-hater who has spent millions trying to undermine the president.''

But Scaife doesn't give interviews to the national media. How would they know he hates the president?

No other individual warranted as much attention in the "Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce," the Clinton White House's 331-page report on who was directing Hillary's "vast, right-wing conspiracy" and how it worked.

Everywhere the Clintons looked, they saw Dick Scaife's hand at work – funding the Heritage Foundation, funding Joseph Farah's Western Journalism Center before he founded WorldNetDaily, funding Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation, Newt Gingrich's GOPAC, Larry Klayman's Judicial Watch, Mark Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation, Brent Bozell's Media Research Center and so on.

But times change – and so do people.

In the midst of a messy divorce from his wife, Ritchie, Dick Scaife stunned many in his own community of Pittsburgh by joining hands with Clinton, George Soros, Rep. Jack Murtha, Sen. John Kerry and other former political foes in anti-war activism.

In a July 15,2007, editorial in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Scaife's editorial writers pushed for an immediate pullout from Iraq and called President Bush "delusional."

They then quoted Murtha.

"The Pennsylvania congressman, among the first to make the cogent argument that staying the course in Iraq was the exercise in futility that indeed the war has become, says President Bush is delusional," they wrote. "Based on the president's recent performance, we could not agree more. 'Staying the course' is not simply futile – it is a prescription for American suicide. We've urged for months to bring our troops home. Now is the time."

The editorial went on to question Bush's "mental stability."

Scaife's NewsMax, a popular and once enthusiastically pro-Republican news website co-owned with Christopher Ruddy, who famously investigated the mysterious death of Clinton's deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster and the strange death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, also began attacking the war in Iraq following Scaife's personal metamorphosis.

Whatever has caused the change in Scaife, it appears infectious. In an interview last year with Bill Clinton published in NewsMax, Ruddy has nothing but kind words for the "new Bill Clinton":

"Interestingly, Clinton argues in 'Giving' that individuals, non-profits, even churches, can work together to improve the health and living conditions of the world's poor. This is certainly a laudable effort."
"Using his Clinton Foundation, the former president has sought to enlist private and corporate help in major global initiatives that tackle a range of concerns from AIDS to childhood obesity. The Clinton Global Initiative boasts more than 570 commitments worth an astounding $10 billion, involving more than 1,000 organizations and targeting 100 countries."
"There is no doubt Bill Clinton has broken the mold of what we expect from a former president."
"And there is also no question that in the past Bill Clinton has engendered considerable controversy. But there should be little disagreement today that he is doing exemplary work and is acting as a positive force for the United States."
So what's behind the "new Dick Scaife"?

Insiders say his changing ideas coincide with the personal crisis in his marriage – one that could cost him half his fortune. Speaking on background, friends and long-time associates say the public battle between man in his mid-70s and his wife over everything, including their dogs, plays some role – though no one is certain how much.

Ritchie Scaife contends her husband was involved in a long-term affair with Tammy Sue Vasco, a tall, blond, 43-year-old mother arrested in 1993 for offering to have sex with an undercover policeman for $225. Beginning in 2005, Ritchie Scaife hired a private investigator to tail her husband, who found him meeting with Vasco in a seedy motel where he would be chauffeured, flowers in hand twice a week, said the Washington Post last year.

According to divorce papers, Scaife is beneficiary of nine different trusts, including one called the "1935 Trust," with an approximate value of $210 million, and another called "The Revocable Trust," valued at $655 million. Altogether, his net value is around $1.4 billion, making him one of the richest men in America.

Scaife's lawyers say he has invested as much as $312 million into the Tribune-Review over the years. It continues to lose about $20 million a year. Ritchie Scaife's attorneys say the paper operates with so little concern for profit and loss that it is more of a hobby for her husband than a business.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Suspect Sought in Anchorwoman's Death

UPDATE: Accused killer arrested and charged.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 27) - Police said Monday they have information they hope will lead them to the killer of a television anchorwoman who died days after a brutal attack in her home.

Police said they do not yet know the suspect's identity, and would not say what evidence they have linking the person to the attack on Anne Pressly, 26, who died Saturday. Her mother found her badly beaten on the morning of Oct. 20 when Pressly did not answer her regular wake-up call.

"We do have an individual. The suspect has not been arrested," police spokesman Sgt. Cassandra Davis said.

Reports last week said one of Pressly's credit cards was used Oct. 20 at a service station near downtown Little Rock. Investigators have said she may have been a robbery victim, and that her job did not appear to have had anything to do with the attack. Pressly's purse was missing the morning of the attack.

Davis said police wouldn't comment on evidence obtained so far but added, "We hope that we will be able to make an arrest from the information that we have received."

Chief Stuart Thomas said Monday that his officers had been in contact with the FBI, the state police and the U.S. Marshals Service. He said in a statement that his department has withheld specific information in an effort to keep the investigation focused but that it would release information if it believed it would help detectives or keep the community safe.

Previously, police said there was no sign of forced entry at Pressly's home, a small wood-frame house near the Little Rock Country Club. Davis said officers were returning to the scene as needed in a search for more evidence.

Pressly's employer, KATV, established a reward fund for information. The station said Pressly's family has asked that contributions be made to the fund in lieu of flowers.

Pressly had a small role as a conservative commentator in the new Oliver Stone movie "W."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Federal Source to ABC News: We Know Who You're Calling

Chicago Tribune
May 15, 2006

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation. ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.

Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.

One former official was asked to sign a document stating he was not a confidential source for New York Times reporter James Risen.

Our reports on the CIA's secret prisons in Romania and Poland were known to have upset CIA officials.

People questioned by the FBI about leaks of intelligence information say the CIA was also disturbed by ABC News reports that revealed the use of CIA predator missiles inside Pakistan.

Under Bush Administration guidelines, it is not considered illegal for the government to keep track of numbers dialed by phone customers. The official who warned ABC News said there was no indication our phones were being tapped so the content of the conversation could be recorded.

A pattern of phone calls from a reporter, however, could provide valuable clues for leak investigators. Being a confidential source who disagrees with a presidential administration then decides to oppose it by becoming a whistleblower can take courage when discovery means loss of a job and possible legal consequences. It’s just that kind of courage that this revelation is likely to chill. That could be the administration’s intent here, to make would-be confidential sources think twice before talking with reporters.

It’s no small irony that the only reason we now know about this is because a ABC News’ confidential source told them about it. The Blotter posting raises the question of whether ABC News’ phone calls were swept up as part of the vast National Security Agency database consisting of the phone-call records of millions of Americans which USA Today reported on last week.

It’s impossible for anyone outside of a few inside the government to say. But the fact that ABC News journalists are even seriously wondering about whether the warning is connected to the NSA’s domestic surveillance activities indicates just how anxious many people in Washington have become.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Fountainhead of Conservative "Principles" at Home: Richard Mellon Scaife's Domestic Side

The CIA's Richard Mellon Scaife donates lavishly to "conservative" organizations that promote traditional family values. So it's an obvious deduction that his belief in The Family translates into perfect bliss at home, with moral values motivating the Scaife clan to follow the Biblical paradigm. Let's just take a peek through the mail slot and see what goes on at the value-blessed Scaife love nest, shall we? Shhhh ... no liberal smirking ... they'll hear you ... :

Police say publisher's wife assaulted three
April 08, 2006
By Moustafa Ayad, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The estranged wife of the publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review attacked three of his employees yesterday afternoon in an attempt to take his dog by force, police said.

Police said Ritchie Scaife, 58, assaulted a maid, a secretary and security guard outside of the home of Richard Mellon Scaife on Westminster Place, Shadyside, at about 1:20 p.m. yesterday. Mr. Scaife was not at home at the time of the incident.

Mrs. Scaife told police that she saw Sue Patterson, the maid, walking a yellow labrador named Beau and "lost control." Mrs. Scaife said she became upset because she said the dog had been taken from her residence the day before.

"The dog had just done his business and I was bending over when I heard the squealing of tires and Mrs. Scaife running at me," said Mrs. Patterson, who said she needed a CT Scan and X-rays. "She hit me repeatedly in the head and left scratches on my neck."

Mrs. Patterson said she was planning to file assault charges against Mrs. Scaife. She said attorney Laura Gutnick was representing her and the other victims. Mrs. Gutnick could not be reached last night.

According to police and witness reports, Mrs. Scaife pulled Mrs. Patterson's hair and punched her in the head. Mrs. Patterson called out for help and Dennis Bradshaw, the security guard, went to go pull Mrs. Scaife off of Mrs. Patterson. Police said Mrs. Scaife slapped Mr. Bradshaw's glasses off of his face and broke them.

At that point in the scuffle, Mrs. Patterson lost control of the dog and Mrs. Scaife chased after him. Mrs Scaife was in the front yard of Mr. Scaife's residence trying to grab the dog when Genevieve Still, Mr. Scaife's 77-year-old secretary, spotted the loose dog and attempted to get hold of him.

Police said that Mrs. Scaife pushed Mrs. Still to the ground and then kicked her in the hip. Witnesses to the fracas interceded by trying to calm Mrs. Scaife. All of the victims suffered minor injuries and did not immediately seek medical treatment, police said. After police left, all of the victims went to nearby Shadyside Hospital.

Mrs. Scaife was not arrested. She gave a Downtown address to police as her residence. Police said charges would have to be filed by the victims at the local magistrate's office.

A man who answered the door at the home last night refused to answer questions.

In December, Mrs. Scaife was arrested outside of Mr. Scaife's Shadyside home and charged with defiant trespass after refusing to leave. Mr. Scaife, who was home at the time, called police, saying Mrs. Scaife was pounding on doors and peeking in windows.

First published on April 8, 2006 at 12:00 am
Low Road to Splitsville

Right-Wing Publisher's Breakup Is Super-Rich In Tawdry Details
By David Segal
Washington Post
October 22, 2007; C01


Looking for a perfect little weekend vacation this fall? Here's a travel tip you don't hear very often: Head to Pittsburgh. Right away.

Seriously, get in the car and read this story later, because when you're done reading, you'll wish you'd left 10 minutes ago. There are towns with better vistas, sure, and there are getaways with more sunshine. But only Pittsburgh is the scene of the fabulously tawdry and surpassingly vicious spectacle that is the divorce of Richard Mellon Scaife.

Remember him? The cantankerous, reclusive 75-year-old billionaire who's spent a sizable chunk of his inherited fortune bankrolling conservative causes and trying to kneecap Democrats? He's best known for funding efforts to smear then-President Bill Clinton, but more quietly he's given in excess of $300 million to right-leaning activists, watchdogs and think tanks. Atop his list of favorite donees: the family-values-focused Heritage Foundation, which has published papers with titles such as "Restoring a Culture of Marriage."

The culture of his own marriage is apparently past restoring. With the legal fight still in the weigh-in phase, the story of Scaife v. Scaife already includes a dog-snatching, an assault, a night in jail and that divorce court perennial, allegations of adultery.

Oh, and there's the money. Three words, people.

No. Pre. Nup.

Unfathomable but true, when Scaife (rhymes with safe) married his second wife, Margaret "Ritchie" Scaife, in 1991, he neglected to wall off a fortune that Forbes recently valued at $1.3 billion. This, to understate matters, is likely going to cost him, big time. As part of a temporary settlement, 60-year-old Ritchie Scaife is currently cashing an alimony check that at first glance will look like a typo: $725,000 a month. Or about $24,000 a day, seven days a week. As Richard Scaife's exasperated lawyers put it in a filing, "The temporary order produces an amount so large that just the income from it, invested at 5 percent, is greater each year than the salary of the President of the United States."

The numbers are just one of many we-kid-you-not dimensions to this tale. In late 2005, Ritchie Scaife peered through a window at one of her husband's many homes and saw him with one Tammy Sue Vasco, a woman whose colorful criminal history includes an arrest for prostitution. And this tryst was no one-afternoon stand. Ritchie Scaife describes Vasco in court filings as her husband's "mistress."

It gets better. But to fully appreciate this mesmerizing debacle, one must study it up close, for its many strategic blunders and its moments of epic brutality -- like a visit to Gettysburg, minus the gravitas. The good news, weekend travelers, is you can get close enough to most of the landmarks to gawk to your heart's content.

So buy a map and pack a lunch. And keep your hands inside the car.

Fireworks From the Start

We begin in Ligonier, 50 miles east of the city, at the Rolling Rock Club, once part of the Mellon estate, now a social center for the city's small community of super-rich, a place where Dick Cheney has gone game bird-hunting on a few occasions. The Scaifes wed here 16 years ago, with a reception that included a massive display of fireworks. The two had been openly dating for years, while Richard was married to his first wife, the former Frances Gilmore, with whom he had two children, and Ritchie was married to an attorney named Westray Battle, with whom she had a son.

Friends were not surprised that Ritchie, with her elegant cheekbones and lilting Southern accent, had turned the head of one of the country's richest men, currently No. 380 in the Forbes 400. She is known within high society as a woman who is fierce and formidable when she has a goal in mind, and in the '80s, her top priority was marrying Richard Scaife, say acquaintances.

Now, to the site of postnuptial domestic bliss, such as it was.

Head west on Route 30 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and follow the signs to Pittsburgh. Once in the city, notice that "Mellon" is slapped on just about everything -- buildings, libraries, banks, streets, and on and on. That would be Andrew Mellon, the uncle of Richard Scaife's mother, a financial wiz who built a Gilded Age fortune through banking and oil. Income from the trusts of that estate yields roughly $45 million a year for Scaife, according to a filing by his wife. That's a gross disposable income of nearly $4 million a month, apparently just for having been born. As the lawyer of his soon-to-be-ex-wife noted, "These massive streams of income are attributable to no employment, business enterprise or other effort -- intellectual, physical, creative or ministerial -- past or present."

During the years they dated, Richard and Ritchie had lived a block and a half apart, in a moneyed section of town called Shadyside. Once the two were united in holy matrimony, for reasons perhaps only they know, the arrangement didn't change. She lived on a cul-de-sac called Pitcairn Place. He lived two blocks away, on Westminster Place, in a huge red-brick Georgian-style home, with a multi-car garage and an American flag on the front door.

Dickie, as he's known to his handful of friends, acquired a mean streak at an early age, according to his now-deceased sister, Cordelia Scaife. (She once told The Washington Post that she and her brother hadn't spoken for 25 years.) His trouble with alcohol started when he was at prep school, and he later was tossed out of Yale when he rolled a keg of beer down a flight of stairs and broke the legs of a fellow student. His father, a below-average businessman, died a year after Richard graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. His mother was "just a gutter drunk," as Cordelia put it.

Scaife owns a handful of newspapers and newsweeklies, including the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, a conservative answer to the Post-Gazette. When he isn't tending to this modest publishing empire, he's underwriting what Hillary Clinton once called "a vast right-wing conspiracy." His highest-profile expenditure is the $2.3 million he gave the American Spectator magazine in the mid-'90s, to try to unearth prurient and embarrassing details about Bill Clinton's years as governor of Arkansas. (The magazine came up virtually empty-handed.)

Though he jousts, indirectly, with public figures, Scaife seems to detest attention. He almost never speaks to the media, and on one of the few occasions he did, it was to tell a reporter, who'd sandbagged him on the street, that she was ugly and that her mother was ugly, too.

But Scaife is said to be extremely kind to his staff, which includes security, a chef, housekeepers, and a pilot for his DC-9. His lawyer did not return calls requesting comment for this story.

As for Ritchie Scaife, she was considered by her peers to be ostentatious and a touch too loud, say two acquaintances. Publicly, she was credited with helping to humanize her husband. It was she who reportedly helped him get sober after years of alcoholism, and she who persuaded him to channel some of his philanthropic largess to tsunami relief. (Richard Scaife has long given to charitable causes, but conservative politics is his passion.) Ritchie was involved with his business, too, serving on the board of her husband's publishing company. Through her lawyer, she declined to comment for this article.

At some point in late 2005, Ritchie started having suspicions about her husband and hired a private investigator named Keith Scannell, a specialist in high-end surveillance for insurance companies. In December of that year, Scannell followed Richard Scaife to nearby North Huntingdon, home of Doug's Motel, a place where the TVs are bolted to the furniture and rooms can be rented in three-hour increments, for $28. (It's now under new management and renamed the Huntingdon Inn. Head east on Route 8, then east on Route 30.) There, according to Scannell, Scaife spent a few hours with Tammy Sue Vasco.

Why a billionaire would shack up at Doug's Motel, of all places, is a mystery. Ditto his choice of companions. Vasco is a tall, blond 43-year-old mother who in 1993 was busted in a sting operation after showing up at a Sheraton hotel and offering to have sex with an undercover cop for $225, the Post-Gazette reported.

Social Register material she is not, but Vasco and Scaife seemed to have a relationship that went beyond the purely professional. The two usually met each other twice a week, for months, at the motel, says an employee of the motel. Scaife would show up in a chauffeured car, dressed in a suit, wearing cuff links, always bearing flowers. Vasco would be waiting in same room every time, Room 5 on the ground floor, facing the parking lot, said the employee. Mr. Dick, as he was known at the motel, would stay for two hours or so, then get back in the car, which had been waiting, and leave.

"He actually seemed infatuated with Tammy," says the Doug's Motel employee, who did not want to be identified because of the powerful parties in the case. "She'd talk about trips that he took her on, to California, New York City. And it was great for her. It changed her life."

Despite a long history of financial disputes and a variety of liens, Vasco currently lives in a three-bedroom house that an attorney named Patrick Derrico bought outright for $50,000 a few years ago. Her name is currently on the deed. Derrico, who practices in Washington, Pa., would not discuss the deal, or Vasco.

She has also traded up from the Jeep she once drove. She's now behind the wheel of a dark green Toyota Sequoia, a large SUV that goes for about $40,000. Attempts to reach her for comment through her father, who lives in West Virginia, and through Derrico were not successful. She did not reply to a message hand-delivered to her home.

A few days after Scannell reported the Doug's Motel rendezvous to Ritchie Scaife, she noticed Vasco's Jeep in the driveway of his mansion at Westminster Place. Gaping through a window, according to court papers filed by her lawyers, she spotted Vasco. Then the trouble started.

Private investigator Scannell, commenting on what became a much-discussed local news story, put it this way: "Mrs. Scaife acted as any loving wife would upon finding out just days earlier that her husband had a confirmed meeting, for several hours, at a $40 motel with a woman previously arrested for prostitution."

Police would later say that Ritchie Scaife began pounding on doors and windows and refused to leave, which is why she was promptly arrested for "defiant trespass." She was handcuffed and driven downtown to the Allegheny County Jail -- near the Liberty Bridge, at 950 Second Ave. -- where a woman accustomed to traveling with a personal hairdresser spent the night in what her lawyers later called a "grim" holding cell.

The trespassing charge was eventually dismissed, but as Ritchie Scaife's lawyer stated in a divorce filing, "The marriage was over!"

Baring Fangs

Both sides lawyered up, and the war over the Scaifes' considerable assets began. Ritchie started at a bit of a disadvantage: Few of her belongings were actually in her possession. In 2002, Richard had told his wife that as a birthday gift he would renovate her home, which required her to temporarily relocate virtually everything she owned. When the legal proceedings began in early 2006, Ritchie's home was still uninhabitable, and she lived around the corner from Pitcairn Place, at the home of William Pietragallo, her lawyer, and Pietragallo's wife, a friend of Ritchie's for many years.

For Pietragallo and his colleagues, one of the first orders of business was persuading Richard to cough up his wife's goods. Which took some doing. A lawsuit was filed, with Ritchie's lawyers accusing Richard of behavior "designed to harass and annoy Wife" and "to create obfuscation, chaos and uncertainty as to the existence, location, condition and ownership of the vast amounts of personal property owned by the parties."

The key word here is "vast." One of the most astounding stacks of papers in the pile that is the Scaife divorce is the inventory of Ritchie's stuff, compiled by her lawyers. The list runs for more than 80 pages, like an episode of "Antiques Roadshow" that will not end. Meat platters, sardine forks, melon forks, a circa-1804 Dutch teapot, a painting by Magritte, Victorian cream pitchers, bread trays, candlesticks, a sterling silver nutmeg grater, flatware service . . . you get the picture. Much of it was stored at Vallamont, the weekend house Richard Scaife owns near the Rolling Rock Club.

"Defendant has and continues to unlawfully hold in his possession six pairs of asparagus tongs manufactured by Mappin & Webb, Birmingham, 1926 weighing 10 ounces total," reads one of dozens of paragraphs. "The last-known location for these items was at 'Vallamont,' 132 Pheasant Circle, Ligonier, Pa. 15658. The estimated cost for these items is $1,800."

Eventually, Scaife returned this massive collection, with Ritchie's lawyers accusing him of "dumping" the stuff on her without a proper heads-up. Scaife's lawyers countered that the transfer was handled with respect and care.

The real fight, though, was not over the Shreve & Co. finger bowls. It was over the dog. Specifically, a yellow Labrador retriever named Beauregard, who Ritchie has told friends is a direct descendant of a pooch belonging to a king of England. Until March 2006, the animal was in Ritchie's hands, living with her and the Pietragallos. Then one day, Beauregard was scooped out of the Pietragallos' back yard and whisked around the corner, to Richard's house on Westminster.

This brazen canine abduction was not covered up. Quite the opposite. It was celebrated with a banner on wooden stakes posted on Richard's front lawn: "Welcome home, Beauregard," it read.

It's safe to assume that despite his lineage, Beauregard is unable to read. The point, it seems, was to needle Ritchie.

And it did.

On the afternoon of April 6, 2006, Ritchie stopped her car when she spotted a housekeeper of Richard's walking Beauregard in the neighborhood. Game on. The cops later said that Ritchie punched 51-year-old Sue Patterson, then tried to grab the dog. A secretary of Richard's, 77-year-old Genevieve Still, saw Ritchie and Patterson on the ground, with Ritchie on top, pulling Patterson's hair. When she tried to intervene, Still wound up with "a swift kick to the lower back," she told police. Then a security guard named Dennis Bradshaw got in on the action and took a slap to the head, which reportedly broke his glasses.

Ritchie did not win this one-on-three suburban cage match, nor did she manage to grab Beauregard. She did, however, get arrested, again, this time for assault. All three of Richard Scaife's employees went to the hospital, where they were treated for scratches and bruises, then released, the Post-Gazette reported. A judge eventually dismissed the assault case, though personal-injury lawsuits by the employees are still pending.

Beauregard, by the way, still lives with Richard.

The lawsuits did little, it seems, to sate Ritchie's appetite for confrontation. In September of last year, she drove to Vasco's home, located in nearby Port Vue, perhaps to get a better look at her husband's paramour. Ritchie allegedly started shouting obscenities. Many obscenities, and she caused some kind of ruckus. Enough to provoke Vasco's 20-ish daughter, Winnifred, to file a criminal harassment complaint with a local magistrate, accusing Ritchie of what might be described as carrying on.

That charge was also eventually dismissed.

A Media Magnate & Magnet

The fight for the dog is matched in intensity only by the fight for the money. The filings in this case have unveiled a scrumptious buffet of new information about Richard Scaife's riches -- where they've come from and where they've gone. Until a few weeks ago, these documents were under seal, by consent of both parties. Then the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discovered that someone in Allegheny County's prothonotary's office had mistakenly, and briefly, posted filings in the case on a part of its Web site that is publicly accessible.

Now we know that Scaife is beneficiary of nine different trusts, including one called the "1935 Trust," with an approximate value of $210 million, and another called "The Revocable Trust," valued at $655 million. Altogether, these gushers are worth about $1.4 billion.

We learned, too, that the Tribune-Review has been a gurgling sinkhole from Day One; Scaife's lawyers say their client has pumped as much as $312 million into it over the years. And he's going to have to keep on pumping. The Tribune-Review's CEO has predicted an annual shortfall of $20 million for years to come.

These figures matter in the divorce because Scaife is arguing that the funds he forwards to the Tribune-Review should be deducted from his aggregate income, putting his annual haul closer to $17 million a year, a long way from the $45 million a year cited by Ritchie's lawyers. If true, that would of course reduce the monthly alimony check he could owe his wife once there's a permanent settlement.

Not surprisingly, Ritchie Scaife's attorneys have a different view. They say that Richard Scaife operates the Tribune-Review with so little concern for profit and loss that it's more a hobby than a business.

Viable corporation or sugar daddy's divertissement -- either way, you can take a gander at the Pittsburgh office of the Tribune-Review. It's on the third floor of the building that was once the factory where the Clark candy bar was made, near the fields where the Pirates and Steelers play. (Over the Fort Duquesne Bridge, to 503 Martindale St.)

So, plenty to see, and truth be told, plenty of time to see it. A final settlement could easily be a year away, and the meanness, for all we know, has just begun. Which is why the Scaife Divorce Tour of Pittsburgh could be the ultimate family vacation. If it doesn't bring your family together -- in mutual horror, in a group hug that says "we don't have it that bad" -- nothing will.

Drive safely!

Staff researcher Rena Kirsch contributed to this story.

Reality shows and soap operas filmed at Hitler's request, Part One

TV journalists uncover shocking truth: Fascist Germany planned to launch a range of TV shows

Pavel Sadkov — 21.10.2008

What would have happened if Fascist Germany wasn't destroyed? Scholars have various opinions on this issue — some suggest the dropping of atomic bombs and others the invention of ridiculous weapons or spaceships. On Tuesday, the TV channel Rossiya will share a sensational new theory with its viewers. The creators of the documentary film "The Magical Eye of the Third Reich" believe Hitler's Germany was one step away from launching an entire TV industry. KP has spoken with the film's authors, who in turn agreed to share the most compelling fragments of the film with our readers.

LIVE execution on April 28, 1945

The documentary filmmakers dug up the protocol of an interrogation of SS-Hauptsturmführer Kurt Schultzmayer regarding the execution of Eva Braun’s relative — Hans Georg Otto Hermann Fegelein. He had tried to escape from Berlin with his pregnant wife to save her and her child.

In the transcript, Schultzmayer tells the investigator shocking news. A "Tibetan" or "man scarlet," who was among those who had "arrived from Lhasa and didn't wear swastikas," had watched the execution of Hitler's ally while standing nearby behind a patch of trees. And he wasn't only watching.

The first live broadcast is considered Hitler's speech at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

"The 'Tibetan,'" said Schultzmayer, "pointed a strange, small, elongated object towards what was transpiring." The SS officer proceeded to explain to the investigator that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had personally warned him about the Tibetan’s presence and ordered him to "stay out of the way."

"Himmler wanted the execution to be viewed somewhere else, as well," Schultzmeyer said.

April 27, 1941

Later in film, the authors reveal a letter from the daughter of German politician and Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Minister Paul Joseph Goebbels, Helga, to her cousin Rudolph Hesse: "Henrich! If father only saw what you filmed during the fight! No, we need to film something else — funny, for example. What you can't film with the big 'iconoscope,' you can film unnoticed with your 'pipe with an eye...' It would be great if Sakhib gave me a similar gift. Then we could film at the same time and exchange our thoughts."

What is Helga referring to? What was this mysterious "pipe with an eye" that could film events unnoticed and help people to communicate at the same time? Is she referring to the "strange, small, elongated apparatus" that the "Tibetan" used to film the execution of Eva Braun's uncle? What exactly are they referring to? A modern mobile phone with a camera? And who is this Sakhib who gave such remarkably strange presents to the children of the rulers of the Third Reich?

In Himmler's so-called visitation diary, eight meetings are noted between the Reichsführer-SS and the director of Tibetan expeditions Ernest Sheffer, as well as four meetings with envoys from Lhasa, who were immediately put to work at Himmler's Forschungs und Lehrgemeinschaft das Ahnenerbe e.V. ("Research and Teaching Community of Ancestral Heritage"). It was there, in Tibet, that German nationalists from secret societies hoped to receive ancient knowledge that was meant to show Germany its sacral path. Was this ancient knowledge a key to mastering modern-day TV?

Midday at work

Officially, the technology allowing TV studios to broadcast live saw the light of day in 1935. A year later, in 1936, serious feats were made despite the unwieldy TV station system of the day. Live all-national broadcasts were made from stadiums, meetings and parades where Adolf Hitler spoke.

It's generally thought that the first live TV signals were broadcasted from Hitler's speech at the Berlin 1936 Olympic Games. However, the first person to be broadcasted live was actually a far less significant government official named Olgard Hadamovsky.

At the time, TV technology was about the same worldwide. The following types of announcements would appear in the daily papers: "Watch! Watch! A living person will be broadcasted on the 56.6 airwave!" It looked like this — an image, such as a person — on a small TV screen. The individual would be sitting in front of the TV transmitter, turn his head from the right to the left, and then from the left to the right... Then another person would appear on screen and put on his glasses.

But even then, propaganda master Goebbels saw greater potential in the technology. He began sending radio waves at the same time the TV signals were broadcasted.

According to Nazi Germany’s state ideals, German women weren't supposed to work. The true Aryian woman was meant to stay home and raise her kids. For this audience, Goebbels' wife Magda suggested building special rooms adjacent to new laundry mats where 30 women or more would gather around the TV to watch broadcasts, talk among themselves and discuss what they saw. Magda turned to her husband at the Public Enlightenment and Propaganda Ministry for funds to realize the project. Goebbels promised to allocate the money if the committee agreed to thoroughly investigate the facilities.

Goebbels: "The advantage of a visual image over the audible broadcast is the audible becomes a visual image with the help of an individual’s imagination, which can't be kept under control. Regardless, each will always see his own." Thus, it's worthwhile to "immediately show everyone what should be seen, so everyone sees the same thing."

In 1945, tens of boxes containing reels of TV programs were found in the Third Reich's Chancellery. After reviewing the footage, it became clear that the German engineers were literally one step away from mastering modern-day technology.

Several boxes even had the label: "For cable."

Soviet journalists and military translators were amazed at another unexpected discovery. The Third Reich, which was long thought to have focused its energy on military technologies, had given birth to an entirely new international industry — news, sports, crime, music and educational TV.

The 'Family Guy's' Nazi McCain Pin

Fox asks of it's own program:

"Did 'Family Guy' Go Too Far With Nazi 'McCain' Pin?"
October 20, 2008

The animated sitcom 'Family Guy' is no stranger to controversy, but on Sunday night the show went into uncharted territory as it seemed to weigh in on the presidential race by likening the McCain/Palin ticket to the Nazi party in World War II.

In the episode, two of the characters, Stewie (a talking baby) and Brian (a talking dog) are transported to Poland during the Nazi invasion of World War II. In one scene, the characters beat up and steal the uniforms of two Nazi officers. Stewie looks down at his Nazi uniform and notices a McCain/Palin campaign button attached to its lapel, remarking “Huh, that’s weird."

The McCain campaign did not have an immediate comment. A rep for the show defended the episode, telling "From its inception, 'Family Guy' has used provocative concepts and biting satire as the foundation of its humor. The show is an 'equal oportunity offender.'"

The show's creator, Seth MacFarlane, is an ardent supporter of Barack Obama. MacFarlane has given thousands to the Democratic presidential nominee and the Democratic Party, and even spoke at an Obama rally in Ohio earlier this month.

In the past, MacFarlane has gotten into hot water for his skewering of several subjects, including actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise.

Comedian Carol Burnett also unsuccessfully sued the program for its depiction of her cleaning-woman character.

The Fox sitcom was cancelled in 2002 after failing to find an audience, but has improved significantly in the ratings since being brought back to the network in 2005. The show centers on a dysfunctional family living in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island.,2933,441301,00.html

"Obama Is a Secret Muslim Plotting With an Evil Billionaire"

... Human Events, a [CIA propaganda fount and] leading conservative magazine, sent out a promotional email the other day for an anti-Obama book co-written by Floyd Brown, a conservative activist infamous for having cooked up the Willie Horton ad during the 1988 presidential election. The email notes that there are "many Islamofascists who are sworn to the destruction of America" who are "actively campaigning for Obama" and that Muslims would demand and receive "special rights" from a President Obama. The email asks, "Being a Black Muslim doesn't disqualify [Obama] from running for President, so why won't he be honest about it?" In other words, yep, he's a covert Muslim. But beyond circulating this canard, the email claims that George Soros, the Hungarian-born billionaire financier who has supported Democratic and liberal causes, is "planning to sack the US economy, make himself billions richer, and put Obama in the White House marching to his mad tune." Message: A black Muslim in league with an evil Jewish billionaire--you do the math. ...

Right-wing bloggers have promoted a British news story reporting that an African-American poet and friend of Obama's grandfather in Hawaii--when Obama was being raised by his grandparents--wrote pornography and engaged in sex with a 13-year-old girl. (Stop everything: Obama, when he was a teenager, received advice on how to be a black man from a pervert!) And one right-wing blogger has been pushing the conspiracy theory that it was Bill Ayers who actually wrote Obama's book Dreams From My Father. ...

If Obama wins, this is the tenor of the conservative opposition he will face right out of the box: sensationalized, racialized, apocalyptic, and crazy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Will the Nobel Prize be given for Slandering Chavez?

Nil Nikandrov

Writers Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) and Carlos Fuentes (Mexico) in their political essays pay constant attention to the president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez Frias.

One may say that Llosa long ago already became a factor of political life of Venezuela. Hardly had Hugo Chavez started to fulfil his obligations as the warning voice of Llosa accused him of demagogy, dictatorial manners and claims for messianism. Since then, the writer speaks on every problem issue, always on the side of opposition and certainly against Chavez and his dictatorship. Sometimes Llosa is not that categorical and uses the term «semi-dictatorship» and call Chavez an «apprentice of a dictator», meaning Fidel Castro as master.

Vargas Llosa used to predict rapid downfall of the Venezuelan leader more than once and was constantly mistaken. However, his errors in prediction have not confused him. Addressing the Venezuelans, he didactically stated: «Now you can see what mistake has been made to put Chavez on the throne, as it will be very difficult to get rid of totalitarian regime». With these commonplace maxims Llosa speaks as a chairman of the International fund for freedom (Fundacion Internacional para la Libertad) (with headquarters in Madrid), but his glory of a writer gives them a special propaganda response.

Once Llosa tried to sit in the presidential chair of Republic of Peru himself, but he lost the elections and was so grieved that gave up his Peruvian citizenship and became a Spaniard. One can think that his constant attacks on Chavez are provoked by hidden jealousy: this «ordinary lieutenant colonel» used to pass through the trials of national elections and won them with confidence, whereas he, Mario Vargas Llosa, famous all over the world writer, «the Peruvian No.1» of modern times, went on the rocks in the country, which he glorified by his pen.

Actively making his «image» of fighter for freedom and democracy in Latin America, warning the peoples of the continent from «expansion of the Bolivarian revolution by means of petrodollars of Chavez, Llosa pursues one more goal, personal. He, for a long time and without success has a claim for a Nobel prize in literature, and in his 70 odd years strives to get it as a worthy completion of his literary career. The conservative nature of the Nobel prizes committee is well known, hence and a lengthy «turn to the right» of the writer, who used to be considered if not a «leftist» but, at least, a fellow traveller.

There is no use to analyse the quality of the literary product of Llosa of recent years, although it is worth to remind that he was accused of plagiarism. In his novel «The Feast of the Goat» («La fiesta del chivo») dedicated to the dictator of the Dominican Republic Trujillo, they found certain «appropriated» fragments from somebody other's works. Advocates of Llosa managed to «clear» from the accusations, but, naturally, they had to forget for some time about the Nobel prize. And now, when again he managed to get points by «exposing creativity on the Chavez topic» there appeared a new obstacle on the road to the prize — this time in the person of another writer, - Mexican Carlos Fuentes. He also regularly criticises Chavez and «in the name of protection of democratic ideals» and in order to appear in international press more often.

The reason is still the same: active demonstration of conservatism, accusation of populism, castrism and communism — are strategically vital for struggling for the prize. Prudent Fuentes succeeded in getting additional points having written a rapturous preface to the book about the antipode of Chavez — Venezuelan oligarch Cisneros (P. Bachelet, «Gustavo Cisneros, World Business Man» /Gustavo Cisneros. Un empresario global/). Glorification of oligarchs, heroes of neo-liberal super-business — is a Deed with a Capital Letter. Neo-liberal policy brought Latin America an impoverishment, degradation of social programs, aggravation of contradictions, plunder and absorption of weak national economies by transnational companies.

Admirers of Fuentes got angry and bombarded him with letters: how could you do this? One of them, clearly not a chavist, wrote: «Mister Carlos Fuentes, you'd better deal with your own favourite Mexico, which, unfortunately, is situated too close to the United States. Their government condemned our people to poverty and suffering, and, as a result, to illiteracy, loss of historical memory and obedience. Of course, you live very well. You are not obliged to follow the Christian commandment — love your neighbour (Venezuelan or Mexican people) as yourself. Tomorrow you may desire to convince us that Bush or Blair deserve the Nobel peace prize, senor Gustavo Cisneros — the prize in the field of economics, and you, I don't argue, in the field of literature. But do not forget that among other laureates of the prize there go your predecessors - Jorge Amado, Cesar Vallejo, Julio Cortazar and all those who died but did not sell, pawn their honour and their art in order to become imitators of businessmen».

To the credit of the Nobel prizes Committee, its members until late ignored the prize-winner ambitions of Llosa and Fuentes. Evidently, flinging mud at politicians, that do not fit into the scale of bourgeois values (and this is not only Chavez, but other «populists» as well - husband and wife Kirchner, Evo Morales, Correa) does not always guarantee rapid dividends.

By the way, there was a period in the activity of Chavez on the presidential post, when, after an attempted coup in April 2002, he did all his best to establish the constructive dialogue with opposition, put out the seemingly unsolvable inner conflicts, prevent the country from slipping down into the civil war. At that time there used to sound proposals to nominate Chavez for the Nobel peace prize. I wish they had nominated and given. At least to give a lesson of morality and ethics to writers that wage a new «cold war» on the continent.

(An extract from the book about Hugo Chavez, under preparation)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mafia Plan to Bomb Author

Sydney Morning Herald

THE Neapolitan Camorra, the Naples-based Mafia, planned a massive motorway bomb to kill the bestselling writer Roberto Saviano, the author of a big expose on their activities, as he travelled with his armed Carabinieri bodyguards.

The plot, revealed by one of the Casalesi clan supergrasses, has resulted in a flurry of arrests and yesterday, asked by text message if he was OK, Saviano sent the Herald a simple, one-word return: "resisto" (meaning "I'm resisting" or "I'm still standing").

Saviano, 29, interviewed in secret in Naples by the Herald in June, has lived a nomadic existence in hiding for more than two years after he wrote his blockbuster exposé of the vicious Neapolitan Mafia. The book, Gomorrah, has been turned into a movie that won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes this year and will be Italy's entry in the best foreign film category at this year's Oscars.

The bomb plot was revealed by the supergrass, Carmine Schiavone, who admitted that the book's revelations had infuriated the Casalesi clan bosses and a plan to blow up Saviano and his police escorts was expected before Christmas. ...

Story continues:


An American TV anchorwoman who appears in OLIVER STONE's new biopic W is in a critical condition after she was beaten and stabbed at her Arkansas home.

Reporter Anne Pressly was found unconscious in bed on Monday (20Oct08), bleeding from head and body wounds, according to police officials. Pressly was discovered by her mother who went to the home after Pressly failed to answer her daily wake-up call.

The 26-year-old acts as general assignment reporter at the station, and anchors the channel's Daybreak slot on ABC's Arkansas affiliate, KATV. She also plays a conservative broadcaster who supports Bush's Iraq campaign in Stone's forthcoming movie, which stars Josh Brolin as the Republican President.

She is currently receiving treatment at a local hospital.

Police spokeswoman Cassandra Davis has confirmed officials are investigating whether Pressly was deliberately targeted. Davis tells the New York Post, "It is possible that it is something other than robbery... she was a public figure... on the news, in the media."

Hitler planned 'Big Brother' style television to broadcast Nazi propaganda

"The laying of a broadband cable between Berlin and Nuremberg was begun ... Prototype programmes included the filming of executions of supposed traitors to the Nazis and an early reality TV show, depicting the wholesome Aryan life of a young German couple for the rest of the population to model themselves on. ... "

21st October 2008

Adolf Hitler was on the verge of creating a 'Big Brother' style version of cable television to broadcast Nazi propaganda

Hitler was on the verge of creating a 'Big Brother' style version of cable television to broadcast Nazi propaganda around Germany.

The Nazis were preparing public TV screens, including sets installed in public laundries so housewives could tune in, across the nation, according to a Russian documentary based on papers and tapes found in his bunker.

Prototype programmes included the filming of executions of supposed traitors to the Nazis and an early reality TV show, depicting the wholesome Aryan life of a young German couple for the rest of the population to model themselves on.

The crude system would transmit the TV picture to a screen and the sound to a radio receiver.

The discovery came to light first in 1945, when dozens of boxes with tapes were found in the ruins of the Reich Council by Soviet soldiers, the programme claims.

Documents recovered from the Nazis show Hitler's plans were well advanced and showed German engineers were on the point of a technological breakthrough and had even recorded a series of taped programmes on news, sport and education.

A former SS officer, Curt Schulmeitser, told the programme how a relative of Hitler's mistress Eva Braun was filmed being shot after being caught trying to flee Berlin as the Soviet army advanced.

Schulmeitser said Hitler's deputy Heinrich Himmler authorised the filming and hinted it was being filmed for Hitler to watch.

He said: 'Himmler wanted somebody else in a different place to see what was going on.'

In another plan, Hitler wanted to inspire ordinary Germans to a live a pure Aryan life by setting up a fly on the wall reality TV programme called: Family chronicles: An evening with Hans and Gelli.

The actors were to depict a normal, wholesome, Aryan way of life that other Germans could emulate. presenting a common evening in a German family of a young couple.

Josef Hebbels, who masterminded the plan, told Rudolph Hess's sister Margaret ,who was also working on the scheme: 'We'll be able to show whatever we want. We'll create a reality, which the people of Germany need and can copy. Your task is to teach German women to live this way'.

According to the programme, a Nazi engineer called Walter Bruch was tasked to make 'people's television' a reality.

He tabled a document to Hitler called 'Plan to supply people's transmitter to German homes,' and the laying of a broadband cable between Berlin and Nuremberg was begun, it claimed.

Hitler early on realised the power of television propaganda. His address at the opening ceremony of the Berlin Olympic Games in 1936 was broadcast to system of bulky mobile TV stations where Germans could watch in town squares.

But the programme claims the Nazi leader and his scientists were planning a far more complex series of public TV screens before the allies overran Germany and he committed suicide in 1945.

His plan is eerily similar to George Orwell's novel 1984, where despotic figurehead Big brother looms out from public telescreens entreating the subdued populace to work for the state and telling them 'Big Brother is watching you.

The reality television show, Big Brother, in which contestants are under constant surveillance, is based on Orwell's concept.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Disgraced NYTimes reporter Judith Miller joins Fox News

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Judith Miller, whose pre-Iraq war reporting was faulted in a 2004 apology to its readers by editors of The New York Times, has joined the Fox News television channel as a contributor.

Miller, 60, "will provide commentary and analysis on national security issues, counterterrorism, and international affairs, including the Middle East on Fox," the cable news channel announced in a statement on Monday.

Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., said Miller will also write for

Miller, the author of several books, spent 28 years with the New York Times and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for reporting on global terrorism.

But she is perhaps better known for her reporting prior to the March 2003 US invasion of Iraq of claims by Iraqi exiles that Saddam Hussein had a weapons of mass destruction program, claims which subsequently turned out not to be true.

The Times apologized in 2004 for its pre-Iraq war coverage. Five of the six dubious articles cited by the newspaper were written or co-written by Miller.

Miller was also in the headlines in 2005 when she was imprisoned for 85 days for refusing to testify before a grand jury over the outing of an undercover CIA agent.

Miller was jailed by a federal judge for contempt for refusing to divulge the name of her confidential source who leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Her source turned out to be Lewis "Scooter" Libby, an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Miller retired from the Times in November 2005.

Discussing Miller's hiring with The Washington Post, Fox executive vice president John Moody told the newspaper "she has a very impressive resume."

"We've all had stories that didn't come out exactly as we had hoped," Moody said. "She has explained herself and she has nothing to apologize for."

National Public Radio Contributor Tetra-Tech & Reinhard Gehlen's Man in Louisville (Saddam Hussein, too)


"Powerful CIA operative who as a spymaster, soldier and diplomat was at the heart of a half century of historic moments, who did everything from recruiting former Third Reich members to spy on the Soviets, to supporting the political party that put Saddam Hussein in power, and whose memoir will be published in 2003, died April 22 of pancreatic cancer in Williamsburg, VA at age 86."
Irony of ironies ... look who's running TERROR DRILLS in Blue Grass country:

TETRA TECH developed implemented, and moderated a large-scale mock terrorism exercise in Louisville, Kentucky called Operation River City. The exercise lasted for 60 continuous hours and consisted of multiple chemical, biological, radiological, hostage, and explosive scenarios meant to simulate a nationally significant incident.

The Tetra Tech Board

Albert E. Smith

Chairman of the Board
Director since 2005

Mr. Smith has been a member of our Board since May 2005 and was elected Chairman on March 6, 2006. Mr. Smith is a former member of the Secretary of Defense's DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD, serving from 2002 to 2005. He
was an Executive Vice President of LOCKHEED MARTIN and President of its Integrated Systems & Solutions business until 2004. From 1999 to 2003 Mr. Smith was Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin's Space Systems Company. Prior to that, Mr. Smith was President of Government Systems at Harris Corporation. He has also worked for the CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, where he received the Intelligence Medal of Merit.

Hugh M. Grant
Director since 2003

Mr. Grant joined our Board in January 2003. He has been a business consultant since 1996. Prior to 1996, Mr. Grant spent approximately 38 years with Ernst & Young LLP ...

Richard H. Truly
Director since 2003

Admiral Truly joined our Board in April 2003. He is the former Executive Vice President of Midwest Research Institute (MRI). Prior to joining MRI in 1997, Admiral Truly was Vice President of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute, from 1992 to 1997. From 1989 to 1992, he served as NASA's eighth Administrator under President George H. Bush, and prior to that, had a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy and NASA, retiring from the Navy as Vice Admiral.

Admiral Truly was an astronaut with NASA and piloted the Columbia, commanded the Challenger and, in 1986, led the investigation of the Challenger accident. Admiral Truly was awarded the Presidential Citizen's Medal, has served on the Defense Policy Board and Army Science Board, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Li-San Hwang
Chairman Emeritus

Dr. Hwang retired from Tetra Tech on March 6, 2006 and serves as Chairman Emeritus for life in an advisory role. Dr. Hwang, joined our predecessor in 1967 and led our acquisition of the Water Management Group of Tetra Tech, Inc., an operating unit of Honeywell Inc....
23 April 2003

Ex-CIA Official James Critchfield Dies

James H. Critchfield, 86, a decorated World War II Army officer who played a key role in the Central Intelligence Agency's controversial postwar alliance
with former German officials to spy on the Soviet Union, died April 22, 2003, at a hospice in Williamsburg. He had pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Critchfield, who retired in 1974, was the chief of the CIA's Near East and South Asia division in the 1960s and a national intelligence officer for energy as the oil shortage crisis began in the early 1970s. Later, as president of TETRA TECH International, he focused on Middle East energy resources, especially those in Oman, and did consulting work.

It was his part in the early days of Cold War intelligence that most recently catapulted him to attention.

Only in the late 1990s did the CIA begin to disclose, through an act of Congress, its collaboration with former Nazi spies in what was known as the Gehlen Organization. The network was named for Reinhard Gehlen, a German general who oversaw Adolf Hitler's anti-Soviet intelligence and became the first head of West Germany's secret service.

For many, Gehlen's work came to symbolize the moral compromises of the United States. Mr. Critchfield, often credited with recommending the CIA's union with Gehlen, defended the work, which supplied the West with an infusion of fresh intelligence material about the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries at the start of the Cold War. During the Berlin Airlift and other vital moments, such intelligence was hard to obtain, he said.

He added that many of the top Germans, including Gehlen, were far from Nazi ideologues and that many sympathized with those who tried to kill Hitler.

"I've lived with this for 50 years," Mr. Critchfield told The Washington Post in 2001. "Almost everything negative that has been written about Gehlen, in which he has been described as an ardent ex-Nazi, one of Hitler's war criminals -- this is all far from the fact."

As the size of the Gehlen group grew to several thousand, many in the organization were reputed to be Soviet spies, former Nazis and other unsavory types used as informants and for other purposes.

"There's no doubt that the CIA got carried away with recruiting some pretty bad people," Mr. Critchfield told a reporter....
Some Pretty Bad People

MXs Near Canada

... Last August, the USAF held hearings about the MX rail garrison proposal, mediated by Colonel Mike McShane, a U.S. military tribunal judge.

The meeting began with a talk by a Pentagon expert, Lt. Col. Walsh. He discussed the history of MX policy, and the controversial Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), a document detailing the potential impact of rail garrison on the local economy.

The report originated from an earlier set of hearings and from studies conducted by a private research company hired by the U.S. military, Tetra-tech. Tetra-Tech was once a Honeywell subsidiary. Speakers from the audience were given a three-minute limit. Comments were addressed to a panel, made up of: two airforce officers; a TETRA TECH representative; a pentagon expert, Lt. Col. Walsh; and a Pentagon scientist.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Andrew Klavan, Conservative "Victim" of Liberal Hollywood "Discrimination"

Andrew Klavan

Wiki: "Andrew Klavan (born 1954 in New York City) is an American author and screenwriter of "tough-guy" mysteries and psychological thrillers. Two of Klavan's books have been adapted into motion pictures — True Crime (1999) and Don't Say A Word (2001). He has been nominated for the Edgar Award four times and has won twice. Playwright and novelist Laurence Klavan is his brother. Identifying himself as a political conservative, Klavan has expressed the view that 'rightists' are the victims of discrimination in Hollywood."

Whose Propaganda?
Letter to the Editor
October 19, 2008

Regarding Andrew Klavan's Oct. 12 Outlook commentary, "5 Myths About Those Tinseltown Liberals":

I am disturbed that Mr. Klavan would draw a parallel between conservatives wanting Hollywood recognition and the victims of centuries-old institutionalized racism and sexism. His comparison serves only to trivialize the protracted struggles of African Americans and women.

Mr. Klavan also accused "liberal Hollywood" of censorship and of creating propaganda. But later he wrote, "Making anti-war films while American troops are under fire is not patriotic." What does he want, then? For Hollywood to stop making these movies (censorship) or for Hollywood to make pro-war movies (right-wing propaganda)? Clearly, Mr. Klavan doesn't mind if the media have an agenda as long as it's in line with his own beliefs.

But most troubling was Mr. Klavan's labeling of critiques of the Iraq war and the U.S. government as "not patriotic." In fact, to remain strong, democracies need people who are willing to challenge the powers that be.

But this is old news: Most people acknowledge the dangers of blindly supporting authority in the name of the nation and realize that the media's unquestioning support for our leaders a few years ago is one of the reasons we are stuck in the quagmire of Iraq.

Finally, Mr. Klavan stated that anti-war movies fail at the box office because people don't care about or don't agree with the messages they espouse. I suspect the real reason people aren't flocking to these movies is that the war itself is a failure and people are tired of being reminded of that -- just as they are tired of hearing rehashed, inconsequential rants against "liberal Hollywood."


Why Are We Whispering?
By Andrew Klavan
August 9, 2008; Page A15

At a recent writers conference in Southern California, one of my colleagues on a screenwriters panel told the crowd of about 50 people that she hoped Barack Obama would win the presidency. A number of people applauded. When it was my turn to speak, I politely said that I disagreed with her politics and moved on to other topics. There was no applause for me, but several writers approached me afterward. Each dropped his voice to a whisper and, looking around to make sure no one would overhear, said, "Thank you for saying that."

Which raises a question for all conservatives in the arts: Why are we whispering?

It's true throughout Hollywood certainly. In filmland business meetings, the executives, producers and talent feel free to wax on about how stupid President Bush is, how evil American foreign policy is, even what awful human beings conservatives are. Hollywood rightists, meanwhile, are reduced to holding secret gatherings to confess their beliefs in sympathetic company.

The results of having a bold artistic left and a cowering artistic right are clear on both the big and small screens. It's not just the movies attacking the war on terrorism or rehashing Joe McCarthy's peccadilloes or sanctifying murderous communist thugs such as Che Guevara. Those are mere vanity projects bravely speaking leftism to leftists. Far more pervasive, and damaging to our society, are the off-hand leftist assumptions that underlie a vast majority of mainstream TV shows and films: American might is sinister, soldiers are criminalized by war, Christians are intolerant and hypocritical, housewives are desperate, corporations are evil, the environment is in mortal danger from wicked man and, in general, something is terribly wrong with mainstream society that only the wisdom of radical types can cure.

It's true that conservative values are sometimes hidden away in the fantasy worlds of films such as "The Lord of the Rings," "The Chronicles of Narnia" or "Spider-Man 3." But that only raises the question again: Why are conservatives whispering when the left is shouting?

There are practical answers, to be sure. Personally and professionally, the creative left rejects right-wingers with small-minded savagery. There may not be a blacklist in Hollywood, but there is a graylist that makes it far more difficult for conservatives to get hired and instigate projects. When good films that openly defy the left-wing party line do get made -- "The Passion of the Christ," "Not Without My Daughter," "Tears of the Sun" -- they are often excoriated by powerful lefty critics in reviews that frequently include personal attacks on the filmmakers and stars. (It's not just movies, either. My latest novel was deemed the work of a "right-wing crackpot" by the Associated Press.) Who can blame artists for not wanting to step out of the foxhole a second time?

But I believe there is a deeper, more troubling reason for conservative reticence. The left has somehow succeeded in convincing the rest of us that there is virtue in a culture of lies, that some truths should not be spoken and that if you speak them you are guilty of racism or sexism or some other kind of bigotry. Right-wingers may disagree philosophically with this sort of political correctness, but I think they may have incorporated some of its twisted values psychologically and walk in fear of seeming "offensive" or "insensitive."

Thus they sign on to a creative mind-set in which the depiction of reality is considered immoral and distortion becomes an act of political virtue. The threat of Islamo-fascism must never be shown without drawing some moral equivalence with the West (see: "The Kingdom" and "Iron Man"). It must never be suggested that men might be better at some tasks on average or that many women might prefer homemaking to business. Sexual promiscuity and illegitimacy are romantic or funny (à la "Juno") and not contributing factors to poverty, depression and suicide rates (à la life). And so on.

Whenever I raise these issues in public, someone says, "Well, Hollywood's all about money. They just make what sells." That sounds like cynical wisdom, but it's only half true. Artists want love, praise and respect, which money represents but which can also be found in reviews, awards and good publicity, almost all of which encourage leftist distortions and teach us to respond to plain speaking with outrage.

Conservative artists can't battle this state of affairs with silence or secrecy. They must create -- with courage, openness and honesty. These are the tools of both conservatism and art. With them, we can take the culture back.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Andy Martin: The Man Behind the Whispers About Obama

" ... He prepared to run as a Democrat for Congress in Connecticut, where paperwork for one of his campaign committees listed as one purpose 'to exterminate Jew power.' ... [Martin] wrote of Mr. Obama, 'it may well be that his concealment is meant to endanger Israel.' He added, 'His Muslim religion would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles.' Yet in various court papers, Mr. Martin had impugned Jews. ... ”

October 13, 2008

The most persistent falsehood about Senator Barack Obama’s background first hit in 2004 just two weeks after the Democratic convention speech that helped set him on the path to his presidential candidacy: “Obama is a Muslim who has concealed his religion.”

That statement, contained in a press release, spun a complex tale about the ancestry of Mr. Obama, who is Christian. The press release was picked up by a conservative Web site,, and spread steadily as others elaborated on its claims over the years in e-mail messages, Web sites and books. It continues to drive other false rumors about Mr. Obama’s background.

Just last Friday, a woman told Senator John McCain at a town-hall-style meeting, “I have read about him,” and “he’s an Arab.” Mr. McCain corrected her.

Until this month, the man who is widely credited with starting the cyberwhisper campaign that still dogs Mr. Obama was a secondary character in news reports, with deep explorations of his background largely confined to liberal blogs. But an appearance in a documentary-style program on the Fox News Channel watched by three million people last week thrust the man, Andy Martin, and his past into the foreground. The program allowed Mr. Martin to assert falsely and without challenge that Mr. Obama had once trained to overthrow the government.

An examination of legal documents and election filings, along with interviews with his acquaintances, revealed Mr. Martin, 62, to be a man with a history of scintillating if not always factual claims. He has left a trail of animosity — some of it provoked by anti-Jewish comments — among political leaders, lawyers and judges in three states over more than 30 years.

He is a law school graduate, but his admission to the Illinois bar was blocked in the 1970s after a psychiatric finding of “moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.”

Though he is not a lawyer, Mr. Martin went on to become a prodigious filer of lawsuits, and he made unsuccessful attempts to win public office for both parties in three states, as well as for president at least twice, in 1988 and 2000. Based in Chicago, he now identifies himself as a writer who focuses on his anti-Obama Web site and press releases.

Mr. Martin, in a series of interviews, did not dispute his influence in Obama rumors.

“Everybody uses my research as a takeoff point,” Mr. Martin said, adding, however, that some take his writings “and exaggerate them to suit their own fantasies.”

As for his background, he said: “I’m a colorful person. There’s always somebody who has a legitimate cause in their mind to be angry with me.”

When questions were raised last week about Mr. Martin’s appearance and claims on Hannity’s America on Fox News, the program’s producer said Mr. Martin was clearly expressing his opinion and not necessarily fact.

It was not Mr. Martin's first turn on national television. The CBS News program 48 Hours in 1993 devoted an hourlong program, See You in Court; Civil War, Anthony Martin Clogs Legal System with Frivolous Lawsuits, to what it called his prolific filings. (Mr. Martin has also been known as Anthony Martin-Trigona.) He has filed so many lawsuits that a judge barred him from doing so in any federal court without preliminary approval.

He prepared to run as a Democrat for Congress in Connecticut, where paperwork for one of his campaign committees listed as one purpose “to exterminate Jew power.” He ran as a Republican for the Florida State Senate and the United States Senate in Illinois. When running for president in 1999, he aired a television advertisement in New Hampshire that accused George W. Bush of using cocaine.

In the 1990s, Mr. Martin was jailed in a case in Florida involving a physical altercation. His newfound prominence, and the persistence of his line of political attack — updated regularly on his Web site and through press releases — amazes those from his past.

“Well, that’s just a bookend for me,” said Tom Slade, a former chairman of the Florida Republican Party, whom Mr. Martin sued for refusing to support him. Mr. Slade said Mr. Martin was driven like “a run-over dog, but he’s fearless.”

Given Mr. Obama’s unusual background, which was the focus of his first book, it was perhaps bound to become fodder for some opposed to his candidacy. Mr. Obama was raised mostly by his white mother, an atheist, and his grandparents, who were Protestant, in Hawaii. He hardly knew his father, a Kenyan from a Muslim family who variously considered himself atheist or agnostic, Mr. Obama wrote. For a few childhood years, Mr. Obama lived in Indonesia with a stepfather he described as loosely following a liberal Islam.

Theories about Mr. Obama’s background have taken on a life of their own. But independent analysts seeking the origins of the cyberspace attacks wind up at Mr. Martin’s first press release, posted on the Free Republic Web site in August 2004.

Its general outlines have turned up in a host of works that have expounded falsely on Mr. Obama’s heritage or supposed attempts to conceal it, including Obama Nation, the widely discredited best seller about Mr. Obama by Jerome R. Corsi. Mr. Corsi opens the book with a quote from Mr. Martin.

“What he’s generating gets picked up in other places,” said Danielle Allen, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., who has investigated the e-mail campaign’s circulation and origins, “and it’s an example of how the Internet has given power to sources we would have never taken seriously at another point in time.”

Ms. Allen said Mr. Martin’s original work found amplification in 2006, when a man named Ted Sampley wrote an article painting Mr. Obama as a secret practitioner of Islam. Quoting liberally from Mr. Martin, the article circulated on the Internet, and its contents eventually found their way into various e-mail messages, particularly an added claim that Mr. Obama had attended “Jakarta’s Muslim Wahhabi schools. Wahhabism is the radical teaching that created the Muslim terrorists who are now waging jihad on the rest of the world.”

Mr. Obama for two years attended a Catholic school in Indonesia, where he was taught about the Bible, he wrote in Dreams From My Father, and for two years went to an Indonesian public school open to all religions, where he was taught about the Koran.

Mr. Sampley, coincidentally, is a Vietnam veteran and longtime opponent of Mr. McCain and Senator John Kerry, both of whom he accused of ignoring his claims that American prisoners were left behind in Vietnam. He previously portrayed Mr. McCain as a “Manchurian candidate.” Speaking of Mr. Martin’s influence on his Obama writings, Mr. Sampley said, “I keyed off of his work.”

Mr. Martin’s depictions of Mr. Obama as a secret Muslim have found resonance among some Jewish voters who have received e-mail messages containing various versions of his initial theory, often by new authors and with new twists.

In his original press release, Mr. Martin wrote that he was personally “a strong supporter of the Muslim community.” But, he wrote of Mr. Obama, “it may well be that his concealment is meant to endanger Israel.” He added, “His Muslim religion would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles.”

Yet in various court papers, Mr. Martin had impugned Jews.

A motion he filed in a 1983 bankruptcy case called the judge “a crooked, slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.”

In another motion, filed in 1983, Mr. Martin wrote, “I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did.”

In an interview, Mr. Martin denied some statements against Jews attributed to him in court papers, blaming malicious judges for inserting them.

But in his 48 Hours interview in 1993, he affirmed a different anti-Semitic part of the affidavit that included the line about the Holocaust, saying, “The record speaks for itself.”

When asked Friday about an assertion in his court papers that “Jews, historically and in daily living, act through clans and in wolf pack syndrome,” he said, “That one sort of rings a bell.”

He said he was not anti-Semitic. “I was trying to show that everybody in the bankruptcy court was Jewish and I was not Jewish,” he said, “and I was being victimized by religious bias.”

In discussing the denial of his admission to the Illinois bar, Mr. Martin said the psychiatric exam listing him as having a “moderately severe personality defect” was spitefully written by an evaluator he had clashed with.

Mr. Martin, who says he is from a well-off banking and farming family, is clearly pleased with his newfound attention. But, he said, others have added to his work in “scary” ways.

“They Google ‘Islam’ and ‘Obama’ and my stuff comes up and they take that and kind of use that — like a Christmas tree, and they decorate it,” he said. For instance, he said, he did not necessarily ascribe to a widely circulated e-mail message from the Israeli right-wing activist Ruth Matar, which includes the false assertion, “If Obama were elected, he would be the first Arab-American president.”

He said he had at least come to “accept” Mr. Obama’s word that he had found Jesus Christ. His intent, he said, was only to educate.

Kitty Bennett contributed reporting.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 14, 2008

An article on Monday about Andy Martin, who has been a source of some of the false rumors about Senator Barack Obama’s background, referred incorrectly to an academic institution where a study of the rumors’ origins was conducted by Prof. Danielle Allen. The Institute for Advanced Study is located in Princeton, N.J., but is not part of Princeton University.

POSTCRIPT: " ... Meanwhile, cable television commentator Sean Hannity runs a hit piece on Obama and uses Andy Martin of Chicago as his primary source to accuse Obama of training for 'a radical overthrow of the government.' ... That would be the lawsuit-giddy, anti-Semitic, Holocaust-sympathizing, too-psychologically-questionable-for-admission-as-an-attorney-to-the-Illinois-Bar, chronic-candidate-for-public-office Andy Martin, according to multiple published reports. Did a Fox News that ostensibly wishes to be viewed as credible not vet Martin with anyone in Illinois at all? If Hannity's goal was to come off as shrill and desperate, he succeeded. ... "