Bob Fitrakis
February 21, 2010

To understand Martin Scorsese’s well-crafted psychological thriller Shutter Island, viewers should do an internet search on the following three terms: MK-Ultra, Manchurian candidates, and Operation Paperclip. For the extended value-added search, throw in the combination of “CIA” and “LSD.”

Shutter Island is being released at a very propitious time. Just look at Saturday’s (Feb. 21) front page of the New York Times. Above the fold we have two related stories, the first, under the inaccurate headline “A new report, a new verdict, in terror fight.” A more accurate title would read “U.S. government and Obama administration reaffirm Bush administration commitment to torture.”

The post-World War II U.S. administrations and its rising security-industrial complex covertly embraced torture and secret dosing of unsuspecting people with psychedelic drugs to control their behavior and create assets and assassins during the Red Scare. Now, overt torture done in the name of “fighting terror” has been embraced by the administration of Mr. “Hope and Change.”

The Times announced that the recent government report that exonerated “…the lawyers who gave justification to the Bush administration’s brutal interrogation tactics” officially “…brings to a close a pivotal chapter in the debate over the legal limits of the Bush administration’s fight against terrorism and whether its treatment of Qaeda prisoners amounted to torture.”

This means the first modern nation that banned torture in its Constitution now officially endorses torture by redefining “cruel and unusual punishment.”

J.S. Bybee, now a federal judge, and John Yoo, now a professor at the University of Califormia Berkeley, serve in the renewed roles of Operation Paperclip Nazi war criminals brought to the United States following World War II. There is little difference between Bybee/Yoo and von Braun/Strughold.

Werner von Braun got a pass from being hung at Nuremberg because he was useful in the U.S. military, and later the space, industries. Hubertus Strughold, the father of U.S. space medicine, was directly responsible for the inhumane torture of human subjects at Dachau. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Edward Daniels, was at the liberation of Dachau, and discovered a Paperclip Nazi on Shutter Island continuing to experiment on human subjects, only now with the sanction by the U.S. government. Only a frontal lobotomy will silence his quest for truth.

Our new mass frontal lobotomies come by way of the mainstream media with imprecise headlines and official acceptance of unacceptable government decisions. Torture by any other name, or sanctioned by a memo, is still torture.

The second front page Times article entitled “F.B.I. Shuts Book on Anthrax Case, Fatal to Five in 2001” gives us the government’s version of “the lone gunman.” Dr. Bruce E. Ivins is a minor-league version of Lee Harvey Oswald. We’re to believe that he, and he alone, sent the trillion-spores-per-gram Ames strain silicon impregnated U.S. military grade anthrax through the mail.

Nowhere in the article will you find mention of Battelle Memorial Institute, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The Times reported earlier on Battelle’s “Project Jefferson” and “Clear Vision,” and curious characters like William C. Patrick III and Ken Alibeck. Alibeck is the former number 2 man in the Soviet illegal biochemical program who consulted at Battelle with Patrick, another Battelle consultant who wrote a paper on sending anthrax through the mail.

Readers might want to google Battelle, the security-industrial complex’s favorite non-profit, and their Shutter Island-like facility in West Jefferson, Ohio. The FBI originally told the Free Press that they were looking at Battelle in West Jefferson, and the profit motive of a newly-formed company that stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars off of anthrax vaccines.

We’re now to believe that it was Ivins, according to the Times, “a biodefense expert who cast blame on an alternate personality called ‘Crazy Bruce'” and anyone who doesn’t believe this story will be called the “C” word: conspiracy theorist.

Ivins, like Edward Daniels in Shutter Island, had his flaws and makes a perfect patsy for the “lone mailer” theory. Ivins, who committed suicide in 2008, allegedly stalked two women who were able to confirm that it was “Crazy Bruce,” his other personality, who sent the letters. As the Times dutifully reported, “‘Crazy Bruce,’ who surfaces periodically as paranoid, severely depressed, and ridden with incredible anxiety.”

Just like the movie Shutter Island, there’s a “Rule of 4” coded message that Ivins left, according to the FBI. The Times noted, that “Ivins embedded a complex coded message in the notes that he mailed with anthrax in 2001. The coded message, based on DNA biochemistry, alluded to two female colleagues with whom he was obsessed.”

So says the FBI; so reports the New York Times. The government also initially denied they brought Nazi war criminals into the United States, and that there was a secret harassment campaign against U.S. citizens called COINTELPRO. And, that they were dosing unsuspecting people with LSD and BZ and other psychedelic and mind-altering drugs. We should all see Shutter Island and shudder at the fact that it’s closer to the truth than we’ll ever get in corporate-controlled newspapers.

They discuss the problems with nuclear power and the role activism plays with this and other issues.

Greetings to everyone,

34 years. It doesn’t even sound like a real number to me. Not when one really thinks about being in a jail cell for that long.

All these years and I swear, I still think sometimes I’ll wake up from this nightmare in my own bed, in my own home, with my family in the next room. I would never have imagined such a thing. Surely the only place people are unjustly imprisoned for 34 years is in far away lands, books or fairy tales.

It’s been that long since I woke up when I needed to, worked where I wanted to, loved who I was supposed to love, or did what I was compelled to do. It’s been that long-long enough to see my children have grandchildren. Long enough to have many of my friends and loved ones die in the course of a normal life, while I was here unable to know them in their final days.

So often in my daily life, the thought creeps in-“I don’t deserve this”. It lingers like acid in my mouth. But I have to push those types of thoughts away. I made a commitment long ago, many of us did. Some didn’t live up to their commitments, and some of us didn’t have a choice. Joe Stuntz didn’t have a choice.

Neither did Buddy Lamont. I never thought my commitment would mean sacrificing like this, but I was willing to do so nonetheless. And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do. We didn’t go to ceremony and say “I’ll fight for the people as long as it doesn’t cost too much”. We prayed, and we gave. Like I say, some of us didn’t have a choice. Our only other option was to run away, and we couldn’t even do that. Back then, we had no where left to run to.

I have cried so many tears over these three plus decades. Like the many families directly affected by this whole series of events, my family’s tears have not been in short supply. Our tears have joined all the tears from over 500 years of oppression. Together our tears come together and form a giant river of suffering and I hope, cleansing. Injustice is never final, I keep telling myself. I pray this is true for all of us.

To those who know I am innocent, thank you for your faith. And I hope you continue working for my release. That is, to work towards truth and justice. To those who think me guilty, I ask you to believe in and work for the rule of law. Even the law says I should be free by now, regardless of guilt. What has happened to me isn’t justice, it isn’t the law, it isn’t fair, it isn’t right. This has been a long battle in an even longer war. But we have to remain vigilant, as we have a righteous cause. After all this time, I can only ask this:

Don’t give up. Not ever. Stay in this fight with me. Suffer with me. Grieve with me. Endure with me. Believe with me. Outlast with me. And one day, celebrate freedom with me. Hoka hey!

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee PO Box 7488 Fargo, ND 58106
Phone: 701/235-2206
Fax: 701/235-5045

Time to set him free… Because it is the RIGHT thing to do.

Friends of Peltier

by Bob Fitrakis

Who says crime doesn’t pay? Not the V Group, the Voinovich group of companies that specializes in building jails. You see, the Guv’s younger brother Pauly is at it again. His Cleveland-based architectural construction company may be connected to a man under indictment and investigation for alleged “influence peddling.” Seems Vincent Zumpano was indicted on October 3 in Steubenville for allegedly trying to bribe a county commissioner in order to secure a jail construction contract for Pauly’s firm.

Pauly’s company, officially, is “mystified.” And those 473 long distance calls from Vincent’s place of employment to the Voinovich firm between December 1992 and December 1995, as reported in the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cleveland Plain Dealer don’t prove nuthin’. And that’s why the Dispatch has the good sense not to write about it, but chose instead to put on Saturday’s front page aWashington Post wire story about bad sportsmanship among band leaders in Virginia!

More calls went to former employee and lobbyist for the Voinovich firm and the Governor’s original “transition director,” Phil Hamilton. Sound familiar? Remember Joe Gilyard and an Alive cover story six weeks ago about the Gilyard-Hamilton relationship? It’s the same old story, same old song and dance, my friends. Here’s a quick take from Joe, fired by the Guv after he suggested that little brother Pauly may not be on the up-and-up. “This is exactly the type of thing Phil Hamilton wanted me involved in. They used to phone me, fax me, send messages constantly. He wanted me to let the counties know that the V Company had ‘the inside track’ on jail contracts.”

With Governor George’s much-coveted senatorial campaign now only two years away, isn’t it time to pull a Clinton? You know what I mean. Like when Wild Bill let the state police nab his out-of-control cokehead brother Roger. Think about it, Guv. Time’s runnin’ out.

V is for Voinovich
Meanwhile, Pauly continues to “hook us up good” here in Franklin County. You see the architectural firm of Voinovich-Sgro went-without any political influence whatsoever-and got themselves an unbid contract of nearly $1 million to design and manage a $2 million, I mean, $8 million-wait, now $11 million-Franklin County jail renovation.

Our illustrious county commissioners-all Republicans, same party as the Guv, wink, wink, nod, nod-approved the unbid contract last May. Good thing that Voinovich-Sgro is only the architect ’cause if it was the construction manager a 1988 state law would have required competitive bidding, which would have saved millions.

So the cost overruns are really the fault of those really bad construction managers, not Voinovich-Sgro. So much wasted taxpayer money, those bastards. Maybe Voinovich-Sgro could begin to phone and fax those evil construction managers, the Voinovich Companies, every day. I suspect they know the number.

Maybe they could build some special luxury condo cells, you know, like those corporations build at sports stadiums. Then, if Voinovich-Sgro turns in The Voinovich Companies for ripping us off, the construction manager company officials would have a place to stay in the style to which they have become accustomed. Is free enterprise great, or what?

Sybil Hall?
Another one of my favorite county officials is Treasurer Bobbie Hall, universally hailed as a financial whiz. That’s why I take her so seriously when she touts Bob Dole’s tax cut and attacks Bill Clinton as a “big spending liberal.” Reminds me of the movie Sybil with Sally Fields. You remember: Sally did that multiple personality schtick. Hall’s doing the same thing when she suggests that county property owners don’t need a 1 to 2.5 percent discount on our property taxes by pre-paying the bill monthly instead of paying in a lump sum.

Hall recently informed the Dispatch that she looked into the tax-saving program, “but has not seen a need or a benefit to the county’s finances.” Sybil, Sybil? Let me talk to Bobbie Dole, the tax-cutting gal!

Metcalf’s double-dipping

Look for Anthony Celebrezze III to justly blast Franklin County Recorder Richard Metcalf later this week in a commercial on “double-dipping.” Campaign insiders say the initial script is something like-use your best deep political voice-“He’s been on the public payroll for 45 years. He’s making $110,000 a year.”

Yes indeed. Seems a loophole in the law allows the former retired judge and public servant to collect some $60,000 to $65,000 a year in from the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) while bringing in $50,000 or so as our county recorder.

Look for Metcalf to counter with the usual “He’s got a well-known name and he’s been in office a really, really long time . . .”

Ain’t democracy grand?

by Bob Fitrakis

As former Sheriff Earl Smith sees it, “That guy in the other paper missed the whole point….I wasn’t obsessed with pornography, we had a health problem, an AIDS epidemic. And when we tried to close the bookstores we ran right into organized crime.”

Referring to a recent front-page article in a local weekly, Smith-who is once again facing off against Karnes for the sheriff’s post-says he doesn’t much care whether people watch triple X videos or read dirty magazines, but he hates the illegal “drugs and prostitution” and money laundering that seem to accompany the porn industry. Of course, the money laundering he loathes isn’t by organized crime, but by the campaign manager for now-Sheriff Jim Karnes’ 1992 campaign.

Greg Kostelac, a local attorney and then a member of the Ohio Elections Commission, claims for the record that he did nothing illegal. But the courts may decide that question. Kostelac apparently took porn money that can be tied directly to organized crime in Cleveland and gave it to the Franklin County Democratic Party. Here’s the rest of the story.

In 1990, then-Sheriff Smith busted an adult bookstore in New Rome. According to Smith, documents seized in the arrest linked local porn czar Mark Wolfe to Ruben Sternum, the mob’s guy in Cleveland: Wolfe had sent a $100,000 check to help post bond for Sternum.

Now comes the 1992 elections. Payback time for the big bad Wolfe. In the waning days of the hotly contested Smith-Karnes race, Wolfe, with the aid of his brother Tom and employee Mark Long, reportedly gave money to six trusted acquaintances: Daryl Castle, Herbert Rogers, Cynthia DeSantis, Joanna Demas, Walt Erwin, and William Joyner.

On October 26, Long, Castle, and Demas wrote $2,000 checks to the Franklin County Democratic Party; one day later Erwin, Joyner, Rogers and DeSantis also each wrote $2,000 checks to the Party. Clean, freshly scrubbed porn money.

The last-minute influx of the $14,000 into Dem coffers set off a heated battle over the money. Current Democratic Party Chair Denny White was running for county recorder that year and his campaign staffers wanted some of the money; Tom Erney and Rob Lidle lobbied hard for a cut for Denny. But to no avail. The Dems, under the leadership of Fran Ryan, “loaned” the Karnes campaign $8,000 on October 30.

Ryan supposedly put the remaining $6,000 into the coordinated campaign effort for all candidates. Kostelac says that $2,200 went into an ad buy at This Week newspapers. The ad was a letter from the Fraternal Order of Police attacking Smith and promoting Karnes.

Kostelac has admitted that the $8,000 loan was used to mass-reproduce copies of Marty Yant’s Columbus Alive! article “Tin Star Tyrants.” At the time, Kostelac was serving as Yant’s attorney in a federal bankruptcy case. On November 23, 1992, after Karnes’ narrow victory, the Franklin County Democratic Party paid him $6,000 for “expenses” reportedly for working on the campaigns of White, Linda Evans, Patrick O’Reilly and other Democrats.

The problem is, Kostelac may not have worked on these campaigns. When Linda Evans was asked what Kostelac did for her Clerk of Courts campaign in 1992, she replied, “Nothing.” White has also stated that Kostelac did not work for his campaign, but says that Kostelac may have had some “arrangement” with Ryan, who paid him. “I just don’t know. It was before my tenure as chair,” White said.

However, it’s an open secret that White staffers exploded when they found out about Kostelac’s expense check. This, in part, may have led to Ryan’s hasty resignation as party chair and White’s ascension. White says no; other party members say yes.

Smith claims that he asked White about the money laundering and White confirmed it, yet refuses to provide the documents “without a subpoena.” White says that Smith called him “over a year-and-a-half ago” and “while I’ve pledged to cooperate with any government agency investigating the party’s activities, I wasn’t going to let Earl Smith go fishing in the Democratic Party files.”

Wise decision. Seems Smith is out to catch the “big one.” And he’s got some questions he’d like answered. “Where did the $6,000 go? Was it income for Greg Kostelac? Was it reported to the IRS? Was it given to Marty Yant for writing the story?” Kostelac says no money went to Yant and everything else was perfectly legal.

Well not quite everything. Cindy DeSantis admits to “doing a favor” for her friend Mark Long, who provided $2,000 in “cash” to be laundered to the Democratic Party. Long, now deceased, had worked for Mark Wolfe. Dr. Joanna Demas admits that Mark Wolfe’s brother “Tom gave me the majority of the money…maybe I was naive.”

And perhaps so was Kostelac, who made the mistake of telling his new running buddy, Terry Casey of Republican Party fame, the naked truth about the porn cash.