All posts tagged President

According to the mainstream media, and the Democratic Party of course, Hillary Rodham Clinton is the first female ever to be nominated for the Presidency of the United States of America.

However, as with almost everything you see, hear and read in the media about their preferred candidate, is anything they say strictly true?


Victoria Claflin Woodhull, later Victoria Woodhull Martin (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927) was an American leader of the woman’s suffrage movement.

In 1872, Woodhull ran for President of the United States. While many historians and authors agree that Woodhull was the first woman to run for President of the United States, some have questioned that priority given issues with the legality of her run.

They disagree with classifying it as a true candidacy because she was younger than the constitutionally mandated age of 35.

However, election coverage by contemporary newspapers does not suggest age was a significant issue.


The presidential inauguration was in March 1873. Woodhull’s 35th birthday was in September 1873.

An activist for women’s rights and labor reforms, Woodhull was also an advocate of free love, by which she meant the freedom to marry, divorce, and bear children without government interference.


The tenth in a series of real-life Outlaw Heroes

President José Mujica of Uruguay, a 78-year-old former Marxist guerrilla who spent 14 years in prison, mostly in solitary confinement, visited the United States in 2014 to meet with President Obama and speak at a variety of venues. 

He told Obama that Americans should smoke less and learn more languages. 


He lectured a roomful of businessmen at the US Chamber of Commerce about the benefits of redistributing wealth and raising workers’ salaries. He told students at American University that there are no “just wars.” 

Whatever the audience, he spoke extemporaneously and with such brutal honesty that it was hard not to love the guy.

He lives simply and rejects the perks of the presidency. Mujica has refused to live at the Presidential Palace or have a motorcade. He lives in a one-bedroom house on his wife’s farm and drives a 1987 Volkswagen. “There have been years when I would have been happy just to have a mattress,” said Mujica, referring to his time in prison. He donates over 90% of his $12,000/month salary to charity so he makes the same as the average citizen in Uruguay. When called “the poorest president in the world,” Mujica says he is not poor. “A poor person is not someone who has little but one who needs infinitely more, and more and more. I don’t live in poverty, I live in simplicity. There’s very little that I need to live.”

He supported the nation’s groundbreaking legalisation of marijuana. “In no part of the world has repression of drug consumption brought results. It’s time to try something different,” Mujica said. So in 2014, Uruguay became the first country in the world to regulate the legal production, sale, and consumption of marijuana. The law allows individuals to grow a certain amount each year and the government controls the price of marijuana sold at pharmacies. The law requires consumers, sellers, and distributors to be licensed by the government. Uruguay’s experience aims to take the market away from the ruthless drug traffickers and treat drug addiction as a public health issue. Their experiment will have reverberations worldwide.

In August 2013, Mujica signed the bill making Uruguay the second nation in Latin America (after Argentina) to legalise gay marriage. He said that legalizing gay marriage is simply recognizing reality. “Not to legalise it would be unnecessary torture for some people,” he said. In recent years, Uruguay has also moved to allow adoption by gay couples and openly gay people to serve in the armed forces.

He’s not afraid to confront corporate abuses, as evidenced by the epic struggle his government is waging against the American tobacco giant Philip Morris. A former smoker, Mujica says that tobacco is a killer that needs to be brought under control. But Philip Morris is suing Uruguay for $25 million at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes because of the country’s tough smoking laws that prohibit smoking in enclosed public spaces and require warning labels, including graphic images of the health effects. Uruguay is the first Latin American country and the fifth nation worldwide to implement a ban on smoking in enclosed public places. Philip Morris, the largest cigarette manufacturer in the United States, has huge global business interests (and a well-paid army of lawyers). Uruguay’s battle against the tobacco Goliath will also have global repercussions.

He supported the legalisation of abortion in Uruguay (his predecessor had vetoed the bill). The law is very limited, compared to laws in the US and Europe. It allows abortions within the first 12 weeks of the pregnancy and requires women to meet with a panel of doctors and social workers on the risks and possible effects of an abortion. But this law is the most liberal abortion law in socially conservative, Catholic Latin America and is clearly a step in the right direction for women’s reproductive rights.

He’s an environmentalist trying to limit needless consumption. At the Rio+20 Summit in 2012, he criticized the model of development pushed by affluent societies. “We can almost recycle everything now. If we lived within our means – by being prudent – the 7 billion people in the world could have everything they needed. Global politics should be moving in that direction,” he said. He also recently rejected a joint energy project with Brazil that would have provided his country with cheap coal energy because of his concern for the environment.

He has focused on redistributing his nation’s wealth, claiming that his administration has reduced poverty from 37% to 11%. “Businesses just want to increase their profits; it’s up to the government to make sure they distribute enough of those profits so workers have the money to buy the goods they produce,” he told businessmen at the US Chamber of Commerce. “It’s no mystery–the less poverty, the more commerce. The most important investment we can make is in human resources.” His government’s redistributive policies include setting prices for essential commodities such as milk and providing free computers and education for every child.

He has offered to take detainees cleared for release from Guantanamo. Mujica has called the detention center at Guantanamo Bay a “disgrace” and insisted that Uruguay take responsibility to help close the facility. The proposal is unpopular in Uruguay, but Mujica, who was a political prisoner for 14 years, said he is “doing this for humanity.”

He is opposed to war and militarism. “The world spends $2 billion a minute on military spending,” he exclaimed in horror to the students at American University. “I used to think there were just, noble wars, but I don’t think that anymore,” said the former armed guerrilla. “Now I think the only solution is negotiations. The worst negotiation is better than the best war, and the only way to insure peace is to cultivate tolerance.”

He has an adorable three-legged dog, Manuela. Manuela lost a foot when Mujica accidentally ran over it with a tractor. Since then, Mujica and Manuela have been almost inseparable.
Mujica’s influence goes far beyond that of the leader of a tiny country of only 3 million people. In a world hungry for alternatives, the innovations that he and his colleagues are championing have put Uruguay on the map as one of the world’s most exciting experiments in creative, progressive governance.

Jury: CIA Involved in JFK Assassination

Not a single major newspaper nor any national news broadcast has ever reported that on Feb. 6, 1985, a jury in Miami concluded that the CIA was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

This is remarkable, if only because the verdict came in a court case featuring two international celebrities: Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt, perhaps the most infamous CIA operative in history, and his courtroom nemesis, attorney Mark Lane.

Lane’s groundbreaking best-seller, ‘Rush to Judgment’, had convinced millions of readers there had been a conspiracy in the JFK assassination, the Warren Commission’s claims notwithstanding.

Scattered news reports did mention Hunt had lost a libel case against The SPOTLIGHT.

However, no media reported what the jury forewoman had told the press:

“Mr. Lane was asking us to do something very difficult. He was asking us to believe John Kennedy had been killed by our own government. Yet when we examined the evidence closely, we were compelled to conclude that the CIA had indeed killed President Kennedy.”

Until 1992, when Lane recounted the trial in Plausible Denial and put forth additional compelling evidence of CIA complicity in the crime, the only substantive news reports about the trial appeared in The SPOTLIGHT.

In issue No. 7 for 1985 (Feb. 18), The SPOTLIGHT announced its victory, detailing the remarkable events that led to the trial.

The affair was set in motion on Aug. 14, 1978, when The SPOTLIGHT published an article by former CIA official Victor Marchetti who revealed the CIA intended to publicly “admit” Hunt had been involved in the JFK assassination, acting as a “rogue” agent without CIA sanction.

A top CIA liaison to anti-Castro Cuban exiles in the early 1960s, Hunt was unknown to the public until the Watergate scandal that toppled President Nixon in 1974 brought Hunt ill fame.

Then, after Watergate, when the Rockefeller Commission investigated CIA misdeeds, two eccentric writers alleged Hunt was one of three “tramps” photographed in Dallas minutes after the JFK assassination.

Subsequent investigation refuted the “Hunt as tramp” theory. However, scandal sheets had hyped the story and many came to believe Hunt had a hand in Dallas.

In 1976, growing skepticism about the Warren Commission’s claim that a “lone assassin” had killed JFK forced the House of Representatives to convene a new assassination inquiry.

In the midst of the House investigation, an unusual development occurred:

As Marchetti’s SPOTLIGHT article reported, an in-house CIA memo, ostensibly written in 1966, some 12 years previously, was leaked to congressional investigators.

The memo stated Hunt had been in Dallas on the day of the JFK assassination, and that CIA officials were concerned the agency would one day have to explain Hunt’s presence there.

The SPOTLIGHT subsequently learned CIA Director Richard Helms and the CIA’s chief of counter intelligence, James Angleton, had signed off on the memo.

Marchetti suggested that because the CIA perceived Hunt to be a villain in the public’s eye as a consequence of Watergate, the CIA had decided to sacrifice Hunt and “admit” he had been involved in the assassination.

The CIA would claim Hunt was acting on his own and that the CIA, as an institution, had no part in the president’s murder.

This would satisfy public demand for a resolution of the JFK controversy and the CIA itself would be absolved.

Hunt would be left to fend for himself.

The SPOTLIGHT felt the article served as warning to Hunt about CIA intentions and Hunt himself admitted the story seemed plausible.

Yet, Hunt still filed suit against The SPOTLIGHT.

When the case went to trial in federal court in Miami, the jury found in Hunt’s favor, ordering The SPOTLIGHT to pay Hunt $650,000 in damages.

However, an error in the jury instructions resulted in the verdict being overturned.

After the case was ordered for retrial, Lane stepped in for The SPOTLIGHT’s defense.

The highlight of the trial was when Lane presented the jury the testimony of Marita Lorenz, an ex-CIA operative who had worked with Hunt in plots against Fidel Castro.

Miss Lorenz testified that on Nov. 21, 1963, the day prior to the JFK assassination, she arrived in Dallas in a two-car caravan from Miami. Accompanying her were several CIA operatives, armed with telescopic rifles, including Frank Sturgis who (years later) participated with Hunt in the Watergate burglary.

She didn’t know the purpose of the mission, but upon arrival, the travelers met with Hunt, who acted as their paymaster, and also Jack Ruby who, days later, killed the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Uncomfortable, sensing something “big, very big,” was impending, she left Dallas that same day.

Later Sturgis told her how big the mission had been: the assassination of President Kennedy.

The jury listened carefully to her testimony, already suspicious of Hunt after his performance under Lane’s cross-examination.

Lane pointed out inconsistencies in conflicting stories by Hunt over the years about where he had been on Nov. 22, 1963.

However, Hunt insisted to the jury that he was in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children that day.

Hunt’s case collapsed when he was unable to explain, when questioned by Lane, why his teenage children had asked him if the rumours he was involved in the events in Dallas were true.

Obviously, if Hunt were in Washington on Nov. 22 he couldn’t have been in Dallas.

Not surprisingly, the jury found in favor of The SPOTLIGHT. Yet, the major media said nothing about the stunning, historic revelations of this trial.

It was clearly the CIA’s counterintelligence chief, James Angleton, who leaked the CIA memo placing Hunt in Dallas.

In fact, Angleton’s confidant, reporter Joe Trento (deposed by Lane in the Hunt case) has said, based upon what Angleton told him, that Hunt had been in Dallas and that it was Angleton who sent him there (Angleton’s own denials notwithstanding).

Three conclusions can be reached:

The CIA had planned to throw Hunt to the wolves but evidently he and the CIA reached an accord since Angleton’s loyal, longtime deputy, Newton Miler, was dispatched by the CIA to testify against The SPOTLIGHT in Hunt’s defense;

• Because The SPOTLIGHT exposed the intended CIA scheme to “admit” Hunt’s complicity in the assassination, the operation was shelved; and,

• If there’s anybody who knows what really happened in Dallas, it’s Hunt.

With Thanks To B.C.

Of the four U.S. Presidents who have been assassinated, only two, Abraham Lincoln and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, have left an indelible mark upon the psyche of the American people.

William McKinley had already been president a full term when he was murdered at the turn of the 20th century.

James A. Garfield however, President for less than four months before he was shot in 1881, hardly merits more than a historical footnote.

Which makes me wonder, why one of the most brilliant and extraordinary men ever elected to the Presidency, would have been overlooked in this way.

He was the last of the ‘Log Cabin Presidents.’ Born into grinding poverty and losing his father before he was two years old, he somehow managed to put himself through school and college by working as a janitor and a carpenter.

His analytical and brilliant mind had been noticed early on, as by his second year they had made him Assistant Professor of Literature and ancient languages.

By the time he was 26, he was the College President.

Following College, Garfield had fought with distinction during the Civil War and served nine terms as a Congressman. He was selected by his fellow Republicans to run for President, an office he had never actively sought.

It is said he even referred to the presidency as “A Bleak Mountain.”

American government then, operated under a system where anyone could personally petition the President for a government job, regardless of their experience or ability.

Sometimes more than a hundred people a day would just turn up at the White House seeking a position with the Government.

Charles Guiteau was one among many of those ‘Seekers’.

A Delusional drifter and a man who had failed at everything he had tried.

He had dabbled with the Law, Evangelism and even joined a ‘Free Love Commune,’ where he proved so unpopular he earned himself the nickname ‘Charles Get Out.’

But now, Charles Guiteau fully expected to be named as Minister to France, under the Garfield administration.

He visited the White House daily, even securing a meeting with Garfield on one occasion. But when his demand wasn’t met, he came up with an altogether different plan.

He claimed he had undergone, what he believed to be a divine inspiration, “A message from God that he had to kill the President”.

This was only 16 years after Lincoln’s assassination, but there was still still no Secret Service to speak of to protect the sitting President.

On July 2nd 1881, Garfield was scheduled to travel by train from Washington D.C. to Massachusetts.

Charles Guiteau also woke up early that morning, travelling to the train station, even stopping to have his shoes shined. He must have perhaps thought about the attention he was about to recieve and wanted to look his best.

President Garfield, along with two of his sons, arrived at the station a short time later. Almost as soon as Garfield stepped onto the platform, Guiteau stepped out of the shadows and shot him twice.

One bullet in the arm and one in the back.

The shot in the Presidents back was not immediately fatal however, as it had not struck any vital organs. The bullet had somehow stopped short and became lodged behind his pancreas.

This is where the story takes a macabre twist.

President James A Garfield should not have died, even after being shot twice at close range.

Within minutes, doctors surrounded the fallen president, using their fingers to poke and prod his open wounds. A dozen or more Physicians inserted their unsterilised fingers and various instruments in Garfield’s back probing for the bullet.

And this took place on the railway station floor.

It is difficult to imagine, a more germ-infested environment than a railway station floor.

If they had just left him alone he almost certainly would have survived.

At that time, American doctors simply did not accept the existence of germs. As a body, they had earlier rejected the use of antiseptics which was pioneered by British surgeon Joseph Lister.

Lister, an Englishman, had fully embraced this theory by the early 1860’s. American doctors however, were more than reluctant to hold faith with the Listerian Theory because they subscribed to the Miasma Theory, which believed that ‘Bad Air’ caused disease and illness, not germs. They simply didn’t believe in germs, because after all, you could not ‘see’ germs.

Note: Cabinet member Robert Todd Lincoln was a witness to the shooting. He was present at his father’s death 16 years previously, he would also witness the murder of President William McKinley 20 years later.

It was actually Lincoln who summoned Dr. D. Willard Bliss (the ‘D’ stood for Doctor, incidentally).

Dr. Bliss was a uniquely arrogant and ambitious man, he simply assumed control over everything, ensuring that not even a second opinion would be allowed.

For an excruciating 80 more days, made even worse by an oppressively hot Washington summer that year, Garfield suffered as his condition worsened. His body was riddled with infection and racked with fever at this point, developing abscesses all over his body.

And he was also starving to death.

Obviously unable to keep down the rich meals he was being fed in his condition, the President’s weight plunged from 210 pounds to nearer 130.

Dr. Bliss then oddly summoned Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone.

He instructed Bell to use his ‘induction balance,’ a kind of metal detector, to find the bullet so it could be extracted once and for all. Garfield was lying on a bed made of metal springs, which were rare at the time and would obviously have a detrimental effect in any search for a bullet using a metal detector.

If that was not odd enough, Bliss had believed, and had publicly stated, that the bullet was on the right side of the President’s body.

He also made sure that Bell would only examine that part of the President’s body. Even though the bullet had clearly gone to the left.

Was it wilful neglect, or supreme arrogance that steered the actions of Dr. Bliss?

Was he simply a ruthlessly ambitious man who did not want to be proven wrong?

I guess we will never really know the answer to that.

President James A Garfield finally died on September 19th 1881.

The subsequent autopsy confirmed Bliss’ ‘mistakes’..

President Garfield only died because of what his doctors did to him, and also what his doctors didn’t do for him.

Some good did emerge from this episode however. The use of antiseptics was quickly accepted and adopted by American physicians. Civil service reform was re-started and perhaps, even more significantly, it brought the North and South together for the first time since the Civil War.

It healed a deep, deep wound due to the sorrow felt on both sides and the mutual understanding of the loss of a great man.

And the man who shot the President?

He was hanged, being made only too aware on the scaffold that he would not, after all, even be remembered for killing the President.

Guiteau was recorded as saying, “Yes, I shot him, but his doctors killed him.”



“The story of Skull & Bones begins at Yale, where three threads of American social history, espionage, drug smuggling and secret societies, merge into one.”

Elihu Yale was born near Boston, educated in London, and served with the British East India Company, eventually becoming governor of Fort Saint George, Madras, in 1687. He amassed a great fortune from trade and returned to England in 1699. Yale became known as quite a philanthropist; upon receiving a request from the Collegiate School in Connecticut, he sent a donation and a gift of books.

After subsequent bequests, Cotton Mather suggested the school be named Yale College, in 1718.

Yale’s ancestry can be traced back to the family estate at Plas yn Iâl near the village of Llandegla, Denbighshire, Wales.

Yale died on July 8, 1721 in London, England, but was buried in the churchyard of the parish church of St. Giles in Wrexham, Wales.

During WWII America soldiers stand guard at Elihu Yale's grave at St Giles' Church, Wrexham, Wales

During WWII, America soldiers stand guard at Elihu Yale’s grave at St Giles’ Church, Wrexham, Wales

His tomb is inscribed with these lines:

“Born in America, in Europe bred
In Africa travell’d and in Asia wed
Where long he liv’d and thriv’d; In London dead
Much good, some ill, he did; so hope all’s even
And that his soul thro’ mercy’s gone to Heaven
You that survive and read this tale, take care
For this most certain exit to prepare
Where blest in peace, the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in silent dust.”

A statue of Nathan Hale stands on Old Campus at Yale University. There is a copy of that statue in front of the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Yet another stands in front of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts (where George H.W. Bush (’48) went to prep school and joined a secret society at age twelve).

Nathan Hale, along with three other Yale graduates, was a member of the “Culper Ring,” one of America’s first intelligence operations. Established by George Washington, it was successful throughout the Revolutionary War. Nathan was the only operative to be ferreted out by the British, and after speaking his famous regrets, he was hanged in 1776.

Ever since the founding of the Republic, the relationship between Yale and the “Intelligence Community” has been unique.

In 1823, Samuel Russell established Russell and Company for the purpose of acquiring opium in Turkey and smuggling it to China. Russell and Company merged with the Perkins (Boston) syndicate in 1830 and became the primary American opium smuggler. Many of the great American and European fortunes were built on the “China” (opium) trade.

One of Russell and Company’s Chief of Operations in Canton was Warren Delano, Jr., grandfather of Franklin Roosevelt. Other Russell partners included John Cleve Green (who financed Princeton), Abiel Low (who financed construction of Columbia), Joseph Coolidge and the Perkins, Sturgis and Forbes families. (Coolidge’s son organized the United Fruit company, and his grandson, Archibald C. Coolidge, was a co-founder of the Council on Foreign Relations.)

William Huntington Russell (’33), Samuel’s cousin, studied in Germany from 1831-32. Germany was a hotbed of new ideas. The “scientific method” was being applied to all forms of human endeavor. Prussia, which blamed the defeat of its forces by Napoleon in 1806 on soldiers only thinking about themselves in the stress of battle, took the principles set forth by John Locke and Jean Rosseau and created a new educational system. Johan Fitche, in his “Address to the German People,” declared that the children would be taken over by the State and told what to think and how to think it.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel took over Fitche’s chair at the University Of Berlin in 1817, and was a professor there until his death in 1831. Hegel was the culmination of the German idealistic philosophy school of Immanuel Kant.

To Hegel, our world is a world of reason. The state is Absolute Reason and the citizen can only become free by worship and obedience to the state. Hegel called the state the “march of God in the world’and the“final end”. This final end, Hegel said, “has supreme right against the individual, whose supreme duty is to be a member of the state.”

Both fascism and communism have their philosophical roots in Hegellianism.

Hegelian philosophy was very much in vogue during William Russell’s time in Germany.

When Russell returned to Yale in 1832, he formed a senior society with Alphonso Taft (’33). According to information acquired from a break-in to the “tomb” (the Skull and Bones meeting hall) in 1876, “Bones is a chapter of a corps in a German University…. General Russell, its founder, was in Germany before his Senior Year and formed a warm friendship with a leading member of a German society. He brought back with him to college, authority to found a chapter here.”

So class valedictorian William H. Russell, along with fourteen others, became the founding members of “The Order of Scull and Bones,” later changed to “The Order of Skull and Bones”.

The ultra secretive Order of Skull and Bones exists only at Yale.

Fifteen juniors are “tapped” each year by the seniors to be initiated into next year’s group. Some say each initiate is given $15,000 and a grandfather clock. Far from being a campus fun-house, the group is geared more toward the success of its members in the post-collegiate world.

The family names on the Skull and Bones roster roll off the tongue like an elite party list, Lord, Whitney, Taft, Jay, Bundy, Harriman, Weyerhaeuser, Pinchot, Rockefeller, Goodyear, Sloane, Stimson, Phelps, Perkins, Pillsbury, Kellogg, Vanderbilt, Bush, Lovett and so on.

William Russell went on to become a general and a state legislator in Connecticut. Alphonso Taft was appointed U.S. Attorney General, Secretary of War (a post many “Bonesmen” have held), Ambassador to Austria, and Ambassador to Russia (another post held by many “Bonesmen”).

His son, William Howard Taft (’87), is the only man to be both President of the United States and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.