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The Democratic Party War on The Central Intelligence Agency Will Lead To Blow-back and Payback When CIA Agents Reveal What They Were Really Doing in Benghazi — Shipping Arms To Syrian Rebels Including Al-Qaeda — Impeachable Offenses — The Genie Is Out of The Bottle and The CIA Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried — Do The Ends Ever Justify The Means? — Remembering September 11, 2001 and 2012 –Videos

Posted on December 15, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Crime, Drones, Education, Federal Government, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, media, National Security Agency (NSA_, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Security, Talk Radio, Taxes, Technology, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 378: November 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 377: November 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 376: November 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 375: November 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 374: November 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 361: October 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 360: October 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 359: October 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 358: October 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 357: October 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 356: October 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 355: October 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 354: October 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 353: October 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 350: October 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 340: September 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 339: September 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 338: September 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 337: September 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 336: September 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 335: September 23 2014

Pronk Pops Show 334: September 22 2014

Pronk Pops Show 333: September 19 2014

Pronk Pops Show 332: September 18 2014

Pronk Pops Show 331: September 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 330: September 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 329: September 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 328: September 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 327: September 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 326: September 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 325: September 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 324: September 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 323: September 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 322: September 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 321: September 3, 2014

 Story 1: The Democratic Party War on The Central Intelligence Agency Will Lead To Blow-back and Payback When CIA Agents Reveal What They Were Really Doing in Benghazi — Shipping Arms To Syrian Rebels Including Al-Qaeda — Impeachable Offenses — The Genie Is Out of The Bottle and The CIA Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried — Do The Ends Ever Justify The Means? — Remembering September 11, 2001 and 2012 –Videos

obama-arming-al-qaeda-syria-battaile-politics-13526874571

CIA Special Operator

Covert Action

“The term “covert action” means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include . . . (2) traditional . . . military activities or routine support to such activities.

People Falling from the World Trade Center

9/11 – The Falling Man

Breaking News December 2014 Dick Cheney CIA interrogation techniques I’d do it again in a minute

Cheney Accuses Chuck Todd of Taking a Cheap Shot

Dick Cheney Says CIA Torture Report ‘ FULL OF CRAP ‘ (Full VIDEO)

John Brennan CIA Director Responds To Torture Report in Press Conference ( FULL VIDEO)

Conversation: Putting the CIA Interrogation Report Into Context

Former CIA Officer Defends Torture Programme He Designed

Ex-CIA defends CIA torture (09Dec14)

CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia: Changes to Interrogation Policy for the United States (2009)

Paul on Benghazi: Hillary Was ‘Most Eager’ to Get Arms From Libya to Syria

CNN CIA Pressuring Agents With Knowledge Of Benghazi To Keep Silent ‘You Jeopardize Your Family’

Obama Approves CIA Covert Actions In Libya 3/30/11 – CNN

 

Treason Exposed! Obama Used Benghazi Attack to Cover Up Arms Shipments to Muslim Brotherhood

What roles Turkey play in Syria’s insurgency?

NY Times says CIA supplying arms to Syria insurgents

WW3 in ACTION: US LAUNCH covert OPERATION to ARM militants in Syria with HEAVY WEAPONS!

Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin suspects US Was Running Guns To Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin—who is the former commander of the U.S. Special Forces Command, the former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and who, in the 1990s, worked with the CIA—told CNSNews.com in a video interview last week that he believes it is a reasonable supposition that the U.S. was supporting or planning to support the Syrian rebels via Benghazi, Libya.

Trey Gowdy Opening Statement Benghazi Hearing 9.17.14

Robert David Steele: Former CIA Spy Benghazi Was CIA Operation

The Benghazi Select Committee: Many Questions Remain Unanswered

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

G. Edward Griffin- On Individualism v Collectivism #1

G. Edward Griffin- On Individualism v Collectivism #2

CNBC: BENGAHZI IS NOT ABOUT LIBYA! “It’s An NSC Operation Moving Arms & Fighters Into Syria”

Ron Paul on Covert U.S. Support of Terrorist Insurrection in Syria

June 27, 2012 – Ron Paul warns of the ongoing U.S. government’s covert support of the terrorist insurrection against the Syrian government and offers a short history of the quagmires and blowback that U.S. interventions abroad have brought about.

Glenn Beck – Benghazi: Truth coming out

Soros, Obama & ‘Responsibility to Protect’

END WAR: Scheuer On CIA In Libya To Arm Islamist And May Be US Ground Invasion In Another Arab State

The truth about SYRIA by Westerns

Syrian Rebels Capture City Near Jordanian Border – Libya Vs Syria Where’s The Obama Admin?

Gaffney on Benghazi » Not Just About Cover Up « About Administration Embracing Muslim Brotherhood

ADM Lyons, “Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated every government agency”

ADM “Ace” Lyons, Former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the largest single military command in the world, states, “The Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated every level of the US government.”

End the Coverup: Rep. Frank Wolf Urges New Benghazi Investigation

Rep. Frank Wolf called a press conference outside the capitol to discuss his sponsorship of H. Res. 36, which would create a special congressional committee to investigate the failures that contributed to the deadly jihadist attack in Benghazi, Libya last year. He was joined by Family Research Council’s Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and former member of Delta Force. Boykin represented Special Operations Speaks, a group of ex-special forces operators who came together to write a letter to Members of Congress, urging them to commit to getting to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi, and to end the administration’s cover-up. Finally, the Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney spoke about the implications of the attack in Libya on America’s national security and foreign policy in the Middle East/North Africa region.

Write a letter to your congressman at Http://www.endthecoverup.com

Gen. Jerry Boykin: “Get accountability and get the truth out” on Benghazi

Rand Paul: I Believe Part of Cause for Benghazi Attack Was Gun-Running Operation Going

Syrian rebel group Al-Nusra allies itself to al-Qaeda

Nusra Front and al-Qaeda in Iraq are joining forces to bring back the Caliphate.

A Caliphate Is Coming – GBTV

Obama Hiding Arms Shipments To Syrian Jihadists

Lebanon seizes 150 tons of Libyan arms en route to Syrian rebels

Treason: Benghazi Revelations Could Sink Obama

Benghazi-Gate: Connection between CIA and al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, with Turkey’s Help

Benghazi-Gate: Connection between CIA and al-Qaeda in Libya and Syria, with Turkey’s Help

Syrian Rebel Group Joins Branch Of Al Qaeda

West Intervenes to Stop Islamist Rebels in Mali but Supports Them to Destroy Syria

Presidential Finding

A presidential finding is an executive directive issued by the head of the executive branch of a government, similar to the more well-known executive order. The term is mostly used by the United States Government, and in other countries may be identified by different terms. Such findings and other executive decrees are usually protocols which have evolved through the course of government and not typically established by law.

Use and history in the United States

“US President Barack Obama has signed a secret order allowing the CIA and other American agencies to support rebels seeking to overthrow the Assad regime, a US government source told Reuters. Obama reportedly gave the order, known as an intelligence “finding”, earlier this year. The presidential finding also provides for US collaboration with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies. The full extent of the assistance the “finding” allows the CIA to give the Syrian rebels is unclear. It is also unknown precisely when Obama signed the order.” The report of Obama’s authorization for covert rebel support comes amidst continued fighting between Syrian government troops and rebels over control of Aleppo, the country’s economic capital. Thousands of people have fled the city, while the government and rebels continue to release conflicting reports on the extent of their control over the city. Asia Times Online correspondent Pepe Escobar told RT that the leak’s timing was intended to distort the true nature of Washington’s covert operations on the ground in Syria.

“This intelligence finding signed by Obama – that’s the code for a secret order – this was signed six months ago. So the fact that Reuters has only been allowed now to report about it proves that there have been high deliberations in Washington: ‘should we let people know about what they already know?’”

“In fact, the Washington Post two weeks ago had already reported about it, and when the CIA wants to leak something in the US, they usually go to the Washington Post. The CIA and Mossad, on the ground [in Syria], side by side working with the Qataris, the Turks, the Saudis and a swarm of jihadis coming from everywhere, but especially from across the border in Iraq,” he argues.

Escobar says the leak was intended to make it look as though Washington was leading the Syrian campaign from behind the scenes, when in fact the US is “leading from the front lines alongside al-Qaeda-style Jihadists, Qatari intelligence, and Turkish logistics.” [1]

The first specific use of presidential findings was precipitated by the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, in which the findings indicated that certain conditions of that act had be satisfied and, therefore, sales of agricultural commodities could proceed. In their use under this act, such findings were published in the Federal Register and the CFR Title 3 compilations. In contrast, presidential findings in their modern use are not published in these or other governmental publications.

Current use of the presidential finding stems from the so-called Hughes-Ryan amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1974, which prohibited the expenditure of appropriated funds by or on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency for intelligence activities “unless and until the President finds that each such operation is important to the national security of the United States and reports, in a timely fashion, a description and scope of such operation to the appropriate committees of Congress” (section 662). This was intended to ensure that clear responsibility for such action was attributable to the President and that Congress was always made aware of such activities. Due to the sensitivity of their content, presidential findings are almost always classified.

The most recent change to exercise of findings occurred in the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1991, which introduced increased flexibility in the reporting requirement: findings are to be “reported to the intelligence committees as soon as possible” after being approved “and before the initiation of the covert action authorized by the finding.” As such, presidential findings are one of the primary means through which the intelligence committees exercise their oversight of the government’s intelligence operations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_finding

Covert Action: Title 10, Title 50, and the Chain of Command

By Joseph B. Berger III

Abstract

America champions the rule of law and must maintain that moral stance in its international dealings and retain the clarity of an unambiguous chain of command. The Abbottabad raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound highlighted the dangers and vagaries of departing from the traditional military chain of command. The Secretary of Defense was taken out of the chain and the CID Director was inserted. In contrast, the rescue of a U.S. citizen in Somalia was carried out secretively but not covertly by joint forces under military command, maintaining individual Servicemember protections that may be forfeit in the gray zone of questionable legality. National authorities should reconsider the rejection of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that DOD be responsible for paramilitary covert actions, and when DOD acts in that capacity, the operation should be carried out as a traditional military operation with a military chain of command.

Recent media reports have Pentagon officials considering “putting elite special operations troops under CIA [Central Intelligence Agency] control in Afghanistan after 2014, just as they were during last year’s raid on [Osama bin Laden’s] compound.”1 This shell game would allow Afghan and U.S. officials to deny the presence of American troops in Afghanistan because once “assigned to CIA control, even temporarily, they become spies.”2 Nearly simultaneously, Department of Defense (DOD) leaders were warned to “be vigilant in ensuring military personnel are not inappropriately utilized” in performing “new, expanding, or existing missions,” ensuring the force is aligned against strategic choices “supported by rigorous analysis.”3 Placing Servicemembers—uniformed members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force—under CIA control demands such rigorous analysis. The raid on bin Laden’s compound provides a framework.

n his May 1, 2011, televised address, President Barack Obama reported “to the American people and to the world that the United States ha[d] conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.”4 President Obama initially detailed little beyond noting that he had directed “the[n] Director of the CIA [Leon Panetta], to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda” and that the operation, carried out by a “small team of Americans” was done “at [his] direction [as President].” In the following days, senior executive branch officials garrulously provided explicit details, from the now-iconic White House Situation Room photograph to intricate diagrams of the Abbottabad compound and the assault force’s composition. Most noteworthy was Panetta’s unequivocal assertion the raid was a covert action:

Since this was what’s called a “Title 50” operation, which is a covert operation, and it comes directly from the president of the United States who made the decision to conduct this operation in a covert way, that direction goes to me. And then, I am, you know, the person who then commands the mission. But having said that, I have to tell you that the real commander was Admiral [William] McRaven because he was on site, and he was actually in charge of the military operation that went in and got bin Laden.5

Despite his self-effacing trumpeting of Vice Admiral McRaven’s role, Panetta’s comment highlights that critical confusion exists among even the most senior U.S. leaders about the chain of command and the appropriate classification of such operations.

Openly describing the raid as both a “covert operation” and “military operation,” Panetta asserted he was the “commander,” describing a chain of “command” that went from the President to Panetta to McRaven. Panetta’s public comments are problematic, as is describing a chain of command that excludes the Secretary of Defense and purports to route command authority through the CIA director. Title 50 is clear:

The term “covert action” means an activity or activities of the United States Government to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly, but does not include . . . (2) traditional . . . military activities or routine support to such activities.6

The administration did the opposite, making patently clear the raid’s nature and, in exhaustive detail, the precise role of the United States. Instead of categorizing it as a covert action under the director’s “command,” the President could have conducted the raid as a covert action under the Secretary of Defense instead of the CIA director, or under his own constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and the Secretary’s statutory authorities, classifying it as a traditional military activity and excepting it from the statute’s coverage. As a traditional military activity, there would have been no legal limits on subsequent public discussion. Alternatively, conducting the raid as a covert action within a military chain of command removes the issues the director raised in asserting command authority over Servicemembers. The decisionmaking process remains shrouded, but conducting a raid into a sovereign country targeting a nonstate actor using military personnel and equipment under the “command” of the CIA director and classifying it as a covert action raises significant legal and policy questions. Such decisions threaten the legitimacy and moral authority of future U.S. actions and demand a rigorous examination of those associated risks.

The Abbottabad raid illustrates the post-9/11 security environment convergence of DOD military and CIA intelligence operations.7 While dead terrorists attest to this arrangement’s efficacy, many directly challenge the legal and policy framework behind current DOD-CIA cooperation. The discourse focuses largely on distinctions between Title 10 and Title 50 and the legal basis for conducting apparently overlapping military and intelligence operations beyond the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Notwithstanding the potentially misleadingly simple labels of Title 10 and Title 50, these complex issues lack clear answers. Many argue the legacy structure ill equips the President to effectively combat the threat. But tweaking that structure carries risk. Thus, correctly classifying and structuring our actions within that framework are critical. The law of war is designed to protect our nation’s military forces when they are engaged in traditional military activities under a military chain of command; spies conducting intelligence activities under executive authority have no such protections. This distinction rests on a constitutional, statutory, treaty, and doctrinal framework underpinning the military concept of command authority.

U.S. power relies on moral and legal legitimacy. Exclusive state control over the legitimate use of armed force remains viable domestically and internationally only where exercised within an accepted framework. Thus, employing DOD forces in a nontraditional manner entails significant risk. The policy implications of classification and structure are neither semantic nor inconsequential, and must be understood by senior decisionmakers; likewise, individual Servicemembers must understand the practical effects. A rigorous risk analysis should therefore inform any deviation, however permissible under domestic law.

This article focuses on the risks associated with both using military personnel to conduct kinetic covert action and using them without a military chain of command. Those risks inform the recommendation to change practice, but not the law. Specifically, the author rejects melding distinct operational military (Title 10) and intelligence (Title 50) authorities into the often mentioned Title 60. Properly classifying actions—either under the statute as a covert action or exempted from the statute as a traditional military activity—ensures the correct command structure is in place.8 Ultimately, the analysis argues for revisiting the previously rejected 9/11 Commission recommendation to place paramilitary covert action under DOD control.9

This article first outlines current and likely future threats and then explains the critical terms of art related to covert action and, against that lingua franca, examines why kinetic military operations should be either classified as traditional military activities or kept under a military chain of command. Analyzing the relevant constitutional, statutory, treaty, and doctrinal elements of command, this article illustrates that a raid conducted like the Abbottabad raid, while legally permissible, is best conducted as a traditional military activity.

Changed Character of the Battlefield and Enemy

In the decade since 9/11, DOD and CIA elements have become “operationally synthesi[zed].”10 A senior intelligence official recently noted that “the two proud groups of American secret warriors had been ‘deconflicted and basically integrated’—finally—10 years after 9/11.”11 The direct outgrowth is the increased reliance on special operations forces (SOF) to achieve national objectives against a “nimble and determined” enemy who “cannot be underestimated.”12 While the United States fought wars on geographically defined battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan and beyond, the underlying legal structure remained constant. In the wars’ background, leaders, advisors, academics, and others argued about the structure of the appropriate legal and policy framework. Post-Iraq and post-Afghanistan, the United States must still address other threats, including those that al Qaeda and their associated forces present.

The threats have migrated beyond a battlefield defined by sovereign nations’ borders. When asked recently in “how many countries we are currently engaged in a shooting war,” Secretary of Defense Panetta laughed, responding, “That’s a good question. I have to stop and think about that . . . we’re going after al Qaeda wherever they’re at. . . clearly, we’re confronting al Qaeda in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, [and] North Africa.”13 The unresolved legal and policy challenges will likely increase in complexity on this geographically unconstrained battlefield. Remaining rooted in enduring principles is critical. DOD conduct of kinetic operations beyond traditionally recognized battlefields raises significant legal and policy concerns, especially where the U.S. Government conducts them without knowledge or consent of the host nation, as apparently happened with the Abbottabad operation.14 Properly categorizing and structuring these operations, while vexing for policymakers and their lawyers, carries much greater stakes for the Servicemembers executing them.

The Need for a Lingua Franca

Colloquial usage refers to DOD authorities as Title 10, and the CIA’s as Title 50. That is technically inaccurate and misleading since DOD routinely operates under both Titles 10 and 50.15 Instead of Title 10, this article uses the term military operations; instead of Title 50, it uses CIA operations or the more specific covert action. All three terms require clarification.

CIA operations are all CIA activities except covert action. Covert action is the narrow, statutory subset of Presidentially approved, CIA-led activities.16 Unfortunately, colloquially, covert action “is frequently used to describe any activity the government wants concealed from the public.”17 That common usage ignores the fact that a traditional military activity, notwithstanding how “secretly” it is executed, is by statute not a covert action. DOD defines a covert operation as one “planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor,” where “emphasis is placed on concealment of the identity of the sponsor rather than on concealment of the operation.”18 While not in conflict with the statutory definition, the DOD definition is incomplete; it fails to recognize the President’s role and ignores the exception of traditional military activities.19 Practitioners should use the statutory definition.

The concept of clandestine operations further blurs colloquial and doctrinal imprecision.20 DOD activities “may be both covert and clandestine . . . focus[ing] equally on operational considerations and intelligencerelated activities.”21 Appropriately, DOD officials assert that, absent a Presidential covert action finding, they “conduct only ‘clandestine activities.’” 22 They characterize clandestine activities as those “conducted in secret but which constitute ‘passive’ intelligence information gathering.”23 Interchanging the terms and mixing them with intelligence functions is inaccurate and dangerous; practitioners must draw clear distinctions. The sponsorship of a covert action is hidden, not the act itself. The specific acts of the U.S. Government in influencing a foreign election (for example, posters, marches, election results, and so forth) would be visible, but not the covert sponsorship of those acts. For clandestine acts, the act itself (for example, intercepting a phone call) must remain hidden. The CIA and DOD can conduct clandestine operations without Presidential approval, whereas covert action triggers statutory requirements for a Presidential finding and congressional notification. Some have argued DOD’s “activities should be limited to clandestine” activities, as this would ensure military personnel are protected by the law of war,24 a critical point examined in detail later.

Military operations are DOD activities conducted under Title 10, including activities intended or likely to involve kinetic action. Pursuant to an order issued by the Secretary of Defense, they are conducted by military personnel under DOD command and in accordance with the law of war. They specifically exclude DOD’s intelligence activities (for example, the Joint Military Intelligence Program); like the CIA’s, those intelligence activities are conducted pursuant to Title 50.

Statutorily assigned responsibility helps distinguish between CIA operations and military operations. Although the President can designate which department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government will participate in the covert action, the statute implicitly tasks the CIA as the default lead agency: “Any employee . . . of the [U.S.] Government other than the [CIA] directed to participate in any way in a covert action shall be subject either to the policies and regulations of the [CIA], or to written policies or regulations adopted . . . to govern such participation.25

Executive order 12333 (EO 12333) makes that default tasking explicit:

The Director of the [CIA] shall . . . conduct covert action activities approved by the President. No agency except the [CIA] (or the Armed Forces of the United States in time of war declared by the Congress or during any period covered by a report from the President to the Congress consistent with the War Powers Resolution. . . .) may conduct any covert action activity unless the President determines that another agency is more likely to achieve a particular objective.26

The statute, coupled with EO 12333, unequivocally places all covert action squarely under the CIA’s control; the narrow exception for DOD is currently inapplicable. While the Executive order expressly tasks
the director with conducting covert action, it does not task the Secretary of Defense.27
Default CIA primacy and the absence of statutory specificity in defining traditional military activities create risk when DOD conducts kinetic covert action.

The Unique Nature of Traditional Military Activities

One practitioner described traditional military activities’ exclusion from covert action’s definition as “the exception that swallows the rule.”28 But while DOD-CIA operational convergence blurs the issue, the exception need not swallow the rule. Functionally, anything done by a uniformed member of a nation’s armed forces is a “military” activity; the nuanced requirement is to understand which are traditional military activities. That definition can be consequential, functional, or historical—or a combination of some or all three approaches. The statute’s legislative history provides the best clarification, noting the conferees intended that:

“Traditional military activities” include activities by military personnel under the direction and control of a United States military commander (whether or not the U.S. sponsorship of such activities is apparent or later to be acknowledged) . . . where the fact of the U.S. role in the overall operation is apparent or to be acknowledged publicly.

In this regard, the conferees intend to draw a line between activities that are and are not under the direction and control of the military commander. Activities that are not under the direction and control of a military commander should not be considered as “traditional military activities.”29

That nonstatutory definition frames the follow-on analysis. That functional and historical definition turns on who is in charge.

Activities under the “direction and control of a military commander” meet the requirement to be excepted from the statute; those with a different command and control arrangement are not traditional military activities. “Command” is unique to the military and the definition appears to draw a bright line rule; but the CIA director blurred the line by asserting “command” over a DOD element.30 The confusion questions the necessary nature and scope of leadership by a “military commander.” What level or rank of command is required? Must the chain of command from that military commander run directly back to the Commander in Chief solely through military channels? Must it run through the Secretary of Defense? Can it run through the director if there is a military commander below him? Given Goldwater-Nichols,31 what about the geographic combatant commander? In short, what does the wiring diagram look like? These questions highlight three baseline possibilities as depicted in the figure below.

Chain of Command Possibilities

chani_of_command_possibilites

Part 1A of the figure reflects DOD’s Title 10 chain of command, illustrating the broadest historical, functional, and consequential definition of traditional military activity. The clear chain is rooted in the uniquely military concept of command and the President’s constitutionally defined role as Commander in Chief. It clarifies congressional oversight responsibility, results in unquestioned jurisdiction, and forms the basis of the strongest legal argument for combatant immunity. Part 1B represents the President as chief executive, exercising oversight and control of the CIA under Title 50. This hierarchy lacks the legal command authority exercised over military personnel in 1A. Finally, part 1C represents the paradox created by the covert action statute’s attempts to overlap the parallel structures of 1A and 1B; it is often described as Title 60.

The current Congressional Authorization for the Use of Military Force allows the President to “use all necessary and appropriate force” to prevent “future acts of international terrorism against the United States.”32 This statutory grant of power creates the paradox: here, where the Senate vote was 98 to 0 and the House vote was 420 to 1, the President’s executive authority (as Commander in Chief and chief executive) is greatest,33 the exercise of those powers blurs the clear lines of parts 1A and 1B of the illustration. Merging the two, although permissible under the covert action statute, creates risk.

Consequently, questions about the nature and structure of the chain of command demand rigorous scrutiny and cannot be left to ad hoc arrangements. Defining military command determines whether or not the activity is a traditional military activity and therefore not under the ambit of the statute. The criticality of this categorization is twofold: it is the core of the state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of force and cloaks Servicemembers in the legal armor of combatant immunity.

Chain of Command, or Control?

Since George Washington’s Presidency, the Secretary of War (later Defense) has served without interruption as a Cabinet member. The President’s role, enshrined in the Constitution, is clear: “The President shall be Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States.”34 With the Secretary of Defense, this embodies the Founders’ vision of civilian control of the military. The Secretary of Defense’s appointment requires the “Advice and Consent of the Senate.”35 While the President can relieve him and replace him with an inferior officer (that is, the Deputy Secretary of Defense), Senateconfirmed executive branch officials are not fungible. He cannot interchange officials individually confirmed to fulfill separate and unique duties—something James Madison warned about in Federalist 51.36

Longstanding U.S. practice is an unbroken chain of command from the President, through his Secretary of Defense, to a subordinate uniformed commander. Even GoldwaterNichols’s37 streamlining the military warfighting chain of command to run from the President through the Secretary and directly to the unified combatant commanders did not alter that fundamental practice.38 Combatant commanders simply replace Service chiefs. The civilian leader between the Commander in Chief and his senior uniformed commander remains unchanged—a specific individual confirmed by the Senate to execute statutory duties. The inviolate concept of civilian control of the military and the Senate’s Advice and Consent requirement make assertion of any executive authority to “trade out” duties between Cabinet officials implausible. The President can place military personnel under CIA control, but control is not command.

Command is the inherently military “privilege” that is “exercised by virtue of office and the special assignment of members of the US Armed Forces holding military grade.”39 In fact, under the Army regulation, “A civilian, other than the President as Commander-in-Chief . . . may not exercise command.”40 Goldwater-Nichols allows the President to exercise command through his Secretary of Defense. Command rests on constitutional and statutory authority (including the Uniform Code of Military Justice) and the customs and practices of the Service. Removing military personnel from that hierarchy— illustrated in part 1C of the figure—changes their fundamental nature. This is Panetta’s assertion: he was in “command” 41 of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

itles 10 and 50 define the specific duties of the Secretary of Defense42 and Title 50 the CIA director’s.43 The duties are neither identical nor interchangeable. In Title 50, Congress explicitly states that DOD shall function “under the direction, authority, and control of the Secretary of Defense” in order to “provide for their unified direction under civilian control.”44 Placing the Services under the Secretary of Defense is necessary to “provide for the establishment of [a] clear and direct line of command.”45 Congress is equally clear in Title 10, granting the Secretary complete authority over DOD: “there shall be a Secretary of Defense, who is the head of the [Department], appointed . . . by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.”46 The statute allows the Secretary to “perform any of his functions or duties, or [to] exercise any of his powers through” other persons, but only persons from within DOD.47

Two caveats exist to the Secretary of Defense’s “authority, direction, and control”: the Secretary’s authority is “subject to the direction of the President” and the 1947 National Security Act.48 The latter covers DOD personnel within the National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP). The former appears to be an exception that swallows the rule. But even in empowering the President to limit his Secretary’s authority, Congress did not specifically authorize any change to the fundamental command of military forces. Likewise, in defining the director’s limited authorities over military personnel, Congress maintained the military command structure over military operations.

Congress neither allows the director command nor control of DOD operational assets, nor did it grant the President a caveat like that with the Secretary of Defense’s authority.49 Although the director’s duties include the transfer of “personnel within the NFIP,” which includes DOD personnel, such transfers are limited to personnel within DOD’s Joint Military Intelligence Program (JMIP).50 SOF are not part of the JMIP. When DOD does transfer any JMIP personnel to the CIA, the director must “promptly” report that transfer to both the intelligence oversight and Armed Services Committees of both houses.51 Transfers between other executive branch elements trigger no such requirements. Congress only intended CIA control over DOD intelligence assets and was clearly concerned about even that. Goldwater-Nichols reinforces this analysis.

Goldwater-Nichols codifies geographic combatant commanders’ nearly inviolable command authority: “all forces operating within the geographic area assigned to a unified combatant command shall be assigned to, and under” his command.52 Two exceptions supplant that authority. Servicemembers assigned to U.S. Embassies (for example, the Defense Attaché) are under the Ambassador’s control and the Defense Intelligence Agency’s command. For those Servicemembers, diplomatic protections have replaced law of war protections, but the Secretary of Defense remains in the chain of command. The second exception, carved from GoldwaterNichols’s “unless otherwise directed by the President” language, covers DOD participation in covert action.53 Goldwater-Nichols’s silence on the Secretary of Defense remaining in the chain of command indicates Congress did not intend to change the default hierarchy. DOD recognized that point by defining combatant command as being “under a single commander” and running “through the Secretary of Defense.”54 All these say nothing about covert action.

The statute and EO 12333 put the director “in charge” of the conduct of covert actions.55 CIA “ownership” means any non-CIA employee supporting a covert action “belongs” to the CIA. However, the CIA lacks DOD’s legal command structure and no CIA official possesses the command authority inherent in an officer’s commission.56 The CIA can only be in charge, not in command. The director cannot give a lawful order that would be legally binding on Servicemembers. The Constitution unequivocally grants Congress the authority to “make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces.”57 Those rules, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, never contemplated CIA personnel exercising command authority over Servicemembers. The CIA’s ownership of covert action is limited. Exclusive CIA control fails elsewhere; the statute authorizes the President to task “departments, agencies, or entities”58 to conduct covert action. The implication is that DOD can conduct a covert action exclusively. EO 12333 specifically envisions that.59 Placing DOD elements under CIA control to conduct a kinetic operation is arguably unnecessary.

This chain of command is constitutionally enshrined, codified, and ratified through longstanding practice; even if Congress had explicitly authorized the President to reroute it, doing so creates risk. First, it removes the law of war’s protections upon which Servicemembers conducting kinetic operations rely. In such an event, Servicemembers must be made aware they are no longer protected. Second, as a state practice, realigning military personnel under a nonmilitary framework to conduct kinetic activities creates precedential risk for U.S. allies. Such a decision must be fully informed at all levels.

Chain of Command: International Law Context

National armies engaged against each other have, throughout modern history, been cloaked in the law of war’s combatant
immunity. Absent that immunity, a captured individual is subject to criminal prosecution for his wartime conduct. His deliberately targeting and killing others become nonmilitary and therefore criminal. In World War II’s aftermath, widespread acceptance of what constituted an “army” rendered a definition unnecessary: “Individuals composing the national forces” automatically enjoyed combatant immunity.60 However, for those outside their nation’s military hierarchy, specificity was necessary. The Third Geneva Convention grants prisoner of war status—which confers combatant immunity—to those who are subordinate to a responsible commander, wear a fixed, distinctive insignia recognizable at a distance, carry their arms openly, and conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.61

The command requirement stems from the “dual principle of responsible command and its corollary command responsibility.”62 The Hague Convention required that a commander be “responsible for his subordinates.”63 The Geneva Convention recognized “no part of [an] army . . . is not subordinated to a military commander,” applying this “from the Commander-in-Chief down to the common soldier.”64 The later protocols “could not conceive” of a hierarchy “without the persons who make up the command structure being familiar with the law applicable in armed conflict.”65 This is DOD’s unchallenged area of expertise.66 Like Congress’s definition of traditional military activity,67 the commentary’s definition, when coupled with the requirements for those not considered part of the Nation’s army, is the parallel to Servicemembers conducting kinetic covert action under CIA control. Combatant immunity necessitates prisoner of war status; for those not acting as part of the army, that status requires a military chain of command. Replacing the Secretary of Defense with the CIA director eviscerates this.

U.S. history records a fundamental belief in the rules for combatant immunity.68 First, to codify these requirements, the 1863 Lieber Code defined prisoner of war as including “all soldiers.”69 The code noted noncompliance with the rules meant no combatant immunity: spies were “punishable with death by hanging by the neck.”70 “Armed prowlers . . . who steal within the lines of the hostile army for the purpose of . . . killing . . . are not entitled to the privileges of the prisoner of war.”71 The code’s noteworthy purpose was not to regulate conduct between nations, but for application in a non-international armed conflict and maintaining the moral high ground necessary to facilitate reconciliation with and reintegration of the confederate states.

The law of war’s efficacy rests on the principle of reciprocity. One party provides the protections to its prisoners believing and hoping its enemies will respond in kind. Commendable German and U.S. treatment of each other’s prisoners during World War II exemplifies this principle; Japanese treatment of U.S prisoners at Bataan proves its imperfections. Regardless, maintaining the moral high ground is critical. Had Abbottabad gone poorly, the United States would have asserted that U.S. personnel in Pakistani custody were entitled to the high standards of prisoner of war treatment. That would have required those Soldiers and Sailors to be in compliance with the law of war. The nonmilitary chain of command may have been problematic in making that assertion.

Conclusion

“From its inception . . . America has venerated the rule of law.”72 Traditional military activities occur against a rich fabric of domestic and international law. Covert action, while uniquely codified, presents multiple dilemmas. Although permissible under U.S. domestic law, covert action is generally illegal in the target country.73 Again, maintaining the moral high ground is critical.

Although inimical to covert action’s fundamental premise, overt executive branch commentary following the Abbottabad raid highlighted the legal risk associated with policy decisions. Placing Servicemembers under CIA command threatens to undermine the protections they rely on when conducting kinetic military operations, especially where the activity is more accurately classified as a traditional military activity.

The risk can—and should—be mitigated by first properly classifying the activity. Classifying a traditional military activity as anything else undermines the very categorization and its inherent law of war protections. DOD can undoubtedly conduct secretive (that is, clandestine and/or unacknowledged) actions as traditional military activities and enjoy the full body of the law of war’s protections. The current framework neither envisions nor facilitates placing Servicemembers under CIA control and preserving the command relationships necessary to cloak them in combatant immunity. The Abbottabad raid utilized this risk-laden approach.

This is not to assert that conducting the raid as a covert action was illegal. There were three likely outcomes: success, failure,
or something in between (that is, aborting the mission). Neither success nor failure required covert action’s plausible deniability. The United States immediately publicly acknowledged killing of “public enemy number one”; regardless, the crashed helicopter disclosed the U.S. role. A noncatastrophic driven decision to abort (for example, Pakistani detection of violation of their sovereign airspace) provides the sole outcome where the United States would likely have hidden behind the statute’s shield, disavowing all. The covert action classification provided an insurance policy, yet the cost of allowing that policy to “lapse” through post-success disclosures undermines the plausibility of such “insurance” in the future.

Compare the Abbottabad covert action with the recent rescue of a U.S. citizen in Somalia, conducted secretively, but not covertly, by “a small number of joint combatequipped U.S. forces.”74 This comparison illustrates that such activities can be conducted as traditional military activities, maintaining secrecy and preserving individual Servicemember protections. The need for continued distinction between covert action and traditional military activities and, where covert, the need for DOD-conducted operations to maintain a military chain of command, drive these recommendations. The United States should revisit the rejection of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that DOD assume responsibility for paramilitary covert operations.75

Where DOD participation is necessary and primary, the operation should be conducted as an unacknowledged traditional military activity. If the risk analysis drives a decision to conduct the operation as a covert action, the President should maintain the military chain of command. This ensures Servicemembers going in harm’s way have every protection the Nation they serve can provide them—or a clearer understanding of the additional risks they are assuming on behalf
of their Nation. JFQ

http://www.ndu.edu/press/covert-action.html

The Largest Covert Operation in CIA History
By Chalmers Johnson
The History News Network

Monday 09 June 2003

The Central Intelligence Agency has an almost unblemished record of screwing up every “secret” armed intervention it ever undertook. From the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953 through the Bay of Pigs, the failed attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro of Cuba and Patrice Lumumba of the Republic of Congo, the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, the “secret war” in Laos, aid to the Greek colonels who seized power in 1967, the 1973 killing of Salvador Allende in Chile and Ronald Reagan’s Iran-contra war against Nicaragua, there is not a single instance in which the agency’s activities did not prove acutely embarrassing to the United States. The CIA continues to get away with this primarily because its budget and operations have always been secret and Congress is normally too indifferent to its constitutional functions to rein in a rogue bureaucracy. Therefore the tale of a purported CIA success story should be of some interest.

According to the author of the newly released Charlie Wilson’s War, the exception to CIA incompetence was the arming between 1979 and 1988 of thousands of Afghan moujahedeen (“freedom fighters”). The agency flooded Afghanistan with an astonishing array of extremely dangerous weapons and “unapologetically mov[ed] to equip and train cadres of high tech holy warriors in the art of waging a war of urban terror against a modern superpower,” in this case, the USSR.

The author of this glowing account, George Crile, is a veteran producer for the CBS television news show “60 Minutes” and an exuberant Tom Clancy-type enthusiast for the Afghan caper. He argues that the U.S. clandestine involvement in Afghanistan was “the largest and most successful CIA operation in history” and “the one morally unambiguous crusade of our time.” He adds that “there was nothing so romantic and exciting as this war against the Evil Empire.” Crile’s sole measure of success is the number of Soviet soldiers killed (about 15,000), which undermined Soviet morale and contributed to the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the period from 1989 to 1991. That’s the successful part.

However, he never mentions that the “tens of thousands of fanatical Muslim fundamentalists” the CIA armed are some of the same people who in 1996 killed 19 American airmen at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; bombed our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998; blew a hole in the side of the U.S. destroyer Cole in Aden harbor in 2000; and on Sept. 11, 2001, flew hijacked airliners into New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Today, the world awaits what is almost certain to happen soon at some airport — a terrorist firing a U.S. Stinger low-level surface-to-air missile (manufactured at one time by General Dynamics in Rancho Cucamonga) into an American jumbo jet. The CIA supplied thousands of them to the moujahedeen and trained them to be experts in their use. If the CIA’s activities in Afghanistan are a “success story,” then Enron should be considered a model of corporate behavior.

Nonetheless, Crile’s account is important, if appalling, precisely because it details how a ruthless ignoramus congressman and a high-ranking CIA thug managed to hijack American foreign policy. From 1973 to 1996, Charlie Wilson represented the 2nd District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. His constituency was in the heart of the East Texas Bible Belt and was the long-held fiefdom of his fellow Democrat, Martin Dies, the first chairman of the House Un-American Affairs Committee. Wilson is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and “handsome, with one of those classic outdoor faces that tobacco companies bet millions on.” He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1956, eighth from the bottom of his class and with more demerits than any other cadet in Annapolis history.

After serving in the Texas Legislature, he arrived in Washington in 1973 and quickly became known as “Good Time Charlie,” “the biggest playboy in Congress.” He hired only good-looking women for his staff and escorted “a parade of beauty queens to White House parties.” Even Crile, who featured Wilson many times on “60 Minutes” and obviously admires him, describes him as “a seemingly corrupt, cocaine snorting, scandal prone womanizer who the CIA was convinced could only get the Agency into terrible trouble if it permitted him to become involved in any way in its operations.”

Wilson’s partner in getting the CIA to arm the moujahedeen was Gust Avrakotos, the son of working-class Greek immigrants from the steel workers’ town of Aliquippa, Pa. Only in 1960 did the CIA begin to recruit officers for the Directorate of Operations from among what it called “new Americans,” meaning such ethnic groups as Chinese, Japanese, Latinos and Greek Americans. Until then, it had followed its British model and taken only Ivy League sons of the Eastern Establishment. Avrakotos joined the CIA in 1961 and came to nurture a hatred of the bluebloods, or “cake eaters,” as he called them, who discriminated against him. After “spook school” at Camp Peary, next door to Jamestown, Va., he was posted to Athens, where, as a Greek speaker, he remained until 1978.

During Avrakotos’s time in Greece, the CIA was instrumental in destroying Greek freedom and helping to turn the country into probably the single most anti-American democracy on Earth today. Incredibly, Crile describes this as follows: “On April 21, 1967, he [Avrakotos] got one of those breaks that can make a career. A military junta seized power in Athens that day and suspended democratic and constitutional government.” Avrakotos became the CIA’s chief liaison with the Greek colonels. After the fall of the colonels’ brutally fascist regime, the 17 November terrorist organization assassinated the CIA’s Athens station chief, Richard Welch, on Dec. 23, 1975, and “Gust came to be vilified in the Greek radical press as the sinister force responsible for most of the country’s many ills.” He left the country in 1978 but could not get another decent assignment — he tried for Helsinki — because the head of the European Division regarded him as simply too uncouth to send to any of its capitals. He sat around Langley for several years without work until he was recruited by John McGaffin, head of the Afghan program. “If it’s really true that you have nothing to do,” McGaffin said, “why not come upstairs? We’re killing Russians.”

Wilson was the moneybags and sparkplug of this pair; Avrakotos was a street fighter who relished giving Kalashnikovs and Stingers to the tribesmen in Afghanistan. Wilson was the more complex of the two, and Crile argues that his “Good Time Charlie” image was actually a cover for a Barry Goldwater kind of hyper-patriotism. But Wilson was also a liberal on the proposed Equal Rights Amendment and a close friend of the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-Texas), and his sister Sharon became chairwoman of the board of Planned Parenthood.

As a boy, Wilson was fascinated by World War II and developed an almost childlike belief that he possessed a “special destiny” to “kill bad guys” and help underdogs prevail over their enemies. When he entered Congress, just at the time of the Yom Kippur War, he became a passionate supporter of Israel. After he traveled to Israel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee began to steer large amounts of money from all over the country to him and to cultivate him as “one of Israel’s most important Congressional champions: a non-Jew with no Jewish constituents.” Jewish members of Congress also rallied to put Wilson on the all-powerful Appropriations Committee in order to guarantee Israel’s annual $3-billion subsidy. His own Texas delegation opposed his appointment.

Wilson was not discriminating in his largess. He also became a supporter of Anastasio “Tacho” Somoza, the West Point graduate and dictator of Nicaragua who in 1979 was swept away by popular fury. Before that happened, President Carter tried to cut the $3.1-million annual U.S. aid package to Nicaragua, but Wilson, declaring Somoza to be “America’s oldest anti-Communist ally in Central America,” opposed the president and prevailed.
During Wilson’s long tenure on the House Appropriations Committee, one of its subcommittee chairmen, Clarence D. “Doc” Long, used to have a sign mounted over his desk: “Them that has the gold makes the rules.” Wilson advanced rapidly on this most powerful of congressional committees. He was first appointed to the foreign operations subcommittee, which doles out foreign aid. He then did a big favor for then-Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr. (D-Mass.). The chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee at the time, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), had been caught in the FBI’s ABSCAM sting operation in which an agent disguised as a Saudi sheik offered members of Congress large cash bribes. O’Neill put Wilson on the Ethics Committee to save Murtha, which he did. In return, O’Neill assigned Wilson to the defense appropriations subcommittee and made him a life member of the governing board of the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, where he delighted in taking his young dates. Wilson soon discovered that all of the CIA’s budget and 40 percent of the Pentagon’s budget is “black,” hidden from the public and even from Congress. As a member of the defense subcommittee, he could arrange to have virtually any amount of money added to whatever black project he supported. So long as Wilson did favors for other members on the subcommittee, such as supporting defense projects in their districts, they would never object to his private obsessions.

About this time, Wilson came under the influence of a remarkable, rabidly conservative Houston woman in her mid-40s, Joanne Herring. They later fell in love, although they never married. She had a reputation among the rich of the River Oaks section of Houston as a collector of powerful men, a social lioness and hostess to her fellow members of the John Birch Society. She counted among her friends Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, dictator and first lady of the Philippines, and Yaqub Khan, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, D.C., who got Herring named as Pakistan’s honorary consul for Houston.

In July 1977, the head of Pakistan’s army, Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq, seized power and declared martial law, and in 1979, he hanged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the president who had promoted him. In retaliation, Carter cut off U.S. aid to Pakistan. In 1980, Herring went to Islamabad and was so entranced by Zia and his support for the Afghan freedom fighters that on her return to the United States, she encouraged Wilson to go to Pakistan. There he met Zia, learned about the Afghan moujahedeen and became a convert to the cause. Once Reagan replaced Carter, Wilson was able to restore Zia’s aid money and added several millions to the CIA’s funds for secretly arming the Afghan guerrillas, each dollar of which the Saudi government secretly matched.

Although Wilson romanticized the mountain warriors of Afghanistan, the struggle was never as uneven as it seemed. Pakistan provided the fighters with sanctuary, training and arms and even sent its own officers into Afghanistan as advisors on military operations. Saudi Arabia served as the fighters’ banker, providing hundred of millions with no strings attached. Several governments, including those of Egypt, China and Israel, secretly supplied arms. And the insurgency enjoyed the backing of the United States through the CIA.

Wilson’s and the CIA’s greatest preoccupation was supplying the Afghans with something effective against the Soviets’ most feared weapon, the Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunship. The Red Army used it to slaughter innumerable moujahedeen as well as to shoot up Afghan villages. Wilson favored the Oerlikon antiaircraft gun made in Switzerland (it was later charged that he was on the take from the Zurich-based arms manufacturer). Avrakotos opposed it because it was too heavy for guerrillas to move easily, but he could not openly stand in Wilson’s way. After months of controversy, the Joint Chiefs of Staff finally dropped their objections to supplying the American Stinger, President Reagan signed off on it, and the “silver bullet” was on its way. The Stinger had never before been used in combat. It proved to be murderous against the Hinds, and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev decided to cut his losses and get out altogether. In Wilson’s postwar tour of Afghanistan, moujahedeen fighters surrounded him and triumphantly fired their missiles for his benefit. They also gave him as a souvenir the stock from the first Stinger to shoot down a Hind gunship.

The CIA “bluebloods” fired Avrakotos in the summer of 1986, and he retired to Rome. Wilson became chairman of the Intelligence Oversight Committee, at which time he wrote to his CIA friends, “Well, gentlemen, the fox is in the hen house. Do whatever you like.” After retiring from Congress in 1996, he became a lobbyist for Pakistan under a contract that paid him $30,000 a month. Meanwhile, the United States lost interest in Afghanistan, which descended into a civil war that the Taliban ultimately won. In the autumn of 2001, the United States returned in force after Al Qaeda retaliated against its former weapon supplier by attacking New York and Washington. The president of the United States went around asking, “Why do they hate us?”

Crile knows a lot about these matters and presents them in a dramatic manner. There are, however, one or two items that he appears unaware of or is suppressing. For the CIA legally to carry out a covert action, the president must authorize a document called a finding. Crile repeatedly says that Carter signed such a finding ordering the CIA to provide covert backing to the moujahedeen after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Dec. 24, 1979. The truth of the matter is that Carter signed the finding on July 3, 1979, six months before the Soviet invasion, and he did so on the advice of his national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, in order to try to provoke a Russian incursion. Brzezinski has confirmed this sequence of events in an interview with a French newspaper, and former CIA Director Robert M. Gates says so explicitly in his 1996 memoirs. It may surprise Charlie Wilson to learn that his heroic moujahedeen were manipulated by Washington like so much cannon fodder in order to give the USSR its own Vietnam. The moujahedeen did the job, but as subsequent events have made clear, they may not be grateful to the United States.

Mr. Johnson is the author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire and The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of the Republic, to be published in January by Metropolitan Books.

http://archive.truthout.org/article/the-largest-covert-operation-cia-history

Background Articles and Videos

CIA Covert Action in the Cold War: Iran, Jamaica, Chile, Cuba, Afghanistan, Libya, Latin America

The CIA Controls Al Qaeda

Triple Cross Bin Laden’s Spy In America (Full Documentary)

 

Covert Action – Operation Field Goal

A CIA special operations officer pursues a tip from an intercepted al-Qaeda transmission and ventures alone into enemy territory – where he’ll need all his training to survive.

CIA Covert Operations and U.S. Interventions Since World War II Full documentary

Col. L Fletcher Prouty: Secret Team – The Formation & Purpose of The NSC – PT 1 of 4

Col. L Fletcher Prouty: The Secret Team – The CIA’s Origins Of Covert Operations – PT 2 of 4

Col. L Fletcher Prouty: The Secret Team – Covert Operations & Their Consequences – PT 3 of 4

Col. L Fletcher Prouty: Secret Team – Conclusion – PT 4 of 4

Muslim Brotherhood Subversion: 12 Key Players in Obama/Bush Administrations

C.I.A. Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes and Meet Rebels

By MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT

WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and to contact and vet the beleaguered rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials.

While President Obama has insisted that no American military ground troops participate in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi’s military, the officials said.

In addition to the C.I.A. presence, composed of an unknown number of Americans who had worked at the spy agency’s station in Tripoli and others who arrived more recently, current and former British officials said that dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives have been directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering intelligence about the whereabouts of Libyan government tank columns, artillery pieces and missile installations, the officials said.

American officials hope that similar information gathered by American intelligence officers — including the location of Colonel Qaddafi’s munitions depots and the clusters of government troops inside towns — might help weaken Libya’s military enough to encourage defections within its ranks.

In addition, the American spies are meeting with rebels to try to fill in gaps in understanding who their leaders are and the allegiances of the groups opposed to Colonel Qaddafi, said United States government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the activities.  American officials cautioned, though, that the Western operatives were not directing the actions of rebel forces.

A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment.

The United States and its allies have been scrambling to gather detailed information on the location and abilities of Libyan infantry and armored forces that normally takes months of painstaking analysis.

“We didn’t have great data,” Gen. Carter F. Ham, who handed over control of the Libya mission to NATO on Wednesday, said in an e-mail last week.   “Libya hasn’t been a country we focused on a lot over past few years.”

Several weeks ago, President Obama signed a secret finding authorizing the C.I.A. to provide arms and other support to Libyan rebels, American officials said Wednesday. But weapons have not yet been shipped into Libya, as Obama administration officials debate the effects of giving them to the rebel groups. The presidential finding was first reported by Reuters.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, declined to comment “on intelligence matters,” but he said that no decision had yet been made to provide arms to the rebels.

Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who leads the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that he opposed arming the rebels. “We need to understand more about the opposition before I would support passing out guns and advanced weapons to them,” Mr. Rogers said in a statement.

Because the publicly stated goal of the Libyan campaign is not explicitly to overthrow Colonel Qaddafi’s government, the clandestine war now going on is significantly different from the Afghan campaign to drive the Taliban from power in 2001. Back then, American C.I.A. and Special Forces troops worked alongside Afghan militias, armed them and called in airstrikes that paved the rebel advances on strategically important cities like Kabul and Kandahar.

In recent weeks, the American military has been monitoring Libyan troops with U-2 spy planes and a high-altitude Global Hawk drone, as well as a special aircraft, JSTARS, that tracks the movements of large groups of troops.  Military officials said that the Air Force also has Predator drones, similar to those now operating in Afghanistan, in reserve.

Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint eavesdropping planes intercept communications from Libyan commanders and troops and relay that information to the Global Hawk, which zooms in on the location of armored forces and determines rough coordinates. The Global Hawk sends the coordinates to analysts at a ground station, who pass the information to command centers for targeting. The command center beams the coordinates to an E-3 Sentry Awacs command-and-control plane, which in turn directs warplanes to their targets.

Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, who recently retired as the Air Force’s top intelligence official, said that Libya’s flat desert terrain and clear weather have allowed warplanes with advanced sensors to hunt Libyan armored columns with relative ease, day or night, without the need for extensive direction from American troops on the ground.

But if government troops advance into or near cities in along the country’s eastern coast, which so far have been off-limits to coalition aircraft for fear of causing civilian casualties, General Deptula said that ground operatives would be particularly helpful in providing target coordinates or pointing them out to pilots with hand-held laser designators.

The C.I.A. and British intelligence services were intensely focused on Libya eight years ago, before and during the successful effort to get Colonel Qaddafi to give up his nuclear weapons program. He agreed to do so in the fall of 2003, and allowed C.I.A. and other American nuclear experts into the country to assess Libya’s equipment and bomb designs and to arrange for their transfer out of the country.

Once the weapons program was eliminated, a former American official said, intelligence agencies shifted their focus away from Libya. But as Colonel Qaddafi began his recent crackdown on the rebel groups, the American spy agencies have worked to rekindle ties to Libyan informants and to learn more about the country’s military leaders.

A former British government official who is briefed on current operations confirmed media reports that dozens of British Special Forces soldiers, from the elite Special Air Service and Special Boat Service units, are on the ground across Libya. The British soldiers have been particularly focused on finding the locations of Colonel Qaddafi’s Russian-made surface-to-air missiles.

A spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defense declined to comment, citing a policy not to discuss the operations of British Special Forces.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/world/africa/31intel.html?_r=3&hp&

Military, CIA shun 9/11 panel on covert operations

Special-ops lead urged in report

By Bill Gertz The Washington Times

The U.S. military and the CIA failed to agree on implementing a key recommendation of the commission that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks: Give special-operations commandos the lead for all covert military action.

The 9/11 Commission ordered the shift in response to concerns that CIA covert action — a mainstay of the agency’s World War II predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services — had “atrophied.” The agency also had a “risk averse” approach to spying and semisecret military activities.

Former Navy Secretary John F. Lehman, a member of the panel, said a report card made public last week by the Bipartisan Policy Center didn’t address the failure to implement the covert action change because of the secrecy surrounding the issue.

“The situation has evolved far beyond where it was at the time of our report,” Mr. Lehman said, adding that the raid to kill Osama bin Laden “shows that they are now doing something right.”

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Gerry” Boykin, a former Delta Force commando and Pentagon intelligence policymaker during the George W. Bush administration, said that after the commission issued its recommendation in 2004, disagreements arose over bureaucratic turf, and the CIA and the U.S. Special Operations Command (SoCom) could not agree on how to implement it.

The military has expanded special operations forces in recent years. But critics complain that the Pentagon official in charge of the policies for their use is Michael G. Vickers, a former CIA official who comes from the agency’s risk-averse, anti-covert-action culture.

Military covert action involves training and equipping foreign military or paramilitary forces in semisecret activities where the U.S. role is hidden. Past programs included arming Cuban rebels for the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, deploying direct-action hit teams in Vietnam, and the arming and training of anti-communist rebels in Latin America and anti-Soviet rebels in Afghanistan.

Since 2004, the CIA’s most successful covert military operation was the hunt for bin Laden and the raid to kill him in Pakistan on May 2 with Navy SEALs.

The CIA’s other successful covert military action is the war against al Qaeda and other terrorist groups using drone missile strikes in the Middle East and South Asia.

One setback was the suicide bombing by a double agent in December 2009 at a CIA covert base in Khost, Afghanistan, that killed seven agency officers.

The military’s most secret units and those involved in covert warfare are the Army’s Delta Force and the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, formerly SEAL Team 6.

CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf said the agency and the Pentagon have worked closely in the fight against al Qaeda, notably in the Abbottabad, Pakistan, operation against bin Laden.

“Our capabilities are complementary, not duplicative, and the success of those capabilities should speak for itself,” she said.

Gen. Boykin said a task force was set up to study the 9/11 recommendation, but it failed to define paramilitary covert action. “This was a fundamental question that no one could answer,” Gen. Boykin said.

If the commission meant training, SoCom already had the mission of working with surrogates. But “paramilitary” operations — activities that are militarylike but carried out by groups other than the military — automatically would become military if the function is passed to the Pentagon.

Gen. Boykin said that if the commission wanted to give responsibility for covert action to the Pentagon, the CIA was opposed, arguing that the change would hinder intelligence collection. The agency said its facilities and equipment were “dual-use” — for spying and paramilitary — and could not be transferred.

Gen. Boykin said the command was against duplicating the CIA’s training facilities, methods and equipment, because of high costs needed to “age” equipment and weapons for operations.

“Working from the assumption that the commission was not really sure what they were recommending, the study group determined that the capabilities already in SoCom were competent to train indigenous forces including using clandestine methodology,” he said.

“The agreement was that the CIA would support [special operations] as needed with facilities and other resources.”

Bureaucratic turf also played a role.

CIA did not want to lose anything since that would result in a reduction of resources as well as a loss of authority,” Gen. Boykin said.

However, special operations forces also “did not want the covert action mission because they saw it as something that would absorb huge amounts of time and resources and would be a distraction,” he said.

Former CIA officer Robert Baer, who was investigated by the Clinton administration during a covert action in northern Iraq, said he favors giving the mission to the military. “No matter what the bosses say, the CIA hates covert and paramilitary operations,” he said.

“The place is managed by liberal-arts majors who do a lot better operating on intuition and big-horizon stuff — like whether we’re winning or losing in Afghanistan,” Mr. Baer said. “But never ask it to run a bunch of Hmong tribesmen or disaffected Pashtuns and ever hope to win a war with them.”

Mr. Baer said the Pentagon is better tactically at making things work and has a larger pool of recruits with foreign-language skills.

“The problem is that presidents always reach for the CIA when they think they need a ‘silver bullet,’ like the Bay of Pigs,” he said. “The CIA inevitably fails, and then it gets blamed for the mess.”

Every covert action requires a presidential directive stating that the proposed action is in the country’s national interest. The procedure is often cumbersome and prone to public disclosure. Supporters of the change say military-led covert action would be more flexible and easier to approve.

Hiring former special operations forces at the CIA will not help the agency’s covert military capabilities, Mr. Baer said. “Outside military discipline, they just don’t perform up to their capabilities,” he said.

Mr. Baer said the covert program to supply Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Afghan rebels in the 1980s was less a covert action success than a “logistics” plan to ship arms to the fighters in the field. “It was not a proper paramilitary campaign,” he said.

A Harvard University study several years ago quoted anti-covert-action officials at the CIA as opposing the Stinger operation because of fears it would trigger a war with the Soviet Union.

The 9/11 Commission report describes the CIA in 2001 as “institutionally averse to risk, with its capacity for covert action atrophied.”

It also says the CIA did not invest in developing “robust” paramilitary operations with U.S. personnel but instead relied on proxies trained and organized by CIA officers without military experience. “The results were unsatisfactory,” it says.

The 9/11 Commission said the CIA could continue clandestine and nonmilitary covert action, including propaganda and nonmilitary disruption.

“We believe, however, that one important area of responsibility should change,” the commission’s report says. “Lead responsibility for directing and executing paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, should shift to the Defense Department.”

There, covert military action programs should be consolidated and placed under Special Operations Command, it says.

“Whether the price is measured in either money or people, the United States cannot afford to build two separate capabilities for carrying out secret military operations, secretly operating standoff missiles, and secretly training foreign military or paramilitary forces,” the report says.

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The Greatest Books Lists — Videos

Posted on November 23, 2014. Filed under: Art, Blogroll, Book, Books, Communications, Culture, Fiction, Literature, Non-Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The 10 Greatest Books Ever, According to 125 Top Authors (Download Them for Free)

 Earlier this month, we highlighted The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 846 Film Critics. Featuring films by Hitchcock, Kubrick, Welles and Fellini, this master list came together in 2012 when Sight & Sound (the cinema journal of the British Film Institute) asked contemporary critics and directors to name their 12 favorite movies. Nearly 900 cinephiles responded, and, from those submissions, a meta list of 10 was culled.

So how about something similar for books, you ask? For that, we can look back to 2007, when J. Peder Zane, the book editor of the Raleigh News & Observer, asked 125 top writers to name their favorite books — writers like Norman Mailer, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Michael Chabon. The lists were all compiled in an edited collection, The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books, and then prefaced by one uber list, “The Top Top Ten.”

Zane explained the methodology behind the uber list as follows: “The participants could pick any work, by any writer, by any time period…. After awarding ten points to each first-place pick, nine to second-place picks, and so on, the results were tabulated to create the Top Top Ten List – the very best of the best.”

The short list appears below, along with links to electronic versions of the works. There’s one notable exception, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. We couldn’t provide that text, but we do have something special — an audio recording of Nabokov reading a chapter from his controversial 1955 novel.

The texts listed below are permanently housed in our collection of Free eBooks, along with many other classics. In many cases, you’ll find audio versions of the same works in our ever-growing collection of Free Audio Books. If you have questions about how to load files onto your Kindle, please see this related instructional video.

Got an issue with any of the selections? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

iPad/iPhone – Kindle + Other Formats – Read Online

2. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

3. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

4. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

6. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov

10. Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Note: Great literature courses can be found in our collection of 825 Free Online Courses.

http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/the-10-greatest-books-ever.html

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 1

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 2

J. Peder Zane Interview by Stacey Cochran – Part 3

The 10 Greatest Books Of All Time

100 Classic Books Of All Time

The 100 Best Books of All Time

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 1

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 2

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 3

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 4

100 Greatest Novels of All-Time: Part 5

Classic Books You Should Actually Read

Reading Classics as a Woman

Reading Classics + Recommendations

Books I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time

Where To Begin Part 1

Where To Begin Part 2

Where To Begin Part 3

I Should Be Reading

I Should Be Reading #2

I Should Be Reading #3

I Should Be Reading #4

Friday Reads: November 14, 2014 + Break

Review: Anthem by Ayn Rand

Q&A Part 1: Books and Booktube

 

The Greatest Books of All Time, As Voted by 125 Famous Authors

by

Why Tolstoy is 11.6% better than Shakespeare.

“Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work,” Jennifer Egan once said. This intersection of reading and writing is both a necessary bi-directional life skill for us mere mortals and a secret of iconic writers’ success, as bespoken by their personal libraries. The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books asks 125 of modernity’s greatest British and American writers — including Norman Mailer, Ann Patchett,Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, andJoyce Carol Oates — “to provide a list, ranked, in order, of what [they] consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time– novels, story collections, plays, or poems.”

Of the 544 separate titles selected, each is assigned a reverse-order point value based on the number position at which it appears on any list — so, a book that tops a list at number one receives 10 points, and a book that graces the bottom, at number ten, receives 1 point.

In introducing the lists, David Orr offers a litmus test for greatness:

If you’re putting together a list of ‘the greatest books,’ you’ll want to do two things: (1) out of kindness, avoid anyone working on a novel; and (2) decide what the word ‘great’ means. The first part is easy, but how about the second? A short list of possible definitions of ‘greatness’ might look like this:

1. ‘Great’ means ‘books that have been greatest for me.’
2. ‘Great’ means ‘books that would be considered great by the most people over time.’
3. ‘Great’ has nothing to do with you or me — or people at all. It involves transcendental concepts like God or the Sublime.
4. ‘Great’? I like Tom Clancy.

From David Foster Wallace (#1: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis) toStephen King (#1: The Golden Argosy, a 1955 anthology of the best short stories in the English language), the collection offers a rare glimpse of the building blocks of great creators’ combinatorial creativity — because, as Austin Kleon put it, “you are a mashup of what you let into your life.”

The book concludes with an appendix of “literary number games” summing up some patterns and constructing several overall rankings based on the totality of the different authors’ picks. Among them (*with links to free public domain works where available):

TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 20TH CENTURY
  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  4. Ulysses* by James Joyce
  5. Dubliners* by James Joyce
  6. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  8. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  9. The complete stories of Flannery O’Connor
  10. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
TOP TEN WORKS OF THE 19th CENTURY
  1. Anna Karenina* by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Madame Bovary* by Gustave Flaubert
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  5. The stories of Anton Chekhov
  6. Middlemarch* by George Eliot
  7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  8. Great Expectations* by Charles Dickens
  9. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. Emma* by Jane Austen
TOP TEN AUTHORS BY NUMBER OF BOOKS SELECTED
  1. William Shakespeare — 11
  2. William Faulkner — 6
  3. Henry James — 6
  4. Jane Austen — 5
  5. Charles Dickens — 5
  6. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 5
  7. Ernest Hemingway — 5
  8. Franz Kafka — 5
  9. (tie) James Joyce, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf — 4
TOP TEN AUTHORS BY POINTS EARNED
  1. Leo Tolstoy — 327
  2. William Shakespeare — 293
  3. James Joyce — 194
  4. Vladimir Nabokov — 190
  5. Fyodor Dostoevsky — 177
  6. William Faulkner — 173
  7. Charles Dickens — 168
  8. Anton Chekhov — 165
  9. Gustave Flaubert — 163
  10. Jane Austen — 161

As a nonfiction loyalist, I’d love a similar anthology of nonfiction favorites — then again, famous writers might wave a knowing finger and point me to the complex relationship between truth and fiction.

 http://www.brainpickings.org/2012/01/30/writers-top-ten-favorite-books/

 

The Greatest Books

all | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1950 | 1900 |
  1. Image of Ulysses

Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title parallels and alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer’s Odyss…

 

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Swann’s Way, the first part of A la recherche de temps perdu, Marcel Proust’s seven-part cycle, was published in 1913. In it, Proust introduces the themes that run through the entire work. The narr…

 

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Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and believes th…

 

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First published in 1851, Melville’s masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick’s words, “the greatest novel in American literature.” The saga of Captain Ahab and his monomaniacal pursuit of the white wh…

 

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The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the “Jazz Age”. Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the “roar…

 

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The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle aged Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed and se…

 

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Epic in scale, War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of fi…

 

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One of the 20th century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize–winning car…

 

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For daring to peer into the heart of an adulteress and enumerate its contents with profound dispassion, the author of Madame Bovary was tried for “offenses against morality and religion.” What shoc…

 

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Dostoevsky’s last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers, is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is mur…

 

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11 . The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Image of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Revered by all of the town’s children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic worl…

 

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12 . The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Image of The Divine Comedy

Belonging in the immortal company of the great works of literature, Dante Alighieri’s poetic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the …

 

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13 . The Odyssey by Homer

Image of The Odyssey

The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the m…

 

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14 . Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Image of Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endu…

 

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15 . The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Image of The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye is a 1945 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, the novel has become a common part of high school and college curricula throughout the English-speaking wo…

 

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16 . The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

Image of The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their fa…

 

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17 . 1984 by George Orwell

Image of 1984

The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime’s propaganda by falsifying records and political literatur…

 

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18 . Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Image of Pride and Prejudice

The book is narrated in free indirect speech following the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with matters of upbringing, marriage, moral rightness and education in her aristocratic socie…

 

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19 . The Iliad by Homer

Image of The Iliad

The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set in the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of Ilium by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and e…

 

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20 . Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Image of Hamlet

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in Denmark, recounts how Pri…

 

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21 . To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Image of To the Lighthouse

A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psycholog…

 

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22 . Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Image of Invisible Man

The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marx…

 

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23 . King Lear by William Shakespeare

Image of King Lear

King Lear is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1603 and 1606. It is considered one of his greatest works. The play is based on the legend of Leir of Britain, a…

 

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24 . The Trial by Franz Kafka

Image of The Trial

Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and mu…

 

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25 . Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Image of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

In 1862 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford mathematician with a stammer, created a story about a little girl tumbling down a rabbit hole. Thus began the immortal adventures of Alice, perhaps th…

 

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26 . Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

Image of Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom! is a Southern Gothic novel by the American author William Faulkner, first published in 1936. It is a story about three families of the American South, taking place before, during,…

 

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27 . Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Image of Catch-22

Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cite…

 

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28 . Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Image of Mrs. Dalloway

Created from two short stories, “Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street” and the unfinished “The Prime Minister”, the novel’s story is of Clarissa’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess. Wit…

 

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29 . Middlemarch by George Eliot

Image of Middlemarch

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, later Marian Evans. It is her seventh novel, begun in 1869 and then put aside during the final i…

 

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30 . Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Image of Crime and Punishment

It is a murder story, told from a murder;s point of view, that implicates even the most innocent reader in its enormities. It is a cat-and-mouse game between a tormented young killer and a cheerful…

 

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31 . Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Image of Heart of Darkness

The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. Although Conrad does not specify the name of th…

 

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32 . Beloved by Toni Morrison

Image of Beloved

Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The novel, her fifth, is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, about whom Morrison…

 

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33 . Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Image of Wuthering Heights

The narrative is non-linear, involving several flashbacks, and two primary narrators: Mr. Lockwood and Ellen “Nelly” Dean. The novel opens in 1801, with Mr. Lockwood arriving at Thrushcross Grange,…

 

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34 . The Red and the Black by Stendhal

Image of The Red and the Black

Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black), subtitled Chronique du XIXe siécle (“Chronicle of the 19th century”), is an historical psychological novel in two volumes by Stendhal, published in 1830…

 

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35 . The Stranger by Albert Camus

Image of The Stranger

Since it was first published in English, in 1946, Albert Camus’s extraordinary first novel, The Stranger (L’Etranger), has had a profound impact on millions of American readers. Through this story …

 

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36 . One Thousand and One Nights by India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt

Image of One Thousand and One Nights

One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Ni…

 

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37 . The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Image of The Portrait of a Lady

The story centres on Isabel Archer, an attractive American whom circumstances have brought to Europe. Isabel refuses the offer of marriage to an English peer and to a bulldog-like New Englander, to…

 

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38 . Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Image of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, a small, plain-faced, intelligent and honest English orphan. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane’s childhood at Gateshead…

 

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39 . Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

Image of Tristram Shandy

As its title suggests, the book is ostensibly Tristram’s narration of his life story. But it is one of the central jokes of the novel that he cannot explain anything simply, that he must make expla…

 

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40 . David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Image of David Copperfield

The story of the abandoned waif who learns to survive through challenging encounters with distress and misfortune.

 

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41 . The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Image of The Grapes of Wrath

Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry. In a …

 

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42 . The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka

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The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka is a compilation of all Kafka’s short stories. With the exception of Kafka’s three novels (The Trial, The Castle and Amerika), this collection includes all of Ka…

 

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43 . Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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The Tragedy of Macbeth, commonly just Macbeth, is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometim…

 

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44 . Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

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From the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, a great classic recounting the four remarkable journeys of ship’s surgeon Lemuel Gulliver. For children it remains an enchanting fantasy;…

 

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45 . The Tempest by William Shakespeare

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The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, estimated to have been written in 1610–11, (although some researchers have argued for an earlier dating). The play’s protagonist is the banished sorcer…

 

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46 . Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations is written in the genre of “bildungsroman” or the style of book that follows the story of a man or woman in their quest for maturity, usually starting from childhood and ending i…

 

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47 . A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915 and published in book form in 1916. It depicts the formativ…

 

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48 . A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

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A Passage to India is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. The story revolves around four characters: Dr. Aziz, his British friend Cyril Fi…

 

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49 . The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

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The novel explores the lives and values of the so-called “Lost Generation,” chronicling the experiences of Jake Barnes and several acquaintances on their pilgrimage to Pamplona for the annual San F…

 

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50 . Collected Fiction by Jorge Luis Borges

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From his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges’…

  1. 51 . Othello by William Shakespeare

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    Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story “Un Capitano Moro” (“A Moorish Captain”) b…

 

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52 . To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses is…

 

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53 . Richard III by William Shakespeare

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Final play in Shakespeare’s masterly dramatization of the struggle for power between the Houses of York and Lancaster. Richard is a stunning archvillain who schemes, seduces, betrays and murders hi…

 

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54 . Candide by Voltaire

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Candide, ou l’Optimisme is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. Candide is characterized by its sarcastic tone and its erratic, fantastical, an…

 

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55 . The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

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The Magic Mountain is a novel by Thomas Mann, first published in November 1924. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of 20th century German literature.

 

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56 . The Aeneid by Virgil

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The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem written by Virgil in the late 1st century BC (29–19 BC) that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the…

 

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57 . The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

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Ford Madox Ford wrote The Good Soldier, the book on which his reputation most surely rests, in deliberate emulation of the nineteenth-century French novels he so admired. In this way he was able to…

 

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58 . As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

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The book is told in stream of consciousness writing style by 15 different narrators in 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family’s quest—noble or selfish—to honor he…

 

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59 . The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov

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Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian short-story writer, playwright and physician, considered to be one of the greatest short-story writers in the history of world literature. His career as a dram…

 

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60 . Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

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Midnight’s Children is a loose allegory for events in India both before and, primarily, after the independence and partition of India, which took place at midnight on 15 August 1947. The protagonis…

 

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61 . Journey to the End of The Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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Journey to the End of Night is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. This semi-autobiographical work describes antihero Ferdinand Bardamu. His surname, Bardamu, is derived from the French word…

 

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62 . Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

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A novel of great power that turns the world upside down. The Nigerian novelist Achebe reached back to the early days of his people’s encounter with colonialism, the 1890’s, though the white man and…

 

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63 . Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

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Leaves of Grass (1855) is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman. Among the poems in the collection are “Song of Myself,” “I Sing the Body Electric,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Roc…

 

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64 . Emma by Jane Austen

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Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like.”[1] In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as “Emma Woodhouse, …

 

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65 . Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

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No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class ladder. Her senti…

 

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66 . The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordea…

 

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67 . Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

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The novel is presented as a poem titled “Pale Fire” with commentary by a friend of the poet’s. Together these elements form two story lines in which both authors are central characters. The int…

 

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68 . The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

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With their astonishing diversity of tone and subject matter, The Canterbury Tales have become one of the touchstones of medieval literature. Translated here into modern English, these tales of a mo…

 

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69 . Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

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Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an “epic poem in prose”,…

 

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70 . Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

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To describe his perennial theme, Lowry once borrowed the words of the critic Edmund Wilson: “the forces in man which cause him to be terrified of himself.” You see exactly what he means in this cor…

 

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71 . The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

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Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of World War II, The Tin Drum is the autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath, who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and…

 

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72 . The Complete Tales of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery…

 

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73 . Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

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A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neig…

 

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74 . The Castle by Franz Kafka

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The Castle is a novel by Franz Kafka. In it a protagonist, known only as K., struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities of a castle who govern the village where he wants to work as a la…

 

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75 . On the Road by Jack Kerouac

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On the Road is a largely autobiographical work that was based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America. It is often considered a defining work of the post…

 

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76 . Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

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Sons and Lovers is one of the landmark novels of the twentieth century. When it appeared in 1913, it was immediately recognized as the first great modern restatement of the oedipal drama, and it is…

 

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77 . Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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An anti-war science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim.

 

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78 . The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

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The Master and Margarita (Russian: Ма́стер и Маргари́та) is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consi…

 

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79 . Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

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The main character, an African American woman in her early forties named Janie Crawford, tells the story of her life and journey via an extended flashback to her best friend, Pheoby, so that Pheoby…

 

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80 . My Antonia by Willa Cather

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In Willa Cather’s own estimation, My Antonia, first published in 1918, was “the best thing I’ve ever done.” An enduring paperback bestseller on Houghton Mifflin’s literary list, this hauntingly elo…

 

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81 . Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

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Les Misérables is a novel by French author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters ov…

 

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82 . Nostromo by Joseph Conrad

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Edited with an introduction and notes by Martin Seymour-Smith. In his evocation of the republic of Costaguana, set amid the exotic and grandiose scenery of South America, Conrad reveals not only th…

 

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83 . The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

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The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by philologist and Oxford University professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier, less complex children’…

 

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84 . The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbors she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product …

 

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85 . Native Son by Richard Wright

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The novel tells the story of 20-year old Bigger Thomas, an African American living in utter poverty. Bigger lived in Chicago’s South Side ghetto in the 1930s. Bigger was always getting into troubl…

 

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86 . The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

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The Age of Innocence centers on an upperclass couple’s impending marriage, and the introduction of a scandalous woman whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assump…

 

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87 . Light in August by William Faulkner

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Lght in August is an exploration of racial conflict in the society of the Southern United States.

 

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88 . Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Gone With the Wind is set in Jonesboro and Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction and follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of an Irish immigrant plantation o…

 

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89 . Oedipus the King by Sophocles

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Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles’s three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chron…

 

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90 . For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

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It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a communist guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As an expert in the use of explosives, he is …

 

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91 . Rabbit, Run by John Updike

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Rabbit, Run depicts five months in the life of a 26-year-old former high school basketball player named Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom, and his attempts to escape the constraints of his life.

 

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92 . Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats by W. B. Yeats

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William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature.

 

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93 . Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

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A shipwreck’s sole escapee, Robinson Crusoe endures 28 years of solitude on a Caribbean island and manages not only to survive but also to prevail. A warm humanity, evocative details of his struggl…

 

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94 . Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

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Violated by one man, forsaken by another, Tess Durbeyfield is the magnificent and spirited heroine of Thomas Hardy’s immortal work. Of all the great English novelists, no one writes more eloquently…

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95 . Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

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Le Père Goriot (English: Father Goriot or Old Goriot) is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Scènes de la vie privée section of his novel s…

 

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96 . Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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At this challenge, Mary Shelley began work on the ‘ghost story’ that was to evolve into the most celebrated horror novel in literary history. Frankenstein was published the next year and become the…

 

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97 . The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

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The Tale of Genji is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes…

 

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98 . Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

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Buddenbrooks was Thomas Mann’s first novel, published in 1901 when he was twenty-six years old. It portrays the downfall (already announced in the subtitle, Decline of a family) of a wealthy mer…

 

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99 . Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

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In the early summer of the year 1348, as a terrible plague ravages the city, ten charming young Florentines take refuge in country villas to tell each other stories — a hundred stories of love, adv…

 

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100 . The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

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The Waste Land is a 434 line modernist poem by T. S. Eliot published in 1922. It has been called “one of the most important poems of the 20th century.” Despite the alleged obscurity of the poem – i…

  1. Image of Bleak House

    Bleak House is the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, published in twenty monthly instalments between March 1852 and September 1853. It is held to be one of Dickens’s finest novels, containing one of …

 

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102 . Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

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In her most exuberant, most fanciful novel, Woolf has created a character liberated from the restraints of time and sex. Born in the Elizabethan Age to wealth and position, Orlando is a young noble…

 

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103 . The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky

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The Possessed is an 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Though titled The Possessed in the initial English translation, Dostoevsky scholars and later translations favour the titles The Devils or Demon…

 

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104 . Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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Set in the London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embod…

 

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105 . Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais

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The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (in French, La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel) is a connected series of five novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. It is the story of t…

 

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106 . American Pastoral by Philip Roth

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American Pastoral is a Philip Roth novel concerning Seymour “Swede” Levov, a Jewish-American businessman and former high school athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov’s happy and conventional upper…

 

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107 . The Ambassadors by Henry James

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This dark comedy, one of the masterpieces of James’ final period, follows the trip of protagonist Lewis Lambert Strether to Europe in pursuit of his widowed fiancée’s supposedly wayward son. Streth…

 

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108 . Paradise Lost by John Milton

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Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books. A second edition followed in 1674, redivided into twelve…

 

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109 . The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

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The Big Sleep (1939) is a crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first in his acclaimed series about hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe. The work has been adapted twice into film, once in 1946 and a…

 

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110 . Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Animal Farm is a dystopian novella by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democrat…

 

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111 . The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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Set against the tumultuous years of the post-Napoleonic era, The Count of Monet Cristo recounts the swashbuckling adventures of Edmond Dantes, a dashing young sailor falsely accused of treason. The…

 

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112 . Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Anderson

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a Danish author and poet noted for his children’s stories. These include “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Little Mermaid”, “Thumbelina”, “The Little Match Girl”, and the “The Ugl…

 

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113 . Hunger by Knut Hamsun

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Hunger is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. Parts of it had been published anonymously in the Danish magazine Ny Jord in 1888. The novel is ha…

 

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114 . The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire

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Les Fleurs du mal (English: The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857 (see 1857 in poetry), it was important in the symbolist and modernist mo…

 

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115 . All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

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All the King’s Men portrays the dramatic political ascent and governorship of Willie Stark, a driven, cynical populist in the American South during the 1930s.

 

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116 . The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

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This book, as well as the couple that followed it, enters the realm of what Margaret Drabble in The Oxford Companion to English Literature has called Lessing’s “inner space fiction”, her work that …

 

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117 . A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert

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The novel describes the life of a young man (Frederic Moreau) living through the revolution of 1848 and the founding of the Second French Empire, and his love for an older woman (based on the wife …

 

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118 . Antigone by Sophocles

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Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written before or in 442 BC. Chronologically, it is the third of the three Theban plays but was written first.[1] The play expands on the Theban legend that preda…

 

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119 . Howards End by E. M. Forster

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“Only Connect,” Forster’s key aphorism, informs this novel about an English country house, Howards End, and its influence on the lives of the wealthy and materialistic Wilcoxes; the cultured, ideal…

 

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120 . Dangerous Liaison by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

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The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. Its prime movers, the Vicomte…

 

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121 . The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

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A slender novel but far from flimsy, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie enrolls the reader at Edinburgh’s fictional Marcia Blaine School for Girls under the tutelage of one Jean Brodie, a magnetic, unco…

 

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122 . The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor by Flannery O’Connor

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The publication of this extraordinary volume firmly established Flannery O’Connor’s monumental contribution to American fiction. There are thirty-one stories here in all, including twelve that do n…

 

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123 . Herzog by Saul Bellow

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Herzog is a novel set in 1964, in the United States, and is about the midlife crisis of a Jewish man named Moses E. Herzog. He is just emerging from his second divorce, this one particularly acrimo…

 

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124 . Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

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It tells the tragic story of a heroine whose quest for virtue is continually thwarted by her family, and is one of the longest novels in the English language.

 

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125 . An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

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Clyde Griffiths is a young man with ambitions. He’s in love with a rich girl, but it’s a poor girl he has gotten pregnant, Roberta Alden, who works with him at his uncle’s factory. One day he takes…

 

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126 . A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen

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A Doll’s House is an 1879 play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Written one year after The Pillars of Society, the play was the first of Ibsen’s to create a sensation and is now perhaps his mo…

 

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127 . The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

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Balzac considered it the most important French novel of his time. André Gide later deemed it the greatest of all French novels, and Henry James judged it to be a masterpiece. Now, in a major litera…

 

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128 . A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

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In A Handful of Dust Waugh satirises the upper class, the mercantile class and the establishments (for example: the Church) using many effective literary devices which characterise most of his work…

 

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129 . Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Faust is a tragic play, although more appropriately it should be defined a tragicomedy, despite the very title of the work. It was published in two parts: Faust. Der Tr…

 

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130 . Dubliners by James Joyce

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Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dub…

 

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131 . The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid’s Tale is a feminist dystopian novel, a work of science fiction or speculative fiction, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985…

 

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132 . Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson

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Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet. Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted …

 

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133 . The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

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The Leopard is a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa that chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento. Published posthumously in 1958, after two rejections by the …

 

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134 . Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The story is that of the rise and fall of Dick Diver, a promising young psychoanalyst and his wife, Nicole, who is also one of his patients. It would be Fitzgerald’s first novel in nine years, and …

 

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135 . The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

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A classic in children’s literature The Wind in the Willow is alternately slow moving and fast paced. The book focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. T…

 

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136 . Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

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Set sometime around 1950, Lucky Jim follows the exploits of the eponymous James (Jim) Dixon, a reluctant Medieval history lecturer at an unnamed provincial English university. Having made a bad fir…

 

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137 . Lord of the Flies by William Golding

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Lord of the Flies discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British schoolboys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, but with disastrous results….

 

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138 . Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

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Conrad’s great novel of guilt and redemption follows the first mate on board the Patna, a raw youth with dreams of heroism who, in an act of cowardice, abandons his ship. His unbearable guilt and i…

 

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139 . Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett

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Malone Dies is a novel by Samuel Beckett. It was first published in 1951, in French, as Malone Meurt, and later translated into English by the author.

 

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140 . Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, it is an adventure tale known for its superb atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality—as seen in Long…

 

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141 . Metamorphoses by Ovid

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The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a narrative poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world. Completed in 8 AD, it has remained one of the most popular works …

 

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142 . The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

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Written in Charlotte, North Carolina in a house on East Blvd, it is about a deaf man named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s mill town in the U.S. state of Georgia.

 

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143 . Oresteia by Aeschylus

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The Oresteia is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus which concerns the end of the curse on the House of Atreus. When originally performed it was accompanied by Proteus, a satyr play t…

 

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144 . Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

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The novel tells the story of a pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praisin…

 

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145 . Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann

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Doctor Faustus is a German novel written by Thomas Mann, begun in 1943 and published in 1947 as Doktor Faustus: Das Leben des deutschen Tonsetzers Adrian Leverkühn, erzählt von einem Freunde (“Doct…

 

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146 . Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

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Perhaps no other of the world’s great writers lived and wrote with the passionate intensity of D. H. Lawrence. And perhaps no other of his books so explores the mysteries between men and women–both…

 

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147 . The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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The Idiot is a novel written by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky and first published in 1868. It was first published serially in Russian in Russky Vestnik, St. Petersburg, 1868-1869. The Idiot…

 

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148 . Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (French: Vingt mille lieues sous les mers) is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nem…

 

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149 . The World According to Garp by John Irving

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The story deals with the life of T. S. Garp. His mother, Jenny Fields, is a strong-willed nurse who wants a child but not a husband. She encounters a dying ball turret gunner known only as Technica…

 

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150 . Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Spawned by a nightmare that Stevenson had, this classic tale of the dark, primordial night of the soul remains a masterpiece of the duality of good and evil within us all.

151 . A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

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    The novel is told through the point of view of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army during World War I.

 

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152 . I, Claudius by Robert Graves

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I, Claudius deals sympathetically with the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius and cynically with the history of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and Roman Empire, from Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44…

 

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153 . Pedro Paramo by Juan Rulfo

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Pedro Páramo is a short novel written by Juan Rulfo, originally published in 1955. In just the 23 FCE editions and reprintings, it had sold by November 1997 1,143,000 copies. Other editions in Mexi…

 

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154 . The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever

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The Stories of John Cheever is a 1978 short story collection by American author John Cheever. It contains some of his most famous stories, including “The Enormous Radio,” “Goodbye, My Brother,” “Th…

 

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155 . Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

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Rabbit Is Rich is a 1981 novel by John Updike. It is the third novel of the four-part series which begins with Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux, and concludes with Rabbit At Rest. There is also a relat…

 

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156 . The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil

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The Man without Qualities (1930-42) is a novel in three books by the Austrian novelist and essayist Robert Musil. The main issue of this “story of ideas”, which takes place in the time of the Au…

 

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157 . Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

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In John Updike’s fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behavi…

 

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158 . Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin

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The story concerns a small-time criminal, Franz Biberkopf, fresh from prison, who is drawn into the underworld. When his criminal mentor murders the prostitute whom Biberkopf has been relying on as…

 

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159 . Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

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In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Bertha is the madwoman locked in the attic by her husband Rochester, the simmering Englishman whose children Jane has been hired to tutor. In Bronte’s novel we lear…

 

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160 . Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

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Set in France (primarily Paris) during the 1930s, it is the tale of Miller’s life as a struggling writer. Combining fiction and autobiography, some chapters follow a strict narrative and refer to M…

 

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161 . Epic of Gilgamesh by Unknown

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The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Ancient Iraq and is among the earliest known works of literary writings. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems abo…

 

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162 . The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

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The Moviegoer tells the story of Binx Bolling, a young stockbroker in post-war New Orleans. The decline of Southern traditions, the problems of his family and his traumatic experiences in the Korea…

 

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163 . The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

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The Adventures of Augie March (1953) is a novel by Saul Bellow. It centers on the eponymous character who grows up during the Great Depression. This picaresque novel is an example of bildungsroman,…

 

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164 . Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

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Fathers and Sons is an 1862 novel by Ivan Turgenev, his best known work. The fathers and children of the novel refers to the growing divide between the two generations of Russians, and the chara…

 

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165 . Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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One of the most powerful dramas of Christian faith ever written, this captivating allegory of man’s religious journey in search of salvation follows the pilgrim as he travels an obstacle-filled roa…

 

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166 . Selected Stories of Alice Munro by Alice Munro

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Selected Stories is a volume of short stories by Alice Munro, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1996. It collects stories previously published in her eight previous books.

 

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167 . Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway

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Before he gained wide fame as a novelist, Ernest Hemingway established his literary reputation with his short stories. This collection, The Short Stories, originally published in 1938, is definitiv…

 

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168 . Medea by Euripides

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Medea is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and first produced in 431 BC. The plot centers on the barbarian protagonist as she finds her position …

 

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169 . Rabbit Redux by John Updike

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Rabbit Redux finds the former high-school basketball star, Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, working a dead-end job and approaching middle age in the downtrodden and fictional city of Brewer, Pennsylvania, …

 

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170 . If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

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Calvino’s anti-novel is about the efforts of his two characters — a man called only The Reader, and the Other Reader, a woman named Ludmilla — to read ten very different novels. They are never able…

 

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171 . The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

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The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century and is widely st…

 

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172 . Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

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Doctor Zhivago is a 20th century novel by Boris Pasternak, first published in 1957. The novel is named after its protagonist, Yuri Zhivago, a medical doctor and poet. It tells the story of a man to…

 

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173 . The Call of the Wild by Jack London

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The plot concerns a previously domesticated and even somewhat pampered dog named Buck, whose primordial instincts return after a series of events finds him serving as a sled dog in the treacherous…

 

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174 . Call It Sleep by Henry Roth

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Call It Sleep is the story of an Austrian-Jewish immigrant family in New York in the early part of the twentieth century. Six-year-old David Schearl has a close and loving relationship with his mot…

 

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175 . Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

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The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers on the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertake…

 

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176 . Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

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Before Raymond Carver, John Cheever, and Richard Ford, there was Sherwood Anderson, who, with Winesburg, Ohio, charted a new direction in American fiction — evoking with lyrical simplicity quiet mo…

 

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177 . A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul

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In the “brilliant novel” (“The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man–an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isol…

 

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178 . Germinal by Émile Zola

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Germinal is the thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. Often considered Zola’s masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the no…

 

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179 . The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position …

 

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180 . The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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The Sorrows of Young Werther is an epistolary and loosely autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in 1774; a revised edition of the novel was published in 1787. Werthe…

 

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181 . Persuasion by Jane Austen

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Of all Jane Austen’s great and delightful novels, Persuasion is widely regarded as the most moving. It is the story of a second chance. Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish, spendthrift Sir Walte…

 

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182 . Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

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Waiting for Godot (pronounced /ˈɡɒdoʊ/) is a play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for someone named Godot. Godot’s absence, as well as numerous other aspects…

 

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183 . The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett

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The Unnamable is a 1953 novel by Samuel Beckett. It is the third and final entry in Beckett’s “Trilogy” of novels, which begins with Molloy followed by Malone Dies. It was originally published in F…

 

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184 . Molloy by Samuel Beckett

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Molloy is a novel by Samuel Beckett. The English translation is by Beckett and Patrick Bowles.

 

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185 . The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

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The Book Of Disquietude or The Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego in Portuguese), published posthumously, is one of the greatest works by Fernando Pessoa. It is signed under the semi-heteronym…

 

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186 . A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

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The title is taken from an old Cockney expression, “as queer as a clockwork orange” and alludes to the prevention of the main character’s exercise of his free will through the use of a classical co…

 

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187 . The Odes by Horace

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The Odes (Latin: Carmina) are a collection in four books of Latin lyric poems by Horace. The Horatian ode format and style has been emulated since by other poets. Books 1 to 3 were published in 23 …

 

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188 . Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo

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Zeno’s Conscience is a novel by Italian businessman and author Italo Svevo. The main character is Zeno Cosini and the book is the fictional character’s memoirs that he keeps at the insistence of hi…

 

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189 . Independent People by Halldor Laxness

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Independent People is an epic novel by Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness, published in 1946. It deals with the struggle of poor Icelandic farmers in the early 20th century, only freed from debt bondag…

 

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190 . The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

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Since his first appearance in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most beloved fictional characters ever created.

 

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191 . Don Juan by Molière

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Don Juan (Spanish, or Don Giovanni in Italian) is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra (The Trickster …

 

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192 . Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

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Memoirs of Hadrian is a novel by the French writer Marguerite Yourcenar about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The book was first published in France in French in 1951 as Mémoires d’Had…

 

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193 . Complete Poems of Giacomo Leopardi by Giacomo Leopardi

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Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi (June 29, 1798 – June 14, 1837) was an Italian poet, essayist, philosopher, and philologist.

 

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194 . Ramayana by Valmiki

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The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon (smṛti). The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the…

 

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195 . Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

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Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West is a 1985 Western novel by American author Cormac McCarthy. It was McCarthy’s fifth book, and was published by Random House. The narrative foll…

 

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196 . The 42nd Parallel by John Dos Passos

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With his U.S.A. trilogy, comprising THE 42nd PARALLEL, 1919, and THE BIG MONEY, John Dos Passos is said by many to have written the great American novel. While Fitzgerald and Hemingway were cultiva…

 

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197 . The Big Money by John Dos Passos

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THE BIG MONEY completes John Dos Passos’s three-volume “fable of America’s materialistic success and moral decline” (American Heritage) and marks the end of “one of the most ambitious projects that…

 

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198 . Nineteen Nineteen by John Dos Passos

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With 1919, the second volume of his U.S.A. trilogy, John Dos Passos continues his “vigorous and sweeping panorama of twentieth-century America” (Forum), lauded on publication of the first volume no…

 

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199 . The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

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Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely-related adventures. The novel’s main character, Mr. Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, …

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200 . Los Siete Locos by Roberto Arlt

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Los siete locos is a novel of Argentine writer Roberto Arlt published in October 1929 . In the same some of the problems posed by the philosophical existentialism develop. Moral issues, loneliness,…

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    In 1895 Hardy’s final novel, the great tale of Jude the Obscure, sent shock waves of indignation rolling across Victorian England. Hardy had dared to write frankly about sexuality and to indict the…

 

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202 . The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette

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La Princesse de Clèves is a French novel, regarded by many as the beginning of the modern tradition of the psychological novel, and as a great classic work. Its author is generally held to be Madam…

 

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203 . Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin

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The novel examines the role of the Christian Church in the lives of African-Americans, both as a source of repression and moral hypocrisy and as a source of inspiration and community. It also, more…

 

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204 . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

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The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane. It is considered one of the most influential works in American literature. The novel, a depiction on the cruelty of t…

 

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205 . Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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Written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts, it was published in two parts in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Am…

 

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206 . If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by William Faulkner

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In this feverishly beautiful novel—originally titled If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by Faulkner, and now published in the authoritative Library of America text—William Faulkner interweaves two narrati…

 

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207 . The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

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Thus young Walter Hartright first meets the mysterious woman in white in what soon became one of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century. Secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelation…

 

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208 . The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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World War II has just begun and four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, are evacuated from London in 1940 to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke, who …

 

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209 . The Stand by Stephen King

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The Stand is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel by American author Stephen King. It re-works the scenario in his earlier short story, Night Surf. The novel was originally published in 1978 and…

 

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210 . A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud

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“With skill and imagination, Bertrand Mathieu gives us an intimacy of the spoken American that allows readers to absorb themselves in Rimbaud’s private drama as in an obsessive dream of our own…….

 

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211 . Stories of Guy de Maupassant by Guy de Maupassant

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Guy de Maupassant was a master of the short story. This collection displays his lively diversity, with tales that vary in theme and tone, ranging from tragedy and satire to comedy and farce. In a l…

 

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212 . Jakob Von Gunten by Robert Walser

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The Swiss writer Robert Walser is one of the quiet geniuses of twentieth-century literature. Largely self-taught and altogether indifferent to worldly success, Walser wrote a range of short stories…

 

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213 . The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the title of the first of five books in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of th…

 

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214 . The Waves by Virginia Woolf

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The Waves, first published in 1931, is Virginia Woolf’s most experimental novel. It consists of soliloquies spoken by the book’s six characters: Bernard, Susan, Rhoda, Neville, Jinny, and Louis.[1]…

 

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215 . The Poems of Robert Frost by Robert Frost

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Robert Lee Frost (March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. He is highly regarded for his realistic de…

 

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216 . Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

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Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses (1922), James Joyce set himself an even greater challenge for his next book — the night. “A nocturnal state…. That is what I …

 

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217 . Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles

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Oedipus at Colonus is one of the three Theban plays of the Athenian tragedian Sophocles. It was written shortly before Sophocles’ death in 406 BC and produced by his grandson (also called Sophocles…

 

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218 . Money by Martin Amis

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Money tells the story of, and is narrated by, John Self, a successful director of commercials who is invited to New York by Fielding Goodney, a film producer, in order to shoot his first film. Self…

 

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219 . Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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Rebecca is considered to be one of her best works. Some observers have noted parallels with Jane Eyre. Much of the novel was written while she was staying in Alexandria, Egypt, where her husband wa…

 

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220 . Henderson The Rain King by Saul Bellow

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Bellow’s glorious, spirited story of an eccentric American millionaire who finds a home of sorts in deepest Africa.

 

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221 . Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe

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It is Wolfe’s first novel, and is considered a highly autobiographical American Bildungsroman. The character of Eugene Gant is generally believed to be a depiction of Wolfe himself. The novel cover…

 

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222 . Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

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It follows the life of Macon “Milkman” Dead III, an African-American male living in Michigan, from birth to adulthood. The main theme in the novel is Milkman’s quest for identity as a black man in …

 

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223 . Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

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In this classic satire of small-town America, beautiful young Carol Kennicott comes to Gopher Prairie, Minnesota, with dreams of transforming the provincial old town into a place of beauty and cult…

 

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224 . A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell

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A Dance to the Music of Time is a twelve-volume cycle of novels by Anthony Powell, inspired by the painting of the same name by Nicolas Poussin. One of the longest works of fiction in literature, i…

 

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225 . De Rerum Natura by Lucretius

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De rerum natura is a first century BC epic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. The poem, written in dactylic hexam…

 

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226 . Jacques the Fatalist and His Master by Denis Diderot

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The main subject of the book is the relationship between the valet Jacques and his master (who is never named). The two are traveling to a destination the narrator leaves insistently vague, and to …

 

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227 . Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

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Death Comes for the Archbishop is a 1927 novel by Willa Cather. It concerns the attempts of a Catholic bishop and a priest to establish a diocese in New Mexico Territory.

 

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228 . Neuromancer by William Gibson

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The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson explores artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, …

 

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229 . The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

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Set in the rural midlands of England, The Rainbow revolves around three generations of the Brangwen family over a period of more than sixty years, setting them against the emergence of modern Engla…

 

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230 . Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

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Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by the English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. Waugh wrote that the novel “deals with what is t…

 

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231 . Atonement by Ian McEwan

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Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan. It tells the story of protagonist Briony Tallis’s crime and how it changes her life, as well as those of her sister Cecilia and her lover Rob…

 

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232 . The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek

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The Good Soldier Švejk is the abbreviated title of an unfinished satirical novel by Jaroslav Hašek. It was illustrated by Josef Lada and George Grosz after Hašek’s death. The original Czech title o…

 

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233 . The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

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From the esteemed author of The Age of Innocence–a black comedy about vast wealth and a woman who can define herself only through the perceptions of others. Lily Bart’s quest to find a husband who…

 

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234 . White Noise by Don DeLillo

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Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitle…

 

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235 . One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

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Narrated by the gigantic but docile half-Indian “Chief” Bromden, who has pretended to be a deaf-mute for several years, the story focuses on the antics of the rebellious Randle Patrick McMurphy, a …

 

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236 . Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler

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Darkness At Noon stands as an unequaled fictional portrayal of the nightmare politics of our time. Its hero is an aging revolutionary, imprisoned and psychologically tortured by the Party to which …

 

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237 . Collected Poems of T.S. Eliot by T.S. Eliot

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Thomas Stearns Eliot was an American poet, playwright, and literary critic, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century.

 

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238 . Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

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Our Mutual Friend (written in the years 1864–65) is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is in many ways one of his most sophisticated works, combining deep psychological insight with ri…

 

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239 . The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

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The novel tells the story of a highly dysfunctional family, the Pollits. The story centers on the family’s impoverishment, the failure of the father Sam to provide for them, the parents’ marital ba…

 

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240 . At Swim Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien

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At Swim-Two-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O’Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O’Brien. It is widely considered to be O’Brien’s masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated ex…

 

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241 . Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a …

 

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242 . Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

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Winnie-the-Pooh, commonly shortened to Pooh Bear and once referred to as Edward Bear, is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. The first collection of stories about the character was the book Wi…

 

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243 . Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin

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Dream of the Red Chamber is a masterpiece of Chinese vernacular literature and one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. The novel was composed some time in the middle of the 18th century during …

 

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244 . Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

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Pippi Longstocking is a children’s book written in 1945 by Astrid Lindgren. Pippi is a 9-year old that lives in an old villa in a Swedish town. (which remains unnamed for the series) She meet To…

 

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245 . History by Elsa Morante

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History: A Novel is a novel by Italian author Elsa Morante, largely seen to be her most famous and controversial work. Published in 1974, it narrates the story of a woman, Ida Ramundo, and her two …

 

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246 . Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

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The book is structured as a series of loosely-connected vignettes. Burroughs himself stated that the chapters are intended to be read in any order. The reader follows the narration of junkie Willia…

 

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247 . The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth

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The novel is set in the 1680s and 90s in London and on the eastern shore of the colony of Maryland. It tells the story of an English poet named Ebenezer Cooke who is given the title “Poet Laureate …

 

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248 . In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

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When In Our Time was published in 1925, it was praised by Ford Madox Ford, John Dos Passos, and F. Scott Fitzgerald for its simple and precise use of language to convey a wide range of complex emot…

 

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249 . The Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke

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Rilke’s great cycle of ten elegies, perhaps his most profound poetic achievement, had its inception on the morning of January 21, 1912, but was interrupted by the First World War and not completed …

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  1. 250 . The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

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    The Death of the Heart is a 1938 novel by Elizabeth Bowen set between the two world wars. It is about a sixteen year old orphan, Portia Quayne, who moves to London to live with her half-brother Tho…

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Agent Provocateur: Government Agencies (FBI and NSA and others) and Mass Media Provoking Riots in Ferguson To Increase Budgets and Ratings — Is Justice Department Under Holder Using The FBI As Agent Provocateurs? — Playing The Blame Game — Videos

Posted on November 18, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Computers, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Diasters, Documentary, Education, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, Films, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, National Security Agency (NSA_, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Radio, Raves, Regulations, Reviews, Security, Strategy, Unemployment, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 361: October 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 360: October 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 359: October 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 358: October 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 357: October 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 356: October 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 355: October 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 354: October 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 353: October 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 350: October 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 340: September 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 339: September 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 338: September 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 337: September 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 336: September 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 335: September 23 2014

Pronk Pops Show 334: September 22 2014

Pronk Pops Show 333: September 19 2014

Pronk Pops Show 332: September 18 2014

Pronk Pops Show 331: September 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 330: September 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 329: September 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 328: September 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 327: September 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 326: September 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 325: September 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 324: September 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 323: September 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 322: September 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 321: September 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 320: August 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 319: August 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 318: August 27, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 317: August 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 316: August 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 315: August 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 314: August 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 313: August 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 312: August 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 311: August 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 310: August 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 309: August 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 308: August 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 307: August 1, 2014

Story 1: Agent Provocateur: Government Agencies (FBI and NSA and others) and Mass Media Provoking Riots in Ferguson To Increase Budgets and Ratings — Is Justice Department Under Holder Using The FBI As Agent Provocateurs? — Playing The Blame Game — Videos

Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know – Dirty Tricks: Agent Provocateur

Preparing for violence in Missouri

Ferguson Nervously Awaits Grand Jury Decision

How police Agent Provocateur frame people

Provocateur Caught Throwing Bricks At Ferguson Police

John Sayles on New FBI Rules & Role of Agent Provocateurs in Disrupting Social Movements

FBI Warns of Ferguson Violence from ‘Extremists’ After Grand Jury Decision

Ferguson braces for grand jury decision

Biracial couple: We’re staying in Ferguson

Snipers Take Aim and Push Infowars Reporters

Combat Vet Ferguson Missouri Has Turned Into Fallujah Iraq

Infowars Shatters Multiple Mainstream Media Lies in Ferguson, MO

Infowars Recounts Ferguson Police State

Missouri Deploys National Guard

Occupy LA – Police Provocateurs Confirmed

Occupy LA has become victim to police provocateur (under cover cops causing violence) much like other cities around the world. What to look for:

The same boots,
black masks
black backpacks,
specific type of black bandana.

Police Provocateurs are not smart, and they are easy to spot. Do not let your 1st amendment rights be trampled by corrupt police.

LAPD Infiltrators and Agent Provocateurs Targeted Left and Panthers – Johnston on RAI – (2/4)

The Deep State and the Power of Billionaires – David Cay Johnston on Reality Asserts Itself (3/4)

Ferguson on the edge: RT America special on eve of grand jury ruling

Michael Brown Protests Turns Into RIOT…LOOTINGS…VIOLENCE(RIOT Police Called In)

Ferguson, Missouri LOOTERS Target FOOT LOCKER…FAMILY DOLLAR …RIMS… BURNS Down QUICKTRIP!!

Violence erupts in Ferguson

COINTELPRO 101 – The Sabotage Of Legitimate Dissent

Activists Who Stole FBI Documents in 1971 Revealing COINTELPRO Speak Out

Betty Medsger “The Burglary”

TREASON 101 FBI Cointelpro

COINTELPRO: The FBI’s War on Black America

BUSTED! Proof Missouri Riots Were Obama’s Attempt To Implement A Martial Law Police State!

FBI Agent Provocateur Suggested Terror Attack at Mosque

FBI – Don’t post that or I’ll be “livid”

Return of the Ferguson War Zone? Missouri Enacts State of Emergency Ahead of Mike Brown Grand Jury

 Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in advance of the grand jury’s pending decision in the Michael Brown shooting case. On Monday, Nixon issued an executive order to activate the state’s National Guard in response to what he called “the possibility of expanded unrest.” Nixon cited the protests in Ferguson and the St. Louis area since Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was killed by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. The grand jury has been meeting for nearly three months, and protests are expected to escalate if they choose not to indict. But while state officials say they fear violence, protesters say they fear a return to the militarized crackdown that turned their community into a war zone. As the grand jury nears a decision and all sides prepare for the unknown under a state of emergency, we are joined by two guests: Jeff Smith, a New School professor and former Missouri state senator whose new book is “Ferguson: In Black and White,” and Montague Simmons, chair of the St. Louis-based Organization for Black Struggle and a key organizer in the movement that has emerged since Brown’s killing.

Under Obama, U.S. personal freedom ranking slips below France

U.S. Secrets: Classified Intelligence, CIA,FBI,NSA,Secret Service, Edward Snowden

 

The No Indictment.org Ferguson protest group released its list of potential targets following the decision by the St. Louis County Courthouse on the Mike Brown case.

The published map shows expected landmarks like the Ferguson City Hall and the County Courthouse.

But it also marks things that have NOTHING to do with the Michael Brown situation, like Anheuser Busch and Boeing.
ferguson targets

Most telling thing is the mark for Emerson Electric. Emerson has been in Ferguson for at least 50 years, long before Ferguson became a minority municipality. Yet not only do they mark Emerson they make note of the CEO’s salary. Maybe they’re mutating into an extortion group straight out of the playbook of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition?

Below is the published list of potential St. Louis area targets.
Potential Action Locations

  • Robert McCulloch’s office
  • St. Louis County Justice Center
  • Stephanie Karr’s office
  • Olin Corporation Headquarters
  • Judge Maura McShane’s courtroom
  • St. Louis County Police Department
  • Governor Nixon’s Office (Wainwright Building)
  • Clayton School District Office
  • Department of Justice
  • Dean Plocher’s office
  • Ronald Brockmeyer’s office
  • Dan Boyle’s office
  • Thomas Flach’s office
  • Regal III Market
  • Canfield Green Apartments
  • Ferguson Police Department & Jail
  • West Florissant Quick Trip
  • Missouri Botanical Gradens
  • Powell Symphony Hall
  • Monsanto Headquarters
  • Peabody Energy Headquarters
  • Anheuser-Busch Headquarters
  • Emerson Electric Headquarters
  • Steve Stenger’s lawfirm
  • St. Louis Art Museum
  • Gateway Arch
  • Peabody Opera House
  • Ritz Carlton
  • Lambert International Airport
  • Mayor Slay
  • Boeing
  • St. Louis City Police Department
  • St. Louis Galleria
  • Plaza Frontenac
  • Six Stars Market
  • Colonel Jon Belmar
  • Senator Roy Blunt
  • Senator Claire McCaskill
  • St. Louis City Justice Center
  • St. Ann Police Department & Jail
  • Clayton City Hall
  • GCI Security, Inc.
  • St. Louis County Council
  • Clayton Police Department & Jail
  • Ferguson City Hall
  • Lacy Clay’s Office
  • Donors
  • Husch Blackwell LLP
  • Martin Insurance Group LLC
  • Stone, Leyton & Gershman
  • University Square Company
  • Stone & Alter Real Estate
  • Carey & Danis LLC
  • The Law Firm of Thomas C Antoniou LLC
  • Hammond & Shinners Law Firm
  • Collinsville Acquisitions Inc
  • Thompson Coburn
  • Commercial Bank
  • Sanctuaries
  • Greater St. Mark Family Church
  • Veterans for Peace Office
  • St. John’s Episcopal Church
  • Hospitals
  • St. Louis University Hospital
  • SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center
  • SSM St. Mary’s Health Center
  • Barnes Jewish Hospital
  • St. Alexius Hospital
  • Kindred Hospital
  • Southwest Medical Center

The Ferguson Mike Brown protesters are not ruling out violence or looting.

“Rioting and looting are the tools of those without a voice. The rioting and looting, while I didn’t participate in it, was necessary. Without it we would not be standing here today.”

 

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/11/justice-for-mike-brown-group-releases-list-of-targets-including-anheuser-busch-boeing-emerson-electric-airport/

 

No Indictment Planning

#Ferguson

 

In preparation for a no-indictment decision, here is the important information to know.

 

On August 9, 2014, Mike Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson. For nearly 100 days, we have protested to demand an indictment. We are hopeful that Darren Wilson will be indicted for murder, but the recent signs do not seem that this outcome is likely.

 

We will update this page daily with key information regarding post indictment decision announcement planning. And this isn’t meant to replace twitter or the newsletter, but to be a central space for information that can be updated in real-time.

 

If you’d like to donate, please click here.

 

If you have not already done so, please read the last Protestor and Ally Open Letter entitled, “An American Horror Story,” by clicking here.

 

We are on the right side of justice. Stand with us.

 

// Netta (@nettaaaaaaaa) and DeRay (@deray)

 

P.S. To suggest additions to the site, please e-mail us at netta@thisisthemovement.org or deray@thisisthemovement.org.

Possible Protest Spaces

Here is a map of possible protest spaces. Remember, we actively advocate and profess the importance of peaceful protest. We do not support, condone, or encourage violence.

 

Safe Spaces

These are spaces to escape police violence, get updated on protest plans and all are located near protest zones.

 

Shaw: St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3664 Arsenal, 63166

 

Ferguson: Greater St. Mark’s Church, 9950 Glen Owen Drive, 63136

 

Clayton: Veterans for Peace Office, 216 S. Meramec Ave., 63105

 

 

Day of Non-Indictment Decision Announcement

On the day of the non-indictment announcement, protestors are gathering at the #Ferguson PD Lot and at VonDerrit’s memorial site in Shaw.

 

Day AFTER Non-Indictment Decision Announcement

On the day AFTER the non-indictment announcement, protestors are gathering in Clayton. More information is forthcoming.

 

Grand Jury Announcement Text Alert

Click here to sign up to receive a text alert when the Grand Jury makes its decision regarding the killing of Michael Brown Jr. (Here’s the direct link: http://bit.ly/GJText)

 

Rules of Engagement

Protestors publicly proposed Rules of Engagement for police in the event of a non-indictment. Here is the link to the rules: http://media.wix.com/ugd/9c5255_9d5572481c7840fbad088ef6d8ae82d4.pdf

 

Law-Related Volunteers

Lawyers, Legal Workers, and Law Students – The Ferguson Legal Defense Fund, a coalition of St. Louis lawyers and firms, has issued an emergency call to action to find volunteers to assist with legal representation, jail supports and visits, legal research, legal observation, and legal observation and training. Click here to learn more and to volunteer.

 

Nationwide Actions Planned

Click here to learn more about the actions planned across the country in the event of a non-indictment. Actions are currently planned in 50+ cities across America.

 

Protest Preparation

For a primer and re-cap of the direct action trainings, click here to access the core materials. More information will be posted in the coming days.

 

Support With Safe House Supplies

All supplies are to be delivered to World Community Center at 438 N Skinker Blvd.

Food
Apples, Oranges, Pretzels, Chips, Crackers, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Carrots, Granola Bars, Cookies, Chips & Salsa, Nuts, Bread, Jerky, Cheese, Hummus
Drinks
Water, Coffee, Tea, Juice, Gatorade
Cleaning/Eating
Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Disinfectant Wipes, Hand Soap, Disposable Plates, Cups, Napkins, Utensils, Trash Bags
Electronics
Surge Protectors, Flashlights (w/ batteries), Cell Phone Chargers
Wearables
Blankets, Hand Warmers
Communication
Flip Chart Markers, Pens, Pads of Paper

 

 

Safe Spaces and Sanctuaries

We will publish the list of Safe Spaces and Sanctuaries later this week.

 

Hospitals and urgent care: Name, address, approximate time by car from Canfield Green Apts, phone number, hours.

  • St Louis University Hospital: 3635 Vista Ave, STL. 25 min. 314-577-8000.
  • Concentra Urgent Care: 463 Lynn Haven, Hazelwood. 13 Min. 314-731-0448. M-F 8-5
  • Concentra Urgent Care — North Broadway. 8340 N Broadway, STL. 15 min. 314-385-9563. M-F 8-5.
  • St Luke’s Urgent Care: 8857 Ladue Rd, STL. 18 min. 314-576-8189. M-Su 8-8.

 

 

Protestor Action Kit:

  1. Jail support number written on your body with permanent marker
  2. Change of warm clothes
  3. Plastic gallon bags
  4. Snacks/Water
  5. Portable phone charger
  6. Paper map
  7. Medications
  8. Gloves, hat, scarf, hand warmers
  9. Shatter proof goggles
  10. Quick reference sheet with names (first, last) and date of birth for each member of your team/cohort and any important phone numbers and addresses
  11. Medical supplies: gauze, tape, L.A.W. (liquid antacid and water – Maalox and water), mask, cold pack

 

Support With Protest Supplies

All supplies are to be delivered to World Community Center at 438 N Skinker Blvd.

Signage
White Bed Sheets (for banners), Banners, Spray Paint
Gas Masks
2 liter plastic bottles, box cutters, duct tape, rubber foam, shoestrings, elastic bands, glue
Wooden Shields
Rubber hoses, ¾” and ½” Phillps screws, 11/32” plywood sheathing cut into 32X34” sections, electric drills or Phillips screwdrives
Other

http://noindictment.org/

FBI Warns Ferguson Decision ‘Will Likely’ Lead to Violence By Extremists Protesters

Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: A protester kicks a smoke grenade that had been deployed by police back in the direction of police, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

The bulletin cites a series of recent messages threatening law enforcement, including a message posted online last week by a black separatist group that offered “a $5,000 bounty for the location” of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who fired the shots that killed Brown on Aug. 9.

In interviews with ABC News, police officials said their departments have identified a number of agitators who routinely appear at mass demonstrations.

“How many of those sympathizers are actually sympathizers?” Rick Hite, the chief of the Indianapolis Metropolitan police department, wondered. Many of them see the protests as a way to “chime in with their own personal agenda,” he said.

In its new intelligence bulletin, obtained by ABC News, the FBI says “exploitation” of mass demonstrations “could occur both in the Ferguson area and nationwide.”

“All it takes is one.”

Overall, though, law enforcement officials contacted by ABC News – stretching from Los Angeles to the Atlanta area – remained confident that any protests in their cities would not be tainted by violence.

“We are not expecting any issues in our city,” said Billy Grogan, the chief of police in Dunwoody, Ga., outside Atlanta. “However, we are preparing just in case. I believe most departments are watching the situation closely and are prepared to respond if needed.”

A law enforcement official in Pennsylvania agreed, saying that while authorities there are not enacting any significant new measures they are “monitoring” developments out of Ferguson.

PHOTO: Plywood covers the glass front of a strip mall along West Florissant Street on Nov. 12, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.

Scott Olson/Getty Images
PHOTO: Plywood covers the glass front of a strip mall along West Florissant Street on Nov. 12, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.

In addition, police officials emphasized that efforts to address a big decision like the one pending in Ferguson actually begin well before that decision.

In Indianapolis, police have held two town-hall meetings in the past two months to discuss the Ferguson issue with concerned residents, and meetings like that help build a “bank of trust,” Hite said.

But it’s sometimes hard to build such trust between a community and the law enforcement officers working its streets.

With several recent cases involving allegations of excessive force by police officers, many in African-American communities can’t help but wonder why seemingly routine encounters escalate so dramatically.

PHOTO: A man watches as police walk through a cloud of smoke during a clash with protesters, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: A man watches as police walk through a cloud of smoke during a clash with protesters, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

In a recent interview with ABC News, Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey said people in “communities of color” often “don’t view us as people who really have the right to enforce laws or tell them what to do,” and sometimes it’s because of “the way they’ve seen us conduct ourselves in the past.”

“Not all cops, but all it takes is one,” Ramsey said. “As human beings, we tend to remember the one bad incident, not the 10 good ones that we may have experienced.”

On the other side of the spectrum, there are some uncomfortable facts that may be influencing how some police respond to African-Americans they encounter on routine patrols.

In particular, African-Americans are disproportionally represented in crime. According to the FBI, 4,379 blacks were arrested for murder last year, while 3,799 whites were arrested for murder – even though census numbers show there are six times more whites than blacks in the United States.

But as Ramsey said, crime statistics are no excuse for police bias.

“Protest. But protest peacefully. Have your voices be heard.”

And now a grand jury in Ferguson and federal prosecutors are separately looking into whether that type of bias led to Brown’s death.

It’s unclear whether the facts of the case will lead to any prosecution. Indeed, it seems few pieces of evidence are without dispute.

The day after the encounter that resulted in Brown’s death, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters that Brown “physically assaulted” Wilson inside his police car and that “there was a struggle over the officer’s weapon.” At least one shot was fired inside the car, but the fatal shot was fired when both Wilson and Brown were outside the car, according to Belmar. At least one witness said Brown was shot “with his arms up in the air,” while the police claim Wilson fired because Brown was advancing towards him.

PHOTO: People raise their hands in the middle of the street as police wearing riot gear move toward their position trying to get them to disperse, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: People raise their hands in the middle of the street as police wearing riot gear move toward their position trying to get them to disperse, Aug. 11, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Pressed in September to acknowledge that the Justice Department’s own civil rights investigation may not result in charges, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder would only say that “at the end of the day, it’s most important that we get it right.”

As for what’s ahead in Ferguson and communities across the country, Ramsey offered this piece of advice: “Protest. But protest peacefully. Have your voices be heard.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fbi-warns-ferguson-decision-lead-violence-extremist-protesters/story?id=26980624

The Wonderful American World of Informers and Agents Provocateurs


A New York City police officer near the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, July 11, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com.

Only Martians, by now, are unaware of the phone and online data scooped up by the National Security Agency (though if it turns out that they are aware, the NSA has surely picked up their signals and crunched their metadata). American high-tech surveillance is not, however, the only kind around. There’s also the lower tech, up-close-and-personal kind that involves informers and sometimes government-instigated violence.

Just how much of this is going on and in how coordinated a way no one out here in the spied-upon world knows. The lower-tech stuff gets reported, if at all, only one singular, isolated event at a time—look over here, look over there, now you see it, now you don’t. What is known about such surveillance as well as the suborning of illegal acts by government agencies, including the FBI, in the name of counterterrorism has not been put together by major news organizations in a way that would give us an overview of the phenomenon. (TheACLU has done by far the best job of compiling reports on this sort of spying on Americans.)

Some intriguing bits about informers and agents provocateurs briefly made it into the public spotlight whenOccupy Wall Street was riding high. But as always, dots need connecting. Here is a preliminary attempt to sort out some patterns behind what could be the next big story about government surveillance and provocation in America.

Two Stories From Occupy Wall Street

The first is about surveillance. The second is about provocation.

On September 17, 2011, Plan A for the New York activists who came to be known as Occupy Wall Street was to march to the territory outside the bank headquarters of JPMorgan Chase. Once there, they discovered that the block was entirely fenced in. Many activists came to believe that the police had learned their initial destination from e-mail circulating beforehand. Whereupon they headed for nearby Zuccotti Park and a movement was born.

The evening before May Day 2012, a rump Occupy groupmarched out of San Francisco’s Dolores Park and into the Mission District, a neighborhood where not so many 1 percenters live, work or shop. There, they proceeded to trash “mom and pop shops, local boutiques and businesses, and cars,” according to Scott Rossi, a medic and eyewitness, who summed his feelings up this way afterward: “We were hijacked.” The people “leading the march tonight,” he added, were

clean cut, athletic, commanding, gravitas not borne of charisma but of testosterone and intimidation. They were decked out in outfits typically attributed to those in the “black bloc” spectrum of tactics, yet their clothes were too new, and something was just off about them. They were very combative and nearly physically violent with the livestreamers on site, and got ignorant with me, a medic, when I intervened.… I didn’t recognize any of these people. Their eyes were too angry, their mouths were too severe. They felt “military” if that makes sense. Something just wasn’t right about them on too many levels.

He was quick to add, “I’m not one of those tin foil hat conspiracy theorists. I don’t subscribe to those theories that Queen Elizabeth’s Reptilian slave driver masters run the Fed. I’ve read up on agents provocateurs and plants and that sort of thing and I have to say that, without a doubt, I believe 100 percent that the people that started tonight’s events in the Mission were exactly that.”

Taken aback, Occupy San Francisco condemned the sideshow: “We consider these acts of vandalism and violence a brutal assault on our community and the 99%.”

Where does such vandalism and violence come from? We don’t know. There are actual activists who believe that they are doing good this way; and there are government infiltrators; and then there are double agents who don’t know who they work for, ultimately, but like smashing things or blowing them up. By definition, masked trashers of windows in Oakland or elsewhere are anonymous. In anonymity, they—and the burners of flags and setters of bombs—magnify their power. They hijack the media spotlight. In this way, tiny groups—incendiary, sincere, fraudulent, whoever they are—seize levers that can move the entire world.

The Sting of the Clueless Bee

Who casts the first stone? Who smashes the first window? Who teaches bombers to build and plant actual or spurious bombs? The history of the secret police planting agents provocateurs in popular movements goes back at least to nineteenth-century France and twentieth-century Russia. In 1905, for example, the priest who led the St. Petersburg’s revolution was some sort of double agent, as was the man who organized the assassination of the czar’s uncle, the grand duke. As it happens, the United States has its own surprisingly full history of such planted agents at work turning small groups or movements in directions that, for better or far more often worse, they weren’t planning on going. One well-documented case is that of “Tommy the Traveler,” a Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organizer who after years of trying to arouse violent action convinced two 19-year-old students to firebomb an ROTC headquarters at Hobart College in upstate New York. The writer John Schultz reported onlikely provocateurs in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention of 1968. How much of this sort of thing went on? Who knows? Many relevant documents molded in unopened archives, or have been heavily redacted or destroyed.

As the Boston marathon bombing illustrates, there are homegrown terrorists capable of producing the weapons they need and killing Americans without the slightest help from the US government. But historically, it’s surprising how relatively often the gendarme is also a ringleader. Just how often is hard to know, since information on the subject is fiendishly hard to pry loose from the secret world.

Through 2011, 508 defendants in the United States were prosecuted in what the Department of Justice calls “terrorism-related cases.” According to Mother Jones’s Trevor Aaronson, the FBI ran sting operations that “resulted in prosecutions against 158 defendants”—about one-third of the total. “Of that total, forty-nine defendants participated in plots led by an agent provocateur—an FBI operative instigating terrorist action. With three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.”

In Cleveland, on May Day of 2012, in the words of a Rolling Stone exposé, the FBI “turned five stoner misfits into the world’s most hapless terrorist cell.” To do this, the FBI put a deeply indebted, convicted bank robber and bad-check passer on its payroll, and hooked him up with an arms dealer, also paid by the bureau. The FBI undercover man then hustled five wacked-out wannabe anarchists into procuring what they thought was enough C4 plastic explosive to build bombs they thought would blow up a bridge. The bombs were, of course, dummies. The five were arrested and await trial.

What do such cases mean? What is the FBI up to? Trevor Aaronson offers this appraisal:

The FBI’s goal is to create a hostile environment for terrorist recruiters and operators—by raising the risk of even the smallest step toward violent action. It’s a form of deterrence.… Advocates insist it has been effective, noting that there hasn’t been a successful large-scale attack against the United States since 9/11. But what can’t be answered—as many former and current FBI agents acknowledge—is how many of the bureau’s targets would have taken the step over the line at all, were it not for an informant.

Perhaps Aaronson is a bit too generous. The FBI may, at times, be anything but thoughtful in its provocations. It may, in fact, be flatly dopey. COINTELPRO records released since the 1960s under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that it took FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover until 1968 to discover that there was such a thing as a New Left that might be of interest. Between 1960 and 1968, as the New Left was becoming a formidable force in its own right, the bureau’s top officials seem to have thought that groups like Students for a Democratic Society were simply covers for the Communist Party, which was like mistaking the fleas for the dog. We have been assured that the FBI of today has learned something since the days of J. Edgar Hoover. But of ignorance and stupidity there is no end.

Trivial and Nontrivial Pursuits

Entrapment and instigation to commit crimes are in themselves genuine dangers to American liberties, even when the liberties are those of the reckless and wild. But there is another danger to such pursuits: the attention the authorities pay to nonexistent threats (or the creation of such threats) is attention not paid to actual threats.

Anyone concerned about the security of Americans should cast a suspicious eye on the allocation or simply squandering of resources on wild goose chases. Consider some particulars which have recently come to light. Under the Freedom of Information Act, thePartnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) has unearthed documents showing that, in 2011 and 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies were busy surveilling and worrying about a good number of Occupy groups—during the very time that they were missing actual warnings about actual terrorist actions.

From its beginnings, the Occupy movement was of considerable interest to the DHS, the FBI and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, while true terrorists were slipping past the nets they cast in the wrong places. In the fall of 2011, the DHS specifically asked its regional affiliates to report on “Peaceful Activist Demonstrations, in addition to reporting on domestic terrorist acts and ‘significant criminal activity.’ ”

Aware that Occupy was overwhelmingly peaceful, the federally funded Boston Regional Intelligence Center, one of seventy-seven coordination centers known generically as “fusion centers,” was busy monitoring Occupy Boston daily. As the investigative journalist Michael Isikoff recently reported, it was not only tracking Occupy-related Facebook pages and websites but “writing reports on the movement’s potential impact on ‘commercial and financial sector assets.’ ”

It was in this period that the FBI received the second of two Russian police warnings about the extremist Islamist activities of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the future Boston Marathon bomber. That city’s police commissioner later testified that the federal authorities did not pass any information at all about the Tsarnaev brothers on to him, though there’s no point in letting the Boston police off the hook either. The ACLU has uncovered documents showing that, during the same period, they were paying close attention to the internal workings of… Code Pink and Veterans for Peace.

Public Agencies and the “Private Sector”

So we know that Boston’s master coordinators—its Committee on Public Safety, you might say—were worried about constitutionally protected activity, including its consequences for “commercial and financial sector assets.” Unsurprisingly, the feds worked closely with Wall Street even before the settling of Zuccotti Park. More surprisingly, in Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin, intelligence was not only pooled among public law enforcement agencies, but shared with private corporations—and vice versa.

Nationally, in 2011, the FBI and DHS were, in the words of Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, “treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity.” Last December using FOIA, PCJF obtained 112 pages of documents (heavily redacted) revealing a good deal of evidence for what might otherwise seem like an outlandish charge: that federal authorities were, in Verheyden-Hilliard’s words, “functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.” Consider these examples from PCJF’s summary of federal agencies working directly not only with local authorities but on behalf of the private sector:

• “As early as August 19, 2011, the FBI in New York was meeting with the New York Stock Exchange to discuss the Occupy Wall Street protests that wouldn’t start for another month. By September, prior to the start of the OWS, the FBI was notifying businesses that they might be the focus of an OWS protest.”

• “The FBI in Albany and the Syracuse Joint Terrorism Task Force disseminated information to…[twenty-two] campus police officials.… A representative of the State University of New York at Oswego contacted the FBI for information on the OWS protests and reported to the FBI on the SUNY-Oswego Occupy encampment made up of students and professors.”

• An entity called the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), “a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector,” sent around information regarding Occupy protests at West Coast ports [on November 2, 2011] to “raise awareness concerning this type of criminal activity.” The DSAC report contained “a ‘handling notice’ that the information is ‘meant for use primarily within the corporate security community. Such messages shall not be released in either written or oral form to the media, the general public or other personnel…’ Naval Criminal Investigative Services reported to DSAC on the relationship between OWS and organized labor.”

• DSAC gave tips to its corporate clients on “civil unrest,” which it defined as running the gamut from “small, organized rallies to large-scale demonstrations and rioting.” It advised corporate employees to dress conservatively, avoid political discussions and “avoid all large gatherings related to civil issues. Even seemingly peaceful rallies can spur violent activity or be met with resistance by security forces.”

• The FBI in Anchorage, Jacksonville, Tampa, Richmond, Memphis, Milwaukee and Birmingham also gathered information and briefed local officials on wholly peaceful Occupy activities.

• In Jackson, Mississippi, FBI agents “attended a meeting with the Bank Security Group in Biloxi, MS with multiple private banks and the Biloxi Police Department, in which they discussed an announced protest for ‘National Bad Bank Sit-In-Day’ on December 7, 2011.” Also in Jackson, “the Joint Terrorism Task Force issued a ‘Counterterrorism Preparedness’ alert” that, despite heavy redactions, notes the need to ‘document…the Occupy Wall Street Movement.’ ”

Sometimes, “intelligence” moves in the opposite direction—from private corporations to public agencies. Among the collectors of such “intelligence” are entities that, like the various intelligence and law enforcement outfits, do not make distinctions between terrorists and nonviolent protesters. Consider TransCanada, the corporation that plans to build the 1,179-mile Keystone-XL tar sands pipeline across the US and in the process realize its “vision to become the leading energy infrastructure company in North America.“ The anti-pipeline group Bold Nebraska filed a successful Freedom of Information Act request with the Nebraska State Patrol and so was able to put TransCanada’s briefing slideshow up online.

So it can be documented in living color that the company lectured federal agents and local police to look into the use of “anti-terrorism statutes” against peaceful anti-Keystone activists. TransCanada showed slides that cited as sinister the “attendance” of Bold Nebraska members at public events, noting “Suspicious Vehicles/Photography.” TransCanada alerted the authorities that Nebraska protesters were guilty of “aggressive/abusive behavior,” citing a local anti-pipeline group that, they said, committed a “slap on the shoulder” at the Merrick County Board Meeting (possessor of said shoulder unspecified). They fingered nonviolent activists by name and photo, paying them the tribute of calling them “’Professionals’ & Organized.” Native News Network pointed out that “although TransCanada’s presentation to authorities contains information about property destruction, sabotage, and booby traps, police in Texas and Oklahoma have never alleged, accused, or charged Tar Sands Blockade activists of any such behaviors.”

Centers for Fusion, Diffusion and Confusion

After September 11, 2001, government agencies at all levels, suddenly eager to break down information barriers and connect the sort of dots that had gone massively unconnected before the Al Qaeda attacks, used Department of Homeland Security funds to start “fusion centers.” These are supposed to coordinate anti-terrorist intelligence gathering and analysis. They are also supposed to “fuse” intelligence reports from federal, state and local authorities, as well as private companies that conduct intelligence operations. According to the ACLU, at least seventy-seven fusion centers currently receive federal funds.

Much is not known about these centers, including just who runs them, by what rules and which public and private entities are among the fused. There is nothing public about most of them. However, some things are known about a few. Several fusion center reports that have gone public illustrate a remarkably slapdash approach to what constitutes “terrorist danger” and just what kinds of data are considered relevant for law enforcement. In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee learned, for instance, that the Tennessee Fusion Center was “highlighting on its website map of ‘Terrorism Events and Other Suspicious Activity’ a recent ACLU-TN letter to school superintendents. The letter encourages schools to be supportive of all religious beliefs during the holiday season.” (The map is no longer online.)

So far, the prize for pure fused wordiness goes to a 215-page manual issued in 2009 by theVirginia Fusion Center (VFC), filled with Keystone Kop–style passages among pages that in their intrusive sweep are anything but funny. The VFC warned, for instance, that “the Garbage Liberation Front (GLF) is an ecological direct action group that demonstrates the joining of anarchism and environmental movements.” Among GLF’s dangerous activities well worth the watching, the VFC included “dumpster diving, squatting, and train hopping.”

In a similarly jaw-dropping manner, the manual claimed—the italics are mine—that “Katuah Earth First (KEF), based in Asheville, North Carolina, sends activists throughout the region to train and engage in criminal activity. KEF has trained local environmentalists in non-violent tactics, including blocking roads and leading demonstrations, at action camps in Virginia.While KEF has been primarily involved in protests and university outreach, members have also engaged in vandalism.” Vandalism! Send out an APB!

The VFC also warned that, “although the anarchist threat to Virginia is assessed as low, these individuals view the government as unnecessary, which could lead to threats or attacks against government figures or establishments.” It singled out the following 2008 incidents as worth notice:

• At the Martinsville Speedway, “A temporary employee called in a bomb threat during a Sprint Cup race…because he was tired of picking up trash and wanted to go home.”

• In Missouri, “a mobile security team observed an individual photographing an unspecified oil refinery.… The person abruptly left the scene before he could be questioned.”

• Somewhere in Virginia, “seven passengers aboard a white pontoon boat dressed in traditional Middle Eastern garments immediately sped away after being sighted in the recreational area, which is in close proximity to” a power plant.

What idiot or idiots wrote this script?

Given a disturbing lack of evidence of terrorist actions undertaken or in prospect, the authors even warned:

It is likely that potential incidents of interest are occurring, but that such incidents are either not recognized by initial responders or simply not reported. The lack of detailed information for Virginia instances of monitored trends should not be construed to represent a lack of occurrence.

Lest it be thought that Virginia stands alone and shivering on the summit of bureaucratic stupidity, consider an “intelligence report” from the North Central Texas fusion center, which in a 2009 “Prevention Awareness Bulletin” described, in the ACLU’s words, “a purported conspiracy between Muslim civil rights organizations, lobbying groups, the antiwar movement, a former US Congresswoman, the US Treasury Department, and hip hop bands to spread tolerance in the United States, which would ‘provide an environment for terrorist organizations to flourish.’ ”

And those Virginia and Texas fusion centers were hardly alone in expanding the definition of “terrorist” to fit just about anyone who might oppose government policies. According to a 2010 report in the Los Angeles Times, the Justice Department Inspector General found that “FBI agents improperly opened investigations into Greenpeace and several other domestic advocacy groups after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and put the names of some of their members on terrorist watch lists based on evidence that turned out to be ‘factually weak.’ ” The Inspector General called “troubling” what the Los Angeles Times described as “singling out some of the domestic groups for investigations that lasted up to five years, and were extended ‘without adequate basis.’ ”

Subsequently, the FBI continued to maintain investigative files on groups like Greenpeace, the Catholic Worker, and the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh, cases where (in the politely put words of the Inspector General’s report) “there was little indication of any possible federal crimes… In some cases, the FBI classified some investigations relating to nonviolent civil disobedience under its ‘acts of terrorism’ classification.”

One of these investigations concerned Greenpeace protests planned for ExxonMobil shareholder meetings. (Note: I was on Greenpeace’s board of directors during three of those years.) The inquiry was kept open “for over three years, long past the shareholder meetings that the subjects were supposedly planning to disrupt.” The FBI put the names of Greenpeace members on its federal watch list. Around the same time, an ExxonMobil-funded lobby got the IRS to audit Greenpeace.

This counterintelligence archipelago of malfeasance and stupidity is sometimes fused with ass-covering fabrication. In Pittsburgh, on the day after Thanksgiving 2002 (“a slow work day” in the Justice Department inspector general’s estimation), a rookie FBI agent was outfitted with a camera, sent to an antiwar rally, and told to look for terrorism suspects. The “possibility that any useful information would result from this make-work assignment was remote,” the report added drily.

The agent was unable to identify any terrorism subjects at the event, but he photographed a woman in order to have something to show his supervisor. He told us he had spoken to a woman leafletter at the rally who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, and that she was probably the person he photographed.

The sequel was not quite so droll. The Inspector General found that FBI officials, including their chief lawyer in Pittsburgh, manufactured postdated “routing slips” and the rest of a phony paper trail to justify this surveillance retroactively.

Moreover, at least one fusion center has involved military intelligence in civilian law enforcement. In 2009, a military operative from Fort Lewis, Washington, worked undercovercollecting information on peace groups in the Northwest. In fact, he helped run the Port Militarization Resistance group’s Listserv. Once uncovered, he told activists there were others doing similar work in the Army. How much the military spies on American citizens is unknown and, at the moment at least, unknowable.

Do we hear an echo from the abyss of the counterintelligence programs of the 1960s and 1970s, when FBI memos—I have some in my own heavily redacted files obtained through an FOIA request—were routinely copied to military intelligence units? Then, too, military intelligence operatives spied on activists who violated no laws, were not suspected of violating laws, and had they violated laws, would not have been under military jurisdiction in any case. During those years, more than 1,500 Army intelligence agents in plain clothes were spying, undercover, on domestic political groups (according to “Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, 1967–70,” an unpublished dissertation by former Army intelligence captain Christopher H. Pyle). They posed as students, sometimes growing long hair and beards for the purpose, or as reporters and camera crews. They recorded speeches and conversations on concealed tape recorders. The Army lied about their purposes, claiming they were interested solely in “civil disturbance planning.”

Years later, I met one of these agents, now retired, in San Francisco. He knew more about what I was doing in the late 1960s than my mother did.

Squaring Circles

In 2009, President Obama told the graduating class at the Naval Academy that, “as Americans, we reject the false choice between our security and our ideals.” Security and ideals: officially we want both. But how do you square circles, especially in a world in which “security” has often enough become a stand-in for whatever intelligence operatives decide to do?

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The ACLU’s Tennessee office sums the situation up nicely: “While the ostensible purpose of fusion centers, to improve sharing of anti-terrorism intelligence among different levels and arms of government, is legitimate and important, using the centers to monitor protected First Amendment activity clearly crosses the line.” Nationally, the ACLU rightly worries about who is in charge of fusion centers and by what rules they operate, about what becomes of privacy when private corporations are inserted into the intelligence process, about what the military is doing meddling in civilian law enforcement, about data-mining operations that Federal guidelines encourage, and about the secrecy walls behind which the fusion centers operate.

Even when fusion centers do their best to square that circle in their own guidelines, like the ones obtained by the ACLU from Massachusetts’s Commonwealth Fusion Center (CFC), the knots in which they tie themselves are all over the page. Imagine, then, what happens when you let informers or agents provocateurs loose in actual undercover situations.

“Undercovers,” writes the Massachusetts CFC, “may not seek to gain access to private meetings and should not actively participate in meetings.… At the preliminary inquiry stage, sources and informants should not be used to cultivate relationships with persons and groups that are the subject of the preliminary inquiry.” So far so good. Then, it adds, “Investigators may, however, interview, obtain, and accept information known to sources and informants.” By eavesdropping, say? Collecting trash? Hacking? All without warrants? Without probable cause?

“Undercovers and informants,” the guidelines continue, “are strictly prohibited from engaging in any conduct the sole purpose of which is to disrupt the lawful exercise of political activity, from disrupting the lawful operations of an organization, from sowing seeds of distrust between members of an organization involved in lawful activity, or from instigating unlawful acts or engaging in unlawful or unauthorized investigative activities.” Now, go back and note that little, easy-to-miss word “sole.” Who knows just what grim circles that tiny word squares?

The Massachusetts CFC at least addresses the issue of entrapment: “Undercovers should not become so involved in a group that they are participating in directing the operations of a group, either by accepting a formal position in the hierarchy or by informally establishing the group’s policy and priorities. This does not mean an undercover cannot support a group’s policies and priorities; rather an undercover should not become a driving force behind a group’s unlawful activities.” Did Cleveland’s fusion center have such guidelines? Did they follow them? Do other state fusion centers? We don’t know.

Whatever the fog of surveillance, when it comes to informers, agents provocateurs, and similar matters, four things are clear enough:

• Terrorist plots arise, in the United States as elsewhere, with the intent of committing murder and mayhem. Since 2001, in the US, these have been almost exclusively the work of freelance Islamist ideologues like the Tsarnaev brothers of Boston. None have been connected in any meaningful way with any legitimate organization or movement.

• Government surveillance may in some cases have been helpful in scotching such plots, but there is no evidence that it has been essential.

• Even based on the limited information available to us, since September 11, 2001, the net of surveillance has been thrown wide indeed. Tabs have been kept on members of quite a range of suspect populations, including American Muslims, anarchists, and environmentalists, among others—in situation after situation where there was no probable cause to suspect preparations for a crime.

• At least on occasion—we have no way of knowing how often—agents provocateurs on government payrolls have spurred violence.

How much official unintelligence is at work? How many demonstrations are being poked and prodded by undercover agents? How many acts of violence are being suborned? It would be foolish to say we know. At least equally foolish would be to trust the authorities to keep to honest-to-goodness police work when they are so mightily tempted to take the low road into straight-out, unwarranted espionage and instigation.

http://www.thenation.com/article/175005/wonderful-american-world-informers-and-agents-provocateurs#

 

COINTELPRO

COINTELPRO (an acronym for COunter INTELligence PROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal,[1][2] projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.[3] National Security Agency operation Project MINARET targeted the personal communications of leading Americans who criticized the Vietnam War, including Senators (e.g., Frank Church and Howard Baker), civil rights leaders, journalists, and athletes.[4][5]

The official COINTELPRO label took place between 1956 and 1971.[6][7] The FBI’s stated motivation was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order.”[8]

FBI records show that 85% of COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed “subversive”,[9]including communist and socialist organizations; organizations and individuals associated with the Civil Rights Movement, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, theNational Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Congress of Racial Equality and other civil rights organizations; black nationalist groups; the Young Lords; the Rainbow Coalition; the American Indian Movement; a broad range of organizations labeled “New Left“, including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen; almost all groupsprotesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; the National Lawyers Guild; organizations and individuals associated with the women’s rights movement; nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch‘s Cuban Power and theCuban Nationalist Movement; and additional notable Americans (for example, Albert Einstein, who was a socialist and a member of several civil rights groups, came under FBI surveillance during the years just before COINTELPRO’s official inauguration).[10] The remaining 15% of COINTELPRO resources were expended to marginalize and subvert white supremist hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan and the National States’ Rights Party.[11]

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, neutralize or otherwise eliminate” the activities of these movements and their leaders.[12][13] Under Hoover, the agent in charge of COINTELPRO was William C. Sullivan.[14] Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of these programs.[15] Kennedy would later learn that he also had been a target of FBI surveillance.[citation needed]

History

The FBI engaged in the political repression of “communism” almost from the time of the agency’s inception in 1908, at a time of widespread social disruption due to anarchists and labor movements. Beginning in the 1930s, antecedents to COINTELPRO operated during the Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Trumanadministrations. Centralized operations under COINTELPRO officially began in August 1956 with a program designed to “increase factionalism, cause disruption and win defections” inside the Communist Party U.S.A. (CPUSA). Tactics included anonymous phone calls, IRS audits, and the creation of documents that would divide American communists internally.[16] An October 1956 memo from Hoover reclassified the FBI’s ongoing surveillance of black leaders, including it within COINTELPRO, with the justification that the movement was infiltrated by communists.[17] In 1956, Hoover sent an open letter denouncing Dr. T.R.M. Howard, a civil rights leader, surgeon, and wealthy entrepreneur in Mississippi who had criticized FBI inaction in solving recent murders of George W. Lee, Emmett Till, and other blacks in the South.[18] When the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was founded in 1957, the FBI began to monitor and target the group almost immediately, focusing particularly on Bayard Rustin, Stanley Levison, and, eventually, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.[19]

After the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Hoover singled out King as a major target for COINTELPRO. Under pressure from Hoover to focus on King, Sullivan wrote:

In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech. … We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.[20]

Soon after, the FBI was systematically bugging King’s home and his hotel rooms.[21]

In the mid-1960s, King began publicly criticizing the Bureau for giving insufficient attention to the use of terrorism by white supremacists. Hoover responded by publicly calling King the most “notorious liar” in the United States.[22] In his 1991 memoir, Washington Post journalist Carl Rowan asserted that the FBI had sent at least one anonymous letter to King encouraging him to commit suicide.[23] Historian Taylor Branch documents an anonymous November 21, 1964 “suicide package” sent by the FBI that contained audio recordings of King’s sexual indiscretions combined with a letter telling him “There is only one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”[24]

During the same period the program also targeted Malcolm X. While an FBI spokesman has denied that the FBI was “directly” involved in Malcolm’s murder, it is documented that the Bureau fostered the violent schism between Malcolm and the Nation of Islam that led to the black leader’s death. The FBI heavily infiltrated Malcolm’s Organization of Afro-American Unity in the final month’s of his life. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Malcolm X by Manning Marable asserts that most of the men who plotted Malcolm’s assassination were never apprehended and that the full extent of the FBI’s involvement in his death cannot be known.[25] [26]

Amidst the urban unrest of July–August 1967, the FBI began “COINTELPRO–BLACK HATE”, which focused on King and the SCLC as well as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), the Deacons for Defense and Justice, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and theNation of Islam.[27] BLACK HATE established the Ghetto Informant Program and instructed 23 FBI offices to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate type organizations”.[28]

A March 1968 memo stated the programs goal was to “prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups” ; to “Prevent the RISE OF A ‘MESSIAH’ who could unify…the militant black nationalist movement” ; “to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence [against authorities].” ; to “Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to…both the responsible community and to liberals who have vestiges of sympathy…”; and to “prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth.” Dr. King was said to have potential to be the “messiah” figure, should he abandon nonviolence and integrationism;[29] Stokely Carmichael was noted to have “the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way.” [30]

This program coincided with a broader federal effort to prepare military responses for urban riots, and began increased collaboration between the FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the Department of Defense. The CIA launched its own domestic espionage project in 1967 called Operation CHAOS. [31] A particular target was the Poor People’s Campaign, a national effort organized by King and the SCLC to occupy Washington, D.C. The FBI monitored and disrupted the campaign on a national level, while using targeted smear tactics locally to undermine support for the march.[32]

COINTELPRO–NEW LEFT was created in April 1968, in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s assassination in Memphis and mass student protests at Columbia University.[33]

Overall, COINTELPRO encompassed disruption and sabotage of the Socialist Workers Party (1961), the Ku Klux Klan (1964), the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party (1967), and the entire New Left social/political movement, which included antiwar, community, and religious groups (1968). A later investigation by the Senate’sChurch Committee (see below) stated that “COINTELPRO began in 1956, in part because of frustration with Supreme Court rulings limiting the Government’s power to proceed overtly against dissident groups …”[34] Official congressional committees and several court cases[35] have concluded that COINTELPRO operations against communist and socialist groups exceeded statutory limits on FBI activity and violated constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and association.[1]

Program exposed

The building broken into by the Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI, at One Veterans Square, Media, Pennsylvania

The program was successfully kept secret until 1971, when the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI burglarized an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania, took several dossiers, and exposed the program by passing this material to news agencies. Many news organizations initially refused to publish the information. Within the year, Director J. Edgar Hooverdeclared that the centralized COINTELPRO was over, and that all future counterintelligence operations would be handled on a case-by-case basis.[36][37]

Additional documents were revealed in the course of separate lawsuits filed against the FBI by NBC correspondent Carl Stern, the Socialist Workers Party, and a number of other groups. In 1976 the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, commonly referred to as the “Church Committee” for its chairman, Senator Frank Church of Idaho, launched a major investigation of the FBI and COINTELPRO. Journalists and historians speculate that the government has not released many dossier and documents related to the program. Many released documents have been partly, or entirely, redacted.

Since the conclusion of centralized COINTELPRO operations in 1971, FBI counterintelligence operations have been handled on a “case-by-case basis”; however allegations of improper political repression continue.[38][39]

The Final Report of the Select Committee castigated conduct of the intelligence community in its domestic operations (including COINTELPRO) in no uncertain terms:

The Committee finds that the domestic activities of the intelligence community at times violated specific statutory prohibitions and infringed the constitutional rights of American citizens. The legal questions involved in intelligence programs were often not considered. On other occasions, they were intentionally disregarded in the belief that because the programs served the “national security” the law did not apply. While intelligence officers on occasion failed to disclose to their superiors programs which were illegal or of questionable legality, the Committee finds that the most serious breaches of duty were those of senior officials, who were responsible for controlling intelligence activities and generally failed to assure compliance with the law.[1] Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that … the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect the national security and deter violence.[34]

The Church Committee documented a history of the FBI exercising political repression as far back as World War I, through the 1920s, when agents were charged with rounding up “anarchists, communists, socialists, reformists and revolutionaries” for deportation. The domestic operations were increased against political and anti-war groups from 1936 through 1976.

Intended effects

The intended effect of the FBI’s COINTELPRO was to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, or otherwise neutralize” groups that the FBI officials believed were “subversive”[40] by instructing FBI field operatives to:[41]

  1. create a negative public image for target groups (e.g. by surveilling activists, and releasing negative personal information to the public)
  2. break down internal organization
  3. create dissension between groups
  4. restrict access to public resources
  5. restrict the ability to organize protests
  6. restrict the ability of individuals to participate in group activities

Range of targets

The main target was the Communist Party.[42]

According to the Church Committee:

While the declared purposes of these programs were to protect the “national security” or prevent violence, Bureau witnesses admit that many of the targets were nonviolent and most had no connections with a foreign power. Indeed, nonviolent organizations and individuals were targeted because the Bureau believed they represented a “potential” for violence—and nonviolent citizens who were against the war in Vietnam were targeted because they gave “aid and comfort” to violent demonstrators by lending respectability to their cause.

The imprecision of the targeting is demonstrated by the inability of the Bureau to define the subjects of the programs. The Black Nationalist program, according to its supervisor, included “a great number of organizations that you might not today characterize as black nationalist but which were in fact primarily black.” Thus, the nonviolent Southern Christian Leadership Conference was labeled as a Black Nationalist-“Hate Group.”

Furthermore, the actual targets were chosen from a far broader group than the titles of the programs would imply. The CPUSA program targeted not only Communist Party members but also sponsors of the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee and civil rights leaders allegedly under Communist influence or deemed to be not sufficiently “anti-Communist”. The Socialist Workers Party program included non-SWP sponsors of anti-war demonstrations which were cosponsored by the SWP or the Young Socialist Alliance, its youth group. The Black Nationalist program targeted a range of organizations from the Panthers to SNCC to the peaceful Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and included every Black Student Union and many other black student groups. New Left targets ranged from the SDS to the InterUniversity Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy, from Antioch College (“vanguard of the New Left”) to the New Mexico Free University and other “alternate” schools, and from underground newspapers to students’ protesting university censorship of a student publication by carrying signs with four-letter words on them.

Examples of surveillance, spanning all presidents from FDR to Nixon, both legal and illegal, contained in the Church Committee report:[43]

  • President Roosevelt asked the FBI to put in its files the names of citizens sending telegrams to the White House opposing his “national defense” policy and supporting Col. Charles Lindbergh.
  • President Truman received inside information on a former Roosevelt aide’s efforts to influence his appointments, labor union negotiating plans, and the publishing plans of journalists.
  • President Eisenhower received reports on purely political and social contacts with foreign officials by Bernard Baruch, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
  • The Kennedy administration had the FBI wiretap a congressional staff member, three executive officials, a lobbyist, and a Washington law firm. US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy received the fruits of an FBI wire tap on Martin Luther King, Jr. and an electronic listening device targeting a congressman, both of which yielded information of a political nature.
  • President Johnson asked the FBI to conduct “name checks” of his critics and members of the staff of his 1964 opponent, Senator Barry Goldwater. He also requested purely political intelligence on his critics in the Senate, and received extensive intelligence reports on political activity at the 1964 Democratic Conventionfrom FBI electronic surveillance.
  • President Nixon authorized a program of wiretaps which produced for the White House purely political or personal information unrelated to national security, including information about a Supreme Court Justice.

The COINTELPRO documents show numerous cases of the FBI’s intentions to prevent and disrupt protests against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish this task. “These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations.” One 1966 COINTELPRO operation tried to redirect the Socialist Workers Party from their pledge of support for the antiwar movement.[44]

The FBI claims that it no longer undertakes COINTELPRO or COINTELPRO-like operations. However, critics have claimed that agency programs in the spirit of COINTELPRO targeted groups such as the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador,[45] the American Indian Movement,[6][46] Earth First!,[47] the White Separatist Movement,[48] and the Anti-Globalization Movement.[citation needed]

Methods

Body of Fred Hampton, national spokesman for the Black Panther Party, who was killed by members of the Chicago Police Department, as part of a COINTELPRO operation.[49][50][7][51]

According to attorney Brian Glick in his book War at Home, the FBI used four main methods during COINTELPRO:

  1. Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
  2. Psychological warfare: The FBI and police used myriad “dirty tricks” to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists. They used bad-jacketingto create suspicion about targeted activists, sometimes with lethal consequences.[52]
  3. Legal harassment: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, “investigative” interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters.[49]
  4. Illegal force: The FBI conspired with local police departments to threaten dissidents; to conduct illegal break-ins in order to search dissident homes; and to commit vandalism, assaults, beatings and assassinations.[49][50][7][53] The object was to frighten or eliminate dissidents and disrupt their movements.

The FBI specifically developed tactics intended to heighten tension and hostility between various factions in the black militancy movement, for example between the Black Panthers, the US Organization, and the Blackstone Rangers. This resulted in numerous deaths, among which were San Diego Black Panther Party members John Huggins, Bunchy Carter and Sylvester Bell.[49]

The FBI also conspired with the police departments of many U.S. cities (San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Philadelphia, Chicago) to encourage repeated raids on Black Panther homes—often with little or no evidence of violations of federal, state, or local laws—which resulted directly in the police killing many members of the Black Panther Party, most notably Chicago Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969.[49][50][7][54]

In order to eliminate black militant leaders whom they considered dangerous, the FBI is believed to have worked with local police departments to target specific individuals,[55] accuse them of crimes they did not commit, suppress exculpatory evidence and falsely incarcerate them.[citation needed] Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, a Black Panther Party leader, was incarcerated for 27 years before a California Superior Court vacated his murder conviction, ultimately freeing him. Appearing before the court, an FBI agent testified that he believed Pratt had been framed, because both the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department knew he had not been in the area at the time the murder occurred.[56][57]

Some sources claim that the FBI conducted more than 200 “black bag jobs“,[58][59] which were warrantless surreptitious entries, against the targeted groups and their members.[60]

J. Edgar Hoover

In 1969 the FBI special agent in San Francisco wrote Hoover that his investigation of the Black Panther Party (BPP) had concluded that in his city, at least, the Panthers were primarily engaged in feeding breakfast to children. Hoover fired back a memo implying the agent’s career goals would be directly affected by his supplying evidence to support Hoover’s view that the BPP was “a violence-prone organization seeking to overthrow the Government by revolutionary means”.[61]

Hoover supported using false claims to attack his political enemies. In one memo he wrote: “Purpose of counterintelligence action is to disrupt the BPP and it is immaterial whether facts exist to substantiate the charge.”[62]

In one particularly controversial 1965 incident, white civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo was murdered by Ku Klux Klansmen, who gave chase and fired shots into her car after noticing that her passenger was a young black man; one of the Klansmen was Gary Thomas Rowe, an acknowledged FBI informant.[63][64] The FBI spread rumors that Liuzzo was a member of theCommunist Party and had abandoned her children to have sexual relationships with African Americans involved in the Civil Rights Movement.[65][66] FBI records show that J. Edgar Hoover personally communicated these insinuations to President Johnson.[67][68] FBI informant Rowe has also been implicated in some of the most violent crimes of the 1960s civil rights era, including attacks on the Freedom Riders and the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.[63]According to Noam Chomsky, in another instance in San Diego, the FBI financed, armed, and controlled an extreme right-wing group of former Minutemen, transforming it into a group called the Secret Army Organization that targeted groups, activists, and leaders involved in the Anti-War Movement, using both intimidation and violent acts.[69][70][71]

Hoover ordered preemptive action “to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence.”[12]

Illegal surveillance

The final report of the Church Committee concluded:

Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and too much information has been illegally collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret and bias informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone “bugs”, surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens. Investigations of groups deemed potentially dangerous—and even of groups suspected of associating with potentially dangerous organizations—have continued for decades, despite the fact that those groups did not engage in unlawful activity.

Groups and individuals have been assaulted, repressed, harassed and disrupted because of their political views,social believes and their lifestyles. Investigations have been based upon vague standards whose breadth made excessive collection inevitable. Unsavory, harmful and vicious tactics have been employed—including anonymous attempts to break up marriages, disrupt meetings, ostracize persons from their professions, and provoke target groups into rivalries that might result in deaths. Intelligence agencies have served the political and personal objectives of presidents and other high officials. While the agencies often committed excesses in response to pressure from high officials in the Executive branch and Congress, they also occasionally initiated improper activities and then concealed them from officials whom they had a duty to inform.

Governmental officials—including those whose principal duty is to enforce the law—have violated or ignored the law over long periods of time and have advocated and defended their right to break the law.

The Constitutional system of checks and balances has not adequately controlled intelligence activities. Until recently the Executive branch has neither delineated the scope of permissible activities nor established procedures for supervising intelligence agencies. Congress has failed to exercise sufficient oversight, seldom questioning the use to which its appropriations were being put. Most domestic intelligence issues have not reached the courts, and in those cases when they have reached the courts, the judiciary has been reluctant to grapple with them.[72][73]

Post-COINTELPRO operations

While COINTELPRO was officially terminated in April 1971, critics allege that continuing FBI actions indicate that post-COINTELPRO reforms did not succeed in ending COINTELPRO tactics.[74][75][76] Documents released under the FOIA show that the FBI tracked the late David Halberstam—a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author—for more than two decades.[77][78] In 1978, then-acting FBI Director William H. Webster indicated that, by 1976, most of the program’s resources has been rerouted.[79][better source needed]

“Counterterrorism” guidelines implemented during the Reagan administration have been described as allowing a return to COINTELPRO tactics.[80][pages needed] Some radical groups accuse factional opponents of being FBI informants or assume the FBI is infiltrating the movement.[81]

According to a report by the Inspector General (IG) of the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI improperly opened investigations of American activist groups, even though they were planning nothing more than peaceful protests and civil disobedience. The review by the inspector general was launched in response to complaints by civil liberties groups and members of Congress. The FBI improperly monitored groups including the Thomas Merton Center, a Pittsburgh-based peace group; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA); and Greenpeace USA, an environmental activism organization. Also, activists affiliated with Greenpeace were improperly put on a terrorist watch list, although they were planning no violence or illegal activities.

The IG report found these “troubling” FBI practices between 2001 and 2006. In some cases, the FBI conducted investigations of people affiliated with activist groups for “factually weak” reasons. Also, the FBI extended investigations of some of the groups “without adequate basis” and improperly kept information about activist groups in its files. The IG report also found that FBI Director Robert Mueller III provided inaccurate congressional testimony about one of the investigations, but this inaccuracy may have been due to his relying on what FBI officials told him.[82]

Several authors have accused the FBI of continuing to deploy COINTELPRO-like tactics against radical groups after the official COINTELPRO operations were ended. Several authors have suggested the American Indian Movement (AIM) has been a target of such disturbing operations.

Authors such as Ward Churchill, Rex Weyler, and Peter Matthiessen allege that the federal government intended to acquire uranium deposits on the Lakota tribe’s reservation land, and that this motivated a larger government conspiracy against AIM activists on the Pine Ridge reservation.[6][46][83][84][85] Others believe COINTELPRO continues and similar actions are being taken against activist groups.[85][86][87] Caroline Woidat says that, with respect to Native Americans, COINTELPRO should be understood within a historical context in which “Native Americans have been viewed and have viewed the world themselves through the lens of conspiracy theory.”[88] Other authors note that while some conspiracy theories related to COINTELPRO are unfounded, the issue of ongoing government surveillance and repression is real.[39][89]

See also

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Stephen King — Hearts in Atlantis — Videos

Posted on November 16, 2014. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Communications, Culture, Documentary, Entertainment, Fiction, Films, Life, media, Movies, Music, Music, People, Photos, Video, War, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , |

book_coverHearts-in-Atlantishearts in atlantishearts-in-atlantis-posterMCDHEIN EC035heartsinatlantis04bob_momjpg06tedMCDHEIN EC033hearts_can breakbobby and carol 22901.tif

hearts in atlantis

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The Platters “Twilight Time”

[youtube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpdaga8cCxU]

“Twilight Time”

Heavenly shades of night are falling, it’s twilight time
Out of the mist your voice is calling, ’tis twilight time
When purple-colored curtains mark the end of day
I’ll hear you, my dear, at twilight timeDeepening shadows gather splendor as day is done
Fingers of night will soon surrender the setting sun
I count the moments darling till you’re here with me
Together at last at twilight timeHere, in the afterglow of day, we keep our rendezvous beneath the blue
And, in the same and sweet old way I fall in love again as I did then

Deep in the dark your kiss will thrill me like days of old
Lighting the spark of love that fills me with dreams untold
Each day I pray for evening just to be with you
Together at last at twilight time

Here, in the afterglow of day, we keep our rendezvous beneath the blue
And, in the same and sweet old way I fall in love again as I did then

Deep in the dark your kiss will thrill me like days of old
Lighting the spark of love that fills me with dreams untold
Each day I pray for evening just to be with you
Together at last at twilight time
Together at last at twilight time

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Obama’s Cadillac Tax Crashes and Burns Killing Obamacare and Injuring MIT Professor Gruber — Rest In Peace — Obamacare Is Shovel Ready — Videos

Posted on November 15, 2014. Filed under: American History, Biology, Blogroll, Books, Business, Chemistry, College, Communications, Constitution, Crisis, Demographics, Diasters, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Freedom, government, government spending, Health Care, history, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Macroeconomics, media, Medical, Medicine, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Non-Fiction, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Private Sector, Public Sector, Raves, Regulations, Science, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Obama’s Cadillac Tax Crashes and Burns Killing Obamacare and Injuring MIT Professor Gruber — Rest In Peace — Obamacare Is Shovel Ready — VideosObama-lyingking )bamaObamaCare-CadillacTaxPPACA-Sec-9001-cadillac-tax-2120701-10-obamacare21-new-taxes-under-Obamacareexcise-tax-140820Cadillac-Tax-penetrationtax_apple_piecorrected_pie_graph_verticalObamacare taxes 1obamacare-warning-lights-on-the-job-training-political-cartoon130402-obamacare-cartoon-cadillac_taxpink_cazdillacCadillacJonathan-Gruber

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Jonathan Gruber admits Obamacare is inherently unaffordable

Obamacare – Concerns “Cadillac Tax” Forcing Employers To Cut Back Health Plans

Krauthammer rips Jonathan Gruber: “We’re hearing the true voice of liberal arrogance”

Megyn Slams ObamaCare Architect Who Declined to Appear on ‘Kelly File’

Democrats Loved Jonathan Gruber Before They Forgot Who He Was

Sen. Harry Reid, 2009: Gruber Is One Of The ‘Most Respected Economists’ Out There

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in a December 2009 floor speech on Capitol Hill lauded Jonathan Gruber as one of the most “respected economists in the world” as Reid cited facts defending the Senate’s Obamacare bill.

Nancy Pelosi In 2009: Americans Should Read Jonathan Gruber’s ObamaCare Analysis

Nancy Pelosi In 2009: Americans Should Read Jonathan Gruber’s ObamaCare Analysis (November 5, 2009)

AHEC 2013 Conference

As part of the 24th Annual Health Economics Conference hosted by PennLDI, Mark Pauly and Jonathan Gruber were featured in the Plenary Panel discussing the role of economics in shaping (and possibly reshaping) the ACA. See below for the conference agenda with links to working papers. See the full AHEC agenda: http://ldi.upenn.edu/ahec2013/agenda

Jonathan Gruber at Noblis – January 18, 2012

The Noblis Technology Tuesday speaker series covers a broad spectrum of political, technical and innovative ideas. Noblis is a nonprofit science, technology, and strategy organization that brings the best of scientific thought, management, and engineering expertise with a reputation for independence and objectivity. The opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Noblis.

Jonathan Gruber spoke to a Noblis audience on January 18, 2012 Few experts know more about America’s dire need of health care reform than Gruber. And of that short list, he is the only one prepared to enter the pages of a comic book to make the case. To be clear: Gruber is not an expert; he is “the” expert. An award-winning MIT economist and the director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, he was a key architect of the ambitious health care reform effort in Massachusetts and is a member of the Health Connector Board now implementing it; in 2006 he was named by “Modern Healthcare” as the nineteenth most powerful person in health care in the United States. In 2008 he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards, and Obama presidential campaigns. The national legislation passed by Congress in 2009 derives directly from Gruber’s insights learned during the Massachusetts health care debate.

Honors Colloquium 2012 – Jonathan Gruber

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate. He is an Associate Editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Dr. Gruber received his B.S. in Economics from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Dr. Gruber’s research focuses on the areas of public finance and health economics. He has published more than 140 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text, and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel. In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under. During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

BookTV: Jonathan Gruber, “Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works

Jonathan Gruber, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of the health care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, presents his thoughts on health care. Mr. Gruber a leading architect of Massachusetts’ health care reform also consulted with Congress and President Obama on the creation of the Affordable Care Act, signed into law by the President in 2010.

Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber suddenly recast as bit player after uproar

Nancy Pelosi, fellow Democrats scramble to distance themselves from MIT professor, economist

For years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber was deemed an architect of Obamacare and his economic modeling was cited regularly by the health care law’s defenders on Capitol Hill and in legal briefs defending the Affordable Care Act in federal courts.

But after tapes surfaced of the economist saying “stupid” voters needed to be bamboozled and the books cooked to get the legislation passed in 2010, Democrats are scrambling to reduce Mr. Gruber to a bit player — and raising questions about whether he needs to be expunged from their defense strategy as they face yet another Supreme Court review.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who as speaker in 2009 posted an Obamacare “myth buster” citing Mr. Gruber, vehemently distanced herself from him Thursday.


SEE ALSO: EDITORIAL: Jonathan Gruber’s payday


“I don’t who he is. He didn’t help write our bill,” she said, but added that Mr. Gruber’s comments were a year old and he had recanted them.

In the comments that have just come to light, Mr. Gruber said the health care bill was written in a “tortured” way to ensure the Congressional Budget Office didn’t score the individual mandate as a tax, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld the mandate as constitutional under Congress’ taxing power.

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Mr. Gruber said at the time. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass.”

Mr. Gruber said this week that he regretted the remarks. But House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Thursday that American voters are “anything but stupid” and oppose the health care system’s overhaul for valid reasons.

Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican selected as the next Senate majority leader, said Mr. Gruber made a classic “Washington gaffe — when a politician mistakenly tells you what he really thinks.”

However, Mr. Gruber’s explanation in 2012 of how Obamacare’s subsidies should be paid put the Justice Department in a tough spot.

In legal briefs submitted last year to a federal district court in Virginia, Obama administration attorneys cited Mr. Gruber in a case defending their ability to pay subsidies to enrollees regardless of whether they are part of state-run or federally run health care exchanges.

“According to the calculations of one health care economist, without the minimum coverage provision and subsidized insurance coverage, premiums for single individuals would be double the amount anticipated under the ACA,” the Justice Department wrote in a legal brief last November, citing Mr. Gruber’s work in a footnote.

The Supreme Court decided this month to take up the case, King v. Burwell, after the challengers lost to the administration in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Neither the Justice Department nor the White House responded to questions about Mr. Gruber — who declined to comment for this story — and his role in their legal strategy.

But Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is funding the administration’s opponents in the King case, said Mr. Gruber’s 2012 remarks about subsidies bolster their own arguments.

Mr. Gruber at the time said subsidies would flow only to states that set up their own exchanges.

“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” the economist told an audience.

That would mean consumers in most states wouldn’t be eligible for subsidies, which would puncture a big hole in Obamacare. The Obama administration has argued that even though the law says subsidies go to state exchanges, they also should include states that have opted for the federal exchange.

Mr. Kazman said the Gruber comments create a major problem for Mr. Obama.

“He’s not toxic to us,” Mr. Kazman said in an interview Thursday. “We may give him an award for public service.”

In a parallel case before the D.C. Circuit, the administration tried to downplay Mr. Gruber in its latest court filings. On Nov. 3, the Justice Department said in a footnote that “post-enactment statements by a non-legislator are entitled to no weight.”

“In any event, Professor Gruber has since clarified that the remarks on which plaintiffs rely were mistaken,” the attorneys told the D.C. Circuit, which has suspended its proceedings until the Supreme Court weighs in.

In the King case, Obama administration attorneys who cited Mr. Gruber in briefs at the lower court dropped him from their arguments to the Supreme Court, said Michael A. Carvin, an attorney for the health care law’s opponents.

He wasn’t about to let the justices forget.

“Tellingly,” Mr. Carvin said in a reply brief, “the government also ignores that Jonathan Gruber — the ACA architect whose work it cited in every brief below but is nowhere mentioned now — articulated the incentive purpose of [subsidies] as early as 2012.”

Mr. Gruber has made hundreds of thousands of dollars off Obamacare, serving as a consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services and to states that used health care grant money to pay him for his services.

Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who closely tracks the health care law, said the controversy has been overblown.

“This whole thing just puzzles me,” he said. “He wasn’t a legislator. He didn’t write the bill. He didn’t vote on the bill.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/13/jonathan-gruber-obamacare-architect-recast-as-bit-/

Transcending Obamacare: An Introduction To Patient-Centered, Consumer-Driven Health Reform

Today, the Manhattan Institute is publishing my 20,000-word, 68-page health reform proposal entitled “Transcending Obamacare: A Patient-Centered Plan for Near-Universal Coverage and Permanent Fiscal Solvency.” It represents a novel approach to health reform: neither accepting Obamacare as is, nor requiring the law’s repeal to move forward. And yet its ambition is to permanently solve our health care entitlement problem, while also expanding coverage for the uninsured.

As most Apothecary readers know, I’ve long been critical of Obamacare, the so-called Affordable Care Act. The law expands Medicaid, the worst health insurance program in the developed world. It significantly drives up the underlying cost of health insurance for those who shop for coverage on their own. And regardless of what John Roberts has to say about it, Obamacare’s individual mandate—forcing most Americans to buy government-certified health coverage—is an injury to the Constitution.

But I’ve also long supported the principle of universal coverage. Universal coverage, done right, is a core part of a conservative worldview that values equality of opportunity for the sick and the poor. If 10 of the 11 freest economies in the world can establish universal coverage, it’s not impossible for the United States to do so in a way that is consonant with economic freedom.

Switzerland and Singapore: Market-based health reform models

The most market-oriented health care systems in the developed world—those ofSwitzerland and Singapore—have much to teach us about how to achieve universal coverage in a way that spends far less than what the U.S. does. In 2012, U.S. government entities spent $4,160 per capita on health care. That’s more than twice as much as Switzerland, and nearly five times as much as Singapore.

OECD 2012 public expenditures

And that brings us right back to Obamacare. The vast majority of the law is misguided and misconceived. But a handful of its provisions can provide the basis of constructive health care reform: in particular, its use of Swiss-style means-tested tax credits to subsidize private health insurance premiums. Most importantly, those tax credits are applied to insurance plans that people shop for on their own, substantially expanding the market for individually purchased health coverage.

The Swiss system is far from perfect, as I have discussed on many occasions. But the basic idea in Switzerland is to offer premium subsidies to the people who really need them. In Switzerland, one-fifth of the population gets subsidized health coverage. In the U.S., around four-fifths do. That’s the difference between a safety net and an entitlement leviathan.

Conservative health reform after Obamacare

One of the fundamental flaws in the conservative approach to health care policy is that few—if any—Republican leaders have articulated a vision of what a market-oriented health care system would look like. Hence, Republican proposals on health reform have often been tactical and political—in opposition to whatever Democrats were pitching—instead of strategic and serious.

Those days must come to an end. The problems with our health care system are too great. Health care is too expensive for the government, and too expensive for average Americans.

In 2012, as the Romney campaign came to a close, Rich Lowry, the editor ofNational Review, asked me to write an article with my thoughts about the best path forward for conservative health care reform. I outlined a four-step plan to take the entire gamish of government health care programs and reform them into something consumer-driven and fiscally sustainable: (1) deregulate Obamacare’s insurance exchanges, including repeal of the individual mandate, while preserving guaranteed issue for individuals with pre-existing conditions; (2) migrate future retirees onto the reformed exchanges; (3) repeal Obamacare’s employer mandate; (4) migrate Medicaid acute-care and dual-eligible enrollees onto the exchanges.

“After these four relatively simple steps,” I wrote, “we would be left with a health-care system that would look a lot like Switzerland’s. Rises in premium subsidies could be held to a sustainable growth rate to ensure their long-term fiscal stability. And Americans might finally have the opportunity to purchase insurance for themselves, gain control of their own health-care dollars, and enjoy a wide range of low-cost, high-quality coverage options.”

A few months later, former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and I wrote a similar piece for Reuters, which elicited a broad range of responses from both the left and the right.

It became clear that I had to do more than write op-eds, that I had to develop this idea in detail, with credible fiscal and economic modeling.

Modeling market-based health reform

So, over the last 18 months, I’ve done just that. Stephen Parente, a health economist at the University of Minnesota, and his team modeled the fiscal and coverage impact of the bulk of my proposed set of reforms. (I then modeled the remainder, using analyses from the Congressional Budget Office, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the like.)

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, where I am a Senior Fellow, raised money to fund Parente’s work on this project. Steve and his team and I went back and forth for months, refining and tweaking the proposal until it met five non-negotiable goals. The end result had to:

  1. Reduce the deficit without raising taxes
  2. Expand coverage meaningfully above ACA levels
  3. Repeal the individual mandate
  4. Reduce the cost of private health insurance
  5. Improve health outcomes for the poor

Based on our modeling, the plan, over a thirty-year period, reduces federal spending by $10.5 trillion and federal revenue by $2.5 trillion, for a net deficit reduction of $8 trillion. We project that it will expand coverage by more than 12 million individuals over its first decade, despite the fact that it repeals the individual mandate. It reduces the cost of private-sector insurance policies by 17 percent for single policies and 4 percent for family policies.

But the most dramatic improvement, we estimate, is in the Medicaid population. A group that today receives substandard care and substandard access to care will see a dramatic increase in provider access and health outcomes, based on Parente-developed indices that measure these things.

Breaking free of the repeal-or-reform debate

Importantly, while this plan is compatible with “repealing and replacing” Obamacare, it does not require the repeal of Obamacare. To achieve the former, you would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a universal system of state-based health insurance exchanges. To achieve the latter, you’d reform the pre-existing ACA exchanges, and gradually migrate future retirees and Medicaid enrollees onto the reformed exchanges.

In this way, perhaps the plan can attract interest from both the right and the center.

We’ll soon find out.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/08/13/transcending-obamacare-an-introduction-to-patient-centered-consumer-driven-health-reform/

Jonathan Gruber Embraced Misleading the Public About Obamacare Even While It Was Still Being Debated
Peter Suderman

In the week since video surfaced of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber saying that “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter” were critical to passing the health law, two more videos of Gruber making statements with similar themes or tones have received attention.

Both clips reveal a gleefully dismissive attitude toward public concerns about the law, and offer a telling reminder of the attitude that played a crucial role in shaping and selling the law to the public.

In the first video, recorded in March of 2010, just a few days before the law would pass the House, Gruber argues that the public does not really care about the uninsured. What it cares about is cost control. Therefore, he says, the law had to be sold on the basis of its cost control.

Yet as Gruber admits in the video, the bill was not primarily focused on cost control—the bill “is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control.” Indeed, the problem with cost control, he says, is that “we don’t know how” to do it.

The primary quote. Via CNN:

“Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, okay?” Gruber said in his remarks at the College of the Holy Cross on March 11, 2010. “He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured….What the American public cares about is costs. And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it’s going to lower the cost of health care, that’s all they talk about. Why? Because that’s what people want to hear about because a majority of American care about health care costs.”

Elsewhere in the same speech, Gruber says:

“The only way we’re going to stop our country from being a latter day Roman Empire and falling under its own weight is getting control of the growth rate of health care costs. The problem is we don’t know how.”

Remember, this is what Gruber was saying as the law was still being debated. It didn’tpass in the House, the critical step before hitting President Obama’s desk, until more than a week later. And what Gruber was saying, even before the bill was law, was that supporters had intentionally emphasized parts of the bill that were relatively minor, and that were not certain to even produce their intended effects.

This is not lying, exactly; the bill did in fact include some attempts at cost control, although as Gruber said, it was unclear at the time if or how well they would work. And Gruber may well have been right that the public was more concerned with cost control than expanding coverage. But, especially in combination with the other video released this week, it indicates that Gruber believed that the law’s advocates were not being completely straight with the public, that supporters of Obamacare were telling the public what they believed the public wanted to hear instead of giving them the full story, and that they were doing so on the understanding that telling the full story would make the bill impossible to pass.

What it shows, in other words, is Gruber openly embracing a strategy of messaging manipulation and misleading emphasis even while the bill was still being debated. If the public understood the bill clearly, he believed, they would reject it. It was more important to pass the bill.

Another video, posted today by The Daily Signal, shows Gruber taking a similarly dismissive attitude toward public concerns about the bill.  At a meeting with the Vermont House Health Care Committee, Gruber is presented with a question about whether systems like those described in a report by Gruber and Harvard health economist William Hsiao, might result in “ballooning costs, increased taxes and bureaucratic outrages” as well “shabby facilities, disgruntled providers” and destructive price controls.

Gruber’s response begin with: “Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?” The Signal quotes two-term Vermont state senator and Reagan-adviser John McClaughry as saying that the question had been submitted “by a former senior policy adviser in the White House who knew something about health care systems.”

Gruber’s response is intended as a joke, and it reveals little about the health care law (the reforms in question are specific to Vermont). But it says plenty about Gruber, and the flippant, arrogant way he treats concerns and criticism.

This is the person whom the White House relied on to help craft the bill; he was paid handsomely to model its effects (a fact he did not disclose, even when asked), and he was in the room when important decisions were made about how it would work. He claims to have helped write specific portions of the law himself. Gruber was not the sole architect of the law, but he was one of its biggest single influences on both its design and on how the media, which quoted him repeatedly, reported and understood the law.

The White House and its allies are desperately trying to distance themselves from Gruber right now by downplaying his role in the law’s creation. But the record of his involvement is clear enough: At The Washington Post, Ezra Klein has variously described Gruber as “one of the key architects behind the structure of the Affordable Care Act” and “the most aggressive academic economist supporting the reform effort.” The New York Times in 2012 described his role as helping to design the overall structure as well as being “dispatched” by the White House to Congress to write the legislative text. Gruber’s work was cited repeatedly by the White House, Democratic leadership, and the media.

So when he describes the thinking about how the law was crafted and sold to the public, it’s worth taking note. This is the posture of one of the law’s authors and chief backers. It’s part of the spirit in which the law was created and passed. Gruber’s ideas were embedded in the law’s structure and language, and so was his attitude.

http://reason.com/blog/2014/11/14/jonathan-gruber-embraced-misleading-the 

 

White House says Gruber’s wrong, attacks GOP

By LUCY MCCALMONT

The White House is denouncing comments from key Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that a lack of transparency and the stupidity of voters helped in the passage of the health care law and is instead pointing a finger at Republicans.
“The fact of the matter is, the process associated with the writing and passing and implementing of the Affordable Care Act has been extraordinarily transparent,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a news briefing in Myanmar, according to a transcript provided by the White House.
Story Continued Below

“I disagree vigorously with that assessment,” Earnest responded when asked about Gruber’s claim that Obamacare wouldn’t have passed if the administration was more transparent and voters more intelligent.
He added, “It is Republicans who have been less than forthright and transparent about what their proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act would do in terms of the choices are available to middle class families.”
Earnest said the president “is proud of the transparent process that was undertaken to pass that bill into law.”
The response from the White House comes as a third video of Gruber criticizing the intelligence of American voters has surfaced.
“We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get, it ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said in remarks from 2012 that aired Wednesday evening on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
Gruber has been causing headaches for the White House as conservatives have had a field day that began with comments the MIT professor made in 2013.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass,” Gruber said at the time, according to one of the videos that has recently come to light.
In another video clip of a separate event, while talking about tax credits in the Affordable Care Act, he said, “American voters are too stupid to understand the difference.”
Gruber apologized for the comments during an appearance earlier this week on MSNBC’s “Ronan Farrow Daily”:
(Also on POLITICO: Ted Cruz out on a limb on Obamacare repeal)
“I was speaking off the cuff, and I was basically speaking inappropriately, and I regret having made those comments.”
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed Gruber’s role in Obamacare on Thursday, telling the press, “I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill.”
Many outlets were quick to point out that Pelosi cited Gruber in a “Health Insurance Reform Mythbuster” on her official website in 2009.
House Speaker John Boehner released a statement Thursday, slamming Gruber for his comments.
“If there was ever any doubt that ObamaCare was rammed through Congress with a heavy dose of arrogance, duplicity, and contempt for the will of the American people, recent comments by one of the law’s chief architects, Jonathan Gruber, put that to rest,” the top Republican said.
The statement continues, “The American people are anything but ‘stupid.’ They’re the ones bearing the consequences of the president’s health care law and, unsurprisingly, they continue to oppose it.”
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/jonathan-gruber-obamacare-voters-white-house-response-112856.html

 

Cadillac insurance plan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Health care reform in the United States
Legislation
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Superseded
Proposed
Latest enacted
Reforms
Systems
Third-party payment models

Informally, a Cadillac plan is any unusually expensive health insurance plan, usually arising in discussions of medical-cost control measures in the United States.[1][2][3][4] The term derives from the Cadillac automobile, which has represented American luxury since its introduction in 1902,[1] and as a health care metaphor dates to the 1970s.[1] The term gained popularity in the early 1990s during the debate over the Clinton health care plan of 1993,[1] and was also widespread during debate over possible excise taxes on “Cadillac” plans during the health care reforms proposed during the Obama administration.[1] (Bills proposed by Clinton and Obama did not use the term “Cadillac”.)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) imposes an annual 40% excise tax on plans with premiums exceeding $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for a family (not including vision and dental benefits) starting in 2018.[4]

Criticisms of these plans generally center on the small or nonexistent co-pays, deductibles, or caps that encourage the overuse of medical care, driving the cost up for the uninsured or those on other plans, which some say necessitates aCadillac tax.[citation needed]

A study published in Health Affairs in December 2009 found that high-cost health plans do not provide unusually rich benefits to enrollees. The researchers found that only 3.7% of the variation in the cost of family coverage in employer-sponsored health plans is attributable to differences in the actuarial value of benefits. Only 6.1% of the variation is attributable to the combination of benefit design and plan type (e.g., PPO, HMO, etc.). The employer’s industry and regional variations in health care costs explain part of the variation, but most is unexplained. The researchers conclude “…that analysts should not equate high-cost plans with Cadillac plans, but that in fact other factors—industry and cost of medical inputs—are as important in predicting whether a plan is a high-cost plan. Without appropriate adjustments, a simple cap may exacerbate rather than ameliorate current inequities.”[5]

See also

References

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_insurance_plan

 

How ObamaCare Taxes Affect You: New Taxes, Hikes, Breaks, Credits, and Other Changes

Here’s a full list of ObamaCare Taxes. The 21 new ObamaCare tax hikes and breaks impact us all, but which ObamaCare taxes will you actually pay? Find out how the tax related provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) will affect you, your family, your business, and your tax returns for 2013 and beyond.

Obamacare Taxes

The Bottom Line on the ObamaCare Tax Plan

The new tax related provisions in theAffordable Care Act(ObamaCare) include tax hikes, limits to deductions, tax credits, tax breaks, and other changes. While a few of the changes directly affect the average American, tax increases primarily affect high earners (those making over $200,000 as an individual or $250,000 as a family), large businesses (those making over $250,000), and the health care industry, while tax credits primarily affect low-to-middle income Americans and small businesses.

Here are some quick facts to help you understand how ObamaCare affects taxes:

• For the majority of the 85% of Americans with health insurance the percentage of income paid in taxes won’t change much, if at all. However, some of the changes may directly or indirectly affect specific groups.

• The majority of the 15% of Americans without health insurance will primarily be affected by the Individual Mandate (the requirement to buy health insurance), the Employer Mandate (the requirement for large employers to insure full-time employees), and Tax Credits (tax credits reduce premium costs for individuals, families, and small businesses).

• Many Americans will be affected by changes to new limits on medical tax deduction thresholds MSAs, FSAs, and HSAs.

• Small businesses will not be required to provide health insurance, but will gettax credits to reduce premium costs if they choose to offer group plans.

• Even if you won’t see higher taxes under the Affordable Care Act, it doesn’t mean there aren’t costs associated with the law. You’ll still need to buy health insurance, unless you qualify for Medicaid or an exemption, and that will cost you money.

• As a rule of thumb those who make less pay less and those who make more pay more, both in regard to health insurance costs and taxes under theAffordable Care Act.

• The Congressional Budget Office has shown that the revenue generated from the new taxes, along with cuts to spending, will help to pay for the Affordable Care Act’s many provisions, fund tax credits and lower the deficit by 2023.Learn More.

Why Does ObamaCare Create New Taxes?

ObamaCare includes many new benefits, rights, and protections including the requirement for health insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions. It also expands access to affordable health insurance to almost 50 million low-to-middle income men, women, and children across the country by offering reduced premiums via tax credits and expanding Medicaid and CHIP. Expanding the quality, affordability and availability of health insurance (along with other aspects of the law) come at a high cost. Assuming all tax provisions remain in place, the revenue generated from these new taxes help to cover the costs of the program and reduces the deficit. Learn more about the new benefits, rights, protections offered by the Affordable Care Act.

A Quick Overview of Key Taxes in the Affordable Care Act

Before we get to the full list of taxes here is a quick overview of the key tax related provisions that may affect those without insurance, those who plan to go without insurance, and those who are struggling to afford insurance now.

Individual Mandate (new tax): Americans who can afford to must obtain minimum essential health coverage for 2014, get an exemption or pay a per month fee.

Employer Mandate (new tax): Come 2015 large employers must insure full time employees or pay a per employee fee. Over half of Americans get their insurance through work and the largest group of uninsured is currently the working poor.

Advanced Premium Tax Credits (tax break): Low-to-middle income Americans are eligible for tax credits which reduce the upfront cost of premiums on health insurance purchased through their State’s “Health Insurance Marketplace”.

Small Business Tax Credits (tax break): Small businesses may be eligible for tax credits of up to 50% of their cost of employee premiums through theSmall Business Health Options Program.

Taking all the tax provisions in the ACA into account ObamaCare technically provides the greatest middle class tax cut to healthcare in history.

Full List of All Taxes in ObamaCare / All Taxes in the Affordable Care Act

The following list of new ObamaCare taxes collectively raise over $800 billion by 2022. Here is a complete list of new fees and taxes contained withinObamaCare:

ObamaCare Taxes That Most Likely Won’t Directly Affect the Average American

• 2.3% Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers 2014

• 10% Tax on Indoor Tanning Services 2014

• Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike

• Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals which fail to comply with the requirements of ObamaCare

• Tax on Brand Name Drugs

• Tax on Health Insurers

• $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives

• Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D

• Employer Mandate on business with over 50 full-time equivalent employees to provide health insurance to full-time employees. $2000 per employee $3000 if employee uses tax credits to buy insurance on the exchange (marketplace). (pushed back to 2015)

• Medicare Tax on Investment Income 3.8% over $200k/$250k

• Medicare Part A Tax increase of .9% over $200k/$250k

• Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (not a tax)

• Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (repealed)

• Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (not a tax)

ObamaCare Taxes That (may) Directly Affect the Average American

• 40% Excise Tax “Cadillac” on high-end Premium Health Insurance Plans 2018

• An annual $63 fee levied by ObamaCare on all plans (decreased each year until 2017 when pre-existing conditions are eliminated) to help pay for insurance companies covering the costs of high-risk pools.

• Medicine Cabinet Tax
Over the counter medicines no longer qualified as medical expenses for flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and Archer Medical Saving accounts (MSAs).

• Additional Tax on HSA/MSA Distributions
Health savings account or an Archer medical savings account, penalties for spending money on non-qualified medical expenses. 10% to 20% in the case of a HSA and from 15% to 20% in the case of a MSA.

• Flexible Spending Account Cap 2013
Contributions to FSAs are reduced to $2,500 from $5,000.

• Medical Deduction Threshold tax increase 2013
Threshold to deduct medical expenses as an itemized deduction increases to 10% from 7.5%.

• Individual Mandate (the tax for not purchasing insurance if you can afford it) 2014
Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income tax surtax at a rate of 1% or $95 in 2014 to 2.5% in 2016 on profitable income above the tax threshold. The total penalty amount cannot exceed the national average of the annual premiums of a “bronze level” health insurance plan on ObamaCare exchanges.

• Premium Tax Credits for Small Businesses 2014 (not a tax)

• Advanced Premium Tax Credits for Individuals and Families 2014 (not a tax)

• Medical Loss Ratio (MRL): Premium rebates (not a tax)

The link below provides a full list of ObamaCare Taxes by the IRS.

For a full list of taxes provisions from the IRS

Or see the latest publication by the joint tax committee on the Affordable Care Act.

Who Does ObamaCare Tax?

Let’s take a look at how ObamaCare’s taxes affect certain income groups.

ObamaCare Taxes for High Earners and Large Businesses

Most of the new taxes are on high-earners (individuals making over $200,000 and families making over $250,000), large businesses (over 50 full-time equivalent employees making over $250,000), and industries that profit from healthcare. Essentially those who will see gains under ObamaCare are required to put money back in the program via taxes.

FACT: Tax increases generally affect single filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above $200,000 and married couples filing jointly above $250,000. Some of the tax increases don’t kick in until single AGI hits $400,000 and married filing jointly AGI hits $450,000.

ObamaCare Taxes for the Average American With Health insurance

For most of the 85% of Americans with health insurance, making less than $250,000, most of the new taxes won’t mean much of anything although certain taxes below will affect specific individuals and families.

ObamaCare Taxes for the Average American Without Health insurance

The 15% of Americans without health insurance will be required to obtain health insurance (Individual Mandate) or will face a “tax penalty”.

The good news is that many uninsured will be exempt from the Individual mandate due to income, offered cost assistance through the marketplaceincluding Tax Credits (also available to small businesses), qualify for Medicaid, or will get insurance through work (the Employer Mandaterequires large employers to insure full-time employees by 2015). Adults who are under 26 will be able to stay on their parents plan as well, this will help to limit the number of young people who will pay the fee. Both the employer and individual mandates are part of our “shared responsibility” to expand the quality and affordability of health insurance in the United States as a trade for our new benefits, rights and protections.

ObamaCare Taxes for Small Businesses

Small businesses with less than 25 full-time equivalent employees will have access to tax credits to reduce premium costs of group plans.

ObamaCare Taxes for Specific Groups With Health Insurance

Here are a few changes that my affect specific groups of Americans with health insurance:

• Other tax provisions such as changes medical deduction thresholds, HSAs, MSAs, and FSAs may impact some Americans by limiting tax deductions.

• The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR or 80/20 rule) will mean that some Americans may get rebates if health insurance companies spend on non-healthcare related expenses.

• Tax provisions like the 10% tanning bed tax, taxes on drug companies, taxes on medical devices and taxes on health insurance companies selling insurance on and off the exchange may affect the amount of money we pay for some health care related goods and services, but will not have a significant impact on our daily lives.

• The employer mandate has caused some companies to cut down full-time workers to part-time to avoid providing benefits, however major employers like Disney and Walmart have actually increased their full-time workforce in response to the looming 2015 deadline.

• Overall the benefits tend to outweigh the costs for the average American as even those who pay a little more, get a lot more in return due to the increased quality of their health insurance.

Will I pay More Taxes and High Premiums Because of ObamaCare?

As mentioned above premium rates and the taxes you will have to pay are primarily based on income. Aside from income premium prices are based on which plan you choose, family size, age, smoking status and geography. Subsidies reduce the overall rate of your premiums (however smoking is calculated after subsidies). Come 2018 there will be a 40% excise tax on high end health insurance plans.

Aside from the tax provisions that require Americans to obtain insurance and subsidize it’s costs, ObamaCare also includes a few tax related provisions that work as consumer protections including requirements for better reporting and the Medical Loss Ratio.

ObamaCare Tax Rebates

Some consumers in both individual and group markets will see tax rebates due to ObamaCare’s Medical Loss Ratio (MLR). Health insurance companies will have to provide rebates to consumers if they spend less than 80 to 85% of premium dollars on medical care.

Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) means that Insurance companies are now required to spend at least 80% of premium dollars (85% in large group markets) on medical care and quality improvement activities. Insurance companies that are not meeting this standard will be required to provide rebates to their consumers. The MLR isn’t a tax, but it does have implications in regards to filing taxes and rebates can be given in the form of reduced premiums. See our page on ObamaCare Health Insurance Regulations for more details.

ObamaCare Income Tax Penalty For Not Having Insurance “Individual Mandate”

Starting in 2014, most people will have to have insurance or pay a “penalty deducted from your taxable income”. For individuals, penalty starts at $95 a year, or up to 1% of income, whichever is greater, and rise to $695, or 2.5% of income, by 2016.

For families the tax will be $2,085 or 2.5% percent of household income, whichever is greater. The requirement can be waived for several reasons, including financial hardship or religious beliefs. If the tax would exceed 8% of your income you are exempt, also some religious groups are exempt. That tax cannot exceed the cost of a “bronze plan” bought on the exchange.

Many individuals who are exempt from the mandate to buy insurance will still be eligible for free or low-cost insurance through the health insurance marketplace.

While some states, including Alabama, Wyoming and Montana, have passed laws to block the requirement to carry health insurance, those provisions do not override federal law. Get more information on the ObamaCare Individual Mandate.

The Individual Mandate is officially called the “individual shared responsibility provision”.

What Are ObamaCare Tax Credits?: Advanced Premium Tax Credits

Premium tax credits are a form of cost assistance that reduce premium costs for coverage purchased on your State’s “health insurance marketplace” for individuals, families, and small businesses.

Advanced Premium Tax Credits for Individuals and Families

Individuals and families will have access to Advanced premium tax credits on the marketplace. Tax Credits are deducted from your premium cost by your health insurance provider and are adjusted on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). You can choose how much advance credit payments to apply to your premiums each month, up to a maximum amount. If the amount of advance credit payments you get for the year is less than the tax credit you’re due, you’ll get the difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income tax return. If your advance payments for the year are more than the amount of your credit, you must repay the excess advance payments with your tax return.

Aside from premium tax credits individuals and families can also get lower cost sharing on out-of-pocket expenses like coinsurance, copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums through the marketplace.

Eligibility for Tax Credits

In general, you may be eligible for the credit if you meet all of the following:

  • buy health insurance through the Marketplace;
  • are ineligible for coverage through an employer or government plan;
  • are within certain income limits;
  • file a joint return, if married; and
  • cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person.

If you are eligible for the credit, you can choose to:

  • Get It Now: have some or all of the estimated credit paid in advance directly to your insurance company to lower what you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums during 2014; or
  • Get It Later: wait to get all of the credit when you file your 2014 tax return in 2015.

How Will Advanced Premium Tax Credits Affect My Health Insurance Costs?

Under the Affordable Care Act health insurance that costs less than 8% of your MAGI is considered affordable. Although the law doesn’t guarantee lower costs, premium tax credits help to ensure that more Americans will have access to affordable insurance.

s a rule of thumb most Americans will pay between 1.5% and 9.5% on their Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) when using tax credits to buy a basic Silver Plan on the marketplace.

If the lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8% of your household income are exempt from the individual mandate.

The amount you pay is on a sliding scale based on your income. Use the chart below to get an idea of what you and your family may pay for insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Make sure to check outObamaCare Subsidies for more detailed information on Premium Tax Credits.

The 2013 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines below are used to Determine if your percentage of the poverty level for both taxes and cost-assistance.

 Household Size

 100%

 133%

150%

200%

 300%

400%

 1

$11,170

$14,856

$16,755

$22,340

$33,510

$44,680

 2

15,130

 20,123

22,695

  30,260

45,390

60,520

 3

19,090

 25,390

28,635

  38,180

57,270

76,360

 4

23,050

 30,657

34,575

  46,100

69,150

92,200

 5

27,010

 35,923

40,515

  54,020

81,030

108,040

 6

30,970

 41,190

46,455

  61,940

92,910

123,880

 7

34,930

 46,457

52,395

  69,860

104,790

139,720

 8

38,890

 51,724

58,335

  77,780

116,670

155,560

 For each additional person, add

$3,960

 $5,267

$5,940

  $7,920

$11,880

$15,840

This following table is an example of how premium tax credits work. Please note that the numbers below are purely for example and don’t reflect your personal rates.

Health Insurance Premiums and Cost Sharing under PPACA for Average Family of 4
For “Silver Plan”
Income % of federal poverty level Premium Cap as a Share of Income Income $ (family of 4) Max Annual Out-of-Pocket Premium Premium Savings Additional Cost-Sharing Subsidy
133% 3% of income $31,900 $992 $10,345 $5,040
150% 4% of income $33,075 $1,323 $9,918 $5,040
200% 6.3% of income $44,100 $2,778 $8,366 $4,000
250% 8.05% of income $55,125 $4,438 $6,597 $1,930
300% 9.5% of income $66,150 $6,284 $4,628 $1,480
350% 9.5% of income $77,175 $7,332 $3,512 $1,480
400% 9.5% of income $88,200 $8,379 $2,395 $1,480
In 2016, the FPL is projected to equal about $11,800 for a single person and about $24,000 for family of four. Use the Kaiser ObamaCare Cost Calculator for more information. DHHS and CBO estimate the average annual premium cost in 2014 to be $11,328 for family of 4 without the reform. Source: Wikipedia

ObamaCare Employer / Employee Taxes

ObamaCare’s taxes mean large employers will have to provide health insurance to their employees and will see a raised Medicare part A tax, small businesses may be eligible for tax breaks.

Medicare part A Tax Hike for Employers and Employees

The Medicare part A tax is paid by both employees and employers who earn over a certain amount. ObamaCare’s Medicare tax hike is a .9% increase (from 2.9% to 3.8%) on the current total Medicare part A tax. This tax is split between the employer and employee meaning that they will both see a .45% raise.  Small businesses making under $250,000 are exempt from the tax. Employees making less than $200,000 as an individual or ($250,000) as a family are also exempt. Employers must withhold and report an additional 0.9 percent total on employee wages or compensation that exceed $200,000.

Tax Penalty for Not Providing Full-time Workers with Health Insurance the “Employer Mandate”

Employers with over 50 full-time equivalent employees must either insure their full-time employees or pay a penalty or “employer shared responsibility fee”. The penalty is $2000 per employee. If however, at least one full-time employee receives a premium tax credit because coverage is either unaffordable or does not cover 60 percent of total costs, the employer must pay the lesser of $3,000 for each of those employees receiving a credit or $750 for each of their full-time employees total.

Employers with under 25 full time employees, whose average income doesn’t exceed $50,000, can apply for tax credits of up to 50% for insuring their employees.

Tax Credits for Small Businesses

Small businesses with under 25 full-time equivalent employees with average annual wages of less than $50,000 can apply for tax breaks of up to 50% of their share of employee premium costs via ObamaCare’s Small Business Health Options Program (accessible through your State’s Health Insurance Marketplace). The credit can be as much as 50% of employer premiums (35% for not-for-profits in 2014). The credit is only available if the employer is paying at least 50% of the total premiums.

Small Business Health Options Program

Employers with 50 or fewer employees, you can purchase affordable insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) even if they don’t qualify for tax credits.

Reporting

Along with the new law there are new requirements for reporting.

    • Effective for calendar year 2015, you must file an annual return reporting whether and what health insurance you offered your employees. This rule is optional for 2014. Learn more.

 

    • Effective for calendar year 2015, if you provide self-insured health coverage to your employees, you must file an annual return reporting certain information for each employee you cover. This rule is optional for 2014. Learn more.

 

    • Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, you must withhold and report an additional 0.9 percent on employee wages or compensation that exceed $200,000. Learn more.

 

Other ObamaCare Taxes on Big Business

Aside from having to adhere to the “employer mandate” ObamaCare also imposes taxes and fees that are unique to big business. ObamaCare taxes some medical device manufactures, drug companies and health insurance companies. Beginning in 2013, medical device manufacturers and importers must pay a 2.3% tax on the sale of a taxable medical device. This raises $29 billion over a 10 years. However, many states are asking to delay the medical device excise tax to protect jobs in states that produce the devices. An annual fee for health insurers is expected to raise more than $100 billion over 10 years, while a fee for brand name drugs will bring in another $34 billion.

  • Employers that have employees who earn more than $200,000 will have to look at the potential for additional Medicare withholding due to the Medicare part A tax.
  • Employers that issued 250 or more W-2 forms in 2012 must report the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage for 2013 on the 2013 W-2 forms.

Medical Device Excise Tax

There is a 2.3% medical excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers on the sale of taxable medical devices. Section 4191 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer or importer of the device. The tax applies to sales of taxable medical devices after Dec. 31, 2012. You can learn more from the official IRS page on the Medical Device Tax.

What Increases Do the ObamaCare Taxes Include for The $200k/$250k Earners?

ObamaCare Medicare Part A Payroll Tax

Starting in 2013, individuals with earnings above $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000 will see an increase in the Medicare part A payroll tax. It’s an increase of 2.35%, up from the current 1.45% ( a .9% Medicare part A payroll tax hike), on adjusted income over the threshold.

ObamaCare Unearned Income Tax

This group will also pay a 3.8% unearned income (capital gains) tax on interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, rents, and gains on the sale of investments over the threshold.

Taxable income under the $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 threshold for families is subject to the same benefits and tax cuts as those who make under the threshold.

ObamaCare Home Sales Tax / ObamaCare Real Estate Tax Increase

ObamaCare increases taxes on unearned income by 3.8% and this can add additional taxes to the sales of some homes, but many limitations apply which means it won’t affect most sellers. The 3.8% capital gains tax typically doesn’t apply to your primary residence. It also doesn’t usually apply to homes you have owned for over 5 years or on profits of less than $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples due to a capital gains tax exclusion rule for sales of a primary home.

In short the ObamaCare home sales tax isn’t something that most of us will pay, it is a tax is aimed at those selling non-primary residences in short term periods for profit and not at the average American buying and selling their primary residence.

ObamaCare Medical Expense Deductions

ObamaCare increases the medical expense deduction threshold. Unreimbursed medical expense deductions will now be available only for those medical expenses in excess of 10% of AGI, which has been raised from 7.5%. There is a temporary exemption for individuals ages 65 and older and their spouses from 2013 through 2016.

ObamaCare “Cadillac” Tax

Starting in 2018, the new health care law imposes a 40% excise tax on the portion of most employer-sponsored health coverage (this excludes dental and vision) that exceed $10,200 a year and $27,500 for families. The tax has been dubbed a “Cadillac” tax because it hits only high-end “gold”, “platinum” and high-end health care plans not purchased on the exchange. The tax raises over $150 billion over the next 10 years.

New ObamaCare Taxes Summary

Going through the new ObamaCare taxes line by line is, in itself, taxing. The bottom line is that a majority of Americans will find themselves paying less for better healthcare, while higher-earners will pay tax rates closer to what they did in the Clinton years. ObamaCare pays for most of itself via the above taxes, reforms to Medicare, and health care as a whole, as well as cutting out billions in wasteful spending.

ObamaCare Taxes Moving Forward into 2014

We hope this helps you to understand the new ObamaCare taxes and how they work. Many of the ObamaCare’s taxes won’t be fully implemented until 2022, but most will be in effect by 2014. ObamaCare helps all Americans get access to quality affordable healthcare, and new benefits, rights and protections. Make sure to look out for ObamaCare tax breaks, credits, subsidies and breaks on up front costs moving forward into 2014. As we learn more we will update our full ObamaCare tax list.

 

ObamaCare Taxes: New Health Care Taxes

http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-taxes/

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Jonathan Gruber, PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) on Healthcare, Obamacare and Lack of Transparency — The American Voters Were Not Stupid And Rejected Democrats Who Supported Obamacare By Voting Them Out of Office — But The Democratic Progressive Elitist Establishment Are Liars and Losers — Stupid Is As Stupid Does — Death Knell of Socialized Medicine — Repeal Obamacare Now! — Videos

Posted on November 11, 2014. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, College, Communications, Computers, Demographics, Diasters, Disease, Documentary, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Jonathan Gruber, PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) on Healthcare, Obamacare and Lack of Transparency — The American Voters  Were Not Stupid And Rejected Democrats Who Supported Obamacare By Voting Them Out of Office — But The Democratic Progressive Elitist Establishment Are Liars and Losers — Stupid Is As Stupid Does — Death Knell of Socialized Medicine — Repeal Obamacare Now! — Videos

Stupid Is As Stupid Does


jonathan_gruber_1

obamacare_architect_jonathan_gruber_open_mic

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

~Jonathan Gruber

Jonathan-Gruber

Stupid is as stupid does, Mrs. Blue..

Trey Gowdy on Gruber comments

Megyn Kelly: Democrats Committed Fraud By Not Representing Obamacare as a Tax

Krauthammer rips Jonathan Gruber: “We’re hearing the true voice of liberal arrogance”

GRUBER: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

The Worst of Jonathan Gruber

Flashback: Obama: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.

The Changing Touchstone of Transparency

Nets Ignore ObamaCare Architect Crediting Law’s Passage On ‘The Stupidity Of The American Voter’

Megyn Slams ObamaCare Architect Who Declined to Appear on ‘Kelly File’

WHY IS OBAMA NOT IN PRISON FOR STEALING TAXPAYER MONEY?

ObamaCare: Bill’s architect Gruber admits lies, deception necessary because Americans are stupid

President Obama in 2009: Mandate is Not a Tax

obamacare

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” – Barack Obama

obama

Obama-If-You-Like-Your-Health-Care-Plan-You-Can-Keep-It

losing_plan

Jon Stewart on You Can Keep Your Plan. Period.

Jonathan Gruber on MSNBC says he “regrets” calling the American voter stupid

Conversation: “Health Care Reform,” The Comic Book

Gruber Files- Harvard University

HealthCare Reform – Modified Community Rating Part 1 – Federal Marketplace

HealthCare Reform – Modified Community Rating Part 2 – Federal Marketplace

Community Rating – How the Affordable Care Act Impacts Small Business Owners

Forrest Gump TRAILER

Honest Trailers – Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump’s most beautiful quote

Funeral Toll & Peal, Mount Angel Abbey

When a monk passes away during the night, the toll is sounded early the following morning. It is repeated after the funeral Mass, when the monks process down to the cemetery, and ends with a peal of all the bells. These are the last few tolls of the sequence on the largest bell in the Pacific Northwest.

Please pray for the eternal repose of the soul of this monk, that he may enter into everlasting life with Christ.

Martin Luther King – For whom the bell tolls

Hearings floated as Hill Republicans seize on Gruber Obamacare comments

 By Robert Costa and Jose A. DelReal

 

Congressional Republicans seized Wednesday on controversial commentsmade by a former health-care consultant to the Obama administration, with one leading House conservative suggesting that hearings could be called in response as part of the GOP effort to dismantle the law in the next Congress and turn public opinion ahead of the 2016 election.

“We may want to have hearings on this,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an influential voice among GOP hardliners and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in an interview at the Capitol. “We shouldn’t be surprised they were misleading us.”

The firestorm began when a video emerged showing Jonathan Gruber, a high-profile architect of the Affordable Care Act and one of its fiercest advocates, suggesting that the health reform law passed through Congress because of the “stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” over its funding mechanisms. The remarks were originally made in 2013 during a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania but began heavy circulation on social media Monday.

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber said. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”

Gruber apologized for his incendiary remarks in an on-air interview with MSNBC Tuesday afternoon, calling his comments inappropriate and saying he was speaking “off the cuff.” On Tuesday evening, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly aired a second video, of Gruber calling voters stupid, also from 2013.

The controversy has lit a fire under conservatives eager to dismantle the law and has raised eyebrows among the law’s defenders, who are concerned that such comments will further damage the law’s already shaky standing with American voters. It also comes after a sweeping electoral victory for Republicans last Tuesday, who won control of the Senate and bolstered the size of their majority in the House.

Jordan said House Republicans have been sending each other a blizzard of e-mails and text messages this week, and he expects the interest in “bringing [Gruber] up here to talk” will gain traction as members return to Washington. House Republicans will gather Thursday evening for their first series of votes since the election.

“I just had a colleague text me saying, ‘We’ve got to look into this!” Jordan said as he glanced at his phone outside the House floor Wednesday morning.

The chatter among lawmakers echoes the outrage among the conservative grassroots over the comments. Sen. Ted Cruz in a speech last week said targeting ACA must remain the party’s top priority. “Now is the time to go after and do everything humanely possible to repeal Obamacare,” he said.

House GOP leadership aides expressed new optimism that their desire to target the ACA could get some momentum. While rhetorically committed to full repeal, in order to keep the party’s right flank on board, the party is looking more seriously at undermining specific parts of the law as it navigates divided government next year. Those moves could include repealing the medical device tax; watering down a requirement that employers offer full time workers coverage, which takes effect in January; and changing the definition of a full-time worker from someone who works at least 30 hours a week to someone who works at least 40 — all proposals which could win some Democratic support.

On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is slated to become chairman of the powerful Senate budget committee, also threw his support behind possible hearings. In a furious gaggle with reporters, Sessions said Gruber’s comments could make dealings with the White House more difficult, days after Republican leaders said they would seek areas of common ground.

“The strategy was to hide the truth from the American people,” Sessions said. “I’m not into this post-modern world where you can say whatever you want to in order to achieve your agenda. That is a threat to the American republic… This is far deeper and more significant than the fact that he just spoke.”

Other Senate Republicans expressed similar discomfort with Gruber, but warned conservatives to not get their hopes up about repealing the health-care law while President Obama remains in office, underscoring the tonal difference between the more rabble-rousing House GOP and the new and more even-tempered Republican Senate majority.

Heading into a party luncheon on Wednesday, retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said the health care law “is going to still be there regardless because we don’t have the votes” to undo it.

“We can talk all we want but he is going to veto whatever we send him,” Coburn said. “That’s the reality.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he was unsure of how Senate Republicans would use the Gruber kerfuffle to go after the law, if at all. For the moment, he said, Republicans should focus on using the episode to highlight how the national press has covered the president’s signature policy.

“What Gruber said should be read and reported on by every news organization,” he said. “People should be aware of how this administration thinks.”

Several Democrats said Wednesday that they were unaware of Gruber’s comments and declined to speculate on whether there could be political consequences, underscoring how much of the discussion is being driven by Republicans. One, however, did distance herself from the arguably aloof phrasing used by Gruber. “I have not seen them,” said Sen. Patty Murrary (D-Wash). “But I do think voters are pretty smart.”

The challenge for Republicans will be balancing the conservative ire surrounding Gruber with the leaders’ political imperative to establish themselves as a governing congressional majority. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and incoming Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) have pledged to bring another repeal bill to floor, but are also focused on achieving incremental legislative gains on Keystone XL and trade agreements.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/12/hearings-floated-as-hill-republicans-seize-on-gruber-obamacare-comments/

 

 

Jon Gruber finally speaks! … to MSNBC

POSTED AT 6:01 PM ON NOVEMBER 11, 2014 BY NOAH ROTHMAN

On Saturday, Newsbusters was the first major website to feature a video posted to YouTube by AmericanCommitment of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber boasting in 2013 how he helped deceive the public via a lack of transparency about that bill. Some readers were anxious about that video being made better known to the public since at the time the article was published, there were only a couple of dozen views of the video on YouTube.

Well they needn’t have worried because since then the video has gone over the top viral to the extent that Rush Limbaugh led his show talking about it at length this morning as did Sean Hannity on his radio show. In addition, the video made it into the mainstream media other than Fox News when Jake Tapper showed the video today on The Lead and The Hill has an article about it as well. As of this writing the video has over 177,000 views and growing fast. Reason today had an excellent analysis of the Gruber revelations:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Jonathan Gruber was, by most accounts, one of the key figures in constructing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. He helped designed the Massachusetts health care law on which it was modeled, assisted the White House in laying out the foundation of the law, and, according to The New York Times, was eventually sent to Capitol Hill “to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation.” He provided the media with a stream of supportive quotes, and was paid almost $400,000 for his consulting work.

Jonathan Gruber, in other words, knows exactly what it took to get the health care law passed.

And that’s why you should take him seriously when he says, in the following video, that it was critical to not be transparent about the law’s costs and true effects, and to take advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter” in order to get it passed:

Here’s the full quote:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

This validates much of what critics have said about the health care law, and the tactics used to pass it, for years.

For one thing, it is an explicit admission that the law was designed in such a way to avoid a CBO score that would have tanked the bill. Basically, the Democrats who wrote the bill knowingly gamed the CBO process.

It’s also an admission that the law’s authors understood that one of the effects of the bill would be to make healthy people pay for the sick, but declined to say this for fear that it would kill the bill’s chances. In other words, the law’s supporters believed the public would not like some of the bill’s consequences, and knowingly attempted to hide those consequences from the public.

Most importantly, however, it is an admission that Gruber thinks it’s acceptable to deceive people if he believes that’s the only way to achieve his policy preference. That’s not exactly surprising, given that he failed to disclose payments from the administration to consult on Obamacare even while providing the media with supposedly independent assessments of the law.

…Gruber may believe that American voters are stupid, but he was the one who was dumb enough to say all this on camera.

Now that various MSM outlets have begun to pay attention to the Gruber Obamacare deception video, it will be fascinating to see what type of excuses will be made by the pundits to cover for what he admitted. Bonus points to Jonathan Cohn at New Republic or Politico or any of a vast number of liberal sources for whoever can dream up the most entertaining spin control to explain away this viral video.

p.s. Did I mention that Newsbusters was the first major website to feature this video?

- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/pj-gladnick/2014/11/10/jonathan-gruber-obamacare-deception-video-goes-viral-newsbusters-was#sthash.OIUxVcFC.dpuf

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/11/11/jon-gruber-finally-speaks-to-msnbc/

Jonathan Gruber at Noblis – January 18, 2012

Honors Colloquium 2012 – Jonathan Gruber

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate. He is an Associate Editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Dr. Gruber received his B.S. in Economics from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Dr. Gruber’s research focuses on the areas of public finance and health economics. He has published more than 140 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text, and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel. In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under. During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

2012-01-09 Jonathan Gruber on Mitt Romney and Health Care Reform

Jonathan Gruber Once Again Says Subsidies Are Tied to State-Based Exchanges

Jonathan Gruber discusses health care law’s next step

Healthcare Reform 101 Part 1.

Healthcare Reform 101 Part 2.

Healthcare Reform 101 Part 3.

Jonathan Gruber on Obamacare: Part 1 of 3

Jonathan Gruber on Obamacare: Part 2 of 3

Crafting ObamaCare

Obamacare Architect: No State Exchange = No Subsidies; Blatant Enough

#GruberGate: Tale of the Tapes

Rush Limbaugh – MIT Gruber Lied about Obamacare

Rush Limbaugh: Jonathan Gruber says you are Life’s Lottery Winners – Eugenics

Gwen and Jonathan Gruber Talk Health Care with Chris Matthews

Obama 2008: Bypassing Congress Unconstitutional; I’ll Reverse It

Jon Gruber: The Dismal Science

 

Meet Jonathan Gruber, the man who’s willing to say what everyone else is only thinking about Obamacare

By Jason Millman

Jonathan Gruber might not be a household name, but in the world of health care policy, he’s a pretty big deal. And now he’s also known as the guy who’s credited “the stupidity of the American voter” for the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

An old video surfaced this week of Gruber saying that a lack of transparency was one of the reasons Obamacare got through Congress in 2010. Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology health economist who’s credited as one of the intellectual godfathers of the Affordable Care Act, has apologized for speaking off the cuff, but critics of the law are eagerly highlighting his comments.

That’s because of what Gruber represents. He was one of the architects of the 2006 Massachusetts health care law, which became the basis for the ACA, and he helped craft the federal legislation that used a similar scheme of guaranteed coverage, financial assistance and insurance mandates. He was far from the only person who helped shape the ACA, but he has been one of its most vocal academic defenders in the nearly five years since it passed. (And he’s the only one to write a comic book about the law.)

It’s easy to see why Gruber’s comments get pored over by ACA opponents. There’s plenty of misunderstanding about what’s in the ACA and mistrust of the motivations for passing the law — just recall Nancy Pelosi’s infamous line about needing to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. So when someone like Gruber, who’s supposed to know the law inside and out, seemingly confirms critics’ worst suspicions, that makes for a powerful anecdote.

Gruber, who’s fiercely intelligent and passionate about the health reforms he helped create, also isn’t one to always sugarcoat things.

Earlier this year, a pretty important health policy study showed that the expansion of Medicaid coverage in Oregon was associated with a spike in emergency room visits. The research potentially undercut an argument by supporters of the law who said it would save money since giving more people health insurance meant patients would rely more on primary care providers, rather than expensive trips to the ER. And Gruber, commenting on the study, offered an uncomfortable truth.

“I would view [the study] as part of a broader set of evidence that covering people with health insurance doesn’t save money,” Gruber told the Washington Post at the time. “That was sometimes a misleading motivator for the Affordable Care Act. The law isn’t designed to save money. It’s designed to improve health, and that’s going to cost money.”

You may also remember Gruber from the last presidential campaign, when there was plenty of debate over just how similar Obamacare and Romneycare actually were to one another. It was Gruber who artfully cleared up the confusion. “They’re the same f—— bill,” he told Capital New York in what became a widely circulated interview three years ago. It’s probably what ACA supporters wanted to say all along, but only Gruber went ahead and did it.

His most potentially damaging comments surfaced just over the summer, when Gruber seemingly gave credence to the ACA challenge just taken up by the Supreme Court last week — a challenge that if successful couldtorpedo the law.

The case revolves around whether residents in states that refused to set up their own health insurance marketplaces should still be able to claim tax subsidies to help them afford their insurance. Opponents say no, Congress intentionally didn’t allow that under the law. Democrats say they never intended for people in these 36 states to not have access to the financial assistance.

Here was Gruber again, in January 2012, telling a health-care conference that states refusing to set up their own exchanges would deny their residents premium tax credits. The video wasn’t widely viewed until June of this year, but this is what he said at the time:

I think what’s important to remember politically about this, is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits. But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying to your citizens, you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these Exchanges, and that they’ll do it. But you know, once again, the politics can get ugly around this.

Here’s the video, with these comments near the 31:30 mark:

 

Critics of the law jumped on those comments as further validation of their challenge to the subsidies in the 36 states relying on the federal-run insurance marketplaces, or exchanges. Gruber later said that he misspoke, and that his own work always assumed all exchanges — whether run by the states or the federal government — would be eligible for subsidies.

Gruber’s latest comments have surfaced at an especially inopportune time for the Obama administration. The next enrollment period is approaching this weekend with lowered expectations, just as Republicans reclaimed the Senate and the Supreme Court agreed to hear a new Obamacare challengethat could seriously weaken the law.

The Democrats, realizing how harmful Gruber’s latest comments have become, are already out doing damage control. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today to put distance between Gruber and the health-care law, saying he’s not even sure that Gruber ever met with President Obama.

“He’s a consultant, not the architect [of Obamacare,” Dean said. “I’m not excusing the language — it’s terrible.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/12/meet-jonathan-gruber-the-man-whos-willing-to-say-what-everyone-else-is-only-thinking-about-obamacare/

Jonathan Gruber (economist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people of the same name, see Jonathan Gruber (disambiguation).
Jonathan Gruber
Born September 30, 1965 (age 49)
Nationality American
Institution MIT
Field Health economics
Alma mater Harvard University (PhD, 1992)
MIT (BSc, 1987)
Information at IDEAS/RePEc

Jonathan Holmes Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a research associate. He is an associate editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics.

Gruber has been heavily involved in crafting public health policy. He was a key architect of both the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform, sometimes referred to as “Romneycare”, and the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”.

Contents

  • Early life

    Gruber was born on September 30, 1965. He completed his BS in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1992, with a thesis titled Changes in the Structure of Employer-Provided Health Insurance.[1]

    Academic career

    Gruber began his career as an assistant professor of economics at MIT.[2] Currently, [clarification needed] he is a professor of economics at MIT. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.[2]

    Gruber’s research has focused on public finance and health economics. He has published more than 140 research articles, and has edited six research volumes. He is a co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics, an associate editor of the Journal of Health Economics, and the author of Public Finance and Public Policy.[3] and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel delineating the Affordable Care Act.[citation needed]

    Public service

    During the 1997–1998 academic year, Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003–06 he was a key architect of Massachusetts health care reform, also known as “Romneycare”. In 2006 he became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare magazine. During the 2008 election he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards and Obama presidential campaigns.

    Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    In 2009–10 Gruber served as a technical consultant to the Obama Administration and worked with both the administration and Congress to help craft the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as the ACA or “Obamacare”.[4] The act was signed into law in March 2010, and Gruber has been described as an “architect”, “writer”, and “consultant” of the legislation. He was widely interviewed and quoted during the roll-out of the legislation. [5][6][7][8][9]

    In January 2010, after news emerged that Gruber was under a $297,000 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services, while at the same time promoting the Obama administration‘s health care reform policies, some conservative commentators suggested a conflict of interest.[10][11][12] While he did disclose his HHS connections in an article for the New England Journal of Medicine, his oversight in doing this earlier was defended in the New York Times .[13]

    One heavily-scrutinized part of the ACA reads that subsidies should be given to healthcare recipients who are enrolled “through an Exchange established by the State”. Some have read this to mean that subsidies can be given only in states that have chosen to create their own healthcare exchanges, and do not use the federal exchange, while the Obama administration says that the wording applies to all states. This dispute is currently part of an ongoing series of lawsuits referred to collectively as King v. Burwell. In July 2014, two separate recordings of Gruber, both from January 2012, surfaced in which he seemed to contradict the administration’s position.[4] In one, Gruber states, in response to an audience question, that “if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits”,[14] while in the other he says, “if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens.”[15] When these recordings emerged, Gruber called these statements mistaken, describing them as “just a speak-o — you know, like a typo”.[14]

    In a panel discussion about the ACA at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2013, Gruber stated that the bill was deliberately written “in a tortured way” to disguise the fact that it created a system in which “healthy people pay in and sick people get money”. He stated that this obfuscation was necessary, due to “the stupidity of the American voter or whatever”, in order to get the bill passed and that a “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”[16] His comments caused controversy after a video of them was placed on YouTubein November 2014.[17][18][19][20]

    Published works

    • On February 15, 2006, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published an article by Gruber entitled “The Cost and Coverage Impact of the President’s Health Insurance Budget Proposals”[21]
    • In a December 4, 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Medicine for the Job Market”, he claimed that expanding health insurance, even in difficult financial times would stimulate the economy.[22]
    • On February 9, 2011, the Center for American Progress published an article by Gruber titled “Health Care Reform Without the Individual Mandate,” analyzing the health insurance coverage impacts of alternative policy options for encouraging purchase of health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the mandate, a late penalty, and auto-enrollment.[23]

    He has published over 100 research articles.[24]

    Awards and honors

    In 2006, Gruber received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under.[25] He was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine in 2005.[26] In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association.

    In 2011 he was named “One of the Top 25 Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time” by Slate Magazine. In both 2006 and 2012 he was rated as one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

    References

    1. Jump up^ Gruber, John. “Changes in the structure of employer-provided health insurance”. ProQuest. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
    2. ^ Jump up to:a b http://economics.mit.edu/files/6400. Retrieved 25 July 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
    3. Jump up^ Worth Publishers Student Center for Public Finance and Policy
    4. ^ Jump up to:a b Cannon, Michael. “ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber: “If You’re A State And You Don’t Set Up An Exchange, That Means Your Citizens Don’t Get Their Tax Credits””. Forbes. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
    5. Jump up^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/jon-gruber-on-the-premiums-in-health-care-reform/2011/08/25/gIQAN0TUWS_blog.html
    6. Jump up^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/business/jonathan-gruber-health-cares-mr-mandate.html?pagewanted=all
    7. Jump up^http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704586504574654362679868966
    8. Jump up^ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/01/on-jonathan-gruber-and-disclosure/
    9. Jump up^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/how-the-white-house-used_b_421549.html
    10. Jump up^ James, Michael (January 9, 2010). “On Jonathan Gruber and Disclosure”. ABC News. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
    11. Jump up^ “Jonathan Gruber Failed to Disclose His $297,600 Contract With HHS”. Huffington Post. May 25, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
    12. Jump up^ Berger, Judson (January 8, 2010). “Economist Was Under Contract With HHS While Touting Health Reform Bill”. Fox News. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
    13. Jump up^ “Jonathan Gruber”. New York Times. January 11, 2010. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
    14. ^ Jump up to:a b Cohn, Jonathan (July 25, 2014). “Jonathan Gruber: ‘It Was Just a Mistake'”. The New Republic.
    15. Jump up^ Oops!…Gruber Did It Again, Forbes, July 25, 2014
    16. Jump up^ “GRUBER: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.””. American Commitment. October 13, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
    17. Jump up^ Roy, Avik (November 10, 2014). “ACA Architect: ‘The Stupidity Of The American Voter’ Led Us To Hide Obamacare’s True Costs From The Public”. Forbes.
    18. Jump up^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/11/obamacare-consultant-under-fire-for-stupidity-of-the-american-voter-comment/
    19. Jump up^ http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/11/10/obamacare-architect-admits-deceiving-americans-pass-law
    20. Jump up^http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/10/obamacare-architect-we-passed-law-due-to-stupidity/
    21. Jump up^ The Cost and Coverage Impact of The President’s Health Insurance Budget Proposals, February 15, 2006]
    22. Jump up^ Gruber, Jonathan (December 4, 2008), Medicine for the Job Market, New York Times
    23. Jump up^ Gruber, Jonathan (February 9, 2011), Health Care Reform Without the Individual Mandate
    24. Jump up^ NBER Working Papers by Jonathan Gruber
    25. Jump up^ Honors & awards – Fall 2006 Soundings
    26. Jump up^ National Academy of Social Insurance

    External links

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Gruber_(economist)

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    Black Chicago Activists Attack Democratic Party, Black Leadership and Barack Obama — The Real Oppressors Are The Democrats — They Are Pushing a Neoliberal Agenda Not A Black Agenda — Emancipation Proclamation — I Have A Dream — “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” — The Democrats Wipe Out Elections of 2014 — Videos

    Posted on October 28, 2014. Filed under: American History, Babies, Banking, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Demographics, Disease, Economics, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Illegal, Immigration, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Monetary Policy, Money, Music, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Public Sector, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Project_1

    The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

    Pronk Pops Show 358: October 28, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 357: October 27, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 356: October 24, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 355: October 23, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 354: October 22, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 353: October 21, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 350: October 16, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 340: September 30, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 339: September 29, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 338: September 26, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 337: September 25, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 336: September 24, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 335: September 23 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 334: September 22 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 333: September 19 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 332: September 18 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 331: September 17, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 330: September 16, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 329: September 15, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 328: September 12, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 327: September 11, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 326: September 10, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 325: September 9, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 324: September 8, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 323: September 5, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 322: September 4, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 321: September 3, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 320: August 29, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 319: August 28, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 318: August 27, 2014 

    Pronk Pops Show 317: August 22, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 316: August 20, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 315: August 18, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 314: August 15, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 313: August 14, 2014

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    Pronk Pops Show 310: August 8, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 309: August 6, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 308: August 4, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 307: August 1, 2014 

    Pronk Pops Show 306: July 31, 2014

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    Pronk Pops Show 304: July 29, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 303: July 28, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 302: July 24, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 301: July 23, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 300: July 22, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 299: July 21, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 298: July 18, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 297: July 17, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 296: July 16, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 295: July 15, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 294: July 14, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 293: July 11, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 292: July 9, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 291: July 7, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 290: July 3, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 289: July 2, 2014

    Story 1: Black Chicago Activists Attack Democratic Party, Black Leadership and Barack Obama — The Real Oppressors Are The Democrats — They Are Pushing a Neoliberal Agenda Not A Black Agenda — Emancipation Proclamation — I Have A Dream — “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” — The Democrats Wipe Out Elections of 2014 — Videos

    Chicago Activists Unchained, Destroy Black Leadership

    http://www.RebelPundit.com Chicago activists Paul McKinley, Mark Carter, Joseph Watkins and Harold “Noonie” Ward recently went on the record with RebelPundit to deliver a message to black communities across the country.

    ZoNation: Black Lives Matter, So They Should Vote Republican

    PJTV: ZoNation: Liberals and Democrats Are Racist, Not Republicans!

    Elbert Guillory – Why I am a Republican Free At Last in Louisiana #ElbertGuillory

    Elbert Guillory: Mary Landrieu is Not Helping Blacks

    Bill Whittle – Racism – Democrats and Republicans switch sides?

    Glenn Beck: Black Democratic State Senator Switches To Republican Party

    Rush Limbaugh Discusses Elbert Guillory’s Switch To The GOP

    Chicago Resident: Obama Will Go Down as Worst President Ever

    Chicago Black Activists React To Obama’s State of the Union

    Black activist legend: “Reclaim your mind, be an individual”

    Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On – What’s Happening Brother”

    CHICAGO My Kind Of Town – Frank Sinatra

    Abraham Lincoln – The Emancipation Proclamation

    Martin Luther King, Jr. I Have A Dream Speech

    Martin Luther King’s Last Speech: “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop”

    ZoNation: What Can Republicans Do for the Black Community?

    Black Genocide: The Democrats Institutionalized Racism

    BLACK REPUBLICANS Tell Other Blacks To WAKE UP!!!

    Jack Hunter: The Real Extremists are in Washington D.C.

    RUSH: 2014 Midterms Is Gonna Be A ‘WAVE’ Election Like 2010

    The Ventures – Wipe Out

    Wipeout of the Year Award Nominees • 2014 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards

    Economic, Political Discontent Make for a Midterm Double Punch

    By Gary Langer

    Oct 28, 2014 7:00am

    A double punch of economic and political dissatisfaction marks public attitudes in the closing week of the 2014 midterm campaign – a dynamic that reflects poorly on the president’s performance, bolstering his Republican opponents.

    The discontent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is palpable. Despite its fitful gains, seven in 10 Americans rate the nation’s economy negatively and just 28 percent say it’s getting better. In a now-customary result, 68 percent say the country’s seriously off on the wrong track.

    See PDF with full results, charts and tables here

    5 Questions About the Midterm Elections Answered

    There’s no respite politically. Six in 10 express little or no trust in the federal government to do what’s right. Fifty-three percent think its ability to deal with the country’s problems has worsened in the last few years; among likely voters that rises to 63 percent.

    Views of the president’s performance suffer in kind. Barack Obama’s job approval rating, 43 percent overall, is virtually unchanged from his career-low 40 percent two weeks ago. A steady 51 percent disapprove, essentially the same all year. His ratings on the economy – still the country’s prime concern, albeit one of many – are similarly weak, a 10-point net negative score.

    These elements appear poised to depress voting by dispirited Democrats, tipping the scale to customarily higher-turnout Republicans. Disapproval of Obama reaches 56 percent among likely voters, and three in 10 say they’ll show up at the polls to express opposition to him – twice as many as say they’ll vote to show him support.

    The result is a 50-44 percent Republican advantage among likely voters in preference for U.S. House seats in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. That compares with a +3-point Democratic tally among all registered voters, showing how differential turnout shifts the balance.

    EXPECTATIONS and DISAFFECTION

    Other results may be equally cheering to the GOP.  While the unpredictable nature of key Senate races makes it premature to be measuring for drapes in leadership offices, Americans by 13 points, 46-33 percent, expect the Republicans to win control. By nine points, 32-24 percent, more also call a good rather than a bad thing.

    Four in 10, though, say who’s in control won’t make much difference – one sign of the more general public annoyance any incoming leaders are likely to face.

    Disaffection may impact participation, as well. Just 68 percent of registered voters say they’re closely following the midterms, well down from 76 percent at about this time in 2010 and 80 percent in 2006. The share saying they’re certain to vote (or already voted), 65 percent, likewise is down, from 71 percent in 2010 and 76 percent in 2006. Actual turnout is lower still.

    There’s another turn-off for prospective voters: the tone of the midterm campaigns. Americans by 2-1, 50 vs. 26 percent say the candidates in their congressional district have been mainly attacking each other rather than discussing the issues. The remaining quarter has no opinion, suggesting they’ve just tuned it all out.

    When not firing salvos, campaigns have been working the phones: About one in four likely voters, 27 percent, say they’ve been personally contacted by an individual or organization working to support a House or Senate candidate. About equal numbers say they’ve been contacted on behalf of Republican vs. Democratic candidates; most by far have been contacted by both. No partisan advantage is apparent, suggesting a stalemate, at least overall, in this element of political trench warfare.

    OBAMA

     

    Midterms often are seen as referendums on the president, especially given the customary six-year itch. So it is with Obama: This year on average has been his worst in overall job approval since he took office, and it’s the first year a majority has disapproved.

    Among groups, 2014 marks the first year Obama has averaged less-than-majority approval among moderates (48 percent this year so far), as well as approval only in the 30s among independents (37 percent on average). He’s averaged 33 percent approval among whites and 65 percent among nonwhites in 2014 – a vast difference, but both annual lows since he took office.

    Obama’s troubles help explain another result – a 42-37 percent edge among likely voters for the Republican Party over the Democrats to handle the country’s main problems. Even among all adults, there’s just a 2-point gap between the parties on this question.

    VOTING GROUPS

    The results in congressional vote preference include notable divisions among groups. While Democratic candidates are a scant +5 among women, that turns to a 17-point Republican lead among men. Republican candidates likewise lead by a hefty 17 points among political independents. And while Democrats are +12 points among moderates, the GOP comes back with a vast 61-point advantage among conservatives, who rival moderates in their share of likely voters.

    The Democrats have a typical lead among nonwhites, but they often also look to college-educated white women as key supporters. This year they’re only running evenly in that group, while losing 66 percent of white men and 57 percent of white women who lack a college degree.

    Attitudinal groups also mark the GOP advantage. Democratic candidates lead by 71-24 percent among those who say the government’s ability to deal with problems has held steady or improved in recent years – but Republicans have nearly as large an advantage among those who say this has worsened, and there are far more of them. Republican candidates lead broadly, as well, among those who rate economic conditions negatively – again, the predominant group.

    For all this, another result points to a lost opportunity for the Democrats. Seventy-one percent of all adults in this survey, and two-thirds of likely voters, think the U.S. economic system favors the wealthy rather than treating most people fairly. And likely voters who see a systemic bias for the wealthy prefer Democratic candidates over Republicans by a 20-point margin.

    The tide turns because the minority who thinks the system is fair favors Republican candidates far more broadly – by 47 points, 72-25 percent. It’s an issue on which Democrats may find room to push back – if not this year, then in the presidential election two years off.

    METHODOLOGY

    This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Oct. 23-26, 2014, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,204 adults, including 1,032 registered voters and 758 likely voters, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 points for the general population, registered voters and likely voters, respectively, including the design effect.

    Partisan divisions in this survey, Democrats-Republicans-independents, are 32-24-36 percent among the general population, 35-26-33 percent among registered voters and 33-30-31 percent among likely voters.

    ap voting mt 141027 16x9 608 Economic, Political Discontent Make for a Midterm Double Punch

    Kent D. Johnson/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP Photo

    The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/10/economic-political-discontent-make-for-a-midterm-double-punch/

     

    The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    All Fifty States Should Institute A Mandatory 21-Day Quarantine For American Citizens Coming From Ebola Infected Countries and Isolation in A Hospital If You Have Any of Ebola Symptoms and Stop Issuing Visas and Ban Travelers From Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — Send In The Clowns — Hillary Clinton Big Government Collectivist On Minimum Wages and Job Creation — Videos

    Posted on October 28, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking, Books, Business, Communications, Constitution, Corruption, Crisis, Culture, Documentary, Economics, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, Health Care, Heroes, history, Illegal, Immigration, Inflation, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medicine, Monetary Policy, Money, Music, Non-Fiction, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Project_1

    The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

    Pronk Pops Show 357: October 27, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 356: October 24, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 355: October 23, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 354: October 22, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 353: October 21, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 350: October 16, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

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    Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 340: September 30, 2014

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    Pronk Pops Show 334: September 22 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 333: September 19 2014

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    Pronk Pops Show 330: September 16, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 329: September 15, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 328: September 12, 2014

    Pronk Pops Show 327: September 11, 2014

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    Pronk Pops Show 317: August 22, 2014

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    Pronk Pops Show 307: August 1, 2014 

    Pronk Pops Show 306: July 31, 2014

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    Pronk Pops Show 290: July 3, 2014

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    Story 1: All Fifty States Should Institute A Mandatory  21-Day Quarantine For American Citizens Coming From Ebola Infected Countries and Isolation in A Hospital If You Have Any of Ebola Symptoms and Stop Issuing Visas and Ban Travelers From Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — Send In The Clowns — Hillary Clinton Big Government Collectivist On Minimum Wages and Job Creation — Videos

    Judy Collins Send in the Clowns

    Hillary Clinton: Corporations and Businesses Dont Create Jobs

    Good Intentions 2 of 3 Minimum Wage, Licensing, and Labor Laws with Walter Williams

    Milton Friedman on Minimum Wage

    MILTON FRIEDMAN-what alinsky never told obama…

    Milton Friedman ~ The Escape From Collectivism

    Milton Friedman vs Bill Clinton (1999)

    G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

    Santa Monica Tea Party – Yaron Brook – Reclaiming the Moral High Ground

     

     

    Understand Quarantine and Isolation

    People can be infected with dangerous diseases in a number of ways. Some germs, like those causing malaria, are passed to humans by animals. Other germs, like those that cause botulism, are carried to people by contaminated food or water. Still others, like the ones causing measles, are passed directly from person to person. These diseases are called “contagious”.

    Contagious diseases that pose a health risk to people have always existed. While the spread of many of these diseases has been controlled through vaccination and other public health efforts, avian influenza (“bird flu”) and terrorist acts worldwide have raised concerns about the possibility of a disease risk. That makes it important for people to understand what can and would be done to protect the public from the spread of dangerous contagious diseases.

    The CDC applies the term “quarantine” to more than just people. It also refers to any situation in which a building, conveyance, cargo, or animal might be thought to have been exposed to a dangerous contagious disease agent and is closed off or kept apart from others to prevent disease spread.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the U.S. government agency responsible for identifying, tracking, and controlling the spread of disease. With the help of the CDC, state and local health departments have created emergency preparedness and response plans. In addition to early detection, rapid diagnosis, and treatment with antibiotics or antivirals, these plans use two main traditional strategies —quarantine and isolation— to contain the spread of illness. These are common health care practices to control the spread of a contagious disease by limiting people’s exposure to it.

    The difference between quarantine and isolation can be summed up like this:

    • Isolation applies to persons who are known to be ill with a contagious disease.
    • Quarantine applies to those who have been exposed to a contagious disease but who may or may not become ill.

    Definitions

    Infectious disease: a disease caused by a microorganism and therefore potentially infinitely transferable to new individuals. May or may not be communicable. Example of non communicable is disease caused by toxins from food poisoning or infection caused by toxins in the environment, such as tetanus.

    Communicable disease: an infectious disease that is contagious and which can be transmitted from one source to another by infectious bacteria or viral organisms.

    Contagious disease: a very communicable disease capable of spreading rapidly from one person to another by contact or close proximity.

    Related Links

    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/preparedness/quarantine/

     

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    “US’ HOMELAND SECURITY”, “EBOLA QUARANTINE ZONES” AND “FEMA DETENTION CAMPS”!

    Ebola Truth Shock! New WHO Reports Says Ebola Has ’42-Day Incubation Period’

    Public Health Service – Disease & Its Control – Immigrants, Ellis Island & Quarantine 1930s

    SNL Cold Open Ridicules Obama on Ebola – ” Probably One of My Greatest Accomplishments

    Understand Quarantine and Isolation: Questions & Answers

    Questions & Answers

    When someone is known to be ill with a contagious disease, they are placed in isolation and receive special care, with precautions taken to protect uninfected people from exposure to the disease.

    When someone has been exposed to a contagious disease and it is not yet known if they have caught it, they may be quarantined or separated from others who have not been exposed to the disease. For example, they may be asked to remain at home to prevent further potential spread of the illness. They also receive special care and observation for any early signs of the illness.

    How long can quarantine and isolation last? What is done to help the people who experience isolation or quarantine?

    The list of diseases for which quarantine or isolation is authorized is specified in an Executive Order of the President. This list currently includes cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers (Lassa, Marburg, Ebola, Crimean-Congo, South American, and others not yet isolated or named), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and influenza caused by novel or reemergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic.

    Isolation

    Isolation would last for the period of communicability of the illness, which varies by disease and the availability of specific treatment. Usually it occurs at a hospital or other health care facility or in the person’s home. Typically, the ill person will have his or her own room and those who care for him or her will wear protective clothing and take other precautions, depending on the level of personal protection needed for the specific illness.

    In most cases, isolation is voluntary; however, federal, state and local governments have the authority to require isolation of sick people to protect the public.

    Quarantine

    Modern quarantine lasts only as long as necessary to protect the public by (1) providing public health care (such as immunization or drug treatment, as required) and (2) ensuring that quarantined persons do not infect others if they have been exposed to a contagious disease.

    Modern quarantine is more likely to involve limited numbers of exposed persons in small areas than to involve large numbers of persons in whole neighborhoods or cities.

    Quarantined individuals will be sheltered, fed, and cared for at home, in a designated emergency facility, or in a specialized hospital, depending on the disease and the available resources. They will also be among the first to receive all available medical interventions to prevent and control disease, including:

    • Vaccination.
    • Antibiotics.
    • Early and rapid diagnostic testing and symptom monitoring.
    • Early treatment if symptoms appear.

    The duration and scope of quarantine measures would vary, depending on their purpose and what is known about the incubation period (how long it takes for symptoms to develop after exposure) of the disease-causing agent.

    Examples

    A few hours for assessment. Passengers on airplanes, trains or boats believed to be infected with or exposed to a dangerous contagious disease might be delayed for a few hours while health authorities determine the risk they pose to public health. Some passengers may be asked to provide contact information and then released while others who are ill are transported to where they can receive medical attention. There have been a few instances where state and local public health authorities have imposed a brief quarantine at a public gathering, such as a shelter, while investigating if one or more people may be ill.

    Enough time to provide preventive treatment or other intervention. If public health authorities determine that a passenger or passengers on airplanes, trains or boats are sick with a dangerous contagious disease, the other passengers may be quarantined in a designated facility where they may receive preventive treatment and have their health monitored.

    For the duration of the incubation period. If public health officials determine that one or more passenger on airplanes, trains or boats are infected with a contagious disease and that passengers sitting nearby may have had close contact with the infected passenger(s), those at risk might be quarantined in a designated facility, observed for signs of illness and cared for under isolation conditions if they become ill.

    When would quarantine and isolation be used and by whom?

    If people in a certain area were potentially exposed to a contagious disease, this is what would happen: State and local health authorities would let people know that they may have been exposed and would direct them to get medical attention, undergo diagnostic tests, and stay at home, limiting their contact with people who have not been exposed to the disease. Only rarely would federal, state, or local health authorities issue an “order” for quarantine and isolation.

    However, both quarantine and isolation may be compelled on a mandatory basis through legal authority as well as conducted on a voluntary basis.

    States have the authority to declare and enforce quarantine and isolation within their borders. This authority varies widely, depending on state laws. It derives from the authority of state governments granted by the U.S. Constitution to enact laws and promote regulations to safeguard the health and welfare of people within state borders.

    Further, at the national level, the CDC may detain, medically examine or conditionally release persons suspected of having certain contagious diseases. This authority applies to individuals arriving from foreign countries, including Canada and Mexico, on airplanes, trains, automobiles, boats or by foot. It also applies to individuals traveling from one state to another or in the event of “inadequate local control.”

    The CDC regularly uses its authority to monitor passengers arriving in the United States for contagious diseases. In modern times, most quarantine measures have been imposed on a small scale, typically involving small numbers of travelers (airline or cruise ship passengers) who have curable diseases, such as infectious tuberculosis or cholera. No instances of large-scale quarantine have occurred in the U.S. since the “Spanish Flu” pandemic of 1918-1919.

    Based on years of experience working with state and local partners, the CDC anticipates that the need to use its federal authority to involuntarily quarantine a person would occur only in rare situations—for example, if a person posed a threat to public health and refused to cooperate with a voluntary request.

    Definitions

    For more information, see the CDC’s “Fact Sheet on Legal Authorities for Isolation/Quarantine”.

    Infectious disease: a disease caused by a microorganism and therefore potentially infinitely transferable to new individuals. May or may not be communicable. Example of non communicable is disease caused by toxins from food poisoning or infection caused by toxins in the environment, such as tetanus.

    Communicable disease: an infectious disease that is contagious and which can be transmitted from one source to another by infectious bacteria or viral organisms.

    Contagious disease: a very communicable disease capable of spreading rapidly from one person to another by contact or close proximity.

    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/preparedness/quarantine/qa.asp

     

    White House Pushes Back on State Ebola Quarantines

    COLLEEN MCCAIN NELSON,
    MELANIE GRAYCE WEST and
    BETSY MCKAY

    The White House pushed back against the governors of New York, New Jersey, Illinois and other states that instituted procedures to forcibly quarantine medical workers returning from West Africa, deepening an emotional debate brought on by recent Ebola cases in the U.S.

    A senior administration official said Sunday that new federal guidelines under development would protect Americans from imported cases of the disease but not interfere with the flow of U.S. health workers to and from West Africa to fight the epidemic there.

    “We have let the governors of New York, New Jersey and other states know that we have concerns with the unintended consequences… [that quarantine] policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source,” the official said.

    Betsy McKay joins the News Hub with the latest on the spread of the Ebola virus and efforts to contain it in the U.S. Photo: University of Texas at Arlington/AP.

    It wasn’t clear what action the Obama administration could take to end the quarantines.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday night gave the first new details about how his state’s quarantine would work, noting that individuals would be allowed to stay in their homes for 21 days. State and local health-care workers would check on quarantined people twice a day to monitor for Ebola symptoms. Those with symptoms would be taken to a hospital. People whose jobs won’t compensate them during their quarantine would be paid by the state.

    Travelers who have had no direct contact with Ebola patients wouldn’t be subject to confinement at home, but they would be consulted twice-daily by health officials over the three-week period.

    New York officials said the new protocols still went further than those recommended by the federal government.

    “My personal practice is to err on the side of caution,” said Mr. Cuomo. Asked if he got White House pressure to shape the policy, Mr. Cuomo said: “I have had none.”

    The New York quarantine policy appears designed to strike a different tone from New Jersey, where Kaci Hickox, a 33-year-old Doctors Without Borders nurse, has been held in a tent in a Newark hospital for three days under conditions that she said Sunday were “really inhumane.”

    New Jersey state officials said late Sunday night that they wouldn’t change their protocols, which allowed for home quarantine. A New Jersey resident who has no symptoms but has come into contact with someone with Ebola would be quarantined at home. Non-residents would be transported to their homes if feasible, or quarantined in New Jersey if not.

    Ms. Hickox, who lives in Maine, has retained lawyers to challenge her quarantine. One of those lawyers, Norman Siegel, a prominent civil rights attorney, said the quarantine policy infringed on her constitutional rights.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie held firm on his decision to quarantine returning health-care workers. “I absolutely have no second thoughts about it,” he said on Fox News.

    Mr. Cuomo’s announcement on Sunday was made with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio , who had criticized how Ms. Hickox was treated. “State governments have the right to make decisions. But this hero coming back from the front, having done the right thing, was treated with disrespect,” Mr. de Blasio told reporters.

    Mr. Christie said Saturday that “I’m sorry if in any way she was inconvenienced, but inconvenience that could occur from having folks that are symptomatic and ill out amongst the public is a much, much greater concern of mine. So certainly nothing was done intentionally to try to inconvenience her or try to make her uncomfortable.”

    Although Mr. Cuomo’s policy appears different from New Jersey’s handling of a quarantine case, the White House declined to comment on the New York measures beyond reiterating the principles guiding its own decision-making.

    Ebola has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa. Nine people have been treated for the virus in the U.S., four of whom either became ill or were infected here. One died.

    President Barack Obama convened a meeting of top public health and national security advisers on Sunday to discuss the issue.

    Federal, state and local officials are grappling with ways to quell anxiety and protect the public. The different approaches they are taking reflect the layered public health system in the U.S. State and local authorities hold most quarantine powers, while the federal government’s power is more limited, according to legal experts.

    The federal government technically could find an argument for challenging state decisions to impose quarantines, said Polly Price, professor at Emory University School of Law. “I could see an argument that there are interstate ramifications,” she said, such as economic disruption. But she said she thought it unlikely, given the political environment and public anxiety over Ebola.

    In most cases, the federal government can’t override state quarantines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has powers at ports of entry to the U.S., and can quarantine people who are traveling between states and have infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. Ebola, which can’t be spread through the air, isn’t considered as infectious.

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, left, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced a mandatory quarantine for “high risk” people returning to the U.S. through airports in New York and New Jersey. ENLARGE
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, left, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced a mandatory quarantine for “high risk” people returning to the U.S. through airports in New York and New Jersey. ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Craig Spencer, a New York doctor diagnosed Thursday with Ebola after his return from West Africa, appeared to have played a part in the quarantine moves by New Jersey and New York. He was reported in serious but stable condition Sunday at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan.

    The Christie administration believes it would win any legal challenge because state law is clear on the government’s ability to quarantine people in public-health emergencies, said a New Jersey state official familiar with the new policy.

    During a campaign stop in Florida Sunday, Mr. Christie said that no federal officials had reached out to him about revising the mandatory quarantine.

    Christie administration officials knew that public-health experts would disagree with their decision but decided they wanted a broad, tough policy that would calm people’s fears, a Christie official said.

    Mr. Cuomo said last week that he consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before launching the mandatory-quarantine policy, but Christie administration officials didn’t, a Christie spokesman said.

    Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday that the administration is considering a risk-based monitoring system that would elevate the required supervision of health-care workers returning from West African nations.

    But he said the protocols would stop short of a mandatory, 21-day isolation of health-care workers that several states have imposed, which risks deterring volunteers heading to Africa to fight the disease.

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    “You fashion what you do with them according to the risk,” Dr. Fauci said Sunday morning on NBC. “One of the ways you can mitigate against this issue is by…different types of monitoring.”

    Supervision would ratchet up from passive monitoring—individuals regularly taking their temperatures—to “direct active” monitoring, where those who are deemed high-risk are checked by medical workers, he said on NBC.

    Scientists say that people who aren’t showing symptoms of Ebola don’t transmit the disease, and Dr. Fauci said other steps besides a mandatory quarantine could ensure public safety. Telling health-care workers that upon returning from West Africa “you still have 21 days out of your life where you can’t move, I think, will have unintended negative consequences,” he said.

    Legal experts disagreed on Ms. Hickox’s ability to successfully challenge her quarantine.

    Lawrence Gostin, a Georgetown University professor who leads the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, and is offering help to Ms. Hickox, said she has two main ways to contest her quarantine. The policy in New Jersey applies to a class of people and there “was no individualized assessment of her individual risk,” he said.

    The second possible avenue is to argue she wasn’t quarantined in a humane health environment.

    “Because this is not a prison sentence, the person has not been convicted. It’s civil and so you’re not supposed to punish them,” said Mr. Gostin.

    Mr. Gostin said this was the first time in his memory where such a quarantine was implemented.

    But Michael C. Dorf, a professor at Cornell University Law School, said there may not be a sound legal case to challenge a quarantine. The state laws used to implement mandatory quarantines in New York, New Jersey and Illinois are clear and “there is no serious doubt about the affirmative power of either the states and the federal government to quarantine,” Mr. Dorf said

     

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/christie-defends-mandatory-ebola-quarantine-for-health-care-workers-1414335046?mod=WSJ_hpp_