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Rob Couteau

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  1. This is major news - really happy for you, Jim! Jim has not gotten the attention and credit that he deserves for his amazing and arduous work. Let's hope that this really starts the ball rolling in the right direction. Or I should say, in the Left direction.
  2. I believe this is Whitney Webb's final article in the series, posted on 2 October: "Former Israeli Intel Official Claims Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell Worked for Israeli Intel": https://www.mintpressnews.com/ari-ben-menashe-jeffrey-epstein-ghislaine-maxwell-israel-intelligence/262162/
  3. He was indeed Nietzsche obsessed. But like any great novelist I doubt it was his intention to portray an "accurate" historical Christ. Instead it was to portray a Kazantzakis Christ. BTW his memoir Report to Greco is pretty amazing. Have you seen Fellini's City of Women? I think that is an underrated little marvel. And prescient. And very funny.
  4. Scorsese's message seems to be: We should empathize with mobsters, they are simply regular guys who ended up in a bad position, nothing sociopathic at all about them or what they do to their victims. And things like the JFK assassination are too abstract to ponder, not the proper ingredients for interpersonal drama.
  5. Excellent summary, David. There's a whole book's worth of material right there. Also agree with Tom that Gladio is part of a broader pattern: a global war on the left, which is what I tried to highlight in both my essay and in the interview with Philip Willan. Tom cites Operation Condor: as I mentioned in the essay, a prominent member of P2 was Stefano delle Chiaie, an Italian neofascist directly connected to Operation Condor. So right there, we see a personified link between Italian Gladio and Condor. However, I share Anthony's caution about the Williams book, which, given the points Anthony makes, almost seems like a limited hangout. Mr Willan also said that there are numerous factual errors in it as regards Italy, and he felt that Williams jumped to too many far-reaching conclusions. Has anyone read "The Rape of Greece," by Peter Murtagh?
  6. So true. Take any single sequence from Fellini's La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, or Amarcord, and you have a higher level of artistic achievement than you do in the entire oeuvre of many contemporary filmmakers.
  7. Yes, it's become a staple -- and a staple not of films about the real Mafia but about a extremely romanticized and glorified "Mafia." Not even "Goodfellas" portrays Cosa Nostra for what they really were: how they brutally tortured people and were in essence domestic terrorists. I grew up in a heavily mobbed up neighborhood in Gravesend, Brooklyn, where every mom-and-pop store paid "protection" to the Gambino crime family. It was not a pretty thing. There was man who lived around the corner who had his head blown off one day, sitting in his car in broad daylight, for not repaying a loan on time. Not a very wholesome sight for children to see. Too bad Scorsese didn't do more work along the lines of "Last Temptation of Christ." That really was a great film and would have made a superb double feature with the lusciously filmed "Gospel According to St. Matthew." BTW, for anyone who doesn't know this name: the Greek novelist Nikos Kazantzakis wrote the book "The Last Temptation of Christ" as well as the amazing "Zorba the Greek." Well worth reading, along with his memoir, "Report to Greco."
  8. Well said, Jim. Give me Fellini, Pasolini, Rossellini, or Visconti any day over Scorsese and Coppola.
  9. I recall reading, many years ago, that J Edgar Hoover controlled Ford via information he had on his wife's alcoholism - that she had secretly gone for treatment. This was during a period when such an admission would have finished a politician's career. So by the time Ford was picked for the Warren Commission, he was completely "trustworthy." I may have read this in one of the Hoover biographies, but I cannot recall which one.
  10. What you said reminded me of my own experience in the first grade, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. At the height of the crisis, the nuns of St Mary's brought each of the classes into the basement, to practice fall-out drills. They had us lined up and crouched against the cinder-block wall with our heads between our knees, our palms over our ears, and our eyes shut tight. The basement featured louvered windows near the top of the wall, which looked out to street level. I still remember the words of our wise mentors, dressed so appropriately in mournful black habits: "And boys and girls, the most important thing, which you must remember, is: Don’t go near the windows!" With this sage advice, we were assured that everything would turn out fine and dandy. Years later when I tutored English in Paris, I had a student from Russia. When I told her this story, she related nearly identical experiences she had while in school in Moscow. And we both laughed at the absurdity of it all. Those are the sort of history lessons you tend to remember better than anything learned in traditional schools.
  11. “An official visiting Rome with [President Ford] told us: ‘I see darkness. There’s a Jacqueline in the future of your peninsula.” Yes, I agree. IMO that is by far the most haunting of all of Mino Pecorelli’s sibylline utterances. For me, the subtextual resonance of that statement points to the parallels between JFK's and Moro's assassinations. It almost invites you to start digging for them. BTW the Nixon / Haig involvement in the coups in Italy is a very interesting topic as well but we didn't go into this in the interview. But he covers it in his book. I should add that Mr Willan was quite generous with his time. We spoke for an hour and fifty minutes.
  12. Really interesting reflections - thanks for all this.
  13. David, when were you teaching and how did the students react to this insight?
  14. Hi Paul, Thanks for reading. In his book Puppetmasters, he describes several instances of infiltration that are unequivocal. I think what you're picking up is that he discusses each case individually, and unless there is absolute, unquestionable documentation he will not jump to any conclusions. So he is very scholarly in that sense. For example, in my mind there is no doubt that RB leader Mario Moretti was an agent of the state, and I formed that conclusion largely from reading Puppetmasters. But when asked about Moretti, Willan was careful in stating that while "there are very good reasons to be suspicious of him," "at the same time, there’s the fact that he has spent many years in prison." Very balanced and sticking to the known facts. BTW, I thought you would find the little section at the end about Ronald Stark to be of interest. I think in that short list of questions that he poses as an answer to my inquiry about Stark, he comes closer to the truth about Stark than, say, certain books do which treat Stark at length (such as "The Brotherhood of Eternal Love" by Stewart Tendler and David May, which leaves out much of the more damning evidence connected to the Agency).
  15. Thanks. And indeed, Daniele Ganser is next, sometime after the New Year, once he completes his new book, which is about "U.S. imperialism."
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