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Thursday, February 05, 2015

A confession. Plus: Russian space mysteries!

Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, the editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (one of the most important newspapers in Germany) is a man with a grave medical condition. He has therefore decided to make a fascinating confession: He says that he published under his own name a number of stories handed to him by the CIA.

His book Bought Journalists, which I have not read (no English translation seems to exist) has become an underground bestseller in Germany, even though mainstream news sources in that country won't touch it. He says that he has greater freedom to speak because he has no children, and thus cannot be pressured by anyone threatening a loved one.
Among the stories Ulfkotte says he was ordered to plant in his newspaper over the years was a story that Libyan President Moammar Gaddafi was building poison gas factories in 2011. Ulfkotte also says he was an eyewitness to Saddam Hussein’s use of poison gas against Iranians in the war between Iran and Iraq, but that the editors he worked for at the time were not interested, because Iraq was a US ally at the time.
On an interview with Russia Today, Ulfkotte said that it was “not right” what he had done, and that his fear was that politicians were actively driving the world toward war:
“it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe. … I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too. … We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war. … I don’t want this anymore, I’m fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic, and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom...”
For more details, see here. Of course, former CIA insiders revealed these "press control" tactics many years ago. Keeping that history in mind, I'd like to turn to...

The strange case of the "secret" Soviet space program. You may have heard the haunting tales of the unknown, unofficial cosmonauts who supposedly died in a series of very early manned space missions which the USSR conducted covertly. One or more of these fatal missions, it is said, occurred before the historic first space flight by Yuri Gargarin.

Two Italian radio enthusiasts, the Judica-Cordiglia brothers, told the world that they had discovered a frequency used by Soviet technicians to communicate with these doomed cosmonauts. The brothers provided this haunting recording of an unnamed female space pioneer who supposedly burned to death when her capsule re-entered the atmosphere.

Few would deny that this is one of the eeriest pieces of audio ever committed to oxide -- but is it real?

Some writers say that this recording was made in 1961, although quite a few accounts put the date at November, 1963. The insecure date is, of course, suspicious. Moreover, it seems odd that we hear only the doomed woman's side of the conversation. Some Russians who have heard the recording claim that she speaks with a foreign (Italian?) accent.

For many years, knowledgeable researchers have suggested that the Judica-Cordiglia brothers foisted a strange hoax upon the world. This investigation presents damning technical details which make the "hoax" theory nearly inescapable. But what was the motive? If the Italian brothers did not benefit financially -- and they didn't -- why would they bother which such an elaborate charade?

The obvious theory -- so obvious that no previous writer has ever put it in print -- is that the Italians were sponsored by CIA operatives seeking to besmirch the Soviet space program. It would make sense for the Agency (forbidden legally from operating in the USA) to use respected foreign civilians as plausibly deniable cut-outs. Following a classic pattern, the story they told appeared first in the foreign press, and then showed up in the American media.

Tellingly, most people learned about the work of the Italian brothers via a major article in Reader's Digest, published in 1965. Many people don't know that Reader's Digest had close ties to the Agency. (Issue 29 of Covert Action Information Bulletin, a publication which some of you may be old enough to recall, contains an excellent investigative piece which looked into this linkage.) "Dead cosmonaut" tales had appeared earlier in various European newspapers, and it seems very possible that our spooks planted these stories.

Such things do happen, you know. Just ask Udo Ulfkotte.
"He says that he has greater freedom to speak because he has no children, and thus cannot be pressured by anyone threatening a loved one."

That has the ring of truth to it. There are many things I could say, some of which could be quite damaging to certain powerful individuals and institutions, were it not for such considerations. I hate having to keep my mouth shut!

Go for it, Udo!

While we're on Germany and the push for a major war in Europe, here's someone to keep an eye on: German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen. She is pushing for war, all right. And look at her family connections. I think we'll be hearing a lot more of her.
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