Category Archives: Journalism

GAZA: (Oct 7-Feb 28, 2024): Total Warfare: War Against Civilians Is War On Civilization. Aaron Bushnell Dead In Protest Of A Depraved Society

Anti-Semitism, Argument, Democracy, Ethics, Free Speech, Ilana Mercer, Iran, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Journalism, Just War, Middle East, Military, Morality, Propaganda, Republicans, South-Africa, Terrorism, War

Total War: Total warfare is a war … against any and all ~ilana

To refuse to bear witness to the prosecution of Total Warfare against Gazans—also the defining event of 2023 and the decade, twinned with COVID—is to be inhuman, insane, incoherent. To the Greek philosophers, to be mired in such contradiction was to be less than human, less than coherent, less than sane ~ilana

For one thing, he who offends against innocents is responsible for his offenses; not a third party. For another, whether it is committed by decree of the one or by the will of the many; by actors within or without The State; by the designated ‘good guys’ or by the ‘bad guys’—murder of innocents is always murder. Murder by ‘democratic’ approval is also still murder, however many approve of it. At the same time, mass murder is never ‘unintentional’ when you know it is inevitable and incidental to your ‘mission’ ~ilana

Inarguably, the case against Israel’s murder spree in Gaza is ethically quite simple. (“Hermetically Sealed Indictment Of The Jewish Taliban’s Mass Murder And Ethnic Cleansing In Gaza,” January 4, 2024.) It is NOT within the realm of opinion. It is immutable, eternal truth. Right and wrong are universal, not relative. There are no tribal privilege clauses. Like gentiles, Jews are prohibited from mass murder. The Sixth Commandment is not opinion. Neither is it optional. “Thou shalt not murder” is called a commandment for a reason. Saint Augustine’s Just War Theory, while imperfect, is closer to truth than opinion. Natural law going back to the ancients and derived from deductive reason and the nature of man: not opinion. What Israel is visiting on Gazans and their little enclave is irreparable, orgiastic mass murder and ethnic cleansing. A “blitzkrieg, by any other name,” against a civilian populations, which is being bombed, buried—alive and dead—evicted for life. There is no debate about the veracity of this statement.

(Credit Al Jazeera, via screen pic capture)

February 28: Aaron Bushnell is dead not of mental disease, but by a morally depraved society. He was calm and rational—a man—when he recited his reason for self-immolation: “I will no longer be complicit in genocide. This is what our ruling class has decided is the new normal.” Active duty airman Bushnell then set himself alight as a last resort, to protest the genocidal mass murder and ethnic cleansing of Gazans, executed by de facto terrorist state Israel, with American imprimatur, money and materiel.

The man died horrifically, yet heroically. He stood erect like a Real Man until he could no longer. Again, Aaron Bushnell was driven not by mental illness but by the moral deficits besetting State and society. The indifference to the daily, industrial-scale mass murder of innocent Gazans by rogue state Israel.

February 21: LEGALIZED MURDER: TO MURDER OR NOT TO MURDER, THAT’S NOT THE QUESTION, you state-sanctioned thugs. The U.S. vetoes a United Nations Security Council resolution to stop murdering Gazans. (“Ally Israel maims ten kids a day in Gaza. Gotta keep it up,” “reason” our representatives.)

With pellucid logic and ethics, Amar Bendjama, Algeria’s ambassador to the U.N, stated that, “A vote in favor of this draft resolution is a support to the Palestinians’ right to life.” But what does he know, right?

Strip the US of UN veto power. The UN is full of knaves. That much is known. But murderous Uncle Sam is undeserving to sit even among known knaves.

February 19: Howard Jacobson Finds Industrial-Scale Mass Murder Repetitive. OH, THE BANALITY OF EVIL. More than ten of Gaza’s children lose legs daily by Satan’s army (read more about these children hobbled for life): The vampiric, criminal IDF. Author Howard Jacobson, a British Israel Firster—fulminating, in sullen fury—demands on BBC’s Newsnight that fewer visuals be shown of Gaza’s dead and dying. Too repetitive. Also, it does his Israel First side no good.
Jewish liberals (conservatives are as bad): Why does anyone celebrate these morally degenerate, pseudo-intellectuals? When they are not disgorging banalities; they are, like Jacobson, just so unimpressive, mediocre—developmentally backward in ethical reasoning, plumping for tribal interests, over universal ethics. Their humane impulse is delimited by their tribal interests. If honest, developmental psychologists will tell you that the Howard Jacobsons of the world have not attained a higher level of ethical reasoning. Theirs is an expedient humanity; the kind that garners accolades from other mediocrities, namely the culture at large. Says Howard:

“Do we need to see some of these images [out of Gaza] quite as often as we do? The same images, or another version of it? You’re taking a side [when you show them].”

The anchor Idiot hasn’t the foggiest; is too dim to tell this man that each image of a Gazan to assault Howard Jacobson’s sensitive eyes is a fresh, new image of genocidal murder; that his beloved, unimpeachable Jewish State is conducting what is industrial-scale mass murder.

This disgrace of a human being, Howard Jacobson, who will never suffer a deserved fall from grace, continues:

“There are reasons for what is happening [to Gazans].” Besides, Israelis “haven’t apologized grandly enough for their mistakes.”

Hey Howard, is that all Israel’s army is guilty of? A failure to apologize grandly enough for a few mistakes?!! Check this out, Howard, courtesy of the “UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs“:

Between the afternoon of 16 February and noon on 19 February, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Gaza, 234 Palestinians were killed and 350 Palestinians were injured, including 107 killed and 145 injured in the last 24 hours. Between 7 October 2023 and noon on 19 February 2024, at least 29,092 Palestinians were killed in Gaza and 69,028 Palestinians were injured, according to MoH in Gaza.

Howard Jacobson sums up his self-interested point by lamenting that visuals of Gazans dying and Israeli good-natured (presumably) gruffness create antisemitism for life. The man is worse than a disgrace; he’s dumb detritus.

How can someone plumping for tribal interests over universal ethics have risen so in society? More striking than his developmentally challenged ethics is Jacobson’s sheer banality.

February 13: RAFFAH. The IDF terrorist army has commenced an offensive against 1.5 million Palestinian refugees huddled in Raffah. For the “I don’t believe my lying eyes” holocaust denier crowd; Israel has now cemented its status as a genocidal state, engaged in the eradication and razing of Gaza and the eviction and/or murder of millions of its residents, for Raffah is the ONLY PORTAL through which aid for dying Gazans is admitted.

Twenty-eight thousand Gazans, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza, have perished (at least, as many more have been–and are being–buried dead and alive). A quarter of Gaza’s residents are starving.

A Hermetically Sealed (analytical) Indictment of the Jewish Taliban is here.

Via the mighty, if diminutive, Medea Benjamin:

With other righteous Americans, the great ladies of Code Pink, whom I’ve watched since 2002—and who were just as fine during Genghis Bush’s war on Iraqis—camped out at the Blinken mansion. This “man” has returned to his warm bed, to food, running and potable water, after facilitating Israel’s genocidal actions in Gaza ongoing.

GOP FOR GENOCIDE. Meanwhile, if you know one thing, it is that the GOP is a reliable engine for Genocide. Highlighted are some particularly execrable, yet familiar, names supporting billions of dollars in bombs, for Israel to lob at innocent civilians and what remains of their neighborhoods.

Sen. John Boozman (Ark.)
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.)
Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.)
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine)
Sen. John Cornyn (Texas)
Sen. Kevin Cramer (N.D.)
Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho)
Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa)
Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
Sen. John Hoeven (N.D.)
Sen. John Kennedy (La.)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
Sen. Jerry Moran (Kan.)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Sen. James Risch (Idaho)
Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah)
Sen. Mike Rounds (S.D.)
Sen. Dan Sullivan (Alaska)
Sen. John Thune (S.D.)
Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.)
Sen. Roger Wicker (Miss.)
Sen. Todd Young (Ind.)

February 4: WHOSE A SOCK-PUPPET? SUNAK & THE WEST. The ramp-up to war on Iran is reminiscent of the war on Iraqis, against which this column burned as hot a a Babylonian kiln, for years, starting on Sept 19, 2002.

HOUTHI HEROES. The empty word “proxy” is being disgorged by airheads on the teli—ensconced in the unthinking think tanks of the DC foreign-policy establishment. What I’ve dubbed the angels-and-demons, Disneyfied foreign policy is being spat out by the dumb members of the duopoly—Don Bacon, Republican from Nebraska, on Feb 3. Or by Hagar Chemali (who? A former entertainer), on the same date to MSNBC’s Ali Velshi and another anchor.

The US is not only supplying the matériel for Israel’s genocidal war on Gazans, but providing diplomatic cover—running interference—for Israel’s ethnocidal mass murder spree ongoing in Gaza. The Houthis, “acting in support of the Palestinians of Gaza,” as we noted below, in this very long thread, are said, by Foreign Policy Inc., to be strictly doing Iran’s bidding. For, as you know, there is no such things as patriotism, nationalism, comity or fellow-feeling among groups outside the West. (I’m being cynical.) Thus, courtesy of the Western military and foreign policy Oink, the Houthis’ valiant military intervention on behalf of the Palestinians who are being massacred daily, with Western imprimatur, is nothing more than the protest of marionettes who’re manipulated by their Iranian masters.

Lies. Regional alliances and fidelities are often ancient and certainly more complex than the West is able to entertain. Here is an essay I wrote in 2017 about the (regional) forces at work in Yemen’s civil war, in the context of (centralizing) ignorant US meddling.

The Houthis are heroes. An authentic puppet, on the other hand, is UK’s Rishi Sunak. “Recent attacks on UK and international vessels are unacceptable,” writes sock-puppet Sunak. It’s our duty to protect innocent lives and preserve freedom.” Sunak’s call to “Protect innocent lives” does not extend to Palestinian lives. Here is the latest butcher’s bill:

Killed: at least 27,365 people, including more than:
11,500 children
8,000 women
Injured: more than 66,630, including at least:
8,663 children
6,327 women
Missing: more than 8,000

(Al Jazeera)

February 1, 2024: The best rendering of the decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is by Norman Finkelstein and Craig Mokhiber on the Katie Halper channel. I seldom watch online videos; I read. It’s many times more efficient. Moreover, commentary videos are mostly by fools. Even when tolerable, the amount of good data or insights distilled will amount to minutes out of hours of drivel. Conversely, every appearance by Dr. Finkelstein, a man with intellectual heft, is gold. WATCH.

My perspective about the ICJ’s decision is dimmer. Unfocused as I was on legalistic, Talmudic definitions of genocide; it was obvious that what was, indubitably mass murder and ethnic cleansing—crimes that are in process and ongoing—had to be stopped, forthwith. An effective and just ICJ would have issued a binding Cease and Desist order instructing the Devil’s army, the IDF, to stop its depredations.

January 25: Jumping ship. What do you know? Jonathan Conricus, former IDF spokesman for mass murder and ethnic cleansing in Gaza, is now senior fellow at the Foundation For Defense Of Democracies. Or, as a cursory perusal of the FDD members page indicates, the promotion of Israelism in Washington DC. Ditto IDF mouth Keren Hajioff. Following a stint, during which she mindlessly chorused and covered for mass murder—she too has taken shelter with an American “think tank,” promoting the interests of entities not the United States, and overriding the balancing forces of regionalism in the Middle East.

January 14: I see Amira Hass, Ha’aretz’ reporter in the territories, is back on the front page. She appeared to have been “disappeared” in the initial stages of the war on Gazans. Or, so it appeared to me. For solid, factual reporting, she is a good source.

January 11: The United States is running interference for Israel, bombing neighboring countries so as to prevent them from putting up any opposition to what is being done to Gaza’s civilians. The US is giving cover to Israel to allow it to complete the eviction of Gazans to “tent cities” in the Sinai, and to finalize the ruination of Gaza through relentless bombardments of what remains of the civilian infrastructure.

In the interim, “South Africa … has brought a case before the International Court of Justice, which will hear a complaint asking it ‘to act urgently to protect against further, severe and irreparable harm to the rights of the Palestinian people under the genocide convention, which continues to be violated with impunity.'” (The Guardian)

The crooked Western media, and the twisted minds behind the US foreign policy think tank cabal, are unprepared to consider the obvious merit—the substance—of South Africa’s case to the International Court. Instead, they resort to ad hominem attacks: South Africa is said to simply be congenitally pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.

Once again, allow me, someone who wrote the blueprint book about the deformities of South Africa’s democratic dispensation, to dispel the strategy with logic: It is quite possible to be both prone to the Palestinian side of the conflict and still to make a good case against Israel’s war on Gazans, as I did in “Memory & Indictment: Today’s Jewish Taliban Not The Israel I Grew Up In.” The two things are not mutually exclusive.

It is, in fact, scandalous for patriotic, if ignorant, Boers and stupid US right-wingers to denigrate South Africa’s Boer regime by comparing it to the Netanyahu regime’s actions in Gaza. Over decades, under National Party’s rule, the Boers never remotely approached conduct such as that of the Israelis loosed in Gaza. Never. For example, hundreds were killed during the Soweto Uprising, not tens of thousands as is the case in Gaza. Africans were never-ever mowed down in their tens of thousands, as Gaza’s civilians are: bombed, buried alive, then evicted for life.

If you want to read the exhaustive story about the Israel-South Africa relationship, going back to the apartheid years, there is an in-depth chapter in Into the Cannibal’s Pot (2011), which is the definitive anatomy of post-Apartheid South Africa. Still. The chapter is: “Why Do WASP Societies Wither?

Israel’s defense is to shout… you guessed it, “antisemitism.”

” … a ‘blood libel’. … The country’s biggest supporter, the US, has dismissed the case as “meritless”.

Sadly, these well-meaning efforts—-a legal cease and desist order against Israel—is already too late for Gaza. But, South Africa has done the right and admiral thing. (MORE)

January 4, 2024:  There is cause for pride, for once, in South Africa. It has presented a legal case, to the international courts, the success of which could be followed with a Cease and Desist Order against Israel, for carrying out a campaign of ethnocide against the Palestinians of Gaza. Biden, Anthony Blinken and Austin could also be implicated, with luck, if to follow is action taken by the American-based Center for Constitutional Rights, indicting the Biden Admin in aiding and abetting in genocide. As I write in my latest column, “Memory & Indictment: Today’s Jewish Taliban, Not the Israel I Grew Up in”:

If one is enjoined against aiding and abetting in the murder of a single innocent individual; by logical extension, we Americans should not knowingly aid and abet in the murder of the many. Not in our name ~ilana

Strictly speaking, mass murder in Gaza likely doesn’t meet the legalistic definition of genocide. I have not used “genocide” in my own essays on Gaza. But, is the purpose here to stop mass murder and ethnic cleansing of an entire population or obey positive-law strictures to the letter? The first.

An ability to issue something like as Restraining Order, to keep away an entity engaged in en masse abuse: that would be perfect.

Involved is Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, author of Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law, as well as World Politics, Human Rights, and International Law. (Democracy Now!) Full transcript. Tragically, predicated on its arriving at the right outcome, the Court will still probably take years to do anything.

December 31: Supporters of Israel’s ethnocide, The War Street Journal, for one, have awakened to its barbarism. So long as their hostages were returned; Israelis were in general support of war crimes in Gaza, as gleaned from a circuitous December 2023 poll, to which fully 83 percent of a representative sample of Israelis replied overwhelmingly favorably to the question, “To what degree do you support encouraging the voluntary emigration of Gaza Strip residents?”

Not only is Israel murdering tens of thousands of Gaza’s civilians–-21,822 Palestinians have been killed since the war began (Via Ha’aretz, Israel News, Sunday, 31.12.2023)—it has gone and done a Taliban on heritage sites, some dating back to antiquity.

December 30: “Approximately 70% of the homes in Gaza and half of its buildings have been damaged or destroyed by Israeli airstrikes, according to the Wall Street Journal.” (Via Ha’aretz, Israel News, Saturday, 30.12.2023) “21,672 Palestinians have been killed and 56,165 were wounded since the war began.”

December 28: DEAD BY IDF. On average, nearly 300 people have been killed—are being killed—each day since the beginning of the war As of today, dead by IDF are 21,320 Palestinians. 55,603 have been wounded. (Via Ha’aretz, Israel News, Thursday, 28.12.2023) The number of displaced people in the Strip has reached 1.9 million.

December 25: Finally. Pope Francis on the Israeli ongoing strikes and massacres in Gaza:

“I plead for an end to the military operations with their appalling harvest of innocent civilian victims.”

“The kids are the little Jesuses of today.”

December 20: The almost-gleeful murder & hunting down by IDF of its own hostages comports with the Israeli army’s Rules Of Engagement with Gaza’s civilians: It amounts to an orgiastic bloodletting. Camera mounted on a dog captured footage of the crime. “In the film, the hostages are heard calling for help in Hebrew.” But even the dog was blown up. (Via Ha’aretz, Israel News, Wednesday, 20.12.2023)

December 19: Avi Shamriz, the father of Alon, one of the hostages killed by the IDF, called the shooting of his son and the other two hostages “an execution – literally.” (Ha’aretz, Israel News, Monday, 18.12.2023) A British Special Ops soldier told the wildly pro-Israel BBC News that the IDF “opened up” on the three as though they presented an immediate threat; it appeared as though these were the soldiers’ rules of engagement. When the last hostage standing rushed back into the wreckage whence he came; the IDF pursued him. You know his fate. One or two military men who were allowed to speak candidly on teli framed these IDF tactics as very deliberate.

Avner Gvaryahu, who heads Breaking the Silence, a whistleblower group that documents testimonies of former Israeli soldiers, said soldier accounts from previous military engagements in the Gaza Strip showed that once an area was deemed by the military to be cleared of civilians, they were instructed to “shoot everything that moves.”
“The army said this happened in violation of the rules of engagement. I’m skeptical of that, based on what we know of previous operations in Gaza,” he said. “How many Palestinians were shot at like this?” (ABC News: “In Israel’s killing of 3 hostages, some see the same excessive force directed at Palestinians”)

Agreed. Reiterated below. Look no further than the orgiastic bloodletting of Gazans by the IDF to understand the indifference to life evinced by this military in Gaza. The almost-gleeful murder and chasing down of hostages by the IDF exists on a continuum. Look to the “excessive force directed at Palestinians” to make sense of it.

You are what you do. We know the IDF by its collective actions in Gaza

Well, some don’t. Don’t tell me Israel has not propagandized the ditto-heads. Look at the overwhelmingly venomous responses to straightforward, pitiful video reportage, via CNN, showing the reality in Gaza’s hospitals in the “good old days,” November 13, 2023. I too was propagandized, until October 7.

What television to watch for war coverage? In wartime, my readers know, from my Bush-years writing, to switch to the Left or war coverage. Fox New has always been a study in war porn. Fox is “TUNED-OUT, TURNED-ON, AND HOT FOR WAR.” (2003) The dumb bimbos (enabled by male accomplices) shaking their wares for war.

19,667 Palestinians are dead; 52,586 wounded since the war began. And there is no end in sight.

December 18: Al Jazeera is to petition the International Criminal Court over the death by IDF of cameraman Samer Abu Daqa. We hope they prevail—as we had hoped, November 14, that “Bibi Netanyahu …Finds Himself In the Dock, In The Hague.

The IDF claimed the ambulance couldn’t drive on Gaza’s … damaged roads.

The Greek philosophers claimed that to be mired in contradiction was to be less than human, less than coherent, less than sane.

This juncture—being less than human, less than coherent, less than sane—has arrived in the annals of the IDF.

December 16:

You are what you do ~ilana

Killing their own with such unexamined ease tells you something about the IDF’s Rules Of Engagement with Gaza’s civilians. Extrapolate one can from this, the IDF’s, conduct—killing surrendered, manifestly unarmed men—to the IDF’s Rules Of Engagement with Gaza’s civilians, evident in the orgiastic bloodletting; the ethnic cleansing , i. e. the displacing of 85% of population and the murdering of close to 19,000 souls.

One of the great wartime journalists of our time is Clarissa Ward. Likewise does Richard Engel deserve recognition for his wartime work over decades. (Arwa Damon, too. She has vanished. Where to?)

Here is a segment of this veteran journalist’s first access to Gaza. The Butcher has opened the abattoir to some scrutiny.

Preliminary IDF Report: “Hostages Killed by Soldiers Waved White Flag, one Yelled for Help in Hebrew.” “IDF soldiers in that area had spotted a building two days prior with the inscription ‘SOS’ and ‘Help! Three hostages,’ written on one of its walls.” (Ha’aretz, Sat., 16.12.023)

The three had waved a white flag. They died by IDF. Our friend Tom Piatak sends the heartbreaking letter mailed to the faithful from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The Patriarchate’s message: An IDF “sniper shot and killed two women inside the Holy Family Parish in Gaza on Saturday. ..The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem oversees Catholic Churches across Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.”(CNN, Dec. 16)

December 14: “We are no strangers to human suffering—to conflict, to natural disasters, to some of the world’s largest and gravest catastrophes—but we’ve seen nothing like the siege of Gaza”: So wrote leaders of some of the world’s top humanitarian organizations, in a New York Timesop-ed Tuesday, December 13. (Via Jake Johnson, at Common Dreams.)

“Nearly half of the munitions Israel’s Air Force used in Gaza have been unguided, also known as ‘dumb bombs’ [imprecise], according to a new U.S. intel assessment. … At least 18,787 Palestinians have been killed and 50,897 wounded in Gaza since the war began….’Israelis don’t see images from Gaza because our journalists are not doing their job'” (Via Ha’aretz: Israel News, Thursday, 14.12.2023)

December 13:Civilians make up 61% of Gaza deaths from airstrikes, Israeli study finds.” This is most likely a biased project, favorably depicting the mission’s “success,” if one considers the visuals and the reckless stupidity of this army and its generals—the Israel Defense Forces is now generating targets in a droll way: with AI, artificial intelligence.
Slight correction to this facile title at The Guardian: “Gaza was a ‘living hell’ before heavy winter rains drenched makeshift tents,” upwards of 85 percent of the Gazans having been displaced before rainfall.

December 10: On the proportionality imperative of Just War Theory. Three days ago, Ryan McMaken, editor on “Gaza Vs. Fallujah: Just How Vampiric Are The ‘Vaunted’ Israel Defense Forces?,” spoke to the number of Palestinians dead on December 7, highlighting wryly this next ratio: “The casualties ratio in this war is now more than 12 to 1. About 17.7K murdered Palestinians to 1.3K murdered Israelis. I wonder at what ratio the Gazans will have been ‘deterred’? 50 to 1? How about 100,000 dead in Gaza versus 1300 dead in Israel? That’ll teach ’em!”

This ratio speaks to the proportionality imperative of Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Just War Theory, obliterated by Israel.

Ha’aretz today (12/10 & 11th), day 65, “… at least 18,000 Palestinians have been killed. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad hold hostage more than 137 soldiers and civilians, dead and alive, including foreign nationals. … Hamas [had] killed at least 1,200 Israelis and wounded more than 3,300 in a merciless assault” that preempted this war.  By today, December 11, at least 18,205 Palestinians had been killed (via Ha’aretz: Israel News, Monday, 11.12.2023)

As I said, the proportionality imperative of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Just War Theory Israel has sundered.

December 8: Eviction. Where does The Devil wish Gaza’s 1.9 million displaced civilians to go? Some 85 percent of Gaza’s population (Democracy Now! Amy Goodman, December 6, at 1:11 minutes: is living in “apocalyptic conditions.” Where do they go? Where?

GOD HELP THE SOUL of the Jewish State if this is not Fake News—and how I pray it is, but ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDEST.

You are what you do ~ilana

Here is an alleged “Israeli Intelligence Ministry Policy Paper On Gaza’s Civilian Population, October 2023″:

“Option C: The evacuation of the civilian population from Gaza to Sinai”

Here is the Population Eviction document in Hebrew:  I fear the URL will cause issues with Word Press, so here is a screen picture of the URL link for you @ . I read the Hebrew. Gimel (#C) is ‘Arei Ohalim’ = ‘tent cities’ in Sinai.

Sinai is a desert!

Someone assure me, please, that this is fake news. But is media—right or left—asking the questions? Of course not. License has been given to kill and destroy an entire community.

Ha’artez reports, on day 63 of the offensive against Gaza’s civilian, 17,177 dead, figures considered “broadly” accurate.

December 7: DENIAL OF A HOLOCAUST: Also in its newsletter, sent to subscriber’s Outlook, does the New York Times’ David Leonhardt confirm that, “many international observers believe that the overall death toll is accurate. U.S. officials largely accept it, as do some top Israeli officials. …Either way, the pace of civilian deaths — at least 10,000 in two months — is extremely high for a war. … Gazan civilians are dying at a faster rate than civilians did during the most intense U.S. attacks in Afghanistan or Iraq. … Israel has dropped 2,000-pound bombs on Gaza’s densely populated neighborhoods. …These Israeli bombs have turned much of Gaza to rubble. Marc Garlasco, a former Pentagon official, has told The Times that he thinks the closest comparisons to so many large bombs falling in such a small area are the Vietnam War or World War II.”(NYT, Dec. 7, 2023)

This column, then, was correct—I was not giving in to hyperbole when I invoked Dresden and Hamburg, in my November 2 and November 11 columns: & ;

December 6: DENIAL OF A HOLOCAUST. Commenced among truth deniers is the denial of the holocaust unfolding in Gaza. The number of dead is not to be believed, say deniers. Ha’aretz is Israel’s newspaper of record. Daily, they report “the Hamas-controlled health ministry’s” numbers. Today, 12/6/023, Ha’aretz says “16,248 Palestinians have been killed since October 7.” I get their daily briefings. They appear to support the war. Were in not “broadly reliable,” Ha’aretz would not be using these figures. It is a very good newspaper.

Denying the consensus, approximate number of Palestinian dead is weak, given what one’s lying eyes can manifestly see, to use a Richard Pryor phrase ~ilana

Israel’s propagandist say, as they reduce Gaza to Dresden, “Who are you going to believe? Us, or your lying eyes?”

“The numbers may not be perfectly accurate on a minute-to-minute basis,” said Michael Ryan, of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program. “But they largely reflect the level of death and injury.” (“What is Gaza’s Ministry of Health and how does it calculate the war’s death toll?“)

Dec 5: “Gaza’s health ministry, whose data the U.N. has deemed broadly reliable, said on Monday that at least 15,899 Palestinians, 70% of them women or people under 18 whom it defines as children, have been killed in Israeli bombardments over eight weeks of warfare.” (“Despite Gaza Death Toll Soaring, U.S. Unlikely to Rethink Weapons Supplies to Israel“)

UPDATE (12/17/023): Satellite companies have restricted images of Gaza, reports SEMAFOR, effectively concealing Crimes Against Humanity. Educated guess: They’re beholden to the clientèle, the military-industrial-complex, and the National Security Agency (NSA). The Top Dog client is the US Military. The client state is Israel, the IDF.

Fortunately, satellite-radar science doesn’t lie:. “Amid restrictions on optical satellite images, researchers have developed a radar technique to gauge building damage in Gaza“.

As of Nov 27, 2023, Jamon Van Den Hoek & Corey Scher, two scholars using satellite-radar technology to map damage in Gaza, provided maps according to which between 56,000 and 74,300 buildings in the Gaza Strip (5% & rising in the ‘safe’ South) were damaged or destroyed by that date. 50%+ of The Strip. Nobody is disputing that 1.9 million have been displaced. If ALL news outlets were reporting these approximate consensus numbers only with respect to Israelis — they would be accepted as truth.

December 3: The Devil is now unleashing on the “safe” Southern Gaza. If you care not about Gaza’s civilians, spare a thought for animals dying: dogs, cats, little grey donkeys carting their owners to … nowhere. For the Devil is now unleashing on the ‘safe’ South.

I wrote a column for tomorrow. Did some interesting calculations for it; for you, the reader. My numbers are already out-of-date. “316 Palestinians have been killed since the cease-fire ended, and … fatalities have surpassed 15,500. According to Reuters, the prominent scientist Sufyan Tayeh was killed in an Israeli airstrike.” (Haaretz, Israel News, Sunday, 03.12.2023)

G-d help anyone who dares to justify the IDF’s total war on Gazans. Their souls will be consigned to purgatory.

As of November 28, the butcher’s bill is 14,532 Gazan civilians dead, a  third of whom are children. “At least,” because many are buried beneath the rubble. There ‘are now over 1.7 million displaced persons in Gaza.’

These include the littlest of children: Babies in incubators, their tiny bodies pierced by IV drips (which must be deftly inserted by dedicated healthcare providers), evacuated; shuttled from hospital to hospital, in constant peril. Gaza’s  preemies are now in Cairo, most without their parents for the babies may be orphans. Egyptian doctors will try to stabilize critically ill, malnourished neonatals who have been deprived systematically of oxygen, nutrients, and medicine.

As the usual merry band of media hacks grinds on about the evil of abortion, one must ask: What about fully formed little people? Is it okay to make repeated attempts on their lives?


Israel’s offensive against Gazans, by any other name, is evil incarnate. You cover up this truth at your peril—fail to bear witness to it; and your soul is doomed ~ilana

Gaza is a “moonscape in war,” uninhabitable for years to come, reduced to rubble by “one of the most intense air campaigns since World War II.” (AP)

Jamon Van Den Hoek and Corey Scher are two scholars who utilize satellite-radar technology to map the damage: Fifty percent of buildings in the compact Northern Gaza; 5 percent in Southern Gaza, rising and expected to rise. The two “leverage science and open data” to highlight that, so far, between 56,000 and 74,300 buildings have been damaged or destroyed throughout the Gaza Strip, approximately one building in five.”

Israel’s newspaper of record, Ha’aretz, had intellectual ballast in the Israel of my youth. It has turned into a shill for the State. It dubs “billionaire Elon Musk, a serial endorser of antisemites,” and approvingly reports that Musk has been summoned to “PM Netanyahu” and “President Isaac Herzog.”  One of the world’s wealthiest men is allowing himself to be submitted to reeducation; incapable of articulating the American core value of free speech, clearly unappreciated in Israel. Our US Constitution is meant to let everyone have their say, haters too.

It’s difficult to divine what the Israeli public thinks about mass murder of civilians committed in its name, as no poll poses direct questions. All Google allows into the “Israeli public support” search is that, “More than 90 percent of Jewish Israelis support the twin goals of crushing Hamas and saving the hostages.”

UPDATE (11/29): HAMAS, however, is not ISIS: As an AP essay points out, likening Hamas to the Islamic State group “misses the mark in key ways”:

Hamas is an exclusively Palestinian movement. Its members are Palestinian and its ideology, albeit violent, is focused on liberating what it says is occupied land through the destruction of Israel. While branded a terrorist group by Israel and its Western allies, its deadly attacks have been focused on Israeli targets.

UPDATE (11/27): Grotesque burlesque was Tal Heinrich, mouthing to CNN (November 25, 2023 – 18:00  ET). Said the spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

…we are a nation that unlike [Hamas] values life, and I can tell you that we are very proud to be part of this nation that is so committed to the principle of leaving nobody behind. That is really the epitome of the difference between us and these terrorists that we’re fighting up against.

To any substantive question posed, this she-devil’s replied, “I can’t comment on anything like that.” In addition to the butcher’s bill courtesy of the life-loving Israeli military (15,000 civilians so far):

UPDATE (11/25): PBS reports that “Hamas released 13 Israelis and 11 Thai and Filipino workers kidnapped in the October 7 terrorist attack.” While Ha’aretz reported that “Israel released 39 Palestinian prisoners on Friday—17 minors and 22 women,” Ha’aretz failed to flesh out their stories.

Via PBS & Al Jazeera, we learn that Israel will free “33 Palestinians who had been detained at Israel’s Ofer Prison in the West Bank; 150 will eventually be freed.” And that, “Palestinian Sawsan Bkeer’s daughter Marah had been jailed in Israel for eight years.”  “When the October 7 attacks took place, she was moved into solitary confinement..  ..Israel’s security forces used tear gas to disperse those waiting to see the exchange, but some finished their long wait at home.”

UPDATE (11/23): Journalist Ayat Al Khaddour vlogged heroically from her home in Gaza until she was stopped by an Israeli “precision” bomb.

Told to flee to Southern Gaza—Palestinians are coming under intensified attacks there, too. There is nowhere left to run.

UPDATE (11/22):

I hope with all my heart that this here is Fake News, but here you can listen to an authentic Israeli reservist pilot, Col. Nof Erez, speaking in good Hebrew, not in the anglicized Pidgin Hebrew heard from most of the dumbed-down TV operatives out of Israel; describing the Israeli army’s response to Oct. 7 as “MASS HANNIBAL.” G-d help them if this is so. Save their souls. Is a doctrine such as “Hannibal” still extant? The IDF needs to say! After observing what has been done in Gaza—an obscene, operationally idiotic offensive against mostly civilians—almost anything appears possible.

Yasmin Porat, also a decent orator, bore witness to the same:

REMEMBER: Republicans and Israel Firsters will Always Be AWOL in your life:

“Mildly sociopathic” I called perpetrators of the war on Gazans and those running interference for Israel’s war. Was I too mild?

If you are born B’Tselem (in The Image; His Image)—you’d be crying for the Palestinians right now, not justifying their murder. Norman Finkelstein:

December 5:

Ha’aretz admits:

“…As to the utilitarian aspect of its mission; the IDF is handsomely equipped to fail. ‘To be very good at something inherently stupid …is not the mark of high intelligence.’

GAZA CITY IS GONE: Yes, Ha’aretz; Americans See It. The World Sees It.

A hospital should never be demolished; DEMOLISH WE MUST, instead, the demented ‘argument’ that says Israel has the right to drop 2000 lb bombs on Gazan doctors and patients, who are, apparently, custodians of Hamas, too.

I hope this is Fake News:

It’s too late now, but, “Was it possible to defeat Hamas and prevent the carnage in Gaza”? Yes. IN A HARD TRUTH PODCAST, David Vance and I detailed a smarter, more effective response that targets only the culprits of October7 slaughter, not innocents. Do Follow.
Outlined in the podcast was a worldwide judicial plan. It’s prefaced with a caveat: The plan seems lefty and weak. NOT! It’s strong and just and woudl have been far and away more effective than the Gaza mass murder and Ethnic Cleansing, which equals recruits for Hamas ad infinitum.

Thanks, Tom Piatak, fellow warrior. Judging by the consistency in which my recent columns on Israel have been promptly rejected by publications on the Right—these people know the column’s predictability and ethical veracity—my value in swaying the Israel First knaves is … zero. But thanks.

War On Civilians Is War On Civilization. The offensive in Gaza is as close to Total War as modern war gets.


Hermetically Sealed Indictment Of The Jewish Taliban’s Mass Murder And Ethnic Cleansing In Gaza,” Ilana Mercer, 1/4/2024

Companion Podcast with David Vance: “Hermetically Sealed Indictment Of The Jewish Taliban’s Mass Murder In Gaza,” January 24, 2024. Please Follow.

Gaza Vs. Fallujah: Just How Vampiric Are The ‘Vaunted’ Israel Defense Forces12/4/2023

Bibi Netanyahu May Find Himself In the Dock, In The Hague11/14/2023

Bibi Obliterates Memory Of October 7 Martyrs; Creates New Martyrs In Gaza11/02/2023

Hamas, Israel And The Anatomy Of State Treason10/12/2023

October-7 Israeli Survivor Reports Deaths By ‘Friendly’ Fire     Nov 20, 2023

GAZA CITY IS GONE: Yes, Ha’aretz; Americans See It. The World Sees It.” Nov 15, 2023

Image: I have this image in my head of so many darling little grey donkeys, likely dropping dead, too, for lack of food and water, carting their owners and their meager belongings to … where? Where? Nowhere. The image is reality. For the Devil has unleashed everywhere. He is loosed upon Gazans.

NEW COLUMN: King Tuck, Like Trump, Is Transformational

Celebrity, Conservatism, Free Speech, Journalism, Left-Liberalism And Progressivisim, Media, Politics, Populism, Republicans, The Establishment

King Tuck clearly carried the Fox News network and its nits ~ilana

NEW COLUMN is “King Tuck, Like Trump, Is Transformational.” It is up and ready to read on WND.COM, The New American and The Unz Review.

On the week-end, you’ll be able to read it on


Whether full of spleen or in support of Tucker Carlson, the commentariat, as usual, was dead wrong about the effects of his firing on the Fox News network.

The disposable clowns at The Dispatch echoed the gleeful sentiment, coming from the left and the pseudo-right. Posted on Nick Catoggio’s crudely (and cruelly) titled “Boiling Frogs” blog was a number titled “Tuckered Out: Be careful what you wish for.”

Catoggio, formerly of Allahpundit, belched, May 9, that, “On the day Fox News parted ways with Tucker Carlson,” he “doubted …the network would suffer much, if at all, in the 8 p.m. hour. ‘For all the hype about Carlson’s ratings, the truth is that any dogmatic right-wing figure airing at 8 p.m. on Fox News will attract an enormous audience.’”

This reflexive, Freudian “Wish fulfillment”—“the satisfaction of a desire (for Tucker’s demise) through an involuntary thought process”—encapsulates the cowardly gloating Tucker received following his professional garroting by Fox News.

From her self- referential and reverential perch, Megyn Kelly insisted that, just as in her case, the perch (Fox News) would always outlive the anchor (Tucker Carlson). Well, of course. Ms. Kelly would say so. She has plenty cognitive dissonance to reconcile: She is not Tucker Carlson. No sooner had she fled Fox News for more progressive media climes than Tucker stepped into her stilettos—and nobody remembered Kelly.

Before she abandoned her “Kelly File” Fox News show, Ms. Kelly had firmly aligned with members of the Murdoch Media for a Marco Rubio victory. Side by side with lightweights like Dana Perinno, and other egos in the anchor’s chair, Ms. Kelly had made manifest, in February of 2016, that she was hoping someone like Rubio would slay The Donald dragon.

Kelly is a lot smarter than Kayleigh McEnany (whose hard-to-spell names one has always to cut-‘n-paste) and simpleton Lawrence Jones, both of whom have attempted to fill-in on Fox at 8 p.m. Neither, however, is in Tucker’s league. Kelly was also more politically independent than these two tools and others considered for the peerless Tucker’s slot.

Most all at Fox New are party operatives, certainly not one is as nimble intellectually, or has the elemental intellectual curiosity of a Tucker Carlson. …

…READ THE REST… “King Tuck, Like Trump, Is Transformational” is up and ready to read on WND.COM, The New American and The Unz Review

UPDATE V (5/11): TUCKER TODAY. GOOD NEWS BREAKING: Fix News Aka Faux New is FINISHED (Fires Tucker)

Free Speech, Journalism, Media, Propaganda, Republicans, The Establishment, War

UPDATE V (5/11):

Tucker Carlson launches a new show on Twitter in the service of unfettered speech and a search for truth in 2023.

Just imagine what being a dissident from day one means (2002): It means you don’t even get a chance to speak your Truth over time to a large enough crowd, and only then get cancelled. Rather, you show up, begin writing in America and are cancelled almost from Day One.

PUNDITS, HEAL THYSELVES! (May 29, 2004): “So why are insightful commentators whose observations have predictive power generally barred from the national discourse, while false …. prophets are called back for encores?”

The answer will not please admirers of the late James Burnham, who blame scheming elites for any popularly accepted project they dislike, be it unwarranted wars or welfare. Contrary to Burnham, elites, media included, can rule only if they represent ideologies that are widely embraced, as the invasion of Iraq was. Today’s news is not what it used to be because a dumbed-down population, well represented in newsrooms, cannot distinguish evidence from assertion and fact from feel-good fiction. News is now nothing but a slick, demand-driven product designed to please – not inform – the populace.
Fox News was able to create the perception of a parallel universe in Iraq replete with big (nuclear) bangs and miraculously materializing al-Qaida terrorists because its Hollywood-inspired vision resonated with viewers. The ratings provided proof. By popular demand, MSNBC, CNN, and the New York Times (This means you, Judith Miller) adopted a similar faux patriotism devoid of skepticism and serenely accepting of every silly White House claim.

UPDATE IV (5/5): Tucker Carlson was transformational.

Megyn Kelly no sooner left Fox News than she was forgotten once Tucker stepped into her stilettos.

And Ms. Kelly is smarter than Kayleigh McEnany (whose hard-to-spell names one has to cut-‘n-paste), or simpleton Lawrence Jones. As was Kelly more independent politically.

The other two are tools. Most all at FoxNew are tools, not nimble intellectually, which Tucker is.

If the likes of those two succeed in replacing the independent Tucker–then that’s all Boobus Americanus deserves

UPDATE III (4/26): Fix News is indeed finished. Joy! Two minutes of a cheerful Tucker Carlson
on Twitter, orienting The Idiocracy to what matters, nets more views—seven million to begin with—and climbing, than the sum of all concurrent programming on FauxNews, CNN, MSNBC. Unstoppable.

The Tucker segment is now, a few hours later, inching toward thirty million views!!!!

Rupert Murdoch will be remembered as the Money Man who fired Mr. Tucker Carlson.

Truth will out.


They just fired their ONLY attraction, Tucker Carlson.

Deep State, aka Fox News, are synonyms.

Prediction: Tucker Carlson might join News Nation. It’s not a bad little outfit, and does decent reporting. This, for lack of better options, as the USA—the embodiment of freedom, we are lectured—has banned most other news sources.

As a writer who put in years of sustained antiwar writing against Genghis Bush and others of the neocon coterie—who burned (and consequently burnt-out) as hot as a Babylonian kiln against invasions backed 100 percent by Fix News and its blond war-porn flank—this mammoth event is a salve. Poetic justice. Fox News is finished, having cemented its bona fides  as a propaganda arm of the Republican Party, which it always was, until Tucker.

UPDATE: The intuitive and likely reason for the firing by Faux News of Tucker Carlson—their top rating host, and one of the highest-ranked cable news shows in the country—tracks with human nature:

Envy. The regression toward the mean, as we say in statistics. The quest in America for safe mediocrity.

“Tocqueville in the 19th century, and Solzhenitsyn in the 20th, noted that conformity of thought is powerfully prevalent among Americans,” wrote my good friend CLYDE WILSON, professor of history at the University of South Carolina and the foremost scholar of JOHN C. CALHOUN.

In the responses from the mediocre media—and I flatter them—one sees nothing but schadenfreude (“joy derived from the misfortunes of others”).

UPDATE: Megyn Kelly is one of a handful to offer an intelligent analysis of the stupidity of Fix News. All other bobbleheads are pontificating about the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit. Or the sexual harassment libel. That’s not Tucker. Nonsense. Megyn Kelly was once very good. But in courage, intelligence, and anti-establishment instinct–she could not match or come close to Tucker. And she lost her perch to Tucker due to vanity. She opted to take a job with one of the biggest news networks, NBC, only to be dumped. And she came out against Trump for the silly reason of sexism and palled around with the Left, she now maligns.

“This will be good for Tucker.” Indeed. And as I point out: this will hasten the death rattle of the War Porn channel. “Tucker is about to dominate in whatever space he goes to.” “Tucker is a unicorn.” Also by Kelly’s telling, “Tucker is an avid reader and writer,” who doesn’t own a TV. He’s not a snowflake who crumbles at criticism, but the toxicity of his post affected him, says she.

In truth, Kelly back then did not get Trump’s America.

DIANA WEST: Fact-Checking Whitney Webb’s Sexed-Up, Mobbed-Up Herstory. Part Two: Onto Lewis Rosenstiel

Argument, Communism, Ethics, History, Journalism, Propaganda

There’s something deeply wrong about taking down the reputation of a man, dead and defenseless for half a century, and hoisting in its place a manufactured disgrace to wave as ‘investigative journalism’ over a false narrative ~Diana West

… a ruthless writer … willing to jam far more salacious anti-facts through the gears of message-manipulation ~Diana West

A few weeks ago, Diana West “published Part One of ‘Fact-Checking Whitney Webb.‘” She was gracious enough to let me republish Part One here on Barely A Blog, having begun this “occasional series at Webb’s behest.” “‘Fact-check my endnotes,’ the author of One Nation Under Blackmail has said, her interviewers’ mouths agape with her clinical tales of sodomy and gommorah. Everything I’m saying/writing has a source.”

Really? OK. A more pertinent question is whether these sources are credible.


I began this investigation examining the sources for Webb’s X-rated claims that J. Edgar Hoover wore women’s clothing during homosexual orgies at a midtown Manhattan landmark, and was snapped in photos during homosexual encounters which (1) “intelligence” and “organized crime” used to blackmail him, and (2), in turn, impelled him to blackmail others.

In Part One, I demonstrated that Webb’s sources for these claims are non-credible.

Webb’s reply to these initial findings, I regret to say, fell into the ad hominem category — although I realize that applying a Latin phrase to a cartoon-strip thought-bubble on Twitter is something of a stretch. Tweeting to her quarter-mill followers, Webb called me a “Neocon historian” when I am neither; said I “smeared” her book when I exposed what was untrustworthy about her key sources; and then argued that I had ignored a video-rebuttal she made before I unearthed most of the evidence marshaled in Part One. Finally, and quite significantly, she failed to link to Part One to allow readers to judge the matter for themselves.

One more thing: Webb suggested to her Tweeps that my Part One on Hoover was suspect because it did not also discuss other persons in the Hoover orbit. “Telling that she won’t touch the evidence on Lew Rosenstiel and Roy Cohn,” she tweeted.

“Won’t touch”? Onto the evidence on Lewis Rosenstiel.

FBI Director Hoover is a historically significant figure. Lewis Rosenstiel? Who is Lewis Rosenstiel? On his death in 1976 at age 84, the headline over Rosenstiel’s obituary in the New York Times hailed the “founder of the Schenley empire.” Because half a century later, the Schenley empire is a lost empire, here follows a big chunk of that obit. Skim it, if you like; I’ve included more rather than less to provide some dimension to Webb’s stick figure in a black hat.

A domineering man with a quick temper, Mr. Rosenstiel was at one time the most powerful figure in the distilled spirits business. His fight for supremacy in his industry with the late Samuel Bronfman, head of Seagrams Ltd., were legendary and often erupted into bitter personal and corporate battles.

Called Lew by friends and “the chairman” by associates. Mr. Rosenstiel was a self-made man. Not only did he achieve great success in business without a college education, but he also taught himself how to play the piano and to paint in oils. He enjoyed performing, mathematical exercises and would sometimes engage his associates in the exercise of computing the advertising line rates of newspapers throughout in the country.

“I learn most from studying trends,” he once said. “I have ideas, but I also know you can run out of ideas.”

Hurt in Scrimmage

Lewis Solon Rosenstiel was born in Cincinnati on July 21, 1891, the only child of Solon and Elizabeth Johnson Rosenstiel. He attended the University School and Franklin Prep there and had two ambitions as a teenaager—to become an All-America football player and a physician.

These goals were put aside in 1907, after he was kicked in the face during a football scrimmage and his eyesight was affected. His doctors recommended that he leave school until the injury was completely healed, and he never returned.

Mr. Rosenstiel went to work for an uncle, David L. Johnson, who owned the Susquemac Distilling Company in Milton, Ky. One of his first jobs there was as a belt splicer on big dynamos for $3.50 a week. When he retired from Schenley, his salary was more than $250,000 a year, and he was a multimillionaire.

When Prohibition came in 1920, Mr. Rosenstiel turned to other jobs, including such unrelated activities as selling bonds and shoes. In 1922, while on a vacation on the French Riviera, he met Winston Churchill, who advised him to prepare for the return of liquor sales in the United States.

The following year he bought a group of closed distilleries, including one in Schenley, Pa., that had licenses to produce medicinal whisky. He also bought and sold whisky warehouse receipts and accumulated aged whisky inventories in preparation for Repeal.

Ready for Repeal

When it came in 1933; Mr. Rosenstiel was ready to spring into action. He incorporated the Schenley Distillers Company in that year—its name was changed to Schenley Industries in 1949—and it became a publicly owned company shortly thereafter.

Under Mr. Rosenstiel’s guidance, Schenley grew rapidly over the years to become one of the country’s major liquor concerns, selling both domestic and imported alcoholic beverages. Its major brands include Dewar’s White Label Scotch, I. W. Harper bourbon and Schenley Reserve blended whisky.

As a strong proponent of bourbon, he was the dominant force in the organization in 1958 of the Bourbon Institute, a trade association to promote its sale. “It’s the only American folk whisky,” he said. “Every other country has its national drink.”

He also led a successful industry-wide drive in 1959 to change the Federal liquor tax laws in a way that would benefit distillers. The change eased the tax burden on American companies that held whiskys for aging up to 20 years and helped them compete with premium-price liquors from abroad.

A prodigious worker, Mr. Rosenstiel thought nothing of calling his associates at any hour, day or night, to discuss business. “If you knew the whisky business, you had nothing to fear from him,” said one of his former employees yesterday. “Otherwise, you were in trouble.”

As for his personal life:

Mr. Rosenstiel gave approximately $100 million to educational, charitable and philanthropic institutions, principally through the Dorothy H. and. Lewis Rosenstiel Foundation. Among the beneficiaries were Brandeis University, the University of Notre Dame and the Mount Sinai Hospitals here and in Miami Beach.

Mr. Rosenstiel was married five times. His first wife was Dorothy Heller, his childhood sweetheart, who died in 1944. Two years later, he married Lenore Cohn, now the wife of Walter Annenberg, former Ambassador to Britain.

In 1951, he married a cousin, Louise Rosenstiel; the marriage ended after a brief time. Five years later, he married Susan Kaufman; that union ended in [1967] after a series of complicated legal struggles. In 1967 he married Blanka Wdowiak, who survives him. A daughter by his second marriage, Elizabeth: six grandchildren, and a great-grandchild also survive.

In One Nation Under Blackmail, Rosenstiel is the missing link between national crime bosses and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. These are grave charges against both men. There’s another charge.  Rosenstiel, Webb writes, was “obsessed with blackmail.” He was the “king” of blackmail. He hid microphones all over his “black-mail-ready townhouse” for “the alleged purpose of obtaining potential blackmail against his guests.” Rosenstiel, Webb would have us believe, was allegedly a potential blackmailer.

Webb also claims that the “blackmail-ready” Rosenstiel home at 5 East 80th Street in Manhattan  welcomed mafia dons and organized crime bigs galore, including Frank Costello, Sam Giancana, Santo Trafficante and Meyer Lansky. Also at the townhouse, Webb writes, the “bi-sexual” Lewis Rosenstiel bedded his divorce lawyer, Roy Cohn, when he was not triple-teaming with Cohn and J. Edgar in homosexual orgies at the Plaza Hotel.

Mob associate, (potential) blackmailer, total pervert: what are Webb’s sources? Remember Susan Rosenstiel? Readers of Part One will recall that the fount of those Plaza Hotel debauches was the fourth Mrs. Rosenstiel, Susan, her wildest tales against Lewis having been enshrined as non-fiction in 1993 by Anthony Summers in his behind-the-trousers Hoover bio, Official and Confidential. Summers is Webb’s guide on these and other matters. As recounted in Part One, numerous writers have by now weighed the Susan Rosenstiel stories, myself included, and concluded she was a non-credible source.

New readers, don’t take my word for it — take the short version of Susan’s rap sheet, instead.

1) In 1975, Susan Rosenstiel pleaded guilty to perjury, as UPI reported, “for testifying that $17,000 in borrowed jewelry had been stolen from her when she actually had pawned it.” That’s nearly $100,000  in 2022 dollars.

2) In 1971, the AP reported that Susan Rosenstiel pleaded guilty to attempted perjury in another jewelry-related case. (The original charge was three counts of perjury, but the judge allowed her to plead guilty to a single lesser charge.) In a nutshell, as Susan began to sue her bank over a disputed check, a grand jury determined that she was not being truthful. This case comes up below, so here is a little more information about it from the New Daily News, February 9, 1971:

3) In 1970, State Supreme Court in New York ordered Susan Rosenstiel to pay a jeweler for $150,000  in diamond and sapphire baubles (2022 dollars), which were sent to her “on approval” back in 1965; however, Susan never returned them to the store or paid for them. Over and above the cost of the jewelry, the court ordered Susan to pay the jeweler roughly a quarter million dollars more in damages (2022 dollars). The New York Daily News reported: “During the trial, Susan denied ever taking the jewelry, and denied being in the jewelry shop on the June 6, 1965 date, but Faraone [the jeweler] produced witnesses to testify that she had so been there.” And had so done that — i.e., taken the jewelry.

Since writing Part One, I’ve come across even more evidence of Susan’s widely recognized mendacity — widely recognized in court, that is — and specifically as it applies to her ex-husband Lewis. (This is not the time to sort through Susan and Lewis’s marriage (1956-1961), their bitterly contested (by Susan) divorce (1961-1967), or Susan’s continuing legal fight to contest the divorce (1967-1973?). I will just say I’ve never read anything like it.) Above and beyond the three guilty verdicts above, here’s another strike on Susan’s veracity from a 1973 opinion from the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

In discussing a case about attorneys’ fees — Susan’s divorce lawyers were seeking more in fees from Lewis — the judge was reviewing a “replevin action” Lewis had earlier and successfully brought against Susan, in which a court awarded him $150,000 (about $1 million in 2022 dollars) to replace furniture and other belongings Susan had “disposed of” without his permission. The judge went on to note that the court referee who investigated the matter “pointed out that Susan’s defense was founded largely on fabrications and falsehoods, including her wholly baseless claim that some of Lewis’ property had been destroyed in a fire when, in fact, she had caused it to be sold. Plaintiff  [Susan’s lawyer] correctly points out that victory is not a prerequisite to recovery of legal fees. But Susan’s case in the replevin action was not simply a losing one, it was a sham.”

Yes, sham.

And there’s more. In a divorce-related ruling from District court, also in 1973 — by the way, eleven years after divorce proceedings began, and six years after Lewis received his divorce in Florida and remarried for a fifth and final time — another judge rejected the veracity of Susan’s claims. This judge was reviewing Susan’s two reasons for defaulting in Lewis’s Florida divorce proceeding. The first was her fear that her alimony would be subject to “modification.” The second was her fear of what she told the court were Lewis’s “vast underworld connections…”

… she was afraid that if she went to Florida her husband would utilize his alleged “vast underworld connections,” concerning the existence of which plaintiff is totally convinced, to cause her physical harm. This aspect of plaintiff’s testimony is so unsubstantiated and so totally incredible that the Court gives it no weight. 

So unsubstantiated and so totally incredible…that twenty, thirty, fifty years later Susan Rosenstiel is the linchpin-“witness” of a perpetual campaign to ensure that the American people view the career, controversies, and contributions of the legendary FBI Director through a posthumous peep show of homosexual depravity, “blackmail” and “hypocrisy.”

It’s quite incredible that a person with such an extensive public record of perjury, fabrication, and falsehood could be successfully repackaged, via Anthony Summers’ Official and Confidential, as a trusted source of anything. It tells us something, though. We might even say Susan Rosenstiel finally serves a public good; she has become a litmus test that helps readers separate writers trying to shed light on history from those driving through this agenda.

Here, for example, are a few lines from a recent Webb interview which tell us she’s still drawing heavily on Susan to do dirt, if not porn, on Hoover:

… Hoover himself had demonstrable uh organized crime connections and was uh allegedly blackmailed by organized crime uh blackmail being of a sexual nature in that case because Hoover at this point is well known to have been a closeted homosexual … 

May I take a moment to say — yuck? When Webb invokes Hoover’s “demonstrable organized crime connections,” she is invoking Lewis Rosentiel. What credible evidence does Webb marshal to make the case that Rosenstiel was the “king” of blackmail? That he had “organized crime” connections, especially to Frank Costello, the crime boss of the Luciano crime family, and Meyer Lansky, considered to have been the brains behind national crime networks? What is Webb’s sourcing for these and other accusations? Let’s pick up the story on p. 53 where Webb begins her discussion of “Rosenstiel’s documented ties to organized crime figures.”

“Documented ties”? Are there documents? Well, no. But keep going.

Webb introduces James P. Kelly, chief investigator for a subcommittee in Congress, who, on February 18, 1971, came before the New York State Joint Legislative Committee on Crime to testify. For several years, this same committee had been examining crime, also organized crime, in New York, holding public hearings and issuing annual reports.

In his 39 pages of testimony, Kelly mainly expounds on Boston-area mob machinations and possible connections to a Boston liquor distributor, including Schenley liquor, named Joe Lindsey. It was Lewis Rosenstiel, however, who scored the New York Times headline, “Ex-Head of Schenley Industries Is Linked to Crime “Consortium.” Kelly testified that half a century earlier, Rosenstiel had been among a Prohibition-era group that smuggled Bronfman liquor from Canada into different parts of the United States. This consortium, Kelly said, included Joe Lindsey (Kelly’s main topic of interest), Joe Fusco and Meyer Lansky, the latter two being noted mobsters, especially Lansky.

It seems only sporting to carry Lewis’s reply in the Miami Herald to the question about any relationship with Lansky: “I never knew him; I never saw him; I don’t know him; I’ve never had anything to do with him, and that’s for direct quote.”

At this point in my research, I have a hunch that Kelly got the Prohibition-Rosenstiel story from Susan Rosenstiel. However, let’s assume we are looking at a non-Susan-allegation against Lewis — the first one in the “mob-linked” category I have come across. This makes Kelly’s testimony notable. Webb continues:  “Kelly added that Rosenstiel was `particularly close’ to Lansky.”

Webb is correct in her reading of the New York Times story by Nicholas Gage; although it should be pointed out that she pumps up the assertiveness of the original line, which has Kelly relating that Rosenstiel “was reported to be particularly close to Lansky.  Anyway, this little bomblet attributed by the Times to Kelly does not appear in the transcript of Kelly’s testimony. I’ve read through the scan of his testimony a half a dozen times to make sure, and still haven’t found the quotation, or anything remotely like it. In fact, Kelly seldom mentions Rosenstiel.

Webb follows up with two more mob-related claims:

1) “It later emerged,” she continues, “that they [Rosenstiel and Lansky] had `owned points together’ in mob-operated businesses.”

2)  Rosenstiel “was also reportedly close to Frank Costello, who was said to have attended a business meeting alongside Rosenstiel “to give [the meeting’s attendees] a message that Rosenstiel was one of their people.”36

These two charges are central to Webb’s effort to “link” Rosenstiel to the mob. What is the evidence in endnote 36?

Webb’s endnote 36 lists Summers p. 285. He writes:

When Prohibition ended, committee investigators learned, Rosenstiel had appeared at a business meeting flanked by Frank Costello. “Costello was there,” a witness said, “to give them the message that Rosenstiel was one of their people.”

And what is Summers’ source? Good question. Summers’ endnotes are a disaster-area, as noted in reviews of his book. Summers, it seems, was just too good to put numbers, or other points of reference on the pages of his book; his endnotes, grouped together per chapter, force readers into guessing games that may or may not have solutions. That said, there are a few clues to attribution for the Costello-Rosenstiel claim on p. 285: These are “New York Crime Committee,” “1970,” and “a witness.” In the relevant chunk of endnotes, Summers lists five New York crime committee witness-testimonies: James Kelly (mentioned above), Yolanda Lora, John Harrington, Jeremiah McKenna, and Louis Nichols. Thanks to the helpful staff at the New York Legislative Library, I have been able to read all of them. None of them mentions any connection between Rosenstiel and Costello, and none of them describes anything at all resembling Costello telling a bunch of hoodlums that Rosenstiel is “one of their people.”

Where did this Runyon-esque little sketch come from? Summers’ imagination? It’s possible. It’s also possible that the “witness”  Summers referenced was, yes, Susan Rosenstiel, who went before the crime committee in executive session in 1970. (All of the other witnesses Summers cites appeared in public hearings in 1971.) Perhaps Summers took the quotation from his 1988 (paid) interview with Susan and anonymized her, presto, as his 1970 crime committee “witness.” It’s impossible to know. In any case, we are left with a brick wall, not a source. Two things seem clear: Summers had no intention of making his endnotes stand the test of anything; and, there exists no credible evidence for the Rosenstiel-Costello joint-appearance.

What about the evidence that Rosenstiel and Lansky “owned points together” (a quotation in Summers’ book) in mob-operated businesses, including a Las Vegas casino?

Alas, Summers provides zero attribution on p. 285, for this damning quotation, and his endnotes are a cipher on the subject. It looks like this was pure hit-and-run. Having read the New York crime committee testimony of James Kelly, however, I can report that Kelly told a very similar story about someone else: Joe Linsey. Linsey “agreed to buy points” in a mob-associated travel agency in the Boston area, Kelly told the crime committee; he also said that Linsey balked at buying points in a Las Vegas casino. Perhaps Summers accidentally, or accidentally-on-purpose, turned Kelly’s testimony about Linsey into garbage about Rosenstiel, throwing in a Lansky connection for good measure. Which is reprehensible either way. Whatever Summers did or didn’t do, however, there exists no credible evidence for Webb’s claim that Rosenstiel and Lansky co-owned shady businesses, including in Las Vegas.

That sound of breaking glass you hear is mob-linkage falling apart.

If any readers have been wondering about this little reclamation project of mine, as in, Why? I hope an answer is taking shape. There’s something deeply wrong about taking down the reputation of a man, dead and defenseless for half a century, and hoisting in its place a manufactured disgrace to wave as “investigative journalism” over a false narrative.

Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I ha’ lost my reputation, I ha’ lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.

Is Webb’s King of Blackmail evidence legit?

The first thing to realize here is that no victim, no charge, no complaint of blackmail materializes in Rosenstiel’s kingdom. King Rosenstiel’s “blackmail” remains in the realm of maybe — or pretend — and the allegations are based on the existence of recording equipment on multiple levels of his Manhattan brownstone. Recording equipment = blackmail; get it?

Webb quotes Summers p. 297 to tell us:

“[S]everal sources reported to the 1971 New York [Joint] Legislative Committee on Crime that Rosenstiel’s Manhattan home had been [as Summers put it] “wired from roof to basement with hidden microphones, so that he could spy on visitors and staff.”

The system in Rosenstiel’s home has been installed by Fred Otash, an infamous private detective who had used electronic means to spy on the Kennedy family, Marilyn Monroe, and others. Otash later said that Rosenstiel’s home “was rigged to tape conversations for hours on end.”

Let’s start with “several sources.” It is true (joy!) that “several sources” confirmed the presence of recording equipment throughout the Rosenstiel townhouse in the New York crime committee’s 1971 hearings. These include Yolanda Lora, a paid “female companion” hired by Susan’s divorce lawyers to live with her at 5 East 80th Street for several months after Lewis had decamped to his Connecticut estate; John Harrington, former FBI special agent who oversaw Schenley Industries security as executive assistant to Lewis Rosenstiel (1954-1969); and Louis Nichols, former special assistant to FBI Director Hoover who later served as Schenley executive vice president (1957-1969). According to both Harrington and Nichols, the Rosenstiel townhouse was used as a kind of annex to Schenley’s midtown headquarters, and business might be conducted there day and into the night, depending on Rosenstiel’s whim.

But tape-recorders all over the house? Here is Harrington (line 5) on the placement of the tape-recorders.

To be sure, an unusual home-office set-up. On p. 68 of his testimony, Harrington was still elaborating on the way business was conducted at the townhouse: “Again, you have to look at 5 East 80th Street as a first floor, second floor, top. Mr. Rosenstiel would have conferences going at all places, appointments with five or six men, maybe, at the same time. So if, Mr. Bernstein, he had put you on the second floor and some other person on the third floor and a third person on the sixth floor and gone from one person to another, he would get finished with whatever business he had with that person and he would go.” (This is why I am not a captain of industry.) These meetings, Harrington explained, were recorded on visibly-placed tape recorders. The tapes were later transcribed and filed away by the secretarial pool at Schenley headquarters. According to Harrington’s testimony, Rosenstiel was “obsessed,” all right, but with business.

It was Yolanda Lora, Susan’s paid companion, who claimed to have seen what were concealed microphones “all over the house, I mean, all over the windows.” Neither Harrington nor Nichols recalled seeing them — not that they would, of course, if the devices were effectively concealed. For the record, here is Louis Nichols’s reply to the question of the existence of secret bugging devices in the Rosenstiel home. (The type is rather faint so I hope readers are able to make it out. Maybe later I’ll transcribe it.)

Bottom line, literally:

Q: Did you ever have any reason to suspect that there were any such [secret] recording devices?

A: No, I did not.

He said, he said; she said.

Who was correct? It’s possible they were both correct. The men may not have noticed what was pointed out to the woman. On the other hand, between the time Lewis Rosenstiel moved out of the townhouse in October 1961 and Yolanda Lora moved in in December 1961, there was an opportunity to tamper in any way with, as Webb might put it, the alleged scene of potential crime. It’s also possible, as Summers claims, that “infamous” Fred Otash really did install a system “rigged to tape conversations for hours on end.” Funny, though, that the Schenley team doesn’t appear to have to taken advantage of it. Here’s Harrington, beginning at line 15 below, explaining that the phones at 5 East 80th were not set up (“rigged”) to record conversations.

Maybe it’s just me, but as this intense but workaday picture of office life on East 80th Street emerges, the “King of Blackmail” seems to fall on his crown.

Let’s review Webb v. Lewis Rosenstiel. We have no good evidence for mobsterism; there’s no evidence whatsoever for blackmail, and we certainly have a plausible alternative explanation for the home “spy” system. What about the evidence that five-times married, four-times-a-father Lewis was a secret “bi-sexual” who engaged in sexual activity with homosexuals?

Well, there’s Susan …. ‘Nuff said. There is also a non-Susan item of evidence. Webb writes: “According to Nicholas Faith, discussions about Rosenstiel’s bi-sexuality among Schenley office employees were frequent enough for Rosenstiel to be referred to as `Rosie’ around the office.”

Good grief. “Rosie” has traditionally been a common nickname for men surnamed Rosen-anything: Rosie Rosenstial, Rosie Rosenblum, Rosie Rosenberg, Rosie Rosen. Maybe it still is.

Of course, then there’s this guy:

Rosey Grier.

One of the many surprises that popped up in this research was that the New York crime committee hearings in 1971 were supposed to be the culmination of an 18-month-investigation into “one Lewis Rosenstiel.”  No kidding. As public hearings opened on January 28, 1971, Chairman Hughes set forth “the direction in which we are moving.”

He said:

The hearings today and at future dates in the main relate to an investigation the Committee has been conducting for about eighteen months. The central figure is one Lewis Rosenstiel … and the testimony of this and future meetings of this Committee will relate to his business dealings and his associates.

I wonder if this struck people as a little odd that such a man, about to turn 80, could go through his entire high-stakes career without undergoing such scrutiny. We know, of course, it’s not odd at all; it’s Susan. Anthony Summers put it this way: “Many of the committee’s leads were supplied by Rosenstiel’s fourth wife, Susan.”

“Many”? As in … all of them? Could it be that these proceedings of the New York crime committee were another, more muscular round of the Susan Rosenstiel Ex-Husband Show? The answer really does seem to be yes. Just as Susan supplied the Homo-Hoover Drag/Orgy “leads” (also starring her ex-husband and his divorce lawyer) to Anthony Summers, which became the sex-sational selling point of his Hoover biography in the 1990s—Susan supplied the “leads” on mob-links to the investigators who trained the eye of the state on her ex-husband in the early 1970s. Susan, we might say, was Lewis-obsessed.

From the Miami Herald, February 18, 1971:

Susan Rosenstiel’s testimony before an executive session of the investigating committee has been the subject of an 18-month investigation by staff members of the New York committee headed by Hughes.

What we are looking back on, then, is a government investigation into a private citizen, undertaken in the public interest, which was largely if not solely dependent on the veracity of someone we now know to be a redundantly discredited source. Even in the early 1970s, the committee would have had early warnings about this. For example, Susan had already been exposed in that breath-taking 1970 Faraone jewelry ruling described above. Nonetheless, circa February 1971, Chairman Hughes was still backing her to the hilt.

Also from the Miami Herald:

“Her testimony in executive session last year has been checked and the committee has every reason to believe she is telling the truth about those matters that could be checked,” Senator Hughes said.

As 1971 went on, however, Chairman Hughes does not seem to have maintained this same level of confidence in Susan Rosenstiel’s testimony. I’d like to contrast his bold statements of early 1971, with the tiny pop of his committee’s annual report in September of the same year. In 103 pages summarizing the committee’s findings in the categories of criminal justice, plea bargaining, narcotics, organized crime and legislation, there is not one  mention of Lewis Rosenstiel, let alone his “business dealings” and “associates.” In fact, there is only one sentence in the entire report that makes even an oblique references to what we now know was an 18-month-investigation into the mob connections his ex-wife brought before the committee.

Here is that sentence:

A series of hearings were also held to determine if there is an illegal relationship between big business and organized crime, and to investigate allegations indicating improper activities in various court systems in the state. (December 10, 11, 15, 16, 1970, January 28, 29, February 18, and March 4, 1971).

That’s it? What in tarnation happened? Why did the New York crime committee go silent, dark and full- amnesiac on Susan’s “many leads”?

Could the following note made by a staffer in another government investigation a few years later shed some light on this question? In 1974, Phil Bakes, a member of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force “listened to [Susan Rosenstiel] accuse Nixon, Lansky and her ex-husband of various crimes,” Jonathan Marshall writes in the endnotes of his book Dark Quadrant. Bakes “judged that she was `unbalanced and shows signs of paranoia. She is clearly out to get her husband who  seems to figure in most every unsupported allegation.’ ”

Hold that thought.

I’d like to dig a little deeper into the politics of the day.

If the sound and fury of the 1971 New York crime committee ended up signifying zip, the investigative process along the way churned out plenty of negative publicity about Lewis Rosenstiel — “screamers,” newsies used to call them.

For some, however, J. Edgar Hoover was always the ultimate target, just as he is in Webb’s book today.

Consider the headline (below), which ran over a front-page take-out in the Des Moines Register on April 11, 1971: “SHOWDOWN: HOOVER VS. CRITICS.” The story was by Clark Mollenhoff, a leading newsman of the day. It ran five weeks after what turned out to have been the final Rosenstiel crime committee hearing. Given the amount of time that had elapsed, the story might have been an effort to breathe life into the stalled investigation.

Mollenhoff’s story presented the New York crime committee’s work as possibly Hoover’s “greatest problem.” One of Chairman Hughes’ goals, he wrote, was to “link” Lewis Rosenstiel with organized crime figures, such as Meyer Lansky, Jake Lansky, Frank Costello, Gerry Catena. This “could hurt Hoover” due to the “close friendship” between him and Rosenstiel. Sound familiar?

It’s unclear to me whether the two men, Rosenstiel and Hoover, were ever social friends — accounts differ. Certainly, their circles of friends and associates had notable overlap, along with what seems to me to have been similar beliefs in patriotism, law and order, and anti-communism. (Note: Webb’s sexed-up, mobbed-up book-creations are very often associated with the anti-communist movement.) In the 1950s, Rosenstiel’s philanthropic foundation, mainly in the business of supporting religious, medical and educational charities, donated  The FBI Story: A Report to the People by Don Whitehead, as well as Masters of Deceit: The Story of Communism in America and How to Fight by J. Edgar Hoover to public libraries across the country. It’s easy to forget, but that Hoover book was serialized in newspapers across the country. It was also the fourth best-selling non-fiction book of 1958 — the same year, by the way, Webb would have us believe that J. Edgar Hoover was wearing lace stockings and a dress at Plaza Hotel orgies.

More connections. In 1957, Lewis Rosenstiel hired away the No 3 man at the FBI, Louis Nichols, to become an executive vice president for Schenley; I read in one bio that this upset Hoover. Rosenstiel earlier hired a former FBI special agent named John Harrington as an executive assistant to oversee company security. (Both men gave testimony to the New York crime committee, mentioned above.) Approaching retirement, Rosenstiel donated $1 million to the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, which, according to its charter, was set up in 1965 “to safeguard the heritage and freedom of the United States . . . to promote good citizenship . . . and to perpetuate the ideas and purposes to which . . . Hoover dedicated his life.” Louis Nichols was the foundation’s first director. Remember, this was the 1960s, a time when these men were “the Problem, not the Solution,” they were “uptight,” they were “square,” they were “Red-baiters,” they were Neanderthal throwbacks blocking the brave, new order of “cool” and “counter-culture,” of “groovy” now “woke.” In an unmistakable way, they still are.

Here’s a look at how Hoover remains a symbol for the fighting Right.

Joseph McBride is one of the leading attorneys defending January 6 political prisoners.

Clearly, there was a link between Rosenstiel and Hoover; but there’s no good evidence to support the charge that it was “mob link.” Nevertheless, this was the unholy grail then, as it is now, and it all seems to have gotten its start at that New York crime committee to which Susan Rosensteil funneled all those “leads.” As Clark Mollenhoff pointed out in the Des Moines Register:

Up to this point, there has been no real link between Rosenstiel and organized crime, but now the New York committee has a key witness, it is contended.

Seems clear to me there was no “real link” between Lewis and the mob “up to this point” because “key witness” Susan Rosenstiel hadn’t yet discovered how to turn her rage into power.


Those who are familiar with her story say it would be a devastating blow to Hoover if it is believed.

She has given first-hand accounts of meetings between Rosenstiel and Meyer Lansky….Mrs. Rosenstiel has told her story to investigators for the Hughes committee and to some congressional investigators.

The amount of corroborating evidence is the major question mark. If Rosenstiel were linked to organized crime, the next question would concern the FBI directors’s close long-time relationship with Rosenstiel and [former FBI senior and former Schenley executive Louis] Nichols.

There is a natural reluctance to accept the word of a woman who is bitter over an unsuccessful marriage, but if there is corroboration that New York investigation could be more devastating to Hoover than [anything else].

The amount of corroborating evidence was the major question mark, all right, but look at this: would, devastating, if, if, would, if, could, devastating. They could already taste it.

On February 9, 1971, shortly before Susan Rosenstiel was scheduled to appear publicly before the crime committee, she was indicted on three counts of perjury stemming from a 1969 case involving a lot of expensive jewelry and a disputed check, described above. Naturally, the press was all over the story  — “Waiting Quiz Date, Mrs. Rosenstiel Hit on Perjury Counts,” piped the New York Daily News. Not surprisingly, there were questions about the sensitive timing of the indictment.

Just doing my job, said the DA, telling the News: “We had deferred presentation of the jury’s findings in an effort to cooperate with the Hughes committee. But there is a statute of limitations and we had to move at this time.”

Well, maybe he was just doing his job. Maybe Susan’s guilty verdict less than a year earlier in the totally outrageous Faraone jewelry case, also described above, was a factor. If Susan’s new indictment raised eyebrows, however, the crime committee’s made it clear it didn’t matter. Chairman Hughes, Newsday reported, immediately expressed strong support for his committee’s key witness.

We have taken Mrs. Rosenstiel’s testimony in executive session.  We have every reason to believe she has been truthful. On the basis of what has been established … and on forthcoming evidence … her testimony will be corroborated.  Her present problem (the perjury charge) is entirely unrelated to our inquiry and our investigation will continue. No judgment on her guilt should result from the charge. We do intend to call her as a witness.

Hearings, the newspaper reported, would resume the following week. And so they did resume the following week. Only they resumed without Susan. In the end, she would never testify in  public hearings. Nor, for that matter, would Lewis Rosenstiel.

Webb roughly (very roughly) summarizes these events and explains:

Members of the Committee believed at the time that the [sic] “attempted perjury” charges had been instigated by Lewis Rosenstiel himself in order to prevent his wife from testifying, as he had previously used similar tactics to protect his corrupt dealings.51

Webb’s endnote 51 takes us to Summers p. 515, where he writes:

Outraged Committee officials believed the charge was instigated by Lewis Rosenstiel…Court records show the tycoon had used similar tactics in the recent past to pervert the course of justice.

Well, okay, if you say so, Anthony. And Whitney, keep on cutting and pasting; you’re good. But note the fine-tuning: Webb took Summers’ phrase, “to pervert the course of justice,” and repurposed it into “to protect his corrupt dealings.”

In the end, we have a mystery on our hands. Summers and Webb want to see the reptilian arm of Lewis reaching up from Miami Beach to stifle little songbird-wifey before she could sing for the New York committee; however, as I have shown, Susan Rosenstiel’s indictment alone did not deter Committee Chairman Hughes from his stated plan to bring her before the committee. “We do intend to call her as a witness,” he said. We just don’t know what happened after that.

Susan’s 1970 sealed executive session testimony was behind her; her anticipated public hearing was before her. The last thing people heard was Chairman Hughes expressing confidence in her — then poof — she disappeared in a cloud of diamond bracelets. Consider the possibility that it wasn’t the unseen hand of Lewis that made Susan disappear, but rather the public words of Louis Nichols, who testified in a contentious, all-day hearing on March 4, 1971 — the last of the crime committee’s Rosenstiel hearings.

At the end of the afternoon session, Nichols was permitted to read a prepared statement, an excerpt of which is below:

In the eleven years of my association with [Lewis Rosenstiel] in Schenley our relationship was such that I saw him daily in the offices, frequently traveled with him, and often spent evenings in his home, talking with him until the early hours of the morning. When he was out of town, seldom a day passed when I didn’t talk to him.

I have no knowledge of Mr. Rosenstiel’s ever having had any dealings with the underworld and I have never seen anything along these lines to raise my suspicions. I do not now have any such information and I do not consider there is any truth to charges that have been raised against him.

Then Nichols turns to Susan Rosenstiel.

Since late 1961, Mr. Rosenstiel has been subject to vituperation, falsehoods, half-truths and innuendoes by Susan Lissman Kaufman, the then Mrs. Rosenstiel. Questions and items in the press would force one to conclude she is the basis of this inquiry. Beyond that, she has made a series of harassing telephone calls to Mr. Rosenstiel in the late hours of the night. I will cite two.

On July 28, 1967, in the course of a conversation with Mr. Rosenstiel, she stated she would force him to his knees, she would bring charges against him which everyone would believe because she had been his wife, those charges would be printed in six hundred newspapers, and that he would never live long enough to clear his name after she got through with him.

This is a chilling story. As sworn testimony from a former senior FBI official, former chairman of the criminal section of the American Bar Association, former Schenley executive, it is weighted both by considerable gravitas and pro-FBI, pro-Lewis partisanship. We cannot corroborate his words; however, we can certainly see that the direct threats against Lewis which Nichols has attributed to Susan came true.

Nichols described a second phone call from Susan.

And as recently as last New Year’s Eve, she made some fifteen calls to Mr. Rosenstiel’s home between 11:30 pm and 1:30 am, and, among other things, boasted that she had been offered $1 million for her story and if she didn’t get the money “another way.” She then told a guest who had answered the telephone, she would have Mr. Rosenstiel put in prison ….

That didn’t happen. I don’t mean the phone call — although I can’t vouch for it, either  — but Susan Rosenstiel did not have Lewis Rosenstiel put in prison, and not for lack of trying. I’ve learned that Susan Rosenstiel took her claims against her former husband to the New York State crime committee, to the US Attorney in New York (Robert Morgenthau), to the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. Clark Mollenhoff reported that Susan spoke with “some congressional investigators.” Louis Nichols testified that she went to the IRS with charges, causing her ex-husband to spend considerable time and money to refute them. With Susan managing to train all of this governmental firepower  on Lewis, government investigators still refrained from pulling the trigger; Lewis Rosenstiel did not go to prison, or anything close. Summers and Webb would likely seize on this as solid proof of Rosenstiel’s criminality. Or maybe there was an outbreak of scruples, or, more likely, a more realistic understanding of the rules of evidence. Or, as in the case of the member of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, the dawning realization that Susan Rosenstiel was “clearly out to get her husband who  seems to figure in most every unsupported allegation.”

Nichols reviewed some of Susan Rosenstiel’s record of fabrications and falsehoods before the committee, a portion of which is included above. Most of his statement pertained to other business, political and legal matters. After he concluded, there was this following exchange.

Q: Mr. Nichols, you have made some very harsh statements about the ex-Mrs. Rosenstiel. That is, Susan Rosenstiel.

A: I certainly have. They are understatements.

Q: It occurs to me — and I am speaking now as an attorney — that it borders at least prima facie on the libelous and the slanderous.

A: Truth is always a complete defense.

Well, it is and it isn’t. Truth turns out to be no defense against hearsay-narratives, the constant repetition of which creates a wicked kind of static that obliterates everything else. For anybody wondering why we’re still here (myself included), here’s what I mean — as Webb writes:

There is also evidence that not only did these parties at the Plaza hotel take place, but that they were used to obtain sexual blackmail, with Kaufman [Susan] asserting that her husband possessed pictures of Hoover wearing women’s clothes and that those images had been passed to Rosenstiel’s associate, mobster Meyer Lansky. Journalist and author Anthony Summers has noted that given Rosenstiel’s interest and ability to have his residences and businesses bugged, he was quite capable of having the sex sessions at the Plaza bugged or arranging for Edgar to be photographed in his female costume.”

Come to think of it, Susan Rosenstiel really wasted a lot of time in the 1960s and 1970s with government investigators who sought corroborating evidence on her comparatively humdrum claims of mob links and shady business practices; all she really needed was a ruthless writer or two, willing to jam far more salacious anti-facts through the gears of message-manipulation. That, and, oh, I forgot, a Frankfurt-School-fueled-sexual revolution. The general coarsening of human sensibilities between 1970 and 1993 and 2023 created the perfectly filthy mainstream in which Susan’s newly hatched charges against her former husband, Hoover, and Cohn (the X-rated Plaza Hotel orgies), could be disseminated across all media, and to unprecedented effect.

At least some of us now know it’s all a scam — the no-credible-evidence “parties at the Plaza,” the no-credible-evidence “sexual blackmail,” the no-credible-evidence “picture of Hoover” in drag, the no-credible-evidence “Rosenstiel associate, mobster Meyer Lansky,” the no-credible-evidence “images passed,” the no-credible-evidence “sex sessions at the Plaza,” the no-credible-evidence “bugged” sex sessions, the no-credible-evidence photography of “Edgar … in his female costume.”

In conclusion, I could say a lot of things, but I’d really rather not. I will say, however, that people who should know better call this “investigative journalism.”


DIANA WEST, author of American Betrayal, has been called “McCarthy on steroids,” high praise in my book, given my own admiration for “tail gunner Joe.” And given that, in 1954, when the nation was still patriotic, Joe McCarthy was the fourth most admired man in America.  J. Edgar Hoover was fittingly much admired, too. Most important: Amid pervasive institutional rot, Diana here stands up for the now-quaint idea of rigorous and honest scholarly inquiry.
Read about Diana on her website. Suffice it to say, however, that Diana, who calls herself a “journalist,” is a “citizen historian,” a scholar and a sharp analytical thinker.  She regularly pierces the (mostly) mirthless monotone of conservative commentary with prose as strong as paint stripper.