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South Front via The Saker, The air navigator of the SU-24: 'I have a debt to repay for the Commander,' video pool interview, Nov. 26, 2015. Today at the Latakia air base, Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin, an air navigator of the Russian SU-24 frontline bomber which was shot down by the Turks, gave his first interview with Russian media, in which he stated that there is no way that his plane violated Turkish airspace. "No. It is not possible, not even for one second," he said, as translated. "Especially because we were flying at around 6.000 meters, the weather was clear, as we say in our jargon a day in a million, our whole flight up to the moment that the rocket hit us was completely under my control. I saw the border and our exact location perfectly both on the map and on the surroundings. There was not even the threat of crossing over into Turkey," he told reporters. "We have carried out combat missions there many times, we know the area inside out, we perform combat missions and return on the reverse route to the air base. As the navigator, I know practically every elevation over there. I can even navigate without instruments," he said.

The pilot said that the Turkish missile hit the plane suddenly and it was not possible for the crew to avoid it and there was no advance warning from the Turkish side. In fact there were no warnings at all – not by radio traffic and not visually, there was just no contact. For this reason we went on combat course in regular mode. You need to understand how fast a bomber is and how fast a F16 fighter is. If they had wanted to warn us, they could have shown themselves, by holding a parallel course, but there was nothing like that. In effect, the missile suddenly came at the tail of our plane anyway. We didn't even observe it visually, which might have allowed us to carry out an anti-missile maneuver, said the pilot.

Captain Murakhtin added that he himself feels all in all ok now. "I wait impatiently for them to discharge me to return to duty immediately," he continued. " will ask command headquarters to leave me at this airbase, I have a debt to repay for the commander."

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As the 52nd anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's death approaches this weekend, the murder and cover up hold great lessons for understanding current events.

Peter Dale ScottThe following are points this editor discusses Nov. 21 at the Annual JFK Assassination Conference Nov. 20-22 at the Crowne Plaza Downtown Hotel in Dallas. 

  • JFK was one of the last leaders to fight Wall Street’s war complex. Most leaders are talented puppets who are highly beholden — but not completely — to behind-the-scenes controllers whose true loyalties sometimes are not known even to the office holders;
  • Puppet masters, provocateurs, foreign agents, assassins, moles, cutouts, cover-up artists and career-minded opportunists have beguiled a distracted public into letting our watchdog institutions in Congress, the courts, bureaucracies, universities, and media shirk their duty to provide effective remedies;
  • Grassroots action by those armed with true facts and effective strategies can and must rescue the country.

President Obama is struggling now in Syria to withstand strong escalation pressures from the bipartisan military-intelligence complex. This is similar to the pressures President Kennedy faced from the war establishment to escalate against Cuba, the Soviet Union and in Vietnam in 1962 and 1963.

Author Peter Dale Scott of the University of California at Berkeley and shown in a photo is a confirmed speaker also. Scott, shown in a file photo, popularized the terms "Deep Politics" and "Deep State" beginning with his books on the JFK assassination.

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A dramatic boycott by tens of thousands of grocery store employees and their customers to preserve store traditions in New England provides the story line for the compelling new documentary We the People: The Market Basket Market Basket Effect Film PosterEffect, which was screened with expert commentators this week at a special showing in Washington, DC.

The movie effectively conveyed the passion and drama of a regional battle last year that energized employees and customers of the family-run Market Basket chain in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

Discussing the film's importance Nov. 9 were New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, Director Nick Buzzell, and Producer Ted Leonsis, a major high tech and entertainment executive (shown blow, from left to right).

Also speaking were Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and event host Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, which described the film as a "vivid and thorough portrayal of the most memorable labor protest in recent American history." Photos of the event are via the Facebook pages of Buzzell's NBTV Studios.

Our report here on the film provides what we hope is an entertaining break from our normal fare, which focuses heavily on grim realities from around the world unearthed by investigative reporting. But readers interested in solving problems can learn from the reform techniques illustrated by the movie. The gist: If you care about something get involved, using one of the ways that are proven effective and need not be difficult.

The Market Basket Effect sympathetically traces the early success of two immigrant brothers who started a butcher/grocery business nearly a century ago, beginning in the factory community of Lowell, northwest of Boston. The stores operated for many years under the family name DeMoulas Supermarkets.

Maggie Hassan, Nick Buzzell, Ted LeonsisIn recent years, the family evolved the trade name to "Market Basket" and expanded to 75 locations serving some two million customers via a company valued at nearly three billion dollars.

The film portrays recent success as occurring in part from the passionate commitment by longtime CEO Arthur T. DeMoulas to his family's tradition of good wages for employees, low prices for customers, and celebration of the grocery business as, in effect, a civic activity and not simply a business or chore.

A subtext is a the Greek-American community's traditional expertise in food, originally developed in many small stores and restaurants, and celebrated more privately in family and church circles. 

The result of the high-wage and low customer price policy? Strong worker and community loyalty.

Perhaps predictable also was that some heirs — ultimately constituting a majority of shares — resented CEO decisions that failed to keep shareholder income as high as industry norms that follow a different retail store formula, such as Walmart's relatively low wages and benefits. In 1990, some family members also filed suit accusing the CEO of fraud.

Most of the movie vividly portrays how the vast majority of Market Basket's 25,000 employees and then customers boycotted the stores after the board fired “Arthur T.” during the summer of 2014. This created a financial crisis for the company owners as well as a ripple effect threatening other parts of the regional business supply chain.

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane continued last week to release sexually explicit and otherwise crude emails from state employees as she battles to retain her job following her indictment last August on charges of leaking documents and obstruction of justice. 

Meanwhile, Kane denied Nov. 5 that state officials improperly leaked grand jury testimony leading to the conviction of former Penn State assistant football coach and charity foundation leader Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted in 2012 of sexually assaulting 10 boys over a 15-year period in a case brought by Kane's predecessor in 2012.

Kathleen KaneKane, the first female and first Democrat to hold the top law enforcer's post in Pennsylvania's history, seeks to show that her indictment was reprisal for her probes embarrassing high-level officials on courts and both political parties in a variety of ways.

Kane, shown in a file photo from a recent press conference, refuses to resign despite the indictment and being stripped of her law license by the State Supreme Court. She has resisted many demands for her resignation by prominent officials, including from Gov. Tom Wolf, a fellow Democrat.

“I will not allow them to discredit me or our office,” Kane wrote in one email to colleagues disclosed in the investigation. “This is war.”

Investigative reporter Wayne Madsen is among Kane's defenders.

Franklin Scandal book cover better Nick BryantHis September column PA Supremes suspend anti-pedophile crusading Attorney General's law license reported parallels between cover-ups of the Sandusky pedophile crimes at Penn State and those involving the "Franklin Scandal" ring based in Nebraska that trafficked teens from the Boys Town orphanage to powerful and wealthy perverts in Omaha, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

That tale is recounted also, among other places, in a 2009 book authored by Nick Bryant, The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal and also in a similar grim tale of law enforcement run amok, Confessions of a DC Madam, published earlier this year. It was co-authored by Bryant and convicted male madam Henry Vinson, who says he provided male escorts to elites in the nation's capital and resisted requests for underage prostitute before suffering harsh retribution from law enforcers who kept customer names secret.

More than two decades ago, federal and authorities ruled that initial investigators were wrong to believe a pedophilia scandal had occurred based in Nebraska implicating prominent suspects there and in Washington, DC, among other places. Authorities imprisoned teenagers for long terms on perjury charges in grossly irregular proceedings, much to the alarm of the leader of a legislative committee investigating the scandal, Loren Schmitt, and sentenced several adults to terms on embezzlement or minor sex charges. The state's major newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald, headlined the exoneration

More generally, the spectacle of Pennsylvania's top law enforcer unilaterally releasing salacious emails while battling other top officials raises troubling questions as-yet unanswerable. 

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The revelation that the CIA secretly helped establish a leading museum on President Kennedy's 1963 assassination helps fuel much-needed study of illegal CIA influences on American cultural life.

Charles BriggsKennedy assassination and CIA researcher Jefferson Morley reported Nov. 6 that the obituary of a CIA Executive Director Charles Briggs revealed that Briggs, shown in a file photo, had helped create the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, a prominent tourist attraction located at the Texas Book Depository that employed accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Morley's finding adds to the already substantial findings of secret propaganda influences. They include three new books.

Eric Bennett book cover Workshops of EmpireOne is Workshops of Empire by professor Eric Bennett, published Oct. 15 by the University of Iowa Press. It documents how the CIA secretly helped fund the famed Iowa Writers Workshop, thereby influencing American literature away from genres deemed undesirable.

This builds upon previous revelations, including how the agency helped fund the prestigious Partisan Review literary magazine and, more generally, many famous politicians, academics, and journalists. We have often documented those covert funding operations here and in our Presidential Puppetry, drawing on such by-now well-known declassified documents as the Operation Mockingbird program for the CIA to influence thought-leaders in violation of the agency's charter forbidding propaganda programs to influence the U.S. population.

Two new books about the CIA last month provide big picture treatments of these topics. The most hard-hitting is The Devil's Chessboard, a comprehensive new biography by David Talbot of the late CIA Director Allen Dulles, who led the agency from 1953 until President Kennedy forced him and his top two deputies out in 1961. The Disciples by Douglas Waller describes the careers of Dulles and three other CIA directors who had worked during World War II under William Donovan, leader of the CIA predecessor Office of Strategic Services (OSS).

This editor will discuss the CIA's pervasive and at times sinister impact over U.S. politics and culture during a Nov. 21 lecture in Dallas at the JFK Historical Group's Annual JFK Assassination Conference, which will be from Nov. 20 to 22 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in downtown Dallas. The locale is on Elm Street just four blocks from the death trap on the street that took Kennedy's life, some say in a CIA-orchestrated plot involving also Cuban exiles, Mafia, and Texas right-wingers opposed to Kennedy.

The topic for my 75-minute talk is why young people particularly should care about the Kennedy killing. The reasons are the kind of hidden controls over our knowledge of other current affairs and the historical record shaped by such institutions as the Dallas Sixth Floor Museum, a major tourist attraction.

The museum maintains a veneer of objectivity while steering visitors towards the official view of the Warren Commission (whose most influential member was Dulles). The official view, maintained by federal, state and city governments, as well as all major media, is that alleged Communist sympathizer Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy with three shots fired from the Book Depository and acted alone at all times. Yet a vast amount of evidence has emerged debunking the Warren Commission report in ways far too numerous to mention, based in part on millions of pages of declassified documents. Among them are 

CIA LogoMorley, a former Washington Post reporter, reported the finding on the valuable JFKFacts.org website he curates under the headline: CIA man assisted in the creation of the Sixth Floor Museum. Morley's column focused on the late CIA Executive Director Charles Briggs [shown in a file photo]. A CIA executive director holds  the agency's third highest ranking post after director and deputy director. Morley wrote of Briggs:

His obituary in the Washington Post states: "A notable contribution was serving as liaison for the creation of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, TX dedicated to the JFK Assassination." The CIA’s intervention in the creation of popular culture is not unprecedented – witness its support for the Iowa Writer’s Workshop -- but this episode of cultural production is especially intriguing.

Indeed.

Returning to the scene of the emergence of the discipline of creative writing in the Cold War, this book makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate about one of our most consequential contemporary literary institutions. While one might want to quarrel with or qualify some of Bennett’s conclusions, one can’t help but be impressed with the vigor with which they are offered, and applaud his passionate concern for intellectual and artistic freedom.”— Mark McGurl, author, The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing

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