UFOs and the Ghost of Paul Nitze
By Paul and Phillip Collins (May 9, 2023)
Without a doubt, deceased United States Air Force General Curtis “Bombs Away” LeMay is one of history’s most controversial characters. Both supporters and detractors of the general seem to agree on that fact. The controversy is well-deserved. While he receives praise in conservative quarters that claim to embrace the Christian ethos, LeMay was known for displaying a brutality that was comparable with that which was seen in pagan antiquity. Among LeMay’s many “accomplishments” was the development of low-altitude nighttime bombing raids (“Curtis LeMay”). The first of these raids resulted in the death of 100,000 people. Subsequent raids that were similar in nature and ordered by the general left 63 Japanese cities in ashes and hundreds of thousands of civilians dead or severely injured (ibid). While reflecting on his decision to incinerate civilian targets, LeMay stated:
“Killing Japanese didn’t bother me very much at that time… I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal…. Every soldier thinks something of the moral aspects of what he is doing. But all war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you’re not a good soldier.” (“Race for the Superbomb: U.S. Politicians, Officials and Administrators”)
LeMay’s deeds and words support the claim made by critics that he was a moral monster of the first order. The general, however, was more than just a scoundrel in uniform. LeMay was also a participant in a multi-generational social engineering campaign that claims the UFO phenomenon as its centerpiece. LeMay fanned the flames of UFO hysteria during an exchange with Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater (Redfern). Goldwater recounted the incident to talk show host Larry King during a 1994 interview. The senator remembered asking LeMay if he could have access to the area at Wright Patterson Air Force Base where debris from a UFO was allegedly stored. LeMay, according to Goldwater, “got madder than hell at me, cussed me out, and said, ‘Don’t ever ask me that question again’” (ibid)! Was LeMay genuinely angry over Goldwater’s request? Many ufologists believe he was, and the infamous exchange between the two men has fed a pervasive confirmation bias within the UFO community ever since. It is more likely, however, that the general was trying to lend credibility to a myth that began in 1947 in the New Mexico desert. The myth, of course, came to be known as the Roswell incident. While regarded by many as the holy grail of Ufology, the Roswell case has several of the characteristics of what spooks and practitioners of covert politics call a psychological operation (PSYOP). At the very beginning of the PSYOP, LeMay’s fingerprints were detectable. The Roswell incident involved two very close friends and associates of LeMay: Colonel William Blanchard and Brigadier General Roger Ramey (Smith 87). Colonel Blanchard, the commander of the 509th Bomb Wing while it was stationed at Roswell, issued the now famous press release claiming that a flying disc had been recovered in the desert (87). Subsequently, Brigadier General Ramey ordered the release of another statement to the press asserting that what had been recovered was a weather balloon, not a flying disc (87).
The two contradictory press releases and LeMay’s later remarks to Goldwater are all significant contributions to what has been described as the “Government Coverup Ploy” (Upton 44). This tactic involves persuading people to believe in something by contending that the government is actively concealing it. Author Charles Upton elaborates:
Among the more common mind-control techniques, useful to anyone who wishes to use it and can command sufficient attention via the media or the internet, is the Government Coverup Ploy: if you assert that a given fact is true but that the government is covering it up, a certain percentage of the public will automatically believe you – especially if you can pressure the government to the point where it will start issuing denials. It’s a cheap and reliable tool; even the government itself can use it. (Upton 44-45)
Through a steady stream of contradictory information and a rogue’s gallery of deep state actors masquerading as both whistleblowers and obscurantists, covert political circles have successfully employed the Government Coverup Ploy. A 2019 Gallup poll determined that “two-thirds of Americans believe the government knows more about the [UFO] subject than it has conveyed” (Saad). The Gallup poll reflects a trend that goes back years. Lydia Saad writes: “The 68% today who believe the government is withholding information about UFOs is comparable to the 71% found in 1996. Both times, the results were similar among all main demographic groups, including by age, education and party identification”. The 68 percent of Americans who believe in some sort of government coverup have been gradually conditioned over time by accusations and denials that have issued forth from the same source: the deep state. The deep state now appears to be moving past the UFO coverup charade. A sham disclosure trend is now taking the Government Coverup Ploy’s place, with the government pretending to capitulate to demands for transparency on the UFO subject. The feigned capitulation helps advance the agendas of several different covert political circles, including those clandestine forces that claimed LeMay, Blanchard, and Ramey as their representatives. What deep state actors benefited from the actions of these three men? Who did they serve? Military service is a shared feature in all three men’s lives. Their careers were decades long, suggesting a long-term dedication to forces entrenched in the military establishment. Deep state elements in the military and national security circles benefit from the UFO phenomenon in ways seldom contemplated by Ufologists. Both the Government Coverup ploy and the disclosure ruse have strengthened an alien threat narrative. That narrative, in turn, is now being used to maintain a militaristic trend in American history that has its proximate origins with National Security Council (NSC) paper 68.
In many ways, NSC-68 was a response to several Cold War developments that were creating difficulties for the Truman administration (Lindsay). The communist world had experienced some successes that were undermining the administration’s foreign policy goals. James Lindsay, a member of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), elaborates:
To understand the origins of NSC-68, it helps first to know some background. The second half of 1949 had been a tough time for the Truman administration on the foreign policy front. In August, the Soviet Union detonated an atomic device for the first time, ending the U.S. nuclear monopoly far sooner than Washington thought would be the case. Then, in October, Mao Zedong declared the establishment of the communist People’s Republic of China. That set off a bitter debate in the United States over who “lost” China, a debate that helped set the stage for Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s famed Wheeling, West Virginia speech alleging that communists were running rampant at the State Department. (ibid)
Lindsay, of course, as a participant in the CFR, feels the need to share a sanitized view of the Cold War events that took place in the second half of 1949. What he fails to mention regarding the communist victories in 1949 is that they were, to some extent, the product of deep state manipulation with the connivance of hawkish political elements in both the East and the West. That very same year, Major George Racy Jordan, the Lend Lease officer at Gore Field in Great Falls, Montana, revealed that many of the necessary components and ingredients for an atomic bomb had been given to the Soviets by American officials. In his 1952 book over the topic, Jordan asserted that Presidential advisor Harry Hopkins had been involved in the transfer of nuclear secrets and materials, which included, among other items, uranium (Jordan 81). Communist gains in China were largely attributable to General George Marshall, Roosevelt’s Chief of Staff (Perloff 87). Researcher James Perloff writes:
In China, Marshall demanded that Chiang accept the Communists into his government or forfeit U.S. support. He also negotiated truces that saved the Reds from imminent defeat, and which they exploited to regroup and seize more territory. Finally, Marshall slammed a weapons embargo on the Nationalist government, as the Communists had been urging him to do. (87)
Marshall’s attempts to destabilize the Nationalists continued when he was appointed Secretary of State (87). Under Marshall’s watch, the State Department highlighted Chiang’s corruption, while failing to bring attention to Mao Tse-tung’s dedication to the communist cause. Marshall’s weapons embargo was assisted in 1948 when the Truman administration delayed Congressionally authorized military aid to the Nationalists. That move sealed the Nationalist regime’s fate as Chiang Kai-shek and his forces retreated to Taiwan (88). When McCarthy turned the eye of scrutiny on the State Department, it was not because of completely baseless claims. American officials were responsible for the communist takeover of mainland China. In addition, Western political circles did as much to end America’s nuclear monopoly as the Soviets. McCarthy had identified real subversion, but the subversive elements were not communists. They were, instead, Anglo-American internationalists who were making concessions to the communist world for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was to cultivate hostility between the East and the West which would, in turn, help promote a much more bellicose response to the communist challenge. Without such a response, the national security state, still in its infancy, may have been dismantled and other oligarchic forces that benefited from America’s war footing may have experience a significant decline in their influence. Preservation of power was the name of the game, and a formidable enemy was the pretext. China and Russia, considered valuable allies during World War Two, now had to assume the adversarial role to accommodate the new threat narrative and those powerful covert political circles that would benefit from it.
It should be noted that Red China and the Soviet Union did little to discredit or counter the new threat narrative. Instead, they merely took the narrative and modified it, placing the United States in the role of antagonist. The reason for this is quite simple. Red China and the Soviets had their own military hardliners and deep state elements that benefited greatly from the threat narrative. And like the hawks in the West, these forces in the East would have lost a considerable amount of political clout without a sinister menace from without. On a sub rosa level, a symbiotic relationship had developed between the communist and “Free” worlds. The cohesive element cementing that relationship was the seemingly never-ending need for external enemies that would cause terrified populations to huddle around their leaders. The Cold War’s longevity, a mind-boggling 45 years, was largely attributable to this symbiotic relationship.
Clandestine forces in the West understood that the communist menace had to be fearsome enough to convince the American public to abandon the country’s anti-militarist and anti-statist traditions. The Soviet Union’s acquisition of an atomic bomb and Chiang’s defeat in China certainly helped move the nation in that direction. Those two developments caused President Truman to reassess his administration’s approach to national security (Lindsay). That reassessment led to the creation of the group that would author NSC-68. Known as the State-Defense Policy Review Group, this collection of government officials was brought together in early 1950 under the leadership of Paul Nitze, the director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff (ibid).
By all accounts, Nitze was a hardliner’s hardliner, an exemplar of the nation’s war hawks. In an obituary for Nitze that appeared in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, one reads: “Nitze was a Democrat, but for much of the cold war his hawkish views were more in line with mainstream Republican thinking. He plotted US nuclear policy throughout the era of ‘mutually assured destruction’” (“Paul Nitze”). While many admired Nitze for the way he navigated the United States through the Cold War, he was not without critics “who saw his assessments as biased towards worst-case scenarios” (Burr and Wampler). Nitze’s dire judgements and Cold War fever dreams would be instrumental in setting the tone of NSC-68. That tone was a dramatic one. Lindsay observes: “The report came packed with more rhetorical ammunition than most other government memos” (Lindsay). The authors of NSC-68 began firing that “rhetorical ammunition” in the document’s introduction, painting a picture of a colossal life and death struggle between America and a Soviet menace that “unlike previous aspirants to hegemony, is animated by a new fanatic faith, antithetical to our own, and seeks to impose its absolute authority over the rest of the world” (“NSC-68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security”). The struggle is characterized by a precarious balancing act between the desire to secure peace and the need to defend against a relentless enemy whose appetite will only be satisfied by world domination. The document states:
On the one hand, the people of the world yearn for relief from the anxiety arising from the risk of atomic war. On the other hand, any substantial further extension of the area under the domination of the Kremlin would raise the possibility that no coalition adequate to confront the Kremlin with greater strength could be assembled. It is in this context that this Republic and its citizens in the ascendancy of their strength stand in their deepest peril. (ibid)
The introduction concludes with the assertion that the problems arising out of the competition between East and West have worldwide implications and must be met with a quick and decisive response. The authors write:
The issues that face us are momentous, involving the fulfillment or destruction not only of this Republic but of civilization itself. They are issues which will not await our deliberations. With conscience and resolution this Government and the people it represents must now take new and fateful decisions. (ibid)
NSC-68 sees the fight between the “Free World” and the communist world through the interpretative lens of Manichean dualism. As Lindsay puts it: “The Soviet Union (and its satellites) stood diametrically opposed to everything that the United States (and by extension the rest of the ‘free world’) stood for” (Lindsay). The two sides share absolutely nothing in common, leaving no room for reasonable accommodations, mutually beneficial arrangements, or peace agreements. The document asserts: “The implacable purpose of the slave state to eliminate the challenge of freedom has placed the two great powers at opposite poles. It is this fact which gives the present polarization of power the quality of crisis” (“NSC-68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security”). The authors drive home their dualistic view by presenting radically different portraits of the two competitors. According to NSC-68, America is the very embodiment of virtue, a nation whose “fundamental purpose is to assure the integrity and vitality of our free society, which is founded upon the dignity and worth of the individual”. The United States, in the view of NSC-68’s authors, possesses a “determination to maintain the essential elements of individual freedom” and a “determination to create conditions under which our free and democratic system can live and prosper”. America also has a “determination to fight if necessary to defend our way of life,” meaning, of course, that the American public is obligated to go to war whenever they are called upon to do so.
Every hero needs a villain, a fact that Nitze and his cohorts were well aware of. NSC-68 makes it clear who that villain is: the Soviet Union. NSC-68 provides the following description of the Cold War’s antagonist:
The fundamental design of those who control the Soviet Union and the international communist movement is to retain and solidify their absolute power, first in the Soviet Union and second in the areas now under their control. In the minds of the Soviet leaders, however, achievement of this design requires the dynamic extension of their authority and the ultimate elimination of any effective opposition to their authority.
The design, therefore, calls for the complete subversion or forcible destruction of the machinery of government and structure of society in the countries of the non-Soviet world and their replacement by an apparatus and structure subservient to and controlled from the Kremlin. To that end Soviet efforts are now directed toward the domination of the Eurasian land mass. The United States, as the principal center of power in the non-Soviet world and the bulwark of opposition to Soviet expansion, is the principal enemy whose integrity and vitality must be subverted or destroyed by one means or another if the Kremlin is to achieve its fundamental design. (ibid)
While the Soviet Union was certainly no collection of saints, the picture of America’s Cold War foe is far too simplistic. Furthermore, no consideration is given to the fact that America had its share of nefarious elites with less than pure motives. NSC-68 rails against “the grim oligarchy of the Kremlin” while conveniently ignoring the fact that America had its own semi-submerged oligarchy (ibid). Nitze and company made sure to bleach out all the nuances of the situation, resulting in a very crude and inaccurate understanding of the Cold War world. American public intellectual Noam Chomsky elaborates:
The basic structure of the argument has the childlike simplicity of a fairy tale. There are two forces in the world, at “opposite poles.” In one corner we have absolute evil; in the other, sublimity. There can be no compromise between them. The diabolical force, by its very nature, must seek total domination of the world. Therefore it must be overcome, uprooted, and eliminated so that the virtuous champion of all that is good may survive to perform his exalted works. (Chomsky 10)
In the view of Nitze and the other participants in the State-Defense Policy Review Group, the way to vanquish the Soviet beast was to modify George Kennan’s containment policy with a call to arms. Lindsay observes that “NSC-68 was a far more militarized version of containment than Kennan envisioned. NSC-68 called for more aggressive efforts to counter Soviet expansion, efforts that would be backed up by a massive increase in both conventional and nuclear armaments” (Lindsay). NSC-68’s marriage of containment and militarism is captured in the following statement:
In the concept of “containment,” the maintenance of a strong military posture is deemed to be essential for two reasons: (1) as an ultimate guarantee of our national security and (2) as an indispensable backdrop to the conduct of the policy of “containment.” Without superior aggregate military strength, in being and readily mobilizable, a policy of “containment”–which is in effect a policy of calculated and gradual coercion–is no more than a policy of bluff. (“NSC-68: United States Objectives and Programs for National Security”)
Nitze and the other architects of NSC-68 made a case for militarizing containment by asserting “that U.S. military capabilities are strategically more defensive in nature than offensive and are more potential than actual”. According to NSC-68, this poses a problem for the United States and the “Free World” because “there is now and will be in the future no absolute defense. The history of war also indicates that a favorable decision can only be achieved through offensive action”. For Nitze and the other hawks behind NSC-68, any defensive strategy lacking a significant offensive component could not secure a victory in the Cold War. The document states: “Even a defensive strategy, if it is to be successful, calls not only for defensive forces to hold vital positions while mobilizing and preparing for the offensive, but also for offensive forces to attack the enemy and keep him off balance”. Essentially, Nitze and State-Defense Policy Review Group were using the old adage of “the best defense is a good offense” as a pretext to erect a garrison state. The review group wanted that garrison state built while America still had a nuclear advantage over the Soviets. NSC-68 elaborates:
The threat to the free world involved in the development of the Soviet Union’s atomic and other capabilities will rise steadily and rather rapidly. For the time being, the United States possesses a marked atomic superiority over the Soviet Union which, together with the potential capabilities of the United States and other free countries in other forces and weapons, inhibits aggressive Soviet action. This provides an opportunity for the United States, in cooperation with other free countries, to launch a build-up of strength which will support a firm policy directed to the frustration of the Kremlin design. The immediate goal of our efforts to build a successfully functioning political and economic system in the free world backed by adequate military strength is to postpone and avert the disastrous situation which, in light of the Soviet Union’s probable fission bomb capability and possible thermonuclear bomb capability, might arise in 1954 on a continuation of our present programs. By acting promptly and vigorously in such a way that this date is, so to speak, pushed into the future, we would permit time for the process of accommodation, withdrawal and frustration to produce the necessary changes in the Soviet system. Time is short, however, and the risks of war attendant upon a decision to build up strength will steadily increase the longer we defer it. (ibid)
Nitze and the other members of the review group failed to mention the fact that garrison states like the one they were promoting are characterized by a national economy that is nearly swallowed whole by obscene defense spending. The authors of NSC-68 pointed out that their proposed rapid build-up in strength “will be costly,” but failed to provide an estimate concerning the final cost (ibid). Concerns regarding the expense slowed the approval of NSC-68. Lindsay explains:
The lack of a price tag unnerved President Truman. He was trying to rein in defense spending. NSC-68 would mean much higher defense spending, which in turn meant either higher taxes or painful spending cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. So rather than immediately approving the memo, he instead asked for an assessment of what NSC-68 would cost to implement. As a result, the fate of NSC-68 and the sweeping changes it advocated were in doubt in late spring 1951. (Lindsay)
The obstacles frustrating the implementation of NSC-68 were removed with North Korea’s invasion of South Korea (ibid). Again, the hidden hand of covert political circles could be detected. The Soviet Union could have prevented the conflict by using its vote on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to block the approval of a deployment of peace-keeping forces (Howard-Browne and Williams 231). The Soviets, however, chose to be absent for the vote, supposedly as a protest of the UN’s refusal to give Red China a seat in the General Assembly (231). North Korea had been something of a surrogate of the Soviet Union since the Potsdam Conference, so it seemed strange that they would not use their position on the Security Council to prevent the country from facing a military response (230). The Soviets, in all likelihood, hoped to lure America into a quagmire where they stood to sustain high casualties. After all, 85 percent of the peace-keeping force was American soldiers (231). Oligarchical forces in the West, however, had much to gain from sparking a conflict. Even when tensions ran high between America and the Soviet Union, the Rockefeller profited richly from heavy investment in Russia. Rodney Howard-Browne and Paul Williams elaborate:
By 1927, Rockefeller-owned Standard Oil of New York and its subsidiary, the Vacuum Oil Company, had purchased the Russian oil fields and constructed a massive refinery in Batumi on the coast of the Black Sea. In accordance with the deal, the Rockefellers gained the right to market Soviet oil in Europe, while the Bolsheviks received a loan of $75 million. During this same time, Rockefeller-owned Chase National Bank established the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce, which financed Soviet raw material exports and sold Soviet bonds in the United States.
In 1935, Stalin expropriated many foreign investments in Russia, but the holdings of the House of Rockefeller were not touched. Other Rockefeller investments were made in the Soviet Union, including the construction of a truck factory that created tanks and rocket launchers. The total holdings of Chase National, Standard Oil, the Guaranty Trust Company, and other firms controlled or owned by the Rockefellers remained concealed from public scrutiny. The profits from these enterprises flowed into numbered accounts at Swiss banks so that they could never be audited by American legislators or U.S. Treasury officials. It was all a matter of high finance. (231-32)
The symbiotic relationship between the Rockefellers and the Soviet Union extended into 1950 when war broke out between the two Koreas. Howard-Browne and Williams write: “The Soviet Union began producing T-34/35 tanks and MiG-15 fighter jets for the North Korean army with financing from the House of Rockefeller” (232). The military clash between East and West seemed to benefit predatory capitalists that, according to conventional political thinking, had everything to lose if the communists won the day. The standard understanding of the relational dynamic that existed between cartel capitalists and the communists prevented the public from discerning mutually beneficial arrangements held by the two. There were, however, other clandestine forces inhabiting the Cold War milieu that profited from the Korean conflict. Nitze and the authors of NSC-68 were among them. The Korean War appeared to vindicate Nitze and the State-Defense Policy Review Group. The forecast found in NSC-68 assumed the characteristics of eschatological prophecies. Lindsay writes:
The debate over NSC-68 might have sputtered out and the memo might have become nothing more than a historical footnote if not for North Korea’s invasion of South Korea on June 25, 1950. The attack by Moscow’s ally seemed to confirm what NSC-68 had argued, the Soviet slave state was on the march and only American military might could stop it. Truman’s nearly immediate decision to order U.S. troops to come to South Korea’s aid guaranteed a major jump in U.S. defense spending. (Truman had proposed a $13 billion defense budget for FY 1951; it ended up ballooning to $58 billion.) With cost no longer an obstacle, NSC-68 became official policy. As [Secretary of State Dean] Acheson later observed, “Korea saved us.” (Lindsay)
NSC-68 would not be declassified until 1975 (“NSC-68, 1950”). By the time the document found its way into the public sphere, the American military had seen 25 years of unprecedented growth and expansion. The Truman administration alone tripled its defense spending during the period of 1950 to 1953. Truman’s tremendous boost in the defense budget was largely attributable to a foreign policy interest group known to be a repository for several deep state actors: the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) (Meyssan). Founded in 1950 under the leadership of Harvard President James Conant, former undersecretary of the Army Tracy Voorhees, and atomic scientist and Vannevar Bush, the CPD sought to promote the Containment Militarism formula found in NSC-68 under the pretext of combatting “the aggressive designs of the Soviet Union” (Sanders 54). In its crusade to militarize the containment doctrine, the CPD’s weapon of choice was the media. According to Thierry Meyssan, “the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) launched a media campaign in favor of the urgent reinforcement of the national defense” (Meyssan). The CPD’s media blitz was extremely successful. Meyssan writes: “The Committee had such an impact that a national consensus allowed Truman to dramatically triple the military budget and make public the ‘containment’ policy, which is the creation of a cordon sanitaire to contain the USSR”.
One of the individuals who benefitted from the military build-up was rocket scientist and Nazi Party member Wernher von Braun. Truman’s plans for military expansion extended far beyond the planet, envisioning militarization of space. He signed off on projects to create a space arsenal, including Project Orbiter and the Jupiter rockets. These endeavors required the skills possessed by Von Braun and his fellow Nazi scientists. Many of these scientists had been involved in experiments and projects that were morally repugnant. The value of such war criminals to the United States was in question until Paul Nitze and his State-Defense Policy Review Group and the CPD successfully promoted a picture of the Soviet Union that was terrifying enough to get Americans to support a significant military build-up. Accommodations were made for Von Braun and the other Nazi scientists. Meyssan reports:
The Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) was founded in Redstone (Alabama) and trusted to the former SS Wernher von Braun. A launch site was built in Cape Canaveral (Florida). It was directed by Kurt Debus, another ex-SS. The Navy and the Air Force made their contribution too and some Nazi scientists were assigned to them.
The perception management campaign conducted by the CPD and other proponents of the concepts expounded in NSC-68 had won the day for the hawks and their Nazi auxiliaries. Von Braun apparently felt that this perception management campaign would eventually introduce an alien threat narrative that would keep the trend of space militarization alive long after the conclusion of the Cold War. In 1972, Von Braun retired from NASA and took a job with Fairchild Industries, a major aerospace company (Schmeck). While with Fairchild Industries, Von Braun allegedly told Dr. Carol Rosin, the first female corporate manager of Fairchild Industries, about “scare tactics” being employed to introduce a series of threat narratives (Greer 255-56). According to Rosin, the final threat narrative would have an extraterrestrial menace as its centerpiece, thus ensuring the creation of a space-based arsenal (255-56). In 2001, Rosin gave an affidavit to Dr. Steven Greer’s “Disclosure Project” that allegedly provides Von Braun’s admission. Rosin stated:
What was most interesting to me was a repetitive sentence that he [von Braun] said to me over and over again during the approximately four years that I had the opportunity to work with him. He said the strategy that was being used to educate the public and decision makers was to use scare tactics…. That was how we identify an enemy.
The strategy that Werner Von Braun taught me was that the Russians are going to be considered to be the enemy. In fact, in 1974, they were the enemy, the identified enemy. We were told that they had “killer satellites.” We were told that they were coming to get us and control us – that they were “Commies.”
Then terrorists would be identified, and that was soon to follow. We heard a lot about terrorism. Then we were going to identify third-world country “crazies.” We now call them Nations of Concern. But he said that would be the third enemy against whom we would build space-based weapons.
And the funniest one of all was what he called aliens, extraterrestrials. That would be the final scare. And over and over and over during the four years that I knew him and was giving speeches for him, he would bring up that last card. “And remember Carol, the last card is the alien card. We are going to have to build space-based weapons against aliens and all of it is a lie.” (255-56)
For years, the public has been conditioned to accept the existence of both benevolent and malevolent extraterrestrials. In recent times, however, aliens of the sinister variety seem to be taking center stage in a manner that conforms to Von Braun’s forecast. Journalist Jeremy Kuzmarov sees two political developments in 2022 as evidence that Von Braun’s prediction is coming to pass: the first Congressional UFO hearing in 50 years and Biden’s defense budget proposal which included billions of dollars for the U.S. Space Force (Kuzmarov). Kuzmarov writes:
On May 17, the U.S. Congress held its first hearings on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP)—the new official name for Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)—in more than 50 years.
Less then [sic] two months earlier, President Joe Biden’s $773 billion budget request for the Defense Department for fiscal year 2023 included $24.5 billion for the U.S. Space Force and the Space Development Agency—about $5 billion more than what Congress approved in 2022.
The fortuitous timing was all but predicted by Wernher von Braun, a Nazi scientist recruited under Operation Paperclip, who served as the first director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, from 1960 to 1970.
Before his death in 1977, von Braun said: “Weapons will be based in space—hence the need to create a psychological nexus whereby people will fear all things alien.”
Wernher von Braun’s perspective seems to have been represented during the 2022 Congressional UFO hearing. “Von Braun’s spirit,” says Kuzmarov, “was evident in the opening remarks of André Carson (D-IN), the chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, and Counterproliferation”. While making his opening statement, Carson asserted that UFOs, now rebranded as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), “are a potential national security threat, and they need to be treated that way” (“Watch: Congressional Hearing on UFOs-Live”). In addition, Carson made the following bold declaration:
“For too long, the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis. Pilots avoided reporting or were laughed at when they did. DOD officials relegated the issue to the backroom or swept it under the rug entirely, fearful of a skeptical national security community. Today, we know better. UAPs are unexplained, it’s true. But they are real. They need to be investigated. And any threats they pose need to be mitigated.”
The twin evils of fearmongering and militarism lie just beneath the surface of Carson’s otherwise corny and melodramatic speech. By describing UAPs as “a potential national security threat” and “unexplained,” Carson is attempting to summon up the image of some kind of horror from the unknown that may require a military response one day. That image is sufficiently frightening to convince at least a portion of the public that the Biden administration’s inclusion of $24.5 billion for the U.S. Space Force in its 2023 budget proposal was warranted. Kuzmarov is correct when he observes that Carson’s remarks call Von Braun to mind. However, hints of Paul Nitze and NSC-68 are also in evidence. The 2022 congressional hearings on UFOs borrowed Nitze’s practice of inflating a real or imagined threat to introduce the drastic expansion of the national security state. UFOs, of all things, may bring Nitze’s ghost roaring back from the grave.
Carson is not the only member of America’s political class who has been channeling the ghost of Paul Nitze when addressing the UFO issue in recent days. In 2021, Democratic Senator from New York Kirsten Gillibrand “led the charge to study UFOs” with legislation she and other senators placed in the National Defense Authorization Act (Weisholtz). The legislation promoted by Gillibrand and others sought to create yet another government program, one that would “quickly investigate unidentified aerial phenomena, share information with other countries, tell Congress if other nations or some other entity are behind the cases and check into reports of service members who have experienced health issues after they encounter unknown objects”.
In the grand tradition of Paul Nitze, Gillibrand invoked national security as the reason for expanding the already bloated Pentagon bureaucracy, asserting that UFOs “are serious issues of national security and technology that we should know about” (ibid). Gillibrand got her wish, and a new UFO program was established in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security (Seitz-Wald). Regarding the new Pentagon program to study UFOs, Gillibrand stated: “Our national security efforts rely on aerial supremacy and these phenomena present a challenge to our dominance. The United States needs a coordinated effort to take control and understand whether these aerial phenomena belong to a foreign government or something else altogether” (ibid). The New York senator’s remarks seems to hearken back to the military doctrine of full spectrum dominance. The doctrine seeks to establish military superiority through the control of every aspect of the battlespace. Perhaps the new Pentagon office to study UFOs is supposed to help obtain aerial mastery for the U.S. military, thus advancing the goal of full spectrum dominance. Once again, Nitze’s thinking is discernable. Like Nitze, Gillibrand engaged in threat inflation and followed up with militaristic prescriptions.
Gillibrand’s amendment was celebrated by a deep state actor who is neck-deep in UFO deception: former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Christopher K. Mellon (ibid). Christopher Mellon is a scion of the Mellon family, an oligarchic dynasty that has long been immersed in the murky world of intelligence. In a March 9, 2018, Op-Ed for the Washington Post, Mellon attempted to stoke fears of hostile UFOs by citing “recent incidents involving the military and violations of U.S. airspace” (Mellon). Among those incidents, says Mellon, are two videotaped “encounters between U.S. Navy F-18 fighters and unidentified aircraft”. These incidents became part of the public record in December of 2017 when the Department of Defense (DOD) declassified the videos of the encounters. Mellon asserts that the “videos, along with observations by pilots and radar operators, appear to provide evidence of the existence of aircraft far superior to anything possessed by the United States or its allies”. The two incidents, according to Mellon, are part of a disturbing and growing trend. The former deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence writes: “Defense Department officials who analyze the relevant intelligence confirm more than a dozen such incidents off the East Coast alone since 2015” (ibid).
Mellon goes on to paint a picture of an unstoppable invasion by unknown forces piloting vehicles that outstrip conventional military aircraft in every conceivable way. He cites a failed interception of “an unidentified high-speed aircraft looping over the Pacific Northwest” conducted by F-15 fighters in October of 2017. Mellon also discusses a third declassified video, released by the highly dubious To The Stars (TTS) Academy, which “reveals a previously undisclosed Navy encounter that occurred off the East Coast in 2015”. After presenting all these cases, Mellon attempts to get his audience to entertain an extraterrestrial explanation by posing the following question: “Is it possible that America has been technologically leap-frogged by Russia or China? Or, as many people wondered after the videos were first published by the New York Times in December, might they be evidence of some alien civilization”? The irrational Russophobia that characterizes much of America’s hidden oligarchy seems to compel Mellon to briefly consider the possibility that the cited UFO incidents are confirmation of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims regarding propulsion breakthroughs. Mellon, however, quickly returns to the extraterrestrial explanation, contending that “if these craft really aren’t from Earth, then the need to figure out what they are is even more urgent”.
It is obvious that Mellon desperately wishes to convince his audience that the UFO incidents he cites carry with them serious national security implications. He even claims that the TTS Academy is “being approached by military personnel who are concerned about national security and frustrated by how the Defense Department is handling such reports”. Mellon then proposes a solution that seems to be designed to reinvigorate America’s national security state:
Within a roughly $50 billion annual intelligence budget, money is not the issue. Existing funds would easily cover what’s needed to look into the incidents. What we lack above all is recognition that this issue warrants a serious collection and analysis effort. To make headway, the task needs to be assigned to an official with the clout to compel collaboration among disparate and often quarrelsome national security bureaucracies. A truly serious effort would involve, among other things, analysts able to review infrared satellite data, NORAD radar databases, and signals and human intelligence reporting. Congress should require an all-source study by the secretary of defense while promoting research into new forms of propulsion that might explain how these vehicles achieve such extraordinary power and maneuverability. (ibid)
Such a “serious collection and analysis effort,” says Mellon, would help decrease “the risk of strategic surprise”. This prescription, however, might also provide a rationale for maintaining a bloated, unsustainable national security bureaucracy that concerns itself more with safeguarding an arrogant, overstretched, and failing American Empire than protecting the American people. Deep state institutions operating within America’s national security bureaucracy might also benefit by using a fictional UFO threat as a pretext for gaining access to “infrared satellite data, NORAD radar databases, and signals and human intelligence reporting” (ibid). Once again, one can discern Paul Nitze’s approach to national security. Echoes of NSC-68 abound in Mellon’s warnings of a superior technology from who-knows-where.
In many ways, Carson, Gillibrand, Mellon, and other colorful characters hyping the UFO threat narrative constitute a new CPD, albeit an unofficial one. These individuals and others like them seek to implement the Spartan-like prescriptions found in NSC-68 in a post-Soviet world, a daunting task to be sure. The Global War on Terror (GWOT) worked to the benefit of these hawks for a time, but then the second Iraq War, a costly, ill-conceived, and unnecessary conflict based on intelligence that was either politicized or falsified altogether, robbed the terrorism narrative of its legitimacy. Some have suggested a rather vague and undefined resurgence of fascism, but that narrative is handicapped by a conspicuous lack of evidence. As of late, the Russians and Chinese have been offered up as the new menace, but they have refused to conform to the villainous roles that Western covert political circles have tried to assign them. UFOs, it seems, are the last refuge of a dying collection of deviant elites whose control has almost always been contingent on the existence of an enemy that terrifies people into an ill-advised exchange of freedoms for the illusion of security.
The recent deep state-cultivated UFO threat narrative had its way paved by some significant conditioning. Members of actual past iterations of the CPD may have started prepping the UFO community and, to some extent, the general public for a UFO threat narrative in the late eighties and early nineties. The seventies iteration of the CPD included among its ranks Dr. Edward Teller, the Hungarian-born physicist and “Father of the H-Bomb” (Charlton). During his investigation into some of the most prevalent pieces of UFO disinformation throughout the late eighties and early nineties, researcher Greg Bishop was told by a former Defense Department physicist that Teller may have been a participant in the “Aviary” (Bishop 109). The Aviary was a collection of deep state actors using bird names as aliases (64). This coterie of spooks used William Moore, a prominent Ufologist, to disseminate UFO disinformation. Some of the most infamous and enduring UFO myths were spread throughout the UFO community through this conspiracy. The conspiracy, however, came crashing down in July of 1989 when Moore admitted to being a participant during a humiliating presentation at the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) conference in Las Vegas (Vallee 47). While that damning revelation transformed Moore from a reputable researcher to the UFO community’s equivalent of a leper, it did not dislodge many UFO true believers from the baseless claims and fantasies promulgated by the Aviary.
Among the pieces of disinformation propagated by the Aviary and swallowed nearly wholesale by the UFO community was a fictional “project to destroy alien underground bases with atomic weapons and penetrating ‘bunker buster’-type bombs” (Bishop 107). This fictional program, known as Project Excalibur, was leaked to Paul Bennewitz, an American businessman and UFO investigator who had absolutely no idea he was being used to spread lies. William Cooper, a deceased conspiracy writer who became something of an icon in militia circles, also took the Aviary’s bait and warned his audience about Project Excalibur. The domino effect took over and, according to researcher Greg Bishop, there were soon “hundreds of citations of this ‘anti-alien base’ project available on the Internet” (108). Bishop believes that Excalibur is really a reference to “a Dr. Edward Teller-initiated project” of the same name. Teller’s Excalibur is described by Bishop as a “project to explode low-yield nuclear devices in hollowed-out underground cavities at the Nevada atomic test site”. Bishop explains how the detonation of such devices would be exploited by Teller and others in an attempt to create space-based weapons:
The huge release of energy in the X-ray spectrum was then directed along specially designed and excavated tunnels, which channeled the pulse to a device that produced an “X-ray laser” beam. X-ray lasers were being developed as a possible “directed energy” weapon under the Strategic Defense Initiative. (108)
If Bishop is correct, Teller was integrating his space-based laser weapon program into a UFO disinformation piece. That disinformation posited earthlings battling interplanetary hostiles deep beneath the earth’s surface. Assuming Teller did execute such a scheme, he was using one fraud to perpetrate another. Teller’s Excalibur had more to do with political gain than actual science. For Teller, Excalibur was, in many ways, a way of preserving government funding for Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, a research and development center located in Livermore, California that has been called “the house that Teller built” (Scheer). During the first five years of the Reagan Presidency, the lab enjoyed a 25 percent rise in its budget. This was a considerable improvement from the seventies when the lab’s federal funding experienced a 40 percent cut. Teller began to fear that the purse strings would be tightened again because “America’s Catholic bishops, dovish congressmen and grass-roots physicians’ peace movements had united to demand a freeze on all new nuclear weapons”. To counter the nuclear freeze movement, Teller proposed “the third generation of nuclear weapons”. Robert Scheer provides a look at Teller’s new weapons:
The basis of the new generation of arms, the “space shield,” as Teller described it, would be the nuclear-pumped X-ray laser, a weapon that would concentrate the energy of a nuclear blast into a beam of destructive light that could zap every Soviet missile in sight. (ibid).
Teller had known Reagan since the days when Reagan was governor of California. When Reagan became President, Teller gained access to the White House. The two had a conversation that sold Reagan on Teller’s idea and the Excalibur project was born. According to journalist Robert Scheer, Livermore staff began conducting experiments in Nevada using underground nuclear explosions in 1983. These experiments appear to have made an appearance in the UFO disinformation that the Aviary leaked to Bennewitz. While these tests played a pivotal role in the Aviary’s UFO disinformation campaign, they failed to produce the effective defensive weapon Teller was promising the Reagan administration. Roy Woodruff, the scientist who supervised the researchers and technicians tasked with development of an actual laser, told Scheer that while progress had been made, the research team was still a long way off from a functional laser. Scheer writes:
“I was enthusiastic about progress we made in the experiment,” Woodruff says. “Why wouldn’t I be? We finally, unequivocally demonstrated lasing.” However, he adds, even as experiments continued, no one knew exactly how bright that laser, then known as Excalibur, was. Indeed, there is to this day some question about just what the experimenters measured, but no serious doubt that it was several orders of magnitude away from any sort of usable weapon beam.
In December of 1983, Woodruff acquired a letter from Teller to George Keyworth, President Reagan’s science advisor. Woodruff read the letter and was shocked to find that Teller was claiming that the X-ray laser was ready to enter the “engineering phase”. Scheer states: “In the weapons world, that means something very specific: that production of a model weapon can start”. Woodruff confronted Teller on the issue. While Teller conceded that Woodruff had a salient point, he refused “to either withdraw the letter or to have Woodruff write one stating his own views on the matter”. Woodruff approached then Livermore director Roger Batzel who, according to Scheer, “either ‘ordered’ (Woodruff’s version) or ‘advised’ (Batzel’s) him not to send a correcting letter”. Later, Batzel acknowledged that he prevented Woodruff from composing a correcting letter at the request of Teller.
In 1984, it became obvious that Excalibur was failing to meet expectations. Scheer explains:
Over the next year, the Excalibur X-ray laser program ran into political difficulties. At best, critics noted, it would produce an anti-satellite weapon because it aimed at a single beam per explosion and, therefore, was too costly to be used to defend against an array of missiles and decoys. Woodruff, who still strongly favors Excalibur as a research program, concedes this. “It was an anti-SDI weapon, and very few people understand that,” he says. That’s because its logical use, in the hands of either camp, would be to knock out an opponent’s space-based assets–the key, costly and intrinsically vulnerable components of an SDI system. “It had little potential for actually defending against ballistic missile attack. It just wasn’t that capable a laser. So if the program goals had been met, if indeed we were entering engineering phase as Teller said, what we would’ve had was a weapon that was capable of attacking satellites and defending satellites at great distances. If you have a very big satellite that’s a part of some Strategic Defense Initiative–a neutral particle beam accelerator, a big chemical laser, a garage full of kinetic-kill vehicles–this X-ray laser weapon has the potential to destroy those things.” Ironically, then, the centerpiece of missile defense, if it could be produced, would spell the end of missile defense. SDI critics began to point this out with some regularity, and finally the Washington SDI office, along with Wood and Teller, conceded the argument. (ibid; italics in original)
From start to finish, Excalibur was little more than a chimera, both as a UFO “revelation” and as a high-tech defensive weapon. In spite of this fact, the Excalibur illusion helped a UFO threat narrative impregnate the UFO community with extreme paranoia and fever dreams of hostile aliens. Periodically, deep state actors assisted this UFO threat narrative in its travels, declaring it to be a frightening reality to any audience gullible enough to give it serious consideration. John Lear, the famed aviator and son of Learjet magnate Bill Lear, was among those deep state actors who hit the UFO circuit, touting wild tales of Teller working miles underground in an attempt to defeat malevolent forces from across the universe. Researcher Greg Bishop elaborates:
In a letter dated December 13, 1987, John Lear, one of the speakers at the “alternate” 1989 Las Vegas MUFON convention (and then a compatriot of [William] Cooper’s), urgently warned of a project at the Nevada Test Site connected to the “alien war.” Lear wrote that a UFO “control group’ called MJ-12…. Had recently come to the conclusion that “there was no use in exciting the public with the ‘horrible truth’ [about the alien invasion] and the best plan was to continue the development of a weapon that could be used against the EBEs [Extraterrestrial Biological Entities] under the guise of SDI…” which Lear believed had nothing to do with a defense from Russian nuclear missiles. Lear continued, “As these words are being written, Dr. Teller… is in the tunnels of the Nevada Test Site driving his workers and associates in the words of one, ‘like a man possessed.’” (Bishop 108-09)
The UFO community would have done well to consider Lear’s background before believing anything he had to say. By his own admission, Lear flew planes on secret missions for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) (“John Lear Photo Gallery: John’s CIA history”). His online biography states that he “was a pilot for Continental Air Services, Inc. (CASI), a Subsidiary of Continental Air Lines which was in existence from 1965 to 1975”. CASI was created at the behest of the CIA in order “to provide a ‘less visible’ air transport alternative to the CIA associated ‘Air America’ for the growing Laotian support”.
The CIA’s Air America came into existence in 1950, when General Claire Chennault sold his Civil Air Transport (CAT) to the Agency (McCoy 167). The First Indochina War and the Laotian Civil War between the Royal Lao government and the communist Pathet Lao caused the French influence in Southeast Asia to diminish considerably. As the French lost their foothold in the region, Corsican charter airlines were pushed out of the opium trade. Air America replaced the Corsican charter airlines and, according to historian Alfred McCoy, “began flying Hmong opium out of the hills to Long Tieng and Vientiane” (288). The Living Moon, the website ran by Lear, includes two photographs of a secret CIA base and runway in Long Tieng (“John Lear Photo Gallery: John’s CIA History”). The caption under one of the photos reads: “John Lear on final approach to the most secret CIA base in Laos, Longtieng”.
The Hmong was an ethnic group that inhabited the mountain regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. The Hmong’s cultivation of opium poppy acted as the foundation of a special relationship between the ethnic group and the CIA. The CIA even established one of its assets, Laotian opium warlord Vang Pao, as the commander of the Hmong (McCoy 291). A photograph of Lear standing with Vang Pao can be seen at Lear’s website, The Living Moon (“John Lear Photo Gallery: John’s CIA History”). Vang Pao was among Laotian opium chieftains that the CIA turned to when it became obvious that remnants of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang in Burma had become more interested in being drug lords than in fighting Soviet and Chinese sponsored communist insurgencies (Trento 25). The alliance between the CIA and Vang Pao called for the opium warlord to use his impressive army of 30,000 men to fight the communist-backed Pathet Lao. In return, the CIA would mechanize Vang Pao’s opium business. The CIA’s technical services division created portable heroin processing facilities for Vang Pao. This meant the warlord no longer had to transport his opium by boat to Vietnam’s delta where there was enough water for the processing of opium paste into heroin. Indochina’s opium trade had been modernized, courtesy of the CIA (25-26). John Lear’s personal history reveals that he was a man immersed in a world where intelligence circles enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with illegal drug traders and other criminals. Could such a person be trusted to tell the truth about UFOs or any other topic? If Lear had no problem with working for criminalized intelligence cabals and their allies in the global drug trade, then he most certainly would disseminate UFO disinformation without reservation.
Before Lear shuffled off the mortal coil in 2022 at the age of 79, he successfully terrified the hell out of anyone who would listen to his tales of an “alien war.” The wild stories of Dr. Edward Teller developing weapons in a desperate attempt to turn the tide of a war with malevolent extraterrestrials had a profound effect on UFO culture. Bishop writes: “To the surprise and most likely the delight of the originators, [the Excalibur/alien war story] eventually grew to mythical status in the UFO community” (Bishop 110). The unfortunate test subject for this disinformation, UFO investigator Paul Bennewitz, was placed in the Anna Kaseman Mental Health facility in Albuquerque in August 1988 for nervous exhaustion after what has been described as “eight very long years of unrelenting stress and fear” (217). Bennewitz’s sad story stands as a testament to the ability of UFO threat narratives to induce extreme anxiety and panic, which is probably the primary purpose of such alarming tales.
It is highly likely that the Aviary and Teller provided the source material for the UFO threat narrative promoted by Lear and others. When Greg Bishop’s contact, the former Defense Department physicist, was presented with Lear’s disinformation, he stated, “It would be just like Teller to tell those kind of wild stories. He liked to lay it on thick sometimes” (109). Bishop believes that the Excalibur disinformation and the “alien war” tale were used by Teller and the Aviary to conceal defense projects (110). While that is very likely, the UFO threat narrative pushed by the Aviary and Lear may have been concocted to serve a deeper agenda. As a participant in the seventies iteration of the CPD, Teller appreciated the relationship between two phenomena: fear of an enemy, real or imagined, and expansion in the realm of defense. Growth of a nation’s military is very often facilitated by the rise of a menace. Teller may have been anticipating the demise of communism and decided that the time had come to start formulating a new threat narrative that would rationalize high defense spending in a post-Cold War world. Was Teller hoping that stories of hostile aliens would eventually breathe new life into the ideas found in NSC-68? Such an assertion is not far-fetched.
The Excalibur/alien war disinformation failed to do much more than excite the edgier elements within the UFO community. Carson, Gillibrand, Mellon, and other purveyors of the current UFO threat narrative appear to have improved the batting average. These individuals have proven to be much more effective practitioners of threat inflation. Paul Nitze, of course, is the patron saint of threat inflationists, and the militaristic prescriptions that he and the other architects of NSC-68 advanced are enjoying fresh support, due in large measure to the current UFO threat narrative. United States defense spending is growing in a world no longer divided by an Iron Curtain. A large portion of that spending has contributed to the militarization of space. That space militarization was assisted, in large measure, by the current UFO threat narrative pumping its recipients full of a fear of space invaders. UFO deception has helped Nitze’s militarism break the chains of gravity and expand out into the stars.
Will the ghost of Paul Nitze, however, have much longer to walk the earth? While Carson, Gillibrand, and Mellon have been successful in massaging UFO-related intelligence, the data underpinning the current UFO threat narrative is too sparse to ensure longevity. The video evidence presented during the 2022 Congressional UFO hearings supports this contention. The footage shown was not that all too different from the grainy and inconclusive films that are painfully familiar to many UFO investigators. Scott Bray, the Deputy Director of Navy Intelligence, showed hearing attendees a video of a spherical object that shoots past a jet cockpit (“WATCH: Congressional Hearing on UFOs! – LIVE.”). The activity in the video happens at a speed that prevents a meaningful assessment. Following the video, Bray stated, “In many cases that’s all a report may include. And in many other cases, we have far less than this”.
Bray also showed video of objects that he admitted were likely unmanned aerial systems, technology that is very much terrestrial in nature. How can such dubious evidence lead anyone to deduce that UFOs are a major national security concern? If serious national security implications are attached to the UFO question, then why was Bray, a government official who deals in national security issues, unable to present more compelling evidence? The public was expecting the hearings to produce evidence of technologies that far surpass man’s capabilities, but, instead, it received a flimsy and vacuous case that even the world’s worst con artist would regard as amateurish and embarrassing. The hearing participants, aware of their roles as threat inflationists, did their best to transform the mole hills they were given into mountains, but to no avail. The current UFO deception effort may get some mileage out of the 2022 hearings, but gains will be quickly lost as the public violently vomits up the shaky narrative they have been asked to swallow. While most Americans know nothing about Paul Nitze or NSC-68, they are very familiar with the government stoking fear to boost the war machine. Fear-based messaging, a centerpiece of UFO deception and other manifestations of deep state skullduggery, has been overused, and its efficacy is falling off a very steep cliff. As that messaging dies, Paul Nitze’s ghost will gradually evaporate, joining the Cold War he helped to shape in history’s crypt.
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