During his four years in office, Donald Trump, accompanied by his unethical and immoral family, business associates, and advisers, turned Washington, DC, into a replica of wartime neutral cities like Tangier and Macao, where anything and everyone was for sale to the highest bidder. Fans of the 1942 film noir, “Casablanca,” which starred Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, may be surprised to know that it was not wartime Casablanca in Morocco that inspired director Michael Curtiz to develop a theme around Rick’s Café Américain, where foreigners of every political stripe — German Nazis, Vichy French, Free French, and European refugees — co-mingled in an environment of deceit and corruption.
It was the international neutral zone of Tangier in Morocco that gave Curtiz the idea to set the scene in an expat American’s bar. In fact, the fictional Rick’s Café was modeled on the actual bar at the Hotel El Minzah’s in Tangier. Casablanca was under the control of the Nazi puppet Vichy regime of France and the Gestapo operated there at will. Not so in Tangier.
Although Tangier, a few days after the 1940 Nazi invasion of France, had been taken over by Francisco Franco’s fascist regime of Spain, the neutrality of the international city remained respected by Franco. Tangier, like its fictional movie counterpart, Casablanca, was populated by spies, double and triple agents, mercenaries, bogus counts and barons, smugglers, thieves, gamblers, drunken journalists, actual consular office diplomats, French and Moroccan prostitutes, British adventure seekers, and various other human flotsam and jetsam, as well as ne’er-do-wells of every stripe having allegiances to Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, the Moroccan Sultan, Franco, the Americans, Vichy France, the Free French of General Charles De Gaulle, and, first and foremost, themselves. The most active spies in Tangier were those assigned to the German Consulate. By May 1944, their activities had become so outrageous, Spain ordered the staff to leave Tangier and the consulate was shuttered.
Tangier had an Asian counterpart. It was the neutral Portuguese colony of Macao, located across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong and known during the war as the “Casablanca of the Orient.” After the 1941 Japanese invasion and brutal occupation of Hong Kong by the Japanese, Macao became a virtual carbon copy of Tangier, with the Japanese applying all sorts of economic, diplomatic, and military pressure on the neutral port city. Long a den of pirates and gamblers, wartime Macao saw European Allied diplomats, as well as Americans and Australians, operating alongside those from Japan. Swelling Macao’s population were thousands of refugees from Hong Kong and mainland China. Macao was a place where loyalties were negotiable based on the going rate.
Washington, DC became indistinguishable from Tangier and Macao during the Trump administration. In May 2017, Trump hosted the Russian Foreign Minister and ambassador to Washington at the Oval Office. Trump told the Russians, “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job.” Trump was no different than the pro-Japanese chief of the Macau police, Carlos de Souza Gorgulho, who did everything he could to ingratiate himself to the Japanese military that had all but taken over the Portuguese colony during the war. After the war, Gorgulho, a brutal racist, commanded the forces of white landowners who committed the Batepá Massacre of Africans in the Portuguese colony of Sao Tome and Principe. Gorgulho’s police kept a close eye on anyone believed to be a threat to Japan and its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, a fancy title for its expanded Asian empire. Suspects for Gorgulho ranged from American ground employees of Pan American Airlines’ trans-Pacific Clipper service; Nationalist Chinese agents loyal to Chiang Kai-shek; Chinese Communist rebels working for Mao Zedong; anti-Japanese Vietnamese guerrillas loyal to Ho Chi Minh; visiting Vichy agents from the tiny French Chinese colony of Guangzhouwan; pro-Allied Chinese pirates; and agents of the clandestine British Army Aid Group (BAAG), which helped spirit downed Allied pilots out of Japanese-occupied China.
When it comes to racist fascists, few, if any, ever change their spots. Trump’s admiration for Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Confederate generals and political leaders, and other tyrants places him in the same category of those who sold out their countries during World War II, including Pierre Laval of France, Vidkun Quisling of Norway, Leon Degrelle of Belgium, and other Nazi and fascist puppets from Slovakia and Croatia to Hong Kong and Indonesia.
The only photographic and video evidence of the presence of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office in May 2017 was from the Russian government. The U.S. and other media were barred from the Oval Office, much as the foreign press was barred from covering meetings with foreign leaders held by Hitler, Mussolini, and Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. What says “virtual occupation” of Washington more than a staged propaganda event conducted by a foreign power? In this case, the foreign power in question — Russia — was found by Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller to have colluded with the 2016 Trump campaign. In fact, the proper term for Trump’s dalliances with Moscow should be called “collaboration” because they were no different than the collaboration extended by French Marshal Philippe Pétain to the Nazis after France’s surrender in World War II. It is also instructive to point out that today’s Russia under Vladimir Putin is under a purely fascist administration. That fact of life recently became more than apparent when Putin publicly denounced the Bolshevik Revolution led by Communist leader Vladimir Lenin.
President Joe Biden did not merely become President of the United States following his defeat of the incumbent. He inherited a treasonous administration jam-packed with fascists, racists, neo-Nazis, and unpatriotic sellouts. For example, The Progressive magazine recently reported that an official of the Regional Information Sharing Systems’ Middle Atlantic–Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network (MAGLOCLEN) in Newtown, Pennsylvania is Brian P. Haughton, a former member of two neo-Nazi bands called the “Arresting Officers” and “Breaking the Sword” and who was linked to the Aryan Republican Army and individuals believed to have been involved in the 1995 bombing of the McMurrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Haughton is also a former Philadelphia Police officer. It would have been Haughton’s responsibility to tip off the FBI, Washington Metropolitan Police, and U.S. Capitol Police as to indications and warnings from the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes region about groups planning on attacking the Capitol on January 6th. There were several participants in the Capitol insurrection from MAGLOCLEN’s area of responsibility. How many other Trump agents of disruption and sedition are present in the Biden administration? We know about the obvious ones, including Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, Commissioner of Labor Statistics William Beach, Commissioner of Internal Revenue Charles Rettig. How many Haughtons are buried strategically within the federal government with loyalties not to the current president or even the Constitution but to Trump and his foreign controllers and MAGA cult members?
Everything was for sale to the highest bidder during the Trump regime. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner rifled through the Intelligence Community’s Top Secret-Special Compartmented Information files containing sensitive information on the identities of U.S. agents and assets while also maintaining close personal ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who ordered the execution of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul; United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed; Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu; and the leadership of Israel’s Mossad, including its top spies in Washington. Kushner, along with Donald Trump, Jr., Israeli Psy-Group’s Joel Zamel, Paul Manafort’s partner Rick Gates, mercenary kingpin Erik Prince, convicted pedophile and Trump campaign adviser George Nader, Steve Bannon, retired General Michael Flynn — who is believed by the Central Intelligence Agency to have been compromised by a female Russian intelligence agent in 2014, the year Flynn left as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency — and Netanyahu’s personal political operatives abroad, including private intelligence agents working for Black Cube. Trump’s close friend, Tom Barrack, was also operating as an unregistered agent for the UAE, which was operating its intelligence-gathering Project RAVEN, which targeted Americans as well as others. It is believed by U.S. counter-intelligence experts that all of the aforementioned scoundrels and worthies participated to varying degrees in Project ROME, a covert operation designed to gather intelligence on Trump’s political opposition in the 2016 election, as well as engineering fake online personae to wage a campaign of deceit and sabotage against Trump’s enemies. Such a caste of characters is worthy of any collection of spies, and villainous characters found in any wartime bar in Tangier or Macao.
Nothing points to the transformation of America’s capital to a backwater nest of foreign espionage intrigue, sedition, and treason more than the Republicans in Congress, particularly smarmy characters like the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, and his loyal bagmen, Kashyap “Kash” Patel and Ezra Cohen-Watnick; and Representatives Jim Jordan, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Louie Gohmert, and others all operating on direct or indirect instructions from or compromised by foreign and/or criminal interests first identified by the FBI in their Operation CROSSFIRE HURRICANE in 2016. The FBI counter-intelligence operation identified dozens of connections between Trump and Russian, Ukrainian, Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Uzbek, and other Eastern European “Mafiya” syndicates dating back to the 1980s.
Concerned that the FBI, operating in concert with U.S. intelligence agencies, was on the verge of exposing foreign penetration of the 2016 Trump campaign and the later administration, the corrupt Nunes — who has familial ties to family-based Azorean syndicates left over from a failed secessionist movement in the 1970s and which sought to capitalize on Nunes’s influence in Washington to re-locate a major NATO command from England to the mid-Atlantic islands — authorized his Intelligence Committee Republican operatives to carry out OBJECTIVE MEDUSA to expose anti-Trump personnel inside the U.S. Intelligence and federal law enforcement communities. MEDUSA also targeted Washington-based journalists that Nunes and his staff suspected of receiving high-level leaks from members of the Obama administration, and, after Trump became president, from U.S. law enforcement and intelligence sources. Among those targeted by Nunes and his staff were Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker, Ellen Nakashima, Karen DeYoung, Devlin Barrett, Greg Miller, and Adam Entous, as well as Yahoo! News’s Michael Isikoff. MEDUSA was worthy of the clandestine Gestapo and Japanese Kempeitai operations in Tangier and Macao designed to unmask allied and neutral intelligence agents.
It is also apparent that there were significant links between Trump’s Project ROME and Nunes’s MEDUSA to hand some of America’s enemies the “family jewels” of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement secrets, including the scope of CROSSFIRE HURRICANE; intelligence sharing on Trump conducted through the FIVE EYES intelligence-sharing pact between the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand; and sensitive CIA operations based out of Cambridge University in England and other higher education academic institutions in Italy, Slovenia, and Malta. Nunes and his staff also obtained, via FIVE EYES, sensitive intelligence on British MI-6′s Project CHARLEMAGNE, which identified direct Russian support to far-right political parties and election interference in European countries, including France and Italy. MEDUSA’s objectives continue to be carried out by Department of Justice Special Prosecutor John Durham, another ethically-compromised holdover from the Trump administration whose sole mission is to divert attention away from the damage caused to U.S. national security by Trump and his officials by investigating and indicting individuals associated with the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign.
Just as any sensitive or classified information was for sale to the top bidder in the sleaziest of dives in wartime Tangier and Macao, so, too, was the case in Washington, DC during the Trump episode. The exception was that the information was sold or shared in the not-so-sleazy confines of the Oval Office, Republican congressional offices, and the ritziest of restaurants and clubs in Washington.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and nationally-distributed columnist. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).