Monday, April 24, 2017

My Plea to President Trump, Still No Reply

I sent the letter below to President Donald Trump and I have received no reply. I do not know how long one should wait to expect a reply from the White House, but I sent it both physically and using the White House website.

The dinosaur media today noted that President Trump was with the Secretary of the Veteran's Administration signing an extension of the Veteran's Choice Act.

It just so happens that the Orlando VAMC is slow-rolling me right at this moment, dithering and trying to delay me and dissuade me from demanding an appointment to a dentist in local Orlando since they apparently cannot schedule me for a complex dental procedure until JULY.

This obviously will not fly with me. So tomorrow, after filing two complaints with the Patient Advocate's office which have both vanished into black holes, I am going to stand in the Dental Clinic and demand to be sent out on the economy for this procedure until they either relent or reschedule me for an earlier appointment.

The standard for the Choice Program is 30 days. If the VA cannot schedule a veteran within 30 days, they must refer the veteran to a local service provider.

This is just one hassle that I am fighting with the Orlando VAMC. I will have to sit down and enumerate all the endless indignities and obstructionism that they are visiting on me.

They make the process of seeking care an ordeal, their reflexive response to any request is "no," or "we cannot do that," even when they know damned well that they can, they will, and they eventually do.

Though I achieve some success with the VA, citing their own policies and politely insisting, they persist in wasting my time, scheduling me for appointments 30 days later, for no reason except policy. It is maddening.

The VA is a nightmare. I am a combat veteran, and I paid in blood to receive treatment at this facility. To be treated like this is an atrocity.
The irony that President Trump renewed the very policy that I am requesting today is maddening.

As you see, I ask President Trump to assign one of his young interns to wave a magic wand for me here. I just want to get the treatment that I need and then go away to trouble them no more.


SNAIL-MAILED 18 MARCH. Sent via on 27 March.

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Stephen Trujillo
*Address Redacted*

March 17, 2017

Dear Mr. President:

I am a veteran, currently an outpatient at the Orlando VA Medical Center (VAMC), and I need your help. I need you to delegate my case to one of your young killers who can stomp on some bureaucratic heads down here.

I am drowning in administrators who appear to be doing their best to deliver services to a huge population of veterans, but for various reasons I am confronting bureaucratic obstacles and I need one of your killers to wave a magic wand for me.

Trust that I do not write to the CINC lightly. You have much bigger fish to fry. These bastards down here want me to have a heart attack before I can see a cardiologist, and I beg to differ. I would like to see a cardiologist before I have a heart attack. Thank you so much for your assistance.

To assist your staff in figuring out who I am, my SSN is included at the bottom of this letter. I am a former Ranger, a former Special Forces soldier, a decorated veteran of combat against a worthy Cuban enemy.

I later served with DEA Operation Snowcap in Peru, and I did some contracting in Baghdad in 2003/4. I served until my body literally broke. I just wish that I could do it all over again.

I will attach photos of myself with President Reagan and his First Lady, both at the Rose Garden in 1983 and at the State of the Union Address in 1984. Army Rangers have repeatedly been the guests of presidents at these Addresses. I am humbled to be the first from the Ranger Regiment to be so honored.

If I can be of assistance to you in any fashion, in any way whatsoever, please command me. My oath of service has no expiration date.

Rangers Lead the Way, and De Oppresso Liber.

May Almighty God protect you and your family as you save the Republic.

Sincerely yours,

Stephen G. Trujillo
*SSN Redacted*
*Address and Phone Number Redacted*

Insight into America's Opiate Addiction

My Special Forces brother Ed is a medical professional in New York state. I have known Ed since we were young Green Berets together at Fort Bragg and Fort Sam Houston in the 1980's. 

I wrote a rant on Facebook a few days ago about America's opiate addiction, and Ed shared the following comment with me, which needs to be memorialized on the net. 

"Steve, let me let you in on this opiate shit. 
For YEARS, prescriptions pads in NY were simply ordered from a printer. Everyone's name in the practice was on the thing, and we used to get boxes of them at a time delivered to us.
New York State DOH has a unit called the Office of Diversion Control. They are responsible for keeping prescription drugs from being "diverted" from the use for which they were intended, that is, medical versus abuse. 
So how are prescription drugs diverted? Easy. 
You take your new prescription and copy it on any one of the fancy new printers out there that produce a copy of such quality that it cannot be told from the original. 
Maybe you make 40 copies. Then, armed with your handy NY State Medicaid "gold card", you take those copies to 40 pharmacies and turn your 40 hydrocodone tablets into 1600 tablets. 
Then you sell them for $10 each. You just made a nice profit of $16000 bucks. And the good taxpayers of NY paid for it. And this was happening all over New York. 
So the New York State Department of Health decides they have to do something about this. Now we have printed prescriptions that can ONLY be ordered from the State of New York. They have a bar code and a serial number. They cannot be copied or forged. 
Hmmm. This is a problem for all those people out there who have been getting prescription narcotics on a regular basis. They are habituated. "Hooked" in other words. And the gravy train is dry. 
Fortunately the US Government has guaranteed the health of the opium trade in the 'Stan. How convenient. 
That's were the heroin problem in NY got started. Blaming prescribers is bullshit."

My problem is that I learned about narcotics many years ago when my pancreas was trying to kill me. As anyone who has experienced a pancreatic attack can attest, the pain is excruciating. 

So the nice doctors at Bangkok General Hospital gave me some IV Demerol.

Oh, my. Oh, my Sweet Jesus. All my pain magically vanished. I literally felt like I was 19 again. Nothing hurt. 

My wife was laughing at me because I was a little bit wasted, they gave me just a taste too much. I have not been high since. But I understand now why junkies need their medicine. 

So the VA prescribed Tylenol #3 with Codeine for me, and I took that, in gradually increasing doses, until my cardiologist in Bangkok and I called a time-out. I was taking too much, and I was freaked out by the amount of Tylenol that I was taking. Tylenol can kill your liver. 

So I went to a Pain Clinic at that hospital, and based on the availability of opiates at that facility in that country and the expertise of a pain specialist, I transitioned over to Methadone and to straight Codeine. 

I dramatically reduced my consumption of opiates, and I still achieved pain relief. I no longer take Methadone. I do not need it. 

I am careful with my opiates. I limit myself now to two 15mg tablets of Codeine at night, simply so I can sleep. 

I have substantial orthopedic injuries from military service so if I do not have narcotics I simply cannot sleep. I keep waking up due to break-through pain. 

Now that I am back in the states, getting treatment at the VAMC in Orlando, they transitioned me over to Oxycodone. Whatever. 

Since the American government decided to turn off the prescription opiate spigot in America, I experience increasing hassles getting my prescriptions filled at the VA. 

I am pleased to submit to blood tests and to urine tests to confirm my compliance with my prescription. I do not abuse my narcotics, I never have, simply because I fear becoming a junky. I have gone cold turkey when I could not get them, and I will not ever put a needle in my arm, or purchase street drugs. 

But it is supremely unpleasant when I run out of opiates. 

So I am not technically a junky. I am not addicted. I am, however, without dispute, dependent. 

I judge addiction like this: if you can physically die without narcotics, you are addicted. If you merely endure supremely uncomfortable days without them, you are dependent. 

Some folks freak out about my subscription opiates and they tell me to reject them and to use ganja. I never liked marijuana, not since high school, because it makes me stupid. I am already stupid enough. I need to protect the brain cells that I still have, because as a writer I need my brain to function as well as it can. 

I am on a mission to complete some books that I have been writing for decades now. This is all that I care about completing in this life before I die, which a fortuneteller told my wife will happen in my 62d year. I am now 56. So I have a few years, if you believe this fortuneteller, which I do. 

Plus, ganja remains illegal in Bangkok. Medicinal marijuana is not an option open to me, even if I could find a sweet spot and drill in on a dosage and a strain of the plant that does not impair my thinking. 

So I take prescribed Oxycodone from the VA, and when I am in Bangkok, I take Codeine: two 15mg tablets spaced over twelve hours. 

I am dependent upon opiates. I am not happy about it, but I literally cannot function with any quality of life without them. 

I requested an appointment to the Pain Clinic at the Orlando VAMC two months ago. I am still waiting for an appointment. This is just yet one more indignity inflicted on me by the Orlando VAMC, and it is yet one more reason why I am on a warpath to expose their incompetence and their dysfunctional scheduling system. 

I have a close friend whose sister lost her daughter to opiates. She lost control of herself after she was prescribed pills to manage pain after a traffic accident. This is a common tale in America now, and this is why the number one threat facing New Englanders is opiate addiction. 

She is now a junky. She has been in and out of rehab, and she cost her family hundreds of thousands of dollars in thefts, all to feed this addiction. She injects the drug, and she lives on the street in Los Angeles, prostituting herself to feed this demon. 

So, I get it. Narcotics are supremely dangerous. 

I use acupuncture and massage to manage pain. I meditate. My biggest defense against narcotic addiction is my fear of it, and my focus on finishing my books. I do not actually enjoy intoxication. I cherish my mind too much. 

Right now, two 15mg tablets of Codeine are the best that I can do. If I can ever get an appointment at the Pain Clinic at the Orlando VAMC, I will try to put the miracle drug Lyrica into the mix, as I took Lyrica years ago when I had shingles, and my God, it completely eliminated Restless Leg Syndrome, which is another ailment that makes it impossible for me to sleep without medicines. 

When I asked the VA for Lyrica years ago they literally laughed at me, as Lyrica at that time was a new miracle drug, it was supremely expensive, and it was not in the VA formulary. 

I share this very personal history with you because you need to know more about opiates and why they are demolishing Americans. This is just my story. There are many such stories in America, and I will tell you more in coming days. 

We desperately need better mechanisms than simply denying junkies access to their medicine. We now know, beyond doubt, we have 50 years of data confirming it, that prohibition does not work, and it will never work. 

I have long advocated government provision of narcotics directly to junkies through government health clinics based on urine and blood tests and ongoing management by addiction professionals. 

This is a much bigger part of this story, and I will write a longer reasoned explanation why I believe that de facto legalization of most illegal substances is the only rational path forward. 

This is a radical stance for somebody like me to adopt, and remember, I worked for DEA. 

But it is based on personal experience, and research, and much thought. 

I will write more about this shortly. 

Snowden's Deadman's Switch & Glenn Greenwald's Apparent Deal

Jessica Bruder and Dale Maharidge wrote "Snowden's Box" in this month's (April, 2017) issue of Harper's Magazine

They fill in logistical details of how Snowden put the family jewels of American SIGINT into the hands of Laura Poitras, then an obscure filmmaker, now an Academy Award winning auteur. 

What is important about this account, however, is its confirmation that at least one, probably two, and possibly more complete sets of the Snowden archive are loose in the wild. They comprise Snowden's deadman's switch

My sense is that Snowden does things in triplicate, as I would, so I would bet money that yet another set of documents, perhaps more, are festering somewhere in the wide world. 

They should send this data to Julian Assange. There is no question that this tale was released now to rock American intelligence back on its heels. Threaten Snowden at your own risk, is the message. Figuring out where these data caches are will become an obsession for American intelligence. 

Millions of dollars will be spent by the Snowden task force, and minute tidbits of data will be catalogued and incrementally fed into Palantir, and analysts will laboriously tussle over selectors in XKEYSCORE to try to 'suss out where the loose copies of the archive are secreted. 

But the real question is whether these data caches even exist. Many speculate that Snowden set a deadman's switch that will result in the release of all data upon his untimely death or apprehension. Diane Roarke, the NSA whistleblower who formerly headed the NSA account at the House Committee on Intelligence, confirmed the existence of such a system. It only makes sense. 

These data caches could be Snowden's deadman's switch. The triplicate design makes sense. It just feels like something that Snowden would do. 

Snowden is not stupid. He took risks, yes, but look at where he is, and look at what he is doing. He accomplished this despite being Public Enemy Number One for the US government. He remains Public Enemy Number One. Snowden remains free, and he speaks frequently before college audiences. I would pay to see Snowden speak remotely. 

My fervent prayer is that the Snowden archive in its entirety ends up in the hands of Julian Assange. No one else on the planet can be trusted to appropriately handle it, redact what must be redacted, and then release it all into the wild. 

I leave the question of redactions wholly to Assange. NSA and the remainder of American intelligence, not to mention FVEY, have spent years now completing their damage assessments. They know what they lost, and believe me, they know what is blown and available to the public and to hostile intelligence services.

They even track independent researchers, like Bruce Schneir, who are granted access to versions of the archive in various places, like with ProPublica, with Greenwald's journalistic home at The Intercept, or with the reviled New York Times

We all need to know what else is in Snowden's cache. Snowden's data belongs to the digital proletariat of the world. It is ours now. One problem is that it increasingly appears that Glenn Greenwald made a corrupt deal with the devil and agreed to squelch further Snowden releases.

Greenwald made his fortune and he now writes from a home overrun with dogs in Brazil, so goes the hacker critique, which reflects my own. I like dogs. I do not like Greenwald sitting on the remainder of the archive. 

Greenwald now has enough money banked to live a comfortable life until he leaves this mortal coil. It looks like Greenwald made a deal. It looks like Greenwald was told that he could keep his wealth and avoid indictment under the supposition that Snowden leaks ceased. And they did cease. 

A fraction of the Snowden cache has been released. A fraction. Not even a tenth of it, is the most common estimate. 

Glenn Greenwald: The netizens of the world implore you: Get this data to Assange. If nothing else, it may be able to purchase his immunity to prosecution by the US government. Right?

What would the US government give in return for a promise not to publish further information from the Snowden cache? Especially if it was in the hands of the "hostile non-intelligence service," WikiLeaks?

I prefer to see it all published. Every last bit and byte. But if holding the Snowden cache hostage will guarantee Julian Assange's liberty, I will support yet another deal with the devil. 

But nobody listens to me. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Joint Special Committee on Mass Surveillance and Other Activities

"America is tired of being controlled by a small group of unaccountable, incompetent, greedy, unethical crooks running around stealing everything in sight."
-Mike Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg 

Convene a Joint Special Committee on Mass Surveillance and Other Intelligence Activities, and do it now, to put the intelligence community on trial. 

We must slash its unaccountable black budgets, we must audit every black cent spent, and we must expose the cult of secrecy which has abused the trust of the American people and funded FVEY and allied SIGINT agencies as they surveil our own president. 

The American people are under surveillance by this global monstrosity. The American intelligence community can claim that it does not surveil Americans, and it may even be true, much of the time. But it does not need to. It has access to the reporting streams from allied agencies which are under no constitutional limitations, and they do target American citizens. 

The surveillance of General Mike Flynn is an instructive example. As Judge Andrew Napolitano​ revealed a month ago, Flynn and Donald Trump himself were surveilled and targeted by GCHQ, and the SIGINT agencies of Poland and Estonia. Estonia. Yes, Estonia. Think on that. 

President Donald J. Trump​ himself was advised of this surveillance by Bibi Netanyahu, whose national SIGINT agency, Unit 8200, enjoys unredacted and non-minimized access to raw data streams. President Trump obviously cannot out Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu - בנימין נתניהו​. 

But now he knows. And this surveillance continues. And it includes every single one of us. We are all under surveillance. Indeed, more Americans are surveilled than Iranians, Syrians, Russians, Chinese, or North Koreans. 

If NSA were carrying out its statutory responsibilities, these countries would all be wrapped in a blanket of surveillance. Instead, the NSA has Narus devices tapping the fiber cables in switching facilities clustered across North America, where it can monitor the internet traffic of the domestic US population. 

You scoff? Mr. Snowden released PowerPoint decks that confirm it. It was these PowerPoint slides that deeply angered Mr. William Binney, who surely knows more about these matters than anyone else in the world. And Mr. Binney straight out warned us that there can be no purpose to such surveillance beside mass control of populations. 

This is where we are. This is why the Trump administration proposed federal funding slashing budgets for government agencies wholesale, excepting DOD, some DHS agencies, and DOJ. 

Because slashing black budgets is the only way to get the intelligence community back under control. Slashing black budgets will force those agencies to focus on statutory missions, and eliminate atrocities like CIA standing up a parallel SIGINT capability that competes directly with NSA, as exposed by the Vault 7 breaches on WikiLeaks. 

The deep state may have finally gotten too big for its britches, it can no longer be concealed, it no longer operates solely in the dark. We see its outlines, we see its malign moves, we now understand that there are puppeteers pulling strings, we see its orchestration of the dinosaur media, its sustained campaigns targeting our own elected president. 

The establishment, for want of a better term, is united in its opposition to President Trump, simply because he is not Hillary Clinton, and he will not rubber-stamp the sick aspirations of the neocon cabals pushing America into endless war. 

If these patriots, as they style themselves, loved America truly, they would respect the electoral decision that we made on November 8, and they would support our chosen president. 

Instead, they try to tear him down, they oppose him, they target his National Security Advisor, who knows more about them than we do, and they pushed him out because he planned to reorganize American intelligence back into a facsimile of its statutory design. 

I could go on. But I think that I have made my point. 

There is a dark, deep state. We see its actions. It is not elected. It persists across administrations from both sides of the electoral divide, and it serves itself. It does not serve we, the people. 

We must convene a Joint Special Committee on Mass Surveillance and Other Intelligence Activities or brace ourselves for an inevitable 2d American Revolution. Because patriots will not stand for the current state of affairs to continue for much longer. 

Indeed, the intelligence community is now searching for true patriots who are leaking to WikiLeaks, and to InfoWars, and to 4chan. Yes, 4chan. 

I cannot believe that I am even writing these words. 

May God save the Republic. 

ETA: Edited 15 May 2017 to make minor cosmetic grammatical corrections.