Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sembler for the Defense

There's a retired businessman named Red
Cast down from heaven and he's out of his head - Bob Dylan

For the longest time I was meaning to write something about Mel Sembler. Too long as it happens, because a lot of good things have been written about him in the meantime. Last month's "Ambassador de Sade", for one instance, and this thread on the RI forum for another.

(Which reminds me, before I turn belatedly to Mel, if you don't often visit the board you may want to rethink that, because there have been some fascinating threads of late, such as this consideration of the Bush/military/mind control backstory to the family of Mary Kay Letourneau, and this conversation concerning Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut.)

I'm sure you know who Sembler is, and the mind control atrocity called Straight Inc. he and wife Betty perpetrated on American youth in Florida for nearly two decades. Straight bent itself out of shape in the early '90s and became the "Drug Free America Foundation" only after, finally, exposure and public outcry at its virtual "psychic murder" of kids in its alleged care for addiction recovery. Though it no longer directly treats addicts it still influences US drug policy, and survivors who haven't killed themselves or lost their minds are still living with the trauma of their "treatment," including repeated rape with objects such as curling irons. Arthur Trebach, author of The Great Drug War, said in a recent interview that he "got a call two days ago from a man in Texas who sent his son to Straight, Inc. ten years ago":

The father told me it was an awful mistake, that they imposed sexual activities on the young man, that they peed on him. According to the father, his son still refuses to talk about his experience at Straight, Inc. Dad said his brother, a drug counselor, had recommended the place as the best in the country.


There are political connections here. Straight, Inc. was endorsed by George Herbert Walker Bush, who visited the place with Nancy Reagan and Mel and Betty Sembler and Joe Zappala, who are, as best as we can determine, the founders of Straight, Inc. Both Sembler and Zappala were heavy contributors to the elder Bush's campaign, and both were rewarded with ambassadorships. I saw Ambassador Sembler give a speech in Australia in which he proudly said he founded Straight, Inc. and held it up as a model. More recently, Mel Sembler was the co-chair of finance for the Republican National Committee for the 2000 election.... And Jeb Bush last fall declared a "Betty Sembler Day" in Florida, commending her for her work with drug abuse control, especially with Straight, Inc. Betty claims she has the ear of the president.

Sembler, of course, enjoyed a second ambassadorship at the pleasure of another President Bush. He was sent to Rome, though he can't speak Italian. This White House has a penchant for making excruciatingly inappropriate appointments, doling out ambassadorships to party and family bagmen whose only qualifications are the size of their bags. Sembler's reward with the Italian Job looked to be more of the same. But let's remember the parapolitical bonds between the American and Italian far right and their institutions of control. Witness, for example, Michael Ledeen's history with SISMI and P2 (of which Silvio Berlusconi was a member), and the coincident Italian connection to the Niger forgeries. (By the way, Cooperative Research has a couple of interesting entries in it's Iraq timeline pertaining to visits Ledeen paid to Sembler in Rome the year before the invasion.)

The easy assumption has been that Sembler's Italian ambassadorship was just another prestigious sinecure for a faithful flunky. That should be dispelled by this story (via Joshua Marshall):

Mel Sembler of St. Petersburg, a Republican fundraiser and former ambassador, is chairman of the legal defense fund for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney.


A longtime political supporter of Cheney, Sembler was recruited to join the effort by Barbara Comstock, a Washington lawyer and friend of Libby, Comstock said.

Sembler will head what Comstock called "a distinguished and bipartisan group of friends, colleagues and former government officials" who have formed the Libby Legal Defense Trust.

So to recap, the former ambassador to Italy is chairing the defense fund of a White House official implicated in a scandal that began with the delivery of forged documents to his embassy.

And then there's the other covert constellation finding alignment: the Bush and Cheney backroom man who founded a mind control treatment program that tortured young people with acts of sexual degradation has come to the rescue of Cheney's former chief of staff, and author of a novel of sexual sadism, bestiality and paedophilia which depicts the rape of children in a bear cage.

Sembler's a busy Bush factotum. He's also recently joined the board of an extremely flush new bank starting up in Florida, a state said to be popular with international crime because of its proximity to the United States. CEO of the American Commerce Bank, "Texas tycoon" Donald A. Adam, said, rather queerly, that "You want to touch every tentacle you can within the state, because of its enormity and its mass." I don't know whether I'm reading too much Casolaro into those remarks, or Adam is reading too much Lovecraft.


Anonymous Alice said...

Bravo, Jeff! What an enlightening, thoughtful, well-documented, enlightening, enlightening post!! This is the kind of thing you do best, thank you so much for doing it.

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous One,is it just me or does Melly look like Pope Rat? Somebody check his left thumb,he might have the same deep scar.These sick fucks are running the show folks,remember what the boy from the white house said about making the reality for us.We will never respond in time to catch these folks,and the whole mess is being fixed,it's from the head down in this white house.I wonder what kind of trigger they will use to set off all the mind slaves Mell's people made,later.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" extremely flush new bank starting up in Florida, a state said to be popular with international crime because of its proximity to the United States."

What does 'its' refer to in that sentence? Florida?

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, as in "The Kingdom of Florida"...

Oh, and Jeff, this one was so rich:

"So to recap, the former ambassador to Italy is chairing the defense fund of a White House official implicated in a scandal that began with the delivery of forged documents to his embassy."

Yeah, that's about the size of it.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Straight Board member in charge of procuring “talent” for Bush 41

“When Ronald Reagan campaigned in Florida, Nancy had been accompanied around by the wife of Straight's Donald McDonald, when George Bush campaigned in Florida he slept at the home of Straight co-founder Mel Sembler. After his 1987 election George Bush placed millionaire and Straight board member Alec Courtelis (who had been the national finance co-chairman for the Bush campaign) in charge of a nationwide search for talent for the new administration”

Wall Street Journal, February 23, 1988, p. 57, col. 3.

BTW Jeff – great post.

Josch Holloway

(by the way ya’ll, I’m not really ‘lost’ but I am a good actor…check me out in my upcoming flick: Billet-doux, I don’t know what that means but then I didn’t graduate from college and only made it out of high school with the help of some really smart girls – thanks la-la-la-ladies!)

12:57 PM  
Blogger Spooked said...

does that sign behind Sembler say "kids forced to sit in their feces, the straight holocaust"?

Where the heck did that come from?

In any case, these sorts of deep connections really just make one want to throw up one's hands and scream. I mean, it stinks and all, but it is so pervasive as to almost be uneradicatable.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is related:

2:01 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

does that sign behind Sembler say "kids forced to sit in their feces, the straight holocaust"?

Where the heck did that come from?

Yes it does. It comes from an image of an anti-Straight demonstration found here.

3:29 PM  
Blogger TonyForesta said...

Brilliant, sad, and spooky post yet again Jeff, and you are correct - there is nothing new in the conduct or ideology of the New World Order fascists.

As one who used the term neo-fascist often, I will herewith correct future commentary to more accurately describe the prevailing pandjandrum as simply fascist.

The interpenetrating tentacles of Michael Ledeen are telling. There is an unusual tendency for public bombings in the wake of Mr. Ledeens visitations and operations.

As research deepens into the dark night or black hole of political and eonomic machinations, many diverse and hideous tentacles reach far out into the harsh and brutal wilderness. The dizzying array of putridness and unspeakable horror spreading out into the myst is exhausting. I am often left depleted and heavy with dread. All these slithering tentacles manage always to root back to an image of a creature Lovecraft describes in "The Call of Cthulhu as; -" octupus, a dragon and a human caricature.." "A pulpy tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings..." Somehow imagining this single monsterous many tentacled and nefarious beast provides a certain solace in that like any monster, demon, or wicked creature, - once recognized - it be can eventually be destroyed, entombed, or cast into the abyss.

Fascist cabals, satanic cults, secret societies, drug and gun running, financial malfeasance and skullduggery, blackworld bug and chem research, pedophia rings, - are all but a few of the slithering tentacles of the terrible octupus like beast of the New World Order cabals and the culminating reign of terror.

The problem then arises of what to do with this terrible convergence and synergy of information and the discovery or unearthing of the peril and doom confronting all humanity? How do mere mortals absorb this horrorshow reality and remain sane?

Or perhaps the horrorshow reality if part of a collective insanity, of a mass hallucination of conspiracy theorists and lunatics afraid of spooks and the dark.

Still, it is increasingly impossible to wash away the filth and horror of our current world disorder with logic or reason alone. There are simply too many malignant tentacles exposed for intelligent individuals to pretend that a horrific and monsterous beast is not somehow connected and cognizant.

There is a war, a ferocious conflict transcending time between the vengefull wrathfull godz and their unholy legions of bloodthirsty tyrants and warriors, and the benevolent loving godz and their gentle peacemaker following. Tragically, the vengeful wrathful godz and the cold hard hearted warmaker legions are dominant, rule, and making a killing on our planet.

Heaven help us.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Spooked said...

Thanks, Jeff.

btw, Italy Indymedia has a bunch of good 9/11 downloads, listed here:

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Mulder4Truth said...

Good post. The last paragraph and the reference to Danny Casolaro - that reminded me that it was a year ago tomorrow that investigative reporter Gary Webb was found 'suicided' - two blasts to the skull. Casolaro, Webb, JH Hatfield, HST, they'll all be missed.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Dick Decent said...

Jeff baby!.... good to have you back man.
Superb post!
Unbelievable nugget concerning GHWB, Nancy and Joe being "as best as we can determine, the founders of Straight, Inc. "
Keep it up plz

DD x

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In an octopus' garden in the shade ...

Ah, yes, "illegal" drugs. And the key word there is illegal.

The "War on Drugs" has nothing to do with our children our community or our personal health it has to do with keeping a black market in place. A black market which corrupts the entire society, from the top on down and bottom on up. And it allows for some "products" to be sold for more than gold ...and they grow out of the ground, sometimes, twice, thrice a year. Opiates became the largest commerecial commidity market on the planet in the 1830s and with other drugs still holds on to a top spot.

It's a means of control and influence. Also by making "illegal" cannabis, petrochemicals biggest natural competitor is "off the market."


10:33 PM  
Anonymous trachys said...

Excellent post, thank you Jeff.

I wonder if the good Dr. Greenbaum ever cruised Sempler's labs ...

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TonyForesta, thank you. Your post was eloquent and summed up my feelings very well.

Straight Inc. could be a good way to get our foot in the door of ordinary people's minds. It's well documented, highly public, and not terribly far out like CIA drug-running or government pedophila rings. Perhaps showing people how their beloved politicians whole-heartedly support an organization that sodomizes and tortures children will open their minds to more macabre topics. An avalanche starts with the slightest of force.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff – this post is excellent. You are closing the gap between deep politics and high weirdness. Pretty soon no one will even have to “make the leap” because the bridge you are building with solid facts will be the only way to get from point a to point b.

“Lost” Josh Holloway: we know you will not answer your fan mail.

Fan n. - An ardent devotee.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing post, Jeff. Keep doing what you do.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sembler had a notorious press conference with Berlusconi over the CIA Nasr abduction affair. I guess Mel would be just the guy for handling and covering up torture-related stuff, hell, maybe he even likes to sit in on 'interrogations', perhaps even work some of his own mind-breaking tricks.
Intriguingly, on that same day the DSSA scandal broke; the 'parallel police' network, ie. black ops 'counterterrorism' organization ostensibly led by notorious P2 neofascists, apparently engaged all manner of sinister activity in Italy, Iraq, and who knows.
The 7/7 bombings wiped that (and the DSM and more) drom the news, and the affair has been under blackout since.
The DSSA guys were apparently connected with various spooky parties in Europe, the US, Israel and elsewhere. At the very least I think Mel would have applauded their zeal for total war against the Saracen kinda mentality.

1:16 PM  
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4:15 PM  

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