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The Octopus - click to enlarge

"The Octopus Returns"
by Kenn Thomas

Here's a quick refresher paragraph on the Octopus:

    Danny Casolaro was "suicided" in 1992 on the trail of the mother of all conspiracies, a transnational cabal manipulating world political events since World War II called The Octopus. Key to his research was a super-surveillance software called PROMIS, which was given to a crony of Ronald Reagan's as a pay off for the deliverance of $40 million to the Ayatollah Khomeini for the "October Surprise" -- holding on to the 52 American hostages in Iran until after Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 election. The crony profiteered from PROMIS (really owned by a company called Inslaw) by selling it to police agencies throughout the world for the purpose of tracking criminals and extrapolating their next moves.

    Feral House plans a new edition of the book The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro. Casolaro's own notes - those that didn't disappear the night he died - provided the basis of the book, which I co-wrote with another celebrated conspiracy writer, Jim Keith. That first edition came out in 1996 and is now a bit of a collector's item, costing about $100 on amazon if you can find a copy.

    Like all great conspiracy writers, Casolaro was dismissed as a paranoid crank. The book's existence as a kind of cult classic testifies to how cutting-edge parapolitical insight is pushed into an underground of the few who care to know. It's re-emergence now, however, has an eerie, although not unsurprising, parallel with events and people easily recognizable to the wider world. The Octopus, the real one, has returned just in time for the book.

    Example one: shortly after the Afghanistan war stories began circulating that Osama Bin Laden was using the PROMIS extrapolation function to avoid capture. According to these stories, it was given to him via a circuitous route from the Russians who got it from the famed turncoat spy Robert Hanssen.

    Example two: the June resignation of Paul Redmond, Assistant Secretary of Information Analysis for the US Homeland Security department. Described by some as a "legendary spy catcher" - he had a role in the capture of CIA traitor Aldrich Ames - Redmond officially resigned for "health reasons." Most took that as polite cover for Redmond's frustration with under-funding of the department, but others connected into to a rumored secret investigation Redmond was conducting of long-standing common interests between the Bush and bin Laden families and was forced to resign. Among the connections: PROMIS, also had been given to Saddam Hussein by the senior Bush in the early 1990s, and he too now uses it to avoid capture. Danny Casolaro had reported that Iraq was among the countries that originally purchased the software illegally.

    Example three: Casolaro had also written about John Poindexter, one of the few people convicted in the Iran-contra scandal, a trading-with-the-enemy affair that grew out of the October Surprise. An appeals court overturned his five 1990 felony convicitions, however, and more recently Poindexter was appointed head of a new information technology unit of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon agency that developed the internet. This new DARPA unit was called Total Information Awareness. Symbolized on its website and on a wall decoration in Poindexter's office by an eye over a pyramid - a tip of the hat that he worked for secret masters -- it's purpose was to further develop PROMIS-like software that could track every detail of every American citizen's life.

    In July, Poindexter was forced to resign from the administration when it was discovered that DARPA's TOI also was developing a futures trading market based on the prediction of terrorist events. Of course, a short-selling spree on the real market made a fortune for someone just after the destruction of the World Trade Towers, so someone was already pretty good at predicting terrorist events.

    Examples four and five: the central conspiracy that concerns even the major media now is the role of the Saudis in the 9/11 disasters. Casolaro had written about the al-Yamama aerospace contract umbrella that keeps US and British money flowing into Saudi Arabia. He focused on the career of arms merchant Adnan Khashoggi, who helped develop the contracts, and his partner, Manucher Ghorbanifar. Back in March, because of meetings Khashoggi set up with Bush defense adviser Richard Perle to privately profiteer from the still pending war in Iraq, Perle was also forced to resign. This month it has been reported that Pentagon underlings for the Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, have been meeting with Manucher Ghorbanifar, unauthorized by Dubya, of course.

    The pattern of resignations is erupting around the edges of the Octopus entity that Casolaro began to delineate back in the late 80s/early 90s. The low-level, limited hang-out resignations more or less shield the central creature from true exposure. The compliant press helps with that, of course, not having enough historical memory to see the pattern. The only memory it has of Danny Casolaro is that he had whacky conspiracy "theories".

    The new book looks at all of this and much else concerning The Octopus, Casolaro's original research as well as how it illuminates what now goes on in the post 9/11 warfare world.

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