The Assassination Of Jimi Hendrix

Tags

Jimi HendrixHistory overlooked Jimi as one of the vanguards of the civil rights movement.

________________________________________

“Jimi Hendrix didn’t need to be going around making big political statements, he was actually living a political life of great importance.” — Robert Wyatt

***************

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” — James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix

________________________________________

As the music of youth and resistance fell under the cross-hairs of the CIA’s CHAOS war, it was probable that Jimi Hendrix—the tripping, peacenik “Black Elvis” of the ’60s—should find himself a target.

Agents of the pathologically nationalistic FBI opened a file on Hendrix in 1969 after his appearance at several benefits for “subversive” causes. His most cutting insult to the state was participation in a concert for Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Bobby Seale and the other defendants of the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial, “Get [the] Black Panthers,” he told a reporter for a teen magazine, “not to kill anybody, but to scare [federal officials]… I know it sounds like war, but that’s what’s gonna have to happen. It has to be a war… You come back to reality and there are some evil folks around and they want you to be passive and weak and peaceful so that they can just overtake you like jelly on bread… You have to fight fire with fire.”

On tour in Liesburg, Sweden, Hendrix was interviewed by Tommy Rander, a reporter for the Gotesborgs-Tidningen. “In the USA, you have to decide which side you’re on,” Hendrix explained. “You are either a rebel or like Frank Sinatra.”

In 1979, college students at the campus newspaper of Santa Barbara University (USB) filed for release of FBI files on Hendrix. Six heavily inked-out pages were released to the student reporters. (The deletions nixed information “currently and properly classified pursuant to Executive Order 11652, in the interest of national defense of foreign policy.”) On appeal, seven more pages were reluctantly turned over to the UCSB students. The file revealed that Hendrix had been placed on the federal “Security Index,” a list of “subversives” to be rounded up and placed in detainment camps in the event of a national emergency.

If the intelligence agencies had their reasons to keep tabs on Hendrix, they couldn’t have picked a better man for the job than Hendrix’s manager, Mike Jeffrey. Jeffrey, by his own admission an intelligence agent, was born in South London in 1933, the sole child of postal workers. He completed his education in 1949, took a job as a clerk for Mobil Oil, was drafted to the National Service two years later. Jeffrey’s scores in science took him to the Educational Corps. He signed on as a professional soldier, joined the Intelligence Corps and at this point his career enters an obscure phase.

Mike JeffreyMike Jeffrey

Hendrix biographers Shapiro & Glebeek report that Jeffrey often boasted of undercover work against the Russians, of murder, mayhem and torture in foreign cities… “His father says Mike rarely spoke about what he did—itself perhaps indicative of the sensitive nature of his work—but confirms that much of Mike’s military career was spent in ‘civvies’, and that he was stationed in Egypt and that he could speak Russian.”

There was, however, another, equally intriguing side of Mike Jeffrey: He frequently hinted that he had powerful underworld connections. It was common knowledge that he had had an abiding professional relationship with Steve Weiss, the attorney for both the Hendrix Experience and the Mafia-managed Vanilla Fudge, hailing from the law firm of Seingarten, Wedeen & Weiss. On one occasion, when drummer Mitch Mitchell found himself in a fix with police over a boat he’d rented and wrecked, mobsters from the Fudge management office intervened and pried him loose.

Organized crime has had fingers in the recording industry since the jukebox wars. Mafioso Michael Franzene testified in open court in the late 1980s that “Sonny” Franzene, his stepfather, was a silent investor in Buddah Records. At this industry oddity, the inane, nasal, apolitical ’60s “Bubblegum” song was blown from the goo of adolescent mating fantasies. The most popular of Buddah’s acts were the 1910 Fruitgum Company and Ohio Express. These bands shared a lead singer, Joey Levine. Some cultural contributions from the Buddha label: Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, Simon Says, and 1-2-3 Red Light.

In 1971, Buddha Records’ Bobby Bloom was killed in a shooting sometimes described as “accidental,” sometimes “suicide,” at the age of 28. Bloom made a number of solo records, including Love Don’t Let Me Down, and Count On Me. He formed a partnership with composer Jeff Barry and they wrote songs for The Monkees in their late period. Bloom made the Top 10 with the effervescent Montego Bay in 1970. Other mafia-managed acts of the late 1960s were equally apolitical: Vanilla Fudge (You Keep Me Hangin’ On, Bang, Bang ), Motown’s Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Curtis Mayfield. In the ’60s and beyond, organized crime wrenched unto itself control of industry workers via the Teamsters Union. Trucking was mob controlled. So were stadium concessions. No rock bands toured unless money exchanged hands to see that a band’s instruments weren’t delivered to the wrong airport.

Intelligence agent or representative of the mob? Whether Jeffrey was either or both—and the evidence is clear that a CIA/Mafia combination has exercised considerable influence in the music industry for decades—at a certain point, Hendrix must have seen something that made him desperately want out of his management contract with Jeffrey.

Monika Dannemann, Hendrix’s fiancé at the time of his death, describes Mike Jeffrey’s control tactics, his attempts to isolate and manipulate Hendrix, with observations of his evolving awareness that Jeffrey was a covert operator bent on dominating his life and mind:

“Jimi felt more and more unsafe in New York, the city where he used to feel so much at home. It had begun to serve as a prison to him, and a place where he had to watch his back all the time… In May of 1969, Jimi was arrested at Toronto for possession of drugs. He later told me he believed Jeffrey had used a third person to plant the drugs on him—as a warning, to teach him a lesson.”

Monika Dannemann With Jimi HendrixMonika Dannemann with Jimi Hendrix

________________________________________

Monika Dannemann Shortly Before Her DeathMonika Dannemann Shortly Before Her Death

Jeffrey had realized not only that Jimi was looking for ways of breaking out of their contract, but also that Jimi might have calculated that the Toronto arrest would be an easy way to silence Jimi…. Jeffrey did not like Jimi to have friends who would put ideas in his head and give him strength. He preferred Jimi to be more isolated, or to mix with certain people whom Jeffrey could use to influence and try to manipulate him.

So in New York, Jimi felt at times that he was under surveillance, and others around him noticed the same. He tried desperately to get out of his management contract, and asked several people for advice on the best way to do it. Jimi started to understand the people around him could not be trusted, as things he had told them in confidence now filtered through to Jeffrey. Obviously some people informed his manager of Jimi’s plans, possibly having been bought or promised advantages by Jeffrey. Jimi had always been a trusting and open person, but now he had reason to become suspicious of people he didn’t know well, becoming quite secretive and keeping very much to himself.

Five years after the death of the virtuoso, Crawdaddy reported that friends of Hendrix felt “he was very unhappy and confused before his death. Buddy Miles recalled ‘numerous times he complained about his managers.” His chief roadie, Gerry Stickells, told Welch, “he became frustrated…by a lot of people around him.”

Hendrix was obsessed with the troubles that Jeffrey and company brought to his life and career. The band’s finances were entirely controlled by management and were depleted by a tax haven in the Bahamas founded in 1965 by Michael Jeffrey called Yameta Co., a subsidiary of the Bank of New Providence, with accounts at the Naussau branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Chemical Bank in New York. A substantial share of the band’s earnings had been quietly drained by Yameta.

The banks where Jeffrey opened accounts have been officially charged with the laundering of drug proceeds, a universal theme of CIA/Mafia activity. (The Chemical Bank was forced to plead guilty to 445 misdemeanors in 1980 when a federal investigation found that bank officials had failed to report transactions they knew to derive from drug trafficking. The Bank of Nova Scotia was a key investor in the Bank of Commerce and Credit International, BCCI, once described by Time magazine as “the most pervasive money-laundering operation and financial supermarket ever create,” with ties to the upper echelons of several governments, the CIA, the Pentagon and the Vatican.

BCCI maintained warm relationships with international terrorists, and investigators turned up accounts for Libya, Syria and the PLO at BCCI’s London branch, recalling Mike Jeffrey’s military intelligence interest in the Middle East. And then there were bank records from Panama City relating to General Noriega. These “disappeared” en route to the District of Columbia under heavy DEA guard. An internal investigation later, DEA officials admitted they were at a loss to explain the theft.

Friends of Hendrix, according to Electric Gypsy, confiscated financial documents from his New York office and turned them over to Jimi: “One showed that what was supposed to be a $10,000 gig was in fact grossing $50,000.”

“Jimi Hendrix was upset that large amounts of his money were missing,” reports rock historian R. Gary Patterson. Hendrix had discovered the financial diversions and took legal action to recover them.

But there was another factor also involving funds. Some of Hendrix’s friends have concluded that “Jeffrey stood to make a greater sum of money from a dead Jimi Hendrix than a living one. There was also mention of a one million dollar insurance policy covering Hendrix’s life made out with Jeffrey as the beneficiary.” The manager of the Experience constructed “a financial empire based on the posthumous releases of Hendrix’s previously unreleased recordings.” Crushing musical voices of dissent was proving to be an immensely profitable enterprise because a dead rocker leaves behind a fortune in publishing rights and royalties.

Roadies couldn’t help but notice that Mike Jeffrey, a seasoned military intelligence officer, was capable of “subtle acts of sabotage against them,” reports Shapiro. Jeffrey booked the Experience for a concert tour with the Monkees and Hendrix was forced to cancel when the agony of playing to hordes of 12-year-old children, and fear of a parental backlash, convinced him to bail out.

As for the arrest in Toronto, Hendrix confidantes blame Jeffrey for the planted heroin. The charges were dropped after Hendrix argued that the unopened container of dope had been dropped into his travel bag upon departure by a girl who claimed that it was cold medicine.

In July, 1970, one month before his death, at precisely the time Hendrix stopped all communications with Jeffrey, he told Chuck Wein, a film director at Andy Warhol’s Factory: “The next time I go to Seattle will be in a pine box.”

And he knew who would drop him in it. Producer Alan Douglas recalls that Hendrix “had a hang-up about the word ‘manager.'” The guitarist had pled with Douglas, the proprietor of his own jazz label, to handle the band’s business affairs. One of the most popular musicians in the world was desperate. He appealed to a dozen business contacts to handle his bookings and finances, to no avail.

Meanwhile, the sabotage continued in every possible form. Douglas: “Regardless of whatever else Jimi wanted to do, Mike would keep pulling him back or pushing him back… And the way the gigs were routed! I mean, one nighters—he would do Ontario one night, Miami the next night, California the next night. He used to waste [Hendrix] on a tour—and never make too much money because the expenses were ridiculous.”

The obits were a jumbled lot of skewed, contradictory eulogies: “DRUGS KILL JIMI HENDRIX AT 24,” “ROCK STAR IS DEAD IN LONDON AT 27,” “OVERDOSE.” Many of the obituaries dwelt on the “wild man of rock” image, but there were also many personal commentaries from reporters who followed his career closely, and they dismissed as hype reports of chronic drug abuse. Mike Ledgerwood, a writer for Disc and Music Echo, offered a portrait that the closest friends of Jimi Hendrix confirm: “Despite his fame and fortune—plus the inevitable hang-ups and hustles which beset his incredible career—he remained a quiet and almost timid individual. He was naturally helpful and honest.” Sounds magazine “found a man of quite remarkable charm, an almost old-world courtesy.”

Hendrix biographer Tony Brown has, since the mid-’70s, collected all the testimony he could find relating to Hendrix’s death, and finds it “tragic” but “predictable”:

“The official cause of death was asphyxiation caused by inhaling his own vomit, but in the days and weeks leading up to the tragedy anyone with an ounce of common sense could see that Hendrix was heading for a terrible fall. Unfortunately, no one close to him managed to steer him clear of the maelstrom that was closing in.”

Brown sent a report based on his own investigation to the Attorney General’s office in February, 1992, “in the hope that they would reopen the inquest into Jimi’s death. The evidence was so strong that they ordered Scotland Yard detectives to conduct their own investigation.” Months later, detectives at the Yard responded to Sir Nicholas Lyle at the Attorney General’s office, rejecting the proposal to revive the inquest.

The pathologist’s report left the cause of death “open.” Monika Dannemann had long insisted that Hendrix was murdered. At the time of her death, she had brought media attention to the case in a bitter and highly-publicized court battle with former Hendrix girlfriend Kathy Etchningham. On April 5, 1996, her body was discovered in a fume-filled car near her home in Seaford, Sussex, south England. Police dismissed the death as a “suicide” and the corporate press took dictation.

But the Eastern Daily Press, a newspaper that circulates in the East Anglian region of the UK, raised another possibility: “Musician Uli Jon Roth, speaking at the thatched cottage where Miss Dannemann lived, said last night: ‘The thing looks suspicious. She had a lot of death threats against her over the years….I always felt that she was really being crucified in front of everybody, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.’ Mr Roth, formerly with the group The Scorpions, said Miss Danneman ‘is not a person to do something to herself.'” Roth threw one more inconsistency on the lot: “She didn’t believe in the concept of suicide.”

Devon Wilson, another Hendrix paramour, in Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell’s view, “died under mysterious circumstances herself a few years later.”

Jimi Hendrix With Devon WilsonJimi Hendrix with Devon Wilson

Was Hendrix murdered while under the influence? Stanton Steele, an authority on addiction, offers a seemingly plausible explanation: “Extremely intoxicated people while asleep often lose the reflexive tendency to clear one’s throat of mucus, or they may strangle in their vomit. This appeared to have happened to Jimi Hendrix, who had taken both alcohol and prescription barbiturates the night of his death.”

Evidence has recently come to light clarifying the cause of death—extreme alcohol consumption aggravated by the barbiturates in Hendrix’s bloodstream—drowning. Hendrix is said to have choked to death after swallowing nine Vesperax sleeping tablets. This is not the lethal dose he’d have taken if suicide was the intent—he surely would have swallowed the remaining 40 or so pills in the packets Dannemann gave him if this was the idea—as Eric Burdon, the Animals’ vocalist and a friend of Hendrix, has suggested over the years.

Hendrix was not felled by a drug overdose, as many news reports claimed. The pills were a sleeping aid, and not a very effective one at that. The two Vesperax that Dannemann saw him take before she fell asleep at 3 am failed to put him under. He had taken a Durophet 20 amphetamine capsule at a dinner party the evening before. And then Hendrix, a chronic insomniac with an escalated tolerance level for barbiturates, had tried the Vesperax before and they proved ineffective. He apparently believed nine tablets would do him no harm.

At 10 am, Dannemann awoke and went out for a pack of cigarettes, according to her inquest testimony. When she returned, he was sick. She phoned Eric Bridges, a friend, and informed him that Hendrix wasn’t well. “Half asleep,” Bridges reported in his autobiography, “I suggested she give him hot coffee and slap his face. If she needed any more help to call me back.” Dannemann called the ambulance at 18 minutes past eleven. The ambulance arrived nine minutes later. Hendrix was not, she claimed, in critical condition. She said the paramedics checked his pulse and breathing, and stated there was “nothing to worry about.”

But a direct contradiction came in an interview with Reg Jones, one of the attendants, who insisted that Dannemann wasn’t at the flat when they arrived, and that Hendrix was already dead. “It was horrific,” Jones said. “We arrived at the flat and the door was flung wide open….”I knew he was dead as soon as I walked into the room.” Ambulance attendant John Suau confirmed, “we knew it was hopeless. There was no pulse, no respiration.”

Samarkand Hotel LondonThe Samarkand Hotel, London

The testimonies of Dannemann and medical personnel at the 1970 inquest are disturbingly contradictory. Hendrix, the medical personnel stated, had been dead for at least seven hours by the time the ambulance arrived. Dr. Rufus Compson at the Department of Forensic Medicine at St. George’s Medical School undertook his own investigation. He referred to the original medical examiner’s report and discovered that there were rice remains in Hendrix’s stomach. It takes three-four hours for the stomach to empty, he reasoned, and the deceased ate Chinese food at a dinner party hosted by Pete Cameron between the hours of 11 pm and midnight, placing the time of death no later than 4 am. This is consistent with the report of Dr. Bannister, the surgical registrar, that “the inside of his mouth and mucous membranes were black because he had been dead for some time.” Dr. Bannister told the London Times, “Hendrix had been dead for hours rather than minutes when he was admitted to the hospital.”

The inquest itself was “unusual,” Tony Brown notes, because “none of the other witnesses involved were called to give their evidence, nor was any attempt made to ascertain the exact time of death,” as if the subject was to be avoided. The result was that the public record on this basic fact in the case may have been incorrectly cited by scores of reporters and biographers. Tony Brown: “Even [medical examiner] Professor Teare made no attempt to ascertain the exact time of death. The inquest appeared to be conducted merely as a formality and had not been treated by the coroner as a serious investigation.”

In ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky (1996), Bill Henderson describes the inquest and its aftermath: “Those who followed his death….noticed many inconsistencies in the official inquest. It has been an open and shut affair that managed to hide its racist intent behind the public perceptual hoax of Hendrix as a substance abuser….As a result, millions of people all over the world thought that Hendrix had died that typical rock star’s death: drug OD amid fame, opulence, decadence. But it seems that Hendrix could very well have been the victim not of decadence, but of foul play.”

Forensic tests submitted at the inquest have been supplemented over the years by new evidence that makes a reconstruction of the murder possible. In October, 1991, Steve Roby, publisher of Straight Ahead, a Hendrix fanzine, asked, “What Really Happened?”: “Kathy Etchingham, a close friend/lover of Jimi’s, and Dee Mitchell, Mitch Mitchell’s wife, spent many months tracking down former friends and associates of Hendrix, and are convinced they have solved the mystery of the final hours:

“Central to reconstructing Hendrix’s death is red wine. Dr. Bannister reports that after the esophagus had been cleared, “masses” of red wine were “coming out of his nose and out of his mouth.” The wine gushing up in great volume from Hendrix’s lungs “is very vivid because you don’t often see people who have drowned in their own red wine. He had something around him—whether it was a towel or a jumper—around his neck and that was saturated with red wine. His hair was matted. He was completely cold. I personally think he probably died a long time before….He was cold and he was blue.”

Henderson writes:

“The abstract morbidity of Hendrix’s body upon discovery may indicate a more complex scenario than has been commonly held. Hendrix was not a red wine guzzler, especially in the amounts found in and around his body. He was known to be moderate in his consumption. If he was ‘sleeping normally,’ then why was he fully clothed? And how could the ambulance attendants have missed seeing someone who was supposed to be there? The garment, or towel, around his neck is totally mysterious given the scenario so widely distributed. But it is consistent with the doctor’s statement that he drowned. Was he drowned by force? In a radio interview broadcast out of Holland in the early ’70s, an unnamed girlfriend answered ‘yes’ to the question, ‘Was Hendrix killed by the Mafia?'”

Tony Brown, in Hendrix: The Final Days (1997), correlates the consumption of the wine to the approximate time of death: “It’s unlikely that he drank the quantity of red wine found by Dr. Bannister…. Therefore, Jimi must have drunk a large quantity of red wine just prior to his death,” suggesting that the quantity of alcohol in his lungs was the direct cause.

The revised time of death, 3-4 am, contradicts the gap in the official record, and so does the revelation that Jimi Hendrix drowned in red wine. While it is common knowledge that Hendrix choked to death, it has only recently come to light that the wine—not the Verparex—was the primary catalyst of death. Hendrix was, the evidence suggests, forced to drink a quantity of wine. The barbiturates, as Brown notes, “seriously inhibited Jimi’s normal cough reflex.” Unable to cough the wine back up, “it went straight down into his lungs….It is quite possible that he thrashed about for some time, fighting unsuccessfully to gain his breath.” It is doubtful that Hendrix would have continued to swallow the wine in “massive” volumes had it begun to fill his lungs.

One explanation that explains the forensic evidence is that Jimi Hendrix was restrained, wine forced down his throat until his thrashings ceased. All of this must have taken place quickly, before the alcohol had time to enter his bloodstream. The post mortem report states that the blood alcohol level was not excessive, about 20mg over the legal drinking limit. He died before his stomach absorbed much of the wine. Jimi Hendrix choked to death. That much of the general understanding of his demise is correct, and little else.

The kidnapping, embezzling and numerous shady deceptions would make Jeffrey the leading suspect in any proper police investigation. And his reaction at the news of Hendrix’s death did little to dispel any suspicions that associates may have harbored. Jim Marron, a nightclub owner from Manhattan, was vacationing with Jeffrey in Spain when word of the musician’s death reached him. “We were supposed to have dinner that night in Majorca,” Marron recalls. Jeffrey “called me from his club in Palma saying that we would have to cancel….I’ve just got word from London. Jimi’s dead.”

The manager of the Hendrix Experience took the news completely in stride. “I always knew that son of a bitch would pull a quickie,” Jeffrey told Marron. “Basically, he had lost a major property. You had the feeling that he had just lost a couple of million dollars—and was the first to realize it. My first reaction was, Oh my God, my friend is dead.” But Jeffrey reacted coldly, comparing the fatality to a fleeting sexual romp in the afternoon.

His odd behavior continued in the days following the death of Hendrix. He appeared to be consumed by guilt, and on one occasion “confessed.” On September 20, recording engineer Alan Douglas received a call from Jeffrey, who wanted to see him. Douglas drove to the hotel where Jeffrey was staying. “He was bent over”, Douglas observed, “in misery from a recent back injury. We started talking and he let it all out. It was like a confession. In my opinion, Jeffrey hated Hendrix.”

Bob Levine, the band’s merchandising manager, was perplexed by Jeffrey’s response to the tragedy. First, Hendrix’s manager dropped completely out of sight. “We tried calling all of Jeffrey’s contacts….trying to reach him. We were getting frustrated because Hendrix’s body was going to be held up in London for two weeks and we wanted Jeffrey’s input on the funeral service.

A full week after Hendrix’s death, he finally called. Hearing his voice, I immediately asked what his plans were and would he be going to Seattle. ‘What plans?’ he asked. I said, ‘the funeral.’ ‘What funeral?’ he replied.

I was exasperated: ‘Jimi’s!’ The phone went quiet for a while and then he hung up. The whole office was staring at me, unable to believe that with all the coverage on radio, print and television, Jeffrey didn’t know that Jimi had died.” As noted, Jeffrey had been notified and almost grieved, in his fashion. “He called back in five minutes and we talked quietly. He said, ‘Bob, I didn’t know,’ and was asking about what had happened. While I didn’t confront him, I knew he was lying.”

It was reported that Michael Jeffrey “paid his respects” sitting in a limousine parked outside Dunlap Baptist Church in Seattle. He refused to go inside for the eulogy. Hendrix was buried at the family plot at Greenwood Cemetary in Renton.

Screenwriter Alan Greenberg was hired to write a screenplay for a film on the life of Jimi Hendrix. He traveled to England and taped an interview with Dannemann shortly before her death in April, 1996. In that interview, Dannemann sketched in more details of Jeffrey’s skullduggery, which continued after Hendrix’s death and has long been concealed behind a wall of misconceptions.

On the Greenberg tapes, Dannemann denied allegations of heroin use, as do others close to Hendrix: “You should put that into the right perspective since all of the youngsters still think he was a drug addict. The problem was, when he died, I was told by the coroner not to talk until after the inquest, so that’s why all these wild stories came out that he overdosed from heroin.”

The coroner found no injection tracks on Hendrix’s body. That he snorted the opiate, a charge advanced by biographer Chris Welch in Hendrix, is disputed by Jimi’s closest friends. He indulged primarily in marijuana and LSD. The popular misconception that Hendrix was a heroin addict lingers on but should have been buried with him. One of rock’s greatest talents was maliciously smeared by the press on this count.

At times, he public has been deliberately misled about Hendrix’s drug habits. Kathy Etchingham, a former girlfriend, was deceived into giving an article about Jimi to a friend in the corporate media, and it was snatched up by a newspaper, rewritten, and the story that emerged depicted the guitarist as a violent and drug-infested lunatic. The editor later apologized in writing to Kathy for falsifying the record, but failed to retract in print.

Jimi Hendrix with Kathy EtchinghamJimi Hendrix with Kathy Etchingham

Media swipes at Hendrix to this day are often unreasonably vicious, as in this transparent attempt to shape public opinion from London’s Times on December 14, 1993:

Not only did [Hendrix] leave several memorable compositions behind him; he left a good-looking corpse. Kathy Etchingham, a middle-class mother of two, who used to be one of Hendrix’s lovers, still mourns his passing and is seeking to persuade the police that there is something suspicious about the circumstances in which he died. Quite why she should bother is hard to say. Perhaps she is bored.

Hendrix, we are advised, “lived an absurdly self-indulgent life and died, in essence, of stupidity.”

Close friends of Jimi Hendrix suggest that Jeffrey was the front man for a surreptitious sponsor, the FBI, CIA or Mafia. In 1975, Crawdaddy magazine launched its own investigation and concluded that a death squad of some kind had targeted him: “Hendrix is not the only artist to have had his career sabotaged by unscrupulous sharks and leeches.” The recent memory of the death of Average White Band drummer Robby McIntosh from strychnine-laced heroin circulating at a party in L.A. “only serves to update this fact of rock-and-roll life. But an industry that accepts these tragedies in cold blood demonstrates its true nature—and the Jimi Hendrix music machine cranks out, unencumbered by the absence of Hendrix himself. One wonders who’ll be the next in line?”

On March 5, as if in reply, Michael Jeffrey, every musician’s nightmare, was blown out of the sky in an airplane collision over France, enroute to a court appearance in London related to Hendrix. Jeffrey was returning from Palma aboard an Iberia DC-9 in the midst of a French civil air traffic control strike. Military controllers were called in as a contingency replacements for the controllers.

Hendrix biographer Bill Henderson considers the midair collision fuel for “paranoia”:

“The nature of military airline control necessitated rigorous planning, limited traffic on each sector and strict compliance with regulations. The DC-9 however was assigned to the same flight over Nantes as a Spantax Coronado, which created a source of conflict. And because of imprecise navigation, lack of complete radar coverage and imperfect radio communications, the two planes collided. The Coronado was damaged but remained airworthy; no one was injured. The DC-9 crashed, killing all 61 passengers and seven crew… There are theories that Jeffrey was merely a tool, a mouthpiece for the real villains lurking in the wings, that he was the target of assassination.”

A quarter-century after Hendrix died, his father finally won control of the musical legacy. Under a settlement signed in 1995, the rights to his son’s music were granted to 76-year-old Al Hendrix, the sole heir to the estate. The agreement, settled in court, forced Hendrix to drop a fraud suit filed two years earlier against Leo Branton Jr., the L.A. civil rights attorney who represented Angela Davis and Nat King Cole. Hendrix accused his lawyer of selling the rights to the late rock star’s publishing catalogue without consent.

Jimi Hendrix with Father AlJimi Hendrix with Father Al

Hendrix, Sr. filed the suit on April 19, 1993, after learning that MCA Music Entertainment—a company rife with Mafia connections—was readying to snatch up his son’s recording and publishing rights from two international companies that claimed to own them. The MCA deal, estimated to be worth $40 million, was put on hold after objections were raised in a letter to the Hollywood firm from Hendrix. By this time, Experience albums generated more than $3 million per annum in royalties, and $1 million worth of garments, posters and paraphernalia bearing his name and likeness are sold each year. All told, Al Hendrix received $2 million over the next 20 years.

**************

Extracted, edited, and reformatted from: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine.

________________________________________

Jimi Hendrix Death CertificateJimi Hendrix Death Certificate

________________________________________

________________________________________

Al Qaida Never Existed, The Bin Laden Compound Raid & Kill Was a Hoax

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Aaron Russo and Nick Rockefeller

Before 9/11, Nick Rockefeller (right) told Aaron Russo how it would all go down

________________________________________

________________________________________

________________________________________

________________________________________

________________________________________

Georgia School Officials Force Teacher to Withdraw Controversial Assignment

Tags

, , , , ,

Obama - Lenin Poster

________________________________________

School officials in Marietta, Georgia — a suburb of Atlanta — have asked a high school teacher to withdraw a controversial homework assignment.

Fascists Always Use Children as Human Shields

A fill-in teacher at Kell High School in Marietta Monday handed out a social studies assignment asking students to compare President Barack Obama to Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Students were asked to find evidence to compare Russian efforts to transition from a capitalist country to a command country, to Obama’s effort to change the United States from a capitalist country to a socialist nation.

Obama Socialist Poster

Cobb County School District spokesman Jay Dillon told WGCL-TV the assignment was brought to the principal’s attention and has been withdrawn. The teacher is still employed at the high school.

Fascism Warning Sign

________________________________________

Sources and Citations: Online Athens, the Associated Press, WGCL-TV

________________________________________

Obama - Stalin Poster

________________________________________

Republican Attorneys General Say Federal Government Has Gone Rogue

Tags

, , ,

Obama-Stalin-Hitler

________________________________________

Top Republican legal officials say the Obama administration is reneging on key duties such as border security while overstepping its role through health care mandates and tight regulation of the energy industry, a trend that has led states to heighten their defenses against federal intrusion.

As states brace for cutbacks from the sequester standoff between President Obama and congressional Republicans, several of their elected attorneys general contrast that gridlock — and not in a good way — with Mr. Obama’s precedent-setting use of executive orders and federal rule-making.

“You just see it all over the place. You see it in land management, you see it in energy development, ” Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers told The Washington Times yesterday in a wide-ranging interview with editors and reporters. “It’s a pretty significant trend, I think.”

________________________________________

Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers

Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers

________________________________________

The state officials, who are in Washington for the winter meeting of the Republican Attorneys General Association, bemoaned an administration that they say has failed to lead on issues that require the states to cede to federal supremacy, such as border security and immigration, while making it difficult for them to wield any influence with federal lawmakers who represent their states.

“We are seeing, I believe, an administration at the White House [that is] increasingly going around Congress and attempting to implement laws through the regulatory agencies, most particularly the [Environmental Protection Agency], in executive orders designed to shut down the traditional areas in which we create jobs and enhance our economy in Montana.” Montana Attorney General Tim Fox told The Times. “Oil and gas. Coal, for instance.”

________________________________________

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox

________________________________________

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the Obama administration’s attempts to scale back coal production make his residents “very concerned.”

________________________________________

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

________________________________________

Buoyed by his re-election in November, Obama set out an ambitious second-term agenda on climate change, saying in his inaugural address that the country must not “betray” its children and warning that “the path toward sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott scoffed at assurances this month by Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano that the southwestern border is more secure than ever. He pointed to the bullet-ridden buildings along his state’s border with Mexico, which is wracked by drug-cartel violence.

The White House and the EPA did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday on the Republican attorneys general statements.

________________________________________

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

________________________________________

Illegals Crossing US-Mexico Border Fence

You’re looking at the US-Mexico border and the traffic flowing through it daily

________________________________________

Mexican Drug Cartel Violence - 1

Mexican drug gang members captured and held hostage by a rival cartel

________________________________________

Mexican Drug Cartel Violence - 2

It’s just another day at the office for the ruthless Mexican drug cartels

________________________________________

The Republican attorneys general also homed in on Obama’s signature accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act, as Exhibit A among the list of federally imposed burdens. Among other things, Obama wanted the states to implement a substantial part of the act by expanding Medicaid, but promising to cover all the costs for only a short period. He also wanted the states to set and run statewide insurance markets.

Obama’s health care reforms also attracted legal challenges from Republican-led states across the country, until the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate to buy insurance. The justices also made the expansion of Medicaid enrollment optional for the states by saying the federal government could not yank existing funding from those that declined to expand the entitlement program.

Mr. Morrisey said states are grappling with “the pause before the big storm,” arguing that the administration is behind in its rule-making for a law that is “doomed to fail.”

Mr. Abbott said Texas is holding firm in its opposition to the Medicaid expansion, noting that it may be difficult to sustain its budgets if the federal government does not uphold its share of contributions to the program, which are supposed to scale down to 100 percent during 2014 to 2016 and to 90 percent by 2020.

“It’s akin to the line of ‘Hotel California’ — once you check in, you really can’t check out,” he said. “So if states opt in, they probably are not going to be able to extricate themselves from it in years going forward.”

The attorneys general said patients who show up at emergency rooms cannot be turned away and will cost the states anyway. But they remain skeptical of the law’s costs.

“When does the hemorrhaging stop?” Mr. Fox said. “At what point do we say that every federal program that might come down the road is not something we should embrace, because we don’t have the money to do it?”

 
________________________________________
 
Sources and Citations: Tom Howell Jr., The Washington Times
________________________________________ 

Illegal Immigrant Detainees Released Ahead of Sequester

Tags

, ,

ICE - Department of Homeland Security

________________________________________

Immigration officials said yesterday that they have released hundreds of immigrants who had been detained and are still awaiting deportation proceedings, in order to reduce costs in advance of the expected round of spending cuts known as the sequester, which starts to take effect on Friday.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had warned two weeks ago that some immigrants awaiting deportation would be released in order to trim spending, and that such releases could pose risks.

“Under sequestration, ICE would be forced to reduce current detention and removal operations, potentially affecting public safety, and would not be able to maintain 34,000 detention beds,’’ Ms. Napolitano said in written testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Congress has mandated that ICE – the U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement agency– maintain detention capacity for 34,000 people.

The decision to release some immigrants from detention shows the Obama administration has some degree of latitude in deciding how to implement the cuts.

Ms. Napolitano’s testimony indicated that, within the Department of Homeland Security, officials chose to reduce costs by releasing detained immigrants but made no mention of any plans to furlough ICE employees. Staff furloughs are a major component of cost reductions at other homeland security agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection agency.

Gillian Christensen, an ICE spokeswoman, said Tuesday that officials reviewed cases and released hundreds of people “on methods of supervision less costly than detention’’ as the agency continues to seek their removal from the United States. She said the agency is prioritizing its remaining detention spaces for “serious criminal offenders and other individuals who pose a significant threat to public safety.’’

________________________________________

White House Answers Petitions From All 50 States to Secede: “Ain’t Happening”

Tags

, , , ,

Texas Secession Petition

“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government…”

 ________________________________________

The White House has responded to last year’s rash of secession petitions, and no, Obama has not agreed to allow any of the states to secede.

Jon Carson, the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, said in a response released Friday that “as much as we value a healthy debate, we don’t let that debate tear us apart.”

“In a nation of 300 million people — each with their own set of deeply held beliefs — democracy can be noisy and controversial. And that’s a good thing,” Mr. Carson said. “Free and open debate is what makes this country work, and many people around the world risk their lives every day for the liberties we often take for granted.”

Petitions filed on behalf of each state seeking to secede peacefully from the union began popping up on the White House’s We the People website days after the Nov. 6 election. The website states that any petition receiving 25,000 online signatures within 30 days of posting will receive a review by the appropriate executive department and a reply from a  White House staffer.

________________________________________

Mr. Carson’s post, titled “Our States Remain United,” came in response to nine petitions. Eight of those were filed on behalf of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

The ninth petition called on the administration to deport “everyone that signed a petition to withdraw their state from the United States of America.”

At least one secession petition was filed on behalf of each state in the weeks following the election, but not all of the petitions garnered the requisite 25,000 signatures. Signers were not required to live in the named state, and they were permitted to sign multiple petitions.

The eight states represented in the petitions that did qualify for a White House response all were among those that seceded from the union in 1861, spurring the Civil War.

Mr. Carson touched on the Founding Fathers and the Civil War in his seven-paragraph reply to the petitions, noting that more than 600,000 soldiers died in the war and saying of the union that the founders “did not provide a right to walk away from it.”

“So let’s be clear: No one disputes that our country faces big challenges, and the recent election followed a vigorous debate about how they should be addressed,” Mr. Carson said. “As President Obama said the night he won re-election, ‘We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future.’”

________________________________________

Andrew Sullivan of Nebraska, who said he signed several secession petitions, argued that the White House response calling for unity was at odds with what he described as Mr. Obama’s efforts to split Americans into competing political factions.

“The president is entitled to his own words, but they don’t match with his actions,” Mr. Sullivan said. “Clearly his actions are dividing the country.”

The secession petitions emerged as an apparently spontaneous grass-roots reaction to the 2012 presidential election. No political party or movement, including the Tea Party, has claimed credit for organizing the effort.

The Texas petition had over 100,000 signatures and was the most popular petition on the entire site. It reads as follows:

The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.

Critics blasted the petitions as an unpatriotic and immature response to Obama’s successful re-election bid. I personally think it’s a splendid idea whose time has come, if not long overdue.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) raised the idea of secession back in 2009, but he has since made clear that he has no interest in it. Tennessee Rep. Zach Wamp (R) suggested in 2010 that some states might have to “consider separation from this government” should the leadership in Washington not change. ”I hope that the American people will go to the ballot box in 2010 and 2012 so that states are not forced to consider separation from this government,” he said.

________________________________________

Sources and Citations:  Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times, White House .gov

________________________________________

13,753 Gov’t Requests for Google E-Mail Data in 2012, Most Without a Warrant

Tags

, , , , , ,

Google Surveillance Grafitti

________________________________________

American government agencies — state, local, and federal — made a record 13,753 requests to read emails or gather other information sent through Google’s Gmail and other services in 2012, more than half without warrants, according to statistics released by Google.

The total number of users about whom government agencies wanted information also set a record at 31,072, up from 23,300 in 2011, the first year Google began reporting the data. The discrepancy comes because government agencies request information on multiple users or accounts at the same time.

Most of these 13,753 requests, 6,542 of 8,438 in the latter half of 2012 alone, were done without a search warrant, Google data show. Google did not make available any detailed data prior to June 2012.

Google spokesman Chris Gaither said the company only started tracking which type of legal authority – subpoena, court order, or search warrant – was used in the latter half of 2012. Google issues biannual reports on the requests for user data it receives from government agencies from around the world, including ones in the U.S.

________________________________________

Google announced in June 2012 that it had 425 million active Gmail subscribers, making it the largest e-mail provider in the world. It also provides users the ability to store documents via its Google Drive service, phone service via Google Voice, YouTube, personal blogs via Blogger, as well as email hosting services for corporate clients through Gmail.

Google keep records of all email and other communication sent through its e-mail, telephone, YouTube, and other services, storing the information on cloud servers – a move that allows government agencies, local, state, and federal, to access some information without a warrant.

Federal law allows government agencies to access Google’s archived email and other data, including chat logs, YouTube user information, voice messages, and blogger information without obtaining a search warrant or establishing probable cause, and Google says that it complies with the vast majority of government requests for data.

From July-December 2012 Google provided user information in 88 percent of cases. From January to June 2012, it provided information in 90 percent of cases. Those figures were down from 2011 when it provided user information in 93 percent of cases.

________________________________________

The government can access data, including the content of emails sent or received through Gmail, because Google keeps records of all communications sent over its various services and stores the information on cloud servers, lowering the legal threshold government agencies need to access some of the data, including the name, Internet address, and telephone number of Gmail, YouTube, and other Google users.

The federal law that allows this is known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) which says that opened email stored remotely – not on a computer’s hard drive – can be accessed without a warrant.

If the government wants to read the content of an email accessed through Gmail, hear a voicemail message sent over Google’s telephone service Google Voice, or read other private content, it must still obtain a search warrant under federal law.

However, information not sent in the body of an email or recorded in a voice message can be obtained by a simple subpoena – which does not require a government agency to show probable cause. Such information includes the name of an e-mail account holder, the IP address used when signing into and out of Gmail including dates and times, and other information you gave to Google when you created Gmail or other Google account.

Other types of information require a court order from a judge, such as the IP address of a particular email, email addresses of those you correspond with, and the web sites a person has visited.

A search warrant is required to read the content of an email stored on Google’s servers, as well access as internet search histories, YouTube videos, photos, and other documents.

________________________________________

Because all types of requests usually come through some kind of criminal investigation, Google does not notify users when the government demands to read their emails or access their account information. However, Google says that in cases where it is legally allowed to inform users, it tries to do so.

“We notify users about legal demands when appropriate, unless prohibited by law or court order,” Google says on its transparency website.

“We can’t notify you if, for example, your account has been closed, or if we’re legally prohibited from doing so. We sometimes fight to give users notice of a data request by seeking to lift gag orders or unseal search warrants.”

Google says it requires government agencies make a formal, written claim under ECPA before it will release any user data.

“The government needs legal process—such as a subpoena, court order or search warrant—to force Google to disclose user information. Exceptions can be made in certain emergency cases, though even then the government can’t force Google to disclose.”

________________________________________

Cites and Sources: Matt Cover, CNS News, Google, Android.net

________________________________________