User talk:Rgr09

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Heads of state[edit]

Some changes I might suggest to the new article for Heads of State of the People's Republic of China that is currently in your User:Rgr09/sandbox.

  • In each section, I think we should have a one paragraph lead explaining the Changes in power and thus official roles, that the new constitutions brought in.
  • In 1981 Soong was honorary president but was she head of state? Also doesn't that contradict the lead where it says, "None of these offices have been purely ceremonial." as Soong position then was not an active one and had no real power associated with it.
  • Remember to bold heads of state of the People's Republic of China in the first sentence.
  • Add an explanation of Mao's role through the 1960's and 70's as although he was not president, he was Chairman of the CCCPC right up until his death.

-- Rincewind42 (talk) 03:25, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

The newly-established Central National Security Commission[edit]

Question (since you seem to know much about China), do you know if this is a state or party organ? --TIAYN (talk) 09:06, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

After creation of the Commission was announced at the 3rd Plenum in November, there was much speculation about whether it would be a state or party organ (a fine and perhaps not very important distinction). The latest official announcement I have found is here (dated 1/24/14), and it makes it clear that this is a party organ; Xi Jinping will chair, with Li Keqiang and Zhang Dejiang as cochairs. Number of standing and regular members TBA.
"[The Commission] will function as the Party Central's policy-making and "coordinating body" for matters relating to national security work, reporting to the Politburo and the Politburo Standing Committee, and providing overall planning and coordination for important national security issues and work."
"Coordinating body" is a technical term here, and is used for State Council organs such as the National Defense Mobilization Commission, etc., which have to deal with issues involving more than one state organ; such bodies are able to promulgate "temporary" administrative rules. Rgr09 (talk) 13:29, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

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Aren't you glad you're helping out on this article?[edit]

[1] --NeilN talk to me 02:13, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Gawrsh! Thanks for tidying up, NeilN. Let me know if I should apply for asylum in Sweden. Rgr09 (talk) 04:04, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

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Seth Rosenfeld[edit]

We must have our eyes on a lot of the same articles. A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the Seth Rosenfeld and Richard Aoki articles. I have a concern that the article on Aoki now now states as fact that he was an FBI informant on the basis of a few articles authored by Rosenfeld. There is work to be done there, too, but the weeds grow up faster than I can pull them. - Location (talk) 01:36, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the note. I think the Seth Rosenfeld article is basically okay, but some edits to the article may have overstated things. Rosenfeld's original story on the Frogman case should figure in any real article on the CIA and drugs; ironically so far it doesn't. Although there are details in Rosenfeld's story that it seems were not correct, the most important claim on CIA intervention in the Frogman case was correct, and Rosenfeld deserves credit for being one of the few reporters to find a real CIA-Contra-Cocaine link. The Seth Rosenfeld article does seem to mis-state the conclusions of the DOJ/OIG report on this incident, but I'll wait for a response to my citation request before I try to revise.
I too was struck by the Richard Aoki story when I read the Rosenfeld article, but it looks like Rosenfeld is right here as well. The FBI vault recently posted 16 PDFs of material from Aoki's file. The PDF page summary says:
 Richard Matsui Aoki (1938-2009) was involved in a number of radical groups on the West Coast including the Socialist Workers Party and the Black Panther Party. At the same time Aoki served as an informant for the FBI (symbol source number SF-2496-R). This release consists of material from the period 1962 to 1970 and a record of the FBI file search for material on Aoki in 2009.  
I took a look at the files, but it's all raw primary source material, though no doubt useful as a reality check on Rosenfeld's articles if you have the time. As an example of this, the Richard Aoki article says that Rosenfeld 'accused the FBI of giving Aoki the informant code number "T-2"'. I don't know if this is Rosenfeld's mistake, or the article's mistake. The way this seems to work is that when an FBI report lists confidential informants, it numbers them T-1, T-2, T-3, ... etc. These people are then identified on a separate sheet, which can be removed from the file to allow it to circulate to people who are not authorized to know who the informants are. SF-2496-R is the real and permanent source number the FBI used for Aoki. Too bad this kind of stuff doesn't come up on Double Jeopardy. Rgr09 (talk) 02:51, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for linking to the pdf files. That might be as close to an official response to the allegations that we're going to get for now. Re: T-2, it appears Rosenfeld got this information from former FBI agents Burney Threadgill Jr and M. Wesley Swearingen. I don't know anything about Threadgill at this point, but Swearingen's reports on various things have me questioning his credibility. I've only peered through a few of the documents, so I don't know where they got this from. - Location (talk) 03:56, 30 October 2015 (UTC)

Gary Webb[edit]

As you've noted, a one-sided view of Webb's allegations appears in more than a few Wikipedia articles. In most cases, it seems that there is undue weight given to the allegations that the most substantive of them were investigated thoroughly and rejected as baseless. I may put a better, formatted version of this edit together to tack on wherever I see reference to Webb's claims of CIA involvement. - Location (talk) 08:48, 31 October 2015 (UTC)

I agree that many articles get the Webb story wrong, but I think you've put things a little strongly in one or two places.
First, I wouldn't say the Mercury News disavowed the story. There was at one point a controversy in the Gary Webb article over whether it was retracted or not. Jonathan Krim, the editor charged with checking the story, called the paper's statement a retraction, but Jerry Ceppos, the executive editor, did not say that in his final column on the series.[1] The description of Ceppos's column in the San Jose Mercury News article might do for your purposes, though it's a little rosy. There should be a link to the column, however you decide to go; don't use Tina Daunt's article for this.
Second, I would be careful using the word 'repudiated' to describe other papers' coverage of the series. Their coverage was not as tough as some have claimed; it was on the editorial pages that the series got slammed. I think that it's fair to say that the big three papers' articles on 'Dark Alliance' all agreed its claims were 'overstated'. The most hostile reaction was to the series' claim that the CIA started the crack epidemic. If you want to use words like repudiate or reject, save them for that. Nick Schou thought this was where Webb lost his credibility, and I'm sure he's right.
The quotes from the DOJ and CIA OIG reports are good I think.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Rgr09 (talkcontribs) 13:09, 31 October 2015‎ (UTC)
Regarding the first point, you are correct. Daunt wrote: "Later, his bosses at the Mercury News all but disavowed the piece, with a front-page editor's note stating that the series had largely overstated its provocative findings." [Emphasis mine.] Later in her article, she called it "a stunning rebuke of the series". Secondary sources should usually be used over primary sources, so that is why I used Daunt. There are other secondary sources, mostly tied to Kill the Messenger (2014 film), mentioning Ceppos' column that could be used: [2], [3], and [4].
Regarding the second point, that, too, can be toned down. In her article, Daunt quoted The New York Times: "'Reporting by the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times produced no clear evidence of any direct line between the drug dealers and the CIA,' the New York Times noted in a follow-up story." If there is some sort of conflict of reporting interest from those three papers, perhaps we should avoid them. I'm wondering what you think about using this article from the recently defunct American Journalism Review. - Location (talk) 22:59, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
The NOLA story on Ceppos looks good if you don't want to link to the original column. On the major papers' coverage of the story, I think Daunt is okay, she didn't work on the LAT response to Dark Alliance. Overall, Nick Schou's biography of Webb, Kill the messenger, (the book the movie was 'based on') is the best source I have found on the journalism side of things, but it's not online. Susan Paterno's article at AJR is one of the best things on line. You should read the whole thing, its not that long. The version of the article you link to is missing several side-bar pieces that might be useful. Try searching for articles by Paterno at AJR archives to find the side-bar stuff. If you want a single source for all your info, Paterno might be a good choice. Rgr09 (talk) 00:30, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
When I have secondary sources discussing a primary source, I typically use both. The Paterno piece has "Related reading:" at the top that appears to link to the other articles you mentioned. Per some of the issues noted in Talk:CIA involvement in Contra cocaine trafficking, I'm working on an outline here. Feel free to add material or comment on the talk page. - Location (talk) 01:50, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Ceppos, Jerry (1997-05-11). "To readers of our 'Dark Alliance' series". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2015-02-11.

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Your comments[edit]

Thanks for your response. I'm making a quick-response to your questions (and working on the rest of it later), but for questions about my interest in the article, you can email me at surefootedone2013@gmail.com Sure Footed1 (talk) 15:46, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Nugan Hand Bank[edit]

If you're still interested in Nugan Hand, I'm willing to email/post a copy of the Section of the Stewart Royal Commission report dealing with the CIA if you provide an address...--Jack Upland (talk) 19:41, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

@Jack Upland: Thanks! I'm still very interested to see what the report had to say. I've set up a sendmail address for my wikipedia account, perhaps that would be the best way to get it to me. If that doesn't work, or is not convenient, feel free to post it here. Rgr09 (talk) 10:00, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
OK. I will email it. 1st I need to scan it, and that might take me a couple of days to do.--Jack Upland (talk) 16:01, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

Edit war on the Gary Webb page[edit]

Rgr09, we have (what appears to be) an edit war on the Gary Webb page. (If you look at the history of the article, you will see what I am saying.) An editor is trying to change the intro. What do you think? See the talk page for comments.Rja13ww33 (talk) 19:20, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Guy is still at it. But I've told him what to do.Rja13ww33 (talk) 17:21, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

We could use your input again. The guy won't leave the thing alone. Sorry to keep bothering you.Rja13ww33 (talk) 17:19, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

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Iran–Contra affair[edit]

Not sure if you have much interest in Iran–Contra affair, but I thought I would run a question by you. I stumbled across Malcolm Byrne's blog here that points to this document released by the CIA that seems to state Syria, rather than Mehdi Hashemi, leaked word to Ash-Shiraa about the trip of Robert McFarlane et al. to Tehran which broke open the scandal. Do you have any more information or thoughts on that? -Location (talk) 15:47, 21 May 2017 (UTC)

I'm very unfamiliar with the Iran side of Iran-Contra. I have Draper's book (he discusses Al-Shiraa 457-460), but have not read the whole thing. The SI article says Al-Shiraa was Syrian funded and Draper mentions a couple of people who claimed this. If Syria did control Al-Shiraa, the article's claims seem reasonable, even without knowing the redacted source mentioned in the SI article. Rgr09 (talk) 22:54, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
There are so many sources that attribute the leak to Mehdi Hasemi or his friends, but the only "official" story I can find is on the bottom right column of page 520 of the Iran-Contra report... and they said they got it from a NYT article! They Syrian-theory is likely a better explanation, but there is only that primary source and blog. -Location (talk) 01:51, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

On the US side: The article on John K. Singlaub cites an AP report — that came out while John McCain was running for President — that states Singlaub's United States Council for World Freedom "became the public cover for the White House operation". There are lots of similar reports around the same time, however, the only "official" story I have on this is a brief mention on the upper right column of page 127 of the Iran-Contra report. I was aware of Richard Secord's "The Enterprise" linked to Iran-Contra, but I hadn't heard of any of Singlaub's "involvements" playing any sort of role. -Location (talk) 01:51, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

For most of Iran-Contra's basic facts and a strong analysis that seems to have stood up well, I suggest Draper's book.[1] Draper's take on Singlaub is on p. 86-89: "He was a filibustering type, who had injected himself into the contra affair without anyone's leave and who operated without official status but not without the blessing and cooperation of some officials, especially North." The AP article on McCain is typical of election year journalism nowadays and is not a useful source for Iran-Contra. Rgr09 (talk) 06:55, 22 May 2017 (UTC)

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Oswald’s whereabouts?[edit]

The article currently says that Marrion Baker saw Oswald on the second floor, but JFK historian Stan Dane has pointed out in his book and research, “Prayer Man”, that Baker originally said he saw a man walking away from a stairway on the 3rd or 4th floor, a man who doesn’t match Oswald’s description, and that original interrogation reports say Oswald was on the first floor, at the entrance, (not in the first floor room or second floor lunchroom) and may have captured on film outside, and is the figure called “Prayer Man”. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 149.254.235.62 (talk) 10:45, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

Leavelle interrogating Oswald on 22?[edit]

I just noticed that the Lee Harvey Oswald article (great job, btw, it certainly deserves its star) contradicts the one covering Jim Leavelle. This article says Oswald was questioned by Detective Jim Leavelle about the shooting of Officer Tippit on the 22nd after his arrest. But Leavelle’s biographical article on Wikipedia states the exact opposite - that he only interrogated Oswald on the 24th - the morning Oswald was shot, and that he had never talked to him before. Not accusing Leavelle of being unrealible or a liar but his interviews he has done in recent years are in contray to his WC testimony. Memory always distort from time to time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.13.17.72 (talk) 17:49, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Draper, Theodore (1991). A very thin line: the Iran-Contra affairs. New York: Hill and Wang. ISBN 0-8090-9613-7..