Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

FBI To Join Hunt For Da Vinci !!

FBI steps in to hunt for stolen £50m Madonna

PHIL MILLER, Arts Correspondent

It is one of the Scottish art world's most baffling mysteries – and has now become one of the Federal Bureau of Investigations' most urgent cases.
The FBI's art crime unit, based in Washington DC, has further highlighted the case of Leonardo da Vinci's Madonna with the Yarnwinder, stolen from the Duke of Buccleuch's Drumlanrig Castle, north of Dumfries, in 2003.

The case has moved up to seventh on the FBI's art crime most wanted list and its image is prominently displayed on the logo of its art crime unit.
Since the case appeared on the BBC Crimewatch two years ago, no developments have been announced or reported.

The FBI has classified the seriousness of the theft of the masterpiece – worth between £25m and £50m – alongside some of the most expensive and notorious art thefts worldwide, and put it on the list alongside crimes such as the large-scale looting of Iraq after the 2003 war.

During the robbery, on August 27, 2003, two men dressed as tourists taking a public tour of the castle overpowered a young tour guide and stole the painting, painted between 1500 and 1510.
With two accomplices, the men escaped in a white Volkswagen Golf, which was abandoned nearby.

It is understood the men pulled the painting from the staircase hall where it was hanging. It has been speculated the painting may have been damaged in the process, as its frame was removed.
Dumfries and Galloway police issued an appeal for information about a possible second getaway car, a black BMW spotted near Carronbridge that morning.

The FBI established its crime team in 2004. With 12 special agents responsible for investigating art crimes, it is backed up by three special attorneys from the US Department of Justice.

Experts in art theft have said they believe the painting was still somewhere in Scotland, rather than in London or abroad.

Theories of who the robbers are have run from organised crime gangs, to the IRA, to a gang of gypsies.

This week, a police spokesman said investigations were ongoing but had nothing new to add.
Anyone who has any information on the case is asked to contact police at Dumfries on 0845 600 5701.

Art Hostage comments:

Official Warning!!


In order to prevent a gun battle, and the potential loss of life, the gangs who have high value stolen art in their possession,or their control.

(You know who you are, and so does Law enforcement, Gardai, FBI, Scotland Yard Art Squad!!)

i.e.:
Da Vinci stolen from Scotland,£30-50 million

Paintings, including Vermeer stolen from Gardner Museum Boston, St Patrick's day 1990 £300 million

Cezanne stolen from Oxford 2000 £4-6 million

White Duck stolen from Norfolk 1994??
£5 million

Harry Hyams stolen art collection £80 million

Waddesten Manor Rothschild gold boxes.£100million

Henry Moore bronze £3.5 million
Many other stolen high value artworks.

Any attempt to hand back any of these high value art works for any, I repeat any, reward money will result in either arrests, or at the very least not a single dime, penny, euro will be paid.

My advice to you Handlers of High Value Stolen Art is to either hand the artworks back for free, or wrap them up and wait until their is a change of heart and law that will allow these artworks to be handed back in an honest way, without the sting's being planned as we speak.

My warning is because if a sting is carried through there will be a shoot out that could result in innocent people being caught in the crossfire.

Remember:

"No reward money will ever be paid for stolen high value artworks and anyone who says otherwise is lying."

There are reports of up to £1 million reward offered for the Da Vinci, Mark Dalrymple, who has never stated exactly how much reward, is the loss adjuster on the Da Vinci case, unfortunetly the reward is uncollectable for me.

I was offered the Da Vinci if I put my marker on it for £100,000, then handed it back for the reward, in the same fashion as Charlie Hill recovered the Titian.

I declined, as I intend to stay within the law, however bad those laws are.

Mark Dalrymple told me not to bother as Law enforcement would not sanction any payment of reward monies without arrests and convictions, even then the likelyhood is law enforcement would not sanction a reward payment at all!

When a reward is offered there are the "Subject to" conditions, which concern condition of returned work of art and value, the primary condition is a so-called "COMFORT LETTER" from the police, stating that the person claiming the reward may be paid by the insurers/losers with the express consent of law enforcement. In order for anyone claiming a reward to get a "Comfort Letter" from police they first have to be registered as an "Informant", or "Human Source", as they are now called.

Rules on Registered Informants/Human Sources

Those who wish to destroy their lives and become informants are treated in the following manner.

First the potential Informant/Human Source meets two police officers from the "Source Unit" they only identify themselves by a psydenum such as Dick, or Bill, this prevents any fall back when the Informant gets "Hung out to Dry" The Informant never knows the real identity of his Handling officers.

Second, Police officers always make the following statement to potential Informants:

"You (the Informant) give us everything, we, (Police) give you nothing"

Third, and most importantly, when information is given to the Police by the Informant, they must tell the Police who gave them that information.

The police then duly go to that source and try and recruit that source, negating the previous informant, hence "Hung out to dry".

The Police Officers then bulldoze their way through informants getting information along the way leaving a trail of shattered lives for those who become sewer rats, Informants.

The current life expectencey for an informant is one year, the police will argue that the brief use of informants prevents corruption of its officers.

However, the amount of good quality intelligence recieved by law enforcement has been reduced by 90% in the last two years.

Losing £100,000 wouldn't hurt as much as being arrested for handing back the Da Vinci in good faith!
So, from the horses mouth, the reward for the Da Vinci, is ,uncollectable, Fact!!!!

The 2002 Proceeds of Crime act in Britain has put paid to any hand backs.

Even if someone followed instructions from Law Enforcement and set up those with the Da Vinci, then Law Enforcement arrested those handling the Da Vinci, the informant would not be paid very much and would be "Hung out to Dry" by Law Enforcement once Da Vinci is recovered.

Law Enforcement in Britain are the same as in the U.S., except for a few radical officers, who's hands are tied, the rest, by their own actions are, Dilatory, dishonest, duplicitous, and disingenuous.


Whether in America, Ireland, Europe, those of us trying to honourably facilitate the return of stolen high value art have all come to the conclusion that we will either get exposed to reprisals from criminals, Arrested, or both by Law Enforcement in the present climate.

Until there is a real change of heart, art lovers will be held Art Hostage by the criminals, but especially by Law Enforcement.

To criminals and Law Enforcement alike, if criminals are arrested for trying to hand back high value stolen art or Law Enforcement take casulties, possibly fatal, then they have no-one else to blame but themselves.

You have all been warned !!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Govt Approved Double Dealings Provide Hope Stolen Vermeer is ready to Surface !!

Corrupt American company's link to Sinn Fein $375,000 fundraiser, all part of the Deal, Stolen Vermeer, Please !!



JODY CORCORAN

AN Irish EX-PAT founder of a corrupt US building firm has emerged as the main organiser of a fundraising event in New York two weeks ago which raised $375,000 for Sinn Fein, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

The fundraising dinner, hosted by Friends of Sinn Fein, was the first such event attended by Gerry Adams since a ban on him raising money in the US was lifted.

The ban was imposed after the IRA murder of Robert McCartney last January and the £26m Northern Bank raid in December 2005, also carried out by the IRA.

The murderers of Mr McCartney remain at large and the Northern Bank raid, while under active investigation, is still unsolved.

Notwithstanding this, about 750 people, paying $500 a plate, attended the Sinn Fein fundraising event at the Sheraton Hotel on November 9, raising about $375,000 for the party.

In Ireland, where many of the major US technology companies are based, Sinn Fein wants to return Capital Gains Tax of 40 per cent from the present level of 12.5 per cent, a move which economic experts warn would do long-term damage to the economy. It also wants to return employer's PRSI to 12 per cent. At present it ranges from 8.5 per cent to 10.75 per cent.

One of the main organisers of the Sinn Fein fundraising event in Manhattan was Pat Donaghy, the founder of New York's third-largest construction firm, Structure Tone, which has revenues of close to €2bn.

"A lot of those attending were there at his invitation," a well-placed source told the Sunday Independent.

Mr Donaghy, originally from Co Tyrone, who emigrated to New York in the late Fifties, is a major financial backer of Sinn Fein. He sold tables for this month's event to many of the companies which do business with his firm. His niece, Pauline Quinn, an IRA member, served time in Maghaberry prison in the North.

Structure Tone formed a central part of a five-year corruption investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney.

The District Attorney found that consultants, brokers, architects and contractors conspired throughout the Nineties to rig bidding for work carried out at some of New York's best-known companies, such as the Sony Corporation, Credit Suisse First Boston, Morgan Stanley, Bertelsmann AG and Gleacher & Company.

In 1998, in a plea bargain, Structure Tone pleaded guilty to paying a bribe to obtain a $500m contract at the Sony Building at Madison Avenue and 56th Street, according to an article published in the New York Times in 1998.

According to investigators, Structure Tone paid about $2.3m in kickbacks while it worked at the Sony building in the early Nineties. It was one of five construction companies that admitted they participated in a scheme to rig bidding on $2bn worth of renovation work.

Structure Tone pleaded guilty to commercial bribery and agreed to pay $10m in lieu of fines and forfeiture of assets. Hours after pleading guilty, the company issued a statement saying it was a "victim" of the bid-rigging scheme and had merely paid "legitimate sales commissions", a claim that incensed the prosecutors.

Political parties here, particularly Fianna Fail, will seize on today's disclosure should Sinn Fein attempt to make further capital out the main government party's links to property developers in advance of the general election.

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams spoke at this month's dinner in the Sheraton Hotel. Last year he was forced to address it via a satellite link from Dublin.

It is thought Mitchell Reiss, the US special envoy to Northern Ireland, recommended the ban be lifted despite Sinn Fein's refusal to back the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The lifting of the ban came as Sinn Fein gave conditional support to the timetable for devolution laid out by the Irish and British governments in the St Andrews Agreement.

Last year President Bush delivered a humiliating rebuff to Gerry Adams by inviting the victims of IRA violence to the White House for St Patrick's Day.

The Sinn Fein leader had been hoping for a face-to-face meeting with Mr Bush. Instead, Mr Bush asked the family of Robert McCartney to an intimate gathering where they met the President, Peter Hain, the Northern Secretary, and the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. This year he invited the McCartneys and the family of Joseph Rafferty.


Art Hostage comments:
Mr Pat Donaghy will certainly be immune from any prosecution regarding the Gardner Art Heist and the subsequent handling of the art, as will others, who live in the United States, when the Vermeer surfaces.

As far back as 2004 Boston D.A. Mike Sullivan issued certain Immunity Agreements to Dick Ellis, Ex-Head of Scotland Yard's Art Squad.

Art Hostageconfirms Pat Donaghy has had nothing to do with the Gardner art Heist, or susequent handling of any artworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, however, if he can use his influence and considerable wealth, alongside Thomas Slab Murphy, to help broker the deal that see's the Stolen Vermeer surface via a confessional box, then this should be welcomed.

The pieces of the ***** plan are coming together, watch this space for the wonderful news that the Stolen Vermeer has been recovered.

Below is the current status of the Witchunt against General Thomas Slab Murphy.

I hope observers can accept that in the interests of permanent peace in Ireland, the Stolen Vermeer being recovered, along with the rest of the Gardner Art, General Thomas Slab Murphy should be afforded a "Pass" and allowed to retire gracefully.


The Sunday Times November 26, 2006

General Thomas "Slab" Murphy’s homes are seized in €15m tax probe

Liam Clarke

THOMAS “Slab” Murphy, chief-of-staff of the IRA, together with his family and businesses, faces a tax bill of €15m following a joint investigation by Irish and British investigators.

Last Tuesday the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) froze property worth £1.5m (€2.2m) in Manchester in a bid to stop the Murphy family and their associates selling them to meet part of the bill. ARA sources said that freezing the properties is the start of an operation against Murphy’s interests in Ireland and Britain.

In court in London, the agency alleged that the properties, which consist of 10 houses mainly in the Sale area of Cheshire, are the proceeds of money laundering, fuel smuggling and mortgage fraud. It had been intended to sequester 16 properties, but six had been sold.

The ARA and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) intend to move against further assets in the coming months. These are believed to be located in Dublin, Scotland, London and Kent, as well as Manchester.

The houses subject to the current freezing order were identified from detailed records found by the CAB during a raid on Murphy’s home in Ballybinaby, Co Louth, last March. The records, which were colour-coded and kept in ledgers, were hidden in Murphy’s barn.

Alan McQuillan, who heads the ARA in Northern Ireland, said the case had been referred from the London Metropolitan Police. It had told the ARA that Francis Murphy, Slab’s brother, and his wife Judy were directors of Sailor Property. It has since been renamed FTM Properties with an address in Britannia Road, Manchester.

Simultaneously, the gardai had been taking an interest in Brian Pepper, 32, an Irish-born businessman from Sale, who travelled frequently to Louth and is the company secretary of Sailor Property. He is said to have assisted with investment decisions.

Colin Farrelly, Judy Murphy’s brother, is also a director of FTM but is not accused of any criminality. Another property, owned by Julian Dowe, an alleged associate of Murphy’s, was also subject to a freezing order.

In October 2005 the ARA raided the offices of Dermot Craven, a well-known figure in the Manchester property scene, and seized thousands of papers that are still being studied by forensic accountants.

Several people have been interviewed over the past year. At the time Craven said that Francis and Judy Murphy were his clients, but denied any wrongdoing.

As a result of the raid, Slab issued a press statement through his solicitors in which he denied any links to the Craven property group. “I do not own any property and in fact had to sell my own home some years ago to cover legal fees following an unsuccessful libel case . . . I make a living from farming,” Murphy stated.

The libel case was against The Sunday Times over a report stating he was an IRA leader who had organised murders and bombings. He lost and still owes the newspaper £600,000 (€886,000) in legal fees.

This was the first time Murphy admitted to having an occupation or disposing of property. It was discussed at a cross-border security conference in Clontarf Castle shortly after it was issued and gave the impetus to a joint CAB, Garda Siochana and Police Service of Northern Ireland raid on the Murphy homestead in Ballybinaby in March.

This raid led to the subsequent freezing of assets in Manchester. A source close to the investigation said: “There are entries in the documentation seized in the Murphy family searches that appear to link in with the purchases of properties in Manchester.

“They use abbreviations, but the abbreviations appear to match up with addresses in Manchester that we believe they have purchased.”



£1m 'criminal' assets are frozen
Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 17:37 GMT BBC

More than £1m worth of property in Manchester belonging to a brother of an alleged IRA leader has been frozen.


Nine properties belong to Francis and Judy Murphy of County Louth. Francis Murphy is a brother of Thomas Murphy, alleged to be the IRA's chief of staff.

The Assets Recovery Agency claimed the properties were bought using the proceeds of money laundering and fuel smuggling.

It has been looking into the purchase of 250 properties worth more than £30m.

The agency has now been granted a High Court order to freeze 10 residential properties.

The other property, worth £450,000, belongs to a Manchester-based businessman.

Thomas Murphy's farm, which straddles the border, was also raided as part of the agency's investigation.

In its application to the High Court, the agency alleged that Mr and Mrs Murphy built their property portfolio on "wealth derived from money laundering and fuel smuggling in Ireland".

The nine properties subject to the order are mainly in the Trafford and Stretford areas of Manchester.

These include two houses owned by Judy Murphy, worth £70,056 and £188,071 each, plus a further seven properties registered to Francis and Judy Murphy's property firm, Sailor Property (UK) Ltd, Britannia Road, Manchester, which changed its name to FTM Properties (UK) Limited in August 2006.

These include four flats - one worth £119,200, two worth £109,200 and one worth £111,300.

Records seized

There are a further three houses worth £185,000, £128,000 and £109,100. The equity in these properties is about £381,000.

The freezing order means the properties cannot be sold while the investigation continues.

If the agency proves they were bought using the proceeds of crime, it will then sell the properties and keep the money.

The court action follows searches made throughout the Manchester area in October 2005 in which the agency seized more than 350,000 records.

Since then the agency has carried out a large scale forensic exercise, further searches and a number of interviews in the Manchester area.

CAB can't trace Slab's millions

MAEVE SHEEHAN

A CAB investigation into the finances of the former IRA chief of staff, Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, has failed to find the rest of his reputed millions, six months after seizing €1m in cash and cheques from his border farm. Despite exhaustive investigations into a warren of bank accounts in Ireland, Britain and the continent, not a penny more of the IRA chief's fabled riches have been traced.

Sources close to CAB said the IRA boss had no money in his bank accounts, apart from legitimate income which he earned from cattle farming.

An investigation into an alleged €10m property portfolio in Britain is also unlikely to trace assets back to Murphy, according to the source.

Murphy was suspected of being the beneficial owner of a string of properties in Manchester. But investigators with CAB's British equivalent, the Assets Recovery Agency, cannot link the properties, owned by a relative, directly to the IRA boss.

Gardai suspected Murphy made a fortune from smuggling cattle, oil and cigarettes across the border, which straddles his farm in Ballabinnaby, Co Louth. He was served with a €5.3m tax assessment after they raided his farm earlier this year and smashed an illegal oil-laundering operation. At the time, gardai said that initial assessment could go higher, as they anticipated unravelling his finances.

Tracing his assets has proved more difficult than the CAB thought. The asset-seizing agencies in Ireland and Britain were investigating the ownership of 250 houses - plus a dozen in Louth - which they said were linked to Murphy. In an unusual move, Murphy issued a statement denying he owned any property in Manchester, and said he even had to sell his own home to pay legal fees following a failed libel action.

Meanwhile, Back in the Republic of Ireland


Murphy's flaw!
'Slab' kept detailed ledgers for IRA's criminal empire - and they're now in hands of authorites following raid...
19 November 2006

The IRA's multi-million pound border crime empire has been laid bare - in handwritten ledgers seized from the home of top Provo Thomas 'Slab' Murphy.

Precise details of massive smuggling and counterfeit operations are contained in the records found during a joint PSNI-Garda raid on Murphy's farm in March.

They pinpoint how the IRA sold millions of pounds of illegal goods to members and criminals for distribution.

Officers from the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau can hardly believe their luck at finding the meticulously kept ledgers, which give the clearest insight ever into the Provos' racketeering empire.

The discovery is likely to cause embarrassment to Gerry Adams who earlier this year claimed Murphy was "not a criminal".

One source said of the ledgers: "It is an old-fashioned book-keeping method that may reflect the age or the generation of the person who maintained it. But it is immaculate and is very easy to follow.

"In simple terms, purchases or smuggled goods of one type are colour-coded and they turn up in the same colour code when they are sold on at a profit.

"Diesel has one colour code, petrol another and cigarettes another. These are immaculately maintained records which will enable the Criminal Assets Bureau to levy a tax bill of maybe £5m against Murphy."

The records clearly indicate the cost of goods brought into the IRA's 'stores' and the price received for the contraband goods when they were offloaded on both sides of the border.

They reveal how the goods came into the IRA's possession and were then sold on to its members and criminals for distribution.

The majority of the transactions show smuggled fuel being ferried from the Republic into the IRA's control around Murphy's farm at Ballybinaby, which straddles the Armagh/Louth border.

The records were seized earlier this year when 200 soldiers and cops accompanied customs officers to carry out a major search of the property belonging to Murphy, a former IRA chief-of-staff.

Officials from the Republic's Criminal Assets Bureau and personnel from the Customs and Excise Department were accompanied by gardai as they entered the property from the southern side of the border.

Two laptop computers concealed among bales of hay in a barn were located during the search, but sources say the handwritten ledgers provide the most detailed insight into the IRA's criminal operation.

Senior officials in the CAB in Dublin are understood to be delighted at the precise book-keeping details recorded in the ledgers.

Because they're handwritten and not formulated on a computer, handwriting experts may be able to pinpoint the identity of the person who maintained the records, and tie them into the IRA's crime operations.

That could lead to a membership charge or a more serious terrorist charge being brought by the Garda.

In a stout defence of Murphy after the raids, Mr Adams described him as "not a criminal" and went on to say he was "a key supporter of the Sinn Fein peace strategy".

Mr Adams also said that smuggling was wrong and that his party supported the pursuit of criminal assets.

But that praise for Murphy could backfire on Mr Adams when the CAB goes to the High Court in Dublin to demand millions from him in unpaid taxes, and lay bare the criminal, financial empire Murphy has controlled for the IRA for over two decades.



Art Hostage says: It is not only Gerry Adams in the frame, Johnathon Powell said at the 2001 Labour Party Conference, and I quote, "We (Brit govt) figured back in 97, allowing a few "Uneducated Micks, (South Armagh IRA Brigade) to smuggle contriband across the border will prevent the "Devil finding work for idle hands"

"The British Army, if confronted by an IRA Soldier, would prefer him to pull a carton of smuggled cigarettes out of his holdall, rather than an AK47"

Well Johnathon," Curly Bonce", Powell, you have underestimated the ability of the Irish and now there is a Billion, yes billion dollar empire created by the skill and tenacity of the South Armagh brigade.

Instead of this witchunt, General Thomas Slab Murphy should be allowed to retire gracefully.

This is so vindictive and counter productive it makes me wonder if the Brit and Irish govt's really want closure on the Irish conflict.

Thomas Slab Murphy's continued support for the peace process is vital, especially as there is real dissent coming from mainstream Irish Republican quarters.

Pulling the tail of the Celtic Tiger, (Tom Slab Murphy) will only provoke a negative response from those loyal and will add nothing to the peace process.

Instead why not "Ride the Celtic Tiger" allowing the peace process to finally put an end to any, I repeat any Irish Republican armed action.

Thomas Slab Murphy should be given another role, that of peacemaker between the dissident Irish Republican groups and mainstream Irish Republicanism, his talents should not be underestimated.

Furthermore, when the Stolen Vermeer from Boston surfaces via a confessional box, I will be the first to give credit where it is due.



The Sunday Times November 19, 2006

Gallagher: Adams death threat is bogus
Liam Clarke
A LEADING republican dissident has dismissed claims that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are under a death threat as “bogus”. The two Sinn Fein leaders had claimed that the threat against them came from disaffected IRA members and elements of the INLA.

Willie Gallagher, a former INLA prisoner who has been in talks with other republican groups, described their claims as “rubbish”. He said: “I believe that someone in Sinn Fein has concocted this to divert people away from the party’s internal problems with the PSNI. It is designed to get the troops to rally round the leadership during this ‘great time of danger’ and stifle political criticism.”

Adams and McGuinness aired their fears of a death threat at a Sinn Fein press conference in Belfast last Monday. Adams said that the two leaders and Gerry Kelly had stepped up their personal security as a result.

It is understood Adams had raised the same issue in recent weeks in meetings with Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland secretary, with the Irish government and with Sir Hugh Orde, the PSNI chief constable.

Adams claimed the threat emanated from “a handful of disaffected IRA people” who may have linked up with “members of republican micro groups and some members of the INLA”. He continued: “I would say to republicans out there who have concerns about the present political situation that they should not allow themselves to be manipulated or to have their concerns exploited by those who have very, very narrow cul-de-sac agendas.”

Later McGuinness said the threats had “become more serious, as a debate within Sinn Fein has opened up on the issue of ending political policing”.

The PSNI has not warned the Sinn Fein leadership of any threat and Michael McDowell, the Irish justice minister, said he is not aware of one either.

Gallagher believes that Adams and McGuinness are referring to a programme of meetings which had involved Real IRA supporters, members of Sinn Fein and members of the IRSP, the political wing of the INLA. He said that a larger and more public meeting was planned to be held before Christmas.

The former INLA prisoner accused the Sinn Fein leaders of trying to “negate and stifle any type of debate by vilifying us as collaborators and assassins so that nobody will have anything to do with us”.

Gallagher added: “I have attended every meeting and there has been no discussion of any kind of military actions or campaign. What we have discussed is the political capitulation of Sinn Fein.

“There is not a chance in the world of the INLA ceasefire being broken. I do not see any role for armed struggle at the present time and we are absolutely opposed to anyone from Sinn Fein being killed.”

Art Hostage comments:

I must say Mr Gallagher does have a point. Ever since the early ceasefires back in the Ninties the INLA has been treated terribly, its members, who were eligible for parole, were denied this, as other paramilitaries were released, they have been outcast simply because of their Marxist, Socialist doctrine.

Instead of marginalising the INLA they should be utilised to help broker a complete Irish Republican ceasefire, this incessant pulling the tails of Celtic Tigers is becoming juvinille and prevents a genuine attempt at finally ending all military action by all Irish Republican groups.

So, we have two out of three sincere bedrock Irish Republicans, Thomas Slab Murphy and Wille Gallagher, they can be joined by Phil Flynn, to close the deal.

There is nothing worse than wasted talent, especially when that talent can achieve monumental political change.

I am sure Bertie Ahearn, Phil Flynn and the CEO of Slab's secret company Harcourt will lobby on behalf of Thomas Slab Murphy, to allow him to retire gracefully, I mean, they have been secret admirers and subserviant minions who have feasted at the Thomas Slab Murphy table of Irish Republicanism historically, so, now that the music is about to stop, make sure Slab has a Chair.

Anything less will be an attempt to "Airbrush" history and be a case of persecution that will be another stain on the history of the Republic of Ireland.

Wille Gallagher should also be afforded the chance to prove his credentials, just as Bobby Storey has assimilated into his new role.

If Wille Gallagher has the ability to play a political role, then allow him the oportunity.

This blatent persecution and sectarian prosecution of Thomas Slab Murphy and family, comes at the same time as the Brit govt are about to make payment of $60 million to the UDA, Loyalist paramiltaries, for them to stop criminality and paramiltary involvement.

I want America to know of this Double Standard and continued persecution and sectarian prosecution of Irish Republicans.

Without the likes of General Thomas Slab Murphy, there would be no peace process.

Upon another note, which Catholic Church Confessional box contains the stolen Vermeer?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Stolen Vermeer

Stolen Vermeer On The Brink of Recovery !

Stolen Vermeer On the Brink of being Recovered

FBI refuses to comment on art investigation,.


The FBI has refused to comment on claims that a team of agents is coming to Galway in a bid to locate priceless works of art stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990.

Among the pieces stolen during the famous raid were a work by Vermeer and three works by Rembrandt. In total over ?300 million worth of art was taken.

On Sunday, a national newspaper reported that a team of FBI agents are to come to Ireland as the investigation into the stolen paintings continues.

The 'News Of The World' story alleged that the FBI believes that the provisional IRA have at least one of the paintings stashed somewhere in Galway.

However, when contacted yesterday by the Galway Independent, a spokesperson in the FBI's field office in Boston refused to get into a discussion on any specifics as the investigation is on-going.

The investigation, which has been ongoing for over 16 years now, has seen the FBI focus on the IRA, the infamous Boston mob boss James 'Whitey' Bulger (the gangster that inspires this year's hit movie, The Departed), as well as a well-known art thief.

Even today, a ?5 million dollar reward is offered for the safe recovery of all the stolen items in good condition.

The daring heist took place on March 18 1990 when two men, dressed as police officers managed to gain entrance into the world famous Gardner Museum in Boston.

While in the museum, the thieves seized art worth over ?300 million before making their getaway.

Art Hostage says: Guys, work this thing honourably, don't set eachother up.

The Gardner case is a "One Off" the return of the Vermeer with the help of Irish Republicans will be viewed in America as a personal "Thankyou" for the support given to Irish Republicanism over the last Thirty years.


The game of "Cat and Mouse" between Law Enforcement and the criminal underworld can resume, after the Vermeer has been recovered, until then, lets all go for a senario that see's the Vermeer surface via a confessional box.

I am holding back vital information until it is safe to post, I do not want to appear too ahead of the game and upset the trust and balance, but I will say, FBI Agent Robert Wittman is as "Straight as a gun barrel" and can, I repeat can be, trusted to recover the Vermeer in an honourable manner, without duping anyone.

I am waiting for news the Vermeer has been recovered, its on the way !

You may head to Galway, but you cannot have it all-ways, what is desperately needed is good old fashioned "American Pragmatism."









Explosives accused granted bail !!


A son of former INLA leader Dominic McGlinchey has been released on bail by the High Court.

Declan McGlinchey, 30, of Gulladuff Road in Bellaghy, is charged with constructing and possessing a bomb discovered at a garage yard in July.

The prosecution is relying on DNA material.

After hearing submissions from prosecution and defence, a judge said the evidence was "not the strongest case," and released him on bail.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Stolen Vermeer

Stolen Vermeer Nazi Style Rhetoric from German Govt

Nazi Sympathy Rears its Ugly Head Officially Within German Govt


The Audacity of the

Germans,

How Dare They !!!!


German crisis meeting called on Nazi art sale
s


By Tony paterson in Berlin and additional reporting by David Cox in New York

The German government has called a crisis meeting about how it deals with art sold by or confiscated from Jews under the Nazis after controversy over paintings restored to their original families only to be auctioned for vast sums abroad.

Angela Merkel, the chancellor, has summoned culture ministers and museum directors from Germany's 16 federal states next week to discuss an overhaul of the "restitution" law, which critics say is stripping the country's museums of important works. The "Sonderweg" still alive and kicking in the German ethos.

If stripping German Museums is a worry for the German people, then they should pay current market value for any, I repeat any, works of art that are deemed to be "Unlawful"

The fact that it has taken over Sixty years to give back what was so shamefully stolen, seized, and duped from victims, yes, remember, the Nazi victims, yeah that's right, those Six, I repeat Six million innocent human beings slaughtered.

The sheer audacity of the German govt makes my blood boil, steam coming out of my ears and sheer outrage that these supposed Honourable German Officials would stoop so low to attempt to keep any works of art cheaper than the going market rate.

If Germany wants these works of art for its people to view then they should pay whatever it takes to buy them legitimately, at auction.

Because that is what they are up too, the Germans want to set up some form of scheme that pays money to victims of "Nasty Nazi looting" that way they keep the art and can bargin down the price. The prices achieved recently show that records will be broken and unpresidented amounts paid.

Under the law, paintings and sculptures that were parted with under duress must be returned to their owners or their heirs. But a heated debate over the way the law is operating was fuelled last week by two dramatic developments on the international art market: the sale of an important Expressionist work for a record price in New York, and an attempt through the courts to block the auction of a Picasso, owned by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation.

The painting, Berlin Street Scene by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, was auctioned by Christie's for $38 million (£21 million), just months after it was removed from a Berlin museum and returned to a granddaughter of its original Jewish owners – Anita Halpin, chairman of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Through the auction house she sold it to Ron Lauder, heir to the Estée Lauder cosmetics empire, who intends to display the painting at his Neue Gallerie in New York.

Mr Lauder bought these paintings lawfully, honestly, and without any undue duress or evil intentions, he is going to display them publicly, if the German museum wanted to buy these paintings for the German nation then the German govt should have, "looked big , and paid up".

With all the billions in the Germanic coffers, say $1 billion for buying back unlawful art, in full public view, would have sent a clear message that Germany has mostly resolved its subhuman recent past, and the good publicity generated by publicaly paying market value for looted art would also be worth millions to the German economy,paradoxically , by Jewish people visiting Germany and spending tourist dollars


The rapid sale of the painting has provoked art lovers and museum directors to complain that Germany's artistic heritage is being spirited away from public view and sold off for millions to private collectors. Well, welcome to the Human world, "spirited away" is trying to turn the argument around so it looks like the real Jewish Victims become villans.
This blatent anti-semitism is so predictable, and so transparent, it saddens me that there is not even an attempt to hide it.


Critics claim that collectors have encouraged the former Jewish owners to seek the return of the paintings from Germany, then sought to acquire the work for themselves at auction. There are fears that a similar fate awaits at least 50 other key works by Kirchner and the German Expressionists August Macke, Lyonel Feininger and Franz Marc, whose paintings hang in the nation's museums and art galleries. "The sale of the Kirchner was just the beginning," said Michael Sontheimer, a German arts commentator. Bloods boiling, Remember Krystal Night? Remember all the German ills being blamed on the "Jews"

This paragraph sickens me, the line,"The sale of the Kirchner was just the beginning," Sound familiar? Nazi propaganda?

Here's a kicker, "Critics claim that collectors have encouraged the former Jewish owners to seek the return of the paintings from Germany, then sought to acquire the work for themselves at auction." Another stab at the "Zionist" conspiracy theory.

Enough already !! where do these German folks get off on their "Superiority complex" the sheer arrogance of Germanic Nationalism.



But last night Mr Lauder hit back at the critics, insisting he had purchased only two such works of art - the Kirchner and Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer – and that both would be on public display. He said he had nothing to do with the restitution of the Kirchner.

"In both cases, the art will be seen by millions of people in New York. The Klimt is on public show, the other will be on view in the future," he told The Sunday Telegraph. "It is not being 'spirited away', as they say. There is billions of dollars of art that was stolen, and only a small fraction has come back."

As America's then ambassador to Austria, he was an advocate of restitution laws adopted during the late 1990s, and said the former owners and their heirs had every right to reclaim art that had been stolen from them.

"Remember how it got there in the first place," he said. "The owners were either killed or sent to Auschwitz. German museums were only too ready to buy this stuff. These were people who died because they were Jewish. Art Hostage firmly believes that their memory must not be sold, "on the cheap"

"These works have been restituted; they are going back to people all around the world who lived most of their lives penniless because a great asset was taken away. To only get it back at the end of their lives – it's criminal. It is not great quantities, it is a few pieces."

Bernd Neumann, Germany's culture minister and the man who will chair the meeting next week, has expressed alarm at the impact of the restitution claims on national collections. Perhaps German ministers should take in a diet of bread and water, stop all junkets, then use that money towards a "Restitution fund" in order to do the decent, honourable thing, buy back the artworks at full market value.

Meanwhile, Martin Roth, the director of Dresden's art museum, said last week that were it not for the system of restitution, collectors "would never have dreamt of acquiring such works" which had previously been regarded as beyond their reach, in museums. Talk about
"Sour grapes" this is so juvenile, I bet he is green with envy, quite right too !


"Paintings formerly owned by Jews which found their way into German museums because of injustice have to be handed back – period," he said. "But if these heirs are being exploited by the market, I have the right to criticise. It is my duty to protect the state's art collections. What hangs in our museums belongs to every citizen." Stop right there !! You bastard, you arrogant Germanic sub-human filth, these paintings do not belong to every German citizen, you elitist fuckpig, these paintings were taken, sometimes with the threat of death, sometimes as a result of death, from innocent victims of Nazi German demons, and you have the sheer audacity to comment that you have a fucking duty, the duty you have is the human race.

Your duty to protect the states art collections over the memory of the millions of innocent human beings murdered by sub-human Germans, demonstrates the Nazi doctine is still there, if the scab/veneer is lifted.


Some art historians maintain that the Kirchner, which the Berlin city authorities returned in July to Mrs Halpin, should not have been considered for restitution because the painting had been sold during the 1930s, at what was then a fair price, to a friend of the owner, Alfred Hess.

Last week, the German historian Julius Schoeps issued a last-minute claim to the Picasso painting, Portrait de Angel Fernandez de Soto which was due for auction in New York.

Prof Schoeps claims that the Picasso once belonged to his ancestor, Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, who sold many paintings at knockdown prices during the 1930s. His intervention forced Christie's to withdraw the work. However, a judge dismissed his claims.

Erika Jakubovits, executive director of the Presidency of the Jewish Community of Vienna, was critical of Prof Schoeps.

"Holding back a claim and bringing legal action at the last minute is a reckless action and causes harm to the restitution community in general," she said. "Such complex matters are better addressed through orderly, timely and open discussion."
Typical, "The Jewish Olive branch" held out again in friendship, even under the most vicious, nasty, elitist, German attack.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Stolen Vermeer: Veterans Day Reflections The Torch of History, Passed from the Honourable Otto Wittmann to Heir Apparent Robert Wittman

Stolen Vermeer: Wittmann to Wittman, the Torch of History, Passed !!

Veterans Day Reflections The Torch of History, Passed from the Honourable Otto Wittmann to Heir Apparent Robert Wittman

SATURDAY ESSAY
The 'Monuments Men' changed history

Late Toledo museum director had part in saving art treasures

By ROBERT M. EDSEL

PRESIDENT John F. Kennedy once said, "A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers."

On this Veterans' Day, Nov. 11, we have the opportunity - the duty - to recognize an extraordinary group of men and women who, during and following World War II, often at great peril and risk, served with frontline military units to locate, safeguard, and repatriate millions of priceless works of art and irreplaceable cultural archives, including masterpieces by Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Vermeer, that had been stolen by Hitler and the Nazis.

One such individual was a man still revered in Toledo, the late director of the Toledo Museum of Art, Otto Wittmann. In fact, one of the museum's greatest treasures, Rubens' "The Crowning of St. Catherine," was reclaimed from the Nazis and repatriated before becoming part of Toledo's collection.

Known as "Monuments Men" by their fellow GIs, this small unit of men and women comprised the War Department's Monuments, Fine Art, and Archives (MFAA) section. Among their ranks were volunteer museum directors and curators, and artists, as well as art academics, historians, and scholars from more than 15 nations.

It was the first time in history an army fought a war while concurrently attempting to minimize damage to art and cultural treasures.

Inadequately equipped, staffed, and supported, the Monuments Men were largely left to their own creativity and ingenuity. There was no rule book for what they would confront.

They created special aerial maps for bombing pilots to identify key cultural monuments to avoid, effected temporary repairs to churches and other monuments, and in what became the greatest treasure hunt in history, located millions of stolen artworks, whole libraries, and other irreplaceable archival and religious items.

They were often in harm's way. In fact, two Monuments Men - Capt. Walter Huchthausen of the United States and Maj. Ronald E. Balfour of Great Britain - both lost their lives while protecting works of art during battle.

In the decades before and after the war, many of the Monuments Men played critical roles in building some of the greatest cultural institutions in this country and elsewhere.

Few of these individual accomplishments have been acknowledged, and even fewer in the context of what the men and women of the MFAA did as a group to vault the United States onto the cultural world stage.

In Toledo, Mr. Wittmann became the associate director of the Toledo Museum of Art in 1946 and its director in 1959. He helped build the museum into a world-class institution, tripling the size of the collection, and in the process, became internationally recognized for community and educational programs.

Mr. Wittmann also went on to serve as a board member of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, a founding member of the National Council on the Arts, as well as an advisor to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Other Monuments Men and women have served in similar roles at our country's most acclaimed institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and New York City Ballet, all in New York City, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Only a few of the Monuments Men received individual commendations for their unprecedented and heroic work. Major Wittmann received several commendations from foreign governments, including the Legion of Honor of France, Order of the Orange-Nassau of the Netherlands, and Commander, Order of Merit of Italy.

Sadly, he, like so many others who served the MFAA, was never recognized nor commended by the United States for his service to mankind. As a group, the Monuments Men and women were lost in the fog of history.

There are only a scant few of the 400 or so Monuments Men still living. It would be unconscionable for the commendation and recognition they so justly deserve to be given posthumously. The United States and the world have much to celebrate in the unprecedented contributions of these heroic men and women, for we are the beneficiaries of their contributions to humanity every time we visit a museum anywhere in the world.

The time has come for all to know about their heroic role in saving many of the greatest, most beloved works of art in the world.

Their actions proved art is worth a life, and that the preservation of culture and our civilization matter greatly.

Robert M. Edsel is a businessman in Dallas, Texas, and author of a book called "Rescuing Da Vinci," describing Hitler's obsession with art and the Monument Men's determination to recover art stolen from the Nazis and return it to its rightful owners.

So, over to you FBI Agent Robert Wittman, you are the natural heir and successor to Otto Wittmann, your mission is to educate the masses to appreciate art and prevent masterpieces being stolen from the public eye.

A fitting tribute to Otto Wittman by FBI Agent Robert Wittman will be the recovery of the stolen Vermeer "The Concert" this being the modern day "Holy Grail"

So, dust yourself down Bob, take a deep breath, and go recover the Vermeer, you have all the ingredients, "Now bake the cake"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stolen Vermeer

Stolen Vermeer: "Bush Administration in Meltdown, First Uncle Donald Rumsfeld Resigns, Next FBI Director Robert Mueller Will 'Retire'"

Bush Administration in Meltdown, First "Uncle" Donald Rumsfeld Resigns, Next FBI Director Robert Mueller Will "Retire"

World Breaking news !!!
"This not the End...."

The reverberations of the Democrats ascension to power is gathering pace, like a tsunami, news is breaking as I write.

"Uncle" Donald Rumsfeld has just resigned to President Bush !

His replacement is Bob Gates, a man who joined the CIA in 1966 as an analyst and became CIA Director in 1991.

Gates, a close family friend of the Bush dynasty is less forceful than Uncle Rummy which could be good news for the Generals who have been on the back foot since Uncle Donald has been at the Pentagon. Gates is currently preparing the Iraq study report with another Bush dynasty Sycophant Jim Baker and the changes in foreign policy contained seem sure to be implemented.

Upon reflection, I am afraid this looks like a case of
"Kissing your sister", not recommended too often.
Yet another Sycophant alongside Condy Rice.

Karl Rove is working on the theory that Republicans can snatch Presidential victory 2008 from Mid-term Congressional defeat 2006.

The secret plan includes Vice-President Dick Cheney standing down, on health grounds, and a new Vice-President being appointed, possibly Jed Bush, this may give Republicans an advantage going into the 2008 Presidential elections, then if the Bush adminstration becomes even more unpopular, it can be put down to a "Family affair" allowing Republicans to grab Presidential victory from the jaws of Mid-Term Congressional defeat.

The West Wing resembles a "Rudderless ship" drifting in the wind.



Watch this space for the news FBI Director Robert Mueller announcing his retirement.

Possible replacement is Kenneth Kaiser, who has just been promoted to Assistant Director of the Inspection Division where he will evaluate and audit FBI field offices and lead internal investigations from the Washington FBI Office.

In a John Roberts type manoeuvre, Ken Kaiser could find himself FBI Director before he settles into the Inspection Division job.

Then, with the shackles off the decent majority of FBI Agents, Whitey Bulger will be rounded up, the Stolen Vermeer will be heading back home to Boston, the rest of the Gardner art will surface, some in Boston, France and South America, and finally the FBI will be rid of those who have bought the office into disrepute in the recent past.

FBI Art Crime Team Boss, Robert "Billboard Bob" Wittman is awaiting the call to go collect the Vermeer.

FBI Special Agent Robert "Billboard Bob" Wittman can be contacted via:

FBI Philadelphia
8th. Floor
William J. Green Jr. FOB
600 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
philadelphia.fbi.gov
(215) 418-4000

Personal Reflections on the American Mid-Term Election results, via John Quincy Adams:

The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?
John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 20, 1815


Cabalistic Christianity, which is Catholic Christianity, and which has prevailed for 1,500 years, has received a mortal wound, of which the monster must finally die. Yet so strong is his constitution, that he may endure for centuries before he expires.
John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, July 16, 1814, from James A Haught, ed., 2000 Years of Disbelief

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

John Adams, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-88

We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions ... shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power ... we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.
John Adams, letter to Dr. Price, April 8, 1785, quoted from Albert Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom (1991)

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?
John Adams, letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

These quotes reflect soulsearching by Americans in the wake of Puritanical policies imposed since 2000.


Final Quotes to Winston Churchill

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Speech given at the Lord Mayor's Luncheon, Mansion House, London, November 10, 1942.



I am reminded of the professor who, in his declining hours, was asked by his devoted pupils for his final counsel. He replied, "Verify your quotations."


Sir Winston Churchill, quoted in Rudolf Flesch, ed., "The New Book of Unusual Quotations" (NY: Harper & Row, 1966), p. 311


More later...............

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Stolen Vermeer

Stolen Vermeer: "Golden Opportunity to recover the Stolen Vermeer, Via Sinn Fein, Via, Thomas Slab Murphy, Don't Drop the Ball this Time, Stolen Vermeer"

Sinn Fein Allowed to Fundraise in America Again

The Art World Holds Its Breath for the Stolen Vermeer to surface, as Washington allows Adams to fundraise for Sinn Féin in America.

Sinn Féin
leader Gerry Adams has been given permission by the US administration to fundraise for the party in New York this week. This follows Washington's decision not to repeat last year's ban, writes Mark Hennessy, Political Correspondent.


Mr Adams will leave for New York on Wednesday for a $500-a-head dinner in Manhattan hosted by the Friends of Sinn Féin, which is the party's biggest fundraiser in the US.

Last year Mr Adams was forced to address the audience by a live satellite link from Dublin following Washington's irritation at Sinn Féin's refusal to make positive soundings about the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The disclosure came as a Sinn Féin ardchomhairle meeting in a Dublin airport hotel offered a qualified "yes" to the timetable outlined in the St Andrews proposals last month by the Irish and British governments.

The decision can be seen as gentle pressure from the Bush administration on Mr Adams to ensure that Sinn Féin signs up for the re-establishment of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly in March.

The decision was taken by the US State Department on foot of a recommendation from President Bush's Northern Ireland envoy, Mitchell Reiss, although the Bush administration said nothing officially on the matter yesterday.

However, Sinn Féin's refusal to hold an ardfheis on policing until a date is given for the transfer of powers over policing and justice from London to Stormont remains resolute.

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness is to meet in Dublin this morning with Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of the Taoiseach officials in a bid to break the logjam.

On Saturday Taoiseach Bertie Ahern attempted to play down the scale of the problem caused by the issue. However, one senior Sinn Féin figure told The Irish Times: "He knows how serious this issue is. He has been told."

Last month the two governments set next Friday, November 10th, as the date by which all of the parties, but particularly Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), had to offer their initial reactions to the St Andrews package.

Although he insisted that an agreement with the DUP on the devolution of justice and policing was the central issue for Sinn Féin, Mr Adams offered some room for manoeuvre: "This issue does not have to be resolved before November 10th."

Last night a British government official said they were now equally confident that the DUP would offer an equally conditional "yes" to the timetable offered by the governments.

Although official circles in Dublin and London are remaining confident that progress can be achieved, it is far from clear how both parties can find room to move.

Sinn Féin has refused a DUP demand that Mr McGuinness should be required to take a pledge of office, including a commitment to support the police, as Deputy First Minister on November 24th.
Still no news on Malachy McAllister, hope this is a good Omen and the Vermeer surfaces in the near future, if not Already!!!!

I sincerely hope the FBI, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum don't act like the Palestinians, who:
"Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity"



© The Irish Times