Sunday, April 24, 2022



Today is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

As the world grieves the loss of thousands of Ukrainians due to Vladimir Putin’s brutal campaign of war crimes, atrocities and genocide, here is some historical perspective.

My father’s parents were from Wysokie, a town in eastern Poland, a country in Central Europe in between two neighbors, Russia and Germany.  Throughout history, Russia and Germany (Prussia) ravaged, divided and occupied Poland’s territory.

In 1913 my grandparents decided to leave Wysokie for a new life in America.  Perhaps they’d had enough of Poland’s aggressive neighbors.

Henry and Sarah disembarked from the S.S. Kroonland, an ocean liner that cruised between New York and Antwerp, onto Ellis Island in July 1913.  

This is where immigrants entered the United States, near a great statue, which welcomed them with these words:


Give me your tired, your poor,

 Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 

 Send them, the homeless, to me.


Henry and Sarah settled in New York City, started a family and Henry founded a travel agency on Broome Street in lower Manhattan’s east side.


As Henry read the news, he had a premonition that bad things would happen to friends and family left behind in Wysokie.  Most of the people Henry left behind were Jewish.  (Henry and Sarah were Jewish, by heritage, but did not practice any religious faith.)

As Henry watched the rise of Nazism in Germany, he wrote letters to friends and relatives in Wysokie begging them to leave Poland and start a new life in America, whose Constitution assures freedom of religion.

Nazism is an ideology based largely on racism, anti-Semitism and hatred.

Henry offered friends and relatives free transportation, through his travel agency, to leave Poland. But Wysokie’s Jews were enterprising and had built a decent existence for themselves, so they mostly remained.

In 1937 Wysokie fell victim to a pogrom.

A pogrom is an organized attack on persons of a particular ethnic group. The particular ethnic group targeted was Jews.  Many houses belonging to Jews were looted and trashed and destroyed, and many Jews were injured.

On September 1st, 1939, Germany invaded Poland and started World War II. Nine days later, German soldiers arrived in Wysokie and set much of the town on fire, just because they could.

The Germans rounded-up Wysokie’s Jewish men from age 17 upwards and herded them to a Catholic Church and refused them food and drink for three days.  On the fourth day, the Germans marched their herd of Jews to Zambrow, a city 20 miles east, to work as slaves.  They shot dead all Jews who walked too slowly and could not keep up with them.

Perhaps overcome by his prophetic premonition, my grandfather Henry suffered a heart attack and died, at age 58, three weeks after World War II started.  Henry had three sons of military age—and he most surely believed they would be drafted and sent to war, perhaps his worst nightmare. (They were sent to war—and all three returned, limbs intact.)

A few days after Henry died, Germany negotiated a deal with Russia to divide Poland (again).

Under Russian rule, Wysokie’s Jews were allowed to return to their town. They rebuilt Wysokie, though their community had dwindled—through organized murder—from 2,500 to 1,100 Jews.

When Germany and Russia went to war two years later, German soldiers seized Wysokie again, on June 23rd, 1941. This time the Germans did not kid around.  They did not march Wysokie’s Jews to Zambrow and shoot some of them dead for walking too slow.  Instead, in late August, the Germans created a ghetto in Wysokie.

A ghetto is a segregated neighborhood whose inhabitants are squeezed together in cramped conditions. Wysokie’s ghetto comprised of three streets surrounded by a barrier of barbed wire.

German soldiers marched Jews from other towns into Wysokie’s ghetto.  Soon, 20,000 Jews were squeezed so tight they could hardly breathe.

When winter arrived, German soldiers marched Jews into the forest to chop down trees for firewood.  In return, Jews were allowed to keep tree roots to boil as soup so that they had something to eat.

A year passed.

On November 1st, 1942, 300 empty wagons, borrowed by Polish police from local farmers, arrived in Wysokie. Next day, all Jews were summoned to the main square and ordered to climb aboard the wagons.

A crowd of Polish people stood by, armed with garden tools.  They did not stand by to defend Jews. They stood by to steal all the possessions Jews were forced to leave behind.

Three hundred wagons of weeping Jews rolled to Zambrow.

In Zambrow, Wysokie’s Jews joined 17,500 Jews from other nearby towns in conditions more cramped than Wysokie’s ghetto. The Germans provided each Jew one quart of water and one slice of bread, daily.  About 100 persons—mostly children and the elderly—died, daily.

The arrival of a new year did not bring celebration.  Two weeks into 1943, the Germans murdered any Jew who suffered ill health.  Jews who could still stand were marched to Chizev train station.  Along the way, people who hated Jews beat them, gauntlet-style.

It was winter, and very cold.  Many Jews froze to death before reaching the trains.

Those were the lucky ones.

However bad my grandfather’s premonition, Henry could not have foreseen the horror of the Holocaust.

On January 17th, Wysokie’s Jews were forced to board trains that rolled them to Auschwitz, a German concentration and extermination camp in southern Poland. Upon arrival at Auschwitz, women and children and the elderly were separated from their husbands, fathers and sons and led to a building where they were ordered to undress.  Naked, they were guided into a special chamber, and the door screwed shut behind them.

They were not told what would happen next.

Inside the special chamber they were introduced to Zyklon B.

Zyklon B is a poison made with cyanide.  It was created to kill insects.

Zyklon B pellets were dropped into the special chamber, creating a poison gas.

The Jews inside shouted and screamed for 20 minutes as their mouths foamed and their ears oozed blood.

Then all were dead.

Young Jewish men were spared because the German army needed slave labor.

Auschwitz had a motto:  Arbeit macht frei (“Work brings hope”). This motto was a hoax.

There was much work, but little hope. After working as hard as they could, many young Jewish men were also sent to the special chamber—to an agonizing death by Zyklon B poison gas.

A dictator named Adolf Hitler had ordered this genocide against Jews.

“Who, after all,” Adolf said in 1939, “speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”



The “Armenian Question”


A quarter-century before the start of World War II, my maternal grandmother, Adrine Kalfayan, was a young teenager in Trebizond, a city in northeastern Turkey on the Black Sea.  

In 1915 Turkey was part of the Ottoman Empire.

My grandmother was Armenian.

Through the 1800s and early 1900s, Armenians were treated as second-class citizens in their own historical homeland. This was because Armenians were Christian, and Moslem Turks outnumbered Armenians, ten-to-one.

The Armenian nation was first to recognize Christianity as a religion, in the year 301.

Armenia’s homeland, Anatolia, had been absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, which was then a world power.

The Ottoman Empire’s rulers did not like progress. But without progress, the Ottoman Empire’s army could not compete with armies in Europe, where progress was welcomed, especially to modernize armies. And so, the Ottoman Empire fell apart in the late 1800s as Greek, Serb and Romanian armies fought against Turks to win independence from their oppressive empire.

Armenians did not seek independence from Turks.  They sought equality.  For instance, Armenians were not allowed to vote in the Ottoman Empire.  And, as Christians, they were forced to pay more tax than Moslems.

In 1895, instead of allowing Armenians to vote in elections and making tax equal for all people, the Ottoman Empire’s leader, Sultan Abdul-Hamid II, created a special army to murder 100,000 Armenians.

For sure, this special army reduced the Armenian minority if Armenians would ever win the right to vote.  (But perhaps Sultan Abdul-Hamid II forgot it would also result in fewer premium taxpayers.)

For reasons that had nothing to do with Armenians, a group of Turks forced a constitutional government on the Sultan in 1908.  This group was known as Young Turks.

A constitutional government meant that Young Turks would share power with the Sultan.

Young Turks believed in modernizing their country.  They claimed to believe in equality and justice.

Although Armenians supported Young Turks and their progressive thinking, what Young Turks really meant was equality and justice for all Moslems, not Christian Armenians.

In 1913, Young Turks overthrew Sultan Abdul-Hamid II as ruler. 

Three Young Turks—Mehmet Talaat, Ismail Enver, and Ahmed Djemal—became the empire’s new rulers.  Quickly, Mehmet, Ismail and Ahmed became bossier than the Sultan they had overthrown for being too bossy.

This trio wanted to create a new Turkish empire with one religion.  Their religion.  And they wanted to take over countries to the east. In between Turkey and countries to the east lay Armenia’s homeland—and two million Christian Armenians.

This did not matter to Young Turks. And it did not bode well for Armenians.

The Young Turk trio whipped up religious hatred against Christians.  Perhaps they were jealous that Armenians had always been progressive and open to new ideas.  And that Armenians were smart and enterprising, educated and skilled, and therefore wealthy compared to most Turks.  This was because the Sultan had discouraged learning.  Instead, the Sultan encouraged his subjects to be ignorant, unskilled peasants so that they would be stupid and loyal to him.

In 1914, the start of World War I created a cover for Young Turks to answer their “Armenian Question.”

This was not a real question.  It was a figure of speech for wanting Armenians to vanish.

The Turks sided with Germany and Austria-Hungary during World War I.

While Germany and Austria-Hungary fought France and Great Britain on European battlefields, Young Turks laid the groundwork for Armenians to vanish.

At that time, 40,000 Armenians served in the Turkish army.  These Armenian soldiers were relieved of their weapons, put to work as slave labor, and eventually shot dead.

Meanwhile, Young Turks ordered all other Armenians to surrender their weapons.

It is never a good sign when a government orders its citizens to surrender their weapons.  This is why the founders of the United States of America granted Americans the right to bear arms.  They did this so Americans would be able to defend themselves against a bossy government—and also rise up and overthrow government if its leaders ever became too bossy.

But back to Armenians, who never should have surrendered their weapons, but did.

Armenians began to vanish 107 years ago today. On that date April 24th, 1915, about 300 prominent Armenians were rounded up by Turks and imprisoned, tortured, and shot or hanged.

Young Turks needed help to ensure that all Armenians in Turkey would vanish.  So, they encouraged other ethnic tribes, such as the Kurds, to kill Armenians and steal their possessions.

Young Turks also created a special organization to help Armenians vanish. This organization was named “Special Organization.”  It comprised of criminals who were released from prison in exchange for their willingness to kill Armenians.  These criminals were also encouraged to rape Armenian women, including young girls, and turn them into sex slaves.  And they were allowed to keep everything they could steal from Armenians.

A favorite Turkish vanishing trick was to march, march, march thousands of Armenians up mountains and over cliffs into a river, which turned red from Armenian blood.  Another Turkish vanishing trick was to march, march, march thousands of Armenians into the hot desert, without water, so they would fry to death.

In all, Young Turks made about 1,500,000 Armenians vanish.

My grandmother Adrine and her family were among 500,000 Armenians who did not vanish.

The Kalfayan family left Trebizond by boat in June 1915.  They were on the last boat to leave Trebizond before the Young Turks and the Kurds massacred all of Trebizond’s 14,000 Armenians.

The Kalfayans sailed to Istanbul, Turkey’s capital, which was then called Constantinople, where they had lived before moving to Trebizond.

Adrine’s father, Azarik Kalfayan, designed rugs for Sultan Abdul-Hamid II.

In 1895 Abdul-Hamid II had rewarded Azarik with a Certificate of Personal Satisfaction, signed by the Sultan.  Twenty years later, Azarik used his Certificate of Personal Satisfaction as a Get-out-of-genocide-alivecard for himself and his family.

But the wide-scale brutal murder of Armenians scarred Azarik’s family psychologically.  Five decades later, when Adrine temporarily suffered mental illness, she believed Young Turks were tracking her movements and wanted to make her vanish.

Back to World War I.  It did not go well for the Ottoman Empire.  Along with Germany, the Ottoman Empire lost, and the Allied powers occupied Constantinople.

Before troops of the Allied powers arrived, the Young Turk trio did their own vanishing act.

Aided by Germans (the irony), Mehmet escaped by submarine to Germany.

Ismail also fled to Germany. Ahmed also bolted to Germany.

Armenians hunted Mehmet and Ahmed—and assassinated them within four years. Ismail was last to die, killed in battle by an Armenian.

Years later, Adolf Hitler of Germany should have paid attention to what happened to Mehmet, Djemal and Ismail. Instead, Adolf tried to solve the “Jewish Question.”

Again, this was not a real question, but a figure of speech for wanting Jews to vanish.

Adolf tried to solve his “question” the same as Mehmet, Ismail and Ahmed tried to solve their “question.” And, as a consequence, Adolf also met an early end.  


Later, Germany accepted responsibility for their genocidal Holocaust of Jews.

But Turkey has never acknowledged their genocidal massacre of Armenians. Instead, Turks deny that they wanted Armenians to vanish. In addition, Turks try to silence anyone that publishes information about their genocide against Armenians, as if genocide can be swept under a magic carpet.

Sometimes it takes a while, but truth always prevails. 

Never forget those who make war on innocent people; always ensure their crimes are exposed and punished.

Sunday, April 10, 2022



Part of the reason we dismantled the Monaco Intelligence Service—created for Prince Albert II—at the end of 2007 was because of the prince’s burgeoning relationship with Russia’s brutal tyrant, Vladimir Putin.

Earlier that year we’d learned Albert had accepted a rather large gift from the Russian president: a whole house.

Actually, it was a dacha (the traditional Russian second home) that a crew of Russian laborers constructed from scratch on the grounds of Roc Agel, the royal family’s private farm high up in the French Alps, a 30-minute drive from the pint-sized principality Albert purports to rule.

Mr. Putin’s extravagant “gift” had its roots in an April 2006 meeting between the two heads of state following Albert’s expedition to the North Pole, which the Border Guard Service of Russia under General Vladimir Pronichev helped organize by assisting with logistics and supplying an intermediary launch zone.

Perhaps recognizing the strategic importance of Monaco (confidential banking, shell companies, safe-haven real estate, favorable tax laws, superyacht birthing) to wealthy Russian oligarchs with whom he was (and still is) financially connected, Mr. Putin, on Albert’s return from the North Pole, threw the prince a state dinner at the Kremlin.

It was there that the Russian president made his offer of a dacha to Albert.  

The prince readily accepted.  And the three-bedroom house was custom built during early-to-mid 2007 (and probably filled to the rafters with eavesdropping devices).

Our intelligence service was, of course, aghast by this shadowy undertaking, which went undisclosed by the prince to his subjects, the Monegasques; undisclosed to anyone outside his inner circle.

Because, in addition to getting into bed with a dictatorial bully and murderer by accepting such a gift, His Serene Highness, who was (and still is) a long-standing member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), had egregiously violated that committee’s Code of Ethics governing conflicts of interest.

The IOC Code of Ethics clearly states: “The Olympic parties or their representatives, shall not, directly or indirectly, solicit, accept or offer any form of remuneration or commission, nor any concealed benefit or service of any nature, connected with the organization of the Olympic Games.”

In other words, it is forbidden for IOC members to accept gifts from countries competing for Olympic venues. It is mandatory that any such gifts be declared. And there was no declaration of any kind for such an expensive gift from Mr. Putin to Prince Albert.

To make matters worse, in July 2007, at an IOC meeting in Guatemala City, Albert voted for Sochi in Russia as the IOC’s choice as venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Sochi won.

It made no sense to us as we endeavored, at the prince’s direction, to cleanse the principality from rampant corruption. As the wealthy ruler of a glamorous principality, the prince did not need to take a bribe. Indeed, by doing so he set the absolute wrong example to those around him. He could have afforded his own dacha (or pool-house, which the structure became) if he’d wanted one. 

Albert did so, we believe, purely to please and appease Mr. Putin.

The following month, in August 2007, Mr. Putin invited Albert to Russia for a fishing vacation, a reward of sorts for his vote, again in violation of IOC ethics. It was during this Siberian hiatus, which Hello magazine actually called “a thank you for Albert’s Olympic support,” that this pair of autocrats, during a 30-mile cruise along the Yenisei River, cemented their relationship, thereby signifying Monaco’s new status as Mr. Putin’s pet principality. 

(It was during this trip that Mr. Putin, a despot destined to become a war criminal, removed his shirt for photographers to primp and pose himself as if he were Tarzan.)

Remember, this was only nine months after former FSB officer Alexander "Sasha" Litvinenko was assassinated in the UK on Mr. Putin’s orders and, as a careless consequence, left parts of London contaminated with radioactive Polonium-210.

Thereafter, summer of ‘07, the Russian oligarchs began their financial invasion of the principality—and soon Russians became so omnipresent on the streets of Monte Carlo that popular restaurants began to feature their offerings in the Russian language.

And soon after that, writes investment advisor and Putin opponent Bill Browder in his upcoming book Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder and surviving Vladimir Putin’s Wrath, “Putin’s enemies [were] checking into Monaco’s hotels, presenting their passports, and finding themselves arrested within minutes” because “Prince Albert was notoriously chummy with Vladimir Putin.”




In fact, a handful of Russians had already led an advanced charge into Monaco (as part of an earlier wave that splashed onto Nice, Cannes and St. Tropez along the French Riviera in the late 1990s after the Swiss government cracked down on their presence in Switzerland), earning themselves a place on the radar screen of our service.

These included:


·   Umar Dzhabrailov, a Chechen who is widely alleged to have been behind the murder of U.S. citizen Paul Tatum, his ill-fated partner at the Radisson-Slavyanskaya Hotel in Moscow, after the two fell out with one another. Mr. Dzhabrailov had actually been declared undesirable and bounced from the principality in 2002 but was able to return after his election to Russia’s Duma, which entitled him to a Russian diplomatic passport, according him free passage.

·   Alexey Fedorichev, a fertilizer titan whom Albert precluded from investing in ASM, Monaco’s football team, after we investigated Mr. Fedorichev at the prince’s request and recommended he be kept at arm’s length.  According to Monaco’s own police file on Mr. Fedorichev, Swiss and German police contacted their counterparts in Monaco to report their suspicion that he was engaged in money laundering and trafficking in stolen passports. This followed Italian police reporting to Monaco police their suspicion that Mr. Fedorichev was associated with Russian organized crime and that he was engaged in weapons and drugs trafficking. Here’s the kicker: Mr. Fedorichev has since been permitted by Albert to purchase 46.4 percent of the team and is now not only its major shareholder but, as of January this year, its new president. (See Monaco Police Archive file below.)

·   Chalva “Chig” Tchigirinski, with whom Albert’s own aide de camp orchestrated an introduction to the prince and who eventually moved on to upscale Greenwich, Connecticut, where he was accused in court of brutally beating his ex-wife. CIA, with which we enjoyed a liaison-plus relationship, told us: “Our information indicates Tchigirinski may have been involved in smuggling activities and has links to Russian organized crime.”

·   Sergei Pugachev, once known as “the Kremlin’s banker,” an early collaborator of Mr. Putin who went rogue and made off with a billion dollars from Mezhoprombank, the Moscow financial institution he founded in 2002. At a time when Mr. Pugachev was still closely connected to Mr. Putin, Albert chose this oligarch to be his guest of honor at Monaco’s July 2010 Red Cross Ball.

·   Gregori “Gocha” Arivadze, a Georgian national who ingratiated himself with Albert’s aide de camp and also the prince’s close personal friends to carve himself a role as conduit between the prince and the Kremlin. Mr. Arivadze created an erotic “Eyes Wide Shut” retreat near Florence, Italy, for decadent getaways comprised of young female models and older Monaco men.  And Albert’s closest friend, Mike Powers, revealed to us that “Gocha” once booked a whole brothel in Moscow for the prince and his friends to celebrate his birthday; the antics that resulted were likely delivered directly to Mr. Putin.

·   Sergey Vasiliev, founder of Horizon Oil Terminal, which opened an entity called Sotrama in Monaco specifically to launder millions of dollars, monthly, into real estate.  It is believed in intelligence circles that Mr. Putin is a silent partner and the ultimate profiteer of this St. Petersburg, Russia-based company.


·   Vladimir Bryntsalov, a Russian pharmaceutical tycoon suspected of counterfeiting medications. Bryntsalov’s Monaco police file clearly states: “MAFIA RUSSE, CRIME ORGANISE RUSSE.”


Indeed.  Our service, over time, was provided with very many Monaco police files (still in our possession) that were filled with notations linking foreign residents of the principality to organized crime and money laundering. 

Yet Monaco took no action against such persons and made no attempt to enforce the principality’s anti-money laundering statutes even while its ministers strove to get Monaco removed from the OECD’s blacklist of corrupt countries.

We hope the U.S. Justice Department will assess those identified above for their proximity (past and present) to Mr. Putin along with the origins of their fortunes to determine eligibility for sanctions—and push Monaco to seize their assets.



Simply put, the hapless Albert had knowingly bought into Mr. Putin’s playbook.

We say “knowingly” because Albert knew, as early as September 2000, the intentions of Russian Intelligence toward his glamorous principality. 

How did Albert know?

Because we told him.

It came in the form of an investigation and intelligence finding Albert had commissioned and which I hand-delivered to him on September 5th at The Mark Hotel in New York City, to which he had traveled to attend the UN General Assembly’s Millennium Summit.

“In March 2000,” the finding began, “the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) produced a report which described the Principality of Monaco as exceptionally fertile ground for the activities of both the Russian intelligence services and Russian criminal groups. Their report concluded with the prediction that Monaco would soon emerge as a key Russian and intelligence center in Western Europe… and is quickly becoming a primary destination for Russian money and finance.”

And that is exactly, under Albert’s princely stewardship, what transpired, despite the prince having been forewarned.

In fact, our sources later reported: “The Russian Intelligence Service regards the Principality of Monaco as one of its most important centers in Europe. The SVR uses Monaco to sell weapons and run clandestine intelligence and financial operations that span the globe. The SVR has been so successful in using Monaco they now refer to it as their ‘safe haven.’”

Once Albert’s true alliances became clear (Russian money, greed, corruption), we had no choice but to cut ties with Albert and Monaco—and terminate our service.

And ever since, Monaco has suffered a series of scandals and embarrassments, including the forced resignation-in-disgrace of Justice Minister Philippe Narmino for obstruction of justice and taking bribes from Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, whom Albert had allowed to purchase ASM, Monaco’s football team.

One thing that has become crystal clear over time is that the Monaco Intelligence Service was, most of the time, on target, whether trying to block noxious Russian influence or advising Albert not to appoint as minister of justice the deeply-corrupt Mr. Narmino (a former senior judge and director-general of the Monaco Red Cross).

Albert, on the odd occasion when he was willing to make a decision, was wrong about just about everything, preferring to travel down the path of least resistance (with his corrupt friends, courtiers and ministers), always more interested in his next date—and social life in general—than standing up to lead, despite promising his subjects—at his investiture in July 2005—that he would introduce “a new ethic” to the principality. 

This, of course, proved to be a sham. 




The consequences have now set in. Prince Albert’s legacy is in shambles as a website run from Iceland——exposes the corruption of the prince’s top courtiers, including his personal lawyer, accountant and chief of staff. (Iceland is considered the world’s top protector of internet freedom; it does not cave to complaints/demands for website deletion.)

Writes French journalist Helene Constanty in a journal called Mediapart: “A data leak is panicking the Monaco microcosm. Since October, Les Dossiers du Rocher has leaked documents that shed light on an informal ‘club’ made up of four courtiers of Prince Albert II of Monaco. Thierry Lacoste, the prince’s lawyer, Laurent Anselmi, his current chief of staff, Claude Palmero, the administrator of the property of the prince and the crown and Didier Linotte, the president of the Supreme Court of Monaco.”

Those behind Les Dossiers du Rocher are anonymous; efforts by police investigators in Monaco and Paris to uncover their identities have, reportedly, proven fruitless.  According to, “The website is well camouflaged behind a series of smokescreens.”




This website’s specialty has been to publish not mere allegations but highly revealing actual e-mails between top Monaco officials, who incriminate themselves in their corrupt endeavors, including, states one media report, “enriching themselves handsomely through real estate deals.”

The communications they publish reflect a network of corruption our intelligence service uncovered and reported to Albert at the time (2006-7)—and which went ignored by the prince. Thus, this is a vindication of sorts for the meticulous work we did in the prince’s service.

As CIA legend Clair George taught us: “The proof is not in the pudding, it’s in the eating.”  

The pudding served up by Les Dossiers du Rocher is not only delectable but filling.

To the French newspaper Le Monde, Prince Albert whinged that the ghostly group behind Dossiers seeks to undermine his rule and, in a strange twist of ironic transference, he actually suggested that those behind the website were perpetuating corruption.

We’re not sure if this is genuine befuddlement or Orwellian newspeak.

What we do know, though ample first-hand experience, is that Monaco's Prince Albert is capable of both, simultaneously.

And we also know this for certain: 

With Albert’s invitation, 15 years ago, for war criminal Vladimir Putin to board his listing ship and coopt Monaco for Russian oligarchs, we bailed at precisely the right moment.