"We all were sea-swallow'd, though some cast again / And by that destiny to perform an act / Whereof what's past is prologue, what to come / In yours and my discharge."
I recently read Ravi Somaiya's The Golden Thread: The Cold War and the Mysterious Death of Dag Hammarskjöld. The implications are staggering, even all these years later.
✔️ "Draw your own conclusions."
✔️ "We did it" is really tantamount to, "Yeah, we did it. And what are you gonna do about it? Nothin'!"
✔️ "our motivation for Balkanising their country"
✔️ "he should drop the matter"
The photo I mentioned: https://npg.si.edu/object/npg_NPG.2015.90.9
Links where I can be found: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/2023/01/30/updates-housekeeping/
Need more? Email me: https://causeyconsultingllc.com/contact-causey/
Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive the typos!
Welcome to the Causey consulting podcast. You can find us online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here's your host, Sara Causey.
Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today's episode, I want to talk about a book I recently read by Ravi Somaiya titled, The golden thread, the Cold War and the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld Now I know there will be people who tune out, they're not interested in history, they don't think this kind of thing is interesting. They don't get why talk about the JFK pop pop or things like this. It's not really relevant anymore. That's like ancient history. Now, we can't go back and change it. We can't do anything different. What's the point in reading about it? And I feel sad. Whenever people justify their ignorance of history with those terms. I think about that passage from Shakespeare's The Tempest, we all were see swallowed, though some cast again. And by that destiny to perform an act, where of What's past is prologue, what's to come in yours and my discharge? In other words, the past is really setting you up for what's happening right now. And what will happen in the future? I think some people can see that pretty clearly. And they have an interest in it, and some people don't. Nevertheless, I feel like what is happening in this story is incredibly compelling, as well as incredibly disturbing. I have my own sort of pet theory that the 60s really marked this change it like set the stage of you're either going to go along to get along, or we're not going to allow you to become a problem. Look at the pop pops and the eliminations that happened just in that decade, of course, we have dag hammer sholde. Then we also have from the Civil Rights Movement, people like Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, MLK, RFK, and JFK being it's like, you're either gonna fall in lockstep, or you're not. If you cause too much of a ruckus if you get too much of a following. If we think that you've become too powerful, and you might jeopardize our agenda, you're just not going to be here anymore. That's like with the suppose that RTO verses work from home battle. I've said many times on my blogs, and here on the air that where are the firebrand idealists? I mean? Who is really an ideal log for remote work to the point where they will quit working. And just say, if all of these companies demand RTO or if they get their cronies on Capitol Hill to start enacting legislation against remote work in a lot of cases, dammit, I will just sit at the house I will I will starve. I will let my kids starve. I will be a martyr to this cause you don't have people like that anymore. No, not in modern day America. No freakin way. People at the slightest bit of discomfort will go back. Now they might whine and fuss and complain but they're not really going to do anything. It's like how Whitney Webb observes that Americans are slaves to convenience. And in so many ways, we are. Think back though, people who were idealist people who were willing to sacrifice whatever it took for the betterment of society. They were eliminated. mean people have sort of learned the lesson being some firebrand idealist is probably not going to pay off the way that you think it is. Nobody's married to a cause anymore. Not really. Now they might armchair quarterback on social media and put up a flag or some kind of icon and have a war of words on the internet. But in terms of really being willing to make a sacrifice, really trying to live a life somehow for the betterment of society. You just don't see that so much anymore. I know that probably sounds cynical, it sounds w the downer, I'm just spitting my opinion, as I see it. There is a documentary titled Cold Case, hammer sholde, which I have not watched yet in its entirety. I have the feeling that that could be its own separate episode to talk about the findings of that documentary. I really am in this episode, strictly focusing on Robbie's book, the golden thread. And the introduction hooks you in pretty well because he tells this story that I had not ever heard before. I mean, for me thinking back to my education. I remember learning about dag hammer sholde but it was really probably a paragraph in a textbook somewhere like this guy was part of the United Nations. That was that was about it. I don't remember ever getting into this kind of detail in school. Do kids even still Well, I mean, would you if you went up to high school kids a DAG hammer sholde? Would they even know who you're talking about anymore? Probably not. I mean, maybe in in Sweden, but certainly not in the US, I don't think. So in the introduction, Robbie opens up with this story about Harry Truman being at his presidential library in Kansas City. Because there was this formal ceremony where a group of Truman's Old World War One unit had raised several $1,000 that it was going to donate to the library. So there was going to be this ceremony to recognize these people and to recognize this donation. And I'll read just a brief passage for you now. He also for all the world meaning Truman, he also for all the world looked angry, unprompted. As he drew the ceremony to a close he expressed his sorrow at the death of dag hammer showed the second secretary general of the United Nations who had died a day or so previously, while attempting to mediate a savage war in the Congo. But he could not restrain himself there. As the soldiers and reporters began to disperse. He made a snide remark. Mr. Hammer sholde was on the point of getting something done when they killed him. Notice I said when they killed him, the journalist pressed him to explain further, that's all I've got to say on the matter. draw your own conclusions. One reporter likely aware of Truman's connection with Kennedy asked whether he had any inside information. Truman walked away ignoring the question thinking perhaps he had already said too much. He had little to fear. His aside made only the bottom paragraphs of a short United Press International wire report. The local independence examiner primly elided the incident in quote. Well, that's something that sounds about the same as it would be today. Oh, we need to bury the story. Yeah, he popped off at the mouth probably don't need to even print that. So that not automatically hooks you into the book. They killed him draw your own conclusions? Well, hell yeah. I want to draw some conclusions. Give me the evidence. I want to know. Unfortunately, as it it is sometimes with these, you know, time has gone by evidence has been destroyed type mysteries. There is no smoking gun. Okay. Spoiler alert. The book has been out long enough now that I don't feel like I'm ruining anybody's day by saying spoiler alert. There is no smoking gun in this book. If you're expecting like a, a who done it where you're going to get to the final chapter or two. And there's going to be one particular person or one particular group named as being responsible for the death, you're going to be disappointed. There are theories posited. There are some names that are named and some organizations that are called out. But as far as that smoking gun type thing, you're not going to get it here. And I was thinking about this podcast I listened to, even though I think it was from last year, there was a podcast I recently found on the intercept, called deconstructed and the title of the article is what we found in the new JFK files. The byline reads newly declassified records shed light on Lee Harvey Oswald's connection to the Charlie India alpha. And I listened to that because they had interviewed Jefferson Morley, who is an author and also an editor of the JFK facts substack. And this is one of the things that he says in the podcast is that, in terms of the newest documents that we have access to, there is no quote, smoking gun. All it is, is further information that someone is going to have to painstakingly go through in order to connect the dots. And that's really how I feel about the golden thread. It kept my interest I read it all the way through and only just a few settings. But yes, you do have that sense of Tammet. No, I really want to know, I want to know why, like what, who did it. There are several things though, that I think are important. Even though we don't get that smoking gun, we don't get a finger pointed at one particular person or one particular group definitively. There are some things that I think are really important, and that we still see happening today. There's a chapter and the the chapters in this book are typically quite short, and they're often based around one particular quote, in the chapter titled position L I'm on page 149 of the hardback copy. Just just listen to this. I'm just just going to read a short passage and I want you to think about how relevant this is today. What I am talking to you about that went on in the 1960s. This could have happened in 2020. Serene verbing had hoped for excitement for recognition for a team to begin work reexamining the crash. He was met with Scandinavian Reserve and the creeping sense tantamount to death in Swedish culture that he had embarrassed himself. Eventually someone from the Ministry suggested tactfully that it might be better if he left the issue of the crash of the Albertina Allah own von Rosen prison and a similar case to the UN. When he emerged from the meeting he was shaken. He had been told he said that reopening the crash of the Albertina risked a global war and that he should drop the matter and quote, that could be the day that could freakin be some crisis, some plane crash, some something that happened today, you know what, it'd be better if you just left it alone? How about you sit down, shut up, and you don't probe. This is another I think,
tactic, a mindset. I'm not exactly sure what to call it. But in the same way that we had this series of pop pops that occurred in the 1960s, where key figures were just eliminated from the picture, this idea of you sit down, you shut up and you do what you're told, also starts to gain momentum, don't probe. If we tell you that is a matter of national security, we tell you that it would cause more harm than good. Sit down and shut up. And that's just what you're supposed to do. Now look, all these years later, people are so incredibly compliant to that. Put up this Ukrainian flag on your social media profile. Or wear a mask or worship at the feet of phony tau chi and operation warp speed and the orange MAN because that's what you're told to do. panic when you're told to do those things. And then don't panic, go back to the cube farm. Go and cross pollinate. We're not playing anymore. We want you to go back downtown and cross pollinate and everybody should be together. You know, it's just not a life. If you hang out at the house sequestered and you're in your pajamas working from a laptop, that's just not really a life anymore. It was perfectly fine during the when you were told that you needed to wash the outsides of your groceries and Lysol everything within a square mile of yourself. But now we're just going to tell you that that's bad and you're not to live that way. So the Albertina is the the name of the plane that crash that dag hammer sholde was on. And these investigators who were hoping that they had enough evidence to get somebody to care, we're told to sit down, shut up and let it go. The more things change the more they stay the same. Now something else that I think is incredibly present. I am I am going to go out on a limb here and just make this prediction and in my lifetime it may not come to pass. Maybe the kids the grandkids who knows maybe not even then maybe some descendant way into the future who knows. I think that we will see the same type of thing eventually not immediately. But eventually connected to the JFK Pop Pop. I really do. So there's no chapter 36 in this book is titled we did it. I will drop a link also to the letter that is described so that you can read the context and everything for yourself. I in fact, I may read it to you but this chapter in the book is titled we did it. On April 11 2013. A letter appeared in the London Review of Books. It was from David LEA or Baron Lea up man it may be pronounced Lee I don't know but are barren Lea of crondall, a former trade union leader who had been elevated to Britain's House of Lords. It was headlined we did it. Leah said that he had read in a previous issue a story that concluded nobody knew whether Britain had any role in the death of Patrice Lumumba. Actually, in this particular case he wrote, I can report that we do. Leah said that in March 2010 He had met Daphne park for a cup of tea. After leaving Leopoldville in 1961. Park had been posted to Zambia, Vietnam and Mongolia. She retired from mi six and had become principal of Somerville College, Oxford in 1980. She had also after receiving official permission to reveal her former employer become a staunch defender of Britain's intelligence apparatus and interviews with the press in 1990. She had been ennobled as Baroness park of Monmouth, since which time she had been a fixture famous for her probing questions in the House of Lords. By 2010. She was most often seen wearing down its paneled corridors in an electric wheelchair. Leah wrote in his letter to the LRB that he knew Park had been head of MI six and Leopoldville from 59 to 61. He took the opportunity as the to sip tea to raise the controversy surrounding Lambos abduction and murder. He suggested that mi six might even have had something to do with it, she replied simply he said we did. I organized it. Lumumba, she told him would have handed the whole of the Congo to Russia, uranium diamonds and all in quote. This is coming. Okay, maybe not in my lifetime, maybe not in years, but I believe something like this will happen. With the JFK Pop Pop, yeah, we did it. Yeah, totally. We did it. We took that sumbitch out. He needed to go. And then what will people do about it? Because I think part of this notion of Yeah, we did it. It's almost like a challenge. Except it's not the subtext there is yes, we did it. And what the hell are you going to do about it? Nothing. You're not going to do anything. People will hear these revelations and go, Oh, wow. Isn't that something? What's on Netflix? Oh, wow. Oh, my goodness. What a tragedy. Pass the potatoes. I mean that people don't care. Nobody cares. And this is monumental information and nobody cares. So if you're wondering about Daphne Park she has mentioned throughout this book, she was a British Secret Intelligence Service, head of the station and Leopoldville from 1959 to 1961. I think there was later a book written about her called queen of spies or something similar. Lumumba if you're wondering, Patrice Lumumba was the first democratically elected president of the Congo and he was also done away with. There's a famous picture if I can find it, I'll drop a link to it of JFK learning of Lumumba is deaf and he just has this this grimace on his eyes or closes this grimace on his face. And here's here's the full letter that was written to the LRB referring to the controversy surrounding the death of Patrice Lumumba in 1960. Bernard Porter quotes Calder Waltons conclusion, the question remains whether British plots to pop pop Lumumba ever amounted to anything at present, we do not know, actually, I mean, he literally says actually, it would only be better. We said, well, actually, actually, in this particular case, I can report that we do. It so happens that I was having a cup of tea with Daphne Park. We were colleagues from opposite sides of the Lords a few months before she died in March 2010. She had been console and first secretary and Leopoldville now Kinshasa from 1959 to 1961, which in practice, this was subsequently acknowledged, meant head of in my sixth there, I mentioned the uproar surrounding the mumbles abduction and murder and recall the theory that mi six might have had something to do with it. We did, she replied, I organized it. We went on to discuss her contention that Lumumba would have handed over the whole lot to the Russians, the high value, contango, these uranium deposits, as well as the diamonds and other important minerals largely located in the secessionist eastern state of contango. Against that I put the point that I didn't see how suspicion of Western involvement and of our motivation for vulcanizing their country would be a happy augury for the New Republics peaceful development in quote. No, indeed, it would not. But I mean, who would even care if Hold on a minute. It's like, people nowadays, if you talk about even just that concept of vulcanizing, a country of setting setting a country up for all of these racial and religious divisions and causing all of this strife and infighting and civil war, and I don't think people would know what you meant, let alone care. But that to me, yeah. Whoa, I mean, we did it. Yeah, we did it. I organized it. I believe that something like that will happen in America at some point. Maybe not in my lifetime, with the pop pop and the same thing. It will just be some footnote somewhere. And people be like, Oh, well, yeah. Later on, they totally admitted that they took him out. But you know, that's, that's the past. What can anybody really do about it? I come back again. To Snowden, his revelations of you're being relentlessly spied upon 24 7365. And now, nobody cares. Nobody cares. It's just a fait accompli, it's part of life. And people will say I'm willing to make this trade in order to have my Netflix, my smartphone, my smart television, my social media. I don't care if somebody's watching me, pick my nose. I don't care. I don't care. I want to have the conveniences. And it is easy to say, at least things happened a long time ago. A lot of the people a lot of the players involved are deceased, whether before their time or through natural causes. Why does it even matter? It matters because you're living the consequences of all of that. And again, to be clear, for me, this is not about hero worship. It's not about saying, well had JFK live, he would have been the best person that ever walked the earth. Same thing with dag Amorsolo. If these people had just live we would be in Utopia right now. That's a fantasy. There is no utopia. Human beings are not capable of making a perfect world. You have to to wonder if there had been some kind of push back if people had maybe had a bit more spine at some point. In the past, could we be in a different situation than what we're in now? And I don't know the answer to that question. I really don't know. I don't know. I just imagine like,
the great grandparent what I would say probably, for me, generationally, maybe from the great grandparents on back, if you sort of teleported them into today's world, and you're like, well, here's all this technology, and you're being relentlessly surveilled. And if somebody steps out of line, they just get pop popped. I, their head might explode. I'm not really sure how they would even react to such a thing, how you would be able to explain to them the ramifications of it all. I mean, remember, we live in a world where the orange man made a joke, and you can look this up. And people will say, Well, maybe that's just something that a NEO lib made up maybe the liberal media, whatever. I remember seeing it on television. He made the joke that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and pop somebody and he wouldn't lose any voters. This is the world we limit. Yeah, I could kill the guy and it wouldn't really matter. He's probably right. It probably wouldn't matter. People wouldn't care. Oh, yeah. He popped a guy in the middle of the street. What's for dinner? Oh, a popped guy in the middle of the street. What do you want to watch on Netflix tonight? That's the world we're living in. It's like way too many people have been lobotomized. They don't see the value the importance of saying if they can pop pop a sitting president in broad freakin daylight and then relentlessly lie to you about all of the things connected to that what the hell else are they lying to you about? It's nothing. It's freaking nothing for them to tell you. The economy is resilient, and the labor market is robust. Well, there's two open jobs for every one unemployed person unemployment rate is still less than 4%. If you can't find a job, it's your own fault, man. And also all these propaganda and fear porn stories about job jugglers. Everybody that works in it has eight different laptops set up on their kitchen table. And they're playing everybody and making a million dollars a year. Right? Yeah, everybody. Loads of people are doing that. Sure, of course, sure. One of the theories that is posited in the golden thread is that there was a group of mercenaries who wanted to apprehend hammer sholde. And like, let him have a meeting with their side of things, try to lure him over to their way of thinking or intimidate him into their way of thinking to disrupt his peace process. But that wasn't their intent to kill him. That is sort of like the idea instead of imagining aerial interference, and all of these these things happening with planes. Imagine if you're driving a car, and somebody's trying to run you off the road. They're not trying to kill you. They're just trying to run you off the road. But then you accidentally hit a tree or you go off an embankment and you die because they miscalculated the process of running you off the road. That's one of the theories that gets posited and the golden thread is this group of like crazy white supremacist mercenaries, soldiers of fortune soldiers for hire will kill anybody will do anything, no matter how risky if the price is right. They were just simply trying to get the plane to land at a different airport. Now, is that true? I have no idea to me. And maybe that maybe Cold Case, hammer sholde gets into this a little bit more. It looks like it's probably a bit more sensational. To Robbie's credit. You know, it seems like he's really trying to keep things corralled. He's trying to keep the facts as unwieldy as they are. In this particular case. He's trying to keep everything very professional, and keep things corralled. Here's what we know. Here's what we don't know. Here's the things that are in the realm of theory. Here's the things that are in the realm of fact, so he doesn't get into it really as far down the rabbit hole as I personally want to go. I still want to know why. Why all of these other people burned up in the wreckage. He doesn't. He goes from from being like laid down on his back to being laid down on his face to being propped up in a sitting position up against a termite mound with an ace of spades playing card tucked deliberately into his collar. Now it doesn't just sort of happen. Like complete coincidence, somebody moved the body, somebody tampered with the body. There was one survivor who who mostly made it he didn't die in the wreckage is what I mean by that. And he was found like the the actual examination of the wreckage. The search took hours, way beyond the point where people knew that the airplane was having trouble Like several hours into the next day, the search party started. So this poor man that was clinging to life by a fingernail basically was found severely dehydrated, he was not only burned from the accident, he was also burned from the sun, severely dehydrated, he ultimately dies of renal failure because of the severe dehydration. It's possible his doctor admits later in this book, it's possible that maybe if he had insisted this guy be flown to the United States, and had better medical care, he might have actually survived, there didn't seem to be a real big push towards helping that guy survive. I'm just gonna be honest with you, it didn't seem that way to me. And there's this also, narrative that we get that well, he was out of his mind. You he had been in this terrible accident, he was saying who even though he very clearly identified who he was, who he worked for, what his title was, and all of that, he was out of his mind. He was on opioids, you know, he had this dehydration, he was sick, he was probably in shock from this terrible crash. And then we gave him opioids to kill the pain. So he was just talking out of his head even know what he was saying. And then he passes away, there's just enough time for like his wife to get there and say one last goodbye. And then he passes on. So whatever, further details he might have been able to shed on what happened after he was fully recovered and hydrated? We're never going to know. So again, we're not we're not getting some very Whoa, who done it smoking gun in this book. But it is very interesting. And it does leave you to start formulating your own conclusions about these various players that are mentioned even some at the periphery. I will say there seems to be this undercurrent, not that it's ever, like come right out and said, There just seems to be this very clear undertone, if you will, of these world governments, as well as these huge corporations, union miniere, being one of them, that have a vested interest in keeping these African countries colonized, keeping this white supremacy and using and abusing the native populations of these countries, as well as the natural resources, the uranium, the cobalt, the diamonds, and so on. Things used in weapons manufacturing, for example, you're talking about insane amounts of money. I mean, one of the things that Ravi talks about in this book is that King Leopold, the second of Belgium, had amassed a fortune that would be worth like a billion dollars in today's money. So you're not talking about tiny amounts of money that nobody would be willing to kill for. That is, that's crazy. When you think about that amount of money back then. It would be the equivalent of somebody being a billionaire now. Holy smokes. It's yeah, yeah, of course. I mean, people, people have had their enemies eliminated for a lot less. And I think that probably, even though it's just an undercurrent, it's an undertone in the book, I think that that probably gets us closer to the mark in answering this question of who was responsible for DAG, hammer sholde not being here anymore. In my opinion, which could be wrong, it probably did come back to at least one maybe two of these important world governments. And these huge corporations in the military industrial complex that had a clear, highly profitable vested interest in trying to keep Africa under a state of exploitation. Obviously, you can still see how those things are relevant even now, those things are still happening. Even now, the exploitation of labor, white supremacy, countries feeling like they can just go in and take whatever they want.
Don't make the mistake of believing that whole world has just improved so much since then, or this is ancient history. The world just changes so fast, like why should we even still care? This is still relevant. It's still the here and the now past is prologue. I intend to watch Cole case hammer sholde in its entirety. And we'll probably record a follow up episode after I've seen that and had the opportunity to think about what Ravi talks about in the golden thread and then what these investigators talk about in the film, highly recommend the book even though you don't get that satisfaction of a smoking gun. It's incredibly thought provoking. I mean, it really helps you to understand like when when we think about how Ian Fleming actually was a spy, you know, and the James Bond books are not complete fabrications of fiction and flights of Fancy there based on some real things that happen when you begin to see the same thing and the golden thread like yeah, they actually mi six actually did have this woman there. That was like a station chief. And she admits later allegedly, to someone else that yeah, we did it. We did it we took out Lumumba it was us. These governments, these these intelligence agencies, they just do this and they do this and they do this and then and then who's left to care? I think back to Jocko willing saying you you have to learn the game, and how to play it. You have to it's so important, in my opinion, to understand the world that you're living in, and the way it really operates. Stay safe, stay sane, and I will see you in the next episode.
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