Muslim Press has conducted an interview with Dr. Moti Nissani about the Encyclopedia of Domestic Assassinations and his research on U.S. government’s assassinations which he says is “as American as apple pie”.
Here’s the full transcript of the interview:
Muslim Press: Dr. Nissani, can you tell us a bit about your intellectual background?
Moti Nissani: I was a university professor in Michigan for 20 years, in a rare program that allowed me to teach and research whatever I wanted, however I wanted. So I taught courses and made original contributions to a variety of unrelated disciplines. My motivation has been simple: an effort to understand reality as a whole and to understand if and how we can minimize injustice, wars, environmental destruction, and attacks on freedom in this world. You can find a great deal more about my intellectual pursuits in my webpage (drnissani.net/mnissani/).
MP: Wouldn’t many people dismiss your allegations as mere conspiracy theories?
Moti Nissani: Well, they certainly would. I have written an entire article on the subject, and can only summarize it here.
To begin with, I am not alone. Some of the most astute and honest observers of the current scene are entirely in accord with me.
The whole conspiracy theory business is a smokescreen, a very successful mind-control operation originated by the CIA to discredit allegations that President Kennedy was murdered by the Invisible Government.
This mind-control trick, if you come to think about it, is ludicrous. Does anyone argue about the fact that Brutus and other oligarchs conspired to kill Julius Caesar? Isn’t it a fact that the CIA conspired to kill Fidel Castro dozens and dozens of times and that it is now actively conspiring to kill President Kim Jung-un of North Korea? Didn’t the CIA conspire to remove or kill democratically-elected leaders all around world? Didn’t the CIA and MI6 admittedly conspire to engulf Western Europe in a wave of terror in the so-called Gladio Operation? Can’t you read about this very operation in the CIA-run Wikipedia? Didn’t the Invisible Government weave a conspiracy of lies to justify the repeated occupations of Iraq? Wasn’t Pearl Harbor a proven conspiracy?
So the answer to your question is simple: Conspiracies are everyday occurrences. You can’t dismiss people on the grounds that they are “conspiracy theorists.” There are no shortcuts to the truth. When someone says, for instance, that a jury trial in the USA concluded that the Invisible Government of the USA (bankers, corporate honchos, generals, CIA and FBI directors) killed Martin Luther King because he posed a threat to their power, you can’t, if you are a truth-seeker, dismiss the charge out of hand because it involves a “conspiracy theory.” Instead, you owe to yourself to examine the evidence and only then decide.
MP: Can you summarize the evidence that the Invisible Government routinely kills anyone who poses a threat to its power?
Moti Nissani: It’s hard to do this in a brief interview, but let me give it a shot. Here then are 10 statistical and criminological illustrations and arguments which conclusively prove the reality of rampant domestic assassinations.
1. The technology of killing someone and making it look like an accident or a suicide reached a state of high art at least 42 years ago. Here is one illustration.
The nearby photograph shows the late US Senator Frank Church displaying a Central Institute of Assassinations’ (CIA) dart gun that, depending on the poison used, either causes an immediate heart attack or a belated cancer. According to Congressional 1975 testimony, the gun fires a frozen poison-tipped dart. The tiny dart can penetrate clothing and leaves a barely-visible pin-sized red mark where it enters the victim’s body. In the heart attack version, once in the body, the poison melts, gets absorbed into the bloodstream, and causes cardiac arrest. The poison then denatures quickly, so that a routine autopsy is likely to ascribe the heart attack to natural causes.
In passing: Church probably paid for his courage–and for his progressive record–with his life. By 1984, at the early age of 59, he died of . . . cancer.
2. Leaked internal memos clearly show that the bankers have given themselves a license to kill. Here is a quote from the death squad’s (CIA’s) 1954 Assassination Manual:
“The contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated.”
And here is a letter from a CIA consultant to a CIA officer:
“You will recall that I mentioned that the local circumstances under which a given means might be used might suggest the technique to be used in that case. I think the gross divisions in presenting this subject might be:
- bodies left with no hope of the cause of death being determined by the most complete autopsy and chemical examinations
- bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate accidental death
- bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate suicidal death
- bodies left with residue that simulate those caused by natural diseases.”
3. We know that the CIA and its allies routinely murder non-compliant foreigners. For instance, few researchers dispute the culpability of Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon in the assassination of the democratically-elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende. There is likewise no dispute that the American government attempted to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro and North Korean president Kim Jung-un. We know that the bankers and their allies (the Invisible Government or the Deep State) played a role in the killing of Che Guevara, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi. We know they imprisoned a Panamanian head of state after invading his country and killing hundreds of innocents.
Are we supposed to believe that these are exceptions?
4. Historically, oligarchs used the cloak-and-dagger approach successfully and often. Saudi and Colombian compradors routinely murder their imaginary or real political opponents, as did the CIA-installed Brazilian and Argentine oligarchs a few decades ago. One of the greatest historical accounts ever written—Thucydides’ History of the Pelopennesian War—is replete with tales of oligarchic murderousness and treachery. Another typical episode (involving the Gracchi Brothers of Rome) can be accessed here.
Are we supposed to believe that the oligarchs controlling the US/UK are an exception to this historical rule?
5. Now that the bankers’ conquest of the Western World is almost complete, they are more inclined to occasionally come out of the shadows. Here, a former top CIA functionary publicly issues a veiled death threat against the popular leader of a nuclearly-armed country:
“Thugs like Putin . . . keep going until someone takes them out — permanently — with a knockout punch. . . . If the only way to get him out of the Kremlin is feet-first, with a bullet hole in the back of his head — that would also be okay with us. Nor would we object . . . if . . . his airplane gets blasted out of the sky by some murky para-military group that somehow, inexplicably, got its hands on a surface-to-air missile.”
While we’re on the topic: It seems to me only a matter of time before the bankers successfully carry out that threat. According to Putin himself, so far there have been at least five attempts on his life. Who do you think is behind such attempts?
Well, you might say, Putin is a foreigner. But Trump isn’t, and here’s the advice of a leading senator to the president of the USA. Donald Trump, said Senator Chuck Schumer on January 3, 2017, is “really dumb.” Why? Because Trump dared confront the covert agencies. Schumer explained:
“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
6. A sixth line of evidence for the ubiquity of assassinations originates from accounts of former hatchet men and their would-be victims.
Consider the taped deathbed confession of notorious CIA hit man, E. Howard Hunt. In that recording, Hunt alleges that it was the American government and its CIA darling that murdered President Kennedy. This confession is especially significant, Larry Chin correctly observes, because it corroborates “work of key John F. Kennedy assassination researchers and historians.”
The second example involves comments of Catherine Austin-Fitts (Assistant Secretary of Housing in the George H. W. Bush’s Administration):
“The result of saying no is physical violence directed at them or their family. . . . I was targeted, I was poisoned, I had dead animals left on my doorstep, and my home had been broken into and people trying to run me off the road. You know it was very, very violent and it went on for years. So people who try to run the government clean or run Wall Street clean are targeted, and literally have to fear for their lives.”
7. The historical record reveals an undeniable pattern: At least since the days of Lincoln, almost all influential enemies of the international bankers—but hardly ever the bankers or their flunkeys—suffer or die prematurely. I can’t document this pattern here, but it is more than amply documented in my Encyclopedia of Domestic Assassination (an encyclopedia which is itself, a mere tip of the assassination iceberg).
This pattern is so undeniable, so strikingly consistent, and so ubiquitous, that it in turn raises another question: How could this pattern escape the notice of almost all mainstream criminologists and historians?
At the moment, let me just say that, after years of studying the short or tragic lives of influential friends of the American people, I can only come up with five possible exceptions to this pattern: Upton Sinclair (died at age 90), Pete Seeger (died at 94), Albert Einstein (died at 76), Ed Asner (85, alive, and a 9/11 doubter), and Oliver Stone (still alive at 68).
8. The next corroboration is closely-linked to the above, this time involving longevity statistics of the bankers’ lackeys and foes.
The methodology in such cases is straightforward. At times, scientists might examine two groups of people who are comparable in every way except one. Let’s say the difference is that members of one group smoke tobacco while members of the other group do not. If non-smokers live considerably longer, and if the longevity gap is so consistent and large that it could not be reasonably attributed to pure chance, scientists deduce that tobacco kills.
To support the assassination hypothesis, we can carry out precisely such an analysis, replacing tobacco with bankers’ enmity as the critical variable.
The grandfather and namesake of this bludgeoned toddler was, from 1907 to 1917, Bankers’ Enemy #1. In 1917, for instance, Congressman Lindbergh had the temerity to try to impeach members of the Federal Reserve Board, including the all-powerful Paul Warburg.
Our first group consists of late influential Congressmen who consistently defied the bankers. In the past 100 years or so, memory brings to mind the following: Louis McFadden (died at age 60, having survived two earlier probable assassination attempts), Charles Lindbergh Sr. (65; having endured the burning of his book, government shadowing, bribery attempts, shots fired on his car during a political campaign, and the probable revenge-and-warning killing of his 20-month-old grandson and namesake), Huey Long (42; the most defiant, progressive, and dangerous of them all!), John Kennedy (46), Robert Kennedy (42), Ted Kennedy (dead at age 76, after miraculously surviving two probable assassination attempts), Paul Wellstone (58), John Heinz (52; “staunch critic of the Fed”), John Tower (65; “staunch critic of the Fed”), Larry McDonald (48; courageously accused the Rockefellers and their allies of a “plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent”), and Frank Church (59). Mean age at death for this small sample: 56.
We need to compare these victims of conscience to congressmen who were faithful servants of the Rockefellers. In his 1906 “The Treason of the Senate,” David Graham Phillips conveniently lists 21 such traitors. The average age at death of these 21 senators is 73. So: 73 vs. 56: Even if you choose to forget all other lines of evidence presented in this interview and in numerous studies, this one disparity should convince you that assassinations are as American as apple pie.
We may note in passing that, true to form, the Rockefellers managed to have Phillips himself assassinated (aged 43)—and get away with this murder too. As well, the biographies of these 21 Rockefelleritos show that Rockefellerism in this upside-down world of ours pays—not only in longevity but also in honors and riches.
9. Wikipedia provides a government-approved list of assassinated American politicians. Despite its numerous oversights and Wikipedia’s obvious connection to the Deep State, this list is instructive. For the sake of consistency and brevity, let us focus on just one sub-group on that list: the six congressmen and ex-congressmen murdered since 1915. The first four are discussed below, strongly implicating the Invisible Government in their deaths: Presidents John F. Kennedy and William McKinley and presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy and Huey Long. To my surprise however, the list contained two additional individuals. I immediately asked myself: Were they enemies of the bankers too?
Alard Lewonstein was a progressive, anti-war, one-time congressman elected in 1968. By 1970, he was gerrymandered out of office. Lewonstein crossed the bankers’ red line in 1975:
“Lowenstein was one of the most vocal critics of the unwillingness of Los Angeles and Federal authorities to reopen the investigation into the June 6, 1968 assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Lowenstein’s one hour appearance on the PBS television show Firing Line in 1975 . . . was one of the first times the American public were shown that many elements of ballistic and forensic evidence were radically at odds with eyewitness testimony and the assumption that Sirhan Sirhan alone had shot Senator Kennedy.”
He was murdered in 1980, age 51, allegedly by a madman.
Leo Ryan was also a man of conscience:
“After the Watts Riots of 1965, Assemblyman Ryan went to the area and took a job as a substitute school teacher to investigate and document conditions in the area. In 1970, using a pseudonym, Ryan had himself arrested, detained, and strip searched to investigate conditions in the California prison system. He stayed as an inmate for ten days in the Folsom Prison, while presiding as chairman on the Assembly committee that oversaw prison reform.”
Ryan crossed the line in 1974:
“Leo Ryan’s murder is seen by many as being much more sinister than the hysterical behavior of a madman. Leo Ryan had been a strong critic of the CIA and was the author of the Hughes-Ryan Amendment, which, if passed, would have required that the CIA report to Congress on all of its covert operations before they commenced. Soon after Ryan’s death, the Hughes-Ryan Amendment was quashed in Congress. The question conspiracy theorists ask is whether Ryan was killed in order to reach this objective and the massacre at ‘Jonestown’ merely a smokescreen to distract attention away from Ryan’s murder?”
Ryan was murdered in 1978, age 53, in a coordinated, highly professional attack.
So here we go again: All 6 victims were thorns on the side of the Invisible Government. By contrast, not one congressional bootlicker of the Rothschilds and Rockefellers appears on that list—even though such bootlickers far outnumber their decent colleagues.
10. According to Karl Popper, the power and appeal of any real scientific theory is derived in part from its ability to bring forward falsifiable predictions. The assassination hypothesis passes this criterion with flying colors.
Indeed, assassination researchers can often answer the question “who is next?” They have learned that when anyone crosses a red line, accidentally or by design, it is just a matter of time before the bankers spring into action.
Speaking for myself, every time I run across a historical account of an influential challenger to the bankers’ rule and schemes, I immediately try to find out whether that person died prematurely or was made to suffer for her courage. In the majority of cases, my dire guesses meet with “a success unexpected in common hours.”
Likewise, every time an influential person suffers or dies prematurely (e.g., Lewonstein and Ryan, above), my first question is: Was s/he an enemy of the bankers?
Cloak-and-dagger researchers can likewise predict future events. I knew that Charlie Sheen would get into trouble after he publicly expressed doubts, on September 8, 2009, about the official version of 9/11. Sure enough, three and a half months later he was temporarily arrested, 5 months later his car was stolen and fell off a cliff, 9 months later he was sentenced to 17 days in jail, 12 months later his ex-wife was arrested, 18 months later he was fired from his popular TV show and allegedly suffered an emotional breakdown.
Similarly, as the British Petroleum 2010 Gulf catastrophe unfolded, I didn’t know enough to predict the many associated mysterious deaths and disappearances. However, I was convinced that the most prominent critic of the criminal handling of that catastrophe, high-level oil industry insider Matt Simmons, would pay for his courage. In 2010, Simmons died of a “heart attack in the bathtub.”
But don’t take my word for it. One documented prediction of the assassination hypothesis is available here.
MP: Is the Cloak-and-Dagger Strategy Effective in Sustaining and Strengthening the American Oligarchy?
Moti Nissani: To see how assassinations or attempted assassinations can alter the course of history, take the example of American presidents since the days of Andrew Jackson. Jackson himself miraculously survived the bankers’ plot to kill him–and delayed their program of world conquest by decades. They have learned their lessons well since then. Zachary Taylor died in office, and he too was perhaps insufficiently compliant. Lincoln and Kennedy really annoyed the bankers–and were assassinated. Garfield and McKinley might have been thorns in their side too–and were assassinated. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sufficiently troublesome to try to remove from office through a failed fascist putsch, and he too died in office. Wilson was their yes-man to begin with, but towards the end became an outspoken critic–and he had been incapacitated in office.
Besides presidents, the list includes many others. Can you imagine the course of history had the Invisible Government let Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Walter Reuther, John Lennon, or Huey Long live?
MP: What does your “Encyclopedia of Domestic Assassinations” prove about how the invisible government operates?
Moti Nissani: Well, you need to put this in a larger context. One of the greatest paradoxes of our age is that countries like the USA and UK are, to a very limited extent, democracies. And yet, just about every political decision taken by these countries in the last 37 years, at the very least, has increased the powers of the Invisible Government while eroding the health, wealth, liberty, and happiness of the vast majority.
How have they gotten away with recklessly risking the physical and biological foundations of life itself? How in heaven’s name has the vast majority served as cheerleaders for their own impoverishment? The answer to such questions is that the American edifice of exploitation, parasitism, enslavement, perpetual warfare, and ecocide rests on massive, mutually-supporting pillars.
My encyclopedia and many articles I wrote about this subject establish the existence of just one pillar: Smears, incarcerations, and assassinations. Assassinations by themselves might work in a pure dictatorship. But in a system that has democratic pretensions, murders must be supplemented by other pillars. Here then is a glimpse of these pillars:
- Cloak and Dagger: This pillar is obviously the focus of our interview. To secure more power and riches for its members, the Invisible Government often resorts to smears, incarcerations, and murders. It not only silences or murders its influential opponents, but it also targets innocent bystanders who might pose a threat to its power and goals. Also, when this serves its interests, the Invisible Government is perfectly willing to destroy junior members of its own cabal.
- Reign of the Psychopaths: Apart from marginal, small-scale, instances of real democracies, all current political and economic systems on earth are conducive to the rise to power of conscience-less, irresponsible, self-seeking psychopaths. “We must admit to ourselves,” says Mike Krieger, “that there are truly evil geniuses out there, and in most cases these characters have taken control of the power structure.”
- Total control of the banking system and of the issuing and coining of money. The critical importance of this aspect is captured in this article and in John Acton’s aphorism: “The issue which has swept down the centuries, and which will have to be fought sooner or later, is the people versus the banks.”
- Sunshine Bribery: Eric Margolis’ witticism captures the sleaze of global politics: “It’s often cheaper to buy a legislator than a second-hand car.”
- Information: From the movie, music, book, and school “industries,” to radio, TV, and newspapers, to online and offline encyclopedias, to bought experts and fake dissidents, to online search engines and social media—the Invisible Government controls most of our sources of information. As a result, all of us are, in varying degrees, denizens of Huxley’s Brave New World.
- Human Nature. The Invisible Government capitalizes on a vast array of human failings to sustain and augment its riches and power. Here are just two examples of such failings. To begin with, we are all manifestly susceptible to indoctrination. This weakness is in turn exacerbated by the tendency to cling to “our” convictions in the face of overwhelming evidence against them.
- Controlled, Manipulated, Trivialized, and Rigged Elections. “If voting made any difference,” Mark Twain observed, “they wouldn’t let us do it.”
- Broken Electoral Promises. In the absence of real democracy, there is a vast gap between what politicians and parties pledge before elections and what they deliver after elections. Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Donald Trump, for instance, promised peace but, once elected, served the Invisible Government. Through guile, false-flag operations, and propaganda, they dragged (or, in Trump’s case, on the verge of dragging) their country to catastrophic wars.
- Leading, Infiltrating, and Co-Opting the Opposition. This strategy incorporates Lenin’s alleged dictum that “the best way to control the opposition is to lead it.” Indeed, case-by-case studies show that most so-called reform organizations, alternative media outlets, and leading dissidents, serve the interests of the Invisible Government.
- Contrived Terror and false-flag Operations. Thomas Jefferson commented on the adverse effects of wars on liberty and prosperity: “Having seen the people of all other nations bowed down to the earth under the wars and prodigalities of their rulers, I have cherished their opposites, peace, economy, and riddance of public debt, believing that these were the high road to public as well as private prosperity and happiness.”
- The Conspiracy Theory Bogeyman. Most people had been taught what to think, not how to think. Hence, and thanks to the CIA-ingenious invention of the “conspiracy theory” mumbo jumbo, they cannot readily emerge from the cave of political illiteracy.
MP: In cases of assassinations of influential people, isn’t there a chance that the plan might backfire?
Moti Nissani: Thanks. That’s an excellent point. The answer of course is a resounding YES. And that is why the other pillars of American “democracy” are so important in this context. To avoid being caught, murderers like the Rockefeller and Rothschild clans must own the mass media and the politicians, for instance. By now they are in full control of both and of a lot more.
I have no proof of this, but I suspect that they started slowly, seeing whether they could get away with murder in just a few cases. So they only tried to murder President Jackson once, and they only dared assassinate to advance their power in crucial cases e.g., President Lincoln and the sinking of the Titanic. But as their power grew, and as they consolidated their near-total control of the other pillars, their reliance on murders—foreign and domestic—grew exponentially. My view is that, after they realized that they could kill JFK, an extremely popular president, his popular and would-be president brother, his son, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and numerous other dissidents,, they knew that they had a license to kill, and that the only thing they have to fear was a violent revolution.
MP: What’s the average chance of government involvement in all the cases you have studied?
Moti Nissani: Nothing is certain in this world. But given the evidence of an unmistakable pattern outlined above, given the ability to make predictions about who is going to be killed next and so on, given the numbered involved, given all the other lines of evidence, I’d say that the probability of government involvement (I mean the people who really pull the strings, not their puppets in the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court), is a bit less than that the sun will rise tomorrow, and bit more than the belief that DNA is the primary carrier of genetic information in most living organisms.
In other words, any objective observer who cared to open-mindedly study the evidence would have to conclude that the Invisible Government has a license to kill, and that it employs that license effectively and frequently. Without that semi-secret weapon, all the other pillars supporting their power notwithstanding, they would have been overthrown a long, long, time ago.
MP: Is there enough evidence to prove that the majority of these cases were targeted killings?
Moti Nissani: This is again an excellent question. To answer it, one must distinguish between individual cases and the overall pattern.
When it comes to individual cases, one can only assign a best probability estimate. Thus, we know for a fact that Kissinger (a protégé of David Rockefeller and thus an agent of the Invisible Government) was involved in the murder of Salvador Allende of Chile. The probability in that case, , I suspect, is over 99%. When it comes to the murder of Aldo Moro of Italy, the evidence is more circumstantial, and so the probability of Kissinger’s involvement hovers around 90%.When you talk about 9/11 or the assassinations of so many Kennedys, numerous studies provide convincing evidence. They fall short however of conclusive proof. So the probability in such cases, it seems to me, is 90% or a bit higher.
If you take, on the other hand, the incapacitation of President Wilson in office, or the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in office, the probabilities are lower. In such cases, we have a motive and a pattern. We know that both were viciously attacked by the mass media, which is often a prelude to assassination of prominent people. We have other lines of evidence as well, but none of them conclusive. So, in both cases, I’d say that the Invisible Government is the prime suspect, but I’d have to put the probability at a mere 75% or so.
So much for individual cases. But beyond these cases, there is the pattern of assassinations, the ease of predictions, and other proofs of the assassination hypothesis. As I pointed out earlier, we find ourselves in the exact same position as the scientists and statisticians who assert that tobacco kills.
The evidence presented in this interview and in the assassination literature only provides probabilities as long as you talk about individual victims. But, as in the case of tobacco, the existence of a pattern forces us to conclude, with absolute certainty, that the Invisible Government is a murderous crime syndicate. The Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and their allies have cold-bloodedly killed at least thousands of their domestic foes—and millions of foreigners.
So that’s what is happening, even though very few people in the English-speaking world dare whisper it. Now and then, a champion of the people or a bystander poses a threat to the Machiavellian system of the Anglosphere itself. In such cases, the top oligarchs resort to character—or literal—assassinations. They humiliate, malign, intimidate, smear, harass, impoverish, frame, incarcerate, poison, or blow the brains off anyone, anywhere on earth, who threatens their control.
This pattern has an obvious corollary: When friends of the people suffer or die prematurely, the first suspects are the cabal of the Invisible Government: the top banking families, corporate owners, generals, spooks and their faithful servants in the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court.
MP: How are these assassinations changing the fight against injustice, inequality, environmental destruction, war, and eroding liberties?
Moti Nissani: Assassinations, taken together with the other 10 pillars of American fascism, are absolutely crucial in that fight. Without them, we could readily have, as Buckminster Fuller says, a world where not one child goes hungry, where everyone enjoys leisure, quality health care and education, excellent food, and almost as much freedom as was once enjoyed by our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Jack Finney, the fiction writer, writes someplace:
“We live on a planet well able to provide a decent life for every soul on it, which is all ninety-nine of a hundred human beings ask. Why in the world can’t we have it?”
President Jefferson held the same view:
"How soon the labor of men would make a paradise of the whole earth, were it not for misgovemment, and a diversion of all his energies from their proper object — the happiness of man — to the selfish interest of kings, nobles, and priests."
The answer to such questions is simplicity itself: We can’t have it, because the Anglosphere is ruled by psychopaths who are at war with humanity and everything that is decent or kind. They conduct this vicious, one-sided, war by relying on the many pillars mentioned earlier. A key pillar in this nasty edifice involves smears, incarcerations, and murders of friends of the world’s people.
And this leads us to singer Bob Marley’s question (who, it so happens, was assassinated by the CIA):
“How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?”
This is a question that every decent human being must ask, never letting it go. The future of humanity, the future of everything worth living for, hinges on our ability to do something about this simple question.