Thursday, October 07, 2010

Obama's next coup target: Suriname, in replay of Reagan Latin American policies

Judging by the CIA- and Pentagon-supported coup d'etat against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and the attempted coup against Ecuadorian President Rafel Correa, the Obama administration's Latin American foreign policy bears a strong resemblance to the policies of the Reagan administration.

In fact, the latest reports from Ecuador that rebellious Ecuadorian police discussed killing Correa during their siege of the president at the Police Hospital in Quito bears an eerie resemblance to the U.S.-inspired attack on and assassination of Chilean President Salvador Allende during the military coup of September 11, 1973.

Recorded police transmissions during the coup attempt provide evidence that some of the rebel police officers who besieged Correa at the hospital discussed killing him. Video recordings also show retired Army Major Fidel Araujo, a supporter of Correa's pro-U.S. predecessor, Lucio Gutierrez, stirring up anti-Correa protesters.

Most of Latin America's leaders have called the rebellion against Correa an attempted coup. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has chosen to call the coup a police protest. The Obama administration, which was unsuccessful in ousting Correa as it did Zelaya in Hionduras last year, has clearly suffered a major defeat in Ecuador.

Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza has called the rebellion an attempted coup and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has charged the CIA and the Obama administration with being behind the coup attempt. Chavez's charge has been supported by the revelation that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who was to travel to Quito from the UN General Assembly summit in New York, was warned not to go by the CIA, which had advance knowledge of the rebellion against Correa.

The CIA reprtedly knew in advance that the coup against Correa would turn violent since Langley told Mugabe that his own safety would be in peril if he went ahead with his visit to Quito. The CIA warning to Mugabe was conveyed through Zimbabwe's Central Intelligence Organization (CIO). Mugabe quickly flew from New York to Harare, leaving members of his own delegation in the dark, according to the Zim Daily.

The CIA is known to have, along with Israel's Mossad, penetrated the Ecuadorian National Police, and CIA and Mossad fingerprints on the coup attempt are becoming clearer by the day. The CIA and Mossad also conspired in the coup against Zelaya in Honduras.

Stung by the failure of the coup against Correa, Obama was forced to call the Ecuadorian leader and offer his support for Ecuador's "democratic institutions." Obama's hypocrisy in expressing support for Ecuador's president while not referring to the rebellion as a coup attempt is obvious. In the case of Honduras, Obama never expressed support for Zelaya or the country's democratic institutions because the U.S.-backed coup was successful. For Ecuador, Obama had to change his tune and offer Correa tepid support a week after the coup attempt.

Considering Obama's snub of Suriname's President Desi Bouterse at a White House reception for world leaders in New York for the UN General Assembly summit, the Suriname leader could find himself the next target of an Obama-sanctioned coup in Latin America. Bouterse's lack of an invitation to the White house reception at New York's Museum of natural History came as a surprise to Bouterse's fellow Caribbean Common Market (CARICOM) leaders. Bouterse is the former military ruler of Suriname whose Mega Alliance party won last May's general election and he was inaugurated on August 12. A little over a decade ago, Bouterse was sentenced to prison in absentia by a Dutch court ion charges of cocaine trafficking. Suriname law prohibits its citizens from being extradited to foreign countries.

However, it may not be the criminal charges that have been levelled agianst Bouterse in the Netherlands and in Suriname that has the Obama administration anxious to depose him. Bouterse was a primary target of the CIA during the Reagan administration because of his close ties to Fidel Castro's Cuba, the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, and the Marxist government of Grenada.

Bouterse originally took power in Suriname following a military coup in February 1980. Bouterse's government declared Suriname a socialist republic. CIA director William Casey and his deputy, Robert Gates, who now serves as Obama's Defense Secretary, planned a coup to oust Bouterse from power. Casey and Gates cited Bouterse's close ties with Latin America's leftist governments, a program that bears a stark resemblance to the present Obama and Hillary Clinton program to oust the leftist government of Honduras, followed by destabilization efforts in Ecuador, Bolivia, and other nations, including, once again, Suriname.

In December 1982, the CIA went ahead with plans to toppled Bouterse. The CIA worked closely with Dutch intelligence to establish contacts with Bouterse's opposition in Suriname, including politicians, businessmen, and journalists. The Dutch provided asistance to former President Henck Chin a Sen and his Amsterdam-based opposition forces. The CIA plan included landing Surinamese rebels in Paramaribo, the Suriname capital, and seize power. There were also reports that the CIA planned to assassinate Bouterse durin the coup, a direct violation of a White House executive order banning assassinations of foreign leaders. The CIA's chief in-country liaison for the coup was U.S. ambassador to Suriname Robert Duemling.

WMR has obtained a formerly Top Secret CIA National Intelligence Daily, dated March 12, 1982,in which it is disclosed the CIA was closely following an attempted coup against Bouterse by conservative military officers on March 11, 1982. The CIA report states: "Dissident military officers opposing the leftist trend of the military leadership launched a coup yesterday, but forces loyal to the government are still resisting. The group, calling itself the Army of National Liberation, is led by two officers who have been associated with conservative elements of the Surinamese society . . . Although the rebels have control of the Army's main barracks and ammunition depot in Paramaribo, government strongman Army Commander Bouterse and troops loyal to him apparently have taken up a defensive position in the capital's police camp some 6 kilometers away. Fighting subsided somewhat last night, with both sides claiming to be in control and appealing for support from military troops and citizenry. A large number of rank-and-file military, who had objected to Bouterse's leftist policies several months ago, probably will join the dissidents if Bouterse's position weakens further."

The failed coup attempt against Bouterse in March resulted in a CIA warning, contained in a CIA "Monthly Warning Assessment for Latin America" sent by the National Intelligence Officer for Latin America on July 29, 1982.The formerly Secret report states, "State/INR summarized the growing danger that Castro will have a second Grenada-type success. Suriname's leader, Bouterse, visited Grenada for two weeks in May, met with Cubans there, met with Castro, is sending military and security personnel for Cuban training, has a very far left foreign minister, will receive Cuban assistance in foreign affairs, and will receive some Cuban weapons. There was no dissent that the situation is very bad. NIO/LA repeats a warning he has made for six months, that Suriname is on the way into the Cuban orbit through a Grenada-like subversive operation." The warning was signed by Constantine Menges who was born in Ankara, Turkey after his family fled from Nazi Germany, Menges was Casey's National Intelligence Officer for Latin America who would later join the Reagan National Security Council and, after his retirement join the neoconservative Hudson Institute and rail against the leftist government of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and the threat from Iran. Menges died in 2004 and his career was praised by the neoconservative echo chamber in Washington. Even after the fall of the Communist bloc, Menges continued to warn of a "communist" threat to the United States from Russia and China.

The March coup failed but the opposition would try again in December, only to be defeated a second time. The CIA's reference to "conservative elements of Surinamese society" is noteworthy. The Javanese community, with its strong presence in business, were opposed to Bouterse, who was from the more numerous and more leftist Creole African sector.

The CIA-Dutch plan was tipped off to Bouterse, possibly by the Brazilians who were opposed to a coup. Boutesre took swift retaliatory action. Although Bouterse was blamed for firebombing radio stations and a newspaper and union office in Paramaribo on December 8, 1982, there are suspicions that these may have been false flag operations carried out by the CIA to destabilize Bouterse. Key opposition figures, including two leaders of the Communist Party, arrested and they were executed on the evening of December 8 at Fort Zeelandia. Bouterse has denied ordering the executions. However, Bouterse still faces a criminal investigation for the executions but as President he now enjoys immunity from prosecution.

After the debacle in Paramaribo, the Senate and House Intelligence Committees blocked any further CIA actions to overthrow Bouterse and the CIA's plans for a Suriname coup were leaked to the media, including ABC News.

After the coup attempt against Bouterse, Cuba increased its aid to Suriname and helped to train Bouterse's personal security force. Bouterse veered further to the left and attended the non-aligned summit in New Delhi, flying first to Havana with Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, then to Moscow, and on to New Delhi. However, on October 23, 1983, after U.S. military forces invaded Grenada after the bloody coup against and execution of Bishop, Bouterse became alarmed at the Reagan administration's military aggressiveness. Bouterse expelled the Cuban ambassador, fired several pro-Cuban Suriname government officials, and terminated Cuba's assistance program, all with the approval of Duemling.

Suriname's third largest ethnic group is Javanese from Indonesia. In 1982, Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who spoke Javanese, was well-entrenched with CIA programs in Java through her employment with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ford Foundation, and who used her Indonesian last name, re-spelled Sutoro from Soetpro, would have been a valuable asset for the CIA's program to destabilize Suriname through its large Javanese minority. Curiously, Ann Sutoro's employment contract with the Ford Foundation ended in December 1982, the same month that the CIA attempted to oust Bouterse. During her 1981-1982 contract with the Ford Foundation, Dunham Sutoro spent a lot of time liaising with the Ford Foundation's headquarters in New York, a city that was also a base for the Surinamese opposition.

In 1982, Barack Obama, Jr. was in his last year at Columbia University in New York and in 1982 he went to work for the CIA front company, Business International Corporation, which conducted outreach for the CIA to various leftist governments around the world, seeking to expand its intelligence contacts in otherwise hostile environments.

Although CARICOM leaders expressed shock that Obama would fail to invite Bouterse to the White House reception last month in New York, the nexus of Obama's work in 1983 for the CIA and his mother's possible ties to Surinam's Javanese community to assist in the coup against Bouterse may lie at the heart of Obama's disdain for the Suriname President. Considering Obama's adoption of Nixon- and Reagan-era coup policies in Latin America, Bouterse should consider himself the next target for an Obama-authorized coup in Latin America. Unlike the coup against Zelaya and the attempt against Correa, a coup attempt against Bouterse could carry with it a family vendetta from President Obama, himself.


On the morning of Thursday, September 30, 2010, the city of Quito, capital of Ecuador, awoke in chaos. Groups of rebellious, armed police had taken over several areas of the city, disrupting transit, burning tires and violently protesting what they alleged was an unfair law set to cut their wages.

In an attempt to quell the situation, President Rafael Correa, immediately decided in-person dialogue would be the best way to explain to the insubordinate and rioting police officers that the law they opposed was actually going to improve their wages, benefits and overall job security.

Around 9:30am, Correa informed his entourage he would be going to the police Regiment Quito Number One to talk to the officers. Upon his arrival, police were yelling and shouting at him, many wearing hoods and gasmasks covering their faces. The Ecuadoran President opted to grap a microphone and address the angry crowd, trying to explain the benefits of the new law to them while also pointing out that clearly, they were being deceived and manipulated by interested forces seeking to desestabilize the country and his government.

The police wouldn’t listen to reason. They continued to demand Correa retract the law, while, weapons drawn, they fired tear gas at him and threw rocks and other hard items towards him and his entourage. Realizing no dialogue was possible under the circumstances, Correa defiantly exclaimed that he would not bow down to such pressure through violence and force. His government would stand by the law. “Kill me if you want, but I will not be forced to act through violence”, he declared before the crowd of armed, enraged police.

Some took his challenge seriously. As his security team tried to escort him from the scene, President Correa was hit and attacked by several police officers and items hurled from the angry crowd. A tear gas bomb almost grazed his head, while the mob around him tried to kick him in his recently-operated knee, because of which he was still walking with a cane. Official recordings later revealed that during those tense and dangerous moments, police officers called out to “kill him” on their radios. “Kill the President”, “Kill Correa”, “He won’t get out alive today”, ordered the higher-ranking officers on the internal police patrol radios.

“Kill them all, open fire, shoot them, ambush them, but don’t let that bastard leave”, said police over the radios, referring to the President and the team of ministers and secret service that accompanied him. “Kill that ‘s.o.b’ Correa”, they shouted, with clear intention to assassinate the head of state.

The President’s people barreled through the crowd, carrying him out while pushing back the violent police with force. Because of the toxic inhalation of gases during the incident, President Correa was taken to the nearby military hospital. Once inside, military and police forces involved in the rebellion wouldn’t let him leave.

“You’re not leaving here until you sign”, they ordered their Commander in Chief, indicating he sign a paper retracting the law they disliked. But Ecuador’s head of state held his position. “Through force, nothing. Through dialogue, everything”, he declared.

Days after, President Correa reflected on that moment. “I sincerely believed I wasn’t going to get out alive. I felt sorry for my family. More than fear, I felt serenity and sadness that we had arrived to this point”, he confessed before international media during a press conference after the whole ordeal ended.


As the President was held hostage in the hospital, military forces shut down Quito’s air force base and halted all flights from the international airport. The coup was beginning to take shape.

As thousands of Correa’s supporters filled the streets to protest the coup, they were met by police violence and repression. Security forces also impeded pro-Correa parliament members from accessing the National Assembly. Hours later, political groups supporting the coup violently forced their way into Ecuador’s state television station, Ecuador TV, to air their intentions and accuse President Correa of provoking the national crisis.

In Guayaquil, looting and rioting was rampant, and insubordinate police also joined the rebellion. Several anti-Correa organizations began to emit declarations calling for President Correa’s resignation and to dissolve his government and parliament. Some of these organizations, such as the indigenous coalition Pachakutik, have members and sectors that receive funding from US agencies, including USAID, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).

During an interview on CNN from Brazil, former president and coup-leader Lucio Gutierrez called for President Correa’s resignation and blamed him for the situation in the country. Hours before, Correa had implicated Gutierrez in the coup attempt underway. “I reject the accusations made by President Correa and deny that a coup attempt is taking place. It’s just a police protest and a demonstration of the terrible economic policies of Correa in Ecuador”, said Gutierrez, adding, “This could be a self-imposed coup, like Hugo Chavez did, many international media are doubting he was kidnapped”. (Note: A coup was executed against Venezuelan President Chavez in April 2002 by an opposition coalition of dissident military officers, business leaders, political groups and private media, supported by the Bush administration. It failed after 48 hours, though Chavez was held hostage by coup forces until he was rescued by loyal military officers).

Gutierrez himself was ousted by popular rebellion and imprisoned for corruption just two years after taking office in 2003. Since then, he has run against Correa in the presidential elections. Last year he lost to Correa’s 55% landslide victory, taking only 28% of the vote.

After the coup on Thursday, President Correa reiterated his claim that Gutierrez was one of the forces behind the destabilization attempt. “Clearly Patriotic Society (Gutierrez’s party) and the Gutierrez brothers are behind this”. The Ecuadoran head of state also blamed right-wing US groups for supporting the coup. “Just like in Honduras, opposition groups in Ecuador receive funding from ‘right-wing’ organizations in the United States”, he declared.

USAID, NED, NDI and other US agencies operate multimillion-dollar programs in Ecuador to fund and train political parties, organizations and programs that promote US agenda throughout the country. During both the 2002 coup in Venezuela against President Hugo Chavez and the 2009 coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, groups perpetuating the destabilization received US funding and support.


After nearly eight hours held hostage by violent police forces, President Correa was rescued in a late night operation by Special Forces. The heavily armed camaflouged military forces raided the hospital, engaging in dangerous cross-fire with police involved in the coup. The President was secured and taken out in a wheelchair, while the bullet fire continued. His car was hit several times with bullets, in a clear attempt to assassinate him.

At least ten people were killed and over 200 injured during the coup attempt.

Afterward, President Correa was received at the Presidential Palace by hundreds of supporters who cheered him on, expressing their indignation at the events of the day, vowing to “radicalize” their “citizen’s revolution”, as Correa’s policies are termed in Ecuador.

Throughout the day, regional leaders expressed their condemnation of the coup attempt and reiterated absolute support for President Correa. Near midnight, South American heads of state from Bolivia, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru and Venezuela gathered in Argentina for an emergency UNASUR meeting to back Correa and seek solutions to the crisis. They embraced with relief as the images of Correa’s rescue were broadcast across the continent on Telesur, Latin America’s television station.

The coup had been stopped, but the forces behind it still remain active. Ecuador imposed a state of emergency last Thursday, which was extended this week through Friday. As the dust settles on the attempted coup, the parties and actors involved become more visible.

US-funded organizations, big business interests, police and military trained at the US School of the Americas, Cold War relics from US agencies, including Norman A. Bailey, veteran intelligence specialist working closely with opposition groups, and politicians such as Lucio Gutierrez, a strong Bush-ally, were all involved in trying to overthrow Rafael Correa’s government. They failed this time around, but the threat remains. Ecuador hasn’t seen its last coup d’etat.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Obama administration fingerprints on Ecuador coup attempt by Wayne Madsen*

With Nobel Peace Prize laureate Barack Obama, coups against unaccommodating Latin American leaders would appear to be back in style. After Honduran President Zalaya’s overthrow in June 2009, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa was the latest target. An outspoken member of the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA), Correa had been giving Washington a tough time. Behind the abortive coup, Wayne Madsen’s investigation not only unveils the modus operandi of the CIA, but also lays bare Mossad’s murky activities inside Ecuador.

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Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa speaks from the balcony of the Carondolet Palace as hundreds of supporters gathered to greet him in Quito; September 30, 2010.

Using the standard CIA playbook on toppling democratically-elected governments in Latin America, the Obama administration, which was not happy with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s moves to increase state control over oil companies in the nation and his decision to oust the United States military from its airbase at Manta, appears to have suffered a major defeat in the failed coup attempt in Ecuador by police officers and Air Force personnel who were backed by rightist elements in the National Assembly and business community. Correa was re-elected with an overwhelming majority last year after he gave the U.S. military its walking papers from the Manta airbase. The Pentagon and CIA have been working to topple Correa ever since by pumping money into opposition political parties and other groups through NGOs funded by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy.

In a statement from Correa after his rescue from the Police Hospital in Quito by a military special operations team, the president warned of a larger conspiracy launched against him by his political opposition, saying the "attempt at destabilization is the result of a strategy that has been brewing for quite some time. A barrage of messages and misinformation have been given to the National Police, which today has been realized through violent actions from a conspiracy attempt."

Correa’s predecessor, the pro-U.S. Lucio Gutierrez, who is wedded to foreign oil company interests in the country, was accused by the government of covertly supporting the police and Air Force mutineers.

Although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a weak statement saying the United States backed Correa, it came one day after Clinton heaped praise on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the person who helped to craft the September 11, 1973 coup in Chile and the assassination of its progressive president Salvador Allende. In fact, Clinton and Obama had given military and political support to the right-wing junta that ousted democratically-elected progressive President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras in June 2009 and has fought against allowing the ousted democratically-elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to return to his country from exile in South Africa after the CIA-engineered coup against him in 2004.

Clinton’s tepid response to the attempted coup against Correa was in marked contrast to the strong denunciations of the attempted coup and messages of support for Correa that came from Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, and Spain.

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Riot police repel supporters of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa from reaching the hospital where he took refuge for protection from police protesters, in Quito; September 30, 2010.

And the fact that Correa, like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who was briefly ousted in an April 2002 coup organized by the CIA, was held as a virtual hostage at the Police Hospital in Quito for the greater part of a day provided a grim reminder of an old CIA tactic in staging coups in Latin America. Chavez was briefly held hostage on a Venezuelan island in the Caribbean while a U.S.-registered plane stood by to fly him into exile. In an emergency Latin American summit meeting in Argentina, Chavez saw the U.S. behind the events in Ecuador. He said, "The Yankee extreme right is trying right now, through arms and violence, to retake control of the continent." Chavez’s own experience with a CIA backed coup and the June 2009 coup, supported by the Pentagon, CIA, and Mossad against his ally Zelaya in Honduras, makes him an expert on CIA and Mossad tactics in the region. Informed sources have told WMR [1] that Correa and Chavez are currently comparing notes on the coups launched against them.

Ecuadorian intelligence will be looking closely at the wereabouts of key CIA personnel stationed at the CIA station at the US embassy in Quito and a smaller CIA station within the US Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Guayaquil. In the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez, the US embassy’s top CIA and DIA officers were discovered to be helping to direct the coup from Venezuelan military installations.

Clinton’s State Department has been casting Ecuador in a bad light throughout the past two years, calling the country "difficult to do business in," the only real priority that the Obama administration cares about due to its total subservience to Wall Street and the fat cat bankers. The State Department’s "Investment Climate Statement" for Ecuador states: "Ecuador can be a difficult place in which to do business. . . There are restrictions or limitations on private investment in many sectors that apply equally to domestic and foreign investors . . . A 2006 hydrocarbons law imposed new conditions in the petroleum sector that have been problematic for many companies, complicated by a 2007 decree that imposed additional restrictions. A 2008 mining mandate stalled mining activity, and a new Mining Law is expected in early 2009. Negotiations for a free trade agreement between the United States and Ecuador, which would have included investment provisions, stopped in April 2006. The current Government of Ecuador has not expressed interest in restarting negotiations."

Correa’s financial policies, as well as his foreign policy that saw him order out the American base at Manta and establish close ties with Venezuela, Iran, and other countries inimical to American and Israeli hegemony, placed a huge CIA and Mossad target on Correa’s back. In June, Ecuador sponsored a resolution at the Organization of American State (OAS) summit in Lima condemning Israel’s attack on the Turkish aid flotilla transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza. Ten nations voted with Ecuador in support of the resolution.

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Ecuadorian army soldiers stand on the runway of the military airbase of the Mariscal Sucre International Airport to force its closure, in Quito; September 30, 2010.

The uprising among Ecuadorian Air Force ranks, with Air Force personnel taking over and shutting down Quito’s international airport, will have Ecuadorian counter-intellligence personnel looking closely at the possible role of Israeli technicians and trainers who support the Air Force’s 26 Israeli-made Kfir combat planes. Israel also reportedly sold Python-3 air-to-air missiles to the Ecuadorian Air Force in 1997.

Mossad also has its hooks into the Ecuadorian National Police, where the main coup plotters received support. Mossad is chiefly tasked with spying on Ecuador’s large Ecuadorian-Arab community. The activities of the Mossad station at the Israeli embassy in Quito before and during the coup attempt will also draw the attention of counter-intelligence officers. Last year, Tel Aviv-based On Track Innovations received a contract to provide an electronic biometric-based electronic identification card system to Ecuador’s Central Registry Office.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Obama greets progressives demanding end to wars and jobs and public health care with automatic weapons

There was a real disconnect between the majority of the quarter-million people who gathered around the Lincoln Memorial and the professional Democratic Party hacks who spoke at "One Nation Working Together" protest held on October 2 in Washington, DC. The crowd, estimated at around 250,000 was larger than the Glenn Beck right-wing "Tea Party" protest rally last month and more than the "tens of thousands" described by the pro-corporate Washington Post.

Many protesters were shocked to see National Park Police stationed throughout the protesters with automatic weapons at the ready. Some expressed shock that such a protest by people who had been Obama's base in the 2008 election would be met by machine guns, a scene never witnessed during the multiple anti-war protests in Washington during the Bush administration.

In a scene not even witnessed during the anti-war marches and rallies during the Bush administration, protesters demanding peace, jobs, education, and public health care were confronted by Park Police bearing automatic weapons. The automatic weapons angered many protesters, formerly part of Obama's political base.

Even the sponsors of the rally, representing such Obama political base groups as the AFL-CIO, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, the Service Employees International Union, and the U.S. Student Association that distributed less-than-controversial protest signs bearing such messages as "Working Together" and "Supporting Change We Voted For" and paraded political, civil rights, and labor leaders who supported the usual laundry list of demands, could prevent anti-Obama speeches and protest signs. Harry Belafonte told the protesters that Obama's decision to surge U.S. troops strength in Afghanistan cost an estimated $30 billion, He added that the money could have been better spent in the United States.

WMR provides the following pictoral gallery of today's protest. Many of the signs were far from "Obama friendly." The loss of the progressive left by Obama could have a dramatic effect on the chances of Democratic candidates in the off-year election, now just weeks away.

This family was overheard telling other protesters that Park Police told them they could not have their sign on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The reason: it was disrespectful to George Washington. Who knew George Washington was a Zionist?