The Nests of Osama bin Laden
(...and some of the rich and famous birds who have flocked with him!)
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
~ o ~
Dec. 07, 2007
Commentary: The CIA's Gift to
By Robert Baer, Time
The CIA has proved, once again, that the cover up is worse than the crime. Or at least let's hope that's the case.
CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden has admitted that in 2005 the CIA destroyed two videotapes of interrogations of al-Qaeda prisoners, including a central figure in 9/11, Abu Zubaydah. Hayden said the tapes were destroyed to protect the identities of the CIA interrogators from members of al-Qaeda and other terrorists who might try to retaliate. He also claims that the tapes were made to safeguard against unlawful treatment of detainees, and that they were only destroyed after it was confirmed that suspects were not being tortured.
At a time when Congressional Democrats are trying once again to pass a torture ban, it's a given that the revelation is going to further inflame the torture debate — since the tapes apparently showed harsh interrogation techniques. The assumption will be that the CIA did not want the tapes seen in public because they are too graphic and could lead to indictments.
But more to the point, the revelation will raise another question: What other evidence has the CIA destroyed? And can the CIA be trusted to tell us? The CIA had told the 9/11 Commission, when it formally requested such materials, that there was no taping of interrogations. CIA lawyers also told federal prosecutors trying the Zacarias Moussaoui terror case that the agency did not possess recordings of interrogations sought by the judge and Moussaoui's defense lawyers. The CIA insists that the tapes destroyed were not the ones in question.
I would find it very difficult to believe the CIA would deliberately destroy evidence material to the 9/11 investigation, evidence that would cover up a core truth, such as who really was behind 9/11. On the other hand I have to wonder what space-time continuum the CIA exists in, if they weren't able to grasp what a field day the 9/11 conspiracy theorists are going to have with this — especially at a time when trust for the government is plumbing new depths.
I myself have felt the pull of the conspiracy theorists — who believe that 9/11 was an inside job, somehow pulled off by the U.S. government. For the record, I don't believe that the World Trade Center was brought down by our own explosives, or that a rocket, rather than an airliner, hit the Pentagon. I spent a career in the CIA trying to orchestrate plots, wasn't all that good at it, and certainly couldn't carry off 9/11. Nor could the real pros I had the pleasure to work with.
Still, the people who think 9/11 was an inside job might easily be able to believe that Abu Zubaydah named his American accomplices in the tape that has now been destroyed by the CIA.
It isn't going to help that the Abu Zubaydah investigation has a lot of problems even without destroyed evidence. When Abu Zubaydah was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, two ATM cards were found on him. One was issued by a bank in Saudi Arabia (a bank close to the Saudi royal family) and the other to a bank in Kuwait. As I understand it, neither Kuwait nor Saudi Arabia has been able to tell us who fed the accounts.
Also, apparently, when Abu Zubaydah was captured, telephone records, including calls to the United States, were found in the house he was living in. The calls stopped on September 10, and resumed on September 16. There's nothing in the 9/11 Commission report about any of this, and I have no idea whether the leads were run down, the evidence lost or destroyed.
If this sounds like paranoia, it is. But the CIA certainly is not helping by destroying evidence. And they should know better than to destroy evidence in the biggest criminal case in American history. More than anything what we need right now is complete and total transparency on 9/11.
Robert Baer, a former CIA field officer assigned to the Middle East, is TIME.com's intelligence columnist and the author of See No Evil and, most recently, the novel Blow the House Down
January 2, 2004
TWO SENATORS QUESTION OFFICE'S
ABILITY TO BLOCK TERROR MONEY
By John Solomon, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The top senators on the powerful Senate Finance Committee are openly questioning a key federal agency's ability to block terrorist money, citing examples in which U.S. officials failed to freeze the money of people identified as terrorist financiers by American allies.
"Other nations rightly look to the United States for leadership and information in the war on terrorism. We should not be playing catch-up," Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Max Baucus, D-Mont., wrote the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control in a letter just before Christmas.
Grassley, the committee chairman, and Baucus, its senior Democrat, cited numerous concerns about the office's performance, including evidence of sloppy record-keeping, failure to provide required information to Congress and reliance on voluntary compliance by banks to impose sanctions against suspected terrorists.
Though an internal investigation in 2002 recommended that the office make changes to ensure it has the legal authority to test banks' compliance with sanctions, the agency hasn't taken steps to do so, according to the letter.
Treasury Department spokeswoman Tara Bradshaw said she was unfamiliar with the lawmakers' complaint, and Richard Newcomb, director of the office, was out of town and unavailable for comment.
The obscure office is charged with freezing the bank accounts and other financial assets of countries, companies and individuals deemed enemies of the United States - among them Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
Based on orders from Congress and the president or just raw intelligence, it applies people to a "specially designated nationals" list that requires all financial institutions to block their money. It is one of the most powerful tools for choking off terrorist finances.
The office has been run for years by Newcomb, a career official who has served both Republican and Democratic presidents. The agency, however, has had its share of controversy.
Newcomb was the focus of a Treasury inspector general's investigation in the mid-1990s after a series of stories. The internal probe confirmed several instances in which he met outside the office with representatives of companies under investigation by his agency and took uncoordinated enforcement actions that potentially compromised criminal investigations.
Investigators cited two possible violations of federal ethics regulations, but Treasury officials rejected those conclusions and instead sent Newcomb a letter scolding him for creating the appearance of impropriety.
In 2002, the Treasury inspector general issued a report questioning the office's effectiveness in the war on terror.
Some concerns cited by Grassley and Baucus stem from that report, but the two lawmakers also questioned why the office had failed to block the assets of several people designated by allies as terrorist financiers.
* * *
<<< FLASHBACK <<<
September 25, 2001 - In an effort to "cut off money supplies" to terrorist groups, President Bush has announced that we and our allies intend to freeze the assets of all persons tied to a list of 27 (so far) people with alleged links to terrorism.
A few of us realize that dictators, drug dealers, rogue arms merchants, terrorists, and other illegal enterprises which deal in huge sums of money, simply cannot operate without the quiet money-laundering assistance of large international financial institutions, namely banks, insurance companies, stock brokers, money exchanges, credit card companies, casinos, etc.
So, if you wish to follow the migration of some of these high-flying birds of prey, just look closely for the trail of money droppings . . .
September 26, 2001
From the United States Securities and Exchange Commission web site:
Request for Records Search by Securities-Related Entities, Including Brokers, Dealers, Investment Advisers, Investment Companies, Municipal Securities Dealers and Transfer Agents
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., September 26, 2001 -- On September 23, 2001, President Bush signed an executive order freezing United States assets of and blocking transactions with 27 individuals and organizations. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also published a list of people who are under investigation in connection with the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.
The Commission asks that all securities-related entities (whether or not registered with the SEC) voluntarily (emphasis added) check their records for any relationships or transactions with the individuals and organizations named in the executive order or FBI's list. Names on those lists are set forth below.
We are asking all securities-related entities, including brokers, dealers, investment advisers, investment companies, municipal securities dealers, and transfer agents, for your help. If you know of any relationship (for example, an account), or a transaction (such as the purchase or sale of securities or a wire transfer), with any of the individuals or organizations on this list, please let us know. . . .
List of Individuals and Entities
>> Al Qaida/Islamic Army (or Al Qaeda)
>> Abu Sayyaf Group
>> Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
>> Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
>> Al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
>> Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
>> Asbat al-Ansar
>> Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC)
>> Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
>> Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI)
>> Islamic Army of Aden
>> Usama bin Laden (or Osama bin Laden)
>> Muhammad Atif (aka, Subhi Abu Sitta, Abu Hafs Al Masri)
>> Sayf al-Adi
>> Shaykh Sai'id (aka, Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad)
>> Abu Hafs the Mauritanian (aka, Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, Khalid Al-Shanqiti)
>> Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi
>> Abu Zubaydah (aka, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, Tariq)
>> Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi (aka, Abu Abdallah)
>> Ayman al-Zawahri
>> Thirwat Salah Shihata
>> Tariq Anwar al-Sayyid Ahmad (aka, Fathi, Amr al-Fatih)
>> Muhammad Salah (aka, Nasr Fahmi Nasr Hasanayn)
>> Makhtab Al-Khidamat/Al Kifah
>> Wafa Humanitarian Organization
>> Al Rashid Trust
>> Mamoun Darkazanli Import-Export Company
>> Khalid Al-Midhar
>> Majed Moqed
>> Nawaq Alhamzi
>> Salem Alhamzi
>> Hani Hanjour
>> Satam Al Suqami
>> Waleed M. Alshehri
>> Wail Alshehri
>> Mohamed Atta
>> Abdulaziz Alomari
>> Marwan Al-Shehhi
>> Fayez Ahmed
>> Ahmed Alghamdi
>> Hamza Alghamdi
>> Mohald Alshehri
>> Saeed Alghamdi
>> Ahmed Alhaznawi
>> Ahmed Alnami
>> Ziad Jarrahi
NOT appearing on the above list (for some reason) were the following, more pronounceable names
September 29, 2001
FOLLOW THE MONEY
By Chris Floyd, Moscow Times
Why couldn't American agents find Osama bin Laden's money and stop the flow of his support to terrorist networks around the world before they struck on Sept. 11?
Because Phil Gramm didn't want them to.
The hard-line Texas senator has long led the fight against international efforts to crack down on money laundering, tax evasion and other financial hijinks beloved of operators taking advantage of the "free flow of capital" around the world.
Gramm has successfully lobbied his fellow Republicans -- and not a few Democrats -- to keep "Big Guvmint" from peering under the rocks where terrorists, drug lords, outlaw regimes and various Mafias entwine so comfortably with Big Business and High Finance.
Last year, as head of the Senate Banking Committee, Gramm killed a Clinton initiative to give federal authorities broader powers to stop money laundering and bar foreign countries and banks from U.S. financial markets if they didn't cooperate with investigators, The New York Times reports.
Even after the attack, Gramm was proud of his intransigence.
"I was right then, and I am right now," Gramm crowed last week. "The way to deal with terrorists is to hunt them down and kill them."
But not, obviously, to interfere with their financial transactions. After all, some of that cash finds its way back to the pockets of those generous folks in the banking industry -- Gramm's political patrons.
Feisty Phil wasn't the only one opposed to such efforts, however. Just a few weeks ago, the Bush administration -- another group well-watered by the murky flow of offshore capital -- announced its withdrawal from international treaty talks on cleaning up the money-laundering swamp.
Why on earth did they oppose this strike against terrorism and organized crime?
Let's ask Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank -- no "left-wing fifth columnist" he: "The answer is, it's in the interests of some of the monied interests to allow this to occur," he told The Nation in June.
"It's not an accident; it could have been shut down at any time."
And this week, the Bush administration finally reversed the long-standing conservative appeasement of wealthy murderers, at least in part, by freezing the financial assets of Bin Laden and his associates and threatening to, er, bar any foreign countries and banks from U.S. financial markets if they didn't cooperate with investigators.
Of course, it took them 13 days to get around to blocking the cash flow of their "prime suspect" -- but maybe some of their comfortably entwined High Finance pals needed time to get untangled before the freeze.
Oh well, better late than never, right?
Speaking of closing the barn door after the mule has gone, Generalissimo George announced last week the creation of a new Cabinet-level "Office of Homeland Security," Reuters reports.
The OHS will oversee the work of 40 federal agencies and departments, including the FBI and CIA, while working with state governors and their agencies to provide nationwide coordination of domestic security efforts for the first time.
Good idea. Too bad the Generalissimo rejected it when it was first proposed to him -- last January.
That's when the "U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century," a bipartisan panel led by former senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman, presented the fruits of two years' work on upgrading safeguards against terrorist assaults.
Noting that "the persistence of international terrorism will end the relative invulnerability of the U.S. homeland to catastrophic attack," their report called for the creation of a Cabinet-level "Homeland Security Agency" to, er, provide nationwide coordination of domestic security efforts for the first time.
The Generalissimo, then engrossed in his successful jihad to reduce taxes for the rich, shelved the report. He said he would have U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney draw up his own plan for domestic security somewhere down the line -- maybe in October or something.
No need to be in such an all-fired hurry; after all, there weren't any "domestic security" lobbyists out there pouring dough into Bush campaign coffers, right? You gots to pay to play in this White House, bub.
The Generalissimo had other good reasons for rejecting the report.
First, the commission was appointed by former President Bill Clinton. ('Nuff said!)
Second, Hart was a liberal Democrat whose political career had been derailed years ago by the same kind of un-Christian trouser hockey that afflicted the Great Arkansas Satan.
And third, perhaps worst of all, Republican Rudman had openly supported the renegade John McCain when he dared oppose Dubya's bid for power last year.
No doubt the Generalissimo enjoyed this little exercise in political pique -- and now that thousands of his people lie dead in the smoldering ruins, why not dust off the old report and put its recommendations into practice?
Oh well, better late than never, right?
You will doubtless be comforted to know that Generalissimo Bush -- just like Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar of the Taliban, Adolf Hitler, Vlad the Impaler, Attila the Hun, Hammurabi of Babylon and Ug-Ug, the Neanderthal tribal chieftain -- believes he has been chosen by God to lead his people into war.
Bush's close friends say the atrocity has given the Generalissimo "a reason for being," The New York Times reports.
Mark McKinnon, a senior campaign adviser, says Bush feels the war "is the country's destiny -- and his destiny."
Says another, unidentified pal: "I think, in his frame, this is what God has asked him to do" -- a conviction, we're told, "informed and shaped by the president's own strain of Christianity."
During a White House meeting last week, one Christian-strained mullah told Bush it was "God's plan" that the Generalissimo was enthroned in power at such a propitious time.
Quietly, firmly -- and probably not smirking at all -- Bush replied: "I accept the responsibility."
So let's get the theology straight here:
It was "God's plan" to murder 6,000 innocent people in the most horrendous way possible just so George W. Bush could "find himself" and "fulfill his destiny"?
Lord have mercy on us all.
- Reprinted from The Moscow Times: http://www.themoscowtimes.ru/stories/2001/09/28/107.html
October 3, 2001
- From Rense.com:
Bush's Former Oil Company
Linked To bin Laden Family
By Rick Wiles, American Freedom News.com
President Bush recently signed an executive order to freeze the US financial assets of corporations doing business with Osama bin Laden. He described the order as a "strike on the financial foundation of the global terror network."
"If you do business with terrorists, if you support or succor them, you will not do business with the United States," said President Bush.
He didn't say anything about doing business with a terrorist's brother - or his wealthy financier.
When President George W. Bush froze assets connected to Osama bin Laden, he didn't tell the American people that the terrorist mastermind's late brother was an investor in the president's former oil business in Texas.
He also hasn't leveled with the American public about his financial connections to a host of shady Saudi characters involved in drug cartels, gun smuggling, and terrorist networks.
Doing business with the enemy is nothing new to the Bush family. Much of the Bush family wealth came from supplying needed raw materials and credit to Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. Several business operations managed by Prescott Bush - the president's grandfather - were seized by the US government during World War II under the Trading with the Enemy Act.
On October 20, 1942, the federal government seized the Union Banking Corporation in New York City as a front operation for the Nazis. Prescott Bush was a director. Bush, E. Roland Harriman, two Bush associates, and three Nazi executives owned the bank's shares. Eight days later, the Roosevelt administration seized two other corporations managed by Prescott Bush.
The Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation, both managed by the Bush-Harriman bank, were accused by the US federal government of being front organizations for Hitler's Third Reich. Again, on November 8, 1942, the federal government seized Nazi-controlled assets of Silesian-American Corporation, another Bush-Harriman company doing business with Hitler.
Doing business with the bin Laden empire, therefore, is only the latest extension of the Bush family's financial ties to unsavory individuals and organizations. Now that thousands of American citizens have died in terrorist attacks and the nation is going to war, the American people should know about George W. Bush's relationship with the family of Osama bin Laden.
Salem bin Laden, Osama's older brother, was an investor in Arbusto Energy - the Texas oil company started by George W. Bush. Arbusto means "Bush" in Spanish. Salem bin Laden died in an airplane crash in Texas in 1988.
Sheik Mohammed bin Laden, the family patriarch and founder of its construction empire, also died in a plane crash. Upon his death in 1968, he left behind 57 sons and daughters - the offspring he sired with 12 wives in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. About a dozen brothers manage Bin Laden Brothers Construction - one of the largest construction firms in the Middle East.
Fresh out of Harvard Business School, young George W. Bush returned to Midland, TX, in the late 1970s to follow his father's footsteps in the oil business. Beginning in 1978, he set up a series of limited partnerships - Arbusto '78, Arbusto '79, and so on - to drill for oil.
One of President Bush's earliest financial backers was James Bath, a Houston aircraft broker. Bath served with President Bush in the Texas Air National Guard. Bath has a mysterious connection to the Central Intelligence Agency.
According to a 1976 trust agreement, Salem bin Laden appointed James Bath as his business representative in Houston. Revelation about Bath's relationship with the bin Laden financial empire and the CIA was made public in 1992 by Bill White, a former real estate business partner with Bath. White informed federal investigators in 1992 that Bath told him that he had assisted the CIA in a liaison role since 1976 - the same year former President George Herbert Walker Bush served as director of the CIA.
During a bitter legal fight between White and Bath, the real estate partner disclosed that Bath managed a portfolio worth millions of dollars for Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz and other wealthy Saudis. Among the investments made by Bath with Mahfouz's money was the Houston Gulf Airport.
A powerful banker in Saudi Arabia, Mahfouz was one of the largest stockholders in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. BCCI was a corrupt global banking empire operating in 73 nations and was a major financial and political force in Washington, Paris, Geneva, London, and Hong Kong.
Despite the appearance of a normal banking operation, BCCI was actually an international crime syndicate providing "banking services" to the Medellin drug cartel, Pamama dictator Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, terrorist mastermind Abu Nidal, and Khun Sa, the heroin kingpin in Asia's Golden Triangle.
The BCCI scandal implicated some of the biggest political names in Washington - both Democrats and Republicans - during the first Bush White House. The bank was accused of laundering money for drug cartels, smuggling weapons to terrorists, and using Middle Eastern oil money to influence American politicians.
The chief of the Justice Department's criminal division under former President Bush was Robert Mueller. Because the major players came out of the scandal with slaps on the wrists, many critics accused Mueller of botching the investigation. Mr. Mueller was recently appointed by President George W. Bush as the new Director of the FBI, replacing Louis Freeh who did nothing while William Jefferson Clinton allowed the Red Chinese to loot our national security secrets.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the Justice Department, reviewed allegations by Bill White in 1992 that James Bath funneled money from wealthy Middle Eastern businessmen to American companies to influence the policies of the Reagan and Bush administrations. Robert Mueller, the new FBI chief, was in a senior position at the Justice Department at the time of the review.
White told a Texas court in 1992 that Bath and the Justice Department had "blackballed" him professionally and financially because he refused to keep quiet about his knowledge of an Arabic conspiracy to launder Middle Eastern money into the bank accounts of American businesses and politicians.
In sworn depositions, Bath admitted he represented four wealthy Saudi Arabian businessmen as a trustee. He also admitted he used his name on their investments and received, in return, a five- percent stake in their business deals.
Indeed, Texas tax documents revealed that Bath owned five percent of Arbusto '79 Ltd., and Arbusto '80 Ltd. Bush Exploration Company controlled the limited partnerships, the general partnership firm owned by young George W. Bush.
Although George W. Bush's Texas oil ventures were financial failures, his financial backers recovered their investments through a series of mergers and stock swaps. He changed Arbusto's name to Bush Exploration, then merged the new firm into Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation in 1984.
The Bush-controlled oil business eventually ended up being folded into Harken Energy Corp., a Dallas-based corporation. Mr. Bush joined Harken as a director in 1986 and was given 212,000 shares of Harken stock. Bush used his White House connections to land a lucrative contract for the obscure Harken Energy Corp. with the Middle Eastern government of Bahrain. On June 20, 1990, George W. Bush sold his Harken stock for $848,000 and paid off his loan he took out to buy his small share in the Texas Rangers. The Bahrain deal was brokered by David Edwards, a close pal to Bill Clinton and a former employee of Stephens Inc.
Shortly after Bush sold his stock, Harken's fortunes nose-dived when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Some critics claim young George was tipped off in advance by his father about the soon-coming Gulf War.
George W. Bush, however, worked wonders for Harken Energy Corp. before the stock collapse. Using the Bush family name, he managed to bring much-needed capital investment to the struggling firm. George W. Bush traveled to Little Rock, AR, to attend a meeting with Jackson Stephens - a powerful Arkansas tycoon who help bankroll the state campaigns of young Bill Clinton. He first gained political prominence as a fund-raiser for President Jimmy Carter. Stephens was also deeply involved in the BCCI scandal by helping the corrupt bank take control of First American Bank in Washington, DC.
Jack Stephens didn't need an introduction to young George W. Bush. Mary Anne Stephens, his wife, managed Vice President George Bush's 1988 presidential campaign in Arkansas. Stephens Inc., the well connected brokerage firm owned by Jack Stephens, donated $100,000 to a Bush campaign fundraising dinner in 1991. When George W. Bush won the contested Florida election in 2000, Jack Stephens made a substantial contribution to the Bush inauguration. Recently, former President Bush played golf on April 11, 2001, with Jack Stephens at the Jack Stephens Youth Golf Academy in Little Rock.
The former president told Stephens, "Jack, we love you and we are very, very grateful for what you have done."
Perhaps the former president was thanking him for the money Stephens provided young George W. Bush. Stephens arranged for a $25 million investment from the Union des Banques Suisses. The Swiss Bank held the minority interest in the Banque de Commerce et de Placements, a Geneva-based subsidiary of BCCI.
Both Stephens and Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, a wealthy and well-connected Saudi real estate investor, signed the financial transaction. The Geneva transaction was paid through a joint venture between the Union Bank of Switzerland and its Geneva branch of BCCI.
The BCCI connection, therefore, linked George W. Bush with Saudi banker Khaled bin Mahfouz. Known in Arab circles as the "king's treasurer," Mahfouz held a 20 percent take in BCCI between 1986 and 1990.
Mahfouz is no stranger to the Bush family. He was a big investor in the Carlyle Group, a defense-industry investment group with deep connections to the Republican Party establishment. Former President Bush is a former member of the company's board of directors. George W. Bush also held shares in Caterair, a Carlyle subsidiary. Sami Baarma, a powerful player in the Mahfouz-owned Prime Commercial Bank of Pakistan, is a member of the Carlyle Group's international advisory board.
President Bush certainly is aware of that his former Saudi sugar daddy is still financing Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. USA Today newspaper reported in 1999 that a year after bin Laden's attacks on US embassies in Africa, Khaled bin Mahfouz and other wealthy Saudis were funneling tens of millions of dollars each year into bin Laden's bank accounts.
Five top Saudi businessmen ordered the National Commercial Bank to transfer personal funds and $3 million pilfered from a Saudi pension fund to the Capitol Trust Bank in New York City. The money was deposited into the Islamic Relief and Bless Relief - Islamic charities operating in the US and Great Britain as fronts for Osama bin Laden.
The Capitol Trust Bank is run by Mohammad Hussein al-Amoudi. His lawyer is Democratic Party bigwig Vernon Jordan, close friend of former President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, the Arab who cosigned the $25 million cash infusion into George W. Bush's Harken Energy Corporation, appointed Talat Othman to manage his 17.6 percent share in Harken Energy Corp. Othman, a native Palestinian, is president and CEO of Dearborn Financial Inc. - an investment firm in Arlington Heights, IL.
Bakhsh also bought a 9.6 percent stake in Worthen Banking Corporation, the Arkansas bank controlled by Jack Stephens. Abdullah Bakhsh's share was the identical percentage as the amount of shares sold by Mochtar Riady, the godfather of the wealthy Indonesian family with close ties to the Chinese communists, Bill Clinton and evangelist Pat Robertson. Bakhsh is represented by Rogers & Wells, a well-connected Republican law firm in New York whose partners include former Secretary of State William P. Rogers.
Independent investigator reporter David Twersky reported in the early 1990s that Othman had a seat on Harken's board of directors and met three times in the White House with President George Herbert Walker Bush. Organized by Chief of Staff John Sununu, Othman's first meeting with President Bush at the White House was in August 1990, just days after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
There exist to this day an Arab-Texas connection. Khalid bin Mahfouz, financier of both George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden, still maintains a palatial estate in Houston, TX. Former President George Bush also lives in Houston. James Bath, Texas political confidant of George W. Bush, managed to obtain a $1.4 million loan from Mahfouz in 1990. Bath and Mahfouz, along with former Secretary of Treasury John Connally, were also co-investors in Houston's Main Bank. Bath was also president of Skyway Aircraft Leasing Ltd, a Texas air charter company registered in the Cayman Islands. According to published reports in the early 1990s, the real owner was bin Mahfouz. When Salem bin Laden, Osama' brother, died in 1988, his interest in the Houston Gulf Airport was transferred to bin Mahfouz.
Since Osama bin Laden's bloody attack on America on September 11, the federal government has moved quickly to freeze bank accounts connected to Osama bin Laden, Khalid bin Mahfouz, and a host of Islamic charities.
Perhaps federal agents should freeze the financial assets of the Bush family too. It would not be the first time Bush-family assets were seized by the US government for trading with the enemy.
- Copyright 2001 American Freedom News
For more, GO TO > > > Aloha, Harken Energy!; The Dirty Little Secrets of Dow Chemical; The Vampires on Jupiter Island
January 8, 2002
Making a mint inside "the iron triangle" of
defense, government, and industry.
By Dan Briody, Red Herring Magazine
Like everyone else in the United States, the group stood transfixed as the events of September 11 unfolded. Present were former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, former secretary of state James Baker III, and representatives of the bin Laden family.
This was not some underground presidential bunker or Central Intelligence Agency interrogation room. It was the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., the plush setting for the annual investor conference of one of the most powerful, well-connected, and secretive companies in the world: the Carlyle Group.
And since September 11, this little-known company has become unexpectedly important.
That the Carlyle Group had its conference on America's darkest day was mere coincidence, but there is nothing accidental about the cast of characters that this private-equity powerhouse has assembled in the 14 years since its founding. Among those associated with Carlyle are former U.S. president George Bush Sr., former U.K. prime minister John Major, and former president of the Philippines Fidel Ramos.
And Carlyle has counted George Soros, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia, and Osama bin Laden's estranged family among its high-profile clientele.
The group has been able to parlay its political clout into a lucrative buyout practice (in other words, purchasing struggling companies, turning them around, and selling them for huge profits)--everything from defense contractors to telecommunications and aerospace companies. It is a kind of ruthless investing made popular by the movie Wall Street, and any industry that relies heavily on government regulation is fair game for Carlyle's brand of access capitalism.
Carlyle has established itself as the gatekeeper between private business interests and U.S. defense spending.
And as the Carlyle investors watched the World Trade towers go down, the group's prospects went up.
In running what its own marketing literature spookily calls "a vast, interlocking, global network of businesses and investment professionals" that operates within the so-called iron triangle of industry, government, and the military, the Carlyle Group leaves itself open to any number of conflicts of interest and stunning ironies.
For example, it is hard to ignore the fact that Osama bin Laden's family members, who renounced their son ten years ago, stood to gain financially from the war being waged against him until late October, when public criticism of the relationship forced them to liquidate their holdings in the firm. Or consider that U.S. president George W. Bush is in a position to make budgetary decisions that could pad his father's bank account.
But for the Carlyle Group, walking that narrow line is the art of doing business at the murky intersection of Washington politics, national security, and private capital; mastering it has enabled the group to amass $12 billion in funds under management. But while successful in the traditional private-equity avenue of corporate buyouts, Carlyle has recently set its sites on venture capital with less success. The firm is finding that all the politicians in the world won't help it identify an emerging technology or a winning business model.
Surprisingly, Carlyle has avoided the fertile VC market in defense technology, which now, more than ever, comes from smaller companies hoping to cash in on what the defense establishment calls the revolution in military affairs, or RMA. Thus far, Carlyle has passed up on these emerging technologies in favor of some truly awful Internet plays. And despite its unique qualifications for early-stage funding of defense companies, the firm seems to have no appetite for the sector.
Despite its VC troubles, however, the Carlyle Group's core business is set for some good times ahead. Though the group has raised eyebrows on Capitol Hill in the past, the firm's close ties with the current administration and its cozy relationship with several prominent Saudi government figures has the watchdogs howling.
And it's those same connections that will keep Carlyle in the black for as long as the war against terrorism endures.
For the 11th-largest defense contractor in the United States, wartime is boom time. No one knows that better than the Carlyle Group, which less than a month after U.S. troops began bombing Afghanistan filed to take public its crown jewel of defense, United Defense, a company it has owned for nearly a decade...
< < < UPDATE > > >
November 29, 2002
THE 'ARAB GATSBY' AND HIS WASHINGTON PALS
By Maureen Dowd, The New York Times
WASHINGTON - Prince Bandar is known as the Arab Gatsby.
Rising from a murky past in a racist society, born in a Bedouin tent as the son of an African palace servant impregnated by a Saudi prince, to a glamorous present as dean of the Washington diplomatic corps.
Tossing glittery parties with celebrity entertainment at his sumptuous mansions in Aspen and England's Wychwood, a royal hunting ground once used by Norman and Plantagenet kings.
Smoking cigars and bragging about his fighter-jock exploits - flying upside down 50 feet above the ground - at parties at his McLean, Va. estate overlooking the Potomac, "where there was more chilled vodka in little shot glasses than I've ever see," as one guest recalled.
Flying off in his private Airbus to hunt birds in Spain with his friends former President George H.W. Bush and Norman Schwarzkopf, entertaining the current President Bush's sister, Doro, at his Virginia farm, and palling around on the D.C. social circuit with Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, George Tenet, Brent Scowcroft and Bob Woodward.
Spinning a smoky web of intrigue with his cigars and CIA operations, helping finance the contras.
So if Bandar bin Sultan is Gatsby, his wife, Princess Haifa, must be like the careless Daisy, her voice full of money that could have ended up supporting two of the Saudi hijackers.
And those 15 Saudi hijackers would be "the foul dust that floated in the wake" of the Arab Gatsby's dreams.
His new dream is that Saudi Arabia will help America get rid of Saddam, and then the anger over Saudi involvement in 9/11 will fade and the cozy, oily alliance between the countries can get back on track.
All the millions the Saudis have spent since 9/11 on a charm offensive could not save them from Newsweek's Michael Isikoff and Evan Thomas, who drew fresh tracks between charitable checks Haifa wrote and two hijackers.
The princess says she feels as if a bomb has been dropped on her head - an unfortunate metaphor given the fact that Saudi terrorists funded by Saudi charities turned planes carrying innocent Americans into bombs.
She is rarely seen around Washington, abiding by Saudi customs sheltering women. But she entertains at her many homes, and powerful friends - including Barbara Bush and Alma Powell - called on Monday night to buck her up.
The case inflamed public suspicion that the Saudi government is more involved than it admits, and that the Bushies are less zealous about getting to the bottom of the Saudi role than they should be.
Some senators charge that the FBI has pulled its punches, and that the royal family, as Richard Shelby puts it, has "got a lot of answering to do."
Gen. Tommy Franks has already spent a fortune setting up a new base in Qatar because the Saudis are still dithering about letting us use our old bases in their country.
Noncommittal on the future, and uncooperative on the past, the Saudis have been stingy about helping the FBI with 9/11. The administration has helped the Saudis be evasive, with Dick Cheney stonewalling congressional investigators.
It would probably be far easier for America to reduce its dependence on Saudi oil than for the House of Saud and the House of Bush to untangle their decades-long symbiosis.
Bandar, the representative of an oil kingdom, is so close to the Bushes, an oil dynasty, that they nicknamed him Bandar Bush. He contributed over $1 million to the Bush presidential library. The former president is affiliated with the Carlyle Group, which does extensive business with the Saudis.
It was terribly inconvenient for all the friends of the bin Sultans when the trail of checks led to the Saudi Embassy. Many influential people in Washington were averting their eyes from the embarrassment. The prince and his panicky wife were defending themselves to The New York Times' Patrick Tyler while Bandar anxiously flipped among seven television screens in their pool house to catch the latest news.
The Bush crowd was praying it wasn't a last-days-of-disco scene similar to the one when the shah of Iran was overthrown by Islamic fundamentalists, and the jet-setting Iranian diplomats had to pour all the liquor down the drain at their embassy.
Will the Arab Gatsby end like the original - "borne back ceaselessly into the past"?
For much, much more on the Carlyle Group connection, GO TO > > > Birds that Drink from Cesspools
October 8, 2001
ATTACKS TAKE TOLL ON
BIN LADEN COMPANY
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) - Respected across the Middle East, the Saudi Bin Laden Group renovated Islam's holiest sites, helped build the skyline in Saudi Arabia's capital - and forged ties with the kingdom and royal family that are critical to its business.
Since Sept. 11, these carefully nurtured business connections have been threatened.
The family has disowned Osama bin Laden, the main suspect behind the Sept. 11 assault, and there is no evidence of financial links between the suspected terrorist and the business conglomerate.
Yet, some of the Bin Laden Group's international bankers and business associates said they are reconsidering or even cutting their ties. . . .
Cadbury Schweppes, the London-based beverage and candy maker, has severed ties with a Saudi distributor owned by a Lebanese holding company in which the bin Ladens have a minority stake.
Michael Walker, chief executive of Multitone wireless networking of Britain, suspended dealings with Baud Telecommunications, a Bin Laden Group subsidiary, after the attacks.
Citigroup, which provides banking services to the Bin Laden Group, would not discuss specific banking ties. But spokeswoman Susan Weeks said: "Given the events of the past two weeks, we will be monitoring the situation closely."
The Saudi Bin Laden Group did not respond to requests for comment. About a dozen of Osama bin Laden's 53 siblings work in the conglomerate, which has $3 billion to $5 billion in annual revenue and businesses including mining and telecommunications.
However, the Dutch ABN Amro Bank that has counted the Bin Laden Group among its clients for seven decades, says it has no evidence of wrongdoing.
Chas W. Freeman, Jr., a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, attributed what he called a run for "public relations cover" to ignorance and noted that the bin Laden name remains "a very honored name" in the kingdom.
Freeman, now board chairman of Projects International Inc., a Washington company that helps arrange global business deals, says he's discussing proposals with the Bin Laden Group - and that won't change....
For more on Citigroup, GO TO > > > Vampires in the City
OCTOBER 12, 2001
U.S. SENATOR THOMAS DASCHLE (D-SD) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HOLDS NEWS CONFERENCE
DASCHLE: Well, it was a good day overall yesterday. I feel very good about what we've been able to do with airport security, and I was pleased with the overwhelming vote, pleased with our vote on counterterrorism last night. And I think we ended the week in a way that we ought to feel very good about. . . .
As you probably know, the House is going to be taking up at least the counterterrorism bill today. I'm not sure what they're going to do on airport security.
I am really surprised that they are unwilling to take up the money laundering provisions. You can't deal with counterterrorism if you don't deal with money laundering. And so to divorce the two is preposterous. It's just not something that we are willing to support. We will not support a counterterrorism bill that does not have money laundering provisions in it.
So whether it's done in conference or whether it's done in the House of Representatives, it must be done, and we will insist that it be done. So we will work through that as the time allows--sometime next week, I suppose.
DASCHLE: That's just what I was told. The rule will not allow money laundering provisions in the bill - and inexplicably. How could you not deal with money laundering? I don't get it, but we'll have to see.
And, you know, it's more than just a terrorism issue.
It's a drug issue.
It is an issue that goes way beyond terrorism here.
So it's legislation long overdue....
October 16, 2001
International Coalition Needed
to Fight Money Laundering
By Anita Ramasastry - Special to CNN.com
(FindLaw) -- The movement of terrorist-linked money across borders was as much a factor in the events of September 11 as were lax airport controls, arguably more so.
In the era of globalization, cross-border flows of capital can be as dangerous as cross-border flows of weapons of destruction. International cooperation and enforcement is the key to combating terrorism, but this includes a fiscal fight as well as an armed conflict.
That is one reason why we need to pay more attention to the importance of preventing and detecting money laundering -- the insertion of illegally obtained funds into the stream of commerce, so that "dirty" money appears "clean."
Another reason we should focus on this issue is that the increasing globalization of financial services, wire transfers and faster Internet payments arguably make the life of a money launderer easier, making detection even more urgent.
The events of September 11 have highlighted the link between money laundering and terrorist operations. In order to create an international network that spans continents, terrorists need to move money around and often do so via normal commercial channels.
In the past, money laundering often seemed not to be directly our problem.
The topic often came up in newspaper articles covering, for example, scandals involving the assets of deposed dictators such as Ferdinand Marcos, Jean Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier and Gen. Sani Abacha -- who, we learned, secreted their money in Switzerland or in some offshore bank secrecy haven.
But the issue, while it may have concerned those with an interest in international human rights, never truly hit home.
Now, of course, that has changed.
The U.S. Congress and President Bush need to enact new money laundering legislation but that is not enough. They should also work not only for stronger domestic remedies, but also for better international financial efforts.
And they should move quickly on both fronts -- for they are truly fronts of the war on terrorism.
Freezing assets connected to
Bin Laden and al Qaeda
On September 23, President Bush began this effort by signing an executive order on terrorist financing. The order blocked the property of a group of designated persons and business entities with links to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. At last count, the United States had frozen approximately $6 million in such funds in the U.S. alone.
This is admirable, but also disturbing -- for it should have been done long ago.
President Clinton ordered the Treasury Department to find bin Laden's wealth in an executive order issued on August 20, 1998, 13 days after suicide-bomb attacks on the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. But no money was frozen under that order.
This past summer, a prescient article appeared in "Foreign Affairs," authored by William Wechsler, who served as special adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury from 1999-2001, during the Clinton administration. Wechsler called upon the Bush administration to act decisively to continue multilateral efforts to combat money laundering, tax evasion and the emergence of rogue banking states -- that is, offshore banking centers created by small island nations that often resist international efforts to tighten their banking laws.
In his essay, Wechsler pointed out that Osama bin laden and al Qaeda had been able to launder funds. He warned that stronger international measures were needed to prevent such groups from moving funds illicitly. How right he was.
I myself wrote an article in 1998 in the Vanderbilt "Journal of Transnational Law" that linked Swiss bank secrecy to the ability of war criminals to hide their assets, and noted the need for international efforts to combat this problem. During World War II, for example, the Nazi regime was able to funnel assets and plunder out of Germany into Swiss bank accounts.
Terrorist and war criminals need money and will hide it wherever they can.
Regulating correspondent banking
Of course, the United States still needs to strengthen its own investigation and enforcement capacity with respect to money laundering. U.S. banks have been implicated in money laundering in the past two years by virtue of their relationships with international "correspondent banks." (Correspondent banking involves one bank providing financial services to another bank in order to transfer funds across borders and to exchange currencies.)
Many banks in the U.S. have been cited as having established correspondent relationships with high-risk foreign banks. In March 2001, a U.S. Senate subcommittee report noted that several major U.S. banks -- Bank of America, Chase Manhattan, Citibank, and The Bank of New York -- had not conducted sufficient review of correspondent accounts held by foreign banks that were linked to money laundering, tax evasion, and fraud.
Current legislation before the House and the Senate contains provisions aimed to prevent American banks from working with risky foreign correspondent banks. These measures are not just good policy -- they are a necessity.
The importance of money laundering enforcement
The U.S. government agencies that are charged with the fight against money laundering also need greater resources to do so. These agencies include the United States Department of Customs, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Department of the Treasury.
At the end of last week, the Senate approved antiterrorist legislation, known as the USA Act, that includes money-laundering measures. In contrast, the similar, competing House bill, the Patriot Act, does not include such measures.
The House does have proposed money-laundering legislation pending, however, but it has kept the legislation separate from its antiterrorism legislation. It has done so because the money-laundering bill contains provisions relating to Internet gambling, which are controversial among various industry groups.
The House should be careful to focus on what is important, and follow the Senate's lead in connecting antiterrorism efforts and the fight against money laundering. Whether the result is two bills or one is immaterial. What is important is that the squabble over Internet gambling does not obscure the crucial anti-money laundering effort.
The Financial Action Task Force and other international groups
Beyond fixing its own money laundering controls, the United States needs to focus on working with the international community on the money laundering issue. In particular, the U.S. should concentrate on aiding developing and transition economies to ensure that they participate meaningfully in international anti-money laundering efforts.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is best known among the international groups working to combat money laundering. FATF is a multilateral organization with 31 member states and it has 40 some-odd recommendations on how nations should combat money laundering. If nations fail to cooperate, they are branded and placed on a shame list by FATF.
Other multilateral, nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations have also jumped on board the anti-money laundering bandwagon. The list is impressive, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Group of Seven Major Industrialized Countries (referred to as the G-7, and including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States), the Group of Eight (referred to as the G-8 -- the Group of Seven plus Russia), the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Stability Forum.
Each of these groups has produced countless reports and sets of "best practices" guidelines. And each has repeatedly condemned money laundering and called for increased vigilance by member states.
Unfortunately, while very well intentioned, all of these documents together constitute an overlapping and often confusing array of requirements. What we need, instead, is a common standard with respect to money laundering and criminal enforcement.
The need for further international efforts
FATF has the power to list countries, but it has no power to act -- and that is a problem that should be remedied, by further empowering FATF, or some other international organization, to sanction non-complying countries.
At present, all FATF can do is to ask individual governments to act to impose sanctions against uncooperative nations. In June 2001, FATF cited three countries -- Russia, the Philippines and the island state of Nauru -- as jurisdictions that had done little in the past year to halt illegal flows of money through their financial systems.
Other countries recently cited for not cooperating sufficiently include Burma, Egypt, Guatemala, Hungary, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
Particularly given the strengthening U.S.-Russia and U.S.-Indonesia relationships, President Bush should be able, at least, to convince many of these countries to do more. Improving money laundering enforcement also allows a country to join the fight against terrorism in a relatively low-profile, yet potentially highly effective way.
There are some international treaties that relate to money laundering in place, but none are comprehensive in their scope. Perhaps the most relevant is the International Convention for the Suppression and Financing of Terrorism, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1999.
Last, but certainly not least, many nations are just now ratifying this convention, in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Japan and other nations agreed to ratify the Convention following a meeting of the G-7 in Washington DC in early October.
Why the money matters
Some commentators will note that following the money is not enough In fact; newspaper articles have mentioned that the recent attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were financed relatively cheaply, given the devastation they wrought.
Estimates differ, though, and some say the attacks cost up to $500,000. Still, some commentators argue, it will do little good to stop bin Laden's cash flow because the acts of violence can be done without recourse to much money.
One response to this is that the harder we make it for terrorists the better. Forcing them to resort to cheap means of terrorism may mean such means are, at least, smaller-scale. Moreover, in addition to the important aim of stopping the violence the money funds by freezing assets and making them inaccessible, stopping the money has several other important purposes.
First, freezing the assets creates a useful trail that helps reconstruct the actions and movements of persons prior to the incidents of September 11. Second, assets that are frozen may ultimately provide at least some redress for the families of victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, as well as for the families of victims of previous bombings allegedly masterminded by the al Qaeda network
Just last week, a woman who lost her husband in the World Trade Center terrorist onslaught filed a lawsuit naming bin Laden as a defendant. The suit was filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The lawsuit also names Afghanistan, its Taliban leaders, and al Qaeda as defendants.
In two other lawsuits, Kenyan plaintiffs who were injured in the 1998 bombings of the U.S embassies in Kenya and Tanzania are also seeking damages from bin Laden, as well as from the United States government. Relatives of those killed by terrorist attacks may someday receive funds from the frozen accounts.
The public often sees money laundering, like tax evasion, as a boring, complex or technical offense; tracking wire transfers will always be less exciting than tracking a criminal. Yet this image hides a destructive, often bloody reality.
Following the money can help end violence. Remember that Al Capone was jailed for tax evasion. And remember bin Laden, and the threat he poses, when you think of money laundering.
We must wage a fiscal war on terrorism, too.
Anita Ramasastry, a FindLaw columnist, is also an assistant professor of law and the associate director of the Shidler Center for Law, Commerce and Technology at the University of Washington School of Law. Ramasastry is a former staff attorney for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She was recently the reporter and academic advisor for a new uniform state law attempting to regulate non-bank financial services with respect to money laundering and consumer protection issues. The views expressed in this editorial are her views alone and do not represent the views of her former employer.
October 26, 2001
Bin Laden's Family Cutting Ties With Carlyle Investment Firm in U.S.
By Marcy Gordon, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - Osama bin Laden's family in Saudi Arabia is cutting its financial ties with the Carlyle Group, a politically connected U.S. private investment firm, a source familiar with the relationship said Friday.
The break was a mutual decision, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The bin Laden family decided to sell its investment worth $2.02 million back to the firm mainly because its stake in a Carlyle fund that invests in buyouts of military and aerospace companies, the source said, confirming a report in Friday's editions of The New York Times.
There had been criticism in Saudi Arabia after the Sept. 11 terror attacks that the family, which disowned exiled Islamic militant Osama bin Laden years ago, might profit from increased military spending in the U.S. war against terrorism.
The family, whose construction company is one of the largest in the Middle East, also has invested with a number of other investment funds and financial institutions around the world, reportedly including U.S. financial services giant Citigroup , Deutsche Bank of Germany and the Dutch bank ABN Amro.
Carlyle has some $14 billion in assets under management. Its chairman is Frank Carlucci, a former U.S. defense secretary. Former President George Bush, former secretary of state James Baker and Arthur Levitt, who had been chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission through most of the Clinton administration, are senior advisers to the firm.
December 11, 2001
The White House connection: Saudi 'agents' close Bush friends
by Maggie Mulvihill, Jonathan Wells and Jack Meyers, Boston Globe
A powerful Washington, D.C., law firm with unusually close ties to the White House has earned hefty fees representing controversial Saudi billionaires as well as a Texas-based Islamic charity fingered last week as a terrorist front.
The influential law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld has represented three wealthy Saudi businessmen - Khalid bin Mahfouz, Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi and Salah Idris - who have been scrutinized by U.S. authorities for possible involvement in financing Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.
In addition, Akin, Gump currently represents the largest Islamic charity in the United States, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in Richmond, Texas.
Holy Land's assets were frozen by the Treasury Department last week as government investigators probe its ties to Hamas, the militant Palestinian group blamed for suicide attacks against Israelis.
Partners at Akin, Gump include one of President Bush's closest Texas friends, James C. Langdon, and George R. Salem, a Bush fund-raiser who chaired his 2000 campaign's outreach to Arab-Americans.
Another longtime partner is Barnett A. "Sandy" Kress, the former Dallas School Board president who Bush appointed in January to work for the White House as an "unpaid consultant" on education reform.
In September, a federal grand jury issued subpoenas for Holy Land records around the same time terrorist investigators froze the assets of a North Texas Internet firm hired by Holy Land.
Holy Land shared office space with that firm, InfoCom Corp., which was raided by police on Sept. 5, just days before the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.
Holy Land has denied any link to Hamas.
According to Akin, Gump, the firm represents Holy Land in a federal lawsuit filed against the charity and another suspected Hamas entity by the parents of a man allegedly murdered by Hamas operatives in the Middle East.
In a statement issued Friday, Akin, Gump said it decided last week to decline a request to represent Holy Land in its defense of terrorism-related charges made by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Akin, Gump, which maintains an affiliate office in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, is also a registered foreign agent for the kingdom. It was paid $77,328 in lobbying fees by the Saudis during the first six months of 2000, public records show.
In addition to the royal family, the firm's Saudi clients have included bin Mahfouz, who hired Akin, Gump when he was indicted in the BCCI banking scandal in the early 1990s. In 1999, the Saudi's placed bin Mahfouz under house arrest after reportedly discovering that the bank he controlled, National Commercial Bank in Saudi Aabia, funneled millions to charities believed to be serving as bin Laden fronts.
A bin Mahfouz business partner, Al-Amoudi, was also represented by Akin, Gump. When it was reported in 1999 that U.S. authorities were also investigating Al-Amoudi's Capitol Trust Bank, Akin, Gump released a statement on behalf of their client denying any connections to terrorism. One year earlier, the firm had co-sponsored an investment conference in Ethiopia with Al-Amoudi.
Akin, Gump partner and Bush fund-raiser Salem led the legal team that defended Idris, a banking protege of bin Mahfouz and the owner of El-Shifa, the Sudanese pharmaceutical plant destroyed by U.S. cruise missiles in August 1998.
The plant was targeted days after terrorists - allegedly on the orders of bin Laden - bombed two U.S. embassies in Africa. The U.S. Treasury Department also froze $24 million of Idris' assets, but Akin, Gump filed a lawsuit and the government later chose to release the money rather than go to court. Idris, who insists he has no connection whatsoever to bin Laden or terrorism, is now pursuing a second lawsuit with different attorneys seeking $50 million in damages from the United States [aka US taxpayers].
Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan political watchdog group, said Akin, Gump's willingness to represent Saudi power-brokers probed for links to terrorism presents a unique ethical concern since partners at the firm are so close to the president.
The concern is more acute now, Lewis said, because Bush has faced stiff resistance from the kingdom in his repeated requests to freeze suspected terrorist bank accounts.
"The conduct of the Saudis is just unacceptable by international standards, especially if they are supposed to be one of our closest allies," Lewis said.
Speaking of Akin, Gump partner Kress' office in the White House, Lewis added: "That's not appropriate and frankly it's potentially troublesome because there is a real possibility of a conflict of interest. Basically you have a partner for Akin, Gump . . . inside the hen house."
But another longtime Washington political observer, Vincent Cannistraro, the former chief of counter-intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, said the political influence a firm like Akin, Gump has is precisely why clients like the Saudis hire them.
"These are cozy political relationships . . . If you have a problem in Washington, there are only a few firms to go to and Akin, Gump is one of them," Cannistraro said.
Cannistraro pointed out that Idris hired Akin, Gump during the Clinton presidency, when Clinton confidante Vernon Jordan was a partner at the firm. "He hired them because Vernon Jordan had influence . . . that's a normal political exercise where you are buying influence," he said.
Akin, Gump is not the only politically wired Washington business cashing in on the Saudi connection.
Burson-Marsteller, a major D.C. public relations firm, registered with the U.S. government as a foreign agent for the Saudi embassy within weeks of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
One of Burson-Marsteller's first public relations efforts for the Saudis was to run a large advertisement in the New York Times reading: "We Stand with You, America."
The Washington chairman for Burson-Marsteller, which also maintains an office in Saudi Arabia, is Craig Veith, who ran communications for the Republican Party in the 1996 elections.
Other GOP heavyweights who have held top positions at the PR giant include Sheila Tate, the campaign press secretary for the elder George Bush; Leslie Goodman, deputy director of communications for the 1992 Bush-Quayle campaign; Craig L. Fuller, chairman of the 1992 Republican National Convention and elder Bush's vice presidential chief-of-staff.
For more of the White House connection, GO TO > > > Thorns in the Rose Garden
From Forbidden Truth - U.S. Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden:
THE BANKER OF TERROR
By Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasqauié
Khalid bin Mahfouz is not your typical banker. He's not flashy or audacious. At seventy-three, he prefers to keep a low profile. A diabetic for years, he remains impassive behind his thick glasses and moustache, as if distrustful of anything outside his own world.
In 1950, Khalid bin Mahfouz's father founded Saudi Arabia's first bank, the National Commercial Bank (NCB). As powerful as he is discreet, Khalid bin Mahfous finances all the kingdom's extravagances . . .
His family is one of the most influential in Saudi Arabia. Like the bin Laden family, the bin Mahfouzes came from the province of Hadramaut in southern Yemen....
When Salim bin Mahfouz died in 1994, Khalid took control of the empire. The bin Mahfouz empire is a vast one, covering the major sectors in Saudi Arabia and abroad, most notably banking, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. The family's economic activities are rooted in three main holding companies in Jeddah: the NCB, Nimir Petroleum Limited, and the Saudi Economic and Development Company (SEDCO). From this base, the family holds majority shares in close to seventy companies around the world.
Khalid bin Mahfouz was a key figure in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, or BCCI, affair. Between 1986 and 1990, he was a top executive there, holding the position of operational director. His family held a 20 percent share in the bank at the time. He was charged in the United States in 1992 with tax fraud in the bank's collapse.
In 1995, held jointly liable in the BCCI's collapse, he agreed to a $245 million settlement to pay the bank's creditors, allowing them to indemnify a portion of the bank's clients. The specific charges against the bank were embezzlement and violation of American, Luxembourg, and British banking laws.
After dominating the financial news throughout the 1990s, the BCCI is now at the center of the financial network put in place by Osama bin Laden's main supporters.
The Bank of Credit and Commerce International was founded on November 29, 1972, by a Pakistani man, Agha Hasan Abedi, who comes from a family of Shiite Muslims. After getting his law degree, he started a career in banking, notably with the Habib Bank. After the partition of India, Abedi went to Karachi in Pakistan in the late 1940s. There, he met Yusif Saigol, the heir of a wealthy family of merchants, who financed the creation of the United Bank Ltd. Taking advantage of the country's economic crisis, and of the Arab dependence on Pakistani labor, he convinced authorities in Abu Dhabi in 1966 to open a branch for Pakistani workers in the United Arab Emirates, and to allow him to manage the workers' finances....
In order to ensure the BCCI's independence, Abedi decided to create two holding companies consolidating all of the branches. BCCI Holdings SA was registerd in Luxembourg in 1972, while BCCI SA was registered in the Caymen Islands in 1975. At the same time, a fund for employee shareholding called International Credit and Investment Company Holding was created in the Cayman Islands.
In order to improve the BCCI's international standing, the founders got support from the Bank of America. Eager to expand its presence in the Gulf States, the bank took a 25 percent stake in the BCCI, for a total of $2.5 million.
The Bank of America became a shareholder alongside Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan; Kamal Adham, Saudi Arabia's former head of intelligence; and Faisal Al-Fulaij, president of Kuwait Airways; as well as rulers from the different emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.
Success came quickly for the BCCI, and the oil crisis played an important part in its expansion. In 1988, the BCCI counted four hundred branches in seventy-three countries. However, from the very beginning, the bank adopted some unusual financing methods, such as allocating large loans without a real guarantee, in return for investments in the company according to the practice of "loan back."
This way, the main loan beneficiaries were the shareholders themselves, such as Kamal Adhan ($400 million) and the Gokal family ($80 million)....
~ ~ ~
On July 2, 1991, regulators in the United States, Great Britain, France, and Spain - as well as administrative authorities in Switzerland and Luxembourg - decided to liquidate the bank, and the ruling took effect July 5. On July 29, the New York district attorney charged the bank's main managers with fraud. The BCCI was fined $200 million....
~ ~ ~
The U.S. Senate report on the BCCI described Khalid bin Mahfouz as "the most powerful banker in the Middle East." In reality, he is much more than that. At the crossroads of business affairs and militant Islam, he embodies all of the kingdom's contradictions in regard to Islamic fundamentalism.
Khalid bin Mahfouz's problems began in 1992 with the BCCI scandal, in which he was accused of having precipitated the collapse. At the same time, the Senate report on the BCCI revealed documents implicating the National Commercial Bank in the delivery of arms between Israel and Iran in the 1980s. The operation was financed by the Saudis in the framework of an agreement to liberate American hostages in Beirut.
In view of these accusations, Khalid bin Mahfouz was forced to step down as CEO on the NCB in 1992. His brother Mohammed took over for him in the interim until his return in 1996, after he agreed to a settlement to pay back BCCI creditors.
His decline continued in 1999, with the American investigations into the U.S. embassy attacks in Africa one year earlier. American authorities discovered suspicious transfers of "tens of millions of dollars" made after April 1999 from the NCB to charity organizations associated with Osama bin Laden, some of which were controlled by Khalid bin Mahfouz's own family.
Normally hesitant to cooperate with American authorities, Saudi Arabia was faced with a moral dilemma, as well as a major attack on its own interests, because the bank was also "its bank." The kingdom finally ordered an audit the same year in order to verify the allegations. The audit uncovered massive transfers made to charity organizations with ties to Osama bin Laden, some of which were controlled by members of the bin Mahfouz family. Shortly thereafter, Saudi authorities placed Khalid bin Mahfouz under house arrest in a hospital in Taif. According to our information, he is still there as of mid-2002.
With Saudi interests at stake, the kingdom needed to safeguard what it could, and to have more control in the bank's management. Starting in July 1999, the Saudi regime decided to dilute the bin Mahfouz holdings by purchasing a major share of their investment and placing it in the Public Investment Fund (40 percent) and the General Organization for Social Insurance (10 percent). At the same time, Abdullah Salim Bahamdan, who had long served as CEO, became the bank's new president.
Furthermore the Saudis had to handle the bin Mahfouzes carefully, since they knew the family had close ties with Osama bin Laden. As former CIA director James Woolsey confirmed, in addition to the financial support given by the bin Mahfouzes, there are also family ties between them.
Khalid bin Mahfouz's own sister is married to Osama bin Laden....
~ ~ ~
The bin Mahfouz financial and charity network is one of the most active in facilitating Osama bin Laden's activities. We are now discovering the many ramifications and connections between this empire and the Al Qaeda organization.
The two worlds have come in contact many times over the years. While it is sometimes difficult to prove direct financial support, there is, however, enough interconnection between economic structures and Islamic entities to suggest their collusion....
~ ~ ~
The bin Mahfouz galaxy is not only made up of dubious investments, but its creator gives a new dimension to business relations. He was able to establish such relations in the past, notably with the United States.
A Pakistani bank in which he is the main shareholder is a good example: Prime Commercial Bank is run by Sami Bubarak Baarma, a Saudi Arabian citizen, born in 1955; Saced Chaudhry; and Abdul Rahman bin Khalid bin Mahfouz, son of Khalid Mahfouz.
Sami Murarak Baarma is an executive of SNCB Securities Limited in London, another bin Mahfouz financial subsidiary. For the NCB, he manages a financial network called Middle East Capital Group (MECG), based in Lebanon. One MECG's directors is Henry Sarkissian, who runs several companies in the Binladin Group.
Sami Mubarak Baarma is also in charge of the Saudi National Commercial Bank's international division. As a result of his influence in Pakistan, he became a member of the Carlyle Group's advisory committee.
The Carlyle Group's leading investors include many figures from former U.S. president George H.W. Bush's entourage, as well as that of President George W. Bush. Its board of directors includes important figures from the Bush team: James A. Baker III, former secretary of state under the first President Bush; Frank C. Carlucci, former secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan; Richard G. Darman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget under George H.W. Bush between 1989 and 1993; and John Sununu, former White House chief of staff under George Bush.
In addition, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, nephew of King Fahd, owns an indeterminate stake in the group. Even George W. Bush was a member of the board of directors of one of the Carlyle Group's subsidiaries, Caterair, between 1990 and 1994.
In 1987 an obscure Saudi financier named Adbullah Taha Bakhsh invested in Harken, a Texas oil company of which George W. Bush was a director from 1986 to 1993.
The deal consisted of recapitalizing the company, which was going through difficult times. This Saudi investor is none other than the partner of Khalid bin Mahfouz and Ghaith Pharaon. And so Taha Bakhsh became an 11.5 percent shareholder in Harken Energy Corp.
His representatives within Harken Energy is not unknown either. Talat Othman, is a member alongside Frank Carlucci of one of America's most prestigious "think tanks," the Middle East Policy Council as well as being a leading Arab-American supporter of the Republican party.
These investors know each other well. They've been sitting on the same boards for more than ten years, alongside Salem bin Laden, the brother of Osama bin Laden who died in a plane crash in Texas in 1988.
It is therefore not surprising to find James R. Bath on the list of shareholders in two other companies controlled by George W. Bush - Arbusto '79 Ltd. and Arbusto '80 Ltd.
In the late 1970s, James R. Bath, a wealthy Texas entrepreneur, invested $50,000 in these companies to get them off the ground. At the time, he was the U.S. business representative for Salem bin Laden according to the terms of a 1976 trust agreement. It came out later, in 1993, in an official U.S. document, that he was also the legal representative of Khalid bin Mahfous.
The two entities founded by George W. Bush were later merged with Harken Energy; all traces of these transactions have disappeared.
Khalid bin Mahfouz was very active in Texas at the time. During a deposition before the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), James R. Bath claimed to own Skyway Aircraft Leasing Ltd. which in fact belonged to Khalid bin Mahfouz.
In 1990, Mahfouz procured a loan of $1.4 million for James R. Bath, allowing him to buy a stake in the Houston Airport. Following Salem bin Laden's death in 1988, Khalid bin Mahuouz took back this holding.
But the bin Mahfouz empire also shares common interests with American oil companies, specifically concerning Central Asia in the area around the Caspian Sea, which is coveted by these companies.
In the last few years, Khalid bin Mahfouz's Nimir Petroleum signed exploration and drilling agreements in the major Gulf States, Central Asia, from Oman to Kazakhstan, and even in Venezuela.
In 1994, Nimir Petroleum agreed to partner with the Saudi group Delta Oil Company, which had been trying for years to get a contract in order to build a gas and oil pipeline between Turkmenistan and Pakistan - via Afghanistan. The main partner in the $5 billion project was none other than the American corporate giant Unocal Corp.
Negotiations with the Taliban had come to a deadlock, and the Delta Oil-Unocal consortium was undoubtedly counting on Khalid bin Mahfouz's support in the undertaking.
Besides, Khalid bin Mahfouz was not the only Saudi businessman to take a strong interest in Central Asia's oil at the time. Starting in 1991, Dallah Albarakka, a group controlled by Saleh Abdullah Kamel, was also getting involved in the exploitation of several sites in Kazakhatan and Uzbekistan.
~ ~ ~
In the world of the BCCI, there is another facet of the BCCI that is little known. It involves investments made by the bank's main protagonists in the luxury goods industry, through a financial group in the Gulf controlled by Khalid bin Mahfouz's cicle.
In 1982, a group of investors from the Middle East created a financial company with the goal of building a diversified portfolio, with assets estimated today at more than $5 billion. The group concentrated on reputable and financially stable investments in the areas of publishing, distribution, watch-making, and luxury goods.
The company, Investcorp, is located in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, and was founded by the region's most elite oilmen and financiers: Nemir Kirdar, an Iraqi businessman and former manager of Chase Manhattan Bank in the Persian Gulf; Ahmed Ali Kanoo, who died in 1997; Ahmed Zaki Yamani, former oil minister of Saudi Arabia; and Abdul Rathman Salim Al Ateeqi, former oil minister of Kuwait.
Investcorp Investment Holdings Corp., is registered in the Cayman Islands, and its main subsidiary overseeing international activities, Investcorp SA, is registered in Luxembourg.
Inspired by the movement toward autonomy and the financial emancipation of the Persian Gulf after the first oil crisis - especially in view of large Western financial institutions - Investcorp was established on similar principles to those that led to the creation of the BCCI in 1972. Though the two entities are not in the same industries - the BCCI is a banking institution, while Investcorp is meant to be an investment company - they were both created with the joint support of the Emirate authorities, Saudi investors, and Western banks (Bank of America in the case of the BCCI, and Chase Manhattan in the case of Investcorp).
In addition, their holding companies were located in the same offshore centers (the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg).
The two entities also have common shareholders. In addition to its two main executives (Abdul rahman Salim Al areequ, chairman, and Nemir Kirdar, president and CEO) as well as representatives from the government of the United Arab Emirates, Investcorp also has an executive committee made up of eighteen of the group's main shareholders, many of whom were shareholders in the BCCI.
At least four of these members represent the interests of, or are closely involved with, Saudi businessmen who played a major role in the BCCI affair. They are Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, Mohammed Abdullah al Zamil, Bakr Mohammed bin Laden, and Omar Al Aggad.
Between 1976 and 1982, Abdullah Taha Bakhsh - an investor in Harkin Energy, recall - was the representative for the bin Laden family in the United States. He also represents Khalid bin Mahfouz's financial interests in the Middle East. What's more, several sources emphasize the fact that he represents the interests of Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz on the board of directors of Investcorp. In fact, bin Mahfouz holds a 25 percent stake in Investcorp, thanks to Bakhah's services....
Investcorp's investments have not always been judicious, and the company is caught in several litigations, notably in the United States, Great Britain, and France for fraud and breaking accounting laws.
The context of Investcorp's creation, as we explained, is similar to that of the BCCI in the early 1980s, especially in the discovery of fraudulent practices....
~ ~ ~
Khalid bin Mahfouz, then, temporarily personified for the kingdom the official instrument of its own contradictions in regard to the world and in special regard to Osama bin Laden, who became the terrorist it should have disowned....
For more, GO TO > > > Aloha, Harken Energy; Birds on the Power Lines; Birds that Drink from Cesspools; Dirty Money, Dirty Politics & Bishop Estate; Investigating Investcorp; The Strange Saga of BCCI
< < < FLASHBACKS < < <
(prior to September 11, 2001)
August 26, 2001
From Al Martin Raw, by Al Martin:
US State Department Sponsors Training of Would-Be Terrorists
Huntsville, Alabama - The US State Department sponsors the training of would-be terrorists at the Redstone Arsenal's Hazardous Devices School, which offers "explosive ordinance disposal training."
This is the most exclusive explosives school in the United States. It's where firemen, policemen, and municipal bomb squads are trained. It also provides training for the US armed forces, FBI, CIA, as well as foreign army and intelligence personnel. This is the most elite of the munitions schools in the United States and it's part of the Redstone Arsenal complex.
This facility is not run by the US Army or by the military. It is technically run by US State Department employee Ray Funderberg, who's been covertly in charge of it for about twenty years. An added note -- although Funderberg works for the State Department, he dresses in a US Army Colonel's uniform. Official records indicate that he supposedly works for the FBI.
According to a reliable source, one of the Iranians involved in the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, took training courses at the Redstone Arsenal's school of explosives. He enrolled in this course under the guise of a Pakistani military officer with Pakistani uniform and credentials.
This is important to note because Al Martin Raw has previously reported that many hostile nations have a visible presence at the US Redstone Arsenal. Evidently "terrorists," as well as regular armed forces and intelligence officers, are also being "trained" at the Redstone Arsenal.
In other news, five new shipments of "marshmallows" (anti-personnel land mines) have left the Redstone Arsenal. And this week the Friendly Colonel is once again doing business under the "Gulf Coast Trucking and Receiving" moniker.
An inside source wants the Friendly Colonel to provide the State Department employment forms necessary to bring more people in. One of the arms merchants has a deal with the Russians to bring Palestinians into this explosives training program.
For instance, Palestinians would be brought in -- technically as members of the Chinese (Taiwan) Army, even though they are Palestinians. They would hardly pass as "Chinese," but since nobody cares, it's a done deal. Al Martin Raw readers should understand that no one asks any questions about any thing at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
In fact, there are two Palestinians being trained there now in "explosives." As mentioned before, none of them are who they appear to be. It's all just convenience for paperwork. In case the Redstone Arsenal gets investigated, they will claim, "No, these people are legitimate; here's the paperwork."
Suddenly an Afghani guy named Mohammed Habib winds up being a Colonel Sven Larssen in the Swedish Army. This is an actual case. And it shows just how ridiculous it is.
This deception at the Hazardous Devices School is really another School of Americas story. The Friendly Colonel is being offered a $12,000 fee per person to fill out the appropriate State department documents to allow people into the United States on green cards for short stays - 30, 60, 90 day stays - and to enlist foreign nationals into this program.
What they're doing is using this program as a cover to bring people in to be trained at the explosives school. The US State Department is actually conspiring with foreign arms merchants and the governments they represent to allow hostile foreign nationals to come to the United States using false documents to be trained at this facility.
They're asking the Friendly Colonel if he would "hire" these people as "trucking agents." ... To make this offer even more appealing, the Colonel is guaranteed that "there will be no heat" - because the US State Department is complicit. This is a standing offer to him from the State Department - to provide false documents for these foreign nationals for $12,000 each.
Aiding in this enormous illegal covert operation of the United States Government, the Colonel expects to make a million dollars by this time next year.
It is our opinion that these illicit operations at the Redstone Arsenal and adjoining facilities - US Missile Command etc - now exceed the volumes of money and egregious conduct of Iran-Contra itself. Now there are thousands of people involved making millions of dollars.
At lunch, the brigadier general and others involved were all licking their chops at the new F-22 Raptor program. They can't wait for that to get scaled up. There will be many Chinese arms merchants who will supply fraudulent spare parts that don't work as usual. They're looking at this program as "a fresh source to defraud more billions with the Department of Defense with the complicity of senior officers through a complex offshore network of arms dealers, not only foreign arms dealers, but cutouts for American corporations that are producing components and systems for this aircraft.
The bottom line is that we are training individuals and foreign military personnel who are hostile to the United States.
Al Martin Raw readers should also understand how the fraud is systemic, how the fraud is all inter-connected, and how conspiratorial the fraud is, namely that it's all being controlled by an elite group that runs through foreign governments, the Department of Defense, and defense contractors.
Their agenda is clear - terrorism is good for business.
Terrorism pumps up everybody's budgets, especially defense, law enforcement, interdiction, etc.
As long as we can keep "foreign terrorism" alive, everyone benefits -- the Department of Defense, the CIA, Department of State, the National Security Agency and many others. They can all ask for more money in their budgets by pointing to the "terrorists." We are in effect augmenting that threat, making sure it stays alive and healthy, so that federal agencies can be funded with ever-increasing amounts of money, especially those agencies that do not have to account for the expenditures of those monies.
They don't have to account for the missing monies because even if they're nominally supposed to account for their budgets they don't. Witness the missing $1.1 trillion from the Department of Defense.
The brigadier general who's in charge was actually concerned because he and his associates (higher-ranking generals in the Department of Defense, who are committing these frauds) have been notified by the foreign banks where they have deposits that their deposits have grown to such enormous amounts of money that they are unmanageable. They are being asked to transfer their money into other offshore illicit accounts. Some of the banks they're doing business with are very small and obscure offshore banks that simply can not handle such enormous flows of money.
But you can understand the enormity of the fraud, when you're talking about trillions of dollars. This fraud is deep and systemic and involves a conspiracy of thousands of high ranking military officers, high ranking State Department officials, Department of Justice officials, CIA, National Security Agency officials, etc. and their "foreign counterparts."
This is the "Very Real Vast Right Wing Conspiracy," which has never been called to accounting.
Now the Russians are coming on board with the ABM missile treaty. It can be predicted that the Russians will drop their objections to our development of an ABM system in exchange for advanced US military technology, with which, by the way, we are already supplying the Russians and covertly rearming them. That was just an offer on the table, yet we are already supplying the Russians with US highly advanced technology.
Like the notorious School of Americas which trained foreign nationals in American torture, interrogation and warfare techniques, the US State Department trains "terrorists".
In the final analysis, though, nothing is new. The United States Government has covertly sponsored these activities in the past, especially during "Iran-Contra" and "Iraq-Gate." We virtually built the Iraqi military and there are many past correlations.
For instance, the US did not stop supplying Iraq with illegal weapons systems until three days before the beginning of the Gulf War.
During "Iran-Contra," the US allowed the Sandinista regime to deal in narcotics so they could generate revenues to purchase more East Bloc weapons in order to become a greater threat to the US, so we could counter that threat by building the Contra Army in which all sorts of fraud against the American taxpayers, corporations, security firms, and banks could be hidden.
It is interesting to note that the Sandinista regime used two of the same companies to purchase weapons for the Contras as well as the Sandinistas. These companies were TransWorld Armaments Corp, based in Quebec City and owned by the infamous Immanuel von Weigensburg and Defcon Industries of Lisbon, Portugal, a CIA-controlled arms merchant cutout also controlled by Major General Richard V. Secord, as noted in the famous Lake Resources lawsuit (United States v. Richard Secord, cv 1202-A 1991 Eastern District Court of Virginia) . [See "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider"]
Iraq Gate and Iran Contra are perfect examples of how similar these two operations are compared to what's going on now. We are creating an enemy and we are also supporting existing enemies for the purpose of enriching a small clique of defense contractors, senior military and intelligence officers, and politicians on the right.
We are financing terrorism against us as well as attempting to rebuild Russia and then build China into a new power under the concept that covert wars are very profitable.
The "Fight Against Terrorism" has done an awful lot for the Republican Party.
And it has enriched a lot of people and corporations.
The drumbeat against "terrorism" continues full speed ahead....
AL MARTIN is America's foremost whistle-blower on government fraud and corruption. A retired US Navy Lt. Commander and former officer in the Office of Naval Intelligence, he has testified before Congress (the Kerry Committee and the Alexander Committee) regarding Iran-Contra. Al Martin is the author of "The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran Contra Insider" (2001, National Liberty Press, $19.95; order line: 1-866-317-1390.) He lives at an undisclosed location, since the criminals named in his book have been returned to national power and prominence. His column "Behind the Scenes in the Beltway" is published regularly on Al Martin Raw: Criminal Govt Conspiracy ( http://www.the-catbird-seat.net/www.almartinraw.com ).
* * *
October 19, 2000
From Free Republic:
Gore and Clinton and Some of Their Associates Linked to Terrorist Groups?
Author: Patrick B. Briley
Posted on 10/19/2000 by OKCSubmariner
Kenneth Timmerman wrote an article for the November 1997 issue of the American Spectator entitled "Al Gore's Arab Moneyman." Timmerman reported that Al Gore had been promoting the nomination of Edward Gabriel to become U.S. Ambassador to Morroco.
The article claimed Gabriel raised money for Arab "charities" connected by PLO Chairman, Yasser Arafat, to the military wing of the terrorist group Hamas. Timmerman interviewed George Cody, the executive director of the pro-Syrian task force of Lebanon. Cody told Timmerman that Gore had an excellent relationship with Gabriel and that Gore was a driving force behind Gabriel's nomination.
Also, Timmerman reported that Gabriel had sat together with James Zogby and Abdulrahman Alamoudi on the steering committee of the Arab Americans for Clinton/Gore '96.
The "Moneyman" article described a "former DNC employee" who alleged that Gabriel served as a conduit for campaign contributions to the DNC from Arab businessmen in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Syria. The source claimed the funds were solicited by Gabriel and Zogby, and then paid out to Arab Americans, who then legally contributed to the Gore/Clinton campaign in amounts of $1000, $5000, and even $10000.
Abdulrahman Alamoudi was executive director of the American Muslim Council (AMC) in April 1996. Abdulrahman met with Clinton's National Security Advisor, Anthony Lake, in the White House on December 8, 1995 to receive a briefing on the Dayton Peace Agreement and to represent the interests of the Muslim Community. This access to the White House may have been connected to the donations arranged by Ed Gabriel for Gore and the DNC.
The suspicion of the possibility of Gore's connection to the AMC and Gabriel and receiving campaign contributions from Arab terrorist groups is further heightened by another article published by Timmerman in the April 1997 issue of the American Spectator. Timmerman reported that Anthony Lake helped a company, Occidental Petroleum, closely connected to Gore and his father, obtain an exemption from the 1996 anti-terrorism act in order for Occidental to pursue a lucrative oil deal in Sudan.
Allegedly, Lake was involved in the ordering of the Treasury Department to write regulations that took the teeth out of the anti-terrorism law and thereby permitted the exemption.
Gore and his father had close business dealings and stock holdings in Occidental Petroleum at the time and also had long time relations with the Occidental Chairman, Armand Hammer, who in turn had close ties with the Soviet Union.
William Grigg, writing in the April 14, 1997 issue of the New American Magazine noted that Sudan played a pivotal role in an Islamic terrorist network that Anthony Lake used to create a Iran-Bosnia arms pipeline.
Jack Kelly reported in an October 29, 1999, article of U.S.A. Today, entitled "Saudi Money Aiding Bin Laden," that Capitol Trust Bank of New York and London was being investigated by U.S. and British officials for allegedly transferring millions of dollars to terrorist Bin Laden from five top Saudi Arabian businessmen. It is very disturbing that the banker who heads up Capitol Trust Bank, Mohammed Alamoudi, has legally been represented in Washington D.C., by Vernon Jordan, a close confidante of Clinton with ties to Gore.
Furthermore, note that Alamoudi is the same last name of the individual Timmerman reported had ties to Ed Gabriel, Arab terrorists and Al Gore and those who had arranged questionable if not illegal contributions to the Gore/Clinton campaign in 1996. It is not known whether or not Mohammed and Abdulrahuran Alamoudi are related or unrelated or know each other.
Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher accused the US State Department and its Assistant Secretary, Karl Inderfurth, of withholding key documents from Congress that Rohrabacher claimed would show that the Clinton and Gore administration had supported the Taliban militia in Afghanistan.
This story was reported by the UPI and author Joe Warminsky on October 20, 1999. The Taliban has widely been acknowledged as hiding and protecting the terrorist Bin Laden.
Another troubling connection between terrorist Bin Laden and the Clinton and Gore administration is the DOJ and FBI handling of an Egyptian, Ali Mohammed, who worked directly for Bin Laden and the CIA and the FBI and the Green Berets and was involved in Arab terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Ali first worked training Green Berets, then worked for the CIA before becoming an FBI operative out of Sacramento, California from 1992 to 1996.
Ali was indicted in New York in late 1998 for helping Bin Laden do the bombings of the World Trade Center and the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was also indicted for setting up and training Bin Laden terrorist cells in the US. When arrested he had manuals for how to hide explosives in public buildings. He is suspected of helping Bin Laden by writing terrorist training manuals for Bin Laden.
Ali worked with Bin Laden's secretary, El Hage, and a terrorist group out of Dallas, Texas that may have helped Hamas terrorist groups in OKC assist McVeigh in the OKC bombing. El Hage complained to the judge at his hearing that El Hage and other FBI operatives had in fact warned the US about the Kenyan and Tanzanian bombings.
It was reported by the New York Times that the FBI had detailed plans and advanced warnings for over five months for the bombings of the embassies and the World Trade Center and nothing adequate was done to try to stop the bombings.
Did Ali and El Hage provide information to the FBI in advance about these bombings?
Did Clinton and Gore and Reno order the FBI to ignore the advanced warnings and plans that the FBI did have even if they did not come from Ali and El Hage?
Was Lake involved in not stopping these bombings?
Was there a mole or spy in the administration?
Or were the bombings deliberately allowed or caused to happen?
Were the Clinton and Gore administration's connections to Bin Laden at play in not stopping these Bin Laden bombings??
Steve Emerson, a noted terrorism expert and producer of "Jihad In America" for PBS, wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal on March 13, 1996 entitled "Friends of Hamas In the White House."
Emerson said "the contacts between the White House and Islamic radicals began on November 9, 1995, when President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore met with Abdulrahman Alamoudi, executive director of the American Muslim Council (AMC), as part of a meeting with 23 Muslim and Arab leaders.""
Emerson quoted Seif Ashmarvy, the American Muslim publisher of the Voice of Peace in New Jersey. Ashmarvy said "the American Muslim Council is a radical group that supports radical Islamic terrorist movements."
Ashmarvy also said he felt "totally betrayed by the Clinton administration."
Emerson reported that Abdulrahman Alamoudi in an April 1995 press conference denounced the counter terrorism legislation in Congress and angrily dismissed suggestions that Hamas was a terrorist group.
The AMC responded to Emerson's article in April 1996 in a press release "Reading Between the Lines, AMC's Rebuttal to Steve Emerson's Charges." In rebuttal, AMC asserted that Hamas should not be condemned for extreme actions by those in the military front of Hamas. AMC President Dr. Mohammed Cheema is also quoted in the AMC rebuttal as saying "Israel must talk to Hamas" since Cheema believed Palestinians were following Hamas.
Anthony Lake gave a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in the Fall of 1994 in which Lake said the chief cornerstone of US foreign policy was to "pit our tolerant society against"…….militias and domestic and foreign rogue groups in the US. The Lake speech was quoted on page 39 of an August 1995 issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine (Lake is on the front cover).
Shortly after the OKC bombing Clinton and Gore expressed their sympathies for innocent Arab Americans. But Clinton and Gore also wrongly blamed other Americans who were conservative Christians, militia members and conservative radio talk show hosts who Gore and Clinton knew were not involved.
Clinton and Gore never apologized to those Americans whom they smeared and defamed.
Clinton and Gore deliberately carried out the program outlined by Lake in his speech to "pit our tolerant society against" those in America.
Clinton, Gore and Lake wanted to discredit and turn our society against, the conservative Christians, the conservative talk radio hosts, and members of militias. When Clinton, Gore and Lake were through with their propaganda, they had succeeded in having the label of "anti-government conspirator" applied against anyone who questioned government investigations to make the government more accountable to the people.
There is considerable evidence to suggest that Clinton, Gore, Lake, the DOJ, and the FBI conducted and covered up a failed sting operation in the OKC bombing and then used the failure to discredit Americans who are conservative Christians, militia members and conservative talk radio hosts.
There also is considerable evidence of extreme forewarning of terrorist attacks against a Federal Building in OKC in April 1995 which Gore and Clinton did not have the Federal government pass on to the 169 innocent citizens killed on April 19,1995.
It is known that the White House and DOJ intervened in early May 1995 to stop all FBI searches for John Does involved in the OKC bombing. In fact the cover up started at least as early as April 21, 1995 when the FBI shut down the John Doe investigations by the FBI threatening court martial against Army recruiters for talking about having seen McVeigh in the Murrah Building with John Does. This was not an attempt to catch bad guys because no effort was made by the FBI to have sketches made of the John Does seen by the Army recruiters.
While the vast majority of Arab Americans are peace loving and law abiding, a continuation of an FBI investigation of Middle Eastern men possibly involved should not have been portrayed by Clinton and Gore as racist or defamatory toward Arabs as a group.
The FBI was also ordered to stop the FBI searches for two Middle Eastern men who had been the subject of an FBI all points bulletin broadcast on OKC television stations for a week after the bombing. A number of FBI agents were greatly disturbed by the DOJ having the FBI call off pursuit of the Middle Eastern men seen at the Murrah Building around McVeigh by many witnesses on April 19,1995.
Not only was the FBI taken off the investigating Middle Eastern John Does but the Assistant US attorney Ted Richardson was taken off his investigation of the employer of an Iraqi, Al Hussaini, sued by KFORTV in OKC for their stories trying to link Hussaini to McVeigh and the bombing.
Richardson was found dead of a shot gun blast to the chest in 1997 near his church. And the FBI and US prosecutors refused until February 1999 to receive evidence from a former KFORTV reporter of witnesses linking McVeigh to seven Middle Eastern men who allegedly helped McVeigh.
Herb Johnson, the Chief of Staff for US Senator James Inhofe, was told by an FBI agent in the FBI command post that the DOJ was concerned how the DOJ could keep the public from knowing about the involvement of Middle Eastern men in the OKC bombing.
According to OKC police officer, Don Browning, FBI agent Floyd Zimms deliberately gave out false information about the getaway car of two Middle Eastern (Pakistani) suspects detained at the Dallas airport on April 19,1995 that may have led to their premature release. Zimms also allegedly falsified an FBI 302 interview report with a key witness implicating Middle Eastern men in the OKC bombing. It has been alleged by a very reliable source that Zimms now works for the CIA and may have worked for the CIA and FBI at the time of the bombing.
As noted earlier in this article, the AMC has tried to assert that Hamas is not primarily a terrorist organization and that Israel should be caused to have to negotiate with Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and his terrorism advisor, Yigal Carmon, offered help to the US after the OKC bombing and stated publicly they believed Hamas terrorists were involved in the OKC bombing. Clinton and Gore rejected the Israeli offer.
Yet the former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Democratic Congressman Dave McCurdy of Oklahoma, wrote in a May 1995 issue of the Oklahoma Gazette that a well established terrorist Hamas cell in OKC was probably involved in the OKC bombing. McCurdy wrote that that the Hamas cell in OKC had demolition experts and that the FBI had shown McCurdy training films used by the Hamas cell.
Furthermore, two OKC deputy sheriffs, Don Hammons and David Kochendoerfer, stated at a press conference in early 1998 that Congressman Ernest Istook told the sheriffs on the evening of April 19, 1995 that a local Arab terrorist group had made a threat against a Federal Building in OKC on April 9, 1995.
FBI agent James Carlysle tried to intimidate Kochendoerfer and is strongly believed Carlysle falsified his 302 interview report with the sheriff.
Janice Roberts, staff director for a Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism told me there has been a well established Hamas terrorist cell in OKC for more than ten years. Governor Frank Keating's brother, Martin Keating, told me on KTOK radio that Hamas had a well established terrorist cell in OKC.
Martin Keating's book, "The Final Jihad", contains a story line of a Middle Eastern attack on a Federal building in Oklahoma and his book was written before the OKC bombing.
A representative of Terry Lenzner's investigative firm, IGI, contacted a KFORTV reporter shortly after the OKC bombing and wanted to assist in the KFORTV investigation. The IGI offer was declined and soon thereafter KFORTV was bought by the New York Times (very unusual). And around the same time the Iraqi Al Hussaini sued KFORTV with the help of OK governor Keating's law associate Gary Richardson, and the New York Times then sued a KFORTV reporter close to the investigation of the Middle Eastern connection to the OKC bombing.
After these events, the KFORTV investigations of a possible Middle East connection were drastically curtailed.
Did Lenzner and IGI really want to help KFORTV or did they want to help stop an investigation that might show Clinton, Gore and Lake complicity in a failed sting operation and its cover up involving Middle Eastern men?
Were the misfortunes of KFORTV, the lawsuits against KFORTV and their reporters, aided by Lenzner when KFORTV declined to let IGI be involved in their investigation?
Terry Lenzner, founder of IGI, hired two FBI men involved in the OKC bombing investigation, Larry Potts (of Ruby Ridge fame), and Howard Shapiro, the White House legal counsel for the FBI. Lenzner is a close friend of Hillary Clinton and both served on the legal team for the Watergate Committee. Lenzner also knows Anthony Lake and Strobe Talbot, the Deputy Secretary of State.
These questions about Lenzner are also raised in part because of what is also known about Lenzner's connections to investigations performed by IGI for the White House. Lenzner is alleged to have investigated twenty Congressmen involved in the impeachment hearings. Lenzner is also alleged to have investigated women who made accusations against Clinton. Clinton acknowledged in a formal response to Henry Hyde's interrogatories that Lenzner's firm IGI had been used in investigations for the White House.
At the time of the impeachment and the Senate trial, it is known that US Congressmen and Senators had evidence concerning the OKC bombing and of alleged illegal campaign contributions made to Clinton and Gore and the DNC by Arab groups suspected of being connected to terrorists. Yet the Congressmen were blocked from bringing up much evidence in the Senate trial not related to Lewinsky by Democratic and Republican Senators according to the legal counsel for the House Mangers, David Schippers, in his book "Sellout ".
Lenzner investigated the wife of Republican Senator Nickles from Oklahoma sometime shortly after the OKC bombing and Nickles angrily confronted Lenzner about this in Senate hearings. Nickles is the second most senior and ranking Republican in the Senate behind Trent Lott.
Did the alleged Terry Lenzner's investigations of the twenty Congressmen and also of one or more Republican Senators in any way contribute to evidence being blocked at the Senate trial?
Did the blocked evidence relate to possible illegal campaign contributions to Gore and Clinton from Arab terrorist groups some of whom may have been involved in the OKC bombing?
Did any of the blocked evidence pertain to possible Gore and Clinton complicity and coverup of a failed Federal sting operation that involved Middle Eastern men and that was used to discredit militias, conservative Christians, and conservative talk radio hosts?
There is even more information pertaining to Lenzner's possible role in the OKC bombing case. Lenzner was part owner of a Tulsa, Oklahoma company once called Hawkins Oil. Hawkins employed a Pakistani who was a member of the Islamic Society of Tulsa and who has worked with Arab students on the campus of Tulsa University.
The Hawkins Oil employee made one or business trips to Pakistan and the region near Afghanistan where the terrorist Bin Laden resides. An Arab informant has told an OKC police officer that the Pakistani employee of Hawkins Oil was placed together with the employer of the Iraqi, Al Husseini, who sued KFORTV.
According to the OKC police officer, the FBI intervened directly with the informant to shut down the investigation of the Hawkins Oil employee's connections by the OKC police officer.
Also, recall that Dr, Mohammed Cheema, a Pakistani, is president of the AMC connected to Edward Gabriel and Gore by Timmerman and Emerson. It is not known whether or not the Hawkins Oil employee and Dr. Mohammed Cheema are related or know each other.
Also, an Indian newspaper, NewsToday, reported in June 2000, that Mohammed Arshad Cheema of Pakistan had helped Pakistani and Mujahideen (connected to Bin Laden) terrorists hijack an Indian plane, flight IC-814.
It is not known whether or not the Hawkins Oil employee, Dr. Mohammed Cheema, and Mohammed Arshad Cheema are relatives or know each other. However, all three are Pakistanis.
And it was reported on Freerepublic.com by Free Vulcan on October 11, 2000 that Clinton has had longstanding connections with Pakistani terrorists, drug and gun runners, and hit men associated with BCCI.
Also recall earlier in this article the story about FBI agent and CIA operative Floyd Zimms deliberately giving out false information about the getaway car of two Pakistani suspects detained at the Dallas airport on April 19,1995, an action that caused their premature release.
Was there a connection between any of the Pakistanis, Terry Lenzner, Vernon Jordan, Clinton, Gore or Bin Laden with the OKC bombing case and with campaign contributions from Arab groups associated with Arab terrorists??
The US State Department of Gore and Clinton is populated by men like Strobe Talbot, a friend of Lake and Lenzner. These are the men who tilted US foreign policy in the Middle East toward the AMC, Arafat, the PLO, and the terrorist group Hamas starting at least as early as 1994 and 1995.
It is not surprising that a member of this State Department recently implied in a memo released on the Drudgereport.com on October 18, 2000 that 100 Palestinians killed in Israel are worth more than 17 US sailors killed in the terrorist attack on the USS Cole believed to have been tied to Bin Laden.
The problem is that there is evidence that suggests that Gore and Clinton knowingly received and perhaps solicited campaign contributions from Arab groups associated with known terrorist groups.
Has anyone asked Vernon Jordan why he is the lawyer for the banker whose bank was being investigated for funneling millions of dollars to terrorist Bin Laden?
Has anyone asked Gore and Clinton to explain and justify their receiving contributions from alleged Arab terrorist organizations and tilting US foreign policy toward these groups?
What was the role of Gore and Clinton in the foreknowledge and cover up of a Federal sting operation involving Middle Eastern men in the OKC bombing?
October 19, 2000
ECONOMISTS ALLIED FOR ARMS REDUCTION
(ECAAR - South Africa, PO Box 60542, Devil's Peak, Cape Town, 8001 - Tel/Fax: 27-21-465-7423 - E-mail: email@example.com )
~ ~ ~
DENEL: An Industry Out of Control
A commentary on the misappropriation of public funds by a parastatal organisation controlled by the Department of Public Enterprises.
~ ~ ~
The evils of apartheid belonged to the civilian leaders: its insanities were entirely the property of the military officer class. It is an irony of our liberation that Afrikaner hegemony might have lasted another half century had the military theorists not diverted the national treasure into strategic undertakings like Mossgas and Armscor that, in the end, achieved nothing for us but bankruptcy and shame. - Journalist Ken Owen Terry Crawford-Browne, October 19, 2000:
About R4 billion in public assets is invested in Denel, whose losses to South African taxpayers over the past five financial years were:
1995/1996 R391 million profit
1996/1997 R 84 million profit
1997/1998 R382 million loss
1998/1999 R745 million loss
1999/2000 R206 million loss
It is notable that the "profits" during the first two years were attributable to the General Export Incentive Scheme (GEIS) and other government subsidies, and that even during the "profitable" years the returns on investment were pathetically poor.
The organisation was established in 1992 from the manufacturing operations of Armscor, and is fully owned by the Department of Public Enterprises. Denel's financial statements are however, so "qualified" that they are barely worth the paper that they are written on. Pricewaterhousecoopers Inc in the 1999/2000 report declares . . .
The United States maintained its arms embargo against South Africa long after the United Nations embargo was rescinded in 1994. The reason was that Armscor was caught pirating American missile technology supplied by International Signal Corporation, and of selling it to countries such as China and Iraq. An out-of-court settlement was eventually reached in 1997 after the interventions of Deputy President Thabo Mbeki and Vice President Al Gore.
The Chief Executive Officer of ISC, James Guerin, had been sentenced in the United States to 15 years imprisonment.
Dr Gerald Bull spent six months in an American prison for passing American armaments technology to South Africa. He was the designer of the 155mm artillery, and also of the "Big Guns" for Iraq. He was assassinated in 1990 either by Israeli Mossad agents or by assassins for other armaments companies that wished to put an end to his independent operations.
South Africa's involvement with Iraq during the 1980s included the trade of US$4.5 billion's worth of oil for G5 artillery.
These guns were intended as the mainstay of Iraq's army, but were not used as the Gulf War was overwhelmingly an aerial bombardment.
Bull had intended his armaments to be capable of launching satellites and also of delivering nuclear weapons.
It has also been reported that the warheads for G5 and G6 artillery can deliver chemical and biological agents.
At the outbreak of the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq was understood to be only six months short of nuclear capacity.
The development costs of the G5 and G6 artillery are unknown, but can be assumed to have at least equalled and probably to have exceeded the rooivalk attack helicopter. With the failure of the rooivalk, the 155mm artillery is now the "showpiece" of South Africa's armaments industry. The G5s and G6s are manufactured by Denel's LIW division.
Sales to date have been mainly to the United Arab Emirates and Oman, and government ministers -- including Presidents Mandela and Mbeki and Defence Ministers Modise and Lekota -- have been heavily involved in export marketing to Saudi Arabia, India and China.
A prospective sale to Saudi Arabia was aborted in 1997 when the Sunday Independent leaked the news. It was subsequently announced that Saudi Arabia had merely "suspended" its decision. Moreover, sales commissions of R100 million have already been paid, reportedly to an organisation called ZAM Trading linked to Al-Baraka Bank.
Saudi Arabia is now understood to be negotiating a deal for G6 artillery to the value of US$1.5 billion. Yet it is also reported that Al-Baraka Bank, on behalf of Saudi royals, is negotiating to purchase LIW. Why would Denel be willing to sell this division if it is on the verge of major marketing breakthroughs in Saudi Arabia, India and, possibly, China?
Denel is also hoping to conclude a major deal with India, which used Bofors artillery (equipped with Denel shells) in its 1999 war against Pakistan. In addition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has just visited China where she declared (Cape Times, October 10 2000) that "the South African government is ready to sell arms to China or to develop weapons jointly and will not be influenced by western countries' arms embargoes against China."
Of course, Armscor and Denel have a long relationship with China including an office in Beijing despite the political antipathies of the apartheid and communist governments. AK-47s made by China North Industries (Norinco) were imported by the apartheid government for distribution to Renamo and Unita as part of the destabilisation of Mozambique and Angola. As noted above, China and Armscor collaborated in pirating American missile technology.
In addition, the sinking of the Apollo Sea in June 1994 off Saldanha was reportedly connected to an Armscor countertrade deal of iron ore for Chinese armaments.
The Conventional Arms Control Bill:
The Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and the Far East are all politically volatile regions. Under no circumstances can South African exports of armaments be compatible with the rationale and principles of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee that was established in August 1995 under the chairmanship of Minister, Professor Kader Asmal. . . .
On paper, the NCACC has been one of the world's more comprehensive commitments to limit the spread of weapons. In practice, its non-enforcement has made a mockery of democratic South Africa's professed commitments to human rights. Proposed exports of weapons to Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey -- countries that under no circumstances can meet the NCACC criteria -- were blocked only because of public and international uproar.
The current Palestinian/Israeli crisis and the hijacking of the Saudi Arabian airliner this past weekend have yet again confirmed that the Middle East is a powder keg ready to explode.
It also illustrates the mood of Islamic militancy, and that political instability likely to erupt in Saudi Arabia on the death of King Faud. . . .
During the recent Parliamentary recess the Department of Defence introduced the Conventional Arms Control Bill -- B50-2000. The Bill was withdrawn on September 19, 2000 following representations to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence by organisations of civil society, including Ecaar-SA. The government intends to reintroduce the Bill early next year, an ominous prospect that confirms the increasing disdain for human rights exhibited by the Mbeki Administration.
Most notably, the guidelines were completely omitted. The objects of the Conventional Arms Control Committee were declared in paragraph 3 as being to "implement government policy."
Just what is government policy?
The Director of Conventional Arms Control at the Defence Secretariat declares: "if it is government policy to sell to Algeria or Colombia, then it is the task of the Committee merely to implement that policy."
In response to questions on how prospective sales to Saudi Arabia could be compatible with the NCACC's regarding human rights, Frederic Marais declares: "Arabs don't object to Saudi Arabian practices regarding human rights. Who are we to impose South African values upon the Saudis?" . . .
Why is South Africa now so desperate to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia given that country's human rights record?
Firstly, it is pay-back time for Saudi contributions to ANC campaign funding, which President Mandela publicly admitted amounted to US$60 million (over R400 million).
The Saudi financed Cell C cellphone tender seems to be another part of the conditionality. As mentioned above, members of the Saudi royal family are reportedly interested in purchasing LIW. There has also been a dramatic increase in recent years of South African purchases of Saudi oil which now account for about two-thirds of our oil imports.
The Saudi connections come about through influential Muslim Indian South Africans -- men such as Essop and Aziz Pahad, Dullah Omar, Yusuf Surtee and the four Shaik brothers. Prince Bandar -- the Saudi Ambassador to the United States and aspirant to the Saudi throne on the death of King Fuad -- also has a close relationship with both Mr Mandela and President Mbeki. During his recent visits to England and the United States, Mbeki stayed at the Prince's residence near Oxford, and then flew to Washington in the Prince's private aircraft.
The principal of Saudi Oger which controls the CellC cellphone tender is Rafik al-Hariri, a former Lebanese prime minister who became a billionaire in Saudi Arabia, and who allegedly is a "front" for members of the Saudi royal family. Al-Hariri was dismissed from office two years ago because of alleged corruption, but has just been re-elected in September's election in Lebanon.
A common denominator in the ferment besetting the Islamic world is reportedly the involvement of Osama Bin Laden's network based in Afghanistan. It manifests itself even in Cape Town in riots and bomb attacks.
Bin Laden's objective is to overthrow the Saudi royal family.
That the South African government should actively market armaments in the Islamic world is completely irresponsible. Sadly, the international reputation of South Africa's armaments industry is precisely that. Human Rights Watch will release its next Arms Watch report on October 30, 2000. What is the role of Denel in this other than its expectations that exports of armaments such as G5 and G6 will reverse the losses the organisation has suffered?
The role of BAe Systems which is "driving" South Africa's R32 billion armaments acquisition programme is salutory. BAe Systems derives its dominance of the European armaments industry as a result of the notoriously corrupt £20 billion Al Yamamah deal between Britain and Saudi Arabia.
BAe Systems is now the world's second largest armaments company, after the American Lockheed Martin.
Saudi Arabia has been the world's largest armaments importer for many years, overwhelmingly bought from the United States.
Prince Bandar is an agent for Lockheed Martin.
Mrs Cheney, wife of the American Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Dick Cheney, is a director of Lockheed Martin.
Yet despite vast quantities of armaments, the Saudi Arabians depended upon American and British intervention during the 1991 Gulf War. The political conflicts, intrigues and corruption that characterise Saudi Arabia mean that the Saudi armed forces are unreliable.
BAe Systems is finding domestic political opposition in Britain to be increasingly embarrassing. Its annual general meetings are disrupted by demonstrators who object to its record of arming Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and other dictatorships including Zimbabwe. The Blair government came to office promising (but quickly forgetting) an ethical foreign policy regarding the arms trade.
British labour costs are now extremely high, hence the attraction to BAe Systems in transferring its production to low wage, newly industrialising countries such as South Africa. Denel and BAe Systems have concluded numerous joint venture and licensing agreements in recent years, and BAe Systems has taken a 20 percent equity participation in Denel Aviation. BAe Systems is "globalising" its production by way of licensing agreements with organisations such as Denel.
There is simply no possibility that Denel could afford the vast sums required for research and development to develop a niche in the international armaments market. Denel's relationships with BAe Systems obviates such expenditures. BAe Systems has seconded personnel to the South African Department of Trade and Industry to supervise the offset programme.
As the Denel report and press announcements make abundantly clear, Denel stakes its hopes of survival on export markets. BAe Systems is seen as the conduit into these markets. The collapse of Denel's expectations of survival through BAe Systems would undoubtedly be but one consequence of the cancellation of South Africa's R32 billion armaments acquisition programme.
The Anglican Church:
The repeated stance of the Anglican Church (and also the South African Council of Churches) since at least 1990 has been to call for a total prohibition on exports of armaments from South Africa, and for the conversion of Armscor and Denel to peaceful purposes.
The reasons for this position have been that post-apartheid South Africa should be internationally committed to the promotion of human rights and peaceful resolutions of conflicts, and that the subsidies paid to maintain an economically unviable armaments industry divert public resources away from socio-economic upliftment.
The Cameron Commission of Inquiry into Armscor of 1994/95 declared that whilst it had sympathy for this stance, it accepted the assurances of President Nelson Mandela's government that South Africa would pursue a "responsible arms trade policy." Sadly, the Cameron Commission has, with hindsight, proved to have been hopelessly naïïve.
There is no such thing as a "responsible arms trade policy."
The international armaments industry, including Denel, is an industry out of control. To paraphrase Anglican Bishop David Beetge:
How does one tell a mother that the Denel-made bullet or shell which killed her child provided someone with a job?
The families and employees of Denel's Somchem subsidiary near Somerset West are now providing reports of personnel and environmental abuses, and of complete disregard for safety standards. The residents of Rooi-Els after lengthy litigation were eventually successful in forcing the closure of a Denel warhead testing facility that, they claimed, was contaminating their community's water supply.
The involvement of European governments:
Transparency International reports that corruption in the "third world usually originates in the first world." In addition, it declares the armaments industry to be the industry most prone to corruption. The testimony of Chippy Shaik on October 11, 2000 at the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Public Accounts hearings referred several times to the government-to-government nature of the acquisitions. He said that foreign embassies provided much of the impetus to the R32 billion armaments acquisition proposals and tender processes, and declared:
The package was government-to-government with tenders provided by the respective embassies. There were government commitments to the pricing structures, and also government undertakings of responsibility to perform the offsets.
The first order value system was verbally communicated as part of risk management strategies. The indication of package deals came from foreign governments which wished to link investment in South Africa with acquisition programmes. The proposals came from respective governments making unsolicited tenders.
The European armaments industry is repeatedly implicated in corruption scandals involving politicians. The chairman of Armscor, Ron Haywood, has on many occasions declared that the generosity of the offsets was a benefit of "Madiba Magic," and far too good an opportunity for any businessman to pass up.
The complicity of western governments in creating and arming Saddam Hussein as dictator of Iraq is one of the most sordid episodes of the past 20 years. They supplied Iraq with huge quantities of weapons for use against Iran. President Jacques Chirac was so heavily involved that he was nicknamed in France as Monsieur Irak. President Chirac is now under investigation in France for municipal irregularities whilst he was Mayor of Paris.
The Scott Report and the Matrix-Churchill case highlighted the duplicity of the British government. The Germans were similarly very heavily involved. The massive expenditures bankrupted Iraq. Saddam Hussein then invaded Kuwait in an attempt to acquire Kuwait's financial resources, and the Gulf War of 1991 followed.
Economists Allied For Arms Reduction has been in correspondence with the British High Commission on several occasions over the past six years to object to the British government's promotion of armaments sales to South Africa. In particular, we drew attention to the economic absurdity that expenditure of R30 billion on armaments would result in offsets worth R110 billion to create 65,000 jobs.
The British component of these offsets were publicly declared during Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to South Africa in January 1999 to be worth R40 billion. Our letter to Mr Blair drew a response on his behalf that "South Africa has the right to take its own decisions on its defence requirements and secure maximum job creation through industrial participation programmes."
Similarly, during Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson's visit to South Africa in November 1999, his special advisor Roger Hallhag praised South Africa's offset requirements as "brilliant." When pressed hard, Hallhag conceded that offsets are prohibited in civil trade arrangements in "first world countries" because of the propensity for corruption, but attempted to justify their use in "third world countries".
A former German ambassador to South Africa was the writer's houseguest in early 1996. Inadvertently, he let slip that the German government was determined at all costs to win the tender for corvettes. Having been excluded from the corvette programme during 1994/95, Germany suddenly came back into consideration following the intervention of Deputy President Thabo Mbeki as a result of the German-South African Bi-National Commission. A political scandal continues in Germany regarding former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the German armaments industry.
Conversion and closure of Denel:
It has been conclusively shown by defence economists that the armaments industry is a non-productive application of financial resources, most especially in "developing" countries such as South Africa. In his book The Overburdened Economy, Professor Jeff Dumas of the University of Texas writes:
Military-orientated activity is undoubtedly the pre-eminent example of distractive use of resources. Both military forces and their entire apparatus of support systems absorb huge amounts of virtually all categories of productive resources.
Wars, clearly, are highly damaging and have over the span of history destroyed an enormous amount of consumer and producer goods -- not to mention the sickeningly heavy toll in human suffering and death.
Resources used in the fighting of wars are obviously employed in distractive activity. But what of the resources used in preparation for wars? A fighter bomber, a nuclear warhead, a missile, a submarine, are not consumer goods. They do not add to the present material standard of living. They also do not enhance the economy's capacity to produce, and so do not augment the future standard of living.
In a developing country desperately trying to build an industrial base and improve agricultural productivity, what is needed is contributive investment: increased education of the labour force, improved health care, an expanded transportation and communication system, and more and better production capital. Present living standards have to be improved. Future capacity to produce has to be strengthened to help these nations out of poverty and give them a chance to make development a self-generating and self-sustaining process.
Another critical resource in very short supply in less developed countries is a highly educated, skilled labour force. Yet much of this type of labour is diverted into the noncontributive sectors [of military spending].
South African economists including Professor Sampie Terreblanche attribute much of this country's economic stagnation over the past 25 years to excessive military spending related to support of the apartheid system. Indeed, the military establishment had first priority over economic resources during the apartheid era, most particularly in respect of Armscor from which Denel derives. . . .
The document entitled "The Betrayal of the Struggle Against Apartheid" dated September 28, 2000 quoted from the executive summary of the United States Senate investigation into BCCI Bank, as follows:
"BCCI's unique criminal structure -- an elaborate corporate spider-web with BCCI's founder, Agha Hasan Abedi and his assistant, Swaleh Naqvi, in the middle -- was an essential component of its spectacular growth and a guarantee of its eventual collapse. The structure was conceived by Abedi and managed by Naqvi for the specific purpose of evading regulation or control by governments. It functioned to frustrate the full understanding of BCCI's operations by anyone.
"BCCI's criminality included fraud by BCCI and BCCI customers involving billions of dollars; money laundering in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas; BCCI bribery of officials in most of those locations; support of terrorism, arms trafficking, and the sale of nuclear technologies; management of prostitution; the commission and facilitation of income tax evasion, smuggling and illegal immigration, illicit purchases of banks and real estate. Unanswered questions include BCCI's financing of commodities and other business dealings of international criminal financier Marc Rich."
It has been alleged that BCCI's operations included the financing of the Pakistani nuclear weapons programme.
If, as feared, BCCI is being reinvented by way of Al-Baraka Bank, it becomes imperative to reopen that investigation at the highest international levels.
- Terry Crawford-Browne, October 19, 2000
January 20, 2000
THE REPUTED COCAINE BANK MONEY
LAUNDRY WIZARD FOR GEORGE BUSH
FAMILY ARRESTED IN CHICAGO
by Sherman H. Skolnick
The reputed cocaine bank money laundry wizard for former President George Herbert Walker Bush and two of his sons has been arrested in Chicago.
The matter is tied as well reportedly to corrupt top IRS Officials, Chicago Region Office, fingered by our work.
Giorgio Pelossi, a prominent Swiss accountant, was arrested January 20, 2000, at O'Hare International Airport, after officials of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, INS, found he was wanted on an international arrest warrant issued in Milan, Italy, about a year previous.
Pelossi, 61, was somehow actually traveling under his own name. His name showed up on a passenger manifest in a routine check provided to officials of the INS. [Savvy sources, however, dispute that it was so "routine" but was rather a follow up of matters outlined in our TV documentary, 11/29/99.]
In his appearance before a Federal Magistrate in Chicago, Pelossi agreed not to oppose being sent back to Italy by extradition. Pelossi signed papers in Chicago's Federal District Court waiving his right to a hearing in Chicago.
Pelossi is reportedly the cocaine bank money laundry expert for the former president and two of his sons, Texas Governor George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Some claim that the matter also reportedly implicates the other son, Neil Bush, who escaped federal prison through a reputedly corrupt arrangement upon the downfall of Denver-based Silverado Savings & Loan Association, an apparent CIA proprietary operation of which Neil Bush was an official. Some contend Silverado, at the hands of Neil Bush, was likewise a money laundry for illicit funds including reportedly narcotics trafficking.
For a year or more now, journalists and commentators in Spain have been writing and talking about the Elder Bush and two of his sons, George W. and Jeb, being reportedly implicated in billions of dollars of dope money laundered through banks in Spain, Italy, Mexico, and the United States.
The cocaine banking cartel, for which Pelossi reportedly was the kingpin and brains, was centered in Milan and Barcelona. According to stories, some date-lined Rome, in December, 1995, by Reuters, United Press International, and other news and law enforcement personnel, Italian authorities contended they had proof leading them to assert that the Archbishop of Barcelona was implicated with the Vatican Bank and others in a vast money laundry ring reportedly involving, among others:
 FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF CICERO (a Chicago suburb, Al Capone Land, a long-known mafia enclave). Later it became the flagship of PINNACLE BANC GROUP. Still later, to confuse matters, the bank was called Old Kent Bank, a unit whose head office is Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Pinnacle was the successor and alter ego to the mysterious, scandal-wrecked, BANK OF CREDIT AND COMMERCE INTERNATIONAL, which supposedly (although not actually) went under in 1991. BCCI was a reputed assassination and espionage funding apparatus for various intelligence agencies, including the American CIA, the French CIA, and Israel's The Mossad (The Institute).
Bishop Paul Marcinkus, head of the VATICAN BANK until 1991, was also the dominant force controlling First National Bank of Cicero. Marcinkus was originally from Cicero and ran a church there. Marcinkus fled the Vatican, sheltering himself with his Vatican passport, when Italian authorities sought to grill him and possibly prosecute him for various criminal offenses he reportedly committed as Vatican Bank chief. He returned to the U.S. and lives in Sun City, Arizona.
 Roger D'Onofrio, an American CIA official, with dual citizenship, U.S. and Italy, living near Naples, Italy. Italian authorities, in the wire service and other stories of December, 1995, described him as the CIA's secret paymaster in Italy, to fund political assassinations of those not liked by the American CIA, and to pay-off or destroy opposition parties in the Italian government.
The Pelossi-Marcinkus-D'Onofrio ring reportedly, through Vatican Bank and other financial institutions, trafficked in smuggled gold, osmium nuclear bomb triggers, high quality counterfeit foreign currencies, and other illicit goods and services.
With the corrupt connivance of top officials of the INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, Chicago Region office, Pelossi reportedly arranged the laundering of billions of dollars through concealed and dummy accounts, reportedly in the following banks, among others; and for and on behalf reportedly of George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, and the Elder Bush, their father:
HARRIS BANK OF CHICAGO, and their Foreign Exchange section, called ForEx, a unit of BANK OF MONTREAL owned principally by the whiskey-soaked BRONFMAN FAMILY [SEAGRAMS booze, Cineplex Odeon movie theater chain, as well as numerous operations of records-entertainment in California].
The former major owner of Harris Bank, now also a major stockholder of Bank of Montreal, is U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R.,Ill.).
Harris Bank/Bank of Montreal are interlocked with the worldwide Mexican bank cartel, Grupo Financiero Bancomer.
In May, 1998, Bancomer pleaded guilty to U.S. federal criminal charges of vast dope money laundering. They tried to whitewash the matter with an explanation on their website: http://www.bancomer.com
Bancomer has operated in the U.S. through branches in Los Angeles and New York. Their attempt to open a branch in Chicago was opposed by one or more City of Chicago Alderman who referred to the Bancomer criminal guilty plea. Yet, the Federal Reserve apparently is ready to let Bancomer operate throughout the U.S. in various units.
Bancomer is not only reportedly implicated in the Russian embezzlement caper, where many billions of dollars disappeared or were laundered; they also are reportedly implicated in the ring of which Pelossi has been the brains and kingpin, for the Bush Family and others, Portugal, SPAIN, Italy, and elsewhere, including Morocco, and COLUMBIA.
HARRIS BANK also has secret and dummy accounts of reputed terrorist OSAMA BIN LADEN.
His concealed accounts are reportedly jointly with SHARON PERCY ROCKEFELLER, top official in Washington, D.C. of PBS, and her family. She is the wife of U.S. SENATOR JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER 4th (D., West Virginia).
Her family reportedly are in the construction business with bin Laden.
[President Clinton says he cannot "find" reputed terrorist bin Laden's accounts to freeze them. Really?]
In October, 1998, we confronted top officials of Harris Bank in Chicago with their secret accounts of the mysterious 50 million dollars of federal agency funds originally parked with Household Bank which merged with Harris Bank. The funds, belonging to Joseph Andreuccetti, were secretly transferred without his permission to Little Rock, Arkansas, to try to cover up the embezzlement of Madison Guaranty S & L, for which Bill and Hillary Clinton are subject to federal criminal prosecution for stealing bank funds.
REPUBLIC NATIONAL BANK OF NEW YORK: The bank is a reputed money laundry for smuggled gold as used by the intelligence agencies, such as the American CIA. The principal owner of the Bank, Edmond J. Safra, was murdered in December, 1999, supposedly by the acts and doings of his purported male "nurse", an unstable former member reportedly of the Green Berets, apparently part of one of their "hit" teams.
(As to the murder of Safra, visit our website: http://www.skolnicksreport.com and see the story, "Murder in the Gold Market" as well as the update.)
The arrest of Giorgio Pelossi is apparently just another event related to our one-hour public access Cable TV Documentary cablecast within Chicago, to some 400,000 viewers, on November 29, 1999. Our program, called "Broadsides", showed pictures of an ocean-going boat, renamed "California Rose", a reputed traveling money laundry, plying between MEXICO, through the Caribbean, including stopping at the Dutch Island of St.Maartens, a dope laundry haven, and then on to Portugal and SPAIN.
The boat, as we stated, is a reported gambling casino, apparently owned and operated by current, recently current, and former top U.S. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE officials, Chicago Region office.
For some twenty years, they reportedly operated a dope traffic "immunity" zone in a western suburb of Chicago, four large buildings called Kingspoint Condominiums. The buildings, originally owned by Joseph Andreuccetti, were seized by the corrupt IRS officials, NOT for the public Treasury, BUT FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL INTEREST.
Andreuccetti was kept in an apparent fraudulent INVOLUNTARY Bankruptcy, for almost 14 years, at the connivance of First National Bank of Cicero and the nephew and godson of Bishop Paul Marcinkus.
Reportedly participating in all this was Congressman Henry Hyde [R.,Ill.] who lived near Kingspoint.
(For details, see the three part series "Corrupt IRS Officials Face Exposure in Dope Bust". Part 3 has pictures of the IRS boat. Visit our website: http://www.skolnicksreport.com )
Our sending six heavy volumes of corruption documents to the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury apparently caused the dope bust situation in January, 2000, as well as the arrest of Pelossi.
Pelossi is reportedly interwoven with the German political scandal that has tarred former Chancellor Helmut Kohl and his conservative political party, the Christian Democratic Union. Pelossi, according to published reports, has provided German prosecutors with information about alleged pay-offs to German political figures.
[The Chicago Sun-Times on January 27, 2000, had a much-censored, watered down story about Pelossi leaving out many details that the presslords are well aware are involved about the Bush family and the corrupt IRS.]
Since 1958, Mr.Skolnick has been a court reformer. Since 1963, founder/chairman, Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, disclosing certain instances of judicial and other bribery and political murders. Since 1991 a regular panelist, and since 1995, moderator/producer, of one-hour,weekly public access Cable TV Show, "Broadsides", Cablecast on Channel 21, 9 p.m. each Monday in Chicago.
~ o ~
One of the first banks named by the Bush administration with alleged ties to Osama bin Laden, according to a news report, is the Bank of Credit & Commerce (BCCI), which supposedly went out of business in 1991. (Perhaps that's why they were fingered.)
So, this just might be a good place to begin to take a closer look at some of...
The Nests Of
Osama bin Laden
Bank of Credit & Commerce (BCCI) - A motherload of financial fraud and corruption.
From The Laundrymen by Jeffrey Robinson:
Banco Ambrosiano was the greatest banking collapse in Europe since the end of World War II. It was shortly to be followed by the greatest banking collapse in the history of banking. . .
In 1988, the Justice Department launched Operation C-Chase, the letter C standing for currency. Posing as drug dealers, undercover agents put out the bait that they had loads of currency to launder. And BCCI fell for it. . . .
A costly and complicated five-year operation-- involving agents from Customs, the IRS, the DEA, and the FBI-- C-Chase produced more than twelve hundred conversations and nearly four hundred hours of clandestinely recorded videotape. By assisting drug dealers to wash $34 million, the Justice Department was able to indict, and in 1990 to convict, several BCCI bankers and dozens of other individuals. In one blow, the Americans had unknowingly pulled the bottom out from under a gargantuan house of cards....
~ ~ ~
From Fortunate Son, by J. H. Hatfield:
BCCI OIL MONEY
The first of many G.W. Bush business ventures eventually bailed out or liquidated before bankruptcy was his oil company Arbusto Energy.
In 1977, Bush received a $50,000 investment from James R. Bath, a Houston businessman who "made his fortune by investing money for [Sheikh Kalid bin] Mahfouz and another BCCI-connected Saudi, Sheikh bin Laden" according to Time correspondents Jonathan Beaty and S.C. Gwynne.
Of special note is that Sheikh bin Laden is widely believed to be the father of Osama bin Laden, terrorist bomber of two U.S. embassies in 1998.
Bath, who had no funds of his own, is believed to have acted as the American representative for Saudi Arabian sheikhs who, as Hatfield describes it, used "their enormous financial resources to influence U.S. policy."
As son of the recent director of the CIA, G.W. Bush and his oil startup were a perfect opportunity to buy influence. Ironically, it was with money allegedly tied to the family of Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden. . . .
For more, GO TO > > > Aloha, Harken Energy; The Strange Saga of BCCI
The Carlyle Group - From the Wall Street Journal, as posted by Jim Mooney, The Insurers Crime Outline, Sept 28, 2001:
BUSH SR. IN BUSINESS WITH BIN LADEN FAMILY CONGLOMERATE THROUGH CARLYLE GROUP
FAMILY HAD RENOUNCED TIES TO TERRORIST SON BUT FAMILY
STILL UNDER FBI INVESTIGATION.
FATHER OF PRESIDENT SHOULD PULL OUT OF INTERNATIONAL CONSULTING FIRM.
Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, reacted with disbelief to The Wall Street Journal report of yesterday that George H.W. Bush, the father of President Bush, works for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group, an international consulting firm.
The senior Bush had met with the bin Laden family at least twice. (Other top Republicans are also associated with the Carlyle group, such as former Secretary of State James A. Baker.) The terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had supposedly been "disowned" by his family, which runs a multi-billion dollar business in Saudi Arabia and is a major investor in the senior Bush's firm. Other reports have questioned, though, whether members of his Saudi family have truly cut off Osama bin Laden. Indeed, the Journal also reported yesterday that the FBI has subpoenaed the bin Laden family business's bank records.
Judicial Watch earlier this year had strongly criticized President Bush's father's association with the Carlyle Group, pointing out in a March 5 statement that it was a "conflict of interest (which) could cause problems for America's foreign policy in Middle East and Asia." Judicial Watch called for the senior Bush to resign from the firm then.
"This conflict of interest has now turned into a scandal. The idea of the President's father, an ex-president himself, doing business with a company under investigation by the FBI in the terror attacks of September 11 is horrible. President Bush should not ask, but demand, that his father pull out of the Carlyle Group," stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman.
"This has the potential of making 'Billygate' (Jimmy Carter's brother's dealings with Libya) look like small potatoes," added Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. . . .
"Conflict of interest" to say the least. This is amazing news that I thought those of you who haven't gotten it would like to see. Yes, I'll be getting back to insurance shortly, but it's been an amazing few weeks and, like all Americans, I am trying to figure this out, since it is obvious that the people we left in charge to figure this out haven't been thinking too clearly. The regular news shows have brought you the terrific and inspiring heroism of rescue workers, along with information on the terrorists, who certainly deserve to be obliterated along with their tyrannical host-government; but there has not been a lot of depth or reflection. Since I've always had very good sources of deeper information, I've been trying to supply a few articles to fill that gap, so that people can reach just conclusions.
This just shows what an incredible Tangle of interests we have in the Middle East. Everyone seems to be involved there, largely for oil, which is seen as the lifeblood of our economy. There will be no simple answers on this one.
Jim Mooney, Webmaster - (www.insurancejustice.com)
~ ~ ~
Nov 4, 2001
John Major link to bin Laden dynasty
Former Prime Minister chairs bank which invests
Osama's family fortune
By Neil MacKay, London Sunday Herald
JOHN MAJOR, the former Conservative Prime Minister, has been linked to the family of Osama bin Laden through his role as the European head of a multi-billion dollar US investment firm which took almost £1.5 million from the terrorist leader's relatives.
Evidence has also come to light which points towards some members of the bin Laden family still having close ties to Osama as well as links to terrorism, including a previous attack by the al-Qaeda organisation on the USS Cole in Yemen last year.
Bin Laden's family claim they disowned him in 1994 and have repeatedly denounced terrorism.
The Carlyle Group, a Washington DC based merchant bank which has Major as its European chairman, received the funds from the bin Laden family through a London investment arm in 1995. The Carlyle Partners II Fund has now raised an estimated £1 billion.
It was used to buy several aerospace companies. So far the bin Laden family has received more than £1m back in completed investments, but should ultimately make £500m.
Financiers say that the family's actual contribution was far more than the £1.5m disclosed.
Judicial Watch, the Washington DC legal watchdog organisation, has accused any company which does business with the bin Laden family -- through its company the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) -- of 'disloyalty to the USA'.
The FBI has issued subpoenas to banks used by the bin Laden family seeking records of family dealings. Investigations in the US and UK will also attempt to unravel whether any relative has given financial support to al-Qaeda or Osama bin Laden.
Despite claims that his family have cut off all contact with bin Laden, the terror leader's stepmother received a phone call from him on the eve of the September 11 attacks in which he told her that 'something big' was about to happen and he would not be able to see her again for a long time.
She also attended his son's wedding in Afghanistan earlier this year.
America believes that two of Osama bin Laden's brothers-in-law, Mohammad Jamal Khalifa and Sad al-Sharif, are also in contact with him. Both are alleged to have financial connections to al-Qaeda.
Khalifa, who lives in Saudi Arabia, is suspected by US intelligence of using a charity called the International Islamic Relief Organisation to finance Islamic terrorists in the Philippines connected to al-Qaeda.
Vincent Cannistraro, the former CIA chief of counter-terrorism, said Khalifa may also have funded the Islamic Army of Aden, which claimed responsibility for the bombing of the USS Cole. Al-Qaeda co-ordinated the attack on the American ship.
Khalifa was detained briefly in the USA in 1994 when immigration officials discovered he had been sentenced to death in absentia in Jordan for 'conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts'.
Bin Laden's brother, Mahrous, is also connected to an armed attack by Islamic fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia in 1979. He befriended Syrian members of the Muslim Brothers, an Islamic fundamentalist group, in exile in Saudi Arabia.
They later used bin Laden company trucks to smuggle arms into Mecca when at least 500 dissidents invaded and seized the Grand Mosque. All the men who took part in the attack were beheaded.
Mahrous was arrested but later freed. He is currently the manager of SBG at its Medina offices.
John Major's private secretary, Arabella Warburton, refused to accept that the bin Laden family could have links to terrorism, saying: 'They are thoroughly good people. Mr Major has nothing to be concerned about. Bin Laden's family have castigated him, distanced themselves from him and issued statements condemning the attacks on America. It's unfair to cast doubt on them. It's guilt by association.'
She said that Major, who became European chairman of the Carlyle Group on leaving Parliament in May, 'had never met a member of the bin Laden family, and could not comment on allegations against the family which he knew nothing about'.
Daniella Zuin, the European spokes woman for the Carlyle Group, said: 'The bin Laden family are investors of ours, but we do not discuss investors. We are sure that the bin Laden family have no dealings with Osama bin Laden.'
Major also sits on the Carlyle Group's Asia advisory board. The company is the world's largest global private equity firm and manages more than £10bn in capital.
The former US defence secretary, Frank Carlucci, is the company's chairman. Carlyle is extremely close to the Saudi Royal family, which in turn has a close friendship with the bin Laden family.
Former President George Bush is the company's senior adviser to its Asian Partners Fund, while his one-time secretary of state, James Baker, is its senior counsellor.
Bush, Carlucci and Baker have all visited the bin Laden family at their company headquarters in Jeddah.
* * *
For more on the Carlyle Group, GO TO > > > A Connecticut Yankee in King Kamehameha's Court ; Birds That Drink from Cess Pools ; Investigating Investcorp
Citigroup - In March, 1998, Citicorp and Travelers Group pioneered the merger of the banking and insurance industries with the announcement of a $74 billion merger that ranks as the largest transaction in the history of the financial services industry.
At the time of the merger, Citicorp was the second-largest bank in the U.S. with assets of almost $311 billion and more than 3,200 offices in 100 countries. Travelers, after completing the acquisition of Salomon Inc. (Salomon Smith Barney) was the largest U.S.-based insurance company with $387 billion in assets at year-end 1997. Combined assets of Citigroup total nearly $700 billion!
* * *
From The Honolulu Advertiser, Oct 8, 2001:
ATTACKS TAKE TOLL ON BIN LADEN COMPANY
MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) - Respected across the Middle East, the Saudi Bin Laden Group renovated Islam's holiest sites, helped build the skyline in Saudi Arabia's capital - and forged ties with the kingdom and royal family that are critical to its business.
Since Sept. 11, these carefully nurtured business connections have been threatened.
The family has disowned Osama bin Laden, the main suspect behind the Sept. 11 assault, and there is no evidence of financial links between the suspected terrorist and the business conglomerate.
Yet, some of the Bin Laden Group's international bankers and business associates said they are reconsidering or even cutting their ties. . . .
Citigroup, which provides banking services to the Bin Laden Group, would not discuss specific banking ties. But spokeswoman Susan Weeks said: "Given the events of the past two weeks, we will be monitoring the situation closely."...
For more on Citigroup, GO TO > > > Vampires in the City
Investcorp - GO TO > > > Investigating Investcorp
Unocal - From The Chicago Tribune, Oct 21, 2001, by Michael J. Berens:
TAXPAYERS FOOT BILL
FOR AFGHAN VISITS
Oil firm tried to woo Taliban leaders
Peering at the 60-foot-high faces of four of America's most famous presidents, the dozen robed and bearded Afghans drew little attention at the base of Mount Rushmore in July 1999.
Only bullet and shrapnel scars beneath their heavy attire were clues that these improbable visitors were militia commanders, some with ties to Osama bin Laden and his al-Quida network.
For the next five weeks, the men were feted at private parties, escorted on tours of other local landmarks, including a school and hospital, and given cash for a shopping mall excursion where most bought scented soaps and silk stockings.
And just as quietly as they had arrive, the group was shepherded back to Afghanistan - all expenses paid courtesy of the U.S. government and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Since 1986, spanning the early years of post-Soviet occupation to the oppressive regime of the Taliban, the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the Omaha commuter campus has served as a back door for U.S. intelligence efforts to expose Afghan leaders to American ideas and democracy. . . .
The university hosted parties for the Taliban and then filed briefings to the U.S. Department of State....
Encouraged by Washington, the school worked with a U.S. oil company to try to persuade the Taliban to grant valuable oil pipeline rights in Afghanistan....
The Afghans continued the trips even after sanctions against the Taliban were implemented by the U.S. and other nations. In November 1997, then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright criticized Taliban leaders as sadistic killers who nailed enemies to village walls and stoned uncovered women.
One month later, eight key Taliban members, including its foreign minister, toured the United States, stopping in Nebraska and Houston, where they visited NASA headquarters.
They also visited Washington, where State Department officials tried to reinforce Albright's views....
Since 1986, university and federal records show, the Nebraska center has received more than $60 million in federal grants to launch educational programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan and to allow visits of Taliban leaders and military officials. . . .
Footing the bill for some of these visits was another party with a special interest in Afghanistan: Unocal Corp. a California-based global energy company.
Although the U.S. had banned foreign aid to Afghanistan, the edict did not apply to private companies that initiated education or humanitarial relief efforts.
By 1997, the Taliban was firmly in control of the country, and energy companies long interested in Afghanistan as a possible location for oil and natural gas pipelines were beginning to make overtures.
Unocal officials envisioned a pipeline that would tap into rich reserves held by former Soviet republics around the Caspian Sea, then course southward for 1,000 miles through the mountains of Turkmenistan and the deserts of Afghanistan, worm through Pakistan and into the cargo holds of U.S.-bound tankers anchored in the Arabian Sea. . . .
The company paid the university nearly $1 million to establish job-training programs in Afghanistan that would be overseen by the Taliban, said Raheem Yaseer, the Omaha center's program coordinator....
In December 1997, Unocal - with State Department approval - obtained U.S. visitor visas for eight Taliban officials and a Pakistani intelligence officer.
"The U.S. government was encouraging our engagement there to bring stability to the country," said Unocal spokesman Barry Lane.
State Department officials confirmed that the agency supported Unocal's efforts....
As guests of Unocal, the Taliban officials were flown to the company's Houston offices for four days of meetings. They also toured NASA headquarters south of Houston, spent several hours at a shopping mall, and attended a party at the mansion of an oil company vice president. The group spent two days at the University of Nebraska....
Even though Unocal said the initiative was a humanitarian effort, criticism of the program was voiced at the company's annual meeting held in Los Angeles in 1999.
Led by the Feminist Majority Foundation, several women's rights groups staged protests and accused Unocal of cutting secret deals with the Taliban.
"We were suspicious that women's rights would be sold out for oil," said Beth Raboin, spokeswoman for Feminist Majority, a nonprofit women's rights group. . . .
# # #
For more on TERRORISM and the GREED behind it, GO TO > > >
ALOHA, HARKEN ENERGY!
AN OCTOPUS NAMED WACKENHUT
THE BUZZARDS IN THE HALLS OF JUSTICE
BIRDS THAT DRINK FROM CESSPOOLS
THE BUZZARDS IN THE HALLS OF SMU
CONFESSIONS OF A WHISTLEBLOWER
THE EAGLE AWAKES
THE EAGLE HOODED
THE GREED AT LOCKHEED
HAIL TO THE CHIEF
THE IMPEACHMENT OF GEORGE W. BUSH
IT’S THE OIL, STUPID!
NESTS IN THE PENTAGON
THE SECRET NESTS
THORNS IN THE ROSE GARDEN
THE STRANGE SAGA OF BCCI
VAMPIRES IN THE CITY
THE VAMPIRES ON GILLIGAN’S ISLAND
THE VAMPIRES ON JUPITER ISLAND
VULTURES IN THE PINEAPPLE FIELDS
WHO'S GUARDING THE HEN HOUSE???
MORE TO COME . . .
AS SOON AS THE NAMES ARE RELEASED BY
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT!
(... THAT IS IF THEY'RE EVER RELEASED.)
Initially posted on September 27, 2001, by The Catbird
(Last updated March 15, 2008)