"Oh Lucy! – You Gotta Lotta 'Splainin To Do"
Bin Laden Met with the CIA in July and Walked Away
Michael C. Ruppert
[© COPYRIGHT 2001, All Rights Reserved, Michael C. Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com . May be copied and distributed for non-profit purposes only.]
[Expanded and Revised April 18, 2002]
[Editor's Note: I don't think we've ever been happier to make a correction when we have made an error. Until recently - relying on an Oct. 31, 2001 article in Britain's The Guardian -- which stated, "Carlyle's other holdings span an improbable range, taking in the French newspaper Le Figaro and the company which bottles Dr Pepper," we had believed that Carlyle actually owned Le Figaro. The Guardian story had been written in the context of Carlyle's overall role as a buyer and seller of companies. We were recently forwarded information from the Guerilla News Network (www.guerrillanews.com) citing the French publication Liberation as having reported that Carlyle's ownership of Le Figaro is actually only 4.9%. The term "holdings" can be interpreted in two ways and this new information makes the Figaro story - which has not been retracted - even stronger.]
FTW, November 2, 2001 - 1200 PST -- On October 31, the French daily Le Figaro dropped a bombshell. While in a Dubai hospital receiving treatment for a chronic kidney infection last July, Osama bin Laden met with a top CIA official - presumably the Chief of Station. The meeting, held in bin Laden's private suite, took place at the American hospital in Dubai at a time when he was a wanted fugitive for the bombings of two U.S. embassies and this year's attack on the U.S.S. Cole. Bin Laden was eligible for execution according to a 2000 intelligence finding issued by President Bill Clinton before leaving office in January. Yet on July 14th he was allowed to leave Dubai on a private jet and there were no Navy fighters waiting to force him down.
In 1985 Oliver North - the only member of the Reagan-Bush years who doesn't appear to have a hand in the current war - sent the Navy and commandos after terrorists on the cruise ship Achille Lauro. In his 1991 autobiography "Under Fire," while describing terrorist Abu Abbas, North wrote, "I used to wonder: how many dead Americans will it take before we do something?" One could look at the number of Americans Osama bin Laden is alleged to have killed before September 11 and ask the same question.
It gets worse, much worse. A more complete timeline listing crucial events both before and after the September 11th suicide attacks, which have been blamed on bin Laden, establishes CIA foreknowledge of them and strongly suggests that there was criminal complicity on the part of the U.S. government in their execution. It also makes clear that the events which have taken place since September 11th are based upon an agenda that has little to do with the attacks.
One wonders how these events could have been ignored by the major media or treated as isolated incidents. Failing that, how could skilled news agencies avoid being outraged, or at least even just a little suspicious?
1. 1991-1997 - Major U.S. oil companies including ExxonMobil, Texaco, Unocal, BP Amoco, Shell and Enron directly invest almost billions in cash bribing heads of state in Kazakhstan to secure equity rights in the huge oil reserves in these regions. The oil companies further commit to future direct investments in Kazakhstan of $35 billion. Not being willing to pay exorbitant prices to Russia to use Russian pipelines the major oil companies have no way to recoup their investments. ["The Price of Oil," by Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, July 9, 2001 - The Asia Times, "The Roving Eye Part I Jan. 26, 2002.]
2. December 4, 1997 - Representatives of the Taliban are invited guests to the Texas headquarters of Unocal to negotiate their support for the pipeline. Subsequent reports will indicate that the negotiations failed, allegedly because the Taliban wanted too much money. [Source: The BBC, Dec. 4, 1997]
3. February 12, 1998 - Unocal Vice President John J. Maresca - later to become a Special Ambassador to Afghanistan - testifies before the House that until a single, unified, friendly government is in place in Afghanistan the trans-Afghani pipeline needed to monetize the oil will not be built. [Source: Testimony before the House International Relations Committee.]
4. 1998 - The CIA ignores warnings from Case Officer Robert Baer that Saudi Arabia was harboring an al-Q'aeda cell led by two known terrorists. A more detailed list of known terrorists is offered to Saudi intelligence in August 2001 and refused. [Source: Financial Times 1/12/01; See No Evil by a book by Robert Baer (release date Feb. 2002).
5. April, 1999 - Enron with a $3 billion investment to build an electrical generating plant at Dabhol India loses access to plentiful LNG supplies from Qatar to fuel the plant. Its only remaining option to make the investment profitable is a trans-Afghani gas pipeline to be built by Unocal from Turkmenistan that would terminate near the Indian border at the city of Multan. [Source: The Albion Monitor, Feb. 28, 2002.]
6. 1998 and 2000 - Former President George H.W. Bush travels to Saudi Arabia on behalf of the privately owned Carlyle Group, the 11th largest defense contractor in the U.S. While there he meets privately with the Saudi royal family and the bin Laden family. [Source: Wall Street Journal, Sept. 27, 2001. See also FTW, Vol. IV, No 7 - "The Best Enemies Money Can Buy," - http://www.fromthewilderness.com/members/carlyle.html . ]
7. January, 2001 - The Bush Administration orders the FBI and intelligence agencies to "back off" investigations involving the bin Laden family, including two of Osama bin Laden's relatives (Abdullah and Omar) who were living in Falls Church, VA - right next to CIA headquarters. This followed previous orders dating back to 1996, frustrating efforts to investigate the bin Laden family. [Source: BBC Newsnight, Correspondent Gregg Palast - Nov 7, 2001].
8. Feb 13, 2001 - UPI Terrorism Correspondent Richard Sale - while covering a trial of bin Laden's Al Q'aeda followers - reports that the National Security Agency has broken bin Laden's encrypted communications. Even if this indicates that bin Laden changed systems in February it does not mesh with the fact that the government insists that the attacks had been planned for years.
9. May 2001 - Secretary of State Colin Powell gives $43 million in aid to the Taliban regime, purportedly to assist hungry farmers who are starving since the destruction of their opium crop in January on orders of the Taliban regime. [Source: The Los Angeles Times, May 22, 2001].
10. May, 2001 - Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a career covert operative and former Navy Seal, travels to India on a publicized tour while CIA Director George Tenet makes a quiet visit to Pakistan to meet with Pakistani leader General Pervez Musharraf. Armitage has long and deep Pakistani intelligence connections and he is the recipient of the highest civil decoration awarded by Pakistan. It would be reasonable to assume that while in Islamabad, Tenet, in what was described as "an unusually long meeting," also met with his Pakistani counterpart, Lt. General Mahmud Ahmad, head of the ISI. [Source The Indian SAPRA news agency, May 22, 2001.]
11. June 2001 - German intelligence, the BND, warns the CIA and Israel that Middle Eastern terrorists are "planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture." [Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 14, 2001.]
12. July, 2001 - Three American officials: Tom Simmons (former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan), Karl Inderfurth (former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian affairs) and Lee Coldren (former State Department expert on South Asia), meet with Pakistani and Russian intelligence officers in Berlin and tell them that the U.S. is planning military strikes against Afghanistan in October. A French book released in November, "Bin Laden - La Verite´ Interdite," discloses that Taliban representatives often sat in on the meetings. British papers confirm that the Pakistani ISI relayed the threats to the Taliban. [Source: The Guardian, September 22, 2001; the BBC, September 18, 2001.The Inter Press Service, Nov 16, 2001]
13. Summer, 2001 - The National Security Council convenes a Dabhol working group as revealed in a series of government e-mails obtained by The Washington Post and the New York Daily News. [Source: The Albion Monitor, Feb. 28, 2002]
14. Summer 2001 - According to a Sept. 26 story in Britain's The Guardian, correspondent David Leigh reported that, "U.S. department of defense official, Dr. Jeffrey Starr, visited Tajikistan in January. The Guardian's Felicity Lawrence established that US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan. There were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana."
15. Summer 2001 (est.) - Pakistani ISI Chief General Ahmad (see above) orders an aide to wire transfer $100,000 to Mohammed Atta, who was according to the FBI, the lead terrorist in the suicide hijackings. Ahmad recently resigned after the transfer was disclosed in India and confirmed by the FBI. [Source: The Times of India, October 11, 2001.]
16. Summer 2001 - An Iranian man phones U.S. law enforcement to warn of an imminent attack on the World Trade Center in the week of September 9th. German police confirm the calls but state that the U.S. Secret Service would not reveal any further information. [Source: German news agency "online.de", September 14, 2001, translation retrieved from online.ie in Ireland.]
17. June 26, 2001 - The magazine indiareacts.com states that "India and Iran will 'facilitate' US and Russian plans for 'limited military action' against the Taliban." The story indicates that the fighting will be done by US and Russian troops with the help of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. [Source: indiareacts.com , June 26, 2001.]
18. August 2001 - The FBI arrests an Islamic militant linked to bin Laden in Boston. French intelligence sources confirm that the man is a key member of bin Laden's network and the FBI learns that he has been taking flying lessons. At the time of his arrest the man is in possession of technical information on Boeing aircraft and flight manuals. [Source: Reuters, September 13.]
19. August 11 or 12 - US Navy Lt. Delmart "Mike" Vreeland, jailed in Toronto on U.S. fraud charges and claiming to be an officer in U.S. Naval intelligence, writes details of the pending WTC attacks and seals them in an envelope which he gives to Canadian authorities. [Source: The Toronto Star, Oct. 23, 2001; Toronto Superior Court Records]
20. Summer 2001 - Russian intelligence notifies the CIA that 25 terrorist pilots have been specifically training for suicide missions. This is reported in the Russian press and news stories are translated for FTW by a retired CIA officer.
21. July 4-14, 2001 - Osama bin Laden receives treatments for kidney disease at the American hospital in Dubai and meets with a CIA official who returns to CIA headquarters on July 15th. [Source: Le Figaro, October 31st, 2001.]
22. August 2001 - Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Russian intelligence to warn the U.S. government "in the strongest possible terms" of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings. [Source: MS-NBC interview with Putin, September 15.]
23. August/September, 2001 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops nearly 900 points in the three weeks prior to the attack. A major stock market crash is imminent.
24. Sept. 3-10, 2001 - MS-NBC reports on September 16 that a caller to a Cayman Islands radio talk show gave several warnings of an imminent attack on the U.S. by bin Laden in the week prior to 9/11.
25. September 1-10, 2001 - In an exercise, Operation "Swift Sword" planned for four years, 23, 000 British troops are steaming toward Oman. Although the 9/11 attacks caused a hiccup in the deployment the massive operation was implemented as planned. At the same time two U.S. carrier battle groups arrive on station in the Gulf of Arabia just off the Pakistani coast. Also at the same time, some 17,000 U.S. troops join more than 23,000 NATO troops in Egypt for Operation "Bright Star." All of these forces are in place before the first plane hits the World Trade Center. [Sources: The Guardian, CNN, FOX, The Observer, International Law Professor Francis Boyle, the University of Illinois.]
26. September 7, 2001 - Florida Governor Jeb Bush signs a two-year emergency executive order (01-261) making new provisions for the Florida National Guard to assist law enforcement and emergency-management personnel in the event of large civil disturbances, disaster or acts of terrorism. [Source: State of Florida web site listing of Governor's Executive Orders.]
27. September 6-7, 2001 - 4,744 put options (a speculation that the stock will go down) are purchased on United Air Lines stock as opposed to only 396 call options (speculation that the stock will go up). This is a dramatic and abnormal increase in sales of put options. Many of the UAL puts are purchased through Deutschebank/AB Brown, a firm managed until 1998 by the current Executive Director of the CIA, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard. [Source: The Herzliyya International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, http://www.ict.org.il/ , September 21; The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal.]
28. September 10, 2001 - 4,516 put options are purchased on American Airlines as compared to 748 call options. [Source: ICT - above]
29. September 6-11, 2001 - No other airlines show any similar trading patterns to those experienced by UAL and American. The put option purchases on both airlines were 600% above normal. This at a time when Reuters (September 10) issues a business report stating, "Airline stocks may be poised to take off."
30. September 6-10, 2001 - Highly abnormal levels of put options are purchased in Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, AXA Re(insurance) which owns 25% of American Airlines, and Munich Re. All of these companies are directly impacted by the September 11 attacks. [Source: ICT, above; FTW, Vol. IV, No.7, October 18, 2001, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/members/oct152001.html .]
31. It has been documented that the CIA, the Israeli Mossad and many other intelligence agencies monitor stock trading in real time using highly advanced programs reported to be descended from Promis software. This is to alert national intelligence services of just such kinds of attacks. Promis was reported, as recently as June, 2001 to be in Osama bin Laden's possession and, as a result of recent stories by FOX, both the FBI and the Justice Department have confirmed its use for U.S. intelligence gathering through at least this summer. This would confirm that CIA had additional advance warning of imminent attacks. [Sources: The Washington Times, June 15, 2001; FOX News, October 16, 2001; FTW, October 26, 2001, - http://www.fromthewilderness.com/ members/magic_carpet.html; FTW, Vol. IV, No.6, Sept. 18, 2001 - http://www.fromthewilderness.com/members/sept1801.html ; FTW, Vol. 3, No 7, 9/30/00 - www.fromthewilderness.com/free/pandora/052401_promis.html .
32. September 11, 2001 - Gen Mahmud of the ISI (see above), friend of Mohammed Atta, is visiting Washington on behalf of the Taliban. He is meeting with the Chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Porter Goss (R), FL and Bob Graham (D), Fl [Sources: MS-NBC, Oct. 7, The New York Times, Feb. 17, 2002.]
33. September 11, 2002 - Employees of Odigo, Inc. in Israel, one of the world's largest instant messaging companies, with offices in New York, receive threat warnings of an imminent attack on the WTC less than two hours before the first plane hits the WTC. Law enforcement authorities have gone silent about any investigation of this. The Odigo Research and Development offices in Israel are located in the city of Herzliyya, a ritzy suburb of Tel Aviv which is the same location as the Institute for Counter Terrorism which breaks early details of insider trading on 9-11. [Source: CNN's Daniel Sieberg, 9/28/01; Newsbytes, Brian McWilliams, 9/27/01; Ha'aretz, 9/26/01.].
34. September 11, 2001, For 50 minutes, from 8:15 AM until 9:05 AM, with it widely known within the FAA and the military that four planes have been simultaneously hijacked and taken off course, no one notifies the President of the United States. It is not until 9:30 that any Air Force planes are scrambled to intercept, but by then it is too late. This means that the National Command Authority waited for 75 minutes before scrambling aircraft, even though it was known that four simultaneous hijackings had occurred - an event that has never happened in history. [Sources: CNN, ABC, MS-NBC, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times.]
35. September 13, 2001 - China is admitted to the World Trade Organization quickly, after 15 years of unsuccessful attempts. [Source: The New York Times, Sept. 30, 2001.]
36. September 14, 2001 - Canadian jailers open the sealed envelope from Mike Vreeland in Toronto and see that is describes attacks against the WTC and Pentagon. The U.S. Navy subsequently states that Vreeland was discharged as a seaman in 1986 for unsatisfactory performance and has never worked in intelligence. [Source: The Toronto Star, Oct. 23, 2001; Toronto Superior Court records]
37. September 15, 2001 - The New York Times reports that Mayo Shattuck III has resigned, effective immediately, as head of the Alex (A.B) Brown unit of Deutschebank.
38. September 29, 2001 - The San Francisco Chronicle reports that $2.5 million in put options on American Airlines and United Airlines are unclaimed. This is likely the result of the suspension in trading on the NYSE after the attacks which gave the Securities and Exchange Commission time to be waiting when the owners showed up to redeem their put options.
39. October 10, 2001 - The Pakistani newspaper The Frontier Post reports that U.S. Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain has paid a call on the Pakistani oil minister. A previously abandoned Unocal pipeline from Turkmenistan, across Afghanistan, to the Pakistani coast, for the purpose of selling oil and gas to China, is now back on the table "in view of recent geopolitical developments."
40. October 11, 2001 - The Ashcroft Justice Department takes over all terrorist prosecutions from the U.S. Attorneys office in New York which has had a highly successful track record in prosecuting terrorist cases connected to Osama bin Laden. [Source: The New York Times, Oct. 11, 2002.]
41. Mid October, 2001 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average, after having suffered a precipitous drop has recovered most of its pre-attack losses. Although still weak, and vulnerable to negative earnings reports, a crash has been averted by a massive infusion of government spending on defense programs, subsidies for "affected" industries and planned tax cuts for corporations.
42. November 21, 2001 - The British paper The Independent runs a story headlined, "Opium Farmers Rejoice at the Defeat of the Taliban." The story reports that massive opium planting is underway all over the country.
43. November 25, 2001 - The Observer runs a story headlined "Victorious Warlords Set To Open the Opium Floodgates." It states that farmers are being encouraged by warlords allied with the victorious Americans are "being encouraged to plant "as much opium as possible."
44. December 4, 2001 - Convicted drug lord and opium kingpin Ayub Afridi is recruited by the US government to help establish control in Afghanistan by unifying various Pashtun warlords. The former opium smuggler who was one of the CIA's leading assets in the war against the Russians is released from prison in order to do this. [Source: The Asia Times Online, 12/4/01].
45. December 25, 2001 - Newly appointed afghani Prime Minister Hamid Karzai is revealed as being a former paid consultant for Unocal. [Source: Le Monde.]
46. January 3, 2002 - President Bush appoints Zalamy Khalilzad as a special envoy to Afghanistan. Khalilzad, a former employee of Unocal, also wrote op-eds in the Washington Post in 1997 supporting the Taliban regime. [Source: Pravda, 1/9/02]
47. January 4, 2002 - Florida drug trafficking explodes after 9-11. In a surge of trafficking reminiscent of the 1980s the diversion of resources away from drug enforcement has opened the floodgates for a new surge of cocaine and heroin from South America. [The Christian Science Monitor, January 4, 2002.
48. January 10, 2002 - In a call from a speaker phone in open court, attorneys for "Mike" Vreeland call the Pentagon's switchboard operator who confirms that Vreeland is indeed a Naval Lieutenant on active duty. She provides an office number and a direct dial phone extension to his office in the Pentagon. [Source: Attorney Rocco Galati; court records Toronto Superior Court.]
49. January 10, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft recuses himself from the Enron investigation because Enron had been a major campaign donor in his 2000 Senate race. He fails to recuse himself from involvement in two sitting Federal grand juries investigating bribery and corruption charges against ExxonMobil and BP-Amoco who have massive oil interests in Central Asia. Both were major Ashcroft donors in 2000. [Source: CNN, Jan. 10, 2002 - FTW original investigation, The Elephant in the Living Room, Part I, Apr 4, 2002.]
50. February 9, 2002 - Pakistani leader General Musharraf and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai announce their agreement to "cooperate in all spheres of activity" including the proposed Central Asian pipeline. Pakistan will give $10 million to Afghanistan to help pay Afghani government workers. [Source: The Irish Times, 2/9/02]
51. Feb 18, 2002 - The Financial Times reports that the estimated opium harvest in Afghanistan in the late Spring of 2002 will reach a world record 4500 metric tons.
Now, let's go back to the October 31 story by Le Figaro - the one that has Osama bin Laden meeting with a CIA officer in Dubai this June.
The story says that, "Throughout his stay in the hospital, Osama Bin Laden received visits from many family members [There goes the story that he's a black sheep!] and Saudi Arabian Emirate personalities of status. During this time the local representative of the CIA was seen by many people taking the elevator and going to bin Laden's room.
"Several days later the CIA officer bragged to his friends about having visited the Saudi millionaire. From authoritative sources, this CIA agent visited CIA headquarters on July 15th, the day after bin Laden's departure for Quetta÷
"According to various Arab diplomatic sources and French intelligence itself, precise information was communicated to the CIA concerning terrorist attacks aimed at American interests in the world, including its own territory."÷
"Extremely bothered, they [American intelligence officers in a meeting with French intelligence officers] requested from their French peers exact details about the Algerian activists [connected to bin Laden through Dubai banking institutions], without explaining the exact nature of their inquiry. When asked the question, "What do you fear in the coming days?' the Americans responded with incomprehensible silence."÷
"On further investigation, the FBI discovered certain plans that had been put together between the CIA and its "Islamic friends" over the years. The meeting in Dubai is, so it would seem, consistent with 'a certain American policy.'"
Even though Le Figaro reported that it had confirmed with hospital staff that bin Laden had been there as reported, stories printed on November 1 contained quotes from hospital staff that these reports were untrue. On November 1, as reported by the Ananova press agency, the CIA flatly denied that any meeting between any CIA personnel and Osama bin Laden at any time.
Who do you believe?
[© COPYRIGHT 2001, All Rights Reserved, Michael C. Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com . May be copied and distributed for non-profit purposes only.]
Reproduced gratefully from: www.copvcia.com
WATCH THIS PAGE FOR CONTINUING ADDITIONS TO THIS TIMELINE
The Vreeland Case:
A White Knight Talking Backwards SPY CASE IN CANADIAN COURTS SUGGESTS US NAVAL OFFICER HAD FOREKNOWLEDGE OF 9-11 A MUST, MUST, MUST READ!!!!!...Vreeland Case..
Tom Flocco – Edited by Michael C. Ruppert
[© Copyright 2001. From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com . All Rights Reserved. May be recopied, distributed or posted on the worldwide web for non-profit purposes only.]
FTW, December 6, 2001 -- On October 9th, FTW broke a story on insider trading connected to the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center that sparked worldwide controversy. In that story we reported how the Israeli Herzliyya Institute for Counterterrorism had documented that unknown individuals -- with accurate foreknowledge of the attacks -- had purchased an obvious and unusually large number of “put” options on United and American Airlines shortly before the attacks.
Additional companies hit hard by the insider trading included Axa Re(insurance) and Munich Re as well as American investment giants Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.
Put options are essentially a bet that a stock’s price will fall abruptly. The seller, having entered into a time-specific contract with a buyer, does not need to own the actual shares at the time the contract is purchased. Therefore, if a holder of the put option has a contract to sell a stock such as American Airlines for (e.g.) $100 a share on a Friday and the stock falls to $50 on Wednesday, they can purchase the stock, sell it on Friday and double their money. The person on the other end of the contract (the call) has an obligation to buy the shares at the agreed upon price. The bank handling the transaction as a broker is the only entity knowing the identities of both parties.
FTW also revealed that the A.B. Brown (Alex Brown) investment arm of the banking giant Deutschebank/A.B. Brown had been headed until 1998 by the man who is now the Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency – A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard. In fact, Krongard is but one name in a long history of CIA interconnections to stock trading and the world’s financial markets. We also discussed, in detail, the evidence indicating that the CIA and other intelligence agencies monitor stock trading in real time for the purpose of identifying potential attacks of any nature that might damage the U.S. economy.
The original FTW story is located at:
Critics of FTW’s initial story - not having read any of five related stories dating back to an October 2000 piece on PROMIS software - claimed that we had not made the links to establish culpability. But we knew that the links were there, that our case was solid, and that new evidence would not go undiscovered for long.
Now, investigative reporter Tom Flocco digs deep and strikes pay dirt in a three-part series that reveals not only deeper links between the CIA, Wall Street and the insider trades of 9-11, but also discloses that a key executive at Deutschebank – an American – became, just weeks before the attacks, a convicted felon. His crime: conspiracy to launder drug money to arrange the purchase of U.S. weapons – in association with two Pakistanis who also attempted to acquire nuclear bomb components – for use by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. – MCR
CIA Does Not Deny Stock Monitoring Outside U.S.
(Part I in a series)
In a returned phone call from the Central Intelligence Agency, press spokesman Tom Crispell denied that the CIA was monitoring "real-time," pre-September 11, stock option trading activity within United States borders using such software as the Prosecutor‘s Management Information System (PROMIS).
"That would be illegal. We only operate outside the United States," the intelligence official said.
However, when asked whether the CIA had been using PROMIS beyond American borders to scrutinize world financial markets for national security purposes, Crispell replied, "I have no way of knowing what operations are [being affected by our assets] outside the country."
Extensive media reporting confirms that investors at Deutschebank-Alex Brown and other global financial entities may have profited from prior knowledge of the attacks while purchasing disproportionate pre-attack put option contracts on targeted U.S. airlines and related insurance or investment firms. All of these firms suffered serious losses resulting from the September 11th attacks and their stocks abruptly plummeted.
Confirmation that the CIA or other U.S. intelligence agencies were monitoring financial markets and had seen these trades before the attacks would have staggering implications for thousands of victims’ families.
The CIA official also declined to comment on the actual capabilities of PROMIS. The highly technical software has been described as a system that "interfaces with any database...as police can input an alleged terrorist’s name or credit card, and the software will provide details of the person’s movements through purchases...," according to an 11-10-01 Toronto Sun report.
The importance of PROMIS is that it is not only capable of interfacing with a wide variety of data bases in different computer languages and then integrating the data, but it has also been modified for intelligence purposes. It has then been sold throughout the world by spy agencies through third parties to clients such as banks and investment houses envious of its unique capabilities. One key modification by agencies such as the CIA and Mossad – not disclosed to most users -- is a secret “back door” that permits those with the right codes to enter databases undetected, retrieve and/or alter information, and leave without a trace. PROMIS has been extensively reported as being used throughout the world’s financial markets because of its versatility in facilitating international transactions.
Further clouding the issue of pre-attack stock screening by U.S. intelligence, the Canadian daily revealed that U.S. police said many of the suspected terrorists were apprehended (and detained) "through use of the state-of-the-art computer software program PROMIS."
In March 2000, CIA director George J. Tenet told the Senate that Osama bin Laden’s group (Al Q’aeda) was "embracing the opportunities offered by recent leaps in information technology." A FOX News story and stories in FTW disclosed in November that Osama bin Laden was believed to have the software.
The issue of CIA monitoring of stock trades follows on the heels of wide reports indicating that investigators are carefully probing the insider trading with its resultant profits, reported to be in the 10’s of millions of dollars -- some of which a Deutschebank investor has yet to claim.
A promis is a promis
Crispell also declined comment when asked whether the Treasury Department or FBI had questioned CIA Executive Director and former Deutschebank-Alex Brown CEO, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, about CIA monitoring of financial markets using PROMIS and his former position as overseer of Brown’s "private client” relations. [Note: Krongard stayed with A.B. Brown to head “private client” operations after it was acquired by Banker’s Trust in 1997. As Krongard was leaving in 1998 to join the CIA as counselor to Director George Tenet, Banker’s Trust was acquired by Deutschebank. Banker’s Trust had been previously criticized by the U.S. Senate and regulators for money laundering. Krongard was promoted to Executive Director at CIA in March 2001. - MCR]
Wide reports -- including a 9/28/01 story in the Asian Wall Street Journal and a 10/1/01 story in The Guardian -- indicate that investigators are checking Deutschebank’s alleged links to Saudi "private banking," terrorist bank accounts, and $2.5 million in unclaimed United Airlines (UAL) put options profits; however, no government acknowledgement had ever been given of CIA’s alleged use of PROMIS software prior to the attacks.
In a recent phone conversation, when asked about alleged terrorist ties to Deutschebank and potential pre-attack CIA trade monitoring via PROMIS, Treasury Department spokesman Rob Nichols remarked, "This is clearly an interesting line of questioning regarding conflicts of interest."
However, news searches indicate that no member of Congress has publicly questioned whether wealthy terrorist-connected Saudi nationals participated in the private client operations of Deutschebank-Alex Brown. Osama bin Laden and almost all of the alleged 9-11 hijackers are of Saudi nationality. Also, no member of Congress expressed public interest in asking Krongard about whether or not the CIA affected "real-time" pre-attack trade monitoring using PROMIS software at any location.
[Note: Under a program known as Echelon, the governments of the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand routinely circumvent prohibitions on domestic electronic spying by having the agencies of the other governments do it for them. - MCR]
Michael Ruppert, editor and publisher of From The Wilderness (FTW) newsletter (www.copvcia.com), has been interviewed by both the House and Senate for his expertise on illegal covert CIA operations. He said recently that, "It is well documented that the CIA has long monitored such (suspicious or unusual) trades -- in real time -- as potential warnings of terrorist attacks and other economic moves contrary to U.S. interests."
Ruppert was the first to point out after 9-11 that CIA Executive Director Buzzy Krongard has extensive past ties to Deutschebank-Alex Brown. Ruppert added, "There is abundant and clear evidence that a number of transactions in financial markets indicated specific [criminal] foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks...and the firm which was used to place put options on UAL stock was, until 1998, managed by the man who is now in the number three position at the CIA."
Ruppert also confirmed that two October 17 calls to the FBI resulted in spokespersons declining to give their names after revealing that "the FBI has discontinued use of the PROMIS software." Moreover, on October 24, Justice Department spokesperson Loren Pfeifle declined to answer any questions about where, when, or how PROMIS had been used and would only say, "I can confirm that the DOJ has discontinued use of the program." This followed almost 17 years of denials by the FBI and the Department of Justice -- in court and under oath -- that they used the software at all in a law enforcement or intelligence capacity.
Krongard’s current lofty intelligence community position, combined with his prior leadership of a financial institution allegedly connected to terrorist hijacker bank accounts [see Part II], suspicious UAL options contracts, and "private banking" is so controversial that it has not as yet sparked any official investigation. That said, the evidence is substantial enough to potentially expose the prior-knowledge issue -- if Congress chooses to act.
And while Treasury Department official Rob Nichols agreed that unresolved conflict of interest questions remain, the CIA Executive Director is still currently charged with supervision of the U.S. intelligence investigation of his former firm and its "private banking" operations.
Reuters has reported that Krongard "was [also] involved in setting up the CIA experiment into investing in high-tech companies with the goal of acquiring innovative technology for its own use."
Commenting on the CIA’s venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, started in 1999 to encourage development of private-sector technologies for use in the intelligence world, Krongard said on August 1, 2001 -- just 5 weeks before the Trade Center attacks -- "I think In-Q-Tel’s a wonderful model...in accessing the capabilities of the private sector."
On October 16, Fox News reported that, according to sources, accused Russian spy and FBI agent Robert Hanssen sold high-tech PROMIS software to Russia, and that Osama bin Laden allegedly purchased it from Russian organized crime sources.
Fox reported that, "Government officials suspect bin Laden may have the highly sophisticated U.S. government software that has been used by several other governments, including the United States, for classified intelligence and law enforcement information."
The admission by U.S. government officials that PROMIS was widely used by a number of governments further blurs the pre-attack stock monitoring issue since intelligence officials will likely continue to decline comment, save for closed-door congressional oversight hearings or challenges by those victims’ families choosing to bypass settlements adjudicated by the Attorney General’s office in favor of direct intervention by the courts.
The buck stops where?
Tom Crispell, the CIA official, was cooperative while attempting to maintain intelligence confidentiality in the face of what he termed as "ongoing investigations surrounding the Twin Towers tragedies by the CIA, FBI, Justice, and Treasury Departments." However, this was in great contrast to an FBI spokesperson who refused to offer either his first or last name, while declining comment on any matter related to events of September 11.
During a series of calls, some spokespersons quickly attempted to defer and deflect questions to another government agency, i.e. "We don’t deal with that issue. Call the other [entity]."
However, many would agree, given the evidence, that the 9-11 terrorism is closely linked to economic issues. President Bush has stated that this is “economic warfare.” Yet few appear to be questioning an apparent paucity of critical information sharing among key government agencies on the issue.
As U.S. investigators retrace the financial trails connecting the Twin Towers, terrorist hijackers and their accomplices, many of whom may still be in the country, evidence is being turned up by FBI, CIA, Justice, Treasury and NSA that does involve global banking conglomerate Deutschebank-Alex Brown.
$2.5 million unclaimed UAL investor profits
For example, according to a 10-19-2001 Wall Street Journal report, an unnamed investor purchased 2,000 United Airlines (UAL) put option contracts through Deutsche Bank-Alex Brown on September 6 -- betting the stock would shortly plummet. And USA Today reported that an individual purchased 810 UAL puts on August 6.
A Baron’s source claimed on 10-8-2001 that the pre-attack UAL order placed through Deutsche Bank was for 2,500 contracts which were "split into 500 chunks each, directing each order to different U.S. exchanges around the country simultaneously."
According to San Francisco Chronicle reporters Christian Berthelsen and Scott Winokur a source familiar with the UAL trades said investors have yet to claim $2.5 million in profits on contracts purchased before United airliners crashed into a New York Trade Tower and a deserted Pennsylvania field on September 11.
The Chronicle source also identified Deutschebank-Alex Brown as the investment firm used to purchase some of the UAL options; and Rohini Pragasam, a bank spokeswoman, declined to comment on the transaction.
The source (who requested anonymity) said, "Usually, if someone has a windfall like that, you take the money and run. Whoever did this thought the Exchange [NYSE] would not be closed for four days. This smells real bad."
The German news weekly Der Spiegel revealed that Deutschebank also handled accounts worth about $100 million for Osama bin Laden's family. These were part of 10 accounts it suspected were linked to terrorists or terrorist activities and which it later handed over to German authorities after the attacks, according to a report in Britain’s The Guardian. But no further comments have been forthcoming from the financial giant.
German Central Bank President Ernst Welteke said a study -- concerning principal hijack subjects residing in Germany and unusual patterns in short-selling of insurance, airline and other financial company shares -- pointed to "terrorism insider trading" in those stocks.
The SEC Is Investigating
A phone interview with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) press spokesman John Nester, of the Washington, DC office, revealed that the Commission, “has already forwarded a general request to Deutschebank-Alex Brown and other investment firms for unspecified information related to the suspicious put option contracts placed prior to the attacks on the Trade Towers and the Pentagon." But the spokesman declined comment regarding the identities of complying banks or the contents of any information obtained.
Nester augmented his response by adding that "according to SEC Associate Director of Enforcement Bill Baker -- who just spoke on a panel outside New York last week -- our SEC probe is much broader than investigations made by countries in Europe (who also lost citizens), many of whom have already closed their financial investigations of investment banks like Deutschebank." No results of those probes have been made public.
While the SEC media director said "the investigation is still ongoing with no current conclusions," Nester (speaking for the SEC), had difficulty explaining the job description of current New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Executive Vice President for Enforcement, David P. Doherty. He would only say that the NYSE "regulates itself as an SRO or self-regulating organization...." This vague answer is all the more provocative because Doherty is a retired General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Nester added, "The SEC has oversight responsibility regarding the NYSE, and we are also working with Justice, Treasury, and the FBI, having set up professional point men at each firm we are looking at -- so we don‘t have to reinvent the wheel every time we call a company [related to the attacks] to get an answer to a question."
The "reinvent the wheel" statement raised an eyebrow regarding the level of corporate cooperation in the investigation, although Nester declined to add further comment.
In Spite of CIA Ties the NYSE Is Little Help
When asked about the status of the investigation into the disproportionate pre-attack stock option trades involving United and American Airlines, Merrill Lynch, Marsh and McLennan Insurance, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bear Stearns, and American Express, etc. -- all icons of American capitalism -- NYSE Communications Director Ray Pellecchia said, "We don't even confirm that there is an ongoing investigation."
"We report to the SEC as a matter of course," Pellecchia added. But after being referred to as a "persistent piece of work," this writer asked Pellecchia to discuss Doherty’s role in the investigations. He said, "We stand by this statement."
And after pressing for information about what the NYSE is actually doing to investigate the suspicious trades on behalf of thousands of victims’ families who may be concerned about the "prior-knowledge" issue, Pellecchia still declined to confirm that Doherty's enforcement office had even sent a report to the SEC.
When asked why so many former key CIA executives currently hold, or have held in the past, top level executive management positions connected in some way to the stock market via either the SEC, NYSE, or other investment banking entities, Pellecchia replied tersely, "I am quite aware of Mr. Doherty's background and experience."
Pellecchia also declined to discuss anything related to current CIA Executive Director A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard and his past relationship with Alex Brown.
Questions remain as to who will ultimately take center stage in investigating conflicts of interest or the real-time monitoring of world financial markets by U.S. intelligence entities to protect national security; let alone terrorist ties to wealthy Saudi private clients at global financial institutions having direct access (via correspondent banking relationships) to U.S. banks.
For while thousands of American families, victimized by terrorism, still remain numb with grief, information is being advanced daily regarding what could be described by some as casual, if not negligent, long-term, slipshod governmental responsiveness to fundamental internal national security and safety questions -- or worse.
Tom Flocco is a freelance writer and researcher. (email: TomFlocco@cs.com)
Profits of Death (A Special FTW Series)
Part II -- Trading with the Enemy
Tom Flocco – Edited by Michael C. Ruppert
[© Copyright 2001. From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com . All Rights Reserved. May be recopied, distributed or posted on the worldwide web for non-profit purposes only as long as this Copyright statement appears intact.]
[Editor’s Notes – A disclosed in Part I and in previous stories by FTW, an abnormal amount of “put” options – bets that a stock price would suddenly fall – were placed on United Air Lines and American Airlines in the days before the attacks of September 11th. These were only two of the companies affected by the attacks which experienced highly suspicious trading in their shares. In Part I we described how put options work. They are basically futures contracts that obligate the “put buyer” to purchase the shares at a price that might be well above the market price when the contract matures. Heavy purchases of put options before a dramatic drop in a particular share price are clear-cut indicators of criminal activity based upon insider trading.
Last month we identified the purchasing end of the contract incorrectly as a “call.” That person, unhappily obligated to pay too high a price for the shares, is better described as the “put buyer.”
Investigative journalist Tom Flocco also revealed dramatic new links to the growing mountain of evidence that puts the Central Intelligence Agency at the heart of America’s and the world’s financial markets. In particular he showed that the firm which had handled many of the put option purchases on United Airlines -- Deutschebank-Alex Brown -- was once headed by the man who is now the Executive Director of the CIA, A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard.
I would like to thank and acknowledge British investigative journalist/writer David Guyatt for first bringing to my attention, Krongard’s past relations with Alex Brown.
Part II of this series is easily one of the most damning pieces of investigative journalism that I have ever seen or participated in. In it Tom Flocco will now reveal even darker direct connections between the worlds of high finance, terrorism, and intelligence. And he will reveal some names that will shock you. – Mike Ruppert]
Part II -- Trading with the Enemy
FTW, December 11, 2001 -- No member of Congress is publicly, as yet, questioning the hazy areas of "private client banking" -- repeatedly described by the U.S. Senate and Justice Department as being a vehicle for drug money laundering -- and apparent conflicts of interest linked to documented 9/11-related insider trading in United Air Lines stock. The trades were placed through one of the world’s three largest pools of investment capital, Deutschebank-Alex Brown.
This, in spite of the fact that there is mounting evidence of "real-time" monitoring of stock market trades by intelligence entities (See Part I at www.copvcia.com). The recent indictment of a former Deutschebank executive, Kevin Ingram -- who has since pled guilty to conspiracy to launder drug money and arrange the sale of U.S.-made arms to individuals in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where U.S. military personnel are currently at risk -- raises further alarm. Although Ingram was not at Deutschebank when the insider trades were placed, his history (as well as a star-studded cast of international financiers connected to the CIA) reveals a frighteningly dark saga showing the degree to which dirty money influences “the Street” and the world’s financial markets. It also provides more evidence that the CIA knew of the September attacks in advance.
Ingram is also an acknowledged former protégé of former Goldman Sachs CEO and current New Jersey Senator, Jon Corzine who sits on the Senate Banking Committee. He has also worked closely with another former Goldman Sachs, CEO – Robert Rubin, who served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton.
Related to Deutschebank-Alex Brown’s role as the broker for the UAL and other suspicious trades, Ernst Welteke, President of the Bundesbank (Germany’s central bank), said recently that a Bundesbank study pointed strongly to "terrorism insider trading" in the days leading up to September’s carnage in the U.S., according to the London Observer on September 23, 2001.
But reporter John H. Berlin also made the ominous prediction that "their decision [to investigate] provided by far the most authoritative support for persistent rumors that the terrorists could have funded their next strike with huge [insider trading] profits from the [first] attacks." This seems an unlikely proposition since experts acknowledge that attacks of the magnitude of 9-11 take years to plan and perhaps millions of “up-front” dollars to finance.
Other motives, such as generating funds for covert operations by the CIA, have also not been ruled out. Nor has the possibility been excluded that Deutschebank, which handled key but unquestionably suspicious transactions, was generating money for itself by placing "put" options on United Airlines and then putting the profits back into its own tills -- perhaps to "prop up" poorly performing divisions at the global banking giant.
This last scenario is a possibility, given the fact that Deutschebank has been demonstrated in Part I of this series to have intelligence links that might have forewarned the bank of the attacks.
There is precedent for the "slush fund" theory, as Deutschebank’s U.S. affiliate, Bankers Trust (BT) pled guilty to it in March 1999. BT diverted $19.1 million from "unclaimed" funds to prop up profitability at other units, according to a May 30, 2001 New York Times report.
The revelations referred to the growing scope of BT’s misuse of unclaimed client funds, and on the laxity of state and federal bank regulation of BT by claiming "a closer look at the scheme reveals that it goes well beyond the transgressions the bank owned up to."
And as the investigation was heating up, a high-ranking BT executive with long-time intelligence ties had to be thinking that it was getting near time to get out of Dodge City.
Times reporter Tim O’Brien said that it was the auditors at the NY State Comptroller’s Office who uncovered BT’s diversion of funds after noticing that BT’s unclaimed account dropped from $10.2 million in 1993 to only $3.9 million in 1994; so they started requesting documents which the BT executives subsequently refused to provide.
According to analysis by lawyer Matthew Lee, executive director of Inner City Press, it was not the primary regulators of BT -- the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the NY State Banking Department (NYSBD) -- who discovered the fraud. And O’Brien and Lee question why the limited-budget NY Comptroller’s office detected the scam; and whether the Fed and NYSBD just swept their findings under the rug to keep them out of the public eye.
The revelations led O’Brien to conclude that when the Fed became aware of the scope of the Comptroller’s investigation and what was being turned up, it ordered BT to find a merger partner (maybe even suggesting Deutschebank) and then took the investigation out of the hands of the (uncontrollable) NY State Comptroller.
Buzzy the Banker Joins the CIA
According to a CIA press release, in February 1998, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, former CEO of Deutschebank-Alex Brown (the nation’s oldest investment banking firm) and Vice Chairman of the Board of Bankers Trust, left BT and the investment banking community to join the CIA full time.
As a matter of fact, the Washington Post reported that Krongard helped engineer the $2.5 billion BT merger with Deutschebank shortly before sliding over to the intelligence side of the stage.
Buzzy (as his friends call him) had served a long-term "moonlighting" stint as a "consultant" to a series of CIA Directors. He left his banking position to become counselor to CIA Director George Tenet just 11 months prior to the final $19.1 million guilty plea by BT, which was by then a subsidiary of Deutschebank.
Given Krongard’s lofty intelligence and investment banking positions, there are no reports available dealing with important questions concerning his knowledge about such relevant issues as the disposition of "unclaimed" funds, monitoring of global stock trades for national security purposes, and wealthy "private client" operations -- let alone whether the developing investigation into BT fraud had necessitated his, ”leaving town just ahead of the sheriff,” as it were.
Yet Krongard has since risen to new heights, having received a March 16, 2001 Bush Administration promotion President George W, Bush to Executive Director, the number three position at the intelligence agency.
Ingram’s Last Trade
On August 28, 2001, 14 days before the Trade Center attacks, former Deutschebank senior bond investment trader Kevin Ingram, pled guilty in a $2.2 million dollar money laundering conspiracy, resulting from a government sting operation investigating the illegal sale of night vision goggles, Beretta machine pistols, M-16 machine guns with silencers, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, mortars, surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), TOW anti-tank missiles, and Stinger missiles, according to court papers examined by the New York Post.
The next day, Alert Global Media, Inc., publishers of Money Laundering Alert, reported that Ingram "pled guilty on August 28 to money laundering conspiracy as part of an agreement [plea bargain] with the U.S. government, which will drop other charges and receive Ingram’s testimony against two co-defendants from Egypt and Pakistan.” Some published reports say that both of the other defendants were from (current U.S. ally) Pakistan.
"Bin Laden has long-standing contacts with senior officials [of Pakistan]...," said Andrew Pearce of the Rand Institute in Washington. The Times of India also reported on June 17, 2001 that one of three Pakistani middlemen working illegally with Ingram asked undercover agents about the chances of obtaining components for nuclear weapons.
Earlier (July 7) Associated Press reported that "Kevin Ingram, 42, an investment counselor at the World Trade Center, was indicted June 28 on three counts of trying to conceal at least $350,000 and one count of violating the Arms Export Act."
"Ingram allegedly laundered $100,000 and $250,000 for federal agents, both times taking a 9 percent cut before being asked to launder the $2.2 million," according to court papers examined by the New York Post in a June 15, 2001 report.
AP added that "Ingram is also named in two other counts...for trying to launder $2.2 million in illegal arms sales. Ingram, out on $250,000 bond, faces a maximum of 100 years in prison if convicted of all charges."
Arrested with Ingram were two New Jersey-based Pakistanis who had offered to make a partial payment for the arms "in the form of heroin," also according to both AP and the New York Post.
A September 29, 2001 Bloomberg News/St. Louis Post Dispatch report revealed that Ingram had angered his judge in July by failing to disclose his Swiss bank account. Bloomberg reported that the Swiss account contained $1,086,000 in cash and 75,800 shares of Carver Bancorp, Inc. worth $650,000.
"He was afraid of the implications, and he just panicked," attorney Richard Lubin told U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann E. Vitunac at a bail hearing on July 10. Vitunac raised Ingrams’s bond to $1.25 million and ordered him jailed two days later.
Curiously, however, given the terrorism that has transpired, federal agents refused to divulge the name of the country that would have received the arms according to court papers examined by the New York Post and others. However, the documents confirmed that the defendants "referred to their foreign arms buyer...as a well-known, former military official who wanted to partially pay for the weapons with heroin."
On June 15, 2001, the New York Post, reported that experts said the most likely buyers connected to the former Deutschebank securities trader and the two Pakistanis were current U.S. ally Pakistan or Osama bin Laden.
The Associated Press reported on 12/1/01 that Ingram had been sentenced to 18 months plus two years probation and a $20,000 fine on the money laundering charges in this case. All other charges were dropped in the plea bargain. AP quoted Ingram as saying at his sentencing hearing, “I made a horrible mistake and I did something wrong. I’m very sorry about it, sorry for my family.” Ingram’s sentence will likely be served at a minimum security facility in Fairton, New Jersey.
Interesting confirmation of the U.S. government’s familiarity with banking operations connected to terrorist activities was revealed in an 11/16/01 AP story by Catherine Wilson. In describing events in a Florida prosecution of Egyptians connected to Ingram’s case she wrote, “Numerous promised wire transfers never arrived, but there were discussions of foreign bankers taking payoffs to move the money to purchase weapons into the United States, said [federal] prosecutor Rolando Garcia.” This is yet another clear indication that intelligence agencies routinely monitor banking transactions in terrorist-related cases. It has not been disclosed whether Ingram’s plea bargain produced testimony in this case
In spite of these revelations, no reporter or government official has asked or disclosed how many times Ingram had laundered money or completed arms shipments before he was finally nabbed. The extensive array of military hardware in the possession of the Taliban and al Q’aeda beg this question.
A "Trader’s" Powerful Friends
Deutschebank-Alex Brown’s role in brokering the insider trades that scream foreknowledge of the attacks further provides a common denominator -- given the activities and histories of key executives at the highest levels of the world’s financial markets. Ingram’s history speaks of access to power and financial policy making at the highest levels. Not only was he an associate of Robert Rubin before Rubin left Goldman Sachs to become Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, he has had ongoing relationships with Corzine, who also sits on the Senate’s Subcommittee on Securities and Investment -- a subcommittee which should be investigating the insider trading.
Prior to working for Deutschebank, Ingram was a highly placed executive with the investment bank Goldman Sachs. Both Rubin and Corzine have served as CEOs at Goldman. Rubin currently sits on the board of Citigroup -- a bank which has been cited for drug money laundering by the U.S. government and which (May 2001) purchased a Mexican bank (Banamex) which has now lost two suits and one appeal over press reports that its former owner, Roberto Hernandez, was a world-class drug money launderer. Hernandez currently sits on the board at Citigroup as a result of the buyout. So too does former CIA Director John Deutch. (See FTW: Vol. IV, No. 3 – May 31, 2001 or visit www.copvcia.com.)
Kevin Ingram joined Goldman Sachs in 1988 after a brief stint at Lehman Brothers, and by 1992 was promoted to run Goldman’s Collateralized Mortgage Obligations desk, overseeing all trading of mortgage and asset-backed securities, according to the New York Observer. Mortgage trading has long been suspected of being a vehicle for the laundering of “hot” money.
In Black Enterprise (BE) magazine’s 1992 "Top 25 Blacks On Wall Street," Ingram was said to have left his (nine-year) high profile Goldman Sachs treasury securities and options desk position in 1996 to head Deutschebank’s U.S. mortgage-backed securities department -- and ultimately their global securities operations in 1998.
BE added that "at Deutschebank, Ingram and his team of 25 professionals structure and issue securities for an international clientele, including...high net-worth individuals. These deals can range from $1 million to several billion dollars."
No member of the House or Senate has even broached the subject of hearings to question either Ingram or recent Deutschebank-Alex Brown Vice Chairman and current CIA Executive Director A.B. Krongard as to whether they dealt with any wealthy Middle Easterners or Saudis in particular. Almost all of the September 11 hijackers were of Saudi nationality. Since both men had high supervisory positions connected to the secretive "private client" operations of Deutschebank, and Deutschebank handled the insider trades, this is an obvious course of inquiry.
Ingram’s position at Deutschebank became tenuous when the bond market crashed in 1998 and the protégé of Corzine and Rubin likely felt insecure. The tumbling bond market combined with periodic absences where "he would sometimes go incommunicado for days -- unusual for someone who ran a trading desk and was responsible for open positions of $7 billion and more." Deutschebank asked for his resignation in September 1999, according to the New York Observer.
The Reverend Jackson to the Rescue
From Fox-TV News’ Bill O’Reilly to well-experienced citizen researchers with monikers like "Uncle Bill, Alamo Girl, and John Huang2" (who post startling, yet often under-publicized findings on grass-roots websites like Jim Robinson’s "Free Republic"), evidence of "shakedowns" related to the race-card continue to surface -- even when connected to terrorism.
Ingram turned to "Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Wall Street Project [for help with the financial settlement of his resignation process]. The Wall Street Project is a Rainbow Coalition-sponsored organization that pushes for increased minority hiring on the Street," according to the New York Observer. And with the specter of a racially-charged lawsuit looming, Deutschebank ultimately settled with Jackson and Ingram for an undisclosed multi-million dollar figure in February 2000.
According to Observer sources, Ingram then made a contribution to Rainbow Push of "around" $100,000 -- as a fiscal tribute to his benefactor.
The "Blind Trust" of a Senatorial Patron?
After the February 2000 Deutschebank settlement, Ingram moved on, raising funds for a soon to-go-bankrupt dot-com company called TruMarkets. Astonishingly, some of TruMarkets $30 million seed money came from the blind trust of Ingram’s former Goldman Sachs patron, U.S. Senator Jon Corzine, according to the New York Observer of 11/29/01.
But federal prosecutors and fellow Senators have never questioned whether Corzine was aware that investigators had been targeting the former Deutschebank executive at the same time regarding money laundering of illegal narcotics proceeds (both drugs and cash) to support the unlawful purchase of U.S. arms to sell to Muslim terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It is also a reach to wonder why Corzine -- who took office in January 2001 -- would not have been aware of a Federal banking investigation into dealings with terrorists that had been engineered by a former associate to whom he had been a mentor. It was during this period of time that an undercover agent began holding a series of meetings with Ingram in which Ingram let it be known that "funds coming in from arms sales needed to be laundered," again according to the New York Observer.
Larger questions remain as to whether strings were pulled for Ingram by influential individuals at a time when the prison population has exploded into a cottage industry full of poor and middle class Americans convicted for possession or use of small amounts of drugs. Most of these people -- like Ingram -- are minorities.
Neither Ingram nor his lawyer would comment or return calls. And no one has successfully interviewed the prosecutors regarding decisions which influenced what most would consider to be incredibly soft treatment, given the nature of the charges and what happened on September 11.
That there is serious interest or enough courage to seek answers about prior knowledge of the attacks from Deutschebank-linked key players and associates under their supervision by America’s elected legislators is not even remotely assured at present.
Tom Flocco is a freelance writer and researcher. (email: TomFlocco@cs.com)
Previous stories in this series:
- Part I of this series is located at: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/12_06_01_death _profits_pt1.html
- FTW’s original groundbreaking story on insider trading and September 11th is located at: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/10_09_01_krongard.html .
THE PROFITS OF DEATH – Part III in a Special FTW Series on Insider Trading and September 11th
ALL ROADS LEAD TO DEUSTCHEBANK AND HARKEN ENERGY, W’s OWN 1991 INSIDER TRADING SCAM – THE MOTHER OF ALL ENRONS
by Tom Flocco and Michael C. Ruppert
Edited by Michael C. Ruppert
[© Copyright 2002, From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com. All Rights Reserved. May be recopied, distributed or posted on the worldwide web for non-profit purposes only.]
[Editor’s Notes – In Part I of this series FTW, thanks to the brilliant research of Tom Flocco, demonstrated that the CIA has, in fact, been involved in monitoring stock trades on world financial markets, and that current CIA executives have had recent business relationships with firms handling obvious insider trades connected to the attacks of September 11th. Those connections ran directly into the heart of German financial giant Deutschebank. In Part II we documented that a former Deutschebank executive, Kevin Ingram, had recently been convicted on drug and money laundering charges that were directly a result of attempts to arm Islamic terrorist groups. Now in Part III, we conclude this series by revealing a devastating conflict of interest in investigating these leads on the part of President George W. Bush by virtue of his own past insider trading through Harken Energy in Bahrain and Kuwait.
The Administration’s apparently deliberate omission of key mid-Eastern banks in these two countries from post 9-11 investigations suggests clearly that the principal financial institutions of the countries where Harken did business have something to hide which the Bush Administration does not want to see the light of day – especially as potentially explosive Enron investigations gather steam.
After our publication of Part II a number of careful FTW readers were careful to point out that our description of “put” options was oversimplified to the point of describing a short-sell, rather than the more highly leveraged “put option.” We acknowledge this error but re-emphasize that the point of these stories – which could easily be sidetracked into lengthy and detailed discussions of the workings of financial instruments – is not the trades themselves, but who might have made the trades, why they made them and, most importantly, why the Bush Administration wants so desperately to conceal information about them from the world. – MCR]
FTW, January 9, 2002 -- President George W. Bush may have personal reasons for hampering investigations into insider trading connected to the attacks of September 11th. There is substantial evidence suggesting that a detailed investigation into Deutschebank’s connection to Islamic terrorists and 9-11 might reopen a mysteriously closed 1991 investigation of criminal insider trading connected to Harken Energy, a Houston company where George W. Bush served on the board of directors as a major stockholder with his some of his father's key campaign contributors. On January 30, 1990 Harken, with a remarkably unsuccessful history of drilling projects, signed major oil drilling contracts with Bahrain. Five months later, Bush's company suffered an unexplained huge loss of stock value just prior to the Gulf War -- but not before the future president had already cashed out, making close to a million dollars selling his own stock. Because of 9-11 leads suggesting the possible involvement of certain Arab banks in financing the attacks, a conflict of interest exists, clearly limiting how far the President would be willing to pursue the most obvious leads. And U.S. government investigations since 9-11 have avoided looking at key Middle Eastern banks in Bahrain and Kuwait already linked to terrorist activities.
In fact, two banks located in Bahrain and Kuwait – The Faysal Islamic Bank and the Kuwait Finance House – which had been listed in European reports as having terrorist ties were glaringly omitted from George W Bush’s financial crackdown after September 11th. [Source: The Inner City Press, 9-11-99.] Both banks have correspondent relationships with Deutschebank.
In spite of mounting evidence of a number of connections between German financial giant Deutschebank and the terrorist attacks of September 11 - including previously documented links to insider trading based upon events of 9/11 - no press agency or government entity is questioning why certain banking institutions in Kuwait and Bahrain with deep financial ties to the Bush family have been overlooked in the President’s supervision of a so-called "worldwide crackdown on terrorist financing." Reuters reported on 11-7-2001 that the Treasury Department added 61 additional people and organizations to the President’s original Executive Order of September 23 -- including banks in Somalia and Nassau, The Bahamas. But mysteriously, no banks in Bahrain, Kuwait, or Saudi Arabia were named in either the original order or its expansion.
Moreover, the President’s lack of effective direction and oversight of terrorist finance appears to be abetted and endorsed by the U.S. Congress.
Just 32 days before the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, a Financial Times of Asia (FT) Wire-Business Line report linked Deutschebank to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Pakistani and Afghani heroin smuggling, and money laundering of narcotics proceeds (8-10-2001). Retired Pakistani intelligence chief Brig Imtiaz was jailed for eight years on July 31, 2001 for laundering heroin profits -- for covert actions -- via a CIA-linked drug smuggling cell, using Deutschebank and other financial entities and properties.
Former State Department official Jonathan Weiner confirmed that Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have been of little help to federal officials regarding known terrorist funds moving back and forth between those countries. Weiner made these statements in a National Public Radio (NPR) interview on 11-21-2001.
Weiner told host Linda Wertheimer, "Since September 11th, all those countries have frozen accounts or have looked in their banking systems for the money of people associated with terrorist finance, [and] have gone through the entire list provided by the United States."
He added that "country after country has announced, ‘we’ve looked for funds. We’ve looked diligently. We’ve been ready to freeze some funds. We just haven’t found anything.’ No money in the UAE, no money in Kuwait." Weiner then revealed, "There is, I can tell, no money announced in Saudi Arabia, none announced in Bahrain.
"Well, given that we know [that terrorist] funds came out of there and we know [that terrorist] funds went back there, their inability to find funds is pretty astonishing," said the former State Department official.
While 15 of 19 hijackers were Saudis, it is Bahrain and Kuwait’s strange lack of assistance in ferreting out terrorist financial support and insider trading evidence that raises questions, given their extremely close ties to both Bush presidents.
The close financial relationships of both Bush 41 and Bush 43 (referring to their respective presidencies) with government officials of Bahrain as stockholders via Texas corporation Harken Energy, which had secured major drilling rights came during the period when the elder Bush and his advisor son were making U.S. military decisions prior to the Gulf War. Many Harken investors were major campaign donors to Bush 41.
Current President Bush made his first million dollars as a result of a classic insider stock trade--directly related to the sale of his stock in Harken. Moreover, Bush’s oil stock sale was finalized immediately prior to Iraq‘s invasion of Kuwait -- at the height of its share price -- before plummeting days later on news of Iraq’s invasion.
George W. avoided prosecution, thanks to some "well-connected" lawyers, and a soft investigation of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) violations -- supervised by a presidential parent who pulled the strings with SEC enforcement staff. This, as current and past Enron employees have now lost their pensions as a result of illegal insider stock sales in the oil industry through another company directly connected to the Bushes.
George H. W. Bush, the elder is a hero, an icon, with his picture in Kuwaiti public buildings, and has been a regular visitor to Kuwait since U.S. the Gulf War.
However, considering that Kuwait Finance House and Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain are both correspondent banks with Deutschebank, questions remain as to why President Bush would not place them on his list of banks under scrutiny for terrorist ties, given the German bank’s many links to the 9/11 attacks and the above revelations by a former State Department official.
BANKING ON TERRORISM
According to German news weekly Der Spiegel, Deutschebank handled accounts for the bin Laden family worth $103 million British pounds (The London Guardian, 10-1-2001).
The New York Times (9-29-2001) added that FBI officials are "focusing more than ever on Germany," and in particular, an apartment used by Mohamed Atta -- considered the lead hijacker -- and Ramzi Muhammad Abdullah Bin Al Shibh, who also shared the apartment with other hijackers. Fox News and the Washington Post both reported on 1-2-2001 that Al Shibh wired $14,000 to Zacarias Moussaoui, now in U.S. custody and referred to as the “20th hijacker.”
An American official said "It looks like it was organized in Germany... there is clear evidence of meetings between Mr. Atta, Mr. al-Shehhi, and Mr. Jarrah, three of the four suspected hijackers," according to the Times.
Mamoun Darkanzanli, a Syrian businessman whose bank accounts were frozen after the attacks, has been implicated by American officials as an associate of Osama bin Laden who took part in a 1996 attack on U.S. troops at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. U.S. officials say currently jailed terrorist and bin Laden’s highest ranking associate in U.S. custody -- Mamdouh Mahmud Salim -- named Darkazanli as the co-signer of Salim’s bank account at Deutschebank in Hamburg, also according to the Times. The bin Laden family, with whom the Bushes have had long standing business deals through The Carlyle Group, was later awarded the contract to rebuild the facility.
The New York paper reported that Deutschebank was also linked to Wadih el-Hage, a naturalized American citizen from Lebanon who served as bin Laden’s personal secretary at his Sudan office, and was named by prosecutors as also setting up terrorist front businesses for bin Laden in Kenya during 1994.
El-Hage’s business card lists Mamoun Darkazanli’s current apartment as his Hamburg address, while his confiscated address book lists Darkazanli’s address, phone numbers and yet another Deutschebank account in Hamburg -- but not the same account as Salim’s.
Investigators also suspect that Darkazanli was supporting bin Laden’s Al-Q’aeda network financially, using Deutschebank as his supporting entity for terrorism.
According to the Asian Wall Street Journal (9-28-200), insiders familiar with the family say the bin Ladens do most of their banking with the London branch of Deutschebank and the Saudi National Commercial Bank; however, they also use Citigroup, a bank long linked to drug money laundering and on whose board of directors sit former CIA Director John Deutch and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. Rubin is also the former CEO of Goldman Sachs which was once the home of convicted Deutschebank drug money launderer Kevin Ingram. (See Part II).
DEUTSCHEBANK’S “CORRESPONDING” LACK OF INTELLIGENCE
Michigan Senator Carl Levin’s Minority Banking Report of February 2001 calls correspondent banking the "gateway to money laundering," a financial technique wherein illicit money is moved from bank to bank with "no questions asked," thereby cleansing funds prior to being used for legitimate purposes. Via correspondent banking relationships, banks not licensed in the U.S. may gain access to American financial markets by establishing a correspondent relationship with banks that are. Deutschebank is licensed in the U.S. and maintained offices at the World Trade Center. All U.S. Deutschebank records were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.
An obvious question then is why none of these Middle Eastern financial institutions have felt the sting of U.S. investigative wrath since the attacks.
In another curious disclosure, the FBI also says al Shamal Islamic Bank -- Osama bin Laden’s personal bank -- headquartered in Khartoum, Sudan -- which the terrorist leader helped capitalize with $50 million in private funds, "is being investigated by U.S. or overseas authorities." According to U.S. News (10-8-2001), the Bureau won’t say which authority. President Bush, however, has failed to place Osama bin Laden's al Shamal Islamic Bank in his Executive Order -- freezing all of its correspondent transactions with other banks of the world. [See http://www.banking.state.ny.us/il01102a.pdf ]
This is especially strange, since the Washington Post (9-29-2001) reported that a an unnamed bin Laden associate testified (at the U.S. trial on the 1998 African embassy bombings) that "$250,000 was wired from al Shamal Islamic Bank directly into the bin Laden cohort’s Texas bank account -- where he used it to buy a plane delivered to bin Laden... intended to transport Stinger missiles...." Two months later, FT (11-29-2001) offered more information, reporting that "The money was wired from the Wadi al Aqiq account at al Shamal bank via Bank of New York to a Bank of America account held in Dallas, Texas by Essam al Ridi. Al Ridi, an Egyptian flight instructor who met bin Laden in Pakistan in 1985, flew the plane to Khartoum."
Congress has not sought to inquire as to whether bin Laden's Stinger missiles were flown directly out of Texas, or how his fellow terrorists were able to buy a plane in Dallas to illegally transport arms, or how a bin Laden associate was able to become a Texas flight instructor -- let alone whether he taught other terrorists how to fly airplanes in Dallas.
A Financial Times of Asia Wire story (8-10-2001) revealed that dirty money profits for covert actions resulting from CIA-linked heroin smuggling (which is a primary means of financing terrorist operations) through Pakistan and Northern Afghanistan have been shown to find their way into the international banking system. This was the role played by Kevin Ingram, formerly of Deutschebank in New York as described in Part II of this series.
And while U.S. News (10-8-2001) reported that FBI officials say Deutschebank is "being investigated by U.S. or overseas authorities," again the Bureau will not say which authorities, indicating that the U.S. may not even be taking a lead role in investigating the matter.
A spokesman for Deutschebank said it had provided investigators with information on accounts linked to members of the bin Laden family (The Guardian, 10/1/01). No further information has been made public.
Meanwhile, continued and current revelations indicate that negligence and the "prior-knowledge issue" -- insider trading or otherwise - -will not go away. An executive at a Pan Am flight school in Minnesota told Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-MN) and Rep. Martin O. Sabo (D-MN) that he had discussed and been questioned by an FBI agent on August 15 -- 27 days before the 9/11 attacks, "warning that a Boeing 747-400, which [alleged terrorist Zacarias] Moussaoui was seeking to learn how to fly, could be used as a bomb,’’ (Washington Post, 1-2-2002). But shockingly, the executive also told the lawmakers that "it took between four and six telephone calls to find an [FBI] agent who would help," according to a letter obtained by the Post.
In a Fox News interview hosted by Rita Cosby on 1-3-2002, political analyst Dick Morris exposed more governmental negligence by reporting that President Bush "used information provided by FBI wiretaps dating back to 1993 to determine which terrorist-related bank accounts he would freeze in 2002," -- indicating lengthy U.S. intelligence prior knowledge of terrorist financial transactions. Fox’s revelation of the additional careless handling of critical pre-9/11 intelligence data may yet face scrutiny in three states via courtrooms of victim families, despite congressional oversight silence -- and a quickly legislated compensation statute making victim families promise not to sue the government.
Given evidence of prior knowledge, insider trading, CIA ties, and other financial relationships leading directly into Deutschebank (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/12_06_01_death_ profits_pt1.html), the question is begged as to why "President Bush’s original Executive Order [freezing assets] didn’t name any banks," (Washington Post, 9-29-2001). The President has the power to freeze American monetary operations connected to global banks with institutions in countries refusing to cooperate in his terrorist finance probe.
On December 31, 2001, a U.S. State Department Memo revealed that the president again avoided dealing with middle eastern countries -- with close ties to the Bush family -- by announcing that assets of 1 German and 5 Irish terrorist-linked organizations had been frozen--but still no banks linked to the epicenter of terrorist finances in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, or the United Arab Emirates had been touched (http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/02010202).
THE CIA, TERROISM AND DRUG MONEY
Documented Russian organized crime connections to money laundering also lead back to Deutschebank, Pakistan, and terrorist financing.
On September 5, 1999, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag quoted Deutschebank CEO Rolf Breuer saying that "It could be that we were abused as an intermediate coordinating point" in the fast-developing Russian money laundering scandal. Deutschebank and its U.S. affiliate Bankers Trust (BT) filed "suspicious transaction" reports about Russian clients, as BT had "correspondent banking" relationships with Russia’s Inkombank, which "allegedly had ties to organized crime," according to USA Today ( 8-27-1999 ). Moreover, an Inner City Press story (9-11-1999) also revealed that German magazine Der Spiegel quoted Breuer as admitting that it was "possible" his bank was "misused" as an intermediary for money laundering.
The FT Asia Wire report (8-10-2001) suggested that at least 30 Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officials, serving and retired have accumulated wealth through heroin smuggling. In pervious stories, FTW and other news agencies have thoroughly documented that the Pakistani ISI is a creation and surrogate of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The FT report also revealed that "Pakistani residents are allowed to maintain dollar accounts with no questions asked about the origin of the money and about its liability for income tax." FT added that "the total amount of dollars in private circulation since the military regime came to power was almost equal to that in the Government coffers, if not more....[and] largely, if not totally, derived from the heroin trade."
Additional direct CIA and Deutschebank ties to heroin smuggling and money laundering were also revealed by the FT story. "In the 1980’s, at the instance [sic] of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Internal Political Division of the [Pakistani] Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), headed by Brig Imtiaz... started a cell for the use of heroin for covert actions. This cell promoted the cultivation of opium and the extraction of heroin in Pakistan as well as in those parts of Afghanistan under Mujahedeen control for being smuggled into the Soviet-controlled areas to get the Soviet troops addicted.
"After the withdrawal of the Soviets, ISI’s [Pakistani] heroin cell started using its network of refineries and smugglers to send heroin to the West and use the money to supplement its legitimate economy... After capturing power on October 12, 1999, Gen. Pervez Musharraf had Brig Imtiaz, because of his proximity to Mr. Nawaz Sharif, arrested and prosecuted for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income....He was convicted by a court on July 31, 2001 (52 days before the 9-11 attacks), and jailed for eight years.
"According to evidence produced in the court by the National Accountability Bureau, Brig Imtiaz had foreign exchange bearer certificates worth $20 million, a Pakistani rupee account in the Union Bank with a balance of Rs 2.13 billion, a dollar account in Deutschebank with a balance of $19.1 million, five residential houses, five commercial units and three shops. This huge wealth was allegedly accumulated by him through heroin smuggling."
BAHRAIN, KUWAIT AND DEUTSCHEBANK – THE DOOR TO HARKEN ENERGY
According to attorney Matthew Lee of Inner City Press (ICP), after September 11, regulators in Luxembourg, former headquarters of the notorious Pakistani Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), circulated a list of five banks, in addition to President Bush’s U.S. Executive Order of September 23, freezing the accounts of suspected terrorist-connected individuals and organizations.
In Part II of the Profits of Death series, located at: (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/12_11_01_death_ profits_pt2.html) the U.S. government’s ongoing scrutiny of terrorist banking was documented in an AP story by Catherine Wilson. The story provided clear indication that U.S. intelligence agencies routinely monitor banking transactions in terrorist-related cases. Wilson wrote about the current prosecution of Egyptians in a case connected to former Goldman Sachs and Deutschebank securities trader Kevin Ingram’s attempt to launder heroin and cash for the illegal sale of weapons to Islamic terrorists. She added that "numerous promised wire transfers never arrived, but there were discussions of foreign bankers taking payoffs to move the money to purchase weapons into the United States..."
Moreover, the AP story never questioned how the federal agents knew the names of particular banks and bankers, so as not to arouse suspicion on the part of Kevin Ingram and the other Middle Eastern accomplices, because the bankers had previously been "in-the-loop" of drug money laundering and illegal arms sales.
The Bush Administration would necessarily have to be concerned if congressional investigations of Deutschebank ties to Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait Finance House started to dredge up and revive old financial investigations into the 1991 probe of Harken Energy.
AN INSIDE TRADER DIRECTS PROBE OF INSIDE TRADERS – THE MOTHER OF ALL ENRONS
One reason why the Administration has not frozen the assets of the two banks in Kuwait and Bahrain with correspondent relationships with Deutschebank leads directly to Harken.
The probe in question is tied to Bahrain and Kuwait, and directly involves George W. Bush and SEC lawyers appointed by his father. According to SEC records, on four separate occasions President George W. Bush disregarded federal statutes by failing to file insider stock trade reports on a timely basis, back-dating one trade by some four months. (Harken Energy SEC Abstract Filing, transaction date: 6-22-1990; Oil stock sale made 41 days prior to Iraq's attack on Kuwait -- $848,560 profit, filing date: 3-4-1991- 8 1/2 months late and reported to the SEC two days after Gulf War was over on 3-2-1991; Harken Energy SEC Abstract Filing, transaction date: 6-16-89, filing date: 10-23-1989 -- 17 weeks late.) [Sources: Wall Street Journal, 4-4-1991 and 9-28-99; Time, 10-28-1991; U.S. News, 3-16-1992; Associated Press, 10-28-94; Houston Post, 10-18-1994.]
The younger Bush denied the charge of insider trading in spite of his positions on the Harken Energy board of directors, audit committee, and stock restructuring panel. He added that he had no idea Harken was going to get an audit report full of red ink until weeks after he had made his stock sale.
During December, 1999 into January, 2000, journalist Tom Flocco’s former research associate, Mario Calabrese, repeatedly called the SEC requesting copies of George W. Bush’s original Harken Energy stock filings. After some 3 1/2 weeks of calls made during the critical Florida Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court arguments deciding the Bush-Gore election, SEC representative Linda Thompson called Mr. Calabrese on January 14, 2001 to confirm that all original Bush SEC documents had been destroyed. Thompson said that "the dates you requested have all met their (6 year) retention time." It is possible that copies are still available via major search engines.
The future president completed his key insider trade eight days before Harken announced a $23 million second quarter corporate loss and about six weeks before the invasion. Having just profited by nearly $1 million--representing a 200 % insider windfall--George Jr. watched Harken stock take a nosedive on the bad news. Thus, Harken Energy, a Houston oil company doing business in Bahrain, wherein some of his father’s largest contributors also maintained substantial stock positions, made George W. his first million which served as seed money for his upcoming Texas Rangers deal.
The April 4, 1991 Wall Street Journal added that "Mr. Bush did not return their phone calls seeking comment, and the Bush White House tersely said ‘It doesn’t comment on the activities of the president’s children.’" Moreover, the SEC also declined to comment, according to The New York Times. [3-9-92]
Neither the younger Bush nor the media made much of the blatant conflicts of interest since the chairman of the SEC was Richard Breedon, former lawyer with Houston firm of Baker and Botts. Breedon had served as deputy counsel to Bush 41 when he was Vice President under Ronald Reagan.
Moreover, the SEC investigation of George W. was led by general counsel James R. Doty who, according to a UPI report, mysteriously neglected to interview any of the Harken directors --including the younger Bush -- regarding "enforcement" oversight. Moreover, Doty had previously served as George W. Bush’s personal lawyer Bush 43’s purchase of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise.
So, in the end, a future president--George W. Bush -- was cleared of insider trade wrongdoing by his personal attorney and by his father’s counsel. That said, the Bush Administration is currently keeping a low profile regarding campaign contributors at Enron Corporation which participated in insider stock sales that bankrupted the corporation while Enron employees were prohibited from cashing in their Enron stock-based 401K plans as their value plummeted.
BUSH IN BAHRAIN – PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
In October 1991, Time Magazine questioned why the tiny country of Bahrain would stake so much of its financial future on Harken Energy, which it labeled an "obscure, money-losing company with no refineries and no experience in offshore oil exploration." The magazine also noted that oil insiders speculated that Bahrain’s rulers saw the arrangement as a way to gain influence with the Bush Administration.
In January, 1991, The Village Voice reported a potential nexus regarding foreign policy and personal financial interests as in 1990, the Bush Administration signed an agreement with Bahrain that chose the small country as the permanent principal allied base in the Middle East, although it was some 200 miles away from the hostilities in Iraq and Kuwait.
The military base deal came right after Harken announced its January 30, 1990 joint oil-drilling venture with Bahrain, suggesting that the elder Bush’s contributors and his son, the future President of the United States, were involved in personal financial business involving Harken, while also making decisions – including dispatching Ambassador April Glaspie to tell Saddam Hussein that it’s actions vis a vis Kuwait were none of the U.S.’s business – that led directly to the Gulf War.
And neither Bush let the press know that they had permitted Kuwait and Bahrain to infuse $19.6 million in foreign cash to hire U.S. public relations firm Hill & Knowlton to lobby Congress and the American people into a war frenzy against Iraq.
A former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain, Sam Zakhem, funneled $7.7 million in advertising and lobbying dollars through two front groups: Coalition for Americans at Risk (a former front group for the contras in Nicaragua) and Freedom Task Force. The Iran-Contra front group prepared and placed TV and newspaper ads and had 50 speakers available for pro-war rallies and publicity events; however, neither disclosed Bahrain as the source of the money. [Source: O'Dwyer's Foreign Agent Registration Act Report, October, 1991 and "Flacking for the Emir," by Arthur E. Rowse, The Progressive, October, 1991]
AN ILLEGAL PRIVILEGE TO “NOT” RELEASE DOCUMENTS
On March 16, 1992, U.S. News & World Report said that "according to documents on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bush 43’s position on the Harken (restructuring) committee gave him detailed knowledge of the company’s deteriorating financial condition."
Spokesmen from Texas Gov. Ann Richards’ campaign said "Was this a real investigation, or was it a whitewash of an insider stock sale by the son of the sitting president?" UPI noted that "while Bush claims the [conflicted] SEC investigation absolved him of illegal insider trading, he has refused to release the investigation files."
The younger Bush has continued his practice of hiding family information (which should be publicly available) to Congress and the American people. On September 18 he asserted "Executive Privilege" in a proclamation refusing to release his father’s vice-presidential and presidential papers as required by law. This is a violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978. What those documents might have revealed remains a mystery that only legal action by families of the victims of 9-11 might disclose.
On December 20, 2001, Fox News analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, quoted Congressman Dan Burton, Chairman of the House Government and Reform Committee, saying that "George Bush is abusing his power regarding executive privilege in refusing to release documents." Burton (and other members of the House Government Reform Committee are) attempting to acquire the elder Bush’s papers, Vice President Cheney’s closed-door energy policy meeting papers and closed FBI investigative reports of alleged wrongdoing in the Bureau’s Boston field office. All requests have been denied by Bush and Cheney.
It does not seem likely that Chairman Burton will push for records that may reopen Harken energy in the past or shed light on Enron in the present. Only an as-yet nonexistent suit filed in civil court by families of the victims of 9-11 would have the necessary legal clout to drag the records into court. In the meantime all the profits of death remain hidden behind a wall of government secrecy.
Tom Flocco is a freelance writer and researcher. Email: TomFlocco@cs.com
Previous stories in the Profits of Death series:
PART I - CIA Does Not Deny Stock Monitoring Outside the U.S.:
PART II - Trading With The Enemy:
"From The Wilderness"
All three parts of this article are reproduced gratefully from:
"From The Wilderness"
Please visit this great web site with it's wonderful article "Brainwashing America"
July 18, 2010
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