To see where Greed and Politics meet, climb into the Catbird Seat.
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
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Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld – One of the largest nests of Lobbyists in the world.
In 1998, this firm declared total lobbying income of $11,800,000. Among their clients are the likes of Alliance of American Insurers; America Online; American Express; American Financial Group; Apollo Advisers; AT&T; Biotechnology Industry Organization; Boeing Co.; Capital Gaming International; CBS Corp; Citigroup; Korean International Trade Assn; Miller & Chevalier; National Hockey League; Pfizer; PG&E Corp; Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America; Philip Morris; Pohang Iron & Steel; Samsung Electronics; Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Assn; Time Warner; and Warner-Lambert, just to mention a few.
See also: Citigroup; Enron; Goldman Sachs; Miller & Chevalier; The Lobbyists
See in Part I: George Bush; George W. Bush, Jr; Robert Rubin
American Cell Technology – From Derailing Democracy: . . . Weird Science – Few people in the U.S. are aware that a truly “watershed
achievement in biotechnology” occurred in Nov of 1998, according to British media sources, when “American Cell Technology (ACT), a
leading private biotechnology company cloned the first human embryo and let it develop for 12 days before destroying it.“
This remarkable, though rather dubious, achievement was accomplished “using a cell from a man’s leg and a cow’s egg,” and is believed to be only the first of many “human embryos that have been created and destroyed since November.”
Already there is a competitor in the field as well, as “another U.S. company, Geron, is also reported to be attempting to clone human embryos.”
You might think that these would be newsworthy events, particularly in the country pursuing this research, but you would be mistaken. You might also think that human cloning was banned in the U.S., but again you would be mistaken. As it turns out, “Therapeutic cloning of humans is illegal in Britain, though not in the United States,” where it is also apparently not a matter for public debate. [Another “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy?]
These are not, mind you, actual people that are being created and destroyed, but “therapeutic clones.” Therapeutic clones are grown … as a source of tissue in an attempt to create human “stem cells,” or “master cells,” for use in transplantation and treatment of disease.
So these are actually just collections of human embryonic tissue that roughly approximate the shape of an actual human. Besides, the clones are only grown for 12 days and ACT’s Director of Tissue Engineering assures us that “the embryo cannot be seen as a person before 14 days,” that being the age at which the embryo would implant itself onto the wall of its mother’s womb.
Some people believe that life begins at conception, while others believe it begins at birth. But now we know that life actually begins at 14 days, and we know this because no less an authority than the Director of Tissue Engineering has said it is so.
And, of course, there is no reason to doubt the company’s sincere assurances that it actually is destroying all their little creations, though one is prone to wonder exactly whose leg it is that provided the cellular material being utilized to create these clones. . . .
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Associated Press 8/23/00: U.S. to Allow Research on Embryo Cells . . .
President Clinton today touted new federal guidelines allowing scientists to conduct federally funded research on cells taken from human embryos, saying they offer “potentially staggering benefits.”
The guidelines for the research are vehemently opposed by anti-abortion groups. The guidelines set out the criteria the National Institutes of Health will use to consider applications for federal grants to study embryonic stem cells . . .
Experts believe the cells could be invaluable in treating many serious diseases, such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s. But some oppose the research on grounds that to get the cells, scientists must destroy human embryos. . . .
Clinton said it would deal only “with those embryos that are collected in in-vitro fertilization.”
The research involves what are called pluripotent stem cells, the foundation cells that give rise to all of the other cells, tissues and organs in the body.
Opponents threatened to stop the effort. “I don’t think that they, by law, should be allowed to do this,” said Rep. Jay Dickey, R-Ark.
“We’re talking about dismembering a living being, according to our interpretation,” said Dickey, who has introduced legislation banning the destruction of human embryos.
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The New York Times, 8/24/00: New Rules on Use of Human Embryos in Cell Research – The National Institutes of Health issued long-awaited rules yesterday that would permit federally financed [aka US Taxpayer financed] researchers to work on human embryonic stem cells . . .
Opponents of abortion have objected to federal approval of such research because the embryos, which they consider to be capable of life, are destroyed in the process. . . .
In an attempt to sidestep the abortion issue, the National Institutes of Health would allow its researchers to use only cells that were obtained by private firms. The agency’s researchers themselves would not be allowed to extract the cells from discarded embryos.
The cells may legally be derived by anyone who does not receive federal financing. Human embryos are created by mixing eggs and sperm in fertility clinics…
President Clinton, in a press conference yesterday, referred to the “potentially staggering benefits of this research.”
“I think we cannot walk away from the potential to save lives and improve lives, to help people literally get up and walk, to do all kinds of things we could never have imagined,” the president said, “as long as we meet rigorous, ethical standards.” . . .
Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, the Senate’s leading critic of the agency’s policy, said in a statement yesterday that human embryonic stem cell research was “illegal, immoral and unnecessary.”
Mr. Brownback said the research was prohibited by a Congressional ban on financing research that led to the destruction of human embryos, that sought to benefit by taking human life, and that would lead to treatments that can be developed by other means: the use of adult stem cells.
One new issue that has been raised in recent months comes from the finding that a different kind of stem cells found in the organs of adults are far more versatile than supposed. The opponents of financing embryonic stem cells have argued that the promised health benefits could be obtained just as well from a patient’s own adult stem cells. . . .
Use of a patient’s own stem cells would avoid both the ethical problems of embryonic stem cells and the threat of immunological rejection. . . .
Last week a scientific committee recommended to the British government that researchers should be allowed to embark on therapeutic cloning, in which an ordinary body cell is taken from a patient and inserted into a human egg cell whose own nucleus has been removed.
In principle, the inserted nucleus can then direct the egg to grow into an entire adult organism. This is the process that was used to clone Dolly the sheep . . .
A human egg cell with an introduced adult cell nucleus would presumably be a viable embryo, but inserting it into a uterus would be a criminal offense in Britain. For therapeutic cloning, the egg would instead be cultured in laboratory glassware and exposed to signals that would convert it into the type of tissue that the patient needed to have replaced. . . .
In the United States therapeutic cloning could legally be undertaken by private researchers but no-one is known to have done so, Dr. Lana Skirboll, director of science policy at the National Institutes of Health said. . . . [Apparently she didn’t read the British newspaper report about American Cell Technology.]
Therapeutic cloning is specifically prohibited for federally financed researchers by the guidelines issued today. . . .
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For more, GO TO > > > The Greatest Greed
American International Group – From The Washington Weekly, Mar. 17, 1997:
THE BARBADOS CONNECTION — CORAL REINSURANCE
The link between the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) and AIG goes beyond $5 million. An AIG affiliate has managed over one billion dollars worth of ADFA’s bonds, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. An allegation that ADFA launders money for U.S. intelligence has repeatedly surfaced but without any direct documentary evidence to date . . . .
Apart from ADFA, where does AIG get its money to fund, among other things, lobbying on behalf of the Chinese government? The answer is not clear, though some indications are available. (1) In 1995, AIG became the first company to be licensed to sell insurance in China. (2) AIG is a client of Kissinger & Associates.
It was Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State, who advised against harsh sanctions after the Tienanmen Square massacre. . . . (3) AIG has also been the focus of SEC and BCCI investigator, Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau’s attention . . . to explore its ties to the BCCI. (4) And finally, AIG is headed by Maurice Greenberg, one-time chairman of the NY Federal Reserve Bank, and in 1995 a candidate to head the CIA.
Greenberg is chairman of the US-China Business Council and lobbied hard (and successfully) for the Clinton administration to sever the link between China’s human rights record and renewal of China’s Most-Favored-Nation trade status.* * *
Whatever AIG is, it appears to be tied into that big, bipartisan, ugly network of intelligence, money laundering, Arkansas, and Communist China.
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For more, GO TO > > > Wall Street
Apollo Advisers – Financial investment managers. 13th largest campaign contributor to Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Al Gore’s vice
presidential running mate, and a client of lobbying firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.
One of Akin, Gump’s clients is Miller & Chavalier, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm which, together with PricewaterhouseCoopers, drafted the multi-million dollar IRS settlement agreement for Hawaii’s Kamehameha Schools.
Apollo Advisers has another connection with Kamehameha Schools: Along with National Housing Corp (which was involved in an alleged kick-back scheme with ousted Bishop Estate trustees Henry Peters and Richard Wong), Apollo has financial interests in several estate owned properties involving two alleged Yakuza-connected companies: Azabu Building Company and Mitsui Trust.
Journal Inquirer, 5/11/99, by Don Michak:
Are Finder’s Fees Behind the Silvester Probe?
An FBI investigation of former state Treasurer Paul J. Silvester’s actions at the end of his term may force the disclosure of one of the best kept secrets in the public pension business.
Insiders say a far-reaching probe could throw a spotlight on the longstanding but little-known practice of paying “finder’s fees” to individuals who put together investment deals with public pension officials in Connecticut and other states.
The FBI last month began investigating Silvester’s authorization of $852.5 million in pension fund commitments in the final quarter of 1998. . . .
Past and present treasury officials agree that the fees involved in such transactions can be remarkably lucrative for the “finder”– in some cases, a percentage of the overall deal and as much as 20% of certain profits produced over the term of an investment.. . . .
Payments Hard to Trace
[State Treasurer Denise] Nappier responded to a formal request filed under the state’s freedom-of -information act by providing a list of nine companies that were paid placement fees in connection with 15 pension fund deals since 1997.
The investments– including 13 “private investment fund” and two “real estate fund” deals– involved a total of $1.3 billion in pension plan assets . . .
Several of the placement agents are associated with well-known securities firms. . . Merrill Lynch led the pack, collection fees in connection with two deals: a $200 million investment in Triumph Capital Partners III and $75 million in Thayer Equity Investors IV, LP. DLJ Group followed with fees from four deals worth $225 million: a $75 million investment in Apollo Real Estate Investment Fund III, LP; $75 million in the DLJ Merchant Banking Fund II; $50 million in Kelso Investment Associates VI; and $25 million in Greene Equity Investors III. . . . Beacon Hill Financial Group ranked third, with fees from $200 million worth of deals, including $130 million in Forsttmann Little MBO VII and $70 million in Forstmann Little Equity Fund IV.
The remaining placement agents included Farrall Marsh, which did a $148.9 million deal with Hicks Muse Tate & Furst Equity Fund III; Potomac Investment Services, which marketed a $75 million deal with SCP Private Equity Partners and a $50 million deal with Wellspring Capital Partners II; and three others, Truro Associates, New York Capital Partners, and St. James Associates, which did $100 million deals for Crescendo World Fund; Crescendo III, LP; and Westport Senior Living Fund, LP, respectively.
Salomon Smith Barney rounded out the roster, bringing the pension fund into a $50 million deal with Greenwich Street Capital Partners II, LP.
Archer-Daniels-Midland – From The Buying of the President (1996): In 1988, 249 individuals each gave at least $100,000, achieving a total of
$25 million, to help elect George Bush president. By giving that much, they became members of “Team 100” and not only had personal access
to Bush and other members of the Bush administration, but many of them — from real estate and construction to finance, from manufacturing to
agribusiness to oil and gas interests — received special favors during the Bush presidency. . . .
The many quid pro quo relationships have been well documented by Common Cause magazine and others. The two largest donors were Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) and its chairman, Dwayne Andreas, who gave $1,072,000 and Atlantic Richfield (Arco) and its chairman, Lodwrick Cook, who contributed $862,360. Both companies made or saved hundreds of millions of dollars from their well-placed Washington investments. . . .
Archer Daniels Midland touts itself as the “supermarket to the world.” This behemoth, based in Decatur, Illinois, has its fingers in nearly every agribusiness pie. . . . Its net sales in fiscal year 1994 exceeded $11 billion and its profits topped $1 billion. . . .
The company battled with a spate of bad publicity in the summer of 1995, when the Justice Department, using an ADM informant, made public its undercover investigation into allegations of price-fixing for sweeteners and food additives. . . .
Andreas and ADM, playing it safe, are among the largest contributors to both parties in national political campaigns . . .
In 1994, ADM alone gave approximately $2.5 million to various congressional candidates. . . .
Andreas has befriended virtually every president since Nixon. His generosity to all of them is notorious. His $25,000 check to CREEP wound up in the bank account of one of the Watergate burglars. As a result he was investigated, but ultimately cleared, by the Senate Watergate Committee. . . .
Recommended Reading: The Informant; Rats in the Grain
Arkansas Development and Finance Administration (ADFA) – From The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: . . . In 1989 the Arkansas Committee
started investigating the alleged nexus of drug-running, money-laundering, and covert activities linked to Mena Airport.
The Arkansas Committee’s lead advocate, Mark Swaney, came to suspect that (Dan) Lasater and others were laundering funds through the Arkansas Development and Finance Administration (ADFA), a state-controlled investment bank created by Governor Clinton in 1985 to provide “low interest finance for economic development.” . . .
There was no need for Clinton to create ADFA. The state already had the Arkansas Housing Development Agency and the Arkansas Industrial Development Corp (later made famous by a clerk named Paula Corbin Jones). . . .
ADFA gave Clinton a patronage machine that answered to the Governor alone. . . .
As James Ring Adams reported in The American Spectator, it was designed with the help of a Boston consultant named Belden Daniels and allowed Clinton to tap into the huge reserves of the Arkansas Teachers Retirement System. At the same time, Clinton steered bond business to Lasater, and low interest industrial loans to the others in the Arkansas group — Seth Ward, for instance, the father-in-law of Webster Hubbel — frequently without due diligence and over the objections of the agency staff.
“They were giving money away like candy to the insiders,” said Mark Swaney. . . .
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Funds had been flowing offshore. ADFA had done at least $250 million worth of business with the Fuji Bank, Grand Cayman Branch . . . It was a nice piece of arbitrage profiteering. . . . Whether the money…came back from Grand Cayman is anybody’s guess. . . .
In 1987 ADFA borrowed $5.04 million from Japan’s Sanwa Bank to buy stock in a Barbados company called Coral Reinsurance. . . .
The activities of Coral Reinsurance triggered an investigation by the Delaware Insurance Department in 1992, which caused panic at ADFA. . . .
Swaney believes that ADFA was created by Clinton as an instrument for Dan Lasater. What we know is that Lasater wrote at least eight letters to Bill Clinton recommending people for the board of ADFA. Most of them were appointed. . . .
Asian Development Bank – From The Honolulu Advertiser, 12/10/00: Honolulu’s Image Polished for Asia Development Bank Meeting –
With five months to go before Honolulu gets its first chance to welcome some of the most powerful people in the world – possibly even the
next U.S. president – during the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting, organizers are making sure they are projecting the right image that
will result in return business.
The Asian Development Bank holds heavyweight status in the Pacific Hemisphere. The Manila-based bank’s board of governors comprises the financial ministers from the 59 member nations who oversee the annual distribution of about $5 billion in loans, mostly to address poverty and infrastructure in developing nations.
With that kind of muscle, the bank’s big events command plenty of attention, with or without presidents.
For organizers here, who expect some 3,000 to fill the Hawai`i Convention Center May 7-11, the first ethic in planning events is to ensure that delicate diplomatic treatment is spread evenly among all delegations. That equality covers everything from the color and style of sedans assigned to each country to the details for subdividing a convention center meeting room … according to Gerry Silva, the person handling the day-to-day planning of the event …
Silva keeps a couple of file cabinets dedicated to the minutiae of serving as host to such an event. For instance, th notes that … transportation has to be worked out to the second. Finance ministers- some of the most powerful people in Asia- simply don’t wait for rides.
Organizers also want no mistakes because their strategy is to compel Asia’s well-connected leaders to come back. . . .
To play well, officials are planning for protests. At Chiang Mai last year, groups converged to protest the environmental effects of some development plans. Seattle had been slated as the site of this Asian Development Bank meeting, but interest waned after violent protests at the November 1999 World Trade Organization convergence damaged city structures and bruised the civic self-image.
With its convention center and mid-Pacific location, officials here jumped at the chance to become the U.S. host for the meeting. As for security and crowd control, Honolulu’s distance from everywhere may simplify matters. Protesters can still mobilize, but for many the price of access will be steeper. . . .
The meeting will cost about $1 million but the state is hoping to recapture the money through business sponsorships and fees for companies and organizations renting space at an event expo. . . .
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For more, GO TO > > > Asian Development Bank
Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) – In his remarkable book, Conspirators’ Hierarchy, Dr. John Coleman writes about the Committee of 300: “. . . Many
of these organizations and institutions, companies and banks are so interfaced and interlocked as to make it an almost impossible task to sort
them out. On RCA’s board sits Thornton Bradshaw, president of Atlantic Richfield and a member of NATO, World Wildlife Fund, the Club of
Rome, The Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations. Bradshaw is also chairman of NBC.”
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From The Buying of the President (1996 ed.): . . . “In 1988, 249 individuals each gave at least $100,000, achieving a total of $25 million, to help elect George Bush president. By giving that much, they became members of ‘Team 100’ and not only had personal access to Bush and other members of the Bush administration, but many of them — from real estate and construction to finance, from manufacturing to agribusiness to oil and gas interests — received special favors during the Bush presidency. . . .
“The many quid pro quo relationships have been well documented by Common Cause magazine and others. The two largest donors were Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) and its chairman, Dwayne Andreas, who gave $1,072,000, and Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and its chairman, Lodwrick Cook, who contributed $862,360. Both companies made or saved hundreds of millions of dollars from their well-placed Washington investments. . . .
“There are numerous examples of how companies that did as little as simply throw a cocktail party at the 1992 Democratic convention, to companies that contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaign and party, also had executives fly with (Ron) Brown on foreign trips. In each case, the company contributions or favors were done during, or subsequent to, Brown’s tenure as chairman of the DNC.
“The companies involved include some of the country’s largest. Executives from the oil company ARCO, the Atlantic Richfield Company, got to go to China, Hong Kong, and South Africa with Brown. ARCO donated $278,317 to the DNC in 1991 and 1992 while Brown was the party chairman and from 1993 through 1994, ARCO gave $164,500 in soft money to the DNC. The total contribution to the Democrats between 1991 and 1994 was $442,817. . .”
AT&T – From The Buying of the President (1996): . . . “Nowhere is the headlong rush for cash by the political parties more blatant than at the
quadrennial national conventions. And no one has chronicled these excesses more thoroughly than investigative reporter Sheila Kaplan. In a
series of articles, she illustrated the remarkably unabashed extent of the corporate connection to the political parties evident at the Republican
and Democratic conventions in 1992.
“American Express Company, Time Warner, AT&T Company, and the New York Telephone Company, a subsidiary of NYNEX Corp, for example, each contributed more than $400,000 in cash and other support to help pay for the Democratic National Convention in New York City, at which Bill Clinton was nominated to be the party’s candidate for president. . . .“
Banco Nazionale de Lavoro (BNL) – In his exceptional book, Diplomacy by Deception, author Dr. John Coleman writes that in 1981, Iraq
asked the Banco Nazionale de Lavoro in Brescia, Italy, for a line of credit to buy weapons from an Italian company.
“That company later sold land mines to Iraq. Then in 1982, President Ronald Reagan removed Iraq from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism in response to a State Department request.“
“In 1983, the U.S Agricultural Dept provided Iraq with loans amounting to $365 million, ostensibly to purchase agricultural products, but subsequent events disclosed that the money was used to purchase military hardware,” he writes. “In 1985, Iraq approached the BNL branch in Atlanta, Georgia, with a request that the bank process its loans from the U.S. Agricultural Dept’s Commodity Credit Corporation. . . .”
“It was not until 1987 that President Bush made a number of public references supporting Iraq, one in which he said: ‘The U.S. must build a solid relationship with Iraq for the future’.“
“Shortly thereafter, BNL’s Atlanta branch secretly agreed to a $2.1 billion commercial loan to Iraq. In 1989, hostilities between Iraq and Iran came to an end.”
For more, GO TO > > > The Elephants Nests
Bank of America – From The Buying of the President (1996): . . . While the interstate banking bill was moving through conference, on Aug 23,
1994, Clinton and Hugh McColl (president of NationsBank) were present at the White House Community Development bill signing, and the
president declared, “Today, I’m proud to announce commitment from two of the nation’s leading banks to help us in this effort–$25 million from
NationsBank and $50 million from Bank of America over the next four years.”
Five weeks later the interstate banking bill was law; the $3.5 million loan to the DNC came two weeks afterwards.
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From The Washington Post, 2/5/01, by Kathleen Day: REPORT FINDS WIDE MONEY-LAUNDERING . . .
The failure of U.S. banks and regulators to track transactions with foreign banks enables criminals to route billions of dollars from drug sales, Internet gambling, tax evasion or other illegal activities into the United States each year, a new Senate subcommittee report concludes. . . .
For more, GO TO > > > Wall Street
Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) – From The Laundrymen:
Banco Ambrosiano was the greatest banking collapse in Europe since the end of World War II. It was shortly to be followed by the greatest banking collapse in the history of banking. . .
In 1988, the Justice Department launched Operation C-Chase, the letter C standing for currency. Posing as drug dealers, undercover agents put out the bait that they had loads of currency to launder. And BCCI fell for it. . . .
A costly and complicated five-year operation– involving agents from Customs, the IRS, the DEA, and the FBI– C-Chase produced more than twelve hundred conversations and nearly four hundred hours of clandestinely recorded videotape. By assisting drug dealers to wash $34 million, the Justice Department was able to indict, and in 1990 to convict, several BCCI bankers and dozens of other individuals. In one blow, the Americans had unknowingly pulled the bottom out from under a gargantuan house of cards. . . .
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From Multinational Monitor, 12/94: The Corporate Hall of Shame . . . The 10 Worst Corporations of 1994 — Who examines the examiners? . . .
PRICE WATERHOUSE faces approximately $12.5 billion in legal claims from the Deloitte & Touche liquidators of the collapsed Bank of Credit and Commerce International over Price’s audit of the bank. . . .
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For more, GO TO > > > Wall Street
Bank of Hawaii – From greaterthings.com, by Greg Wongham: HAWAIIAN BANKS LINK: China-US Campaign Scandal and Illicit Capital
Flow – The Link Between Mochtar Riady and the Clinton Administration.
The problems with the FDIC/Donna Tanoue and the two big Hawaii banks will undoubtedly effect people throughout the country. I believe that the Hawaii links to Mochtar Riady are attempting to gain access to the American capital market through Riady’s brother-in-law, Mumin Ala Gundawun. Riady was too hot (BCCI, Chinagate), so they wisely chose to approach their plan via the Hawaii connection.
Sec. Treas., Robert Rubin played a major role in setting up this new bank scandal by lobbying for repeal of the Bank Holding Company Act. The purpose for this action is to allow Bank Holding companies (Hawaii’s Pacific Century Financial Corp and BancWest) to expand their financial services, thus allowing them to become full service securities brokerages. This seems like an ideal front to legitimize their deals to the American capital markets. . . .
Overview. I am the producer/host of a public access TV show called “Corruption in Hawaii.” I have spent 6 years exposing different aspects of the Hawaii machine. . . .
During the month of August … a segment of my show (was) titled, “What does Hawaii’s Bank Losses Mean to You?” The show featured a guest who described the losses he experienced in his family trust which was handled by Pacific Century Financial Corp (formerly Bank of Hawaii). He lost $1 million, plus $300 thousand in legal fees.
Numerous people called and said that they too, had experienced significant losses. Last week the public access station pulled the segment of the show. The next day the CEO of Pacific Century resigned. Two of the board of directors for the public access station are with the two big banks. . . .
The important points in this story revolve around the fact that Hawaii’s Democratic machine played a major role in the Chinagate scenario that grew out of the investigation into illegal foreign campaign fundraising.
The machine headed by Hawaii’s political godfather, Senator Dan Inouye was being investigated by the FBI during former (R) President George Bush’s tenure. The basis of the investigation stemmed from allegations of extortion and bribery aimed at the administration of former (D) Gov. John Waihee. The investigation was killed by Clinton’s friend Webster Hubbell, the number three man in the Justice Dept under Janet Reno. (AP story by J. Solomon: FBI failed to act on fund-raising of ex-Hawaii couple.) . . .
Eventually the investigation focused on Indonesian banking tycoon, Mochtar Riady and his Lippo Group. The basis of the story I am trying to relay to you is that Hawaii’s Democratic Machine used the billions of dollars of the Kamehameha Schools / Bishop Estate assets to undertake the task of underwriting and orchestrating the initial public offering of the Xiamen International Bank on the Hang Seng and the NY Stock Exchange. This would have the effect of legitimizing a Communist Chinese banking entity on the biggest stock exchange in the U.S. and open the doors allowing American money to capitalize a communist regime. . . .
It begins in 1963 to 1970, when a group of Hawaii legislators killed a Bank Examiner Bill. They were already employed as legal counsel or otherwise associated with the top banks. This, I felt, was a good point to begin telling you the story because it begins to reflect a pattern of using politically appointed people to legally white-wash or cover-up the wrong-doing of the big banking and financial interests here in Hawaii.
Today the same thing is happening, and this time they were successful in persuading President Clinton to push Hawaii’s Donna Tanoue to become the head of the FDIC. The significance in this is that the only time anyone here in Hawaii ever heard of Ms Tanoue was when she was tapped to cover-up the scandals that arose when 9 out of 20 of Hawaii’s Industrial banks failed. Many of them were linked to former (D) Gov. George Ariyoshi and the high ranking Democratic ‘old boys’. The results were that no one was convicted or sentenced to do time and the people of Hawaii ended up footing the bills. . . .
The point is … that once again Hawaii’s top banks are in a financial tail-spin and Donna Tanoue has been conveniently positioned to allow the banks to expand throughout Asia, the Pacific-Rim and the western part of the U.S. . . .
For more, GO TO > > > Broken Trust; RICO Lawsuit: Harmon v. Federal Insurance Co, et al.
Bank of Honolulu – From Pacific Business News, 3/8/99: FDIC warns Bank of Honolulu —
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has told Bank of Honolulu to clean up its management and cease violations of federal banking laws, or it may face closure. . . .
The action stems from an FDIC inspection in November that found “hazardous” lending procedures and “lax” collection practices. . . .
The inspection came after former chairman Sukarman Sia was charged with writing $8 million in bad checks to Las Vegas hotels and casinos. . . .
For more, GO TO > > > Broken Trust
Bank of New York – On 09/22/99, James A. Leach, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee of Banking and Financial
Services issued this Press Release at the conclusion of the first two days of money laundering hearings concerning the Bank of New York:
“The meaning of today’s testimony is than money-laundering has gone to the tome of the Russian political structure with the confirmation that President Yeltsin’s son-in-law is the beneficiary of two accounts in the Cayman Island‘s branch of a reputable New York bank. . . .
“Second, the Bank of New York confirmed $7.5 billion in questionable money flowed through eight accounts controlled by one figure over a three-year period. . . .
“Third, the CEO of the Bank of New York acknowledged that his bank has correspondent relationships with 160 Russian banks and that on an average day $3.5 billion flows through those accounts. This figure is particularly noteworthy given prior testimony before the Committee that many Russian banks are mob-influenced and serve more as money-laundering platforms than providers of traditional banking services.”
For more GO TO > > > Wall Street
Bishop Estate – Bernice Pauahi Bishop was the last of the royal lineage of Kamehameha the Great, the conqueror of the Hawaiian Islands.
The bizarre story of the looting of her legacy to the children of Hawaii is too monumental to fully explore here. For much more of this epic story
of crime, conspiracy and political corruption (and even sex), GO TO > > > Dirty Money, Dirty Politics and Bishop Estate
For extensive news archives, GO TO > > > The Honolulu Star Bulletin
Bristol-Myers Squibb – From Cutting Corporate Welfare, by Ralph Nader:
Government Research and Development
The federal government invests tens of billions of dollars annually in research and development (R&D), most prominently through the Dept of Defense, the Dept of Energy, and the Dept of Health and Human Services. These investments lead to new inventions and the awarding of thousands of patents– publicly financed, and frequently publicly owned intellectual property.
Since the early 1980s, the government has routinely given away the fruits of the research it sponsors, granting private corporations exclusive, royalty-free rights to commercialize government-financed inventions while failing to include and/or enforce reasonable pricing requirements in the licenses.
The result: a corporate welfare bonanza for biotech, computer, aerospace, pharmaceutical, and other firms.
In the critical area of pharmaceuticals, for example, this research giveaway policy leads to superprofiteering by giant drug manufacturers, who charge unconscionably high prices for important medicines– costing consumers, and often resulting in the denial of treatments to consumers who are unable to pay high prices. In an irony that must keep the staff of the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers Association in stitches, perhaps the largest ripped-off consumer is the federal government– the same federal government that paid for the drugs’ invention– which must pay extravagant fees through the Veterans’ Administration and Medicaid . . .
It wasn’t always so. Following the creation of a major federal role in research sponsorship in World War II, the Justice Dept concluded in 1947 that “where patentable inventions are made in the course of performing a Government-financed contract for research and development, the public interest requires that all rights to such inventions be assigned to the Government and not left to the private ownership of the contractor.”
The Justice Dept recommended also that “as a basic policy, all Government-owned inventions should be made fully, freely and unconditionally available to the public without charge, by public dedication or by royalty-free, non-exclusive licensing.”
The Justice Dept offered what remains a compelling case for non-exclusive licensing: “Public control will assure free and equal availability of the inventions to American industry and science; will eliminate any competitive advantage to the contractor chosen to perform the research work; will avoid undue concentration of economic power in the hands of a few large corporations; will tend to increase and diversify available research facilities within the United States to the advantage of the Government and of the national economy; and will thus strengthen our American system of free, competitive enterprise.” . . .
In the ensuing decades, government policy evolved unevenly between different agencies, with some gradual increase in exclusive rights transfers to private parties. The various agency policies favoring exclusive licensing were done without Congressional authorization. . . .
Beginning in the mid-1970s, however, big business, in collaboration with partners at major research universities, began lobbying for a major transformation in government patent policy. Based on highly questionable evidence, the business-university alliance argued that exclusive licensing was necessary to spur private sector innovation and development of government-funded inventions. The concerted business-university campaign succeeded in 1980 with passage of the Bayh-Dole Act, which transferred exclusive control over many government-sponsored inventions to universities and small business contractors. Universities were in turn permitted to exclusively license to private corporations, including big businesses. . . .
In 1983, President Reagan issued a Presidential memorandum that instructed executive agencies to grant exclusive rights to inventions to contractors of all sizes.
In 1986, Congress passed the Federal Technology Transfer Act, which authorized federal laboratories to enter into exclusive contracts with corporations to develop and market inventions originating in the federal labs. The federal labs have enormous discretion in working out exclusive licensing arrangements and … have given away hugely profitable taxpayer-financed inventions with no public return either in the form of royalties or, more importantly, meaningful restraints on company pricing.
THE TAXOL CASE
Consider the case of Taxol, a leading anti-cancer drug.
In Jan 1991, the National Cancer Institute licensed Taxol to Bristol-Myers Squibb. In the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, NCI agreed to abandon its model “reasonable pricing” language. . . .
(The revised) phrasing set the stage for Briston-Myers Squibb’s profiteering.
Bristol-Myers Squibb now markets Taxol at a wholesale price that is nearly 20 times its manufacturing cost. A single injection of Taxol can cost patients considerably more than $2,000– and treatment requires multiple injections.
That NCI gave such total control of pricing decisions to Bristol-Myers Squibb is all the more remarkable because of the extraordinarily minor contribution that the company made to the development of the drug. … NCI discovered, manufactured, and tested Taxol in humans. BMS’s only contribution to the New Drug Application (NDA) to the Food and Drug Administration was to provide 17 kilograms of Taxol to NCI and to process paperwork . . . Bristol-Myers did not pay any fee to NCI in entering into the CRADA, and it does not pay royalties to the U.S. government on its billion dollar annual sales revenue from Taxol.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is now leading a major effort – in the United States and around the world – to extend the period during which it maintains exclusive control over the data submitted to receive FDA approval. A National Economic Research Associates study found the consumer cost of an additional two years of Bristol-Meyers market exclusivity for Taxol will be $1.27 billion, including $288 million paid by Medicare. Some of those without insurance are simply unable to afford the drug. The cost of preventing generic competition throughout much of the rest of the world is to deny most patients access to the medicine altogether.
Carlyle Group – a Washington-based merchant bank that is chaired by Frank Carlucci, the former Secretary of Defense in the Reagan
Among Carlyle’s partners are numerous former Reagan and Bush administration notables, including Richard Darman, economic adviser to President Bush, and James Baker III, the former White House Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, and Bush-Quayle campaign chairman.
For more, GO TO > > > A Connecticut Yankee in King Kamehameha’s Court; Birds that Drink from Cesspools
China Resources Enterprise – From The Progressive Review: Clinton Scandal Clips Part 15 — Four of Panama’s ports are controlled by a
company partially owned by Hutchinson-Whampoa Ltd., which in turn is owned by Li Ka-Shing, a billionaire so close to the Chinese power
structure that he was offered the governorship of Hong Kong.
Another owner of the Panamanian ports is China Resources Enterprise, which has been called an “agent of espionage” by Senator Fred Thompson.
CRE is also a partner of the Lippo Group, owned by the Riady family that has played a central if mysterious role in the rise of William Clinton. According to congressional testimony by ex-JCS chief Admiral Thomas Moorer, Hutchinson-Whampoa has the right to pilot all ships through the Panama Canal, including US Naval vessels.
Chubb Corporation – Chubb is a holding company whose subsidiaries are engaged in two industries: property & casualty insurance and real
The second largest institutional investor in Chubb is Putnam Investment Management, a subsidiary of the world’s largest insurance broker, Marsh & McLennan. The third largest institutional investor in Chubb is Citigroup, which was formed through the mega-merger of Citicorp and Travelers Insurance Company.
Citigroup is co-headed by Robert Ruben, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary and former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs. A leading institutional owner of Goldman Sachs is Hawaii’s wealthy Bishop Estate.
The broker for Bishop Estate is Marsh & McLennan. Marsh & McLennan placed the estate’s Directors & Officers Liability insurance policy in Federal Insurance Company, a Chubb subsidiary.
Federal Insurance Company provided the excess liability insurance policy for Bill Clinton that defended him in the Paula Jones lawsuit.
Just one big happy flock.
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For more GO TO > > > RICO lawsuit, Harmon vs. Federal Insurance Co, et al; The Marsh Birds
Citigroup – From The Washington Post, 2/5/01, by Kathleen Day: REPORT FINDS WIDE MONEY-LAUNDERING . . . The failure of U.S.
banks and regulators to track transactions with foreign banks enables criminals to route billions of dollars from drug sales, Internet
gambling, tax evasion or other illegal activities into the United States each year, a new Senate subcommittee report concludes. . . .
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For more GO TO > > > Vampires in the City
For more: CITIGROUP: The Mating Dance of Dinosaurs
For more: Citibank Investigation
For more: Concerns About Proposed Citicorp/Travelers Merger
For more: Why the Merger of Travelers Group and Citicorp Should NOT BE APPROVED!
For more: Federal Reserve Rubber Stamps Citicorp Merger
For more: Citigroup Pays Execs Big
Coca-Cola Co. – From AFL-CIO Executive Pay Watch: . . . In the wake of sagging profits and a European health scare that forced Coke into the
biggest product recall in its history, [CEO Douglas] Ivester recently announced 6,000 layoffs, including 2,700 workers outside the U.S. The
company downsized an astonishing 40% of its Atlanta headquarters staff alone. . . .
Coke faces a lawsuit alleging that the company discriminated against African American employees in promotions, pay and performance evaluations. Black employees were asked to waive their rights to sue the company in exchange for enhanced severance benefits. After a benefit’s manager in Coke’s human resources department complained on behalf of black workers, he was fired. . . .
Committee of 300 – According to Dr. John Coleman in his revealing book, Conspirators’ Hierarchy, the Committee of 300 consists of certain
individuals, specialists in their own fields, including cultus diabolicus, mind altering drugs, and specialists in murder by poison; intelligence;
banking; and every facet of commercial activity.
Dr. Coleman describes the Committee’s structure as follows:
“The Travistock Institute at Sussex University and London sites is owned and controlled by the Royal Institute for International Affairs whose “hofjuden” in America is Henry Kissinger. The EAGLE STAR GROUP , which changed its name to the STAR GROUP after the close of the Second World War, is composed of a group of major international companies involved in overlapping and interfaced areas: (1) Insurance, (2) Banking, (3) Real Estate, (4) Entertainment, (5) High Technology, including cybernetics, electronic communications, etc. . . .
“A network of Wall Street banks and brokerage houses takes care of the stock market for the Committee, and prominent among these are Blyth, Eastman Dillon, the Morgan groups, Lazard Freres and Kuhn Loeb Rhodes. Nothing happens on Wall Street that is not controlled by the Bank of England, whose instructions are relayed through the Morgan groups and then put into action through key brokerage houses whose top executives are ultimately responsible for carrying Committee directives. . . .
Committee of 300 corporations, banks, and insurance companies operate under the unified command covering every conceivable matter of strategy and cohesive action. The Committee is the ONLY organized power hierarchy in the world transcending all governments and individuals, however powerful and secure they may feel themselves to be. This covers finance, defense matters and political parties of all colors and types. . . .
Recommended Reading: The Conspirators’ Hierarchy
Commodity Futures Trading Commission – From: The Buying of the President (1996 ed): . . .
Phil Gramm has also been criticized for mixing government business and campaign politics by using his Senate office staff to work on campaigns. . . . At least two different aides to Senator Gramm have written memos about how Gramm’s wife, Wendy…should be used for his reelection bid. . . .
That is particularly interesting in light of the powerful position she held in Washington as chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As the nation’s leading regulator of futures contracts for all agricultural commodities, Wendy Gramm was under tight ethical constraints as to the degree and nature of her personal daily interaction with agribusiness interests. In other words, the chairwoman of the powerful federal regulatory agency overseeing agriculture commodities futures trading would be helping her U.S. senator husband raise campaign funds from the corporations and individuals she regulated. . . .
The CFTC oversees federal regulation of the nation’s fourteen commodities and futures exchanges. At those exchanges, contracts to buy and sell a seemingly endless variety of commodities are traded: oil and gas, soybeans, cattle, pork belies, corn, precious metals, cocoa, lumber, cranberries, and sugar, to name but a few. The regulatory duties of the CFTC are aimed largely at ensuring fairness and stability at the nation’s commodities exchanges.
One week after Bill Clinton won the presidential election it became clear that Wendy Gramm would be leaving the politically appointed CFTC post.
On November 16, 1992, nine energy companies wrote to the commission seeking to exempt energy derivative contracts, a business valued at $5 TRILLION a year, from federal regulation. . . .
In response to the energy companies’ request, Wendy Gramm set in motion the process that led to those energy derivative contracts, and other exotic financial transactions, being exempted from regulation. . . .
A Center for Public Integrity investigation shows that of the nine companies that requested the exemption, seven had donated to Phil Gramm campaigns through PACs, company officers, or employees. . . .
Cumulatively, Gramm’s campaigns had received $157,250 from the people who were asking his wife to exempt energy derivatives and the other transactions from regulation. …
During Wendy Gramm’s tenure with the commodities commission, Phil Gramm accepted $38,500 in commodity honoraria, according to his actual disclosure records. . . At the same time she was heading the commodities commission, he was on the Senate Banking committee. That means that Phil Gramm, too, had regulatory jurisdiction and oversight regarding commodities.
On July 24, 1990, Phil Gramm voted to kill an amendment that would have lowered the sugar price support from eighteen cents a pound to sixteen cents a pound. That was a potential conflict of interest because Gramm’s disclosure show that at the time the couple owned between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of stock in a sugar company named Castle and Cooke.
Coral Reinsurance – From: The Strange Clinton – Rubin – Insurance Industry Connection. 6/13/97: . . . As American Deposit Corp. learned the
hard way … strong ties exist between Clinton, Secretary of Treasury Robert Rubin and the insurance industry.
Insurance industry representatives secretly approached the IRS to issue damaging proposed regulations to the Retirement CD and the Treasury Department pressured the IRS to acquiesce.
Some say that campaign fund contributions were at the source of this action. . .
But was this the first time Clinton, Rubin and the insurance industry acted together for a dubious project? Apparently not. A strange and convoluted story begins in Arkansas in 1987.
In that year American International Group, Inc., headed by Maurice Greenburg, founded an offshore reinsurance company in Barbados. For several years, AIG denied being affiliated with Coral Reinsurance, as it was named. . . .
While Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas, he founded the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, a government agency empowered to issue industrial bonds. The ADFA came to the attention of the Arkansas Committee, a group investigating rumors of drug trafficking out of the Mena, Arkansas airport.
Observing the adage, “follow the money,” they were lead to the ADFA. And the ADFA had some strange dealings. . . .
The ADFA borrowed $5 million from the Chicago branch of Sanwa Bank. It then purchased slightly over $5 million in stock of Coral Reinsurance, the Barbados insurance company founded by AIG. Coral then deposited the $5 million, along with $55 million in other investors’ stock purchase funds, in Sanwa Bank. The net result was the bank loaned the money and got it all back in days. . . .
This strange deal was the scheme on Goldman Sachs, headed at the time by Robert Rubin.
Goldman also provided guarantees to ADFA, such a put agreement should ADFA not be permitted to own the stock. (It is against the Arkansas Constitution for the government to own stock in corporations.) . . .
Some reporters draw inferences from several facts: Barbados has lax banking regulations and tight corporate secrecy laws preventing outsiders from learning corporate ownership; and when ADFA was set up, the legislation prohibited the state auditors from examining the agency. . .
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From The Washington Weekly, Mar. 17, 1997:
THE BARBADOS CONNECTION: CORAL REINSURANCE
After Reps. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala) and Henry Bonilla (R-Texas) voted to extend Most-Favored-Nation trade status for China last year, they received an invitation from the China Government to tour major cities in Red China. And who paid for their trip?
Not only the Chinese Government, but also American International Group, with money laundered through the National Committee on United States-China Relations and the Freeman Foundation, reported the newspaper Roll Call last week. . . .
American International Group is headquartered in Barbados and operates Coral Reinsurance.
Where have we heard that name before? Oh yes! In Arkansas. In 1986 the notorious Arkansas Development Finance Authority borrowed $5,000,000 from a Japanese bank’s Chicago branch as part of a $60,000,000 deal to purchase stock in Coral Reinsurance.
The deal was brokered by Goldman Sachs, whose head Robert Rubin is now Treasury Secretary. On the board of directors of AIG is one Lloyd Bentson, former Treasury Secretary. . . .
For More on the Web: Gray Money
Daewoo International – From a web posting by Corporate Predators: The Top 100 Corporation Criminals of the 1990’s —
Type of Fine: Campaign Finance.
Criminal Fine: $200,000
Daewoo International (America) Corporation pled guilty to violating the Federal Election Campaign Act. The company was charged with making $5,000 in illegal contributions to the 1992 Jay Kim for Congress Campaign Committee.
Under federal law it is illegal for corporations to contribute to candidates in federal elections and it is illegal to make contributions in the name of another.
For more, GO TO > > > Broken Trust
Dixie Mafia – From: The Secret Life of Bill Clinton . . .
Banned by edict from smuggling drugs, the Italian American Mafia missed out on the most lucrative crime wave of the twentieth century.
It was left to others to profit from the $100 billion a year market in cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamines. Those best placed, by geography and criminal tradition, were the loose-knit groupings of the South, known to law enforcement as the “Dixie Mafia.” . . .
Less famous than the Cosa Nostra, the Dixie Mafia was, and still is, far more dangerous. During a ten year period from 1968 to 1978 when the Italian Americans were in the headlines for a spree of thirty murders, their redneck counterparts quietly dispatched 156 victims…
“There wasn’t a well from Mississippi to West Texas that didn’t have a dead body floating in it,” said Armistead. . . .
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For more, GO TO > > > The Donkey Nests
For more: Rise UP! The Crimes of Mena
For more: Dubious Deals in Arkansas
Enron – From The Buying of the President (1996 ed), regarding contributions to Republican candidate, Phil Gramm:
The name of one company in particular might have caught Wendy Gramm’s attention: Enron. …
It’s fairly large company, based in Houston. Of all the companies that wrote to the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) seeking the exemption (of energy derivative contracts from federal regulation), Enron was the biggest donor to Gramm campaigns, giving $34,100 over the years. . .
After taking actions that led to the exemptions from regulation, Wendy Gramm (wife of Phil Gramm and chosen by Ronald Reagan to head the CFTC in 1987) resigned on January 20, 1993, the day Clinton was inaugurated. Five weeks later, she was named to Enron’s board of directors. The part-time position pays her $22,000, plus $1,250 for each meeting she attends. In April 1993 the commodities commission voted 2 to 1 against regulating the business…
In its 1992 annual report, Enron calls itself the “manager of the largest portfolio of fixed-price and natural-gas derivative contracts in the world.” The company also has roughly $4.5 billion in interest-rate swaps, another exotic transaction that Wendy Gramm helped to exempt from deregulation while she was at the CFTC…
[A Catbird Note: Bishop Estate’s infamous McKenzie Methane deal was done in 1989 — during Wendy Gramm’s tenure as head of the CFTC. Hmmmm.]
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Enron has another distinction — it is the #1 career patron of George W. Bush, Jr.
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From The Buying of the President 2000: . . . For three decades now, hundreds of electrical power, oil refining, and chemical plants have been pumping toxic particles into the air over Texas. These plants produce as much smog-forming nitrogen oxides as 18 million cars, making Texas the state with the largest volume of air pollution in the nation. The Texas Legislature passed the Texas Clean Air Act in 1971, but plants built before the law was passed don’t have to comply with its rules.
In December 1996, staff members of the Texas natural Resources and Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the state environmental agency, began meeting with representatives from eleven companies to talk about reducing the emissions of the plants that benefitted from the grandfather clause. But when it looked like the commission was moving toward eliminating the exemption for those plants, energy-industry executives balked and headed straight for the governor’s office.
On January 14, 1997, Bush’s environmental director, John Howard, told his boss in a memo: “Industry has expressed concern that the TNRCC is moving too quickly and may rashly seek legislation this session.”
In early March, Bush tapped Vic Beghini, an executive with Marathon Oil Co., and Ansel Condray, an executive with Exxon Corp., to come up with a plan to let the industry comply voluntarily with the state’s clean-air regulations. . . .
Beghini and Condray then presented the finished proposal at a June 19, 1997 meeting of about forty industry executives. In his notes of the meeting, James Kennedy of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., the giant chemical manufacturer, wrote, “Amoco presented the paper to the group at the meeting as something that has been agreed to at high levels and was not subject to change.”
On March 31, 1998, Bush appeared at a press conference flanked by executives of Exxon, Amoco, and Texas Utilities, among others, to announce that 26 companies– representing 60 of the 831 pollution-producing companies in the state, had pledged to reduce emissions by 15,000 tons a year. “We’re committed,” Bush said, “to clean air in the state of Texas.”
But whether companies cut back on emissions didn’t really matter to the governor or to the industry. … “The concept paper has no ‘meat’ with respect to actual emissions reductions,” Kennedy wrote. . . .
As far as Bush was concerned, his voluntary compliance plan was already a rousing success, a model of public-private partnership good enough to take on the road to the presidential primaries. Three weeks after Bush announced that he was a candidate for President, his spokesman, Scott McClennan, boasted: “Governor Bush was the first governor in Texas to tell grandfathered industries, ‘It’s time to clean up.’ Voluntary programs are working in Texas.”
Well, not really. A study by the Environmental Defense Fund published six months after Bush’s press conference found that only three of the 26 companies had actually scaled back their emissions. (In 1999, under increasing public pressure, Bush finally signed a bill that forces power plants to cut their emissions in half by 2003.) . . .
Export-Import Bank – From The Progressive Review – Clinton Scandal Clips Part 15 —
Investors Business Daily reports: President Clinton’s appointee to a critical seat on the board of the Export-Import Bank has close ties to a crooked fund-raiser linked to China. China is Ex-Im Bank’s second largest customer.
During the Clinton years, the bank has given more than $5.5 billion in loans to China to help it buy U.S. technology and equipment for power plants and other projects. The loans were OK’d despite proof that China sold nuclear-related equipment to Pakistan and other countries that worry U.S. security experts. The White House hopes the Senate will quickly confirm D. Vanessa Weaver to fill one of three vacant seats on Ex-Im’s five-member board. …
Weaver and [John] Huang exchanged at least 26 phone calls over a 17-month period in 1994 and 1995, records show. …
With administration approval, AT&T sells its secure communications system to the Chinese Army. Thus the Chinese Army gets the secure communications equipment that even the American public can’t. The Chinese call it “Hua Mei.”
Further, the Chinese reconfigure the Hua Mei technology and re-export it to Iraq where it is used for air defense against US aircraft.
While Huang’s name has not been directly linked to this project, it was the sort of thing his Chinese bosses were up to. Among those who were involved along the way was William Hambrecht, a major investor in Salon magazine, former Defense Secretary William Perry, and former Senator Adlai Stevenson. . . .
Federal Reserve Board – From Corporate Predators, by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman (with an introduction by Ralph Nader):
BOOM AND BAILOUT
So, you’re John Meriwether, the bond trader who was forced to leave Salomon Brothers in 1991 after a trading scandal.
And you leave to start Long Term Capital. And for the first couple of years, you are making 30 percent return on investment for your millionaire friends. And they are loving it. And then you lose the $4 billion. Who do you call? The Federal Reserve Board– bailout central.
So it was that on a late August day, New York Federal Reserve Bank President William J. McDonough received a phone call from Meriwether and bailout fix-it man supreme David W. Mullins, Jr, the architect of the bailout of the savings and loans under President Bush.
Big institutional investors in the hedge fund––Merrill Lynch & Co., Goldman Sachs & Co., Bear, Stearns & Co., and Bankers Trust Corp— were also calling begging for a bailout.
These companies were of course seeking to save their own skin. But McDonough put forth the official spin before a House of Representatives Committee earlier this month. “Everyone I spoke to that day volunteered concern about the serious effect the deteriorating situation of Long Term Capital could have on world markets,” McDonough said.
Ah, yes, world markets. And so McDonough calls Fed Chair Alan Greenspan and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and a bailout is arranged.
Former Lehman Brothers partner and current financial columnist Michael Thomas is right– it was improper for the Federal Reserve to arrange a private bailout. If Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs want to protect their behinds by arranging for a private bailout, fine. But the Fed should have stayed out of it.
Or, as former Fed Chair Paul Volcker asked in a speech, “Why should the weight of the Federal Government be brought to bear to help out a private investor?”
“Capitalists now all want it one way,” Thomas says. “They want to do whatever the hell they feel like, but let someone else pay. It’s called privatizing the profits and socializing the risks.”
Hedge funds, which make complicated financial bets with millions and billions of borrowed dollars and are almost totally unregulated, do indeed pose risks to the economy. Because of the nature of their gambles, they can lose huge amounts of money, leaving investors holding the bag (absent a bailout).
Even worse, they leverage borrowed money to exert extraordinary influence over markets, and cause serious problems when they overreact en masse to new fads. (That’s a big part of why the value of the dollar has plunged recently, for example.)
But these are reasons why hedge funds must be subjected to regulatory discipline– not an argument for why high rollers deserve government-orchestrated bailouts.
With the global financial system in frenetic disarray, Long Term Capital is not likely to be the last financial player to go bust. If the government is not able to act quickly to rein in hedge funds and other unbridled financial activities, it should at least declare that no bailouts will follow … Each bailout makes the next one more likely, as investors are given implicit assurances that they will not have to face the down side of risky bets gone bad.
The gamblers in Atlantic City don’t get this kind of treatment. Neither should those on Wall Street. . . .
For more, GO TO > > > Wall Street
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. – From AFL-CIO Executive Pay Watch: . . . Human rights monitors allege the company has assisted
the Indonesian security forces in quelling anti-Freeport demonstrations by local indigenous groups.
“For years, Papuans saw the Indonesian military coming in Freeport helicopters, boats, trucks and Jeeps,” says an American missionary. The Indonesian military has bombed, strafed and burned hundreds of villages in an effort to stop rebels– many armed only with bows and arrows– from the Free Papua Movement.
From Corporate Predators:
The Suharto–U.S. Corporate Connection
. . . The sudden exit of Suharto from the Indonesian presidency has cast the international spotlight on the crony capitalism that enabled Suharto and his family to amass a fortune estimated to be on the order of $40 billion.
Bribery and graft, sweetheart government contracts, government-protected monopolies and a host of other schemes made the Suharto family and a small coterie of close friends into billionaires.
Much less noted are the ways in which the Suharto regime facilitated super-profitmaking by foreign multinational corporations which eagerly accepted benefits and protections from Suharto’s brutal dictatorship.
Foreign multinational corporations benefitted from the twin pillars of the Suharto economic program: unsustainable extraction of Indonesia’s rich natural resources and unabashed exploitation of poor, unorganized Indonesian workers.
Consider the New Orleans-based Freeport McMoRan, which operates the world’s largest gold mine and third largest copper mine in Irian Jaya, the Indonesia side of the island of New Guinea. The company has ripped the top 500 feet off Puncuk Jaya Mountain, sifting through the dirt for copper and gold. After crushing the ore, mixing it with water and dousing the mix with chemicals to bring the metals to the surface, Freeport dumps the resultant waste rock– more than 100,000 tons a day– into mountain rivers.
Those rivers are the lifeblood of downstream communities of thousands of indigenous people. Environmentalists and the indigenous people themselves charge the rock waste has poisoned the water, killing fish and the riverside forest and making massive flood plains inhospitable to crops. Freeport denies the charges.
But the Amungme and Komoro peoples are angry enough to have organized ongoing protests.
The Indonesian military has met those protests with an iron fist, beating, torturing and killing many of the indigenous protesters. Freeport denies any responsibility for the military’s human rights abuses of the protesters, and also denies charges that it has assisted the repression.
The Freeport-McMoRan controversy is typical of resource controversies in Indonesia, with local communities fighting against pillage of their resources and pollution of their lands and water by big national and multinational mining, oil and timber companies operating with the protection of the Indonesian military.
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From Third World Traveler, (courtesy of alamo-girl.com):
CLINTON’S Rogues Gallery . . . The world’s biggest gold mine is a lucrative investment for New Orleans-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold.
The 5.75 million acre mining concession is worth an estimated $50-60 billion, and, last year alone, the company netted $400 million.
But for the Amungme, the indigenous people who live around the mine, and the Koperapoca Komoro, who live downstream from it, Freeport is nothing less than a nightmare. . . .
The mining concession is now the most militarized district in all of Indonesia. The military presence surpasses even that of occupied East Timor, where invading Indonesian forces have been fighting a popular resistance for more that 21 years.
Since the first mine began operating in 1972, repression of the local population has grown to hideous proportions, leaving hundreds of people dead. In 1977, the Indonesian army killed 900 people in reprisals after local protesters sabotaged a Freeport pipeline. . . .
Fuji Bank – From Compromised – Clinton, Bush and the CIA:
. . . Under Bill Clinton’s leadership, Arkansas has set in place permanent money-laundering industry concealed as their everyday municipal bond business. They do not care where funds come from, in fact, dirtier is better. . .
Regardless of the method used by the money launderer, the common denominator is finding a bank or financial institution along with people in a position of power who are willing to break the law and not ask questions. Money laundering, by definition, involves commingling clean and dirty funds and making both indistinguishable. Arkansas offered this environment under the umbrella of its cooperative bond business.
An example of this is the deposit of $50 million offshore by the Arkansas Development and Finance Authority (ADFA) with Fuji Bank, Ltd., in the Cayman Islands on Dec 29, 1988. This was a very strange transaction, indeed, for an organization chartered and founded on lending money for investment and development within Arkansas, not for moving large sums of funds offshore.
Fuji Bank’s name reappears as the bank that purchased the industrial development loan of POM, Inc., the parking meter company in Russellville, Arkansas, owned and operated by the Ward family . . .
By purchasing the loan from First American Bank of Memphis, Tenn., Fuji effectively retired the loan, and the Ward family presumably continued making their payments directly to Fuji. This was curious behavior on behalf of POM, since they were giving up a long-term, fixed-rate, low-interest loan issued by ADFA, which had a guarantor, the bank in Memphis, to back it up.
Curious behavior, indeed, to forfeit a loan that has a co-signor, since this action would normally reduce a company’s line of credit. Unless, of course, the objective was to move the loan offshore, where repayment ledgers are nearly impossible to attain.
Webb Hubbell, Hillary Clinton’s law partner, was POM’s corporate attorney at the time.
ADFA, being a state authority, is not legally required to publicly divulge its records. And, therefore, the millions of dollars that flow through the Arkansas agency’s coffers can be shrouded in secrecy . . .
Goldman Sachs – The Goldman Sachs Group is a leading global investment banking and securities firm with three principal business lines:
Investment banking; Trading and Principal Investments; and Asset Management and Securities Services.
For More GO TO > > > Dirty Gold in Goldman Sachs?
Housing And Urban Development (HUD) – From InsightMag.com, Oct 14, 2000, by Kelly Patricia O’Meara:
WHY IS $59 BILLION MISSING FROM HUD?
Billions of dollars are missing from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s books. Some HUD officials blame computer glitches; others allege widespread graft.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has earned a failing grade from the House Government Reform subcommittee on Government Management for the way the agency manages taxpayers’ money. Subcommittee chairman Stephen Horn, R-Calif., is said to be furious that HUD’s most recent financial report shows the agency is unable to balance its checkbook and cannot account for $59 billion.
For most Americans, it is incomprehensible that $59 billion could be missing from the ledger of a single agency. But despite years of earning failing grades – as well as years of being unable to account for tens of billions of dollars – the Clinton/Gore management team at HUD has continued to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars to the same contractors hired to ensure financial systems are in place and working. It doesn’t take a certified public accountant to see that HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo’s financial house is not in order, and Susan Gaffney, the inspector general (IG) of HUD, tells Insight, “It’s more serious than you know.” . . .
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CLINTON’S FINAL DAY INCLUDES PARDONS . . .
WASHINGTON (CNN), 01/20/01: — President Clinton, just hours before leaving office, pardoned more than 130 people, including Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, ex-CIA chief John Deutch and publishing heiress Patty Hearst. . . .
Cisneros, former San Antonio mayor, Clinton’s closest friend among his early Cabinet appointees and a rising political star when his career was unhinged by scandal, was convicted in a cover-up controversy involving payments he made to his ex-mistress.
For more, GO TO > > > HUD
Hughes Electronics – From Betrayal – How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security, by Bill Gertz:
President Clinton has turned upside down President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s warning about a too-powerful military-industrial complex. Using the end of the Cold War as cover, and to please corporate bigshots targeted for campaign contributions, Clinton has loosened export controls on several high-technology sectors, including U.S. high-speed computer manufacturers, software makers, and communications satellite makers who want to sell to China.
Two such companies are Loral Space & Communications, Ltd. and Hughes Electronics, both the subject of a federal investigation to determine how they passed embargoed militarily-useful rocket technology to Beijing without licenses. . . .
Hughes was headed by C. Michael Armstrong, who was named head of the influential President’s Export Council after lobbying vigorously — and successfully — for the easing of U.S. National security export controls. Shortly after the “decontrols” took place, American supercomputers began showing up in both Chinese and Russian nuclear weapons development centers — helping to build nuclear arms that might one day be turned against the United States.
Lasater & Company – From Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA: . . .
The magnitude of the Agency’s (CIA) cash flow through Arkansas, which Reed witnessed firsthand in the mid-1980s, would not be revealed to any major degree until years later. It was not until 1994 that Independent Counsel Robert Fiske, named to investigate the Whitewater affair, stumbled across a man in hiding who, himself, had not fully realized that he had been a conduit for money laundering on a massive scale.
This man, Dennis Patrick, had been a pawn in the Agency’s money-laundering scheme, which had routed over $109 million through Patrick’s bond-trading account managed by Dan Lasater and his firm, Lasater & Company in Little Rock. . . .
* * *
For more >>> The Donkey Nests
For more >>> Dubious Deals in Arkansas
For more >>> Rise UP! The Crimes of Mena
For more >>> Arkansas Justice. The Case Against Dan Harmon
For more >>> Big News from Arkansas
For more >>> Clinton Scandal Clips
Lippo Group – Indonesian conglomerate owned principally by the Riady family.
From Betrayal – How the Clinton Administration Undermined American Security, by Bill Gertz:
Who was the biggest contributor to the Clinton-Gore ticket in 1992? Not a corporation, not a labor union, not a Hollywood mogul, but Indonesian businessman James Riady and his wife, who gave $450,000 to elect Bill Clinton. . . . During the final weeks of the campaign, the Riady family, its associates, and executives at Riady companies gave an additional $600,000 to the DNC and Democratic state parties. . . .
The patriarch of the business empire is Mochtar Riady . . . Of his three sons, James was a permanent resident of the United States, Stephen was educated here, and Andrew worked in California . . .
All, however, have fled the United States. Any Riady employee with detailed knowledge of the family’s activities in the United Stated has likewise stolen away in the night. Even James Riady’s secretary has vanished. Only John Huang, the family’s former U.S. operative, remains in the United States — and he has pleaded the Fifth Amendment . . .
The Riady empire, centered on its Lippo Group, is, as one financial analysis in Jakarta describes it, “a carefully balanced house of cards.”
Newsweek has noted, “Moving cash around the globe in tangled webs of transactions has always been the Riady way,” and the Asian Wall Street Journal accuses the Riadys of “ramping” — buying large numbers of shares in their own companies in order to support prices. . . .
In 1977, Mochtar Riady tried to buy the National Bank of Georgia. He failed, but one of the brokers in the deal was Jackson Stephens of Little Rock, Arkansas, who tried to interest a disappointed Riady in joining Stephens, Inc., one of America’s largest private investment banks … and one with which the Riadys would have an extended relationship, as we will see. Mochtar Riady agreed, and his son James, then aged twenty, arrived to intern at Stephens, Inc…
Through Jackson Stephens, James Riady met a rising politician, Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton. Thus began a friendship that has lasted twenty years, and has spread a web of intrigue, financial corruption, and foreign influence into American government. . . .
* * *
For more, GO TO > > > The Donkey Nests; Clinton Scandal Clips
Lockheed Martin – From tripod.com, by Kaplan and Dubro: . . . Perhaps the best-known case of underworld involvement with political figures is
the bribery scandal in the early 1970s involving Lockheed Corp’s attempt to win All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd’s business.
A key figure in this affair was Yoshio Kodama, a liaison between politicians and underworld groups.
Using money from Lockheed, Mr. Kodama, whose power and influence with gangsters as well as politicians remains unmatched even after his 1984 death, targeted payments to key government officials- including former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka- and employed the yakuza in a variety of capacities … to ensure that ANA selected Lockheed’s TriStar L-1011 wide-bodied jet over the competition’s planes. . . .
* * *
From The Laundrymen: . . . Crooks aren’t the only ones who launder money.
Corporations do it to avoid or evade taxes, to defraud their shareholders, to get around currency control regulations, and to bribe prospective clients. …
The Lockheed Corporation laundered $25.5 million through a Liechtenstein trust to pay off Italian politicians.
Lockheed also subscribed to the laundry facilities of Deak-Perera, then an important American foreign exchange dealer, to bribe Japanese politicians.
As Lockheed’s behest, Deak put $8.3 million into the washing cycle, then brought it out in 15 untraceable payments to a Spanish priest in Hong Kong, who hand-carried the cash in flight bags and orange crates to Lockheed’s customers in Tokyo. . . .* * *
In June, 2000, it was announced that Secretary of Commerce William Daley was resigning his post to become AL GORE’S campaign manager.
A few days later, it was announced that PRESIDENT CLINTON had named NORMAN MINETA his choice for the new Secretary of Commerce.
* * *
NORMAN MINETA, a former California congressman, is currently a
LOCKHEED MARTIN executive and LOBBYIST!
* * *
In Dec, 2001, PRESIDENT-ELECT GEORGE W. BUSH (R) named NORMAN MINETA (D) as his nominee for Secretary of Transportation.
* * *
For more >>> The Donkey Nests
For more >>> Could a Traitor Do Any Worse Than Clinton?
For more >>> Tenacious Tentacles
For more >>> China Working Group
Loral Space Systems – From Year of the Rat, by Edward Timperlake and William C. Triplett II:
In the early morning hours of February 15, 1996, a Chinese Long March 3B space launch rose a short distance off the launch pad and then fell over onto a local village with an incredible explosion. According to an Israeli engineer who witnessed the disaster, “thousands of corpses were loaded in dozens of trucks and buried in mass graves.”
A COSTIND spokeswoman denied the Israeli’s charge. . . . But an American aerospace official we interviewed at the time confirmed the Israeli’s account. . . .
Loral Space Systems, the builder of the February 15 satellite, had a problem. So did the Chinese launchers, who had such a poor reputation for reliability that they were uninsurable. Without insurance, Loral and the other U.S. firms could not use Chinese rockets to launch their satellites. Something had to be done to make the Chinese rockets more reliable if the satellite makers were going to save a dollar or two on launch fees. . .
On April 14, 1998, the New York Times ran a major story by investigative reporter, Jeff Gerth — “Grand Jury Probes 2 Firms’ Ties to China Missile Program” — that linked Loral and its partner, Hughes Electronics, to China . . . .
* * *
NOW, IF THIS IS NOT ENOUGH TO RUFFLE YOUR FEATHERS — ARE YOU AWARE OF THE FACT THAT FRANCE’S AXA FINANCIAL COMPANY IS THE NUMBER ONE INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR IN LORAL SPACE AND COMMUNICATIONS . . .
AND THAT, AFTER MORE THAT A HALF-CENTURY, IT HAS FINALLY BEEN DISCLOSED THAT AXA FINANCIAL MAY HAVE OBTAINED MUCH OF ITS WEALTH AT THE EXPENSE OF NAZI HOLOCAUST VICTIMS!
AND DID YOU KNOW THAT AXA FINANCIAL IS ALSO THE NUMBER ONE INVESTOR IN GOLDMAN SACHS?
* * *
For more >>> The Donkey Nests
For more >>> Tenacious Tentacles
For more >>> Could a Traitor Do Any Worse Than Clinton?
For more >>> Dan Burton’s Committee on Government Reform – Pled or Fled List
For more >>> John Chung Tells of Chinese Donations
For more >>> Tripping with Secretary Ron Brown
For more >>> China Working Group
Lucent Technologies – From CNN.com, 2/9/01:
LUCENT TARGETED BY SEC
Telecom equipment maker says it’s cooperation with accounting probe.
Lucent Technologies is cooperating with a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of possible fraudulent accounting practices during its last fiscal year, the company said Friday.
The SEC probe is focusing on whether Lucent improperly booked $679 million in revenue during its 2000 fiscal year, the Wall Street Journal reported . . .
Lucent in December adjusted its revenue statement for the fiscal fourth-quarter, deducting the $679 million, after its own investigation. . . .
Shares of Lucent, which have been on a steady downslide since last summer, were down $1.93 at $14.96 . . . Over the past year, Lucent’s shares have underperformed the S&P’s 500 index by about 70 percent. . . .
John Hynie, an SEC spokesman, declined comment on the newspaper’s report. . . .
PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is the company’s auditor, also declined comment. . . .
On top of earnings warnings, Lucent has faced job cuts, profit shortfalls and product development missteps in the past year. . . .
For More, GO TO > > > Broken Trust
MacArthur Foundation – From Pacific Business News, 8/12/96: . . . Bishop Estate had quietly purchased the majority interest of a Connecticut
specialized advisory business that manages almost $1 billion in assets.
Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of Bishop Estate, is a co-investor in the purchase of Bigler Investment Management, a Farmington, Conn., firm that manages fund-of-fund accounts. . . .
The purchasing entity, called The Crossroads Group, is expected to take on a much more aggressive money-management outlook. . . . Other investors in The Crossroads Group are parties that have had ‘long relationships’ with Royal Hawaiian . . .
Principals of The Crossroads Group are: Charles M. Harmon, Jr., an investment banker and former general partner at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York; Larry I. Landry, chief investment officer of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago; and Brad Heppner, a consultant at Bain & Co. in Dallas and former director of private investments at the MacArthur Foundation. . . .
All have prior experience with Bishop Estate. In 1993, the MacArthur Foundation, along with Duke University’s endowment fund, backed the formation of a Boston merchant bank called Orion Capital Partners LP. . . .
Harmon is familiar with Bishop Estate because the Hawaii trust owns 10 percent of Goldman Sachs. . . .
Bigler Investment Management’s fund-of-fund clients include Connecticut State Treasury . . .
* * *
The Hartford Courant, 10/29/99: . . . The Texas-based managers of an investment fund … say they lost a $100 million investment deal in 1998 because they refused a directive from then-Treasurer, Paul Silvester, to pay a finder’s fee to someone of his choosing. Silvester had been negotiating a possible $100 million investment in the Crossroads Constitution Fund. The state already had $300 million invested in Crossroads dating back to 1987, when, during an era in pension deal-making, the Hartford-based Crossroads had a contract to pay millions in fees to a partnership involving Democratic power broker Peter G. Kelly. . . .
By the time Silvester began talking to Crossroads in 1998, the fund’s assets had been acquired by a group of Texas investors, who were not interested in forking over the kind of fees Crossroads had paid Kelly and his associates. So when Silvester told Crossroads representative Larry Landry that a fee would need to be paid, the new management at Crossroads said no. . . Last summer, Landry, a former chief investment officer of the philanthropic MacArthur Foundation, left Crossroads to set up the Westport Fund . . .
Silvester has alleged that he had arrangements with others to whom he steered fees, whereby they would kick back some of the money . . .
* * *
NEW > > > From Journal Inquirer, 6/29/00, by Don Michak:
Key Players in Silvester Case Have Escaped Attention
The Paul Silvester scandal is in many respects about “crony capitalism,” or who knew whom well enough to profit from the hundreds of millions of dollars in public pension fund investments authorized by the now-disgraced former state treasurer.
The focus has been on the lobbyists, lawyers, and politicians from both parties who covertly collected “finder’s fees” for lining up deals with Silvester, but a few key players have managed to escape attention.
These are the well-connected people who routinely have private meetings in public offices, after board meetings of philanthropic institutions, inside downtown restaurants, and at secluded golf courses. The contracts that for years have guaranteed them a small but lucrative percentage of nearly every state pension investment have been, until recently, none of your business.
The continuing federal and state investigations of Silvester’s admitted racketeering and money laundering have changed that, Treasury officials say they expect several “private-sector” individuals to face indictments, and the probes at the very least could tarnish the sterling reputations of some of these elites.
The founder of one investment partnership Silvester backed, Lawrence L. Landry, already stands publicly accused by the president of another, his protégé, Brad K. Heppner, of relaying an extortionate demand by Silvester.
Landry’s firm, moreover, has acknowledged being “one of many subjects” of a State Ethics Commission probe of finder’s fees, like the $1.09 million it says Silvester directed him to pay to a mysterious New Yorker, Andrew F. Moses.
Landry, 57, is the former chief financial officer and chief investment officer of the rich and powerful John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
He left the Chicago-based foundation two years ago to run a real estate partnership in Florida after Silvester invested $100 million in the venture. The partnership, Westport Senior Living Fund, develops and buys retirement communities, comprising a mix of apartments, assisted living suites, and skilled nursing beds. . . .
Landry spent nine years at the MacArthur Foundation, which is perhaps best known for its awarding of generous fellowships some call “genius grants.”
The $4 billion foundation is named after a couple that made a fortune in insurance and real estate and spent most of their lives in south Florida, where until recently it was the largest owner of undeveloped land in Palm Beach County.
Landry not only oversaw the sale of those assets but also launched the foundation on an ambitious, aggressive investment strategy aimed at achieving bigger-than-usual returns.
His plan involved selling off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of foundation holdings in New York City real estate and putting the proceeds into private equities and debt, investments that carry bigger-than-usual risks but can sometimes pay off in what Wall Streeters call “excess returns.”
Landry started by moving $83 million in MacArthur money into private investments . . .
For more GO TO > > > A Connecticut Yankee in King Kamehameha’s Court
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. – From The Honolulu Star-Bulletin 10/14/99: Isle Insurer Sues State for Snub in Bidding.
A Honolulu insurance business is suing the State of Hawaii, charging that it was improperly dropped out of the running for work as an insurance broker for the state government. Aon Risk Services, Inc. filed suit in Circuit Court yesterday accusing the state Department of Accounting & General Services of bypassing the steps the state spelled out in its request for proposals to provide risk insurance for the state. . . .John D. Beck, president of Aon Risk, said the company is charging that the state “summarily rejected” Aon’s proposal, contrary to the recommendation of a selection committee, and “arbitrarily selected another brokerage firm,” Marsh USA, Inc. . . .
* * *
From Harper’s Magazine, Feb, 2000:
HOW GEORGE W. BUSH GOT RICH
A heartwarming tale of influence, cronyism, and $1.7 billion
by Joe Conason
On December 6, 1994, one month after he defeated Ann Richards to become governor of Texas, George W. received a large but belated campaign contribution from an acquaintance named Thomas O. Hicks . . .
Of the scores of appointments made by an otherwise weak governor under the Texas constitution, a seat on the University of Texas Board of Regents is among the most desirable. It carries significant prestige, opportunities for patronage, and preferred access to coveted season tickets (or luxury boxes) at Longhorn football games. For someone like Tom Hicks, however, being a regent provided something far more valuable than any such trifling tokens of status. The prolific Hicks had conceived an ambitious plan for the state university system’s financial assets — more than $13 billion — that matched his own bold investment style, and, with the governor’s support, he parlayed his appointment into a position of unprecedented control over the university funds.
While the University of Texas invested hundreds of millions of dollars with Republican-linked partnerships under the guidance of Tom Hicks, it also placed hundreds of millions of dollars more with his friends and associates as well as with firms that did business with Hicks, Muse…
Two former classmates of Hicks’ at the University of Texas also were awarded large investments by UTIMCO. One was his old fraternity brother Bruce Schnitzer, a New York insurance man who set up Wand Partners, which received more than $60 million in at least three separate deals with UTIMCO between 1996 and 1998. Schnitzer‘s record of success was mixed at best; his companies’ rates of return lagged behind the Dow average. . . .
Nor was it reassuring that he had resigned in 1985 as the president of Marsh & McLennan, then the world’s biggest insurance brokerage, after the company lost $165 million in unauthorized trading and was fined by the New York State insurance department. …
Despite those problems, Schnitzer maintained close connections not only with Hicks, Muse but with Richard Rainwater and the Bass family. After quitting Marsh & McLennan he had done multimillion-dollar deals with all of them, including one of the first major partnerships put together by Hicks, Muse. . . .
* * *
(A Catbird Note: Texas University Investment Management Co. is one of the largest institutional investors in Bedford Property Management. Other large institutional investors in Bedford are Barclays Bank and Invesco Management & Research. Among the largest institutional investors in Marsh & McLennan are Barclays Bank and Invesco. Bedford is one of the nation’s largest real estate development and property management companies, doing millions of dollars a year in business with Bishop Estate.)
* * *
For more > > > Broken Trust; RICO lawsuit, Harmon vs. Federal Insurance Co; Marsh & McLennan, et al.
Merrill Lynch – From ctnow.com, 10/21/99: Top Politicians Linked To Pension Fund Deals. State Treasurer Denise Nappier shone the light
Wednesday on seldom-seen machinations that have put millions into the pockets of well-connected “finders” in state pension investment
deals– and some of the state’s best-known politicians were caught in the glare. . . .
Paul Silvester has told the authorities, in a secret statement still under court seal, that [former state Senate leader William] DiBella introduced him to Joseph Grano, an old DiBella friend from Hartford’s South End who is president of Paine Webber. After Silvester agreed to invest $200 million with Paine Webber last year, DiBella told Silvester that the company had refused to pay him a fee.
When Grano asked Silvester if there was another way to help DiBella, Silvester said, Silvester turned to Frederic V. Malek, the chairman of Thayer Capital Partners, which received a $75 million state investment commitment last October. Malek allegedly told Silvester that Thayer used Merrill Lynch as an exclusive placement agent, and that the only possibility to compensate DiBella would be if Merrill Lynch would forgo some of its fee.
In its disclosure to Nappier this week, Thayer reported that it did, in fact, agree to pay a $374,500 fee to a firm called North Cove Ventures, which Nappier’s office identified as “William DiBella” when it released its compilation of the disclosures . . . Thayer also paid a $1.1 million placement fee to Merrill Lynch, according to the disclosure…
* * *
Bloomberg News, 7/7/00: . . . Merrill Lynch & Co., moving to reduce costs, may cut as many as 2,000 from its brokerage unit, or about 5.4 % of the total, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
The biggest U.S. broker would eliminate marketing, strategy and technology jobs from the unit … The cuts would exceed earlier estimates for several hundred job losses and could save the firm as much as $150 million a year.
“They’ve got to boost profits out of this business, the easiest way to do that is to make job cuts,” said Ken Worthington, an analyst . . .
Eliminating 2,000 jobs would be the biggest reduction since 1998, when Merrill slashed 3,400 positions following Russia’s default and the near-failure of the hedge fund, Long-Term Capital Management.
Miller & Chevalier – A Washington, DC-based nest of Lawyers and Lobbyists.
From their web-site, 8/1/00: . . .In 1920, Robert Miller and Stuart Chevalier founded Miller & Chevalier as the nation’s first law firm specializing in tax matters. Mr. Miller had served as Solicitor and Mr. Chevalier as Asst Solicitor of the Internal Revenue Service shortly after the first federal income tax laws were enacted. . . . Like our firm’s founders, many of our tax lawyers have worked in federal government service. . . . Our firm’s tax practice is diverse, responding to the increasing complexity of the international tax system and the need for Washington representation to deal effectively with important tax policy issues. We serve clients in numerous industries: … aerospace, automobile, banking and finance, natural resources and energy, chemicals, electronics, pharmaceutical, retail, and health care insurance. . . . Our firm represents over half of the Fortune 50 companies. We also work with foreign-owned companies of similar size …
Taxation – Representative Engagements
Amoco Corp v. Commissioner (a.k.a. US Taxpayers) . . . The U.S. Court of Appeals … held that Amoco was entitled to foreign tax credits for Egyptian income taxes paid on its behalf by the Egyptian National Oil Co . . . The amount of the asserted deficiency was over $450 million. . . .
Atlantic Richfield Co v. Commissioner (a.k.a. US Taxpayers) . . . This case involves over 200 issues and a deficiency in excess of $700 million. Some of the issues involve hedging, tax accounting, foreign source income, and capitalization questions. . . .
B.F. Goodrich v. United States (a.k.a. US Taxpayers) . . . This case involved whether interest expenses incurred on corporate owned life insurance were deductible. The taxpayer sought a refund of approximately $2.5 million. The case was settled. . . .
The Boeing Co v. United States (a.k.a. US Taxpayers) . . . This case involves the allocation and apportionment of research and development expenses for purposes of computing combined taxable income for DISC/FSC purposes. The taxpayer is seeking a refund of over $450 million. The District Court granted Boeing’s motion for summary judgment; the govt’s appeal to the Ninth Circuit is pending. . . .
Cheng v. Commissioner and Pen v. Commissioner . . . The issue in these companion cases was whether commissions earned as compensation for the performance of personal services in Taiwan were taxable as income effectively connected to a U.S. trade or business. The total amount at issue exceeded $40 million in deficiencies, penalties, and interest. The government conceded. . . . (Those must have been some personal services! I wonder what kind?)
Exxon Corp v. Commissioner (a.k.a. US Taxpayers) . . . The Tax Court held that the Commissioner’s proposed allocation of over $6.5 billion in income was precluded under Code sections 61 and 482 due to a foreign legal restriction. . . .
General Electric Co v. Commissioner . . . This case involved whether the taxpayer properly elected … to deduct currently approximately $118 million in research and development expenses.
* * *
In addition to their legal services, Miller & Chevalier declared lobbying income of $1.4 million in 1998, with total lobbying expenditures of $320,000 (all to the lobbying firm of Akin, Gump).
Among Miller & Chevalier’s lobbying clients: Assn of Financial Service Holding Cos; Atlantic Richfield; Blue Cross/Blue Shield; Boeing Co; Boston Edison; Chevy Chase Bank; Gallo Winery; Monsanto Co; Nuclear Fuel Services; and the Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores.
National Foreign Trade Council – From Corporate Predators, 5/10/98: When the People Speak, the Corporations Squeak – Having learned
from the South African divestment movement that local actions can help stop egregious human rights abuses and bring democracy to countries
around the world, citizens across the United States are increasingly mobilizing in support of state and local sanctions against countries such as
Burma, Nigeria and Indonesia, all of which are ruled by brutal dictatorships.
These sanctions typically leverage the power of government agencies as consumer, using “selective purchasing” laws to bar the government from doing business with companies that do business in the targeted country. Massachusetts and more than a dozen cities have adopted such laws. . . . The idea is to encourage corporations to stop doing business in dictatorial countries, on the theory that income from their investments helps prop up autocratic regimes. . . .
Facing a rising tide of state and local sanctions, Big Business has banded together into an outfit called USA*Engage to defeat and roll back grassroots efforts to influence where multinationals do business. USA*Engage has more than 600 members, including Aetna, Bechtel, Cargill, Caterpillar, Exxon, Mobile, Monsanto, Pepsi, TRW and United Technologies. . . .
Now, the same band of companies is seeking to roll back Massachusetts’ selective purchasing law which targets Burma, another military dictatorship which has killed thousands, jailed the nation’s rightfully elected leader and thrives on oil money (especially from Unocal) and drug money.
Late last month, the National Foreign Trade Council, another business coalition, with 550 U.S. manufacturing company members, filed suit against Massachusetts, claiming the state’s selective purchasing law infringes on the federal government’s foreign policy-making power. . . .
But while the suit winds its way through the federal courts, it sends a powerful, chilling message to state and local officials . . . The message: states and localities that seek to enact selective purchasing proposals will face unremitting pressure from politically powerful multinational corporations. They should expect massive corporate lobbying campaigns, threats of lawsuits, pressure from a federal government which is choosing to ally itself with business interests on sanctions and the threat of suit at the World Trade Organization and other trade bodies. . . .
At root, the suit over Massachusetts’ Burma law is a clash between corporate internationalism and citizen internationalism. . . . The outcome of the clash will have huge consequences.
[In Nov 1998, a federal court ruled on behalf of the National Foreign Trade Council, finding the Massachusetts law unconstitutional. That ruling is under appeal as this book goes to press.]
NationsBank – From The Buying of the President: . . . In Dec 1994, the Wall Street Journal reported, “The Democratic party expects to close …
with a near-record financial debt …” The debt was $5 million, the biggest debt for the party since 1968 …
But the Center for Public Integrity has learned that the party’s debt was evident to the White House in late 1993 and … President Clinton was “furious over the shortfall” . . .
“Fund raising is still going strong,” Terrance McAuliffe, the DNC finance chairman, told the Wall Street Journal, “and we are very optimistic about the future because of the fund-raising base, especially from the business community…”
Part of that was a $3.5 million loan from NationsBank at a very favorable rate of prime plus 1.5 percentage points.
That much-needed loan…was made two weeks before the mid-term elections, on Oct 14, 1994, and two weeks after the Democratic Congress passed the Fair Trade in Financial Services Act, signed into law on Sept 29 by President Clinton, who had worked hard for passage. Stalled for years, the new law allowed financial institutions to operate a single national bank . . .
No one wanted it more than NationsBank and its president and CEO, Hugh McColl. Indeed, NationsBank lobbyists reportedly helped to draft the legislation. McColl calculated it would save his bank $50 million a year. Critics of the law said big banks would just swallow up small ones.
We learned that candidate Clinton’s openness to considering NationsBank’s interstate banking legislation apparently was a fundamental condition of support for McColl, who endorsed Clinton late in the 1992 campaign after the two had breakfast, and sent a personal check to the campaign for $1,000.
In 1992, prior to the breakfast, Clinton campaign officials had unsuccessfully solicited a major Democratic party contribution from NationsBank representatives . . .
McColl has become one of Clinton’s closest advisors on banking issues and Clinton has called McColl “the most enlightened banker in America.”
On July 15, 1993 … McColl spoke at a White House media event to promote Clinton’s community development lending program. An American Banker editorial at the time groused that McColl had appointed himself banking’s “official mouthpiece . . . on behalf of bankers everywhere, he endorsed the lending plan, which is about as bank-friendly as John Dillinger … McColl would endorse any half-baked Clinton idea in return for the White House’s support for interstate branching legislation.”
McColl left nothing to chance with Congress either. NationsBank significantly increased its PAC contributions, giving $626,800 to congressional candidates in 1993-94 . . .
When McColl and Clinton were seen sitting together in the NationsBank box at the 1994 Arkansas-Duke NCAA basketball finals in Charlotte, NC, one banking industry commentator said of McColl, “Based on what the president has done for him lately, I would have expected to see Hugh sitting on his lap . . . In days gone by, political quid pro quos were usually paid off with stuffed ballot boxes. Laws were passed to stop that sort of chicanery. Now it’s done with money.”
While the interstate bill was moving through conference, on Aug 23, 1994, Clinton and McColl were present at the White House Community Development bill signing, and the president declared, “Today, I’m proud to announce commitment from two of the nation’s leading banks to help us in this effort– $25 million from NationsBank and $50 million from Bank of America over the next four years.”
Five weeks later the interstate banking bill was law; the $3.5 million loan to the DNC came two weeks afterwards.
At the same time the interstate branch legislation was being lobbied by McColl and NationsBank, in May 1994 Clinton White House Senior Adviser George Stephanopoulos, who makes $125,000 a year, received a controversial 25-year, $668,000 loan at 6.375 percent interest from NationsBank. . . .
The NationsBank relationship with Clinton is just one example of what to look for with respect to the financial industry’s influence on the president and his party generally in 1996. In 1992, the Clinton/Gore campaign received more than $800,000 from financial interests.
Nigeria – From www.moneylaundering.com: . . . A front-page article in the Oct 20, 2000 edition of the Financial Times reports that the London
branches of some of the world’s largest banks played a key role in what is believed to be a $4 billion international money laundering
operation involving former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha.
The Times says 15 banks, including Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Barclays, HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, handled transactions for the Abacha Family and their collaborators.
The transactions allegedly involved funds looted from Nigeria’s central bank and other corruption proceeds. The Times says British officials have been slow to respond to requests by the new government of Nigeria for assistance in that country’s investigation of Abacha.
* * *
Oil & Gas Journal, 8/29/00:
U.S. Trade and Development Agency To Assist Nigeria With Energy Infrastructure Projects
During U.S. President Clinton’s trip to Nigeria, U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director J. Joseph Grandmaison announced Aug. 27 in Abuja the agency’s approval of $1.605 billion in grant assistance [aka US taxpayers’ money] for priority infrastructure projects in the country.
These grants are the first offered since TDA officially opened in Nigeria following the country’s successful transition to a democractically elected government in 1999.
Among the grants are two related to the energy industry. The first, a $400,000 grant to Nigeria Gas Corp., will provide funds for a feasibility study on the domestic use of natural gas, the country’s dominant energy resource. . . .
Also in the energy sector, TDA announced its recent approval of a $360,000 grant to the Warri Refining & Petrochemical Company to fund a premium gasoline and aviation fuel feasibility study in Nigeria. . . .
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – From The Buying of the President (1996): The Ron Brown trade missions would not have
been so successful for some U.S. corporations if it had not been for the special government financing and support available to them from two
government-backed entities: The Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC).
Ex-Im and OPIC provided a total of $39.8 billion in financial backing in 1993 and 1994. President Clinton appointed long-time Arkansas political supporters to both organizations. . . .
Lottie Shackelford, a former mayor of Little Rock, is one of the members of the OPIC board of directors appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993. During the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign, Shackelford held the position of deputy campaign manager . . .
Today she is a vice chairman of the DNC. Since April 1994, Shackelford has also worked as a lobbyist and registered foreign agent for the Washington-based firm, Global U.S.A. The firm is also registered to represent the Westinghouse Corporation. As it turns out, Westinghouse is listed as a client of OPIC for 1994. . . .
OPIC provides loans and loan guarantees for U.S. companies unable to obtain conventional funding for foreign projects. OPIC’s 1994 annual report says direct loans are “reserved for small businesses and cooperatives and generally ranging from $2 million to $30 million.”
OPIC, however, financed loans to major American corporations for much more than the stated $30 million high end. A joint venture by GTE Corporation and AT&T got a $200 million loan from OPIC to finance a cellular telephone services deal in Argentina. . . .
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WorldNetDaily, by Charles Smith, Softwar, 7/14/98, via Clinton’s Rogues Gallery:
The Nov, 1994 Commerce Dept advocacy document shows the Indonesian Paiton project encountered difficulties with financing because the Asian Development Bank (ADB) knew it contained a Suharto family kick-back. Suharto’s son-in-law, according to the U.S. government advocacy document, was known to be a share holder in P.T. Batu. . . .
Commerce documents show that Lippo business partner Mission Energy (now named Edison Mission Energy) received strong Clinton administration support for the Paiton project. One 1994 document … noted the Indonesian government-backed project had “state-of-the-art emissions-control technology … by using low-sulfur Indonesian coal”. …
In 1996, President Clinton created the 1.7 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, placing off-limits the world’s largest deposit of low-sulfur coal.
The Lippo Group is the primary owner of the only other supply of low-sulfur coal in the world, located in Indonesia. Clinton’s move left the only remaining low-sulfur coal supply in Lippo hands, creating a Riady monopoly. The move vastly increased the dollar value of Riady’s low-sulfur coal reserves in a single stroke of Clinton’s pen. . . .
The questionable parts of the Paiton project are not only centered around coal from Riady. For example, Senator Tom Harkin has a close connection. It just happens that Ruth Harkin, Sen. Harkin’s wife, was also 1994 head of the U.S. Government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a major Paiton financial backer.
Ms. Harkin approved the OPIC financing for Paiton in 1994. Harkin, a former partner in the law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, is a close Clinton friend. Harkin’s partnership in the powerful D.C. based law firm also included other Clinton friends Robert Strauss and Vernon Jordan. . . .”
People’s Republic of China – From Year of the Rat: . . . Our thesis is simple. The Clinton administration has made a series of Faustian
bargains and policy blunders that have allowed a hostile power to further its aims in Washington.
In the main, Bill Clinton and Al Gore did it for money. . . .
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Associated Press, by Joe McDonald, 9/21/00: . . . The U.S. Senate’s 85-13 vote Tuesday for permanent normal trade ties ended the contentious annual reviews of China’s trade status that buffeted relations for the past decade.
Chinese officials want the impending loss of trade barriers to prod farmers, factories and other companies to modernize. That serves their reform agenda, but in the short run, membership in the global free-trade body will lead to job losses and wrenching changes.
Although China’s WTO entry has been 14 years in the making, it isn’t clear whether Chinese firms, from farming to insurance, are ready to shed state protection and face richer, more sophisticated rivals from abroad. . . .
“In the long term, it’s beneficial for both sides,” said Patrick Powers, director of China operations for the U.S.-China Business Council, which represents 300 American companies.
But in those first years, Chinese companies will face intense pressure to match the efficiency and technology of foreign rivals. [yuk, yuk] Chinese officials are pushing for mergers in securities and other industries to create competitors big and rich enough to survive. [Enter Goldman Sachs, General Electric, Putnam, Westinghouse etc., etc.]
Beijing has promised to cut tariffs on imported goods from 24.6% in 1997 to an average of 9.4% by 2005. Foreign companies are to be allowed for the first time into telecommunications, banking and other fields. [Enter AT&T, Barkleys, CBS, Citibank, American Express, etc. etc.]
Imported grain could undercut inefficient farms that employ hundreds of millions of Chinese. [Enter Archer-Daniels-Midland, United Fruit Company, etc. etc.]
Insurance and securities firms will face foreign rivals with global experience. [Enter American International Group, AXA Financial, Chubb Group, Citigroup, Marsh & McLennan, Prudential, Zurich, etc. etc.]
“The swift and strong market attack brought by WTO entry will easily drive some small companies into mergers with foreign competitors or into bankruptcy,” said Liu Wei, an official of Dalian Huanong Oil and Fat Co., a major food processor.
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DISSIDENT CRITICIZES VOTE . . . (Beijing – AP) One of China’s best known dissidents on Wednesday harshly criticized the U.S. vote to normalize trade with China, saying it will embolden China’s leaders to step up repression.
The Senate’s approval of permanent low-tariff trade ties with China rewards the communist government’s determination to stifle free speech and political opening, said Wei Jingsheng, speaking from … New York, where he lives in exile. . . .
“This tells the common people of China that the world doesn’t care about their rights or livelihoods, but only about their own wallets,” said Wei, imprisoned for 18 years in China for urging more democracy and respect for human rights.
Disgruntled Chinese workers and farmers taxed into desperate poverty may now take up more extreme measures to seek redress, he said, referring to recent instances of large-scale violence against corrupt authorities by angry farmers.
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For more >>> The Donkey Nests
For more >>> Dubious Deals in Arkansas
For more >>> China Working Group
For more >>> Sen. Dan Burton’s Oversight Committee
For more >>> Johnny Chung Tells of Dealings with Chinese Donors
For more >>> Tripping With Secretary Ron Brown
PricewaterhouseCoopers – SEC News Release 01/06/00: Independent Consultant Finds Widespread Independence Violations at
PricewaterhouseCoopers: . . .
The staff of the SEC today made public the report by independent consultant Jess Fardella, who was appointed by the Commission in March 1999 to conduct a review of possible independence rule violations by the public accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers arising from ownership of client-issued securities. The report finds significant violations of the firm’s, the professionals, and the SEC’s auditor independence rules. . . .
The independent consultant’s report discloses that a substantial number of PwC professionals, particularly partners, had violations of the independence rules, and that many had multiple violations. . . .
A year ago, the firm agreed in a settlement to conduct the review and create a $2.5 million education fund after the SEC alleged that some of its accountants compromised their independence by owning stock in corporations they audited. As a result of the review, five partners of the firm and a number of other employees had been dismissed.
The independent consultant’s report found that nearly half the firm’s 2,698 partners reported having committed at least one violation of the auditor independence rules, while 153 of them admitted to more than 10 each. Of a total 8,064 violations reported by those involved, 81.3% were by partners and 17.4% by managers.
Almost half the reported violations involved direct investments by the PwC professionals in securities, mutual funds, bank accounts or insurance products related to client companies.
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Business Week, 09/25/00: ACCOUNTING WARS . . .Powerful consultants are the targets of Arthur Levitt’s crusade . . . It’s a pitched battle the likes of which Washington and Wall Street have never seen before. Largely out of the public eye, a morality play is being acted out, and the plot involves power and greed.
On one side: Arthur Levitt, Jr., chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission, convinced that greed and arrogance have diverted the accounting profession from its mission of providing sound financial reports for shareholders. … Levitt is determined to halt a wave of auditing failures– breakdowns that have cost investors $88 billion in the past seven years– by ending what he sees as a massive conflict of interest between accountants’ duties as auditors and the profits they earn as consultants to the same corporate clients. . . .
THE SEC SAYS:
Audit Quality. Audit failures are soaring: 362 companies have restated annual financials since 1997. … Cost to investors in just 9 cases: $41 billion …
Consulting Services. Accounting firms that consult for audit clients aren’t truly independent. Firms should be banned from selling their audit clients a wide range of consulting services, including acting as an advocate for clients. SEC says its proposal mainly clarifies existing ethics rules.
Disclosure. Companies should disclose consulting fees paid to their auditing firm. Boards and audit committees must spell out steps taken to ensure the audit wasn’t compromised.
Investment Conflicts. Strict rules that now bar accountants and their families from owning stock, even indirectly through a retirement plan, in any of their firms’ audit clients should be relaxed. New rules should apply mainly to firm members who can influence a client’s audit. . . .* * *
Accountants gave House, Senate, and Presidential candidates $10.4 million in campaign contributions in this election cycle, through June 30.
Of this amount, PricewaterhouseCoopers gave $1,421,489 ($400,009 to Democrats and $1,019,280 to Republicans).
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DID THE AUDITORS CROSS THE LINE? The SEC has tough questions for MicroStrategy and PWC . . . On a recent Aug morning, Michael J. Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy Inc., stood before an overflow crowd at a high-tech trade show. … He spun his vision of the future, in which he personalized news and alerts are delivered through wireless devices and clip-on computers equipped with voice recognition. The crowd was riveted.
The electrifying moment allowed Saylor to look past the software maker’s calamitous earnings restatement of last spring. The company had booked $66 million more in revenue than it should have from 1997 through 1999– more than one fifth its sales total. The restatement wiped out $55.8 million in earnings, turning profits into losses for each of those years.
But as diverting as the interlude may have been, recovery will not come that easily for Saylor and MicroStrategy. As he attempts to rebuild the company … one of his chief hurdles is a Securities & Exchange Commission investigation into the company’s accounting practices. BUSINESS WEEK has learned that the SEC is investigating whether MicroStrategy and its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, covered up a prohibited financial relationship by using a third party as a go-between.
The agency is also probing whether PWC sacrificed its independence by entering into deals to buy MicroStrategy products for resale to consulting clients– a financial link the SEC thinks may have made PWC unwilling to make tough audit decisions.
And the SEC is investigating whether MicroStrategy backdated documents to move revenues from one quarter to another. . . .
The swift fall of MicroStrategy exemplifies the questions that arise when auditors do more for a client than just examine the books. Shareholders lost $10.4 billion in stock value, and 10% of the company’s employees have been laid off. The scope of investor losses, and the web of relationships between auditor and client, have persuaded the SEC to put its investigation on a fast track. . . .
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Multinational Monitor, 12/94: The Corporate Hall of Shame . . . The 10 Worst Corporations of 1994 — Who examines the examiners? . . .
Price Waterhouse faces approximately $12.5 billion in legal claims from the Deloitte & Touche liquidators of the collapsed Bank of Credit and Commerce International over Price’s audit of the bank. . . .
In Italy, shareholders in the agrochemical group Ferruzzi Finanziaria and its industrial subsidiary Montedison plan to sue Price Waterhouse in the wake of the administrator of Ferruzzi and Montedison’s finding of serious oversights in Price Waterhouse audits of the group’s accounts over a number of years. He outlined a catalog of accounting malpractices, including: an irrecoverable credit of $261 million to a company in the British Virgin Islands, recognition of revenues of $146 million on nonexistent sales and huge undocumented payments to offshore companies, supposedly for consulting work…
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According to Dr. John Coleman in his book Conspirators’ Hierarchy, Price Waterhouse is a member of the Committee of 300.
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For More GO TO > > > What Price Waterhouse?
Ralph Lauren, Inc. – From If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates: . . . Ralph Lauren, the multi-billionaire
fashion baron … made a news splash in 1998 when he engaged in a bit of “conspicuous philanthropy.” He wrote a $10 million company check
to the Smithsonian Institution to go toward the restoration of THE Star-Spangled Banner, the badly deteriorating 187-year-old flag that had
inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem . . .
Lauren, Inc’s donation produced what is known in public relations lingo as an Op-op– the optimum photo op. Held just after July 4th, it included the President of the United States, the First Lady, a brand-name CEO, the massive and historic flag itself, and a really big check — all of our national symbols arrayed for this one media moment. . . .
The star-spangled ceremony was a promotional coup for Lauren’s company, well worth the ten mil, for he received saturation media coverage as he wrapped in Old Glory, and he was given both a product endorsement and testimonial to his character by the First Couple.
President Clinton: “You know, most of us have– well, maybe not most of us, but a lot of us, including Hillary and me– have these great Polo sweaters with the American flag on it.”
Next the First Lady: “The phrase ‘Ralph Lauren’ has become an adjective for a certain kind of style. Now it will be a symbol of another aspect of the American way– good citizenship.”
Then Ralph stepped forward to add just the right touch of billionaire humility, saying that he was giving the money because, “I am a product of the American dream, and the flag is its symbol.” Nice.
But half a globe away one could get a totally different view of the Polo label and of Mr. Lauren’s character.
In Shenzhen, China, some 350 young women, 18 to 25 years old, work at the Iris Fashion factory, making the clothing that has made Ralph Lauren so much money that he can live the American dream and still give away $10 million. The factory is a sweatshop.
“I begin work daily at 7 a.m. six days a week,” says a 21-year-old who sews collars onto shirts for Lauren. “On a normal day, work ends around 9 p.m. If we are under pressure for a rush delivery, we work until midnight. Right now I average eighty hours per week. . . .
“I’m paid on a piece-rate basis, two cents per collar.” . . .
Hers is but one of hundreds of thousands of real-life stories that are behind the labels of so many of the goods now sold in American stores– goods that make philanthropists of the Ralph Laurens of the world, even while they bring the stench of rank exploitation to the Star-Spangled Banner itself. Cynics say the public doesn’t give a damn, and the global manufacturers sure do all they can to keep the curtain pulled, hoping to keep the public in the dark about their manufacturing methods. . . .
Raytheon – One of the largest U.S. defense contractors. Two of the largest institutional owners of Raytheon are Britain’s Barclays Bank (a
leading member of The Committee of 300) and Citigroup.
Red Mafiya – From Red Mafiya: How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America: . . . Blending financial sophistication with bone-crunching
violence, the Russian mob has become the FBI’s most formidable criminal adversary, creating an international criminal colossus that has
surpassed the Colombian cartels, the Japanese Yakuzas, the Chinese Triads, and the Italian Mafia in wealth and weaponry. . . .
With activities in countries ranging from Malaysia to Great Britain, Russian mobsters now operate in more than 50 nations.
They smuggle heroin from Southeast Asia, traffic in weapons all over the globe, and seem to have a special knack for large-scale extortion. The Russian mob has plundered the fabulously rich gold and diamond mines in war-torn Sierra Leone, built dazzling casinos in Costa Rica with John Gotti Jr., and through its control of more than 80 percent of Russia’s banks, siphoned billions of dollars of Western government loans and aid, thereby exacerbating a global financial crisis that toppled Wall Street’s historic bull market in August 1998. . . .
More ominously, U.S. intelligence officials worry that Russian gangsters will acquire weapons of mass destruction such as fissionable material or deadly, easily concealed pathogens such as the smallpox virus … and sell these deadly wares to any number of terrorist groups or renegade states.
In North America alone, there are now 30 Russian crime syndicates operating in at least 17 U.S. cities, most notably New York, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver. The Russians have already pulled off the largest jewelry heist and insurance and Medicare frauds in American history, with a net haul exceeding $1 billion. They have invaded North America’s financial markets, orchestrating complex stock scams, allegedly laundering billions of dollars through the Bank of New York, and coolly infiltrating the business and real estate worlds. . . .
“The Russians didn’t come here to enjoy the American dream,” New York State tax agent Roger Berger says glumly.
“They came here to steal it.” . . .
Riscorp Inc. – From Business Insurance – 9/22/97: Chairman, four former officers of Riscorp indicted over donations – A federal grand
jury has indicted the chairman and four former officers of workers compensation insurer Riscorp Inc for allegedly funneling $383,500 in illegal
campaign contributions to more than 20 Florida politicians, including two state insurance commissioners. . . .
Named in a 27-count indictment last week were William D. Griffin, chairman of the Sarasota, Fla.-based insurer; James A. Malone, former Riscorp president; Thomas E. Danson Jr., former executive vp; Richard A. Halloy, former cfo, and Edward J. Hammel, former sr vp-finance. . . .
The five men, who were hoping to gain political favors, also solicited lawyers and consultants doing business with Riscorp to make contributions that Riscorp then would reimburse, disguising the payments as professional fees, prosecutors charge. . . .
One of the main beneficiaries of Riscorp’s money was former Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher, who received about $57,000 in illegal contributions in his 1990 campaign for the commissioner’s job and another $48,000 in his unsuccessful 1994 run for governor …
Riscorp had been a major provider of managed care workers comp insurance and services in Florida, North Carolina and several other states. However, it has drastically scaled back its operations after being battered by a variety of troubles since its 1996 initial public offering, including a pending civil racketeering suit by disgruntled policyholders and the delisting of its stock from the NASDAQ stock exchange.
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News-Journal, 8/12/98: Judge Sentences Riscorp Founder to 5 Months . . . An insurance executive who admitted he conspired to funnel illegal contributions to scores of candidates paid $1.5 million to the U.S. government Tuesday and was sentenced to five months in federal custody.
William Griffin oversaw a scheme to distribute money to nearly 100 candidates, including Gov. Lawton Chiles and former Gov. Bob Martinez, through bogus bonuses given to employees of his Sarasota insurance company, Riscorp Inc., prosecutors said.
At his sentencing hearing, Griffin expressed remorse for the illegal contributions but also said he only did “what everyone else was doing.”
“You don’t have to chase down a politician,” Griffin told U.S. District Judge David Dowd. “They find you all hours of the day and night.”
Riscorp employees wrote some 800 checks worth about $382,000 to local, state and federal candidates between Jan 1990 and June 1996, according to federal prosecutors.
In exchange, the employees received more than $500,000 in “bonuses” to reimburse them for the donations and to compensate them for extra income tax they had to pay.
No candidates were accused of wrongdoing.
Griffin, who founded Riscorp in 1988 and ran it until last year, pleaded guilty in May to a felony charge of conspiracy and four other Riscorp executives pleaded guilty to lesser charges. A subsidiary of Riscorp also was fined $300,000. . . .
Four other executives pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of giving a contribution in another’s name and received lesser sentences. They are James Anthony Malone of Atlanta; Thomas Edward Danson of Sarasota; Richard A. Halloy of Sarasota; and Edward J. Hammel of San Antonio, Texas. . . .
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St. Petersburg Times, 10/8/98: Riscorp Ties Still Casting Shadow over Gallagher . . . No other politician has figured more prominently in the Riscorp campaign finance scandal than former Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher.
A longtime friend of Riscorp Insurance Company founder Bill Griffin, Gallagher received more illegal campaign contributions from the company than any other political candidate. . . .
Griffin testified during his sentencing hearing in August that he was solicited for contributions when Gallagher was seeking re-election as state Insurance Commissioner in 1990.
Griffin said he met with Gallagher’s campaign … and agreed to pledge $100,000.
When fund-raisers didn’t get him to that figure, he got employees to write checks and then reimbursed them in the form of “bonuses”. Employees also could doctor their expense reports to get repaid, and the company would claim the reimbursements as business expenses on federal tax returns. . . .* * *
St. Petersburg Times, 8/14/98: Senator’s Campaign Linked to Riscorp – Records show ties between the insurer that gave illegal gifts and the 1994 Harris campaign. . . . Like dozens of other politicians, state Sen. Katherine Harris, R-Sarasota, has distanced herself from a campaign finance scandal involving Riscorp Inc.
But federal court records show close links between Harris’ 1994 state Senate campaign and the Sarasota insurance company that schemed to give illegal contributions to candidates.
Harris is now a Republican candidate for SECRETARY OF STATE, FLORIDA’S CHIEF ELECTIONS OFFICER. . . .
CATBIRD COMMENT: As you probably know if you watched the recent Florida on-and-off presidential vote recounts on TV, Katherine Harris won her race for Florida Secretary of State and was the Chief Elections Officer in the 2000 presidential election.
The rest is history.
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And did you know: One of the largest investors in Riscorp, Inc is U.K.’s Barclays Bank — a member of the Committee of 300.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Club – The Playground of Presidents – and a top nesting ground for politicians, lobbyists, and other predators of
the highest order. Worthy of note: The club was developed by a tax-exempt institution: Hawaii’s Bishop Estate.
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STAR tabloid, 09/15/98: NEW CLINTON SEX SCANDAL – Charges he hit on woman at snooty golf club. . . .
A new sex scandal has erupted for President Clinton. STAR has learned of shocking allegations that the president — just a few weeks before he admitted lying about having sex with Monica Lewinsky — fondled and made crude remarks to a waitress at a posh Washington, D.C. area country club.
Insiders say the incident is certain to be investigated by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr . . .
An insider says the alleged encounter with the waitress happened after Clinton played a round of golf in early July at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, where the president’s longtime pal Vernon Jordan is a member.
The president is accused of reaching out and “inappropriately touching” the waitress in the club’s grill room after his game. . . . He also made crude and suggestive remarks to her, according to this account.
The woman was said to be very upset by Clinton’s actions . . . “This falls under the category of a quick fondle and some suggestive language,” says the source.
What makes the reports of this latest incident different is the connection with Jordan.
Jordan is on the club’s board and it is his membership under which Clinton plays. He often plays with the president . . .
One report said that Jordan was seen at the club a week later — where he was overheard asking for the home telephone number of the young woman Clinton supposedly approached . . .
Starr has already made Jordan’s role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal a major focus of his investigation of charges of lying, sex and obstruction of justice against the president.
It was Jordan who helped get a lawyer and a job offer in New York for Lewinsky after being asked to help the ex-intern by Clinton’s personal secretary Betty Curry. . .
One of Washington’s most powerful figures, Jordan has long been known as someone who smooths the way for Clinton, in politics and personal matters .
See in Part I: Henry Peters; Mark McConaghy; Nathan Aipa
Rockefeller Group – For more on this storied financial giant, GO TO: Wall Street
Round Table – In his remarkable book, Conspirators’ Hierarchy, Dr. John Coleman writes that the Watergating of Nixon was the biggest coup
yet pulled off by the Round Table as an agency and an arm of the RIIA. . . .
Dr. Coleman believes that the humiliation of Nixon was a object lesson and a warning to future Presidents of the United States not to imagine they could go against the Committee of 300 and win. He writes that Kennedy was brutally murdered in full view of the American people for the same reason – that Nixon was not considered worthy enough to suffer the same fate as John F. Kennedy.
He writes, “. . . whatever the method used, the Committee of 300 made sure that all would-be aspirants for the White House got the message: ‘Nobody is beyond our reach.’ That this message remains just as forceful as it was when Kennedy was murdered and Nixon hounded out of office, is evidenced by the character of President George Bush, whose eagerness to please his masters should be cause for grave concern among those who worry about the future of the United States.”
Sanwa Bank – The Chicago branch of this Japanese bank played an interesting role in the Clinton – Rubin – Goldman Sachs – American
International Group – Coral Reinsurance – and Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) shell game in 1987.
Watch carefully! Sanwa loaned $5 million to ADFA. ADFA then purchased slightly over $5 million in stock of Coral Reinsurance, the Barbados company founded by AIG. Coral then deposited the $5 million, along with $55 million in other investors’ funds, in Sanwa Bank.
Under which shell is ADFA’s $5 million??? Surprise! It never left Sanwa Bank (at least not until it found its way into some of the executives’ pockets).
This strange deal was the scheme of Goldman Sachs, headed at the time by Robert Rubin.
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Japan’s Top Banks Implicated in Bribery Scandal
Two of Japan’s top commercial banks, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Bank were implicated Monday in a widening bribery scandal that has shamed the powerful Finance Ministry. . .
The scandal centers on allegations that two senior ministry bureaucrats were wined and dined by financial institutions in exchange for tipping them off about ministry inspections. . . The two officials . . . were arrested last month on suspicion of taking bribes from Sanwa Bank Ltd, Asahi Bank Ltd, Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Ltd, and Hokkaido Takushoku Bank. . .
Schools and Libraries Corporation – From The Buying of the President 2000: . . . On Jan 1, 1998, the federal government imposed a flat tax
of 3% on every telephone call as a means of raising money to make every school in the nation Internet-accessible. Al Gore and Reed Hundt,
then the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, had dreamed up the idea the year before. (Gore and Hundt are old
friends, having been classmates at St. Albans.)
The tax raises upward of $2.3 million a year, which is to be released to the nation’s schools through a program called “E-rate.” Gore and Hundt didn’t have to fight with Congress to get the extra money; the FCC imposed the tax by an act of bureaucratic fiat. . . .
The tax costs the average American about $30 a year. The money goes to schools, eventually.
Before it gets there, it sits at something called the Schools and Libraries Corporation, one of three not-for-profit operations set up by the FCC to administer the “E-rate” program.
From its inception in Nov 1997 until Sept 1998, Ira Fishman, a fund-raiser for Gore and a former White House lobbyist, was the president of the Schools and Libraries Corporation. His salary was $200,000 a year — the same as President Clinton’s.
But Fishman had trouble getting the operation off the ground, and when he resigned after just nine months on the job, the Schools and Libraries Corporation had yet to release any funds to the schools.
Fishman did, however, find ways to spend money. In the first quarter of its existence, Schools and Libraries Corporation projected its expenses to be $2.7 million; when the receipts were added up, the cost of administering the E-rate program– which hadn’t done anything yet– came to $4.4 million. …
Now that the “E-rate” program is up and running, some of Gore’s top patrons have climbed aboard the gravy train. BellSouth and Bell Atlantic each made millions of dollars from providing telephone lines to schools.
So did software companies like The Learning Company (Gore’s No. 7 career patron), a division of Mattel, Inc., which makes educational software …
Smith Barney, Inc. – From Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 6/23/98: Isle Hotel Union Funds Suing Stock Brokerage – Two trust funds for the hotel
workers union in Hawaii are suing Smith Barney Inc. alleging that the brokerage ran up excessive commission on trades made for fund
The action was filed in state Circuit Court by Tony Rutledge as a trustee of the $300 million-plus Hotel Union and Hotel Industry of Hawaii Pension Plan and the AFL Hotel & Restaurant Workers Health & Welfare Trust Fund.
It alleges that Smith Barney, hired by the funds as a consultant, helped the funds select financial advisers and then coerced those advisers to execute their trades through Smith Barney.
Other brokers were available who would have charged lower commissions, contends the lawsuit, which was filed last week. . . .
Rutledge … charged that the investment advisers recommended by Smith Barney “placed nearly three-fourths of the listed trades through Smith Barney in order to retain their jobs and stay on good terms with Smith Barney.”
The class-action lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, claims that in a sample year, 1996, Smith Barney got $300,000 in commissions out of the total $400,000. . . .
Stephens & Company – From Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA – “. . . I’m curious; how did Mr. Clinton and company gain access to our
funds in First American?”
“Through bond business here in Arkansas. It seems this was brainchild of Mr. Dan Lasater. But with Mr. Lasater out of the way, the state has implemented the plan through biggest firm here in Arkansas, Stephens & Company.“
“Let me get this straight,” Johnson said. “Clinton needs money in order to keep his promises to bring industry to Arkansas. So, Stephens issues a municipal bond or whatever, and our bank, First American, buys or underwrites the goddamn thing. So our offshore money is laundered right here in Arkansas through legitimate industrial loans, and Clinton benefits?”
By “offshore” Johnson was referring to CIA money held in foreign banks to disguise the fact that it was money used to fund intelligence operations. This was a Cold War technique designed to prevent the money’s source from being traced back to Washington. . . .
Having run short on “laundry,” Clinton and his friends had tapped into other sources of “dirty money.”
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The public would learn years later of the tenebrous connection between Stephens, First American Bank and the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, later to have its acronym, BCCI, emblazoned in headlines throughout the world. CIA Director Robert Gates later labeled it the “Bank of Crooks and Criminals, Inc.,” but admitted to its extensive use by the Agency.
And Jackson T. Stephens, the chairman of Stephens & Company in Little Rock, who would later be identified as the one who helped BCCI get its financial foothold in America, had replaced Lasater as the state’s investment banker of choice to attract new capital. . . .
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See also: Bank of Credit and Commerce
For more GO TO > > > A Flock of Donkeys; The Donkey Nests
For More >>> Dubious Deals in Arkansas
For More >>> Rise UP! The Crimes of Mena
For More >>> Clinton Scandal Clips
Sumitomo Bank – This Japanese financial giant pumped around $500 million into Goldman Sachs in 1986. After Goldman’s IPO in 1999,
Sumitomo held about a 6% interest in Goldman. In Hawaii, Sumitomo formerly owned a majority interest in Central Pacific Bank.
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Organized Crime Registry: Who Got Yakuza Into Our Banking System? — Business Week carried a feature story in its Jan 29, 1996 edition with the headline, “The Yakuza and the Banks” . . . The main focus of the parliamentary debate begun recently is whether tax money should be used to bail out the special housing loan companies, “jusen,” whose management collapsed under the weight of trillions of yen in bad loans. . . .
The seven failed jusen companies have a combined total of claims amounting to 13.2 trillion yen, at least half of which was lent to the yakuza (organized crime)-related companies at the peak of the economic bubble. . .
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www.aci.net/kalliste: How to Launder Money in the Copper Market: (Yasuo) Hamamada would often enter the copper market with large-size trades, and slam the copper price in this direction or that. The logic of the pattern of trading would often appear mystifying, creating paranoid uncertainty as to Sumitomo’s intentions in the minds of its competitors and counterparties.
But it all makes a little more sense when you realize Hamanaka was not only meeting the considerable copper-trading needs of the Sumitomo empire, but also conducting a major money-laundering operation for funds arising from the Southeast Asian heroin trade.
The press has lumped this affair into the convenient category of that of one more rogue trader operating without proper management supervision. This in itself is nonsense.
First of all, the operating assumption of both the press and the investigating authorities should be that upper management knew very well what was going on, as is usually the case.
Second of all, the “trading losses” are related to missing heroin money. Sumitomo is not about to announce that “a large sum of heroin money entrusted to our care is missing.” . . .
So the loyal Hamanaka takes the fall for “copper-trading losses.”
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Rueter’s News Service, 02/16/98: Sumitomo Bank and Bank of Toyko-Mitsubishi (BTM) Linked to Bribery Scandal: Two of Japan’s leading banks, Sumitomo and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, were implicated on Monday in a widening bribery scandal involving officials at Japan’s powerful Ministry of Finance (MoF). . .
Tokyo prosecutors on Monday issued a fresh arrest warrant against tow MoF inspectors . . . on suspicion of receiving bribes from Sumitomo Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, as well as Sanwa Bank, in exchange for confidential information. . . . Many of them were encroached by Kanto-based yakuza, incurring massive losses in failed stock and land speculation. . .
The article by Insider said: “MOF at the end of 1984, through the underground connections of former officials, requested the then leader of Yamahuchi Gumi, the late Takenaka Masahisa, to come to Tokyo and help kick out Kanto-based yakuza from Sogo banks.” . . .
At the time, Yamaguchi Gumi was in the midst of an internal breakup, and Takenaka needed money. He immediately complied with the request and went to Tokyo to start talks with the Kanto-based yakuza. But immediately after, he was killed by an unknown assassin.
However, taking advantage of this situation, Yamaguchi Gumi not only expanded its business territory but also started interacting openly with the bank’s top management with the consent of the Ministry.
For instance, Sumitomo Bank, originally headquartered in Osaka and weak in Tokyo, acquired a Tokyo-based Sogo bank, Heiwa Sogo Bank, from 1985 to 86. Through the acquisition, the Sumitomo offices in Tokyo increased, leading to their ascent to the number one position in the nation’s banking industry.
That was made possible by the Ministry and then Finance Minister Takeshita Noboru at the front, and Yamaguchi Gumi in the back. . .
For more, GO TO > > > Dirty Gold in Goldman Sachs?
Technology Strategies and Alliances – From The Buying of the President: . . . Defense Dollars and Deal Making. . . . In Feb of 1995, the
administration announced that for the first time it would consider the financial state of U.S. defense contractors when negotiating overseas arms
sales. The administration has also pushed to relax export restrictions on high-tech equipment used to manufacture sophisticated weapons
systems. Part of what has ingratiated the Clinton administration to weapons manufacturers has been the presence of William J. Perry, first as
Deputy Secretary and later as Secretary of Defense.
Perry is a former defense consultant who headed Technology Strategies and Alliances (TSA) between 1985 and 1993. TSA’s 1994 clients included Boeing, Grumman, Lockheed, Martin Marietta, McDonnell Douglas, Northrop, Textron, Texas Instruments, TRW, Westinghouse, and 20 other defense contractors.
While Perry severed his ties with the company, he had amassed more than a million dollars in consulting fees from TSA’s clients. Not long after he joined the Defense Department, Perry began going to bat for the industry.
One of Deputy Defense Secretary Perry’s extra base hits came when he and then-Defense Undersecretary for Acquisitions and Technology John Deutch quietly agreed to provide U.S. defense contractors with taxpayer-finance subsidies for mergers and acquisitions. That was a dramatic shift in Pentagon policy. Usually, such issues are taken before Congress. Instead, Deutch, in a July 21, 1993 memo, reversed the Pentagon’s ban on the subsidies and underwrote $270 million worth of TSA client Martin Marietta’s acquisition of General Electric’s Aerospace Division.
Just seven weeks earlier, on June 3, 1993, industry CEOs, including Martin Marietta’s Norman Augustine, had sent a letter to Perry and Deutch asking for DOD funding of “restructuring costs” for mergers and acquisitions. Perry also approved Northrop’s $2.1 billion acquisition of Grumman. Both were TSA clients. The Pentagon called the policy shift a “clarification” that did not require congressional consent. . . .
The policy shift required both Perry and Deutch to seek ethics waivers from rules that call for a one-year “cooling off” period before Pentagon officials can deal with former clients. They got them from then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin, whom Perry replaced in February 1994. Paul Kaminski got an ethics waiver in November of 1994, when he was named to head the Pentagon’s Acquisitions and Technology Department, replacing Deutch.
Deutch remained in the Pentagon loop a while longer and became Deputy Secretary of Defense before moving to the CIA.
Kaminski, who worked at TSA, is responsible for awarding $43 BILLION in defense programs to Pentagon contractors.
The Kaminski appointment marked the first time former defense industry consultants filled the Pentagon’s top three policy posts. . . .
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For more GO TO > > > A Flock of Donkeys; The Donkey Nests
The Commission on Presidential Debates – From the Commission’s website: . . . “The Commission on Presidential Debates was established
in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.
Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the U.S. presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and
educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, NONPARTISAN (emphasis added) corporation, sponsored
all the debates in 1988, 1992, and 1996.”
* * *
In the 1996 presidential elections, the Commission refused to allow Reform Party candidate Ross Perot to appear in the candidate debates. Perot sued to be allowed to participate.
In the 2000 debates, the Commission’s candidate selection criteria included: 1) Candidates must be constitutionally eligible to become president, 2) They must be on enough state ballots to have a mathematical chance to win in the Electoral College, and 3) They must average at least 15% support in nationwide polls by ABC News/Washington Post; CBS News/New York Times, NBC News/Wall Street Journal; CNN/USA Today/Gallup; and Fox News/Opinion Dynamics.
According to the commission, the rules were designed to make sure that only candidates who have a realistic chance to win the presidency are included in the debates.
Under the 15% “opinion poll” rule, neither the Reform Party candidate Patrick Buchannan, nor the Green Party candidate, Ralph Nader, were allowed to participate in the debates. Nader wasn’t even allowed in the debate hall as a spectator, even though he had a ticket.
The Moral of the Story: He who makes the rules WINS!
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In their Pro/Con arguments on whether the Reform Party candidate should be allowed to participate in the debates, VOTE.COM presented the following PRO argument: . . .
Exclusionary rules only benefit the establishment – The Reform Party is nationally recognized and it receives federal campaign funds. Yet for reasons beyond justification, the Commission on Presidential Debates has recommended rules that could exclude all but Democrats and Republicans from the general election debates.
Under the recommendations, a candidate who wants to be included in the debates must average 15 percent support in national polls to participate. Yet according to widely respected University of Virginia Political Scientist Larry Sabato, the reliability of such data is questionable.
“Polling is not that precise,” Sabato told the Associated Press. “Even when you average five polls you don’t eliminate the individual margins of error.”
Polling shouldn’t determine if voters should get the opportunity to learn about their options. Buchanan campaign co-chair Pat Choate points out that no third party Presidential candidate has ever been at 15 percent in September prior to the debates. “The only way that Perot rose above that level was to be in the 1992 debates. Prior to the debates he was at 7 percent. After, he got more than 19 percent of the vote.”
Former Democratic National Chairman Paul Kirk and former Republican National Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf head the Commission on Presidential Debates. By design, it seems slighted in favor of a two-party system.
“Let’s be plain,” says Reform presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. “This is nothing but a Beltway conspiracy by the two establishment parties to corner the market forever on the presidency of the United States.”
Reform Party chairman Jack Gargan agrees. “They picked the wrong time to play exclusionary politics,” he says. “The number of voters in claiming to be ‘independent’ is on the rise in our country … If this set of protocols stand, we might as well box up this gift we call democracy and send it back postage due.” . . .
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If any of this sticks in your craw, please see: A Simple Solution to Campaign Finance Reform
The Communist Party – From The American Spectator, June, 1997: While America Sleeps.
Since 1993, front companies for Communist China have been actively buying up (and spying on) the U.S.
— which is just fine by Washington and Wall Street.
by Kenneth R. Timmerman
What else is Bill Clinton willing to do to aid Communist China?
So far the President of the United States has accepted campaign contributions from mainland Chinese donors, sponsored questionable investments for them in the U.S., approved the sale of sophisticated technology to the Chinese military, failed to enforce U.S. laws when the Chinese sell cruise missiles to Iran by sanctioning the Chinese firms involved, welcomed the most notorious Chinese arms dealer into the White House, and encouraged the man’s firm to raise money in U.S. capital markets.
It’s an appalling record by any standard — and there’s apparently no end in sight for Clinton’s open-arms policy toward Peking. . . .
While federal investigators are just beginning to untie the knots of Chinese government attempts to influence the White House and other elected officials through campaign contributions and other means, it is overwhelmingly clear that Peking has recognized that the U.S. is easy enough to infiltrate. Chinese state-run companies are snatching up strategic real estate in places like Long Beach, California, where they plan, with Clinton’s warm approval, to turn a former U.S. Navy base into a container port to be used by a company identified by U.S. counterintelligence officials as a front for Chinese espionage efforts.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government’s leading business conglomerate, CITIC, has been floating bond issues in the U.S., tying the knot with major U.S. investment banks who are lobbying Congress against revoking China’s Most Favored Nation (MFN) trading status. People’s Liberation Army (PLA) weapons firms have set up shop on our shores through a variety of front companies and obscure subsidiaries.
China’s “stealth” invasion has also included old-fashioned influence peddling. The Wall Street Journal revealed in March that the state-owned Bank of China made wire transfers “in increments of $50,000 and $100,000 to Clinton crony Charlie Yah Lin Trie, who then donated large sums to the DNC and Bill Clinton’s Legal Defense Fund.
In exchange, Trie was granted direct access to the White House and an appointment to a presidential Commission of U.S.-Pacific Trade and Investment Policy. In Feb, 1996, he brought Wang Jun, the head of China’s notorious state-run arms company, Poly Technologies, to the White House for coffee with the president. . . .
Trie is not the only White House visitor with direct business ties to the PLA. Johnny Chung, the California businessman who contributed $366,000 to the DNC is exchange for open access to the Clinton White House (which he visited no fewer than 51 times) has brought a number of questionable visitors to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In March 1995, Chung brought along Jichun Huang, identified in White House records as a CITIC v.p. . . .
On Dec 24, 1994 (Christmas eve), Chung brought Chen Shizeng, the president of a Chinese beer company, Haoman, to meet with Clinton. After the meeting, Chung squired his Chinese guest over to the Commerce Dept to discuss how to facilitate the sale of Haoman beer in the United States. Chung also set up a meeting with Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary for the head of China’s state-run petrochemical company, Sheng Hauren, in Oct 1995.
Chung also happens to be the American representative of the daughter of a senior Chinese general, Liu Huaqing, who may have been hoping to use Chung’s influence with Clinton to gain favors and access to U.S. technology. General Liu sits on virtually every leadership panel of the People’s Republic of China, including the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party. (He is also the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, which overseas the PLA’s vast empire of defense, industrial, and trading companies.)
His daughter, Liu Chao Ying, is a managing director of China Aerospace International Holdings (CASIL), a Hong Kong subsidiary of China Aerospace Corp. Controlled by China’s Ministry of Aerospace Industry, CASIL manufactures everything from missiles to semiconductors, telephone switching equipment, and fax machines. In its 1997 annual report, the company boasts that it has become “the largest ‘window company’ of China Aerospace Corp both in Hong Kong and overseas,” and soon plans to open up a major U.S. operation, CASIL (America).
It also has joint investments with the notorious Lippo Group. . . .
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For More >>> Could a Traitor Do Any Worse Than Clinton?
For More >>> Tenacious Tentacles
For More >>> A Simple Solution to Campaign Finance Reform
For More >>> Year of the Dragon?
The Council on Foreign Relations – From And the Truth Shall Set You Free: . . . With every year of the 20th century, the quickening pace of the New World Order agenda can be identified. A network of organisations developed rapidly after the Versailles Peace Conference of 1919, and today this network is the most influential of all the Global Elite structures in controlling world events. The organisations within this network are presented as harmless ‘think tanks’ and forums, but they are, in truth, part of a global web of deception and manipulation.
They were introduced to infiltrate all areas of politics, banking, business, the media, education, science, and the military. Their role is to recruit members who support the New World Order philosophy and ensure that they are appointed to positions of power and influence in all these areas of national and international life. . . .
All are offshoots of the original Round Table which began to give birth to this network after Versailles, with the creation of the Institute of International Affairs, based at Chatham House in London. It became the ‘Royal’ Institute when the sitting monarch became its official head in 1926. It was founded by members of the British and American delegations at Versailles when they gathered at the Hotel Majestic in Paris on May 30th, 1919. … Quite simply they were dedicated to the creation of the New World Order.
The Round Table had close links with the Rothschild, Morgan, Rockefeller, and Carnegie Empires, and these connections were extended to the Royal Institute of International Affairs. . . .
By far the most important of the Institute’s creations was the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the United States, which was to penetrate all areas of American life.
This was formed in 1921 at the Harold Pratt House at 58 East 68th Street in New York, the former mansion of the Pratt family, close friends of the Rockefellers. Soon afterwards, the day-to-day administration was taken over by Colonel House and his associates, including the Rockefellers and, particularly, J.P. Morgan. The CFR’s founding president was John W. Davis, J.P. Morgan’s personal attorney. . . .
The power of the Council on Foreign Relations grew rapidly, and today it controls the administration of the United States, especially its foreign policy. Its goal is to introduce world government and it has spanned the United States with support groups. …
There are circles of members answering to a central elite. The inner circle knows the agenda and works full time towards that target. The next circle knows all or most of the agenda and seek to use their own sphere of influence, politics, banking, the media, whatever, to lead the world in the desired direction. Other circles of people know some or a little of the real story and are persuaded to support the organisation by accepting the idea that a world government is the only answer to the ills of humanity. What this latter group doesn’t realise is that those ills are being created by the very organisations they are members of. . . .
A few members of these Elite front-groups have had the courage to speak out when they have seen the game plan. Admiral Chester Ward, a former US Judge Advocate General of the Navy, was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations for 16 years. He said the purpose of the organisation was the “…submergence of US sovereignty and national independence into an all-powerful one-world government”.
In his book, Kissinger On The Couch … Ward said: “The lust to surrender the sovereignty and independence of the United States is pervasive throughout most of the membership … the main clique is composed of the one-world global-government ideologists . . .”
The Council on Foreign Relations is the Royal Institute, Stateside branch….
Since the formation of the CFR, every president of the United States has been a member except for Ronald Reagan. In truth Reagan was not president, his vice-president George Bush, a CFR member, was running the show. It was the Council on Foreign Relations … that brought the United Nations … into being.
This was the jewel of the post-war manipulators and one of the main reasons the Second World War was fashioned. . . .
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From the internet:
“Daddy Warbucks” of Drugs and Death – CFR member George Soros
In November of 1996 the California voters passed Proposition 215 – the “Compassionate Use Act”. It allows the marijuana to be grown and used for “any illness for which marijuana provides relief.”
The Campaign for the “Compassionate Use Act” to legalize medical marijuana would not have been successful without the funding of billionaires George Soros, Peter Lewis and John Sperling. . . .
The Council on Foreign Relations is part of an international group of co-conspirators, that have been carrying out successful covert operations since the mid-1800’s. If the Council and its branch organizations weren’t so successful at divorcing themselves from their operations they would have been stopped long ago.
The American Branch is the Council on Foreign Relations. The British Branch is the Royal Institute of International Affairs. . . .
The Council on Foreign Relations propaganda machine manipulates American Citizens to accept the particular climate of opinion the Council on Foreign Relations seeks to achieve in the world. Council on Foreign Relations members working in an ad hoc committee called the “Special Group” and through a vast intragovernmental undercover infrastructure called the “Secret Team” formulate this opinion in the US.
The dominant Council on Foreign Relations members belong to an inner circle that plan and co-ordinate the psycho-political operations used to manipulate the American public. These are the Council on Foreign Relations members in an ad-hoc governmental committee called the “Special Group.”
The rest of the Council on Foreign Relations members, past and present, inside and outside of the government, are part of a “Secret Team” that play key parts in carrying out the psycho-political operations. The “Secret Team” is set up as circles within circles. Not every Council member knows exactly what psycho-political operations are being planned or what their exact role in the operation is. This allows them to deny responsibility and deny Council sponsorship of the operation.
Secret Team circles include Council on Foreign Relations members in top positions in: the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government; who control television, radio, and newspaper corporations; who head the largest law firms; who run the largest and most prestigious universities; who direct the largest private foundations; who direct the largest public corporations; who direct and staff the major think tanks and University Institutes; and who hold top commands in the military.
Council on Foreign Relations members are focusing psycho-political operations (psyops) at the American public. The psycho-political operations are designed to undermine our confidence, and destroy our determination to fight. The psycho-political operations target the family, loyalty to our nation, and our faiths. Two of the psycho-political operations are abortion, and legalization of drugs. . . .
In 1995, Senator Alfonse D’Amato, as head of the Senate Banking Committee, issued a report about the Clinton Administration’s $20 billion loan to Mexico. The reason given for the loan was to prop up a staggering Mexico because any default on loans would end foreign investment in all developing countries.
The real reason was to rescue American and Mexican investors who had thrown their money into the craps game of high-interest Mexican Government bonds. For a year before the loan was ordered, on January 31, 1995, top Treasury officials and President Clinton were telling us how great things were going economically in Mexico. It was a cover-up to prevent Congressional defeat of the North American Free Trade Agreement, to bolster the Mexican and US administrations in upcoming elections in both countries, and to protect the major speculators.
An article from Newsday , “Peso Hits Record Low As Bailout Is Debated” ( Karen Rothmyer – 1/31/,95) identifies some of the Council on Foreign Relations members involved in the cover-up. They were “Former Presidents George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford [who] signed a declaration of support for the [bailout] plan. Also endorsing the plan was George Soros, probably the world’s most influential international investor.”
George Soros is also a member of the Carlyle Group. The Carlyle Group is an investor team led by Ronald Reagan’s Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci III and funded in part by the Mellon family. Carlucci is a sawed off runt with a Napoleon complex and a poor self image. The furniture in Carlucci’s office is miniaturized so he feels bigger. When Carlucci is photographed with other men, they sit down, and he stands up, to give the perception he is bigger. As president and CEO of Sears World Trade center, Carlucci left the company with a $60 million dollar loss, and went work for government.
The managing director of the Carlyle group is George Bush’s White House Office of Management and Budget Director Richard Darman. A partner in the group is George Bush’s Secretary of State James A. Baker III. Another member of the Carlyle group is Richard Nixon’s White House Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Frederic Malek. George Bush Sr.’s son George Bush Jr., former CIA Director Robert Gates and current SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt are advisors to, investors in or board members of Carlyle’s companies. Included in Carlyle’s press kit are Vernon Jordan and Bob Strauss.
Carlucci, Darman, Gates, Jordan, Malek and Strauss are Council on Foreign Relations members. The Carlyle group has exploited their governmental connections and ties to turn itself into one of the twenty-five largest defense contractors in the world. All the members of the Carlyle group have been part of dubious investment activities. Many have been exposed in scandals that involve the Central Intelligence Agency.
Soros uses some of the money he steals to fund a group of international foundations. Foundations are used by The Council on Foreign Relations to funnel corporate and personal wealth into the policy-making process. Foundations are tax-free. Contributions to foundations are deductible from federal corporate and individual income taxes. The Foundations themselves are not subject to federal income taxation. Foundations control hundreds of Billions of dollars of money that would normally go to pay federal and individual income taxes.
In 1970 there were 7000 foundations that controlled $20 Billion in assets. Nearly 40% of these foundation assets were controlled by the top 12 foundations [Ford Foundation, Lilly Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Duke Endowment, Kresge Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Mott Foundation, Pew Mutual Trust, Hartford Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Carnegie Foundation].
The top twelve foundations were controlled by the Council on Foreign Relations.
Foundations can he created by corporations or individuals. These corporations or individuals can name themselves and their friends as directors or trustees of the foundations they create. Large blocks of corporate stock or large amounts of personal wealth can be donated as tax-exempt contributions to the foundations. The foundations can receive interest, dividends, profit shares, and capital gains from these assets without paying any taxes on them. The directors or trustees, of course, are not allowed to use foundation income or assets for their personal expenses, as they would their own taxable income, but otherwise they have great latitude in directing the use of foundation monies-to underwrite research, investigate social problems, create or assist universities, write research, investigate social problems, establish “think tanks,” endow museums,etc.
At the Soros foundation Web Site (http://www.soros.org/) we learn that the:
“National foundations are autonomous institutions established by Mr. Soros in particular countries to initiate and support projects. National foundations are located primarily in the previously communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, but also in Guatemala, Haiti, Mongolia, and South Africa. Each national foundation has a board of directors and staff who set the priorities for the foundation’s work. The national foundations are, in most cases, autonomous nongovernmental organizations registered in their own countries and staffed by local professionals. The foundations develop distinct programs in support of the mission and strategic goals established by their directors and staff. These programs vary greatly in nature and urgency from country to country. The local nature of the foundations represented here is one of the distinctive features of Mr. Soros’ approach to philanthropy.”
One of the Foundations, the Open Society Institute, is issuing grants to promote abortion. Among the programs those that use abortion as a method for family planning.
Is the Soros foundation a way for the Council on Foreign Relations to use tax payer money to promote abortion and population control? Are the Soros foundations part of the Council on Foreign Relations “Secret Team.”. Do Soros Foundation employees double as covert operators who carry out well planned psycho-political operations in the Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union? Are any Soros’ Foundation employees also CIA agents?
The Council on Foreign Relations controls the US Banking industry, and has controlled the Federal Reserve since it’s inception.
Council on Foreign Relations member Robert Edward Rubin was sworn in as the 70th Secretary of the Treasury on January 10, 1995. On May 18, 1998 Reuter’s reported “Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Attorney General Janet Reno, at a joint news conference, said a three-year undercover operation had resulted in the indictment of officials from 12 of Mexico’s 19 largest banks. They said it was the first time that Mexican banks were “directly linked to laundering the Cali and Juarez cartels’ U.S drug profits.” Are any drug profits laundered by Council on Foreign Relations controlled US banks?
CFR member Congressman Richard Gephardt (D-MO), recently informed the TV audience America will soon have to relinquish control to a “International Regime.” Are we approaching the day when students and workers marching in the United States will be crushed by UN Peacekeeping Forces under the control of this International Regime? Who will control the Regime? The Council on Foreign Relations? Should a major political party consider someone willing to turn our country over to a “International Regime” a possible presidential candidate? . . .
Daniel Levine’s article “High on a Lie” … explains how George Soros is using his money to finance a psycho-political operation that would legalize and encourage drug use in America.
Is the “medical marijuana” movement a psycho-political operation meant to create another problem that will divide and occupy the attention of the American people, while the Council on Foreign Relations continues to destroy America and make it part of an international Regime under Council on Foreign Relations member control? . . .
The Democratic Party – From Year of the Rat – How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash . . .
Even if composed of hundred dollar bills, $175,000 in cash makes quite a bundle. We can only imagine what went through the minds of Treasury Department officials as Macau criminal syndicate figure Ng Lapseng sailed through the San Francisco airport on June 20, 1994, after declaring that amount of money– in cash.
Within two days Ng was dining at the White House mess with presidential aide and Democratic Party fund-raiser Mark Middleton. Later that evening Ng and his associate Charlie Trie would make honored guest appearances at a DNC-sponsored Presidential Gala. . . .
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In late 1996 and throughout 1997 … we learned that President Clinton was personally involved in raising and channeling millions of dollars in Democratic Party contributions to his own reelection campaign … The Democratic Party accepted millions of dollars in illegal contributions from foreign nationals, many of whom met personally with the President.
Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., spoke at a fund-raising event at a Buddhist monastery in Los Angeles, and everyone from a Columbian drug trafficker to Chinese arms dealers passed through the White House, obtaining access for cash.
Separately, from January 1995 to August 1996, the White House hosted 103 coffees– attended by 1,544 people seeking “face time” with the President, the Vice President, and their spouses– who collectively contributed at least $26.4 million to the Democratic Party for the 1996 election.
Besides being rewarded with overnight stays at the White House and Camp David, in 1995 and 1996, major Democratic Party donors and fund-raisers rode on Air Force One, Marine One, Air Force Two, and Marine Two (the latter two are the Vice President’s aircraft) more than 300 times.
In addition, both the President and Vice President solicited campaign contributions by telephone from the White House … At first Gore said that he dialed for dollars “on a few occasions”; he later acknowledged that he did it 56 times. This was the potentially criminal matter that produced the now infamous statement by the Vice President: “My counsel advises me that there is no controlling legal authority or case that says that there was any violation of law whatsoever in the manner in which I asked people to contribute to our reelection campaign.” . . .
Sadly, Gore was right. None of this unprecedented activity, which certainly had the stench of misconduct and impropriety, was seriously prosecuted by the Justice Department. Only the small fry were pursued. Attorney General Janet Reno steadfastly refused to name an independent counsel to investigate the various 1996 campaign finance allegations.
And when the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee attempted to investigate the 1996 election more than 45 potential witnesses fled the United States or invoked the Fifth Amendment. . . .
To add insult to injury, the following year Americans suffered through Monica Mania, ending with the first impeachment of an elected President in U.S. history. … In 1998, we reached the lowest point in our nation’s political discourse and decorum, including the most blatant, look-you-in-the-eye-with-a-straight-face lying by a sitting President ever. . . .
And let us not forget that this whole sordid episode got its start with campaign contributions: Lewinsky became a White House intern in the first place because a friend of her family had given more than $330,000 to the Democratic Party. . . .
For More: A Flock of Donkeys
For More: The Donkey Nests
For More: Tenacious Tentacles
For More: Sen. Dan Burton’s Campaign Finance Reform Committee
For More: John Chung Tells About Chinese Campaign Donations
For More: The Buying of the President
For More: Year of the Dragon
For More: A Simple Solution to Campaign Finance Reform
The Federal Reserve System – From And the Truth Shall Set You Free: . . . In the early years of this century, the Elite was plotting to retake
control of the US economy … They wanted two things: a new central bank with control over the nation’s borrowing and the introduction of a
federal income tax to give them control of the government’s income. . . .
In 1902, the Rothschilds sent one of their agents, Paul Warburg, to America with his brother, Felix, to ‘rearrange’ US banking to suit Rothschild and Elite interests. Another brother Max Warburg, stayed at home in Frankfurt to run the family banking business there. After arriving in the USA, Paul Warburg married Nina Loeb (of the Rothschild controlled, Kuhn, Loeb, and company) while Felix married Frieda Schiff, the daughter of Jacob Schiff, the head of Kuhn, Loeb, and Co. Hardly surprisingly, both brothers became partners in the company and Paul was given an annual salary of half a million dollars (in the early years of this century!) to prepare the ground for the imposition of the Federal Reserve System on the people of the United States.
It was all arranged by the Rothschilds, probably even down to the Warburg’s marriage partners.
These banking and Elite families like to interbreed whenever possible. It keeps the genes up to scratch, you know, and keeps the money (control) in the family. When Jacob Schiff arrived in America to join Kuhn, Loeb, and Co, he married the daughter of Solomon Loeb. Jacob Schiff was to be one of the key manipulators in the first half of this century. The Schiff and Rothschild families were as one and shared the same house in Frankfurt in the days of Mayer Amschel. The Federal Reserve Bill became known as the ‘Aldrich Bill’ and it was Warburg and who organixed the covert meeting on Jeckyl Island. Many years later, Frank Vanderlip, the Rockefellers’ agent at the time, would say:
“Despite my views about the value to society of greater publicity for the affairs of corporations, there was an occasion, near the close of 1910, when I was as secretive– indeed furtive– as a conspirator … I do not feel it is any exaggeration to speak of our secret expedition to Jekyl Island as the occasion of the actual conception of what eventually became the Federal Reserve System.”
The Federal Reserve System is a cartel of private banks, of which the Bank of New York is the most powerful. To this day it controls the US economy and thereby affects all of our lives.
Through its US offshoots and connections like J.P. Morgan and Kuhn, Loeb, and Co, the Rothschild Empire controlled the principal New York banks and, through them, the Bank of New York. This gave them control of the Federal Reserve System and the American economy. This Federal Reserve cartel is nominally controlled by the government-appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, which is another way of saying the Elite control it. The cartel lends money that doesn’t exist to the US government and has thus ensured that the country– and therefore the people– are drowning in debt to the banks. . . .
The Federal Reserve Bill was passed into law in 1913 . . . Now the Elite controlled the US government’s borrowing and interest rates, and it could create booms and busts whenever it wished. . . .
The way they introduced the Federal Income Tax was even more outrageous … For this to be passed into law, it required the consent of least 36 states because there had to be an amendment, the 16th, to the US Constitution. Only two states agreed. In a democracy you would think that the bill would be ditched. No so. … The Secretary of State, Filander Knox, informed Congress that the necessary agreement had been achieved and Federal Income Tax became ‘law’. Or, rather, in reality, it didn’t. The Internal Revenue Service, which collects Federal Income Tax and takes away the property of those who do not pay, has been stealing from the American people for decades …
The forced collection of Federal Income Tax is illegal to this day. It was never properly passed into law. . . .
The power over political and human events on this planet was increased by leaps and bounds as this funny money system expanded its grip on the world. This gave the Elite’s bankers the power to manipulate wars and revolutions, almost at will . . .
The Judiciary – From Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench, by Max Boot:
Privacy Unbound: The Perversion of the Due Process Clause
The “Right” to Contraception and Abortion: In the 1965 case of Griswald v. Connecticut, the Warren Court held that an archaic Connecticut law banning contraceptives was unconstitutional. . . . There was no question that … the Connecticut statute was “uncommonly silly,” but it wasn’t immediately clear why it violated the Constitution.
Justice William O. Douglas, who wrote the majority opinion, suggested that the right to privacy was to be found somewhere in the Bill of Rights, which, using the Due Process Clause, the Court then applied against the states (the Bill of Rights originally limited only the federal government).
“Specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance,” Douglas wrote, rather obscurely, adding:
“Various guarantees create zones of privacy.”
This nebulous explanation became the basis for the Court’s famous ruling in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, which turned abortion into a constitutional right on a par with free speech and the right of assembly.
The seven-justice majority in Roe was not greatly troubled by the fact that at the time the 14th Amendment was enacted, 36 states and territories either prohibited or limited abortion and that 21 of those laws still remained on the books in 1973.
Justice Harry Blackman, writing for the majority, nevertheless decided that the Due Process Clause protected abortion, though he conceded that other parts of the Constitution, such as the 9th Amendment, might just as well accomplish the same ends; he wasn’t picky, as long as the results were correct.
After many long hours of diligent study at that famous law library located at the Mayo Clinic (that’s really where the opinion was written), Justice Blackmun even unearthed in the Constitution a three-part scheme for the regulation of abortion: During the first trimester, the state may not regulate abortion at all; during the second trimester, the state may regulate only to protect “maternal health”; and during the third trimester, the state may ban abortion except where it’s necessary to protect the “health of the mother,” broadly defined.
No matter what your view on abortion … it should strike any disinterested observer as preposterous to suggest that the Constitution not only guarantees the right to abortion but also gives the juristocracy leave to micromanage its application down to the trimester. Indeed, Roe has been criticized not only by right-to-lifers, but by scholars with impeccable liberal credentials, such as Archibald Cox, John Hart Ely, and Benno Schmidt.
Blackmun’s regulatory framework essentially stood unchanged until 1992. That year, in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, a 3-justice bloc– Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, and David Souter– issued an opinion piously praising stare decisis while substantially modifying Blackmun’s handiwork. “Roe continues to exist,” wrote Chief Justice Rehnquist in dissent, “but only in the way a storefront on a western movie set exists: a mere facade to give the illusion of reality.”
The three justices, whose plurality opinion spoke for the Court, chucked out the 3-trimester framework. Indeed, they had little choice, since, rather embarrassingly, medical science had moved the point of “viability” into the second trimester, so Justice Blackmun’s carefully wrought Roe opinion allowed the abortion of babies that could live outside the womb.
Along the way, the three justices in Casey appeared to expand the right of privacy to almost boundless proportions: “These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the 14th Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”
It’s hard to see how such a soaring conception can possibly be confined to abortion or contraceptives. Why not the right to sell one’s own body? Or the right to inject any drug imaginable to alter one’s concept of the universe? Or, more to the point, the right to kill that body whenever you please, even if it requires the assistance of somebody else?
Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Limits of Due Process
Carrying this logic to its natural conclusion, two federal appeals courts decided in 1996 that assisted suicide should enjoy constitutional protection. The 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, unearthed this “right” in the Due Process Clause. Ill patients, the court decided, have a liberty interest in killing themselves. The 2nd Circuit, in New York, discovered this “right” in the Equal Protection Clause. New York laws prohibiting assisted suicide but not suicide itself, the court held, discriminated against those seriously ill patients who couldn’t kill themselves.
The U.S. Supreme Court has now repudiated these holdings unanimously … To achieve this outcome, Chief Justice Rehnquist’s majority opinion had to labor mightily– and, to my mind, not very convincingly– to distinguish the assisted suicide controversy from the Court’s prior due process rulings. . . .
The Greenhouse Effect
What’s the real difference between Roe and Casey, on the one hand, and the assisted suicide cases, on the other? Why did the Supreme Court recognize a newfangled “right” in the former instances but not the latter? . . .
The main difference … appears to be the differing climates of elite opinion surrounding those two issues. In 1973, the American Medical Association (AMA) was on record as favoring a right to abort– the fact which Justice Blackmun took slavishly respectful note in Roe. In 1997, by contrast, the AMA opposed the right to physician-assisted suicide. In both instances, the views of the AMA were out of step with the attitudes of many ordinary Americans.
A substantial minority, possibly even a majority, then as now, opposed abortion on demand, while it appears that most Americans (if the opinion polls cited by Judge Reinhardt’s decision are to be believed) today favor a right to physician-assisted suicide. But in both cases it was the AMA, not the hoi polloi, that won the day.
It is easy to draw the cynical conclusion that he justices follow not the election returns but the parlor talk in Georgetown. Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has come up with a pithy term for this phenomenon– the Greenhouse Effect, named in honor of the New York Times’ Supreme Court correspondent, Linda Greenhouse.
It is Judge Silberman’s contention that the desire to curry favor with elite journalists, law professors, and other pillars of the establishment distorts judicial decision-making.
The Supreme Court’s abortion and assisted-suicide jurisprudence certainly lends credence to this thesis. . . .
The Justice Department – From Sellout: The Inside Story of President Clinton’s Impeachment, by David P. Schippers: . . .
It was the morning of Jan 14, 1998 … I saw a message on my desk to call Henry Hyde. … He called me back an hour or so later and said that he, as the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was interested in beginning an oversight of the Justice Department. He told me the Justice Department hadn’t had any oversight for something like twenty years …
He gave me some broad background of what he wanted to do … and we agreed that he’d come out and see me to talk it over.
Then the story broke about the President, the intern, a possible cover-up, and a likelihood that Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr– whose people were already investigating Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual assault on Paula Jones, not to mention Whitewater, former Associate Atty Gen Webb Hubbell, and campaign fund-raising irregularities involving China, Indonesia, and the Riady group– might be involved.
So, the next time I talked to Henry, in the last week of January, he said to me, “Dave, I think there is a possibility that we may have the ‘I’ problem.”
“The ‘I’ problem?”
“God forbid we may have to go into an impeachment inquiry.”
I reminded Henry that not only was I a Democrat, but my cousin Tom Lyons was the Cook County Chairman of the Democratic Party . . .
“Well, it’s highly unlikely it will come to that, but if you’re doing oversight and Starr brings over material, you need to be prepared to changes horses immediately and analyze it.”
I had known Henry since 1968. At that time I was a Democratic appointee to the Illinois Crime Commission, and he was a state representative. One of the first things he said to me was, “Just remember, don’t let anybody interfere with your ideas of what you think is right and wrong; just do what you have to do and everything will be fine.” I always respected him, even if I disagreed with him politically.
I had worked for U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy and was extremely active in Democratic politics– as my entire family had been for generations. I didn’t realize until I was ten that it was “Republican,” not “damn Republican,” and I grew up believing that the lowest thing you could do was to be a registered Democrat and vote Republican. I voted for Bill Clinton. Twice. I did it because he was the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. . . .
Despite all that, I was also interested in doing what sounded like a necessary and important job, and my family supported that decision. . . .
Hyde’s decision to hire me wasn’t popular, as I discovered when he introduced me to the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee. It was no secret that I lacked experience in Washington politics. I often heard people say, “He’s not a K Street lawyer.” By that they meant I wasn’t one of those fancy-suit, $500-an-hour, Ivy League guys from an influential Washington firm. . . .
Our oversight investigation began by analyzing more than a dozen separate allegations concerning the Department of Justice and its subagencies. We knew our time was limited and that once Judge Starr’s referral on impeachable offenses was received, we would have to abandon our efforts in other areas. So we quickly narrowed our scope.
It was narrowed further because the Justice Department flat-out wouldn’t cooperate with our investigation.
We asked to talk to some people in the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). They said, “No.”
We asked to talk to some Assistant U.S. Attorneys. They said, “No.”
And so on.
Henry Hyde arranged a meeting between me and Attorney General Janet Reno and members of her staff so that I could talk this through with her. She promised to cooperate fully– but then added that we would have to clear any interviews with the department.
I reminded her: “We have people who are claiming that their own bosses are doing illegal activities. We’re not going to go through you. We’re going to talk to these people.”
“They’re not allowed to talk to you.”
“If we have people who are Justice Department employees who have information about illegal activity in the Justice Department, I’m not going to go to the Justice Department and tell them who we’re talking to and what they’re telling us.”
“They’re not supposed to talk to you.”
“I really don’t care. We’re going to do it.”
After that meeting, a Justice Department staffer told me: “Dave, you’re not from Washington. You don’t know how we operate out here.”
“You’re right, I’m not from Washington– but you don’t know how I operate. We’re going to get this stuff … If you try to stop us, you may find yourself involved in obstruction of Congress.”
I did this without approval from anybody; I didn’t think I needed it. When I told the Judiciary Committee staff, they were appalled.
All they could say was, “You can’t do that!”
And all I could say was, “I just did.”
INJUSTICE FOR ALL
My staff and I agreed that we needed to focus on the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which appeared to be running out of control.
By the time we came to the subject, investigations by the General Accounting Office (GAO) and congressional committees had already indicated that the White House used the INS to further its political agenda. A blatant politicization of the agency took place during the 1996 presidential campaign when the White House pressured the INS into expediting its “Citizenship USA” (CUSA) program to grant citizenship to thousands of aliens that the White House counted as likely Democratic voters.
To ensure maximum impact, the INS concentrated on aliens in key states— California, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Texas— that hold a combined 181 electoral votes. . . .
The program was placed under the direction of Vice President Al Gore. … He was responsible for keeping the pressure on, to make sure the aliens were pushed through by Sept 1, the last day to register for the presidential election. . . . The White House, the INS, and the Justice Department publicly denied any political motive in the CUSA program to expedite the citizenship procedure. What the United States got is undeniable:
What we had here was a perfect example of the Clinton-Gore administration’s overarching political philosophy: “The ends justify the means,” coupled with “win at any cost.” It was a philosophy of governance that, as our investigations into other areas proceeded, we would find repeated again and again. . . .
In June 1998, as part of our oversight investigation of the Justice Department, we continued the investigation of CUSA. Our interest intensified when we heard unconfirmed reports that a similar plan was in the works for the next presidential election. . . .
In the course of our investigation, we discovered that FBI arrest records were still missing from the proper files; many were still in boxes. We unearthed that several individuals who had been naturalized illegally were now trying to sponsor their relatives fro citizenship. We found sponsors who were unable to speak a word of English, a condition that should have prevented naturalization
Similarly, we uncovered arrest records or other information that should have been disqualifiers for naturalization. But … INS agents who had found these irregularities were ordered to ignore them and to revoke citizenship only in cases ordered by the auditors. . . .
We received no cooperation from either the Justice Department or the INS. Instead we received nothing but complaints about not going through proper channels, investigating old news, being partisan– if not racist– and so on. But we reasoned that if criminals were given citizenship in 1996, at least some of them had probably continued their criminal activity in the two years since.
We asked the GAO … to give us FBI arrest records related to the CUSA program … We reviewed every document in those boxes, pulling out about a hundred of the most violent or serious crimes committed by aliens prior to naturalization and documented by arrest records. … I asked the staff to search for drug trafficking and violent crimes such as rape and child abuse … After a few days … we had our basic 100 heinous crimes, including one criminal who was actually in fail at the time he was naturalized.
We asked the FBI if it had arrest records for crimes committed by the same aliens in this country since 1996 and sent them our 100 profiles.
Less than a week later, the FBI sent the updated arrest records to the Justice Department. (Per an agreement between the FBI and the Justice Dept, all materials requested from the Bureau must go through Justice.) But when we inquired about them, the department claimed that it hadn’t yet received the records. An hour later, however, Justice called back to say that the “misplaced” reports had been located.
Of those one hundred arrest records updated by the Bureau, some 20 percent showed arrests for serious crimes after the subject was given citizenship. …
Based on these random results, we asked for updates on every arrest record in our 20 boxes. …
Unfortunately, before we could go further, the referral from Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr arrived. Had we been given sufficient time to develop evidence and witnesses, the CUSA matter might have been included in the abuse of power impeachment article.
The 1996 arrest records are still available, and I am sure the FBI is still willing to update all of them. In the meantime, thousands of criminals are now citizens of the United States because it was assumed they would vote for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. . . .
* * *
That was just one of the things we were doing during the summer months of 1998. We had investigations opened on the DEA and the Bureau of Prisons, where allegedly a prison employee had killed an inmate in jail and officials there had covered it up.
We were also looking into the many referrals to the Justice Department that had been ignored.
There were accusations that lies had been told about who was on Hillary Clinton’s health care task force. A judge had recommended that the Justice Dept investigate, but nothing had been done.
Allegations of serious campaign abuses in New York had been brought to the Justice Dept, but again no action resulted. . . .
* * *
From Corporate Predators, 5/15/98: On Foreign Bribery, Justice is Out to Lunch. . . . When it comes to prosecuting corporate crimes, Bill Clinton’s Justice Dept is a tiger against the smaller corporate violators, but a pussy cat when it comes to facing down the giant criminals.
The overwhelming majority of environmental corporate criminal prosecutions, for example, are brought against relatively small companies. Does this mean that smaller companies are committing more environmental crimes than bigger companies? Probably not.
It probably means, instead, that big companies have the resources to hire the well-connected corporate defense lawyers who know how to get a case dismissed, or settled as a civil or regulatory matter.
In some areas where big business dominates the field– as in the field of bribing foreign governments– the Justice Dept is just out to lunch.
Lawyers handling foreign bribery cases report there has been a sharp increase in business over the past couple of years.
Homer Moyer Jr., a partner at the corporate defense law firm of Miller & Chevalier, told us last year he has had “more work in this area” in recent years . . .
Why then aren’t newspapers full of stories about how U.S. companies are bribing overseas?
Because the Justice Department is burying the cases. . . .
The Lobbyists – From Washington on $10 Million a Day – How Lobbyists Plunder the Nation:
PIMPS TO POWER
Lobbyists and the Destruction of Democracy
When Fortune published its 1997 list of the nation’s top 500 corporations, the magazine could barely restrain its exuberance. The previous year had been “extraordinary” with regard to profitability, Fortune said, as companies “restructured, reegineered, refinanced, downsized, laid off, split up, and merged their way to prosperity.” . . .
For business and the wealthy, these past few years truly have been the best of times. Profits at Fortune 500 firms rose by 23.3% in 1997, after climbing by 13.4% the previous year.
Salaries for top managers are also soaring. Business Week … says executive pay is “Out of Control.” The magazine reports that the average salary and bonus for CEOs at the nation’s biggest firms rose by 39% in 1996, to $2.3 million. Total compensation, which includes retirement benefits, incentive plans and stock option packages, was up 54%, to $5.7 million.
Corporate America’s hired help didn’t do nearly as well. Workers’ salaries rose about 3% in 1996, leaving average compensation for CEOs at 209 times higher than that of factory workers.
Meanwhile, the wealthy are paying less and less to the treasury in the form of taxes. . .
Corporations are also avoiding tax payments. Two loopholes Congress provided to companies with operations overseas– the foreign tax credit and tax deferral of foreign income– cost the treasury about $24 billion per year. . . .
Huge corporate profits and low taxes for the wealthy do indeed result from a “favorable economic climate,” but there’s nothing magical about it, as Fortune would have you believe.
The politics behind the favorable climate are designed by politicians who are dependent on cash from Corporate America to finance their political careers. The deluge of business dollars– in 1996, the parties and their candidates raised $2.1 billion, an average of $5.75 million every day– means that elected leaders are sure to implement policies designed to fatten their sponsors’ bottom lines.
The link between campaign donations and political policy was brought into sharp focus by the campaign finance scandals that erupted during the 1996 campaign. Even jade observers were started by the Clinton administration’s selling of the Lincoln bedroom to the highest bidder, and its organizing of White House coffee klatsches to reward donors and encourage them to make additional contributions.
But political contributions are only one way that big business wins favors in Washington. …
Understanding how the capital works, and how business prospers here, requires a trip through the world of beltway lobbying and a review of the vast army of hired guns working at the behest of Corporate America.
Dollar for dollar, lobbying is a better investment than campaign contributions– one reason business spends far more on the former than on the latter.
In 1996, Philip Morris coughed up $19.6 million for lobbying programs vs. $4.2 million for campaign donations (making it the leader in both categories). The same pattern holds true with other firms.
For 1996, Georgia Pacific spent $8.9 million for lobbying and handed out $527,000 in political money. Corresponding figures for AT&T are $8.4 million vs. $1.8 million; for Phizer, $8.3 million vs. $775,000; for Boeing, $5.2 million vs. $770,000; for ARCO, $4.3 million vs. $1.4 million; for Lockheed, $3.5 million vs. $1.26 million; for FedEx, $3.1 million vs. $1.9 million; for Dow Chemical $1.5 million vs. $578,000.
In addition to in-house efforts, most big corporations spend lavishly for outside lobbying firms. Lockheed, for example, retains at least two dozen beltway lobby shops to supplement its own efforts, while FedEx has an additional 10 firms on retainer. In 1996, Boeing hired seven outside lobby shops for the sole purpose of pushing renewed Most Favored Nation trade status for China, paying them a combined total of at least $160,000 for their efforts.
While corporate lobbying has long been a major force in American politics, it has been greatly transformed during the past few decades. Today, many efforts involve stealth lobbying– the chief tactic here is mobilizing fake “grassroots” campaigns– or with indirect methods, such as buying research from friendly “think tanks” in order to influence Congress and public opinion.
All of this makes calculating corporate lobbying expenditures nearly impossible, though it’s safe to say that lobbying has now become a multi-billion dollar-per-year industry. . . .
When you consider the enormous benefits bestowed on Corporate America by the White House and Congress, the big sums companies spend to win favors are revealed as chump change. Lockheed’s combined expenditures on lobbying and campaign contributions were about $5 million in 1996. That same year, Lockheed’s lobbyists, with help from other arms makers, won approval for the creation of a new $15 billion government fund that will underwrite foreign weapon sales.
In 1996, Microsoft spent less than $2 million for its combined lobbying and campaign contribution expenditures (the former accounted for more than two-thirds of that amount). The following year, Congress awarded the company tax credits worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the sale of licenses to manufacture its software programs overseas. . . .
It is indisputable … that corporate citizens who retain lobbyists have an enormous advantage in Washington over the regular ones who merely vote. Tommy Boggs, perhaps Washington’s best known influence peddler, charges $550 per hour for his services. That’s a drop in the bucket to Philip Morris, but Boggs’ rate would eat up the average salary earner’s entire annual income after a mere 43 hours of lobbying activity.
That lobbying has corrupted the political system is no secret. During his 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton promised to “break the stranglehold the special interests have on our elections and the lobbyists have on our government.”
Such promises (like many others the president made) were forgotten as soon as the election votes were counted. Clinton picked Vernon Jordan, a top lobbyist and one of Washington’s consummate political insiders, to head his presidential transition team. Among those selected for top administration jobs were Ron Brown, a former colleague of Tommy Boggs at the firm of Patton Boggs; Mickey Kantor of the powerhouse firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; and Howard Paster, a former lobbyist for oil companies, banks and weapons makers. . . .
Republicans criticize Clinton for his coziness with special interests, but they maintain the same intimate relationships with corporate lobbyists. After winning control of Congress in 1994, the GOP house leadership met weekly with “The Thursday Group,” a pack of lobbyists and activists who helped plot legislative and media strategy on the “Contract With America”. Included in this elite troupe were hired guns representing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and Americans for Tax Reform. . . .
* * *
Back in 1993, the hottest political issue in Washington was health care. President Clinton called the American system the “costliest and most wasteful” in the world and promised that when he was through, the American people would be able to stand tall and say, “Your government has the courage, finally, to take on the health care profiteers and make health care affordable for every family.”
The public would have enthusiastically supported a frontal assault on the health care industry …
The public, though, was largely excluded from the debate in Washington, which was dominated by the “health care profiteers” that Clinton had pledged to attack. A report from the Center for Public Integrity found that some 660 groups shelled out more than $100 million to thwart reform between 1993 and 1994.
About one-quarter of that amount took the form of political donations to members of Congress. A good chunk of the rest was paid to hundreds of lobbying and public relations firms that were hired to influence the health care debate.
At least 80 lobbyists working the issue were former members of Congress or the executive branch. William Gradison was a member of Congress on Sunday and head of the Health Insurers Association of America (HIAA)– a trade group of 270 insurance companies and creator of the infamous “Harry and Louise” TV ads– on Monday. The beltway firm Powell Tate was hired by Bristol-Myers Squibb, RJR Nabisco, T2 Medical Inc; Pharmacia & Upjohn, and Searle. For $2 million, according to an internal memorandum, Powell Tate would “sow doubt” about Clinton’s assaults on drug makers and his early calls for price controls on the industry. …
Since average citizens– including nearly 40 million Americans without health care coverage– were not heard from, talk of comprehensive health care reform soon faded. . . .
* * *
The same divide between public opinion and political power can be seen across the board.
People earning less than $22,600 a year outnumber people earning more than $246,000 per year by 40 to 1, but in 1997 Congress passed a plan that reduced the average tax payment for those in the latter category by $16,000, while increasing annual taxes for those in the former by $19.
With the end of the Cold War, most Americans hoped for a “peace dividend” in the form of reduced spending for the military and more money for social programs. Yet, year after year, Congress and the White House continue to lard the Pentagon with hundreds of billions of dollars while cutting social expenditures to the bone. Welfare programs have been eliminated so that Cold War relics such as Northrop’s B-2 bomber can be preserved.
Such outcomes are predictable given the overwhelming influence exerted on the political system by Corporate America’s hired guns. Indeed, the American political system is now presided over by lobbyists: they organize fund-raisers and otherwise keep lawmakers supplied with campaign cash. They open doors for clients at the White House and government agencies.
Because many formerly served in government, they know the rules and how to bend them. . . .
The Media – From If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates:
Author Jim Hightower describes a Sept. 1998 forum convened by the New York University School of Law, titled “Strengthening Democracy in the Global Economy”:
The dialogue, rather pathetically, was between the globalization establishment and the globalization establishment — Bill and Hillary were there, England’s Clinton clone Tony Blair was perkily present, Wall Street execs were prominently arrayed, media barons were there . . .
Not present were the people who actually are fighting for democracy in the anti-democratic global economy that this crowd has done so much to build. Nonetheless, the show went on, with some thirty television cameras and all the right newspapers covering it as though something real were happening.
Luckily, the iconoclastic Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper’s magazine, wandered into this gathering of soft-headed and soft-handed establishmentarians and was there when the one discordant note of the day was hit. It went unreported, except later in Lapham’s own column . . .
Until the “incident,” Lewis wrote, the proceedings were going according to script. He observed that the panelists were expert at the decorous, somnolent mouthing of all the approved conventional wisdoms of the moment, including the self-reassuring line that the recent untidiness in Asia, where the work of the global schemers in this very room had come spectacularly unglued, was not their fault or the fault of the scheme itself. No, no, no — it was the crude implementation of the scheme by Asia’s own governmental leaders and bankers, don’t you see … Lapham likened the tone of the dialogue to “the murmur of contented bees.”
But then Laura Tyson spoke up unexpectedly and out of turn. The former head of Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors, she has now retreated to the security of academia, where she apparently has reclaimed her own voice. As Lapham describes the unusual moment, she “interrupted the discussion to observe that the heavy capital flows that had drowned the Asian economies didn’t come from Asia. They came from Europe and the United States.”
“What we are talking about here,” she said, “is greed . . . stupidity, cowardice, and greed . . . about investors in London and Paris and New York seizing the prey of easy profits and then, when the luck went bad, seeking to transfer their markers to a government . . . about privatizing the gains, socializing the losses.”
Wow! Wonder why that outburst didn’t make the nightly news?
Could it be because General Electric (which owns NBC), Westinghouse (which owns CBS), Disney (which owns ABC), NewsCorporation (which owns Fox), and Time Warner (which owns CNN) are all heavily into globalization schemes of their own and don’t need any public questioning of the underlying correctness of the concept that their news networks have pushed as an absolute truth — especially criticism from an insider? . . .
Not only did the only newsworthy comment of the day fail to get a single second of airtime, it also failed to get a single response at this so-called dialogue. Lewis Lapham completes the story: “The distinguished company didn’t pursue Ms. Tyson’s line of argument. A gentleman associated with Goldman Sachs coughed discreetly into his microphone, Hillary Clinton smiled at a television camera, two media hierarchs adjusted their ties, and the murmuring resumed.”
* * *From Derailing Democracy: . . . It has been almost 40 years since President Eisenhower, in his final address to the nation before leaving office in 1961, issued a rather extraordinary warning to the American people that the country “must guard against unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”
Following the same course that virtually every other major industry has in the last two decades, a relentless series of mergers and corporate takeovers has consolidated control of the media into the hands of a few corporate behemoths. The result has been that an increasingly agenda has been sold to the American people by a massive, multi-tentacled media machine that has become, for all intents and purposes, a propaganda organ of the state. . . .
And it is certainly true that by all outward appearances the United States does appear to have the very epitome of a free press. . . . Yet behind this picture of plurality there are clear warning signs that an increasingly incestuous relationship exists between the media titans and the corporate military powers that Eisenhower so feared.
For example, the number-one purveyor of broadcast news in this country– NBC, with both MSNBC and CNBC under its wing, as well as NBC news and a variety of “news magazines”– is now owned and controlled by General Electric, one of the nation’s largest defense contractors.
Is it not significant that as GE’s various media subsidiaries predictably lined up to cheerlead the use of U.S. military force in Kosovo, it was at the same time posting substantial profits from the sale of the high tech tools of modern warfare it so shamelessly glorifies? . . .
Equally alarming is that those viewers choosing to change channels to CNN, the reigning king of the cable news titans, were treated to the surreal daily spectacle of watching Christiane Amapour, who is the wife os State Department mouthpiece James Rubin, analyze her husband’s daily press briefings, as though she could objectively respond to the mounds of disinformation spewing forth from the man with whom she shares her morning coffee. Were it to occur elsewhere, would this not be denounced as symptomatic of a state-run press? . . .
We all know that ambitious reporters are driven by an obsessive desire to get “the scoop.” Does not the mere existence of literally thousands of print and broadcast news sources, all keeping their eyes on the Pulitzer Prize, provide ipso facto proof of a free press? Does it not guarantee that all the news that merits reporting will arrive on our doorstep each morning in a relatively objective form?
This is a perfectly logical argument, yet there is substantial evidence that suggests that competition does not in itself overcome the interests of the corporate media.
For example, while saturation coverage is given to such non-news events as the premier of a new Star Wars movie, there has not been a single American media source reporting the fact that the first successful human clones have been created, despite the staggering implications of such a scientific milestone. Surely a press motivated by competition to break the big story would have stumbled upon this one by now, especially considering that as of this writing, more than a year has passed since the world was blessed with the first human clone, courtesy of an American biotechnology firm (American Cell Technology).
Of course, this could be due not to media suppression, but to the simple fact that the press failed to uncover this story. However … this is far from being the only newsworthy event that the American media have failed to take note of, as evidenced throughout this book. It also fails to explain why the British press seem to have had little trouble unearthing this particular story, or why the U.S. news media continued to ignore the issue even after it had appeared in print in the U.K. Had this story been aired by our own press corps, it surely would have received an overwhelmingly negative response. This is, no doubt, the very reason that this story, as well as countless others, has failed to make its American debut. . . .
* * *
“You know the one thing that is wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say.” — President William J. Clinton
* * *“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” — Former CIA Director William Colby
The Money Men – From The Money Men, by Jeffrey H. Birnbaum: . . . If you assume that campaign money is so distasteful that you don’t want
to hear any more about it, you’re closing your mind to one of the most fundamental and most fascinating stories in American politics. It’s okay
to be outraged– more than okay. But it’s wrong to be so disgusted that you don’t want to read another word.
Take, for example, the real-life picture we should have of our elected officials. It’s wrong to think of them sitting studiously through boring congressional hearings or making speeches to Rotary Club luncheons. Think of them, instead, in windowless offices grubbing for money almost every spare moment they get. Fund-raising is so essential to their reelections yet takes so much time that politicians have invented a virtual science of efficient solicitation.
Here’s the typical scene: The lawmaker or would-be lawmaker sits at a desk surrounded by telephones. Aides seated nearby (there are usually 2 or 3 aides, but I’ve heard about instances involving as many as 8) dial up contributors and stay on the line until the would-be fund giver comes on. Then they put that person on hold until the lawmaker gets to their line. The politician is thus able to move seamlessly from one begging session to another, and groveling can go on nonstop.
So there’s a picture for the ages: democracy on hold, literally.
Here’s another one: Around a conference table in the suite of the Speaker of the House … a dozen lobbyists and trade-association executives plot strategy with the highest-ranking lawmakers in Congress. This isn’t an occasional meeting. It happens every week. On Thursday. At 11 AM. It even has a title: the Thursday Group. . . .
The point is that money men are players. They aren’t dark figures lurking in the background, plotting political intrigue. They are central to the drama. They make a difference in the way laws are made and implemented. Without them, the politicians wouldn’t be politicians. And they insist on, and invariably get, politicians’ attention. That’s the way it works. . . .
~ ~ ~
Money, money everywhere. But not all of it carries the same weight. And not all of it goes to candidates. The laws and rules that govern political fund-raising are many and peculiar. They also are largely ignored. . . .
At the federal level, the most that any person can donate to a candidate is $1,000 per election. Political-action committees (PACs), which are amalgams of individuals, can give $5,000. But that’s just the start. Individuals, labor unions, and corporations can give as much as they want to political parties.
That’s the so-called soft money or, more appropriately, sewer money. This money, in effect, is used to make a mockery of the limits on direct giving to candidates. Think of it as legal cheating. . . .
We live, then, in a new era: the Greed Era.
The candidate or interest group with the largest treasury has a massive advantage. As a candidate, the fuller your bank account, the higher your chance of victory in political skirmishes. But, like the cold war, these aren’t one sided battles. . . . The more one side antes up, the more the other side raises in response. This is true in elections and in fights in Congress over legislation. There’s an arms race in political-money land, escalating all the time.
Here’s what that means: The country’s first presidential primary is not in New Hampshire but on K Street in Washington (the lobbyists’ main drag), on Wall Street in New York City, and on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. . . .
The presidential candidates who are able to collect the magic sum of $15 million by the time of the New Hampshire primary are the only ones who have any chance of attaining their party’s nomination.
And the only way to raise that much is to charm the money men. . . .
* * *
Whoever Wins, They Win
Double-Giving in the Presidential Campaign
If there were a standard corporate mission statement on political giving, it might go something like this:
“Spread the money around. To more than one candidate, and to more than one party.”
It is commonplace for large political donors to hedge their bets by currying favor with all the candidates, so that whoever wins, they win.
This phenomenon of double-giving is amply demonstrated in the current presidential campaign. Public Campaign’s analysis of large individual contributions ($200+) to Bill Bradley, George W. Bush, Al Gore, and John McCain in 1999 reveals that:
� Forty-seven companies and organizations that appear on the donor list of three or more presidential candidates gave a total of at least $50,000 overall.
� Forty-five of these companies are playing the entire field, showing up on all four of the front-runners’ donor lists.
� For each of these companies, no less than 20 percent of the total went to candidates of either one party or the other—-that is, a substantial amount of their money went to both Democrats and Republicans.2
� Every company on the top ten list of double-givers is in the finance business—-investment, insurance, accounting, and banking—-with the exception of the entertainment giant Time Warner.
Top Ten Double-Givers to Presidential Campaigns
|Rank||Company/Organization||Number of Candidates Receiving Contributions||Total||Dems||Dem %||Repubs||Repub %|
|1||Goldman, Sachs & Co||4||$463,814||$325,200||70%||$138,614||30%|
|2||Ernst & Young||4||$355,077||$200,175||56%||$154,902||44%|
|5||Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter & Co*||4||$244,550||$117,000||48%||$127,550||52%|
|10||Bank of America*||4||$153,150||$58,100||38%||$95,050||62%|
|Data downloaded from the FEC on 2/1/00 by the Center for Responsive Politics and standardized according to employer. Only donors giving at least 20 percent of their total to either Democrats or Republicans
* Total came from more than one affiliate or subsidiary.
When generous contributors spread their money in this way, they demonstrate that many campaign contributions are solely about buying access and influence, not supporting any particular candidate or philosophy. What is most important is the guarantee of access no matter which person is elected.
This naked buying and selling of influence is at the heart of presidential campaign financing for the 2000 elections, and is a top priority for many of this country’s most powerful financial, communications, and law firms.
This analysis also demonstrates, once again, that “soft money”—-the most visible and outrageous form of campaign finance corruption—-is not the core of the problem. Of course, most of the companies in the double-giving business are also generous soft-money donors, often to both the Democratic and Republican parties. However, it is important to note that all the contributions analyzed in this study are old-fashioned hard money contributions, subject to the $1,000 per person, per candidate legal limits. There is nothing in the law, however, to prevent every single executive in a large company, along with every member of his or her family, from donating the $1,000 maximum. Through this common practice of “bundling,” donors are able to multiply their clout with campaigns.
If soft money were banned, or, as some in Congress are currently proposing, merely capped along with an increase in hard money contribution limits, none of this would change in the slightest. If anything, such changes would merely intensify candidates’ dependence on hard money donors, especially the deep-pocketed double-giving firms highlighted in this report.
The only way to end this cynical purchase of political influence is to create a clean, alternative way for candidates to finance their campaigns—-“clean money” full public financing for candidates who agree to raise no private money whatsoever.
Spreading campaign contributions to more than one candidate, and often more than one party, is a time-honored strategy practiced by the politically savvy.
One of the best known examples of this phenomenon are the sugar-growing Fanjul brothers of Florida. For years, they have managed to fight off attacks on the federal sugar loan support program that is worth more than $65 million a year for their business. Their secret? Alfonso “Alfy” Fanjul is a major Democratic donor; Jose “Pepe” Fanjul is a major Republican donor. Meanwhile, consumers pay $1.2 billion more per year for sugar than they otherwise would.
This year’s presidential contest shows financial companies spreading the most money to candidates of both parties.
Wall Street investment firms Goldman, Sachs and Morgan, Stanley Dean Witter show up on the top twenty contributor lists of Bill Bradley, George W. Bush, Al Gore, and John McCain. So does the banking and insurance giant Citigroup. The accounting firm Ernst & Young made the top twenty donor list for three out of four of the main candidates, as did Time Warner, as reported by the Center for Responsive Politics.
These contributions do not flow from the companies themselves—-that would be illegal—-but rather from executives and their families. Nevertheless, there is method involved. Listen to Jeffrey Hirschberg, an executive with Ernst and Young and a Democrat loyalist and top fundraiser for presidential candidate Al Gore.
“The reason to be involved in the political process with campaign contributions on a bipartisan basis is very simple,” Hirschberg told the Boston Globe in 1996. “You can”t get anything done in this city [Washington, D.C.] unless it’s on a bipartisan basis.”
While Hirschberg raises money for Gore, his colleague, Les Brorsen, is one of George W. Bush’s “pioneers,” who have pledged to raise at least $100,000 apiece for their candidate.
The most generous double-givers have a long lobbying “to-do” list.
For example, investment firms have been lobbying to get a larger chunk of Americans’ retirement funds by privatizing Social Security. Investment and accounting firms are also fighting to save elaborate tax shelters that they invent and market to their corporate clients.
Renewing “normal” trade status with China is another high priority for financial companies, as is federal regulation of commodities and derivatives markets.
Time Warner needs government approval for its proposed merger with America On Line (which is #25 on the double-giving list). The White House will have a big role in all of these issues—-plus many more.
The companies generously donating to all the presidential candidates have obviously concluded it will pay to have a friend in the White House—-and their double-, triple- and quadruple-giving guarantees that they will. . . .
For more, GO TO > > > A Simple Solution to Campaign Finance Reform
The Population Council – On Sept 28, 2000, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the “abortion pill” RU-486 for use in the
This represents the first time in our nation’s history that our government has ever approved a drug for the specific purpose of taking the life of another human being.
~ ~ ~
From Population Council web site: Our Mission . . . to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance people and resources.
What is the Population Council? We are an international, nonprofit institution that conducts research on three fronts: biomedical, social science, and public health. This research– and the information it produces– helps change the way people think about problems related to reproductive health and population growth. . . .
Who started the Council, and why? The Council was established in 1952 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, to search for a better understanding of problems relating to population. A humanitarian, Mr. Rockefeller was deeply affected by trips to densely populated regions of South and East Asia in 1950, where millions of people were living at subsistence level and the population was growing rapidly.
What is the Council’s budget? Our 1999 expenditures were US$66.7 million . . . The budget for 2000 is US $76 million. . . .
~ ~ ~
And where did the $66.7 million expenditures in 1999 come from? According to the Council, 3% came from Multilateral Organizations; 6% came from Foreign Governments; 12% came from Internal Funds; 20% came from (unnamed) Nongovernmental Organizations and Individuals; and59% CAME FROM U.S. TAXPAYERS!
~ ~ ~
And how were our tax dollars (and other tax deductible contributions) spent? According to the Population Council’s 1999 Annual Financial Report, $37,188,000 went to “International Programs”; $13,033,000 went to the Center for Biomedical Research; $4,753,000 went to “Policy Research Division“; $359,000 went to “Distinguished Colleagues“; $1,289,000 went to Publications; $9,581,000 went to Management & General Services; and $515,000 went to Fundraising.
~ ~ ~
And before actually spending our tax dollars, where did they repose? Well, the website doesn’t say, but I suspect that a good number of them were having fun in the sun in the Cayman Islands or some other off-shore tax-haven, or residing in the Bank of New York, Citibank or other insider-favored institution. What this non-profit, tax exempt entity does tell us, however, is that in 1999 they had total assets of $176,280,000. Of this total, $110,049,000 was in Cash and Investments.
They also tell us that investment managers received 1% (or around $1,104,900 according to my fourth-grade fuzzy math) for the privilege of taking care of all this (former) taxpayer money.
And, for this handsome sum you would think that these wise old financial owls would earn an equally handsome return on investments in the raging bull market of 1999, wouldn’t you? Well, according to my fuzzy Economy 101 reading of the financial statements, these experts had a Net Unrealized Loss in Fair Value of Investments of $9,077,000 for the year.
For more, GO TO > > > The Greatest Greed on Earth
The Republican Party – From The Buying of the President 2000: . . . If it wasn’t the “greatest robbery in the history of mankind,” it certainly will
go down as one of the most morally reprehensible.
Switzerland — the Swiss National Bank and its private banks– took in more looted Nazi gold than anyone ever remotely imagined, at least an estimated $4 billion in today’s money. It has been suggested … that World War II may have been prolonged by months as a result.
Nearly all of the gold stolen by the Nazis came from central banks in occupied countries or Germany, but one-sixth came from individuals, including Jews who were systematically murdered in Nazi concentration camps. Gold was melted down from wedding rings and gold teeth extracted from corpses at Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. . . .
In 1995 this story exploded around the world, and soon the United States– with the largest number of Holocaust survivors in the world– became a hotbed of reactivity for the jittery Swiss.
The Swiss were concerned about being shut out of U.S. markets. They faced class-action lawsuits and were threatened with sanctions from hundreds of local U.S. officials in New York, California, and Pennsylvania. And they were up against Senate and House Banking Committee investigations.
By late 1996 the Swiss government was reeling from revelations, and the field of action had become the U.S. Congress. Republican Alfonse D’Amato of New York, then the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, had presented acutely embarrassing information about the Swiss banks in April and October, and hundreds of journalists from all over the world pursued him and his aides in a feeding frenzy. The Swiss were already represented by at least one prominent law firm in Washington, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, but clearly they needed more political muscle in the United States.
And to whom did the descendants of “Adolf Hitler’s money launderers” turn for help?
The Swiss government retained the lobbying firm of Haley Barbour, the chairman of the National Republican Committee, for $20,000 a month. In a letter of agreement with Ambassador Carlo Jagmetti at the embassy of Switzerland, Lanny Griffith, Barbour’s partner, wrote, “We are eager to assist the Swiss government managing the controversy arising out of allegations of Swiss banking practices before, during, and after World War II and relating to the Holocaust.”
“Maybe they thought if they get the former Republican National Committee chairman, he would have influence over us,” Gregg Rickman, then an aide to D’Amato who directed the Senate Banking Committee’s investigation, … told the Center for Public Integrity. . . .
* * *
Barbour’s firm began representing the Swiss during his final weeks as the chairman of the Republican National Committee. But the firm, in correspondence to the Justice Department, tried to hide Barbour’s financial ties to the controversial foreign client.
But behind the subterfuge was a more serious matter. In December 1996, when Barbour’s lobbying firm informed the Justice Department of its new client, papers were also filed there showing that Barbour owned a full, equal partnership in the company.
This was not illegal, but it did reveal for the first time that Barbour had lied to the public and his fellow Republicans for four years. . . .
* * *
For more GO TO > > > A Flock of Flying Elephants; The Elephants Nests
For More >>> The Buying of the President
For More >>> A Simple Solution to Campaign Finance Reform
For More >>> George W. Bush, Jr. – The Untold Stories
For More >>> Year of the Dragon?
For More >>> VOTE.com
The Seven Sisters – In his book, Diplomacy by Deception, Dr. John Coleman writes that petroleum companies have a major impact in foreign
policy-making. He writes that Mexico, for example, is a classic case of their policy-making ability which transcends national boundaries and
cost American consumers a huge fortune.
Dr. Coleman writes that oil was the foundation of a new economic order, with undisputed power in the hands of a few people hardly known outside of the petroleum industry, and that the major oil companies have formed the most successful cartel in the history of commerce.
The seven major oil companies in this cartel have been labeled “The Seven Sisters”.
They consist of Exxon (called Esso in Europe), Shell, BP (British Petroleum), Gulf, Texaco, Mobile and Socol-Chevron.
Dr. Coleman writes: Together they form part of a major network of interlocking, interfacing banks, insurance companies and brokerage houses controlled by the Committee of 300, which are hardly known outside their circle.
Dr. Coleman maintains that the One World Government, or New World Order upper-level government, brooks no interference from anyone, no matter who it might be — national governments, the rulers of nations great and small, corporations or private people. Dr. Coleman writes that these supranational giants have expertise and accounting methods that have flummoxed the best brains in government, and remain out of reach.
Through diplomacy by deception, Dr. Coleman writes, the majors were able to induce governments to parcel out oil concessions to them, no matter who opposed it.
He maintains that, in secret, the Seven Sisters club has plotted wars and decided amongst themselves which governments must bow to their depredations:
When trouble arises … it’s only a matter of calling upon the right air force, navy, intelligence service to solve the problem and get rid of the ‘nuisance.’
~ ~ ~
According to Dr. Coleman: The Seven Sisters became a government within a government . . .
“What is our policy in Angola?,” he asks. “It is to protect Gulf Oil properties in that country, even though it means supporting an avowed Marxist.”
“Is any other group so exalted, so favored with showers of tax concessions that run into billions of dollars per annum?”
Dr. Coleman says that he is often asked why it is that the American domestic petroleum industry, once so bustling and full of promise, went into a steep decline.
The answer, he says, is “GREED“.
For this reason, Dr. Coleman maintains that domestic production of oil had to be curtailed, in case the public should ever discover what was going on.
“What does the American public know about what goes on in the oil politics of Saudi Arabia?” he asks. “Even while making record profits, the petroleum industry demands and gets additional tax breaks, both open — and hidden — from public view.”
“Have the citizens of the United States benefitted from the huge profits made by Exxon, Texaco, Chevron and Mobile (before it was sold)?” he asks. “The answer is no, because most of the profit was made ‘up-stream’ — that is, outside of the United States, which is where the profits were kept, while the U.S. consumer paid ever-rising prices for gas at the pumps. . . .”
Dr. Coleman writes that the oil companies, by various stratagems, had entrenched themselves with King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia.. The king, according to Dr. Coleman, worried that Israel would one day threaten his country and strengthen the Israeli lobby in Washington, and needed something that would give him an edge. The State Department, at the urging of the Rockefellers, said it could only follow a pro-Saudi policy without upsetting Israel by using Exxon (ARAMCO) as a front. This information was given to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It was so sensitive that committee staffers were not even allowed to see it.
Rockefeller had in fact paid only a small fee, $500,000, to secure a major oil concession from Ibn Saud. According to Dr. Coleman, after considerable diplomacy, a deception was worked out — a deception which cost the American taxpayers at least $50 million in its first year.
According to Dr. Coleman, what came out of the discussions between Exxon and Ibn Saud is known as “the Golden Gimmick” … The American oil companies agreed to pay a subsidy to the Saudi ruler of not less than $50 million a year, based on the amount of Saudi oil pumped. The State Department would then allow the American companies to declare such subsidy payments as “foreign income tax,” which Rockefeller, for example, could deduct from Exxon’s U.S. taxes.
Dr. Coleman writes that with production of cheap Saudi oil soaring, so did the subsidy payments soar. “This is one of the greatest scams perpetrated upon the American public,” he says.. “The bottom line of the plan was that huge foreign aid payments were made annually to the Saudis under the guise of ‘subsidies’. When the Israeli government uncovered the scheme, it too, demanded ‘subsidies’ which today amount to $13 billion per annum — all at the expense of the American taxpayers.“
“Since the American consumer actually helps pay for cheaper imported crude oil than domestic crude oil, shouldn’t we benefit from this arrangement through cheaper gasoline prices at the pumps?” Coleman asks. “No way,” he says.. “Apart from geopolitical considerations, ‘the majors’ are also guilty of price fixing. The cheap Arab oil for instance, was fixed at the higher domestic crude oil price when imported into the United States by a subterfuge known as ‘phantom freight rates’.”
“According to hard evidence presented to the Multi-national Hearings in 1975, the major oil companies … made 70 percent of their profits abroad, profits which could not be taxed at the time. With the bulk of their profits coming from ‘up stream’, the petroleum industry was not about to make a major investment in the domestic oil industry. As a consequence, the domestic oil industry began to decline. Why spend money on the exploration and exploitation of domestic oil when it was theirs for the asking in Saudi Arabia– at a cheaper price than the local product and at a far bigger profit? The unsuspecting American consumer was and is being shafted, without knowing it. . . .”
“The policies of the petroleum companies cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars in additional taxation and billions of dollars in excess profits at the pumps,” says Dr. Coleman. “The petroleum industry, and, in particular, Exxon, has no fear of the U.S. government,” he says.
“Thanks to the control exercised by the permanent upper-level parallel secret government of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rockefeller is untouchable.”
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency – From Oil & Gas Journal, 8/29/00:
US TDA To Assist Nigeria With Energy Infrastructure Projects
During US President Clinton’s trip to Nigeria, US Trade and Development Agency Director J. Joseph Grandmaison announced Aug. 27 in Abuja the agency’s approval of $1,605 million in grant assistance [aka US taxpayers’ money] for priority infrastructure projects in the country. These grants are the first offered since TDA officially opened in Nigeria following the country’s successful transition to a democractically elected government in 1999.
Among the grants are two related to the energy industry. The first, a $400,000 grant to Nigeria Gas Corp., will provide funds for a feasibility study on the domestic use of natural gas, the country’s dominant energy resource. . . . Also in the energy sector, TDA announced its recent approval of a $360,000 grant to the Warri Refining & Petrochemical Company to fund a premium gasoline and aviation fuel feasibility study in Nigeria. . . .
Triads – From The Laundrymen: . . . The Triads are the most notorious of the Chinese mobs — a blood brotherhood that materialized in the
seventeenth century to overthrow the Ching Dynasty.
When their rebellion ultimately failed two centuries later, many of their members fled to Hong Kong, Indochina, and North America.
Independent units linked by an oath of fraternity, the Triads do everything from drug trafficking and money laundering to business extortion and burglary. They are the primary force within Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle. Spanning the mountains and valleys that cut across the borders of Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar — which used to be called Burma — the region produces anywhere from 60 to 120 tons of heroin annually. A kilo of this Triad-distributed drug wholesales between $400,000 and $600,000. Cut to 6-percent purity, the street value can easily reach $10 million.
Triad is unquestionably the most powerful force in the world’s heroin trade . . .
Police in Hong Kong have identified 57 active Triad organizations, which have offshoots in Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Australia.
But their real future lies in North America. . . .
Today, Chinese gangs are securely established in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and Vancouver. They have long had a presence in London, and are now beginning to show up in places where they have no traditional ties, such as Germany. Police there recently raided ninety Chinese restaurants, questioned 653 people, arrested 102 of them, and seized 24 false passports, more than $1 million in cash, large amounts of cocaine and heroin, and several weapons.
They also uncovered evidence of what the police described as “Mafia-type” money laundering schemes. . . .
* * *
From Year of the Rat: . . . Our Tale of Three Cities — Macao, Los Angeles, and Phnom Penh (the capital of Cambodia) — explains how ethnic Chinese criminal gangs, called Triads, created their own money conduit to the Clinton White House, for their own benefit and for their business partners in Beijing. They visited the White House many times, made illegal contributions to the Clinton-Gore reelection campaign, and were photographed at the place of honor beside the president and vice president of the United States. . . .
The Chinese Triads and the Sicilian Mafia share certain characteristics– they’re in the same lines of business. A 1998 U.S. Justice Dept report listed Triad business as “narcotics trafficking, money laundering, contract murders, illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, interstate prostitution rings and alien smuggling.” . . .
As the Canadians point out, since a major goal of the Triads is to infiltrate legitimate business, their own appearance of legitimacy is important:
“Triad members work very hard at ingratiating themselves with police, government officials and politicians. The easiest way for them is by making substantial donations to charitable organizations, joining service clubs, donating funds to universities, sometimes obtaining honorary doctorate degrees, or contributing to political parties … Public photographs of Triad figures with politicians is another favorite technique.” . . .
As early as 1982, Triad leaders were trying to buy access to the Democratic Party. Before he fled the country for South America, New York City Triad leader Eddie Chan was bragging about his political contributions to former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro’s (D-NY) reelection campaign. The amount of money he actually contributed wasn’t really that high– $1,000 according to the New York Times– but it’s useful to show intent.
A decade later– the Clinton-Gore era– the money would really begin to roll in. . . .
Tyson Foods – In his remarkable book, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton, investigative reporter Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes:
“I had been given comprehensive intelligence files from the Criminal Investigations Division of the Arkansas State Police, going back as far as the early 1970’s . . . I was scarcely able to believe what I was seeing. Among the famous names of the Arkansas oligarchy that jumped out from page after page of criminal intelligence files was Don Tyson, the billionaire president of Tyson Foods and the avuncular patron of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. . . .
“The documents I was looking at made me wonder about the origins of his liquidity. Here were files from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, marked DEA SENSITIVE, under the rubric of the ‘Donald TYSON Drug Trafficking Organization.’
“One was from the DEA office in Oklahoma City, dated December 14, 1982. It cited a confidential informant alleging that ‘TYSON smuggles cocaine from Colombia, South America inside race horses to Hot Springs, Arkansas.’ . . .
“A second document from the DEA office in Tucson, dated July 9, 1984, stated that ‘the Cooperating Individual had information concerning heroin, cocaine and marijuana trafficking in the States of Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri by the TYSON organization.’ The informant described a place called ‘THE BARN’ which TYSON used as a ‘stash’ location for large quantities of marijuana and cocaine. . . .”
* * *
From Corporate Predators: Clean Food or Irradiated Dirty Food? (12/8/97): The irradiation industry is betting that consumers will settle for the latter.
Earlier this month, in response to a petition filed by Isomedix, a New Jersey radiation firm, the Food and Drug administration (FDA) authorized the use of irradiation– a process by which food is exposed to high levels of nuclear radiation– for meat products including beef, lamb and pork. Irradiation is already permitted in the United States for poultry. Irradiation kills significant numbers of micro-organisms, such as e. coli.
Companies like Isomedix are hoping to ride the wave of justified public concern over outbreaks of e. coli and other food contaminants to overcome consumer resistance to the controversial irradiation process. Public opinion polls show three quarters of the population oppose irradiation and would refuse to eat irradiated food.
There are sound reasons underlying consumer resistance to irradiation.
First, although the FDA has approved the use of irradiation, there are serious uncertainties surrounding the safety of irradiated foods. “No long-term studies on the safety of eating irradiated beef have been conducted, and the effects on humans are unknown,” notes Michael Colby, executive director of Food & Water, Inc., a Vermont-based food safety organization that is the leading opponent of food irradiation.
Second, irradiation kills “good” as well as “bad” bacteria. That means if beef becomes contaminated after irradiation, dangerous bacteria will be free to multiply without competition from harmless bacteria.
Third, irradiation fails to deal with the real food safety problem: unhealthy conditions on animal farms and in slaughterhouses and packing-houses.
In the last two decades, the meat and poultry industries have become tremendously concentrated, with each sector dominated by a handful of giants like ConAgra, Cargill, Perdue and Tyson. These companies buy animals raised on “factory farms,” where the animals are confined to small spaces in which bacteria can easily spread.
The animals are transported to increasingly mechanized slaughterhouses and processing plants, where feces routinely spill or spray on meat, and chicken carcasses are dipped in cold water tanks contaminated with fecal material. Animals pass by workers on the corporate assembly lines at staggering speeds– often too fast for the workers to maintain proper sanitation standards, or even to identify contaminants on meat or poultry.
Genuinely insuring a safe food supply requires addressing these conditions so that animals are raised, slaughtered and processed in sanitary conditions.
There are other reasons to reject irradiation. At existing irradiation facilities (which overwhelmingly sterilize products like medical equipment rather than food), there is already a disturbing record of worker overexposure to nuclear radiation and of improper disposal of radioactive waste. . . .
Although it has urged the government not to permit irradiation, Food & Water’s emphasis has been on directing consumer pressure to food suppliers– from McDonald’s to Hormel to supermarket chains– extracting commitments that they will not sell irradiated food products. …
The solution to the problem of dirty and contaminated meat and poultry is to clean up the beef, pork and poultry farms and the factories in which animals are slaughtered and processed– not to expose the food to nuclear radiation.
That’s the message consumers must send to the beef, pork and poultry companies, supermarkets, restaurant chains and other big food distributors.
* * *
From The Secret Life of Bill Clinton: . . . But the past is beginning to catch up with Don Tyson.
He has been named as an official target in the criminal probe by Independent Counsel Donald Smaltz, who was appointed to investigate bribery allegations against Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, who was later indicted. His chief lobbyist, Robert Greene, has been indicted for lying to investigators in the case. From small beginnings, the Smaltz investigation has widened into a full-scale probe of the Tyson business empire, provoking vehement accusations that it is a “politically motivated witch hunt.”
The Espy affair is a textbook case of Arkansas mores penetrating the U.S. federal government. CBS News’ 60 Minutes reported that Espy was flown to Arkansas to seek the blessing of Don Tyson before he was nominated to his cabinet post.
Once installed at the Agriculture Department, Espy proved to be a friend of the chicken industry. The department scuttled a plan for tougher standards on poultry fecal contamination.
This required shifting the bureaucratic machinery into reverse gear. The plan had already been drawn up, approved, and was set for implementation. The effect was to reduce the likelihood that Tyson products would face random inspection. . . .
United Nations – In his revealing book, Diplomacy by Deception, Dr. John Coleman writes that it was not until April 18, 1945 that the League of
Nations dissolved itself, transferring all of its assets (mainly money taken from the German people after WWI, and war loans not repaid by the
allies to the U.S.) to the United Nations.
“The money that the League of Nations transferred to the United Nations rightfully belonged to the sovereign people of the United States,” says Coleman. “The U.S. had advanced billions of dollars to so-called allies to pull their chestnuts out of the fire after they’d picked a quarrel with Germany in 1914 and were in dire danger of losing the fight.”
“In 1923, a U.S. observer was sent to the Lausanne Conference of the Allied Powers for discussions on repayment of the $10.4 billion owed to the U.S., and splitting up the Middle East oil-producing countries between themselves. … The first repayment agreement was reached with Britain, which was to repay war loans over a 62-year period, at interest of 3.3 percent.
“In Nov of 1925 and Apr of 1926, the U.S. reached agreements with Italy and France to repay their share of war loans over the same period. By May of 1930, 17 nations who had been loaned money by the U.S. had signed agreements to repay all of their war loans, amounting to nearly $11 billion.
“In Nov of 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected the first openly socialist President … On instructions from Chatham House, Roosevelt lost no time in winking at the horrendous default on the loan agreements signed by the allies. By Dec 15 1932, all of the nations who owed the U.S. billions of dollars for war debts were in default. Britain was the largest debtor and the largest defaulter.”
According to Dr. Coleman, “A substantial amount of this money … went into the coffers of the League of Nations, and eventually wound up in the coffers of the United Nations. Thus, not only did America needlessly sacrifice its soldier-sons on the battlefields of Europe, but had its pockets picked as well by the nations that began the First World War.”
Dr. Coleman maintains that the warmed-over League of Nations was thrust upon the U.S. Senate in 1945, dressed under a new label: the United Nations Treaty.
“The senators were given only three days to discuss the implications of the treaty,” says Coleman. “The United Nations is not a sovereign body, having no measurable territory of its own. It is housed on U.S. territory in New York in a building loaned by the Rockefellers. Under the U.S. Constitution, we cannot make a treaty with any nation or body that lacks sovereignty.”
Coleman maintains that some legislators saw through the U.N. agreement.
He says one such wide-awake legislator was Rep. Jessie Sumner, of Illinois: “Mr. Chairman, of course you know that our government peace program is no peace. The movement is led by the same old warmongers, still masquerading as the princes of peace, who involved us in war while pretending their purpose was to keep us out of war (a very apt description of diplomacy by deception.) Like Lend-Lease and other bills which involved us in war, while promising to keep us out of war, this measure (the U.N. Treaty) will involve us in every war hereafter.”
Coleman further maintains that while David Rockefeller was planning the United Nations, he and Stalin agreed on a deal in which the U.N. would not interfere in Russian affairs in exchange for Soviet oil for the Rockefeller oil companies, nor would the Bolsheviks meddle in Saudi Arabia, and make no further attempts to get into Iran.
The man nominated to represent Rockefeller at the U.N. was Alger Hiss. “His immediate superior was Nelson Rockefeller, who gave orders to John Foster Dulles. Roosevelt, Dulles, the FBI and Rockefeller all knew that Hiss was working with the Soviet Union.”
“Following the modem of Standard Oil, the mechanism for controlling the United Nations was taken out of American hands,” says Coleman. “The Secretary General was given the power to appoint whomever he pleased. For his treason, Hiss received a special staff appointment to the Carnegie Endowment Fund for International Peace at a salary of $20,000 per annum, a very good income for those days. The idea was to place Hiss above the law.”
“In fact, Hiss was above the law, because he got away with treason and treachery. Hiss was not charged with treason, but with perjury. However, powerful people immediately rushed to his defense. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter gave Hiss a clean bill of health and Rockefeller paid his legal expenses to the tune of $100,000.
“At the time he was confronted by Chambers, Hiss was working as a member of the executive committee for the Association of the United Nations, chief executive for the Institute of Pacific Relations, and was a leading member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as well as president of the Carnegie Foundation.”
Coleman maintains that the American people have no protection and no recourse against the war-making potential of the United Nations.
He says that this was confirmed by the Gulf War when President Bush ran amok, trampling the provisions of the Constitution underfoot.
“Had President Bush followed the proper procedures and attempted to obtain a declaration of war, the Gulf War would never have happened, because he would have been turned down.
“Millions of Iraqis and more than 300 U.S. servicemen and women would not have needlessly lost their lives.”
Coleman says, “The tragic truth about American servicemen being deployed to fight — as they were by the United Nations in the Korean and Gulf Wars — is that those who died in these wars did not die for their country, as dying for our country under our flag constitutes an act of sovereignty, which was totally absent in the Korean and Gulf Wars. Since neither the Security Council nor any council of the United Nations has any sovereignty, the U.N. flag is meaningless in every sense.”
“Not a single U.N. Security Council resolution, affecting either directly or indirectly the United States, has any validity, as such resolutions are made by a body which itself has no sovereignty.
“The U.S. Constitution is above any so-called world body, and that, particularly, includes the United Nations.”
Coleman maintains that what President Bush did in the Gulf War bypassed the Constitution by issuing a proclamation (an executive order) directly on behalf of the U.N. Security Council. “The House and Senate,” he writes, “meanwhile failed in their constitutional duty to stop the illegal issuance of such an order. They could have done this by refusing to fund the war.”
The Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars also violated the U.S. Constitution, argues Coleman, because they violated Article 1, Section 8, clause 11: “Congress shall have the power to declare war.” Coleman says that the Constitution does not say that the State Department, the President or the U.N. has this right.
Coleman says that in addition, there is a prohibition contained in Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1, which says: “No state shall, without the consent of Congress … keep troops or ships of war in time of peace … or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger.”
According to Dr. Coleman: “Since there has been no valid Constitutional declaration of war by Congress since the Second World War, the United States is at peace, and therefore, our troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, or anywhere in the Persian Gulf region, Botswana and Somalia are there in breach of the Constitution, and should not be funded, but brought back home forthwith.”
U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs – From An Impossible Dream?: Stealing from Indians – Inside the Bureau of Indian Affairs, an Expose of
Corruption, Massive Fraud and Justice Denied. . . .
Federal employees are in a unique position to see what really goes on inside our bureaus and agencies and, in situations where ethical standards demand it, have a responsibility to point out fraud and corruption.
So it was with Dave Henry, a CPA employed by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), who in his internal audit reports sounded a clear alarm about huge cash shortages in the Trust Funds held for our Native Americans by the BIA, along with other similar BIA funds.
You may have heard about that issue recently, or other disturbing news about the BIA. U.S. News & World Report magazine (11/28/94) described the BIA as “The Worst Federal Agency,” bar none. At a congressional hearing (House Report-499), the Inspector General of Interior described the BIA as “a multifaceted monster” and “an organizational nightmare,” and further stated that “the BIA is a tinder box simply waiting for a spark.”
Dave Henry is this “spark” who has for ten year been trying to get this fraud exposed to the public and he demands reform in the agency that controls so much of the lives of our Native American citizens. He was fired by BIA for speaking honest words, and went through years of fruitless appeals with an alphabet-soup of federal agencies, none of which would grant a hearing on the merits of his case. This is a common pattern for federal whistleblowers, the chance of a hearing is less that one in a thousand.
Still, his raised voice has produced some results. The Arizona Republic did a front page story on his case (11/22/87) and their investigative series inspired the U.S. Senate to conduct a two year investigation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
In April, 1992, Senator Daniel K. Inouye wrote Henry and said: “It appears that your work was among the early efforts that revealed the greater problem with Indian Trust Fund Management and accounting that is now recognized to pertain to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The accuracy of your findings was later confirmed and acknowledged. … Despite the laws we have enacted … injustices still do occur and may have well occurred in your case… I do believe you have performed a valuable service. …”
Henry continued his appeals through the federal court system, including the U.S. Supreme Court, without legal help, and still his case was never heard. He wrote a book on the subject, and at a Billings Town Meeting in June, 1995 managed to hand President Clinton a copy of the book. The President said he would “look into it” and that he would “get back to” Henry, but nothing of substance resulted. . . .
For more, GO TO > > > Bureau of Indian Affairs
U.S. Fuel and Security Inc. – From Washington on $10 Million a Day: . . . Lobbyists and Nuclear Visigoths. Big money corporate lobbyists
don’t always win their battles, but when they are defeated it’s rarely because Congress or the White House rises to defend the public interest.
More likely the scheme being advanced was so loopy that even official Washington was too embarrassed to take up the cause.
That’s the case with a multi-billion dollar plot put together by a cabal of beltway con men who hoped to dump tons of nuclear waste on a Pacific Island…
Money and politics make for strange bedfellows but the nuke deal was put together by what must surely rank as one of the most bizarre beltway coalitions of all time: a volatile Englishman who sometimes poses as a rock star, a retired CIA official, a self-described flower-child-turned investment banker, and a well-known friend of Bill.
The corporate vehicle for the plan is U.S. Fuel and Security Inc (USF&S), a Washington-based firm. The company’s CEO is Daniel Murphy, a lobbyist who formerly served as deputy director of the CIA and chief of staff to George Bush when the latter was vice president. Murphy carried out a variety of murky activities while in government, once accompanying the notorious influence peddler Tongsun Park to meet with then President Manuel Noreiga of Panama…
Murphy’s partners at USF&S include Alex Copson, who has pawned himself off to a variety of reporters and government officials as the former bass guitarist (and sometimes drummer) for the 60s rock group Iron Butterfly. . . . Then there’s a Wall Street investment banker named Thomas Kirch, an aging hippie who, Copson says, “brings the peace, love and flowers” to the project.
The firm has recruited a number of heavy hitters to its cause. USF&S’s counsel to retired Secretary of State James Baker. Former FBI Director William Webster sits on the advisory board of International Fuel Containers, a corporate subsidiary that plans to build huge steel containers to store the nuclear waste. Mark Grobmyer, a Little Rock lawyer and golfing partner of President Clinton’s, has vigorously lobbied the White House on the company’s behalf.
USF&S has also lined up international support. MinAtom, the Russian nuclear energy ministry, has indicated that it will sign on as a co-sponsor of the deal. The German firm GNB, Europe’s largest producer of fuel storage casks, has given permission for USF&S to mass-produce its patented waste containers under license.
I met with Copson and Kirch in Georgetown, where USF&S rents a suite of offices. They outlined what everyone agrees to be a real problem: Commercial nuclear reactors produce huge amounts of spent fuel which contains plutonium, the material needed to produce nuclear weapons. An estimated 100,000 tons of spent fuel has piled up around the globe and no one has figured out a way to store it.
The U.S. nuclear industry is looking to a site at the Yucca Mountains in Nevada, but Congress has yet to approve that site. Meanwhile, spent fuel is piling up at nuclear plants around the country. Similar problems exist in Russia– exacerbated by the fact that MinAtom is virtually bankrupt– and in all countries that produce nuclear power. . . .
“Some people have billed us as anti-environmental, pro-nuclear, but it’s really just the reverse,” Copson says. . . .
Others take a less sanguine view of the USF&S scheme. “The motivation for this plan is not world peace but dollars,” said Patrick McGarey, an aide to Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, a leading opponent of USF&S. “If they are successful many people are going to get rich very fast.” McGarey pointed out that USF&S plans to charge $1 million per ton in storage fees, which could generate billions of dollars for the company annually.
Greenpeace opposes cross-border movement of nuclear waste and believe countries that produce it should take responsibility for storing it. “There is still no proven technology that stores radioactive waste without eventually contaminating the environment,” the group says.
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Bullshit in the Pacific– and Washington. USF&S had an easy time lining up money and influence peddlers to back its plan. Finding a dump site proved more difficult. . . . Copson explained to me that the Pacific was chosen because it lies between Russia and the U.S., and because it is littered with “useless dots of real estate.” As he sees it, sacrificing a “tiny piece of bullshit in the Pacific” is a small price to pay in order to avoid the doomsday scenario of nuclear annihilation. . . .
USF&S first approached the Marshall Islands, a former U.S. protectorate which entered into a “Compact of Free Association” with the U.S. upon becoming independent in 1986. The Defense Dept used the Marshalls to conduct 23 nuclear tests during the early days of the Cold War. The biggest was in 1954, when the U.S. detonated the 15-megaton “Bravo Shot”– 1,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima– on the Bikini atoll, a blast that exposed hundreds of Marshallese to radioactive fallout.
The feasibility study states that the Marshalls would make an “appropriate storage and disposal site” since some of the islands have already been rendered uninhabitable due to “varying levels of residual radioactivity” . . . Another likely attraction (though one not mentioned in the study) was that Murphy’s son, Tom, is deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in the Marshalls capital of Majuro.
A feudal system prevails in the Marshalls, which is ruled by King Amata Kabua. On 10/14/94, the king received a fax from Murphy that laid out a preliminary proposal for a “global nuclear non-proliferation initiative.” In exchange for “exclusive use of one suitable atoll” for nuclear storage, the plotters pledged to provide the king with $10 million up front and $50 million annually for three years as the project was implemented. After operations began, the Marshalls would receive further millions through a profit sharing arrangement.
Annual revenues for the King Kabua’s government total about $70 million, and the large sums of money offered up by USF&S appear to have whetted the monarch’s interest. However, fierce local resistance arose when word of the plan leaked to the public and the king decided to turn the deal down.
Copson took the rejection badly. “They’re all scam artists, banging the tin cup in front of the white man,” he later said of the Marshallese to a reporter from Outside magazine. “They’d open a whorehouse and sell their daughters and grandmothers for a dollar. They’ve never lived so good since that bomb, the fat lazy fu*ks.”
Another possibility explored by USF&S was Midway Island, located 1,100 miles from Honolulu and site of a U.S. Navy base that the Pentagon had targeted for closing. Murphy wrote a letter to Navy Secretary John Dalton asking for a long-term lease on the island. He promised that his company’s plans to store vast quantities of nuclear waste there “would not disturb wildlife in the Midway habitat.” To the dismay of USF&S, the Navy selected a competing bid from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which will run Midway as a nature preserve.
The next port of call was Palmyra, a tiny atoll about 1,000 miles south of Hawaii which is owned by the Fullard-Leo family of Honolulu but administered by the Dept of the Interior. USF&S drew up plans that showed that all the world’s spent fuel could fit in the atoll’s 5,400-acre lagoon which would be filled with cement to prevent leakage. . . .
Once again, strong opposition to the plan arose when word leaked out about Murphy & Co’s true intentions. The South Pacific Forum, an association of Pacific island governments that includes Australia and New Zealand, issued a statement that condemned the planned use of Palmyra as a “dumping ground for nuclear waste.”
Hawaii’s congressional delegation soon entered the fray, with all six members signing a letter to President Clinton in June of 1996 urging him to oppose the project. “We question the wisdom of sitting such a facility on an isolated atoll that is prone to erosion and extreme weather conditions,” reads the letter. “Shipments of spent fuel and reprocessed nuclear materials by sea require extraordinary security measures. Even if careful precautions were observed, the safety of such cargo could not be guaranteed.”
The death knell for the Palmyra plan came in August, when the White House sent Senator Akaka a letter promising that the Administration would “strongly oppose” the USF&S proposal. . . .
Copson was as bitter about this setback as he was about the unraveling of the Marshalls plan.
During our conversation he called Senator Akaka an “ignorant lightweight.” McGarey, the senator’s aide, would “realize the error of his ways when terrorists set off a bomb in Tel Aviv.”
Undeterred by this latest setback, USF&S is focusing its efforts on obtaining the use of Wake Island, site of a bloody World War II battle and now largely uninhabited. Wake is a major stopover for migratory birds and, like Midway, a wildlife refuge. . . .
For more GO TO > > > Broken Trust
Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand – From The Money Men: . . . The number one lobbying firm– Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard,
McPherson and Hand– acquired its marquee names over a relatively short stretch in the mid-1990s. They included two former Senate majority
leaders, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, and a former treasury secretary, Lloyd Bentsen. . . .
Even though they are prohibited by ethics laws from lobbying their former colleagues for a year after they leave the Hill, ex-lawmakers were still in high demand. The reason: their job was to manage entire persuasion campaigns, not just to beg for favors themselves. . . .
Size didn’t matter when it came to lobbying-company clout. Verner Liipfert had 185 lobbyists and lawyers, but Barbour Griffith employed just thirteen.
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Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 4/10/96, by Rick Daysog: . . . Former Hawaii Republican Party Chairman Jared Jossem plans to join former Gov. John Waihee as a local partner in a Washington, DC, law firm.
According to a source close to the deal, Jossem will join Verner, Liipfert Bernhard McPherson Hand.
Besides Jossem and Waihee, the firm’s big-name recruits include former Land Use Commissioner Renton Nip and Norma Wong, former Office of State Planning deputy director in the Waihee administration. . . .
Jossem, a longtime partner in the firm of Torkildson Katz Jossem Fonseca Jaffe Moore & Hetherington, declined comment on the matter. He took over as GOP chairman in 1991 and stepped down in 1994.
Waihee did not return calls. . . .
Besides Honolulu, Verner Liipfert has offices in Houston and Austin, Texas. Locally, the firm has represented Bishop Estate in its lobbying efforts in Washington. The firm lobbied under contract for the state Department of Transportation on aviation, highway and mass transit funding issues.
Last year, Gov. Ben Cayetano canceled that nonbid contract, saying the circumstances surrounding it created the appearance of impropriety.
Waihee and the law firm, which earned some $1 million in fees from the contract, insisted the contract was proper. . . .
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The Buying of the President 2000: . . . Elizabeth Dole raised only $3.5 million through the first half of 1999. Her husband’s prestigious Washington law firm, Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson, and Hand, is the top patron of her current campaign . . .
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Equity No. 2048 – In the Matter of the Estate of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Report of Master Regarding Retention of Non-Staff Counsel, filed 5/18/00: . . . Prior to August 1998, Verner Liipert, a Washington D.C. based law firm which employed former governor John Waihee was retained to do certain legal work. From other pleadings filed in this matter we know that central to that retention was lobbying by the firm on the issues of intermediate sanctions and/or trustee compensation. It is also known from other pleadings that that firm was compensated for work done on investigating the feasibility of changing the domicile of the trust from Hawaii to a Souix River Indian Reservation. . . .
Minutes of a Special Trustees’ meeting of Sept 9, 1998 authorized instructing John Waihee to “transfer all files on the matter of Trustees lobbying efforts on Intermediate Sanctions legislation” to Hawaii for review by other lawyers, including “point person” William McCorriston. In addition, Verner Liipfert lawyer Sue Temkin was to come to Hawaii “as soon as possible to explain and elaborate on the lobbying efforts”. This was in response to Master Matsumoto’s request for information on the subject and the right to review the files.
However, it is clear from a review of all of the 1998 invoices that even before August 1998 Verner Liipfert was aware that the Attorney General had subpoenaed its files and was involved in efforts to not produce its files. As time progressed this firm did everything possible to delay production and, then, to attempt to limit the scope of that production. This Master reviewed the following invoices: . . . $347,564.09 TOTAL.
This entire amount should be surcharged to the Trustees. . . . Further, the bills do not contain charges for John Waihee, even though he clearly spent time on the file matter. If he was compensated in some other way or at a different time, that sum should be included in the surcharge total. . . .
It is not overstatement to say that there was nothing of legal substance in the work done in 1998 by this firm. Rather, it simply represents the formulation and implementation of a strategy to delay and obstruct, discussed ad nauseum among a large number of firm personnel, including the central involvement of Nora Wong, Sue Temkin and John Waihee. . . .
Simply stated, as one proceeds through the billing records one is left with the inescapable conclusion that legal work being done was of no benefit to the trust. Rather it was designed solely to address allegations of past misconduct or at least errors of judgment made by the individual trustees with regard to the earlier retention of this firm. The goal of the work was to attempt to formulate a strategy to prevent or limit disclosure.
In the event that this court adopts this Master’s recommendation and orders surcharge, the possibility exists that one or more of the trustees will not be able to pay. The law permits, upon petition of an interested party and after notice to all interested persons, examination of the propriety of employment of any person, including attorney, by trustees. Refunds may be ordered from such persons. HRS 560:7-205. . . .
Absent a satisfactory explanation by Verner Liipfert and assuming an interested party files an appropriate action which gives the appropriate notice to Verner Liipfert, a refund is, in the opinion of this Master, in order. This master finds it inconceivable that a lawyer would hold that this type of work both benefitted the trust, did not encompass allegations of trustee misconduct and/or error and was, therefore, appropriate to be paid from trust assets. However, the statute does require that Verner Liipfert be given notice and that has not been done.
Finally, this Master also concludes that a surcharged trustee who satisfies the surcharge is an interested party who could petition for such a refund. . . .
For more, GO TO > > > Broken Trust
For more, GO TO > > > RICO lawsuit: Harmon v. Torkildson Katz, et al
Wall Street – This is more than just a simple nest. This is a high-rise luxury condominium..
“I spent 33 years in the Marines. Most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.”
— U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley D. Butler, in Common Sense, Nov, 1935.
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For much more, GO TO > > > Wall Street
Walt Disney Corporation – Oh, no! Et tu, Pluto?
Disney: The Mouse Betrayed — When Walt Disney died in 1966, he left a company known as a bastion of family entertainment. Now, thirty years later, Disney has grown into a multi-national conglomerate selling pornography, violent song lyrics, and anti-Christian messages to your children. . . .
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The Buying of the President (1996 ed): . . . Bill Clinton: The Telecommunications Companies – Of course, the financial industry has not been the only business group to capitalize on the Clinton Washington bonanza. . . .
Of all the companies that will benefit from the new telecom laws, perhaps none has sought to become more “vertically integrated” than the Walt Disney Company. In the summer of 1995, Disney bought Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion. . . .
“Most significantly,” the New York Times reported, “the move concentrates power even further among a handful of men, who will control not just the movie and television businesses but also enhance their influence over broader popular culture through their dominance of theme parks, publishing, and emerging new forms of interactive home entertainment expected to blend films, computer services, and telecommunications.”
In 1992 … four executives of Walt Disney Corp– Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg (who has since left), John F. Cook, and the late Frank Wells– together contributed $158,672 to the DNC.
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The Buying of the President 2000: . . . In late Oct 1995, Sally Aman, Tipper Gore’s chief press aid, telephoned John Cooke, then the executive vice-president of the Disney Channel, to ask for a favor. The Gores had no costumes for their annual Halloween costume party, she explained. Could Disney help them out?
Disney did just that. A team of costume makers in Los Angeles made a pair of outfits, based on the main characters in Disney’s motion picture version of “Beauty and the Beast,” to the Gores’ exact measurements. The day before the party, the costumes arrived in Washington, along with a makeup artist to apply the mask that the Vice President would wear.
The total tab for Disney’s end of the Gores’ Halloween party topped $8,600. But the Gores didn’t ask for a bill, and Disney didn’t bother to send one. At the time, Disney was awaiting approval for its $19 billion acquisition of American Broadcasting Company, Inc. from the Justice Department and the FCC., chaired by Gore’s longtime friend Reed Hundt.
When the Washington Post reported on the gift of the costumes, the Gores claimed they had no idea what the costumes were worth and blamed an unnamed staff member for not finding out whether the gifts were improper. Under the Ethics in Government Act, neither the President nor the Vice President may solicit gifts. After they got caught, the Gores announced that the costumes would be paid for– by the Democratic National Committee.
The FCC approved Disney’s acquisition of ABC in February 1996.
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John Cooke isn’t the only Mouseketeer with a direct line to Gore. Michael Eisner, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, has also been a big contributor to Gore and other Democratic candidates . . .
On June 16, 1994, Gore accompanied Eisner to the Washington premier of “The Lion King.” At the time, Disney was seeking approval from the Interior Department, which oversees national parks, for its plans to build an amusement park called “Disney’s America” next to the site of the historic Battles of Bull Run, two of the bloodiest conflicts in the Civil War, in Manassas, Virginia. Eisner was in the nations’s capital to round up support for the project.
Eventually, public outrage led Disney to cancel its plans in late September 1994, but not before top officials of the Interior Department went on record as saying that the theme park could spark “a livable, vibrant community located between Disney’s America on the west and Manassas National Battlefield on the east.”
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Corporate Predators: Michael Eisner vs. Vietnamese Laborers . . . As severe as the wage disparity is between U.S. workers, however, the differential between the executives and Third World workers, at whose expense they increasingly profit, is staggering.
Disney, to its everlasting shame, has in recent years outsourced production of Disney clothing and toys to sweatshops in Haiti, Burma, Vietnam, China and elsewhere.
Last year, the Asia Monitor Resource Center … reported on operations of Keyhinge Toys, a factory based in Da Nang City, Vietnam that makes giveaway toys based on characters in Disney films which are distributed with McDonald’s Happy Meals.
According to the Center, the approximately 1,000 workers in the Keyhinge factory earn 6 to 8 cents an hour. . . . The workers– 90% of them young women 17-to-20 years old– are required to work mandatory overtime, with 9-to-10 hour shifts required seven days a week. In Feb 1997, a combination of exposure to toxic solvents, poor ventilation and exhaustion caused 200 workers to fall ill, and 25 to collapse. . . .
Less than 1/5 of Eisner’s pay– $100 million– would be enough to quintuple the wages of each of the 1,000 Keyhinge workers– giving them a still inadequate, but at least living wage– and to pay them for 100 years! That would leave Eisner with $465 million for 1997 alone. . . .
Globalization has wrought unprecedented and unconscionable gaps in income and wealth. . . .
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For more GO TO > > > A Flock of Donkeys; The Donkey Nests
Westinghouse Corporation – From The Buying of the President (1996): . . .
In 1993, the Ex-Im Bank’s Advisory Committee was headed by Warren H. Hollinshead, CFO of the Westinghouse Electric Co.
During that same year, Ex-Im awarded $98,075,505 to Westinghouse.
Ex-Im also provided financing for and loan guarantees to the Westinghouse Corporation from 1993 through mid-1995 worth a total of $572,774,329.
Defense Dollars and Deal Making – Despite the president’s previous anti-war inclinations and his much-publicized avoidance of military service, President Clinton has consistently backed policies favorable to the defense industry. . . .
The administration has also pushed to relax export restrictions on high-tech equipment used to manufacture sophisticated weapons systems. Part of what has ingratiated the Clinton administration to weapons manufacturers has been the presence of William J. Perry, first as deputy secretary and later as secretary of defense. . . .
Perry is a former defense consultant who headed Technology Strategies and Alliances (TSA) between 1985-93. TSA’s clients included … Westinghouse … While Perry severed his ties with the company, he had amassed more than a million dollars in consulting fees from TSA clients.
Not long after he joined the Defense Department, Perry began going to bat for the industry. . . .
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Or take the case of Vice President Al Gore and Export-Import Bank chairman Ken Brody, who in 1994 along with others in the administration urged the Czech Republic to award Westinghouse a contract to finish building a nuclear power plant.
The Czechs are funding the overhaul using a U.S.-backed [aka US taxpayers] loan worth $317 million from the Export-Import Bank. Gore, who as a senator wrote a best-selling environmentalist book entitled Earth in the Balance, supported the loan and contract, reasoning that if Westinghouse did not get the contract, it would have gone to a Western European firm instead. The contract caused some tensions, not only between the administration and environmentalists, but also with the government of Austria, which believed the facility, located roughly 100 miles upwind from Vienna, posed an environmental hazard.
Westinghouse contributed $140,000 to the Democratic party in 1991-1992 . . .
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No Contest by Ralph Nader and Wesley Smith:
THE CASE OF THE DEPOSED DICTATOR
It isn’t too often that the public gets to look behind the scenes of material blocked from view by pretrial orders. However, several years ago the curtain of secrecy was lifted in a case involving Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the Republic of the Philippines.
On Dec 1, 1988, the Philippine government of President Corazon Aquino filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Westinghouse and the New Jersey engineering firm Burns and Roe Enterprises, Inc. … The charges were serious, accusing Westinghouse and Burns and Roe of conspiring in mid-1970s to bribe former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in order to secure a contract to build a nuclear power plant.
The Philippine government contended that $17.2 million in sales commissions Westinghouse paid a Marcos crony named Herminio T. Disini, plus another $2.3 million Burns and Roe paid, were in fact bribes that were passed on to Marcos.
During the pretrial stage of the trial, the Philippines and Westinghouse lawyers agreed, at Westinghouse’s request, to a protective order granting Westinghouse the power to declare which documents turned over to discovery were to be confidential. That maneuver effectively kept the evidence regarding the allegations against Westinghouse out of the public eye.
But then Westinghouse lawyers filed a written motion for summary judgment … The Philippines filed a brief opposing the motion. The judge, Dickinson Debevoise, heard oral arguments on the motion, and this hearing was open to the public. In arguing the motion, the lawyers quoted evidence from the court record.
On Sept 20, 1991, Judge Debevoise denied Westinghouse’s motion. Thereafter, Westinghouse asked the judge to seal the briefs and the documents …
But by now the documents had been placed before a court as evidence. They concerned a matter of strong public interest– alleged bribery by Westinghouse, one of the United States’ most powerful defense contractors and business conglomerates, as well as relationships between the United States and the Philippines.
Two civic groups, Public Citizen and Essential Information, intervened in the lawsuit to seek public release of the documents. They requested a court order unsealing the records on the basis that the protective order was inconsistent with the long-established public right of access to judicial records, as well as with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Westinghouse appealed to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. . . .
In Judge Debevoise’s decision granting the request to unseal the records of the motion he wrote:
“First, there is evidence that by decree President Marcos had placed NPC [National Power Company] directly under the control of his office.
Second, there is evidence that both Westinghouse and Burns & Roe believed that in order to obtain the PNPP contracts … they would need the assistance of a powerful person having influence with President Marcos. Disini was the person they selected …
Third, there is evidence that Disini communicated with President Marcos and obtained from him the authority to handle the PNPP contracts.
Fourth, it is undisputed that both Westinghouse and Burns & Roe entered into commission agreements with companies controlled by Disini pursuant to which millions of dollars were paid to those companies. . . .
Fifth, there is evidence that President Marcos personally intervened in the PNPP project to ensure that Burns & Roe and Westinghouse obtained the contracts …
Sixth, there is evidence that both Westinghouse and Burns & Roe took steps to cover up the payments, suggesting guilty minds … After 1977 reports in the press suggested that Westinghouse may have made improper payments to obtain the PNPP contract, Westinghouse burned the files in Manila relating to the procurement of the contract. Other records were destroyed and other efforts were made to avoid discovery of the … agreement.” . . .
Writing for the appellate court, Judge Dolores Sloviter affirmed the strong public interest in ensuring that such proceedings are open to public scrutiny.
“Certainly, the allegations of bribes by a major U.S. corporation to the leader of a foreign country is a matter of public interest, which could give rise to public debate.” Sloviter concluded that openness should be the general rule because “access to the judicial process reinforces the democratic ideals of our society.”
The judges had made the right decision.
Big corporations and their power lawyers cannot turn public courts into private domains simply because they are embarrassed about their own behavior. . . .
See in Part I: Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos
See in Part III: Philippines
World Bank – From And the Truth Shall Set You Free: . . . THE MONEY POLICE . . . After the Second World War, with the nations of Europe
devastated by conflict and debt to the Elite’s bankers, the next stage in the global domination of money and credit was installed through
groupings like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
The World Bank, IMF, and GATT were all agreed upon by British and American negotiators at a conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944. Most influential in these agreements were the economist, Lord Keynes, from Britain, and the US Treasury Secretary, Harry Dexter White, who, with Alger Hiss, the secretary general at the launch of the United Nations, would later be exposed as communist spies.
The technical secretary at Bretton Woods was Virginius Frank Coe, an official of the US Treasury. He was appointed secretary of the new IMF until it was revealed in 1952 during congressional testimony that he was also a member of Dexter White’s communist ring!
These were the guys who created the IMF, World Bank, and GATT. . . .
The role of the World Bank (not to be confused with a world central bank) is to make loans to governments for large capital projects. These have been used, as intended, to finance projects in poor countries designed to meet the needs of the multinationals. These include policies forcing people from the land, thus destroying self-sufficient lifestyles and creating dependency on the Elite’s global economy. Much of the destruction of the rainforests has been done with loans from the World Bank, which … is always headed by appointees from the Committee on Foreign Relations, The Committee of 300, Bilderberg, establishment, and has eugenics as a key pillar of its policy. This subsidised environmental destruction has another plus for the Elite. It helps them to justify world control by the need to ‘save the planet’.
The role of the World Bank and other global economic “agencies” is to make a fortune for the multinational construction companies like the Bechtel Group. This is normally done by making loans to Third World countries for mega construction projects which are irrelevant, even disastrous, for the needs of the local people.
In April 1995, President Bill Clinton successfully nominated James Wolfensohn to be the president of the World Bank. Wolfensohn, an Australian-born, naturalized American, has the perfect background for the post. In the 1960s, he worked for the J. Henry Schroder Bank in London and went on to serve on the Rockefellers’ ‘population control’ organisation, The Population Council. . . . Add to that his position on the Council on Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission, and you have the perfect man to head the Global Elite’s World Bank. . . .
In 1992, Wolfensohn joined forces with Lord Rothschild to form R. Rothschild, Wolfensohn, a ‘business advice consultancy’. As chairman, they appointed Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and leading member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, and Bilderberg Group. Volker was the man who launched the devastating economic policies in the United States and the UK in the 1980s which were fronted by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. . . .
Every year vastly more wealth is transferred from poor countries to rich than goes the other way. We are bleeding them to death. And the overseas aid that is made available is not aimed at helping developing countries. It is used to bribe corrupt politicians, to build the infrastructure needed by the multinationals, or to subsidise industries in the rich countries, like Bechtel, who carry out the work as part of the aid deal. . . .
There is no need for starvation and horrific suffering in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is not the result of ‘natural disasters’, but of coldly calculated design.
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WorldNet Daily, 8/3/99, by Charles Smith: . . . Indonesians are struggling to pay American power producers for electricity that is not needed, and which they cannot afford. According to newly released documents from the U.S. Commerce Dept, 26 US-sponsored electric power projects are on the block because the Indonesian state power company, PLN, is bankrupt.
The crown jewel of electricity projects in Indonesia is the huge Mission Energy/GE PAITON coal-fired electric plant in East Java. In 1994, Mission Energy, part of the California Edison power consortium, put great faith in the Clinton administration and Ron Brown to reach Indonesian dictator Suharto. . . .
Paiton was billed as the first “private” electric plant in Indonesia. However, “private” ownership in Indonesia means owned and operated by the Suharto “First Family.” . . .
According to the Commerce Dept, “.75% of the Paiton project was reserved for Suharto’s daughter Prabowo.” Prabowo’s cut amounted to an instant $15 million. Her kickback, along with a cut for ‘brother-in-law’ Hashim and various other Suharto relatives was provided up front, in cash, in the form of a $50 million loan.
The $50 million loan was to be paid back by the profits (dividends) returned from the $2.6 billion Paiton project. Since there are no profits, there is no pay back.
According to the 1994 Commerce Dept documents, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was “skittish” about providing a $50 million bribe to the Suharto family from the US taxpayers.
The reluctance to participate in an illegal pay-off, led GE and Mission Energy to seek Clinton help. … Obviously asking questions would not be good for any project with a built-in $50 million kickback for the local dictator.
In 1999, the entire $2.6 billion project is on the brink of failure. The corrupt deals with the former dictator of Indonesia are collapsing faster than the Indonesian economy.
The good citizens of Indonesia have learned of the “First Family” take-over of their national resources and they do not approve. . . .
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Washington Times, 8/20/98, by Adam Entous: Corrupt Indonesian officials may have pocketed or diverted more than 20% of World Bank development funds to the world’s fourth most populous country, according to an internal World Bank document from 1997. The World Bank, which is investigating separate reports of corruption among its own staff, confirmed the contents of the year-old Indonesian memorandum yesterday. . . .
World Trade Organization – From If the God’s Had Meant Us to Vote … They Would Have Given Us Candidates by Jim Hightower:
BLUE GOLD. … Canadians have something we need, and I don’t mean hockey players. “Blue Gold,” it’s been dubbed by a Canadian newspaper, but it’s far more valuable than that implies, since the world can actually do without gold.
Water. That’s what Canada has that parts of our country and much of the world might literally kill for.
Hell, you say, water’s everywhere. 70 percent of the earth is covered in the stuff. Yes, but as Canada’s Maude Barlow points out to anyone who’ll listen, less than one-half of 1 percent of all the water on the globe is fresh water available to drink.
An author and agitator for common sense, Ms. Barlow heads the Council of Canadians and is founding chair for progressive politics and policies. “Worldwide, the consumption of water is doubling every 20 years,” she writes in a stunning report entitled “Blue Gold: The Global Water Crisis.” Barlow calculates that in a very short while, most of the world’s people will face shortages or absolute scarcity. . . .
Canada, on the other hand, has a blessing of agua fresca. . . . Some 20% of the world’s entire supply of fresh water is in the winding rivers and countless lakes splashed all across the vast land . . .
This is not a reality that has dawned on Canadians alone. Others are casting their eyes northward, thinking, “There’s gold in them thar hills.” But it’s not countries making invasion plans– it’s corporations.
To get their hands on the gold, the corporate grubbers first have to change the way the world’s supply of drinking water is managed. Instead of letting countries treat it as a resource to be held in common and allocated by the public for the general good, they want it to be considered as just another commodity to be held and traded by private investors strictly for their own profit.
Like oil or pork bellies . . . only this is your drinking water they want to privatize and commodify.
Will it surprise you to learn that those bratty globalization twins, NAFTA and the WTO, contain provisions that advance the commodity concept? Thought not. Both incorporate the bald assertion that “water, including … ordinary natural water of all kinds (other than sea water)” are “goods” that are subject to the new rules of global trade.
We’re talking here about much more than bottled water– Perrier, Evian, Yellow Snow #5, and your other favorite boutique brands. We’re talking about bulk sales, including whole lakes and aquifers being bought and mined, the flow of rivers being siphoned off, the Great Lakes themselves being put on the market.
Maude Barlow and others report that corporations worldwide are already organized to do the deed, using super-tankers, pipelines, canals, the rerouting of rivers, and every other mammoth scheme known to humankind to shift the product from water-rich nations to those markets willing to pay top dollar for it:
“Canada,” barked editor Terrence Corcoran of the Financial Post in a 1999 editorial, “is a future OPEC of water,” urging that the country begin trading in this rich commodity pronto.
Likewise, Dennis Mills, a member of Canada’s parliament … is pushing for assorted water projects and trading schemes, declaring with gusto, “Fortunes are made by those who control the flow of water.”
Thanks to citizen groups like the two Maude Barlow heads, however, the Great Canadian Water Sale-a-Thon has yet to surge forth, for they have alerted the citizenry and generated a national debate on the wisdom of shouting “y’all come” to every global greedhead with a big bucket. Their vigilance has produced a temporary moratorium across the country on bulk sales.
This might be a good place for me to add that Maud, and Canadians generally, certainly are not saying, “It’s our water and the rest of the world can go suck eggs” … To the contrary, they are the ones pushing for a public policy of sharing their bounty to meet the global water crisis, allocating water particularly to help those people in need. But the pressure is intense to simply turn the water loose and let “the market” decide who needs it. And that little, nasty Chapter 11 is being wielded to break the dam and turn the water loose.
Sun Belt Water Inc., based in Santa Monica, California, has filed the first NAFTA water case. It had an agreement with a British Columbia company to take water from this far western province and ship it in huge tankers down the west coast to southern California. But such a public outcry ensued when the scheme became public that the provincial government stepped in to protect its water, nixing the shipment by enacting a moratorium on all water exports. Imagine if Sun Belt had quietly worked a deal to sink a siphon into Lake Tahoe and drain it into Los Angeles, and you’ll get a sense of how the people of British Columbia felt about Sun Belt’s raid.
“Screw the people” was the reaction of the California corporation. It sued Canada in 1998, claiming that its future profits were “expropriated” by British Columbia’s export moratorium and that, under the infamous Chapter 11, the nice people of Canada owed it $468 million. . . .
Dealing with NAFTA is trickier than playing hockey in hell, and, for the Canadians, there is another nasty trick in the trade agreement that makes them vulnerable to an all-out corporate raid. Sun Belt and the other water hustlers only need one export deal in any one province to break the dam for all of Canada’s water.
This is because the devils who set up the NAFTA game rigged it with a provision called “proportionality,” which means that if one company gets a deal, the country has to treat every other company the same. So when one company exports even a trickle of water out of Canada, that opens the tap for all other export deals, and the tap cannot be turned off– even if it is later proven that the massive outflow is doing horrible damage to the environment, to other businesses (fishing, tourism, etc.) or to the country as a whole. . . .
This is why Sun Belt Water Inc. is squeezing so hard in British Columbia. Canada’s national government, rather than imposing its own ban on water exports, took the kind of half-assed approach our national politicians would take– they asked each of the ten provinces of Canada to implement their own voluntary moratoriums. . . .
If (or when) one province allows a export deal, all the other provincial moratoriums are immediately null and void — and the “Blue Gold Rush” is on.
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The WTO by Lori Wallach and Michelle Sforza:
From the Introduction by Ralph Nader: . . . In approving the far-reaching, powerful World Trade Organization and other international trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. government, like those of other nations, has ceded much of its flexibility to independently advance health and safety standards that protect citizens. Instead, the U.S. has accepted harsh legal limitations on what domestic policies it may pursue.
Approval of these agreements has institutionalized a global economic and political structure that makes every government increasingly hostage to an unaccountable system of transnational governance designed to increase corporate profit, often with complete disregard for social and ecological consequences.
This new governing regime will increasingly provide major generic control over the minute details of the lives of the majority of the world’s people. It is not based on the health and economic well-being of people, but rather on the enhancement of the power and wealth of the world’s largest corporations and financial institutions.
Under this new system, many decisions affecting people’s daily lives are being shifted away from our local and national governments and being placed increasingly in the hands of unelected trade bureaucrats sitting behind closed doors in Geneva, Switzerland.
These bureaucrats, for example, are now empowered to dictate whether people in California can pursue certain actions to prevent the destruction of their last virgin forests or determine if carcinogenic pesticides can be banned from their food, or whether the European countries have the right to ban the use of risky biotech materials in their food.
Moreover, once the WTO’s secret tribunals issue their edicts, no independent appeals are possible. Worldwide conformity or continued payments of fines are required.
Multinational companies have shaped the globalization of commerce and finance. The establishment of the WTO marks a landmark formalization and strengthening of their power. . . .
Globalization’s tactic is to eliminate democratic decision-making and accountability over matters as intimate as the safety of food, pharmaceuticals and motor vehicles, or the way in which a country may use or conserve its land, water, minerals and other resources.
What we have now in this type of globalization is a slow motion coup d’etat, a low intensity war waged to redefine free society . . . as subordinate to the dictates of international trade– i.e. big business uber alles. . . .
Many corporate officials share a common, perverse outlook. To them, the globe is viewed primarily as a common market and capital source. Governments, laws and democracy are inconvenient factors that restrict their exploitations and limit their profit. . . .
How can citizens most effectively mobilize a reversal of the expanding globalization agenda while they defend our democratic spaces, instincts and institutions from assault? The degree of suppression and subterfuge necessary to continue along the downward path will be hard to maintain in the presences of any vigorous democratic oversight.
However, actually reversing NAFTA, the WTO and the push toward globalization will require a revitalized citizen democracy in the United States and movement building across national borders. Replacing the WTO-GATT with a pull-up, not pull-down, system of global commerce is the goal. . . .
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UNLIKE PAST TRADE PACTS, the WTO and its underlying agreements move far beyond traditional commercial matters such as tariffs, import quotas or requirement that foreign and domestic goods be treated equally. The WTO’s provisions set limits on the strength of countries’ food safety laws and the comprehensiveness of product labeling policies. They forbid countries from banning products made with child labor. They can even regulate expenditure of local tax dollars (for instance, prohibiting environmental or human rights considerations in government purchasing decisions).
The WTO, established on Jan 1, 1995, as part of the Uruguay Round Agreements of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and now with 134 Member countries, has rapidly accumulated a sordid record. Binding decisions from its enforcement tribunals have undermined consumer and environmental protections around the world. And corporations have used the threat of WTO action to roll back, block or chill countless rules designed to benefit workers, consumers and the environment, and to promote human rights and development in the world’s poor countries. . . .
[Proponents of the WTO] promised that the Uruguay Round and the WTO would pose no threat to domestic sovereignty or democratic, accountable policymaking. They promised enormous economic gains worldwide . . . The U.S. trade deficit would decrease by $60 billion in ten years. Latin America would keep pace. Then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen even predicted that passage … would result in an additional $1,700 in annual median income per U.S. family.
Now, nearly five years later, it is clear that the promised economic gains have not materialized. Not only has the WTO failed to live up to its proponents’ promises, but it is wreaking continuing damage to health, human rights, safety and environmental safeguards. . . .
Promised Economic Gains Fail to Materialize. The long-term social and ecological consequences of the Uruguay Round cannot be known until its terms have been fully implemented. But the economic trends that have emerged so far indicate serious problems. . . .
What we do know today is that since the WTO was created, the world has been buffeted by unprecedented financial instability. Economic growth in the developing world has slowed. Income inequality is rising rapidly between and within countries. Despite productivity gains, wages in many counties have failed to rise. Commodity prices are at all-time lows, causing the standard of living for many people to slide, particularly in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Global economic indicators generally paint a tragic picture: The income gap between the fifth of the world’s people living in the richest countries and the fifth in the poorest was 74-to-1 in 1997, up from 60-to-1 in 1990 and 30-to-1 in 1960. By 1997, the richest 20% captured 86% of world income, with the poorest 20% capturing a mere 1%.
In the U.S., the trade deficit is at an all-time high, $218 billion and climbing, having ballooned–not declined as promised– from $98 billion in 1994. The median family income has not risen by $1,700 per year during any of the past four years as the Clinton administration promised.
While the economic numbers paint a telling picture, they are but one part of the story. Of equal importance, but less well known, is the WTO’s consistent record of eroding public interest policies designed to safeguard the environment, our communities’ health and safety, human rights and democracy . . .
WTO Challenges and Threats Undermine the Public Interest. The expansive Uruguay Round Agreements’ constraints … are enforced through a freestanding WTO tribunal system empowered to judge countries’ laws for WTO-compliance.
Since it was created in 1995, one out of four WTO challenges has involved an environmental, health or safety policy. In each instance the WTO has ruled such policies to be an illegal trade barrier that must be eliminated or changed. . . .
The very mechanics of the WTO, which are skewed in favor of corporations and trade, pre-ordain this outcome. WTO business is conducted by committees and panels that meet behind closed doors in Geneva, Switzerland. … This leads to overwhelming concentrations of corporate power and influence.
The string of public interest laws ruled against in developing countries are among the biggest losers in this system. Developing countries generally do not have the money and expertise either to bring cases to the WTO or defend themselves before the WTO. Many simply capitulate to corporate threats and amend their laws before the matter even reaches the WTO. . . .
Another alarming aspect of this new WTO system is the fact that nations are serving as corporations’ servants, agreeing to challenge laws that the corporations oppose. The U.S. went to bat for Chiquita, the banana giant, when its successfully attacked Europe’s preferential treatment of bananas from former EU colonies in the Caribbean. The U.S. does not produce bananas for export and most of Chiquita’s employees are underpaid farm workers laboring on its vast Central American plantations. The EU has announced that it has no choice but to rescind its preferential treatment, an action that could have a devastating impact on the small, independent banana farmers in the Caribbean.
Often, the mere threat of a challenge suffices. For instance, after the U.S. threatened WTO action, South Korea weakened two food safety laws– one pertaining to the shelf life for meat, the other dealing with fruit and vegetable inspections. . . .
WTO Trend: Commerce Always Takes Precedence. The overall theme that emerges from reviewing the WTO’s record: In the WTO forum, global commerce takes precedence over everything–democracy, public health, equity, the environment, food safety and more. Indeed, under WTO rules, global commerce takes precedence over even small business.
The WTO’s manic tilt toward commercial values is perhaps best highlighted by its rules seeking to commodify everything– to turn everything into a form of property– so that it can be bought and sold.
For instance, the new system gives patents– and thus exclusive marketing rights– for life forms and indigenous knowledge. Consider what has happened in India, where the indigenous population has used the neem tree for medicinal purposes for generations. After a U.S. importer discovered the tree’s pharmaceutical properties, multinational companies from the U.S. and Japan sought and received numerous patents on products made for the tree, leaving the indigenous populations unable to profit from knowledge they have developed over centuries. . . .
Consider, too, the plight of subsistence farmers. Under the WTO’s new intellectual property guarantees, a company can obtain ownership rights– literally a patent– over the knowledge and effort of the local farmers who bred an adapted seed over generations. Once a company holds the patent for a particular seed variety, it can force farmers either to pay an annual royalty, buy new seed each year or no longer use the variety, which may be the only one available or effective in that region. . . .
World Wildlife Fund – From Corporate Predators: The Corporate Takeover of a Consumer Group: . . . It used to be that you could tell where
big corporations were coming from because they would speak through aptly named lobbying groups.
But then, about twenty years ago, corporations wised up and realized that no citizen was going to take seriously the proclamations of the Tobacco Institute or the Business Roundtable. So, big corporations decided to try new ways to delude the public.
They set up or helped fund think tanks (American Enterprise Institute, Hudson Institute); they set up front groups (Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse; Electric Consumers Association); and they funded “public interest” organizations (World Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund). . . .
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According to Dr. John Coleman in his remarkable book, Conspirators’ Hierarchy: . . . “On RCA’s board sits Thornton Bradshaw, president of Atlantic Richfield and a member of NATO, World Wildlife Fund, the Club of Rome, The Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, the Council on Foreign Relations. Bradshaw is also chairman of NBC. The most important function of RCA remains its service to British intelligence. . . .”
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New World Order Conspiracy 2000: . . . “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” (Prince Philip of Great Britain, leader of World Wildlife Fund)
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The Heritage Foundation: Restoring Integrity to Government: Ending Taxpayer-Subsidized Lobbying Activities: . . .
The federal government subsidizes lobbying by tax-exempt and other organizations through grants and contracts to advocacy groups. Each year, the American taxpayers provide more than $39 billion in grants to organizations which may use the money to advance their political agendas. . . .
Over the past 40 years, Congress has helped create a vast patronage network of organizations that enjoy tax-preferred status, receive federal funds, and engage in legislative or political advocacy. . . . The World Wildlife Fund received $2.6 million in federal funding between July 1993 and June 1994. . . .
Xerox Corporation – In his revealing book, Conspirators’ Hierarchy, Dr. John Coleman writes, “All three major networks are represented on the
Committee of 300 and are affiliated with the giant of the mass communication business, the Xerox Corporation of Rochester, New York, whose
Robert M. Beck holds a seat on the Committee. Beck is also a director of the Prudential Life Insurance Company, which is a subsidiary of
the London Prudential Assurance Company.
“Others on the board of Xerox are Howard Clark of the American Express Company, one of the main conduits for moving drug money through “travelers checks,” former Secretary of the Treasury, William Simon, and Sol Linowitz, who negotiated the Panama Canal Treaties for the Committee. Linowitz is important to the Committee by virtue of his long standing expertise in laundering drug money through Marine Midland and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.”
According to Dr. Coleman, “Another Xerox board member is Robert Sproull, who is of real interest because, as president of the University of Rochester, he allowed the Travistock Institute, working through the CIA, to use the university’s facilities for the 20-year MK-Ultra LSD experiments. Some 85 other universities in the U.S. also allowed their facilities to be misused in this manner. . .”
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Equity No. 2048 – Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law – Petition For Removal of Trustee Marion Mae Lokelani Lindsey: . . .
In 1996, Xerox Corp paid for Trustee Lindsey and her husband’s airfare, lodging, and food to attend the Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. . . .
At the time, Xerox was a Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate vendor. . . .
Xiamen International Bank (XIB) – In Nov 1985, Panin Group, with three Peoples’ Republic of China-based institutions, Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China; Fujian Investment and Enterprise Corp; and Construction and Development Corp of Xiamen Special Economic
Zone, jointly founded XIB, the first joint venture bank in the People’s Republic of China.
In Nov 1991, XIB was joined by three more shareholders: Asian Development Bank; The Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, Ltd.; and Sino Finance Group, Ltd. (owned by Hawaii’s Bishop Estate and former U.S. Treasury Secretary, William Simon).
For more GO TO > > > Broken Trust
Yakuza – From tripod.com: Yakuza in Business and Politics. The yakuza has always been involved in politics and business right from the
start. The groups are always hungry for more power and money, wherever they can find it. . . .
In 1987, Noboru Takeshita was elected prime minister in Japan. There were always suspicions of gangster ties in the election. When questioned on the accusations in 1992, Takeshita denied knowing at the time that the yakuza were involved. . . .
The Liberal Democratic Party kingmaker was made to resign from politics in October 1992 when he admitted to receiving Y500m ($4 mil) from a delivery firm, Sagawa Kyubin. The owner of the firm, Hiroyasu Watanabe, paid the kingmaker for trying to help save his business. . . .
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There is another yakuza incident that hits closer to home. West Tsusho, a Tokyo-based real estate firm, bought two American companies with help from none other than Prescott Bush, Jr. – President Bush’s elder brother. . . .
West Tsusho is an arm of a company run by the Inagawa-kai’s leader, Ishii Susumu. . . . Tsusho purchased Quantum Access, a Houston-based software firm, and Asset Management International Financing & Settlement, a New York City-based company. . . .
Zenith National Insurance Corp. – Zenith is a holding company whose subsidiary, Zenith Insurance Company, provides property-casualty
insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, and develops land and constructs private residences for sale in Las Vegas, NV through its
Zenith Press Release, 3/1/99: Zenith National Insurance Corp announced today that Bob Miller has been elected a director of Zenith . . . Mr. Miller, who ended ten years as Governor of Nevada this past January, has been in public life since 1975 . . .
Zenith Press Release, 10/25/99: ZENITH ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL RISCORP-RELATED RESERVES. . . . As previously reported, Zenith … has recorded the fair values of certain of the assets and liabilities acquired from RISCORP on April 1, 1998 consistent with the values determined by the Neutral Auditor and the Neutral Actuary in the dispute resolution process associated with the determination of the purchase price for RISCORP. . . .
As a result of the review, Zenith will record, in the 3rd quarter of 1999, an increase in the estimated liabilities for unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses acquired from RISCORP . . .
Zenith Press Release, 5/18/00: Zenith … announced today that Leon E. Panetta has been elected a Director of Zenith … Mr. Panetta, Founder and Director of the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, was White House Chief of Staff (1994 to 1997) …
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Some of the top institutional shareholders in Zenith National include American Financial Group, Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Morgan (JP), Texas Teachers Retirement System, California Public Employees Retirement System, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System., and Trinity Investment. . . .
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Other Sites of Interest to Patriots
A Simple Solution to Campaign Finance Reform
Year of the Dragon
Crouching Dragons … Hidden Rats
Hail to the Chief
Nests in the Pentagon
WHO’s Guarding the Hen House?
The Eagle Awakes
Thorns in the Rose Garden
Last update April 5, 2002 by The Catbird