Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lehman Bros. Is Now "Charity" Funding Prisons (Inside Story on Hedge Fund Scams & FLA Airport - CIA Connection) & Russ Baker Tells ALL About Bushes

Oversight. Nobody wants that. Right? And where do these criminals get the start-up money (and why does it never seem to diminish no matter what they do)? Why do the same names keep popping up? And how can they have turned into big nonprofits so quickly? I'm soooooo proud to be a North Carolinian now! Seems that the game is far from over for the shysters - Heck! - it's just kicked into a higher (but quieter) gear. (If the trials ever do start . . . .)

Is the ice breaking yet? Or are we only viewing some teasers that will be soon be shut down by the Cass Sunstein Information Division of the Obamaniacs?

With the Cheneys' saturation bombing of MSM calling all the spooks out of the woodwork and Russ Baker being interviewed (finally) on PBS about the Bush role in this seeming madness, something's gotta give. (The following essay is just chockful of tidbits about how the real conspiracists plotted to bring down the U.S. Government.) Read on, MacDuff! (Or have another beer and watch some more sports/entertainment on teh TV.) I've emphasized the revealing contents of investigative journalist Russ Baker's book Family of Secrets (The Bush Dynasty) on this blog many times before, still hoping - against all past evidence - that spreading this knowledge widely would wake up the accountability police and get the trials started (and I've urged everyone to read it (Hell! Memorize it in self defense)). Today, in light of that fact, I'm very excited to share with you the latest interview (two months ago but just hitting YouTube now) of Russ by PBS station WGBH host Emily Rooney. They talk about the exposure of the Bush-CIA-bankster-Harvard connections and how the acceptance of these by the powers-that-be brought about the massive fraud inflicted on us currently by Wall Street. Take a look either before or after you read the following essay. Please. (And don't forget that George H.W. Bush was in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and deeply involved in CIA obfuscating telephone-call business that day about the assassination of JFK.)

Anything breaking through yet about how none of these people think they will ever be asked these questions in court? It's all documented within this essay.

"Company President Stan Hicks, 53, who served as a member of the national finance committee for the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992, appears to manage a company that, by some reports, receives lucrative fees under the guise of being a charity."

"Meet the new Boss. Same as the old Boss."

Daniel Hopsicker is a controversial source to quote about any of the activities stemming from and taking place prior to the 9/11 Fraudfest. It's hard to doubt his insider info though because it explains so many things that have no simple explanation otherwise. And then there are the latest exposes of the unbelievables from Paul Craig Roberts to add fuel to the fire and a provide a surprising perspective to the the potent elixir of doubts as he tantalizes us with facts no one else wants to admit let alone investigate. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper’s website for the past three days was the “Inside the Beltway” report, “Explosive News,” about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members. I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously.

How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires? “A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7,” reports the Washington Times. The paper reports that the architects and engineers have concluded that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology provided “insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction” and are “calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials.” The newspaper reports that Richard Gage, the spokesperson for the architects and engineers said: “Government officials will be notified that ‘Misprision of Treason,’ U.S. Code 18 (Sec. 2382) is a serious federal offense, which requires those with evidence of treason to act. The implications are enormous and may have profound impact on the forthcoming Khalid Sheik Mohammed trial.” There is now an organization, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth. At the main press conference in San Francisco, Eric Lawyer, the head of that organization, announced the firefighters’ support for the architects and engineers’ demands. He reported that no forensic investigation was made of the fires that are alleged to have destroyed the three buildings and that this failure constitutes a crime. Mandated procedures were not followed, and instead of being preserved and investigated, the crime scene was destroyed. He also reported that there are more than one hundred first responders who heard and experienced explosions and that there is radio, audio and video evidence of explosions. Also at the press conference, physicist Steven Jones presented the evidence of nano-thermite in the residue of the WTC buildings found by an international panel of scientists led by University of Copenhagen nano-chemist Professor Niels Harrit. Nano-thermite is a high-tech explosive/pyrotechnic capable of instantly melting steel girders. Before we yell “conspiracy theory,” we should be aware that the architects, engineers, firefighters, and scientists offer no theory. They provide evidence that challenges the official theory. This evidence is not going to go away. If expressing doubts or reservations about the official story in the 9/11 Commission Report makes a person a conspiracy theory kook, then we have to include both co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission and the Commission’s legal counsel, all of whom have written books in which they clearly state that they were lied to by government officials when they conducted their investigation, or, rather, when they presided over the investigation conducted by executive director Philip Zelikow, a member of President George W. Bush’s transition team and Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and a co-author of Bush Secretary of State Condi “Mushroom Cloud” Rice.
There will always be Americans who will believe whatever the government tells them no matter how many times they know the government has lied to them. Despite expensive wars that threaten Social Security and Medicare, wars based on non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, non-existent Saddam Hussein connections to al Qaida, non-existent Afghan participation in the 9/11 attacks, and the non-existent Iranian nukes that are being hyped as the reason for the next American war of aggression in the Middle East, more than half of the U.S. population still believes the fantastic story that the government has told them about 9/11, a Muslim conspiracy that outwitted the entire Western world. Moreover, it doesn’t matter to these Americans how often the government changes its story. For example, Americans first heard of Osama bin Laden because the Bush regime pinned the 9/11 attacks on him. Over the years video after video was served up to the gullible American public of bin Laden’s pronouncements. Experts dismissed the videos as fakes, but Americans remained their gullible selves. Then suddenly last year a new 9/11 “mastermind” emerged to take bin Laden’s place, the captive Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the detainee waterboarded 183 times until he confessed to mastermining the 9/11 attack. In the Middle Ages confessions extracted by torture constituted evidence, but self-incrimination has been a no-no in the U.S. legal system since our founding. But with the Bush regime and the Republican federal judges, whom we were assured would defend the U.S. Constitution, the self-incrimination of Sheik Mohammed stands today as the only evidence the U.S. government has that Muslim terrorists pulled off 9/11.
If a person considers the feats attributed to Khalid Sheik Mohammed, they are simply unbelievable. Sheik Mohammed is a more brilliant, capable superhero than V in the fantasy movie, “V for Vendetta.” Sheik Mohammed outwitted all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies along with those of all U.S. allies or puppets, including Israel’s Mossad. No intelligence service on earth or all of them combined was a match for Sheik Mohammed. Sheik Mohammed outwitted the U.S. National Security Council, Dick Cheney, the Pentagon, the State Department, NORAD, the U.S. Air Force, and Air Traffic Control. He caused Airport Security to fail four times in one morning. He caused the state-of-the-art air defenses of the Pentagon to fail, allowing a hijacked airliner, which was off course all morning while the U.S. Air Force, for the first time in history, was unable to get aloft intercepter aircraft, to crash into the Pentagon. Sheik Mohammed was able to perform these feats with unqualified pilots. Sheik Mohammed, even as a waterboarded detainee, has managed to prevent the FBI from releasing the many confiscated videos that would show, according to the official story, the hijacked airliner hitting the Pentagon. How naive do you have to be to believe that any human, or for that matter Hollywood fantasy character, is this powerful and capable? If Sheik Mohammed has these superhuman capabilities, how did the incompetent Americans catch him? This guy is a patsy tortured into confession in order to keep the American naifs believing the government’s conspiracy theory. What is going on here is that the U.S. government has to bring the 9/11 mystery to an end. The government must put on trial and convict a culprit so that it can close the case before it explodes. Anyone waterboarded 183 times would confess to anything. The U.S. government has responded to the evidence being arrayed against its outlandish 9/11 conspiracy theory by redefining the war on terror from external to internal enemies. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on February 21 that American extremists are now as big a concern as international terrorists. Extremists, of course, are people who get in the way of the government’s agenda, such as the 1,000 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. The group used to be 100, now it is 1,000. What if it becomes 10,000? Cass Sunstein, an Obama regime official, has a solution for the 9/11 skeptics: Infiltrate them and provoke them into statements and actions that can be used to discredit or to arrest them. But get rid of them at all cost. Why employ such extreme measures against alleged kooks if they only provide entertainment and laughs? Is the government worried that they are on to something? Instead, why doesn’t the U.S. government simply confront the evidence that is presented and answer it? If the architects, engineers, firefighters, and scientists are merely kooks, it would be a simple matter to acknowledge their evidence and refute it. Why is it necessary to infiltrate them with police agents and to set them up? Many Americans would reply that “their” government would never even dream of killing Americans by hijacking airliners and destroying buildings in order to advance a government agenda. But on February 3, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. government can assassinate its own citizens when they are overseas. No arrest, trial, or conviction of a capital crime is necessary. Just straight out murder. Obviously, if the U.S. government can murder its citizens abroad it can murder them at home, and has done so. For example, 100 Branch Davidians were murdered in Waco, Texas, by the Clinton administration for no legitimate reason. The government just decided to use its power knowing that it could get away with it, which it did. Americans who think “their” government is some kind of morally pure operation would do well to familiarize themselves with Operation Northwoods. Operation Northwoods was a plot drawn up by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff for the CIA to commit acts of terrorism in American cities and fabricate evidence blaming Castro so that the U.S. could gain domestic and international support for regime change in Cuba. The secret plan was nixed by President John F. Kennedy and was declassified by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. It is available online in the National Security Archive. There are numerous online accounts available, including Wikipedia. James Bamford’s book, Body of Secrets, also summarizes the plot:

“Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of the Chairman [Gen. Lemnitzer] and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.”

Prior to 9/11 the American neoconservatives were explicit that the wars of aggression that they intended to launch in the Middle East required “a new Pearl Harbor.” For their own good and that of the wider world, Americans need to pay attention to the growing body of experts who are telling them that the government’s account of 9/11 fails their investigation. 9/11 launched the neoconservative plan for U.S. world hegemony. As I write, the U.S. government is purchasing the agreement of foreign governments that border Russia to accept U.S. missile interceptor bases. The U.S. intends to ring Russia with U.S. missile bases from Poland through central Europe and Kosovo to Georgia, Azerbaijan and central Asia. U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke declared on February 20 that al Qaida is moving into former central Asian constituent parts of the Soviet Union, such as Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. Holbrooke is soliciting U.S. bases in these former Soviet republics under the guise of the ever-expanding “war on terror.” The U.S. has already encircled Iran with military bases. The U.S. government intends to neutralize China by seizing control over the Middle East and cutting China off from oil. This plan assumes that Russia and China, nuclear armed states, will be intimidated by U.S. anti-missile defenses and acquiesce to U.S. hegemony and that China will lack oil for its industries and military. The U.S. government is delusional. Russian military and political leaders have responded to the obvious threat by declaring NATO a direct threat to the security of Russia and by announcing a change in Russian war doctrine to the pre-emptive launch of nuclear weapons. The Chinese are too confident to be bullied by a washed up American “superpower.” The morons in Washington are pushing the envelop of nuclear war. The insane drive for American hegemony threatens life on earth. The American people, by accepting the lies and deceptions of “their” government, are facilitating this outcome. Paul Craig Roberts is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Paul Craig Roberts

And on to the hedge funders who jumped on board the fraudster bandwagon because no one was going to be held accountable for anything.

Art Nadel Pleads Guilty - Another Hedge Fund Owner Takes Over Venice FBO.

February 26, 2010 by Daniel Hopsicker Watch final preview! The New American Drug Lords In a surprise court appearance last Wednesday hedge fund owner Art Nadel pled guilty in a New York Federal court.

It was a bitter disappointment to swindled investors, as well as to interested onlookers anxious for a glimpse of not only how he did it, but who he did it with. Nadel’s guilty plea may have removed the best—maybe the only—chance to make accountants and bookkeepers and managers at feeder hedge funds, all of whom had front row seats to the scandal, face public scrutiny while testifying about what went on at Scoop Management.

Most people find it impossible to believe he acted alone. Nadel isn't tall, rangy, and CIA-connected, like fellow Ponzi All Star Allen Stanford, or even burly, like Bernie Madoff, but meek-looking, and unprepossessing physically. He's the Woody Allen, or, for those who still remember him, the Wally Cox of Ponzi World. There's lots of anger among jilted investors, who stand little chance of getting back anything more than a few pennies on the dollar of the $168 million they're estimated to have lost.

Why do Florida lawyers all seem like extras from "Body Heat?" If they're counting on Tampa attorney Burton Wiand's help, they may be waiting a long time. Many actions taken by Wiand since being named the federal receiver charged with unraveling Nadel's finances last January seem open to question. Real suspicions should also focus on what he hasn't done. Reading court transcripts can sometimes be eye-opening . . . . Long-time SEC lawyer Wiand dragged his feet (top snippet) on supplying Nadel's files, which he'd seized in the civil action he's involved in against Nadel, to federal prosecutors in New York charged with convicting him in criminal court, clearly higher priority. Perhaps more importantly, his testimony in September revealed that he's not going after any money, other than his own ($750,ooo reportedly so far), with anything like the vengeance his job description promises jilted investors. "One of the receiver's highest priorities is to locate and recover any additional funds," reads the brief he filed when he went back to court asking for more money last summer.

Yet three months later, almost nine months after he was appointed, Wiand's testimony revealed that he's aware, though somewhat vaguely, of $5 million he's owed from Christopher and Neil Moody . . . but he hasn't gotten around to asking them about it yet! Wiand to investors: "The check's in the mail" Things look bad for Nadel's hapless investors. But the outlook for the citizens of Venice, Florida, where Nadel owned the same business that earlier trained Mohamed Atta to fly, is even more bleak. For them, Nadel’s descent from hedge fund owner to handcuffs may feel like going from the frying pan to the fire. That's because the new owner of the former Huffman Aviation owns a hedge fund, too. What a coincidence. Even worse, the new owner's top henchman, who often fronts for his various financial entities as their President, was at the heart of a Wall Street scandal that looted more money from investors than Art Nadel ever dreamed of stealing, and which was—until the financial meltdown last year—the biggest Wall Street had ever seen. The name of the new owner of the former Huffman Aviation, which a Venice City Attorney told the Venice City Council they had no right to know, is Eugene Gorab. Gorab, who claimed to be worth more than 100 million dollars in an interview with the Sarasota Herald Tribune last year, made his pile buying and selling hotels and casinos. He worked for a hugely successful tycoon named Barry Sternlicht who at one point while Gorab was working for him, owned more casinos than anyone on the planet. We know what you're thinking. But wait. It gets worse. Gorab owns the majority stake in private equity fund Greenfield Partners in Norwalk Connecticut, just a few exits up the Merritt Parkway from Greenwich, where “private equity fund” Fairfield Partners helped Bernie Madoff relieve investors of unwanted capital.

More interesting by far is that Gorab owns Clayton Holdings, a company whose failures in due-diligence played a direct role in the multibillion dollar collapse of the nation's housing market.

Clayton Holdings is a due-diligence company, the nation's largest, which get hired by investment houses to make sure blocks of loans meet the seller's own standards. Despite the fact that the underlying home loans didn't get within shouting distance of meeting those quality standards, Clayton Holdings paid off like a slot machine, signing off on the mortgage investments, the instrument of mass destruction which Wall Street has successfully used to bomb the American economy back to the Stone Age. Gorab, who didn't own Clayton Holdings until recently, wasn't responsible. He bought the company as Clayton’s former President received immunity from New York’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in return for testimony about underwriting "exceptions" his firm’s project managers gave its Wall Street accounts. Does anyone remember the words "modified limited hangout?" Maybe we’ll learn how they did it . . . if Eugene Gorab—the man who now owns the former Huffman Aviation—decides to let the world take a look at Clayton's books. The Straw Men Definition of “straw man”: noun (CRIME) n (also man of straw): Someone, often an imaginary person, who is used to hide an illegal or secret activity. “The fraud depended on hundreds of bank accounts being opened on behalf of straw men.” How do we know that Gorab owns Huffman Aviation, even though the three lads who say they're the owners refused to release the names of their investors? Simple: Gorab, for one thing, also owns Volo Aviation in Sarasota, and has a hundred million dollars in other aviation investments. That's one hundred million more in aviation investments than the lads claiming to be the new owners. More importantly, they were working for Gorab when they bought it. And he didn't fire them.

Finally, the new front man for Volo Aviation at the Sarasota Airport, who "bought" it from Gorab, is Gorab's long-time lieutenant, he former President of Volo. Meet Thom Harrow. He's "working to keep your trust." Thom Harrow, most recently listed as President of Volo Holdings, has been an officer of a myriad of Gorab's shell companies, which change almost daily, as the "ownership: of the Volo Sarasota just did, again. Harrow operates at least four FBO’s (Fixed Base of Operations) already, including the one at the Sarasota Airport. Remember the old TV commercials for The Rock? Prudential Securities? "The most important thing we earn is your trust." Turned out, it wasn't true. Harrow was a senior executive at Prudential Securities during the late 80’s and early 90’s while executives and brokers at the company were busily defrauding investors of $8 billion.

Back then—in those far more innocent times—reporters called it the largest fraud in US history.

No other Wall Street scandal came close to touching the debacle at Prudential Securities.

Mike Milliken, at Drexel Burnham, was a piker by comparison. They settled his securities scandal (junk-bonds, remember?) for $650 million, a pittance by the $8 billion standard set by the Prudential scandal. According to NEWSWEEK: "In this topsy-turvy world due diligence was a sham, brokers were hounded — even fired — for questioning the quality of deals, and no executive displayed much interest in knowing what was really going on." Does that sound familiar? Kurt Eichenwald covered the story for TIME magazine, then wrote Serpent on the Rock, a book about the scandal. According to a review of his book in the New York Times:

"Eichenwald presented an appalling indictment of managers who did dozens of deals with a convicted embezzler, spent millions of investors' dollars on lavish trips to places like Cancun and Maui, and made cozy arrangements with developers to make themselves rich no matter how their clients fared."

But wait . . . Harrow himself wasn't charged with a crime, and deserves the benefit of the doubt. He deserves the benefit of the doubt, as he was, after all, unindicted. He was probably one of the good guys who stuck around to clean up the mess. Locking-in profits for decades to come. Discovering that Harrow was working for "The Rock" when it melted into butter was no easy task. Few of Harrow's bios make mention of it. Perhaps because leaving it out creates an almost decade-long hole in his curriculum vitae, he 'fessed up and included it here.

Then we discovered that, currently - right now - Harrow is Treasurer of a Baton Rouge Louisiana-based, non-profit charity called Provident Resources Group. Provident's own literature shows them to be (charitably, natch!) involved in providing resources (hence the company's name, it appears they are big on providing resources) in the following fields: CitiState (sic), Education, Healthcare, Housing, and Senior Living. Here's how they describe themselves: "Based in Baton Rouge, La., Provident Resources Group is a not-for-profit organization with the mission of serving the needs of the elderly; promoting and advancing health care; assisting the poor by providing affordable housing; lessening the burdens of government; promoting and advancing education; and preserving the environment." In the pursuit of its charitable mission, Provident has become a national non-profit organization committed to the development, ownership and operation of state-of-the-art health, education, senior living, and multi-family housing facilities and services across the country.

“Furthermore, Provident actively strives to assist state and local governments in lessening the burdens they face in providing many needed services to their citizens.” Its all good. Right? So it came as something of a shock to discover that what they do mostly—resource-wise, that is—build and run: private prisons: eleven Private Correctional Facilities in Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Alaska. Apparently, it came as something of a shock to the Wall Street Journal too. The May 1, 2002 Wall Street Journal covered Provident in their Section on Enron, under this headline: "Charities Said To Be Playing Enron-Style Partnership Game. "At the D. Ray James Prison in south Georgia, the inmates have been kept behind bars by all types of lawmen: sheriffs, chiefs of police and more than a few wardens. But never, until now, have they been kept in jail by a charity." What Provident offers the corrections world, in the most charitable way, of course, reported the Journal is “offering off-the-books financing for public and private prison operators." "Provident does this by creating special subsidiaries and partnerships that take advantage of controversial accounting rules and allow its clients to keep debt off of their balance sheets." In exchange for its role, Provident "arranges to receive potentially lucrative fees, some of which it calls exempt from federal income tax.

Provident "isn't a conventional charity. It is run by a group of lawyers, investment bankers and financial consultants. Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. and other Wall Street titans do its financial work." With that "impressive firepower, Provident is trying to carve a unique niche for itself in the corrections world, offering off-the-books financing for public and private prison operators."

It has "helped the state of North Carolina and Cornell Cos., a for-profit prison company, buff their financial profiles." In the last nine months Provident entities, with help from Lehman, have sold more than $420 million of debt to investors." Like Enron. Only unindicted. We thought: maybe we're just being cynical. It can happen. Then we found this headline: "Perinatal Unit Closing; No More Maternity Patients at Granada Hills Community Hospital." Provident got involved with a struggling community hospital in the San Fernando Valley . . . offering to help. Reporter Evan Pondel in the January 22, 2003 Los Angeles Daily News picks up the story:

"In an effort to rescue the hospital, Wallace struck a deal with a controversial charity for help.

Soon thereafter, California's attorney general approved Baton Rouge, La.-based Provident Foundation Inc. to take control of the hospital's board."

The organization has been operating as a not-for-profit group since 1999, and analysts say Provident is by no means a conventional charity. Matt Hull, analyst with Avondale Partners in Nashville, Tenn., said in a previous interview that the company is run by a group of lawyers, investment bankers and financial consultants - many of whom are former Lehman Brothers employees. James Doulgeris was hired by Provident to serve as interim CEO, and his firm, Healthcare Resource Specialists, was tapped to provide crisis and turnaround management strategies for the hospital. "We are in the center of settling our bankruptcy with creditors . . . and the decline in patients we serve in the perinatal unit has been accelerating," said Doulgeris. "There are no plans to close other departments, and emergency services for expectant mothers still will be available through the hospital's emergency room." Uh-oh. We could already tell the hospital wasn't going to make it . . . . According to analyst Hull: "Company President Stan Hicks, 53, who served as a member of the national finance committee for the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992, appears to manage a company that, by some reports, receives lucrative fees under the guise of being a charity." Millie Hernandez has worked at the hospital for 17 years. She understands that Provident has invested in prison facilities and has a murky business reputation. "There's only so much you can take," Hernandez said. "The hospital can't function like this for much longer." In case you're wondering, the company is politically-connected at the highest levels. Provident's President Stan Hicks was on the National Finance Committee for the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992. "Meet the new Boss. Same as the old Boss." When the new owner of the former Huffman Aviation FBO took over operations at the Venice Airport last month, the Sarasota Herald Tribune was quick to note that the only noticeable change in operations “was a Shell fuel truck on the premises to replace the Chevron brand that former owner Art Nadel sold.” The statement was meant to be reassuring. In reality, it was not. It was business as usual. The ingredients for another world-class scandal at the Venice Airport are frighteningly visible. Sleazy characters in expensive suits. Abuse of power. Cover-up. During the special meeting of the Venice City Council called to consider the lease transfer before the federal bankruptcy judge's deadline, questions were repeatedly raised about why Tri-State would release no financial information on its owners. Surprisingly, the supposed new owners weren’t forced to answer. Leaping to their defense was an assistant city attorney who repeatedly advised the council they had no reason to object to Wiand’s choice. Calling the backgrounds of the new managers "blue chip," he said, "As staff we think they have passed the test probably more so than any tenant we've had at the airport." Groundbreaking American muckraker Upton Sinclair put it best: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Mayor Ed Martin, in a remarkable admission, indicated that he wasn’t fooled. "We're not in a position to determine who these people are,” he said. “Whether they are U.S. nationals, or whether they have criminal ties." Well, Ed. Now you know.

And so do we.

Suzan ________________

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