Saturday, July 10, 2010

If You Think It's Not Just About the $$$$$ That Power and Control Brings . . . (Stomach Turning History), The Role of OIL & Bush's Latest Bankruptcy

The Role of Oil and Why We Are So Screwed By It (Forever) (EXTRA: If anyone could make a contribution to my PayPal account (or otherwise - contact me for further info), it will be really, really, really appreciated as I'm in quite a pickle financially right now. I sincerely appreciate everything that my kind readers have done for me in the past financially and otherwise. Especially, otherwise, as the support group for this blog is beyond belief. My belief anyway. Again, my heartfelt thanks. . . and now . . . back to your regular viewing.) Open your eyes and understand what this situation has wrought (this may be the most important YouTube segment/video you've ever seen). Try to remember that one of the main reasons we have NO MONEY anymore in this richest of all rich, highly productive countries isn't that we give it to minorities and so-called entitled people profligately. It is that we DO NOT TAX THESE COMPANIES ANYMORE. Before I mention the final chapter in the bankruptcy of the organization that made George W. Bush (Dumbya) a fraudulent serious candidate for state office in Texas, I'd like to address the role of several of the following types of other real, serious Americans: brokers, traders, lawyers and spies.

I thought it might be timely (considering how the MSM dumbed-down the facts surrounding the exchange of spies yesterday) to mention the latest book I've read about how the world really works - self-defense, you know.

Eamon Javers, a MSM writer/reporter has written an enlightening and entertaining book, Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage, about much of what has gone on in the business dealings in the U.S. (and abroad) for the last decade (and really, more like the last 30 years since the takeover and clever manipulation of information/media allowed to the citizenry by the coup-triumphant Raygun-ites) of which we had absolutely no idea - mainly because these were issues with a national security component, which were purposely hidden from public view (although many were not totally unaware).

The author made a trip to Langley, spy headquarters for the government of the U.S. and got the lowdown from a spy who worked for the private intelligence company, Diligence. Who'd a thunk it? Not US. (Personally I liked the feeling that I got while reading it that his "Nick" was the same Nick who was the protagonist in Chris Buckley's Thank You For Smoking - remember his membership in the MOD (Merchants of Death) Squad? Twice as funny - and prescient (although having a father who was a spy for the CIA may have sharpened his wit a little).

He was charming and friendly, and didn't seem the least bit fazed by the mess his company was in. I figured he had seen worse. He led me past a row of analysts hunched over computer screens to an office that was cluttered with brown boxes. It looked as though he'd been packing files.

(Nick) Day gave me a brief on-the-record interview in which he explained his company's role in the world economy. Spies, he said, are sometimes the only people who can solve a company's problems. That was intriguing enough, but I soon learned that Diligence wasn't the only company in the corporate espionage business. There are probably hundreds of firms like it around the world. Corporations, financial institutions, and wealthy individuals can hire intelligence contractors in Britain, America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

In Washington alone, I discovered, potential clients have a wide menu of options to choose from. They can hire firms staffed by ex-FBI agents, ex-CIA agents, or ex-Secret Service employees. They can hire ex-British MI5 officers like Day at Diligence. There's even a spy firm made up of ex-Soviet KGB and military intelligence officers. It's located in suburban Virginia, not too far from CIA headquarters, and I had coffee with the owner. We went to Starbucks.

I had stumbled across an entire hidden industry of spies for hire, and I was captivated.

From Amy Goodman's interview with Javers at Democracy Now! we gain some insights into these new American success techniques (emphasis marks added - Ed.):

AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us. So, first rule, you can’t speak in sound bites. We want us to — you to give us the whole meal. Talk about this corporate espionage. Start with the moonlighting.

EAMON JAVERS: Sure. What I found out as I was doing the research for this book was that the CIA has a little-known policy in which they allow their active-duty operatives to moonlight in the private sector, to take on work on nights, weekends, when they’re on furlough, what have you.

And in one case, I found that they had been working in past years at a hedge fund, consulting firm, and a financial consulting firm, in which veteran CIA operatives employ what they call “deception detection techniques.” And what they’re doing is they’re taking CIA-style interrogation techniques and applying those to a corporate setting on the behalf of the hedge funds and the financial firms. So what they do is they actually look at corporate earnings calls, and they watch CEOs when they’re appearing on CNBC and elsewhere, and they look for the telltale signs that the CEO is lying or misleading the public about the fortunes of the company, what their earnings might actually be.

So they’re taking these developed psychological techniques that they have from the CIA and employing those in the private sector. It’s a fascinating world that I was able to dive into here.

AMY GOODMAN: What’s the BIA?

EAMON JAVERS: BIA is a firm called Business Intelligence Advisors. They’re out of Boston. They have in the past had these CIA moonlighters on staff. They say they don’t do that anymore, but they’ve done it in past years.

AMY GOODMAN: Their name meant to sound like the CIA?

EAMON JAVERS: It is, yeah. And BIA was founded by several ex-CIA interrogators. And they sell their services now in the private sector.

AMY GOODMAN: Interrogators?

EAMON JAVERS: That’s right, and people with twenty, twenty-five years of interrogation experience inside the CIA are now taking that interrogation experience, flipping it into a corporate context, and selling it to Wall Street firms, hedge funds and other private-sector buyers.

Have you noticed enough smarmy strands from that precious Cheney/Bush planned-and-most-carefully-determined connection with the U.S. economy yet?

If you've ever wondered about the $$$$ that funded the bleeding of Central and South America during the Raygun years (and continuing through to the present) and keeps bleeding Africa . . . read this book.

And if you thought that Ken Lay's perfect escape from justice (and all his company (Enron)'s ties to the CIA-connected energy industry) was merely a sideshow from the real issue of how hard Dumbya was trying during that same time frame to "save" Wall Street's ability (preparing the story for the first bailout) to finance the American dream (for them) . . . read this book.

Ever wonder how and why the lucrative U.S. market for truly educated workers was allowed to disappear under the clamor for U.S. (really Chinese) global triumph?

Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy will even explain your current un- or under-employment to you perfectly. Pertinent reviews of this book appear below.

From Booklist:

Journalist Javers traces spying activity, which began in Washington, D.C., in 1790, when the city became the capital, through the Civil War, when Allan Pinkerton was chasing Confederate spies, to Allen Dulles and the CIA developing drugs to enhance interrogations and in 2002 capturing traitor Robert Hanssen. The author also offers a fascinating explanation of the role of spies in today’s world economy with hundreds of firms globally in the corporate espionage business using as operatives alumni from the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, British M-15 and Russian KGB, and military intelligence officers. Firms are available in the private market from diverse independent contractors with backgrounds including SEC investigators and investigative reporters. Javers recommends that spy firms be revealed to the public through a spy register comparable to lobbying firms’ disclosure rules and be coordinated by the SEC. He contends, It’s time for the spy firms to come in from the cold. This is a must-read, excellent book. -Mary Whaley “Stunning, revelatory.” (John Stewart, The Daily Show) “If only the mainstream press would follow Eamon Javers’ lead and expose the powerful saboteurs and predators of the corporate underworld, this would be a different country. But it’s not too late. Read this book and roll up your sleeves.” (Bill Moyers)

In a very similar expose, Max Holland at Washington Decoded reported back in 2008 (remember the people who pointed out that Philip Zelikow was a known "plant" (who was supposedly leading the investigation of 9/11) by the CIA/NSA, etc., agencies?) (emphasis marks added - Ed.):

In a revelation bound to cast a pall over the 9/11 Commission, Philip Shenon will report in a forthcoming book that the panel’s Executive Director, Philip Zelikow, engaged in “surreptitious” communications with presidential adviser Karl Rove and other Bush administration officials during the commission’s 20-month investigation into the 9/11 attacks.

Shenon, who led The New York Times’ coverage of the 9/11 panel, reveals the Zelikow-Rove connection in a new book entitled The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, to be published next month by TWELVE books. The Commission is under an embargo until its February 5 publication, but Washington Decoded managed to purchase a copy of the abridged audio version from a New York bookstore.

In what’s termed an “investigation of the investigation,” Shenon purports to tell the story of the commission from start to finish. The book’s critical revelations, however, revolve almost entirely around the figure of Philip Zelikow, a University of Virginia professor and Director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs prior to his service as the Commission’s Executive Director. Shenon delivers a blistering account of Zelikow’s role and leadership, and an implicit criticism of the commissioners for appointing Zelikow in the first place — and then allowing him to stay on after his myriad conflicts-of-interest were revealed under oath. Shenon’s narrative is built from extensive interviews with staff members and several, if not all, the commissioners. He depicts Zelikow as exploiting his central position to negate or neutralize criticism of the Bush administration so that the White House would not bear, in November 2004, the political burden of failing to prevent the attacks.

The Commission includes these specific revelations:

Kean and Hamilton appreciated that Zelikow was a friend and former colleague of then-national security adviser Condoleeza Rice, one of the principal officials whose conduct would be scrutinized. Zelikow had served with her on the National Security Council (NSC) during the presidency of Bush’s father, and they had written a book together about German reunification. The commission co-chairmen also knew of Zelikow’s October 2001 appointment to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. According to Shenon, however, Zelikow failed to disclose several additional and egregious conflicts-of-interest, among them, the fact that he had been a member of Rice’s NSC transition team in 2000-01. In that capacity, Zelikow had been the “architect” responsible for demoting Richard Clarke and his counter-terrorism team within the NSC. As Shenon puts it, Zelikow “had laid the groundwork for much of went wrong at the White House in the weeks and months before September 11. Would he want people to know that?”

• Karen Heitkotter, the commission’s executive secretary, was taken aback on June 23, 2003 when she answered the telephone for Zelikow at 4:40 PM and heard a voice intone, “This is Karl Rove. I’m looking for Philip.” Heitkotter knew that Zelikow had promised the commissioners he would cut off all contact with senior officials in the Bush administration. Nonetheless, she gave Zelikow’s cell phone number to Rove. The next day there was another call from Rove at 11:35 AM. Subsequently, Zelikow would claim that these calls pertained to his “old job” at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

• The full extent of Zelikow’s involvement with the incumbent administration only became evident within the commission on October 8, 2003, almost halfway into the panel’s term. Determined to blunt the Jersey Girls call for his resignation or recusal, Zelikow proposed that he be questioned under oath about his activities. General counsel Daniel Marcus, who conducted the sworn interview, brought a copy of the résumé Zelikow had provided to Kean and Hamilton. None of the activities Zelikow now detailed — his role on Rice’s transition team, his instrumental role in Clarke’s demotion, his authorship of a post-9/11 pre-emptive attack doctrine—were mentioned in the résumé. Zelikow blandly asserted to Marcus that he did not see “any of this as a major conflict of interest.” Marcus’s conclusion was that Zelikow “should never have been hired” as executive director. But the only upshot from these shocking disclosures was that Zelikow was involuntarily recused from that part of the investigation which involved the presidential transition, and barred from participating in subsequent interviews of senior Bush administration officials.

• Some two months later, as Bob Kerrey replaced disgruntled ex-Senator Max Cleland on the panel, the former Nebraska senator became astounded once he understood Zelikow’s obvious conflicts-of-interest and his very limited recusal. Kerrey could not understand how Kean and Hamilton had ever agreed to put Zelikow in charge. “Look Tom,” Kerrey told Kean, “either he goes or I go.” But Kean persuaded Kerrey to drop his ultimatum.

• In late 2003, around the time his involuntary recusal was imposed, Zelikow called executive secretary Karen Heitkotter into his office and ordered her to stop creating records of his incoming telephone calls. Concerned that the order was improper, a nervous Heitkotter soon told general counsel Marcus. He advised her to ignore Zelikow’s order and continue to keep a log of his telephone calls, insofar as she knew about them.

• Although Shenon could not obtain from the GAO an unredacted record of Zelikow’s cell phone use — and Zelikow used his cell phone for most of his outgoing calls—the Times reporter was able to establish that Zelikow made numerous calls to “456” numbers in the 202 area code, which is the exclusive prefix of the White House.

• Even after his recusal, Zelikow continued to insert himself into the work of “Team 3,” the task force responsible for the most politically-sensitive part of the investigation, counter-terrorism policy. This brief encompassed the White House, which meant investigating the conduct of Condoleeza Rice and Richard Clarke during the months prior to 9/11. Team 3 staffers would come to believe that Zelikow prevented them from submitting a report that would have depicted Rice’s performance as “amount[ing] to incompetence, or something not far from it.”

In Without Precedent, Kean and Hamilton’s 2006 account of the 9/11 panel, the two co-chairmen wrote that Zelikow was a controversial choice . . . [but] we had full confidence in Zelikow’s independence and ability — and frankly, we wanted somebody who was unafraid to roil the waters from time to time. He recused himself from anything involving his work on the NSC transition. He made clear his determination to conduct an aggressive investigation. And he was above all a historian dedicated to a full airing of the facts. It was clear from people who knew and worked with him that Zelikow would not lead a staff inquiry that did anything less than uncover the most detailed and accurate history of 9/11.

Shenon’s radically different account of the commission’s inner workings promises to achieve what none of the crackpot conspiracy theorists have managed to do so far: put the 9/11 Commission in disrepute.

And on to the Bush news (olds?).


Russ Baker

Just read breaking news that the Texas Rangers baseball team — the entity that put George W. Bush on the path to the presidency – has filed for bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg News: The Texas Rangers, the Major League Baseball team controlled by billionaire Thomas Hicks, filed for bankruptcy after the planned sale of the team fell through. The Arlington, Texas-based company listed assets and debt of between $100 million and $500 million in Chapter 11 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth. Alex Rodriguez was listed as the Rangers’ top unsecured creditor. Actually, the team was long bankrupt — morally bankrupt. As I describe in Chapter 13 of my investigative book, Family of Secrets, the back story of George Bush’s involvement with the team, and its antics in making money at the public’s expense, is part of the larger tale of the corruption of America itself. Baseball is touted as the great game for the masses, but it is a business, about connections, making money, getting other people to pay for it. And it is about obtaining public goodwill. Bush used his very small personal investment in the firm, and a hyped-up title of Managing Partner, to create the momentum that led shortly to his being elected governor of Texas and then president of the United States. He also rewarded Hicks, who made Bush rich through purchase of Bush’s shares, by putting Hicks in charge of the vast investment funds of the University of Texas. Here’s the deal: Bush assembled a group of people to take over the team. He made a much smaller investment than the others (who had every incentive to placate the son of the vice president of the United States), and was given a disproportionate amount of stock, which he sold for a great deal to a fellow who wanted a favor, and thereby was able to take a huge amount out the back end. The “value” of the team was largely based on real estate paid for by the local populace in local tax levies, and through the “eminent domain” seizure of land against people’s wishes, contrary to his stated political views against such takings. The people who paid for enriching him thusly were other investors, taxpayers, and, ultimately, the team itself. Now it’s bankrupt. If we’d looked more carefully, when Bush was running for president, at how he made his money on the team, and how the larger ownership group made its money on public subsidies, we would have been forewarned about a presidential administration that would stop at nothing to enable their own circle to raid the public cookie jar. Too late, you might say. But it never hurts, at times like this, to go back and study what exactly happened — to the Rangers, to the Texas public, and to America. We might learn something useful for the future.

Stolen from my buddy at Outta the Cornfield we see the logical culmination of decades of national inattention.

Max Blumenthal goes inside the Tea Party from Ram Bam on Vimeo. And Gerald Celente brings attention to those fleeing from the new "Dust Bowl" catastrophe located along the Gulf of Mexico and the sociopaths who are running the recovery efforts (right, all the recovery efforts). Truly terrifying.

Suzan _______________


Liberality said...

Okay, I will have to come back and take this in chunks because right now I feel overwhelmed by just the first half of this post. I think it can't be any worse and of course I am WRONG!

Suzan said...

Believe me, L,

No one is sorrier about having to report these facts than I.

And wait till you read what I've been working on about the "Quants" who brought all this financial catastrophe BS on our heads.

And they walked away with bonuses on top of their bonuses!!!!!!

Paid for by US!!!!!!!!!

(Because they're WORTH IT!!!!)


Lisa G. said...

The big question is what did the investigation of the investigation of 9/11 find out?

Suzan said...

Come on, Lisa,

You know they weren't allowed to find out anything. Click the button on the left side of my site and read the facts.

And if I continue to get troll attacks from either Chinese impersonators or rightwing misinformation founts, they will be DELETED!!!

Get or go back to your own blogs!


Beach Bum said...

If we’d looked more carefully, when Bush was running for president, at how he made his money on the team...

The Bush family is blessed with satanic protection since Prescott got away with being part of the cabal that wanted to overthrow FDR.