Friday, December 07, 2018

Barr NO! Here's the dirt others won't talk about: Terror, money laundering, drug flights and the CIA

Today is going to be a pig of a news day. Whatever happens, do not ignore the following. Spread the information as far as you can. We can't allow the truth to go down the memory hole.

It's official: Trump has chosen William Barr as his AG. Why did Trump ally himself with someone closely associated with the Bush clan, even though that clan is hated by most Alt Righties? Because Barr has signaled that he wants to pursue the imaginary conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton and Rosatom.

This earlier Cannonfire post completely demolishes that theory. I note that Trump still has not forced those two Rosatom-owned uranium mines in the US to divest. He has the legal authority to do so, but he hasn't. And he won't do it until someone makes a big stink about the flagrant hypocrisy. That fact alone tells you that Trump doesn't give a damn about this pseudo-scandal except insofar as he can use it against Hillary. Ginning up a new Clinton pseudoscandal will, Trump hopes, deflect the public's attention from his own very real treason.

Barr also favors incarcerating people found guilty of minor drug offenses -- a ploy designed to keep blacks out of the voting pool. (That was the real purpose of his "weed and seed" program. Anyone else remember that?)

Barr thinks that Trump "made the right call" in firing Comey, and he has criticized the Mueller probe as partisan.

Barr and pardons. There's also the matter of pardons. Barr believes in 'em, big time, especially when it comes to hobbling a special counsel looking into the crimes of a Republican president.

Read this WP piece from 1992 and you'll be reminded of why we all hated Poppy -- and why some of us felt like tossing our cookies while watching MSNBC's days-long outburst of Bush-worship. Remember this...?
But in a single stroke, Mr. Bush swept away one conviction, three guilty pleas and two pending cases, virtually decapitating what was left of Mr. Walsh's effort, which began in 1986. Mr. Bush's decision was announced by the White House in a printed statement after the President left for Camp David, where he will spend the Christmas holiday.

Mr. Walsh bitterly condemned the President's action, charging that "the Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed."

Mr. Walsh directed his heaviest fire at Mr. Bush over the pardon of Mr. Weinberger, whose trial would have given the prosecutor a last chance to explore the role in the affair of senior Reagan officials, including Mr. Bush's actions as Vice President.
Charles Pierce recalls the bad old days:
You see, under President Poppy, there was this thing called Iraqgate—which is not to be confused with the Iran-Contra scandal, in which President Poppy also was hip-deep. In this episode, a tangled mess if there ever was one, it was suggested that the Poppy Bush administration was helping to arm Saddam Hussein's Iraq through a complicated scheme involving allegedly misused U.S. agricultural credits and a corrupt bank in Atlanta. This was somewhat embarrassing to Bush, as his administration was being accused of helping build the war machine that he'd sent American troops to destroy in Kuwait. The House Judiciary Committee asked that a special counsel be appointed. William Barr, then the Attorney General, refused to do so.

(Earlier, Barr also had refused to appoint a special counsel to look into the monumental money-laundering operation of the Bank of Commerce and Credit International, a massive scandal that only then-Senator John Kerry had the stones to take on.)

Soon, however, the charges morphed into accusations that the CIA and the Justice Department had meddled in the investigation into the aforementioned Atlanta bank. Now enmeshed in the controversy himself, Barr stepped aside and agreed to appoint a special prosecutor to look into that specific aspect of the situation. Nobody was satisfied and nothing ever came of the investigation. Once Bill Clinton became president, his DOJ closed the book on Iraqgate. It is not unfair to say that Barr's record is that of a Republican retainer, and not a disinterested law-enforcement official.
The BCCI scandal. Younger folk won't recall it, but it was huge in the 1990s. BCCI was a CIA-linked bank which handled tons of dope money and terror money. Later, we learned that BCCI played a role in the creation of Al Qaeda. Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz owned one-fifth of BCCI and later funded Al Qaeda; the sister of a BCCI executive married Osama Bin Laden. See here:
Investigators have learned that Osama bin Laden was among those with accounts in a bank shut down in 1991 in one of the world's biggest banking scandals, Sen. John Kerry said Wednesday.

The Bank of Credit and Commerce International was closed after bank regulators around the globe linked it to fraud, theft, secret weapons deals, terrorist financing and drug-money laundering.
Congress wanted a special counsel, but Barr barred the way.

Basically, Barr did for BCCI precisely what Alexander Acosts did for Jeffrey Epstein: He reached a "sweetheart" plea deal. The miscreants pled to minor charges and received wrist slaps, while the Justice Department agreed that none of the evidence (much of which was collected by Customs) would be used in any future trial.

The whole thing stank. What Barr did was corrupt as hell -- all the moreso because he should have recused himself from the matter. From Rodney Stich's Defrauding America:
Before William Barr came to the Jutice Department, he was a lawyer with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Pots & Trowbridge. This law firm represented BCCI for several years. A partner in the law firm, Kenly Webster, was representing a former BCCI chief executive, Swalch Naqvi, who had been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on fraud, false accounting, money laundering and other charges.
Actually, Stich only scratches the surface. To learn the true depths of Barr's corruption, you have to start at the beginning.

Barr was a CIA lawyer. In fact, he was the CIA's counsel during Poppy Bush's tenure as Director of Central Intelligence and appeared with Bush during congressional hearings. It was a remarkable position for such a young man; Barr was then in his 20s. One wonders how he got the gig.

As noted above, BCCI -- owned by an Arab conglomerate -- did a lot of covert financial work for the CIA, a fact which neatly explains why they received a "get out of jail free" card from a CIA lawyer elevated into the AG position.

Too many people talk about Poppy Bush's presidency while ignoring his tenure at the CIA. He became DCI during a period of congressional investigations into the Agency's misdeeds; many of you will recall the heroic efforts of Otis Pike and Frank Church. Those investigations stopped under Bush -- and the man who kept Congress at bay was William Barr. Stonewalling was his job.

After Bush left CIA, Barr clerked for Judge Malcolm Wilkey, another jurist long connected the the Bush family. (The Bushes collect lawyers the way some rich people collect art.) Wilkey himself functioned as a special prosecutor in a now-forgotten scandal concerning the House Post Office, which was concocted to chasten a Democratic House.

In 1978, Wilkey was the one who arranged for Barr to join Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman), a firm with undeniable CIA links. This remarkable 1981 article ties the firm to CIA luminaries like Ted Shackley and Ed Wilson, not to mention EATSCO. (If you're an old-school spookwatcher like me, you must be nodding your head in recognition right now.)

Southern Air Transport. After Reagan won the 1980 election, Barr spent some time on his staff, then drifted back into allegedly private practice. Supposedly, he drew a salary from Shaw Pittman, but he actually worked for Southern Air Transport, perhaps the most notorious of the CIA's airlines. This Agency front company was at the heart of the Iran-Contra scandal; Southern Air flew the arms to Iran.

From Wikipedia:
The shooting down of an SAT flight in Nicaragua in October 1986 helped expose the Iran-Contra affair.[3] Additionally, SAT aircraft were spotted being loaded with cocaine in Colombia in the same time period.
One could write a long article about SAT links to the drug trade. For now, just keep this fact in mind: William Barr was SAT's attorney while all of this was going on.

How BCCI came to America. During his time with Shaw Pitman, one of Barr's clients was a wealthy Marylander named B.F. Saul II. He was the chairman of a bank: Financial General Bankshares. Barr directly represented that man and thus, that bank -- which soon changed its name to First American. It had 43 branches in New York City and 183 branches in DC. It was a big deal bank -- and a bunch of crooks (mostly from Saudi Arabia) took it over.

This takeover -- which most now say was quite illegal -- is arguably the key factor that put BCCI in the public eye. I realize that financial scandals tend to make eyes glaze over, but this section from Wikipedia may give you a flavor of what BCCI got up to.
In addition to violations of lending laws, BCCI was also accused of opening accounts or laundering money for figures such as Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, Hussain Mohammad Ershad, and Samuel Doe,[11] and for criminal organizations such as the Medellin Cartel and Abu Nidal.[13] Police and intelligence experts nicknamed BCCI the "Bank of Crooks and Criminals International" for its penchant for catering to customers who dealt in arms, drugs, and hot money.[14]

William von Raab, a former U.S. Commissioner of Customs, also told the Kerry Committee that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency held "several" accounts at BCCI. According to a 1991 article in Time magazine, the National Security Council also had accounts at BCCI, which were used for a variety of covert operations, including transfers of money and weapons for Iran-Contra.
Let it all sink in. Savor it. William Barr -- a CIA lawyer -- had helped this outrageously crooked enterprise take over a major American bank. BCCI got a free pass because it handled dirty money for the Agency.

Later, under Bush, Barr protected those involved with the BCCI scandal. Again: He should have recused himself, but he didn't.

Now, you'd think that a man with this kind of history would outrage the conspiratorial right. After all, right-wing conspiracy buffs say they hate the Bush family. Many of them also have a bug up their collective ass about Islam, so you'd think they'd be concerned about the fact that William Barr helped a conglomerate of crooked Saudis take over a major American bank. You'd think that people who caterwaul about the Deep State would be concerned about Barr's history as a CIA lawyer.


The Trumpers will rationalize the choice of William Barr. After all, they rationalized Trump's hiring of Goldman Sachs alums to run the economy. (Into the ground, it would seem.)

As Barr faces Congress, keep the focus on his history as a spook lawyer. He handled all of the dirtiest assignments that the covert world has to offer.

The Barr choice proves what I've said all along: Trump would not be where he is without help from the American intelligence community, or at least from a faction therof. Most people now forget that Cambridge Analytica (a home-away-from-home for British spooks) did a lot of work for America's spooks.

(Yet people like Malcolm Nance and Louise Mensch still peddle a "spooks against Trump" scenario. It's bullshit.)

Young conspiracy buffs are infuriating. They chase after utter nonsense like Pizzagate and Qanon while ignoring the real shit. William Barr -- CIA lawyer, Trump's soon-to-be AG -- is Mr. Conspiracy; his resume is spookier than the Haunted Mansion. And the right will not care. The right doesn't mind using incredibly strained argumentation to link Hillary Clinton to BCCI (as evidenced by this laughable exercise) but they won't say a word about Barr's actual, provable, undeniable links to BCCI, Southern Air Transport, and Iran-Contra.

The supercilious silly-billies who worship Alex Jones will give Barr a pass because he can't be linked to Soros or the Clintons -- and because he now will devote all of his spooky skills to saving Donald Trump's guilty ass. 


joseph said...

I have little use for the Bush family, but I think we ought to let him rest in the ground for a week or so before dumping on him. Not to dump on him, but to ask a question however. How did a two term congressman whose resume consisted of two years ambassador to the UN, one year as chairman of the Republican National Committee, one year as ambassador to China and one year as Director of Central Intelligence, then was out of the public eye for three years, get to be nominated for the Vice Presidency? Most Vice Presidential candidates have far more elected public service, in fact far more public service, so why was he picked?

Gus said...

joseph, good question, as Reagan hated HW Bush, but was somehow "convinced" to name his as his VP. I think not enough bad things can really be said about HW Bush, and should be especially now with the press pretending he was a good guy somehow. He was undoubtedly an intelligence asset even before the Kennedy assassination and was working for the CIA covertly for years before being named director (another oddity for someone with very little experience in government at the time, and allegedly no ties to the agency, even though he spent his year there burying evidence shutting down inquiries into their activities).

For the post at hand, I say it is almost funny how the right wingers are so conspiracy oriented yet will take a pass on ACTUAL conspiracies carried out by Republicans over the years. HW Bush was a major player in several of them, and was able to shut down investigations that would have led to him by becoming VP and President. But I guess Trump with his 19th dimensional chess is really just using these completely corrupt former associates of the Bush clan to get the "real" criminals.........the Clinton's. Clinton derangement syndrome has become a plague.

Mr Mike said...

Democrats screwed up twice in the past 25 years with catastrophic effects.
The first was Bill Clinton refusing to reopen Iran-Contra. He decided to enlist republican help to build that bridge to the 21st century. Newt thanked him two years later with Whitewater.
Exposing all the bad actors would have killed any chance Bush the Lesser had and the WTC towers might be standing.
The second was Nancy Pelosi refusing to hold any hearings on Bush and dick Cheney lying us into Iraq with "Impeachment is off the table"
That lost the House in 2010 jamming up President Obama's agenda.
Hopefully Pelosi will have learned something.

Anonymous said...

Got a feeling that “Mena” might be making another appearance in the infosphere.


Alessandro Machi said...

So which is worse, Private Criminals, or Political Criminals? Those who support Trump believe that being a Private Criminal is less worse than being a Political Criminal. Political Criminals can do great damage, legally, whereas Private Criminals can be jailed by Political Criminals.
That is why Trump loyalists will remain loyal to him.
Now let's compare affairs. Trump affairs were with publicly known women, and he paid them off well to keep quiet, all done as a Private Citizen. Mr. Clinton's alleged affairs were with everyday people, probably no real pay out, and possibly fear for their well being, and done as a politician if they happened.
Trump uses his position as a private businessman for most of his life as a shield that allows him to denigrate anyone in politics for almost any reason. Too many Americans who don't believe in their politicians are all in on Trump no matter what. The best way to defeat Trump is to deal with Middle America on the street level, which apparently is how Trump used Facebook Micro Ads in 2016 to help convert Clinton Supporters into Trump Supporters.
At this point in time, I would not want a Clinton presidency if she is just going to stick to what she knows. All I see now is an older, wealthy, politician reaching out to the Progressive movement, you know, the movement that blames Elder America for all that is wrong in the world.

imnotalone said...

I do think you've missed a lot of the dots. During the Iran /Contra investigation into cocaine smuggling. John Kerry was appointed, why?

Well, the answer is rather simply. (Okay, here's the point where I'll be accused of wearing my tinfoil cap). What did Bush & Kerry have in common? Their membership in the Skull & Bones Society. So it made perfect sense for Kerry to lead the coverup.

What else was taking place during that time? Have overlooked or just disregard the Mena, Arkansas, Barry Seal connection?

We know Barry had a long career as dope runner for the CIA. He himself had a service facility in Mena where modified his airplanes.

Dan Lasiter(?) was know to use and sell coke. A number of people have testified of witnessing Clinton using coke also.

During the Whitewater investigation (cover up) the special council, Kenneth Starr was chosen, again why? Ken has an interesting connection to the CIA. His great uncle (forget name) was one of the people that started AIG. Which has had CIA types in and out for decades. AIG, was started the savings & loan company that was tied in with the Whitewater property sales. Then another state actor was also associated with the investigation, B Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh if you'll remember was instrumental in blocking the testimony of Patrick Knowlton. If he would have given his account of the events surrounding Ft Marcuy Park, the day Foster's body was found it would have punched holes in the official story.

Here, recently, the death of th WAPO journalists Jamal Khashoggi. Brought back another name with CIA connections, Adnan Khashoggi, Jamal's uncle. Je was the middleman in the weapons sales to Iran. BCCI was where the loan came from.
Jamal as the childhood friend of bi Laden was right in the thick of things. He new about the dope running going on in Afghanistan. He was there when Carter's man Z Brzezinski, along with the CIA were training the Mujihidden and supplying them with weapons.

No, I think you're missing the bigger picture. The only way this stays hidden from the public at large is if EVERYONE is involved in some fashion. Whether it's Bill Clinton Steve Mnuchin, and the Bush's at the Bohemian Groove. Bill and Donald going to Jeff Epstein's entrapment island. Or that Hillary and Donald, Soros, have been friends and business partners for decades.

There are no innocent people in government, not at this level. That's why Clinton didn't investigate bush, bush didn't investigate Clinton, Clinton didn't investigate bush, Obama didn't investigate bush and now Donald hasn't investigated Obama.