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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu Apr 3, 2014, 10:05 AM

36. More on Creative Associates International

Setting up elaborate systems of front companies and offshore bank accounts is classic CIA stuff -- not normal business operations. So I checked my saved files to see what I had on the firm running this scheme and found that I'd run into Creative Associates International a few years back in the context of Iraq reconstruction boondoggles.

A story from 2003 described how CAI had "been awarded a contract worth US$ 62 million to re-build the education system of Iraq." (http://dissidentvoice.org/Articles4/Oberg_Iraq-Education.htm)

It seems they'd already been involved in Afghanistan: "On the eve of the new school year in Afghanistan, 50 metric tons of new primary textbooks were revised, printed and are being delivered to schools across Afghanistan. Under the USAID-funded $16.5 million Afghanistan Primary Education Program (APEP) and in close collaboration with the Afghanistan Ministry of Education, a consortium led by Creative Associates International completed the job. Requiring complex logistics, books were airlifted from Indonesia to meet the March 22, 2003 school season deadline. By late May, in close collaboration with the American Manufacturers Export Group (AMEG), more than 10 million new text books will have been produced and transported to Afghanistan by Creative Associates International."

Another story from the same period, titled "50 Metric Tons of Learning, Part III," covers much the same territory but also refers to the claim by an Australian publication that "CAI's past clients include the military junta that overthrew the elected government of Haiti in 1991, in a US-backed coup." (http://transnationaled.blogspot.com/2003/06/50-metric-tons-of-learning-part-iii.html)

It then goes on to say, "Now for a far more speculative step. According to John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, in their book Toxic Sludge Is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry, 'The junta transmitted these charges to the US news media through an array of hired lobbyists and PR representatives, including George Demougeot, who also represented a US apparel firm with an assembly plant in Haiti, and Stephen A. Horblitt and Walter E. Faunteroy of Creative Associates International Inc.' CAII does have an office in Haiti and did in 1991. The company has been actively involved in projects there for years. None of this means that CAII participated in a character assassination campaign conducted by an illegal military government. It only means that it is possible and that it bears further research. And that maybe we shouldn't be giving out big no-bid contracts until we understand a little more about Creative Associates International, Inc."

It's clear from both stories that CAI is deeply embedded in the Washington power establishment -- and a lot less clear whether they were being tossed no-bid contracts to do nothing in particular or whether they've been more like a front for off-the-books CIA schemes. But either way, they could use more scrutiny.

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