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|Octafish (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore||Mon Feb-25-08 05:31 PM
|Know your BFEE: They Looted Your Nation’s S&Ls for Power and Profit|
Pete Brewton's book, “George Bush, the CIA and the Mafia,” is a must-own for those interested in the workings of the Bush Organized Crime Family. Written by a former Houston Post reporter, the book documents, literally, the way the Mafia, the CIA and those connected and related to George Poppy Bush looted more than 1,000 of the nation’s Savings and Loans institutions — and pretty much got away with it, scot-free.
One way they did it was to get a person inside the S&Ls to make high-risk loans for imaginary project that would go no where. It could be a mega-mall construction project or a new high-rise condo. Collateral could be something as flimsy as a Xeroxed deed with the real owner’s name “White-Out.”
Then, before even one shovel of dirt gets turned, the loanee goes bankrupt and POOF go $6 million, say. Before it can be retrieved. . By then, the money was offshore and the bankruptee went on with his or her life as normal. The crooks behind them had additional, tax-free revenue. I kid you not, this happened in Pontiac, Michigan in 1989.
Like with other real journalists, writing about this stuff eventually cost Brewton his job. Heck, the original publisher dropped the book after getting "the call."
Brewton's book is a terribly difficult read, because of the complex nature of the conspiracies surrounding the S&Ls, money laundering, black ops, and Big Oil. It doesn’t make an easy to follow, Hansel-and-Gretel-bread-crumbs-through-the-forest story.
Then again, complex is how things are on a detailed road map. Here's what I mean from a info available on-line:
EXCERPT from "The Mafia, CIA & George Bush: The Untold Story of America's Greatest Financial Debacle — Corruption, greed and abuse of power in the nation's highest office."
The original subscribers to Cotopax, who then turned Skyways Aircraft Leasing over to Bath, were Cayhaven Corporate Services, Ltd., of George Town, Grand Cayman; David G. Bird of George Town; and Grant J. R. Stein of George Town. Bird and Stein are both directors of Cayhaven Corporate Services and attorneys with W. S. Walker & Company, a law firm in George Town headed by William S. Walker.
Cayhaven Corporate Services and Bird were two of the three subscribers to a Cayman Islands company called I.C., Inc., which was incorporated April 26, 1985. I.C. sits right in the middle of a chart drawn by Oliver North, and found by investigators in North's White House safe, that shows the private network that provided support and money to the Contras. Here's how it worked:
The money started with donations to Spitz Channell's National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty (NEPL). Then it was wired from NEPL's account at Palmer National Bank to the account of IBC, a Washington, D.C., public relations company formed by Republican operative Richard Miller at another Washington bank. Next, IBC wired the money to I.C. in the Cayman Islands, which then transferred a majority of it to the Swiss bank account used by North's "Enterprise" to fund the Contras.
On March 7, 1987, the Washington Post published the only account of these transactions. It called the flow of money a "circuitous route" and then stated: "It is not clear from the documents who is behind I.C., Inc., the Cayman Islands company, or why it was needed to transfer the money." Apparently no investigator with the Tower Commission probe of Iran-Contra or the congressional Iran-Contra committees was able, or even tried, to get to the bottom of I.C. either.
Don’t worry. The Bushes make out O.K.
The Bush family and the S&L Scandal
The Savings and Loan industry had been experiencing major problems through the late 60s and 70s due to rising inflation and rising interest rates. Because of this there was a move in the 1970s to replace the role of S&L institutions with banks.
In the early 1980s, under Reagan, regulatory changes took place that gave the S&L industry new powers and for the first time in history measures were taken to increase the profitability of S&Ls at the expense of promoting home ownership.
A history of the S&L situation can be found here:
What is important to note about the S&L scandal is that it was the largest theft in the history of the world and US tax payers are who was robbed.
The problems occurred in the Savings and Loan industry as they relate to theft because the industry was deregulated under the Reagan/Bush administration and restrictions were eased on the industry so much that abuse and misuse of funds became easy, rampant, and went unchecked.
Additional facts on the Savings and Loan Scandal can be found here:
There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and still part of the Bush Jr. administration today. Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this is about one quarter of our national debt).
Between 1981 and 1989, when George Bush finally announced that there was a Savings and Loan Crisis to the world, the Reagan/Bush administration worked to cover up Savings and Loan problems by reducing the number and depth of examinations required of S&Ls as well as attacking political opponents who were sounding early alarms about the S&L industry. Industry insiders were aware of significant S&L problems as early 1986 that they felt would require a bailout. This information was kept from the media until after Bush had won the 1988 elections.
With big wealth, comes big, eh, tastes...
Neil Bush, for one, shined in the S&L business.
O, Brother! Where Art Thou?
Like Hugh Rodham, the Bush Bros. Have Capitalized on Family Ties
BY LOUIS DUBOSE
Unless you've been reading the Houston Chronicle society page, it's unlikely you've seen any current news about Neil Bush. The third Bush sibling has been almost as invisible as his apolitical brother Marvin, a venture capitalist living in northern Virginia, and his sister Dorothy "Doro" Koch, the youngest of the five Bush siblings, who quietly raises funds for charities in a Maryland suburb near Washington. While Jeb was governor of Florida and George W. was twice elected governor of Texas, Neil was either part of the late Maxine Mesinger's "crème de la crème crowd" at a Houston social event, or a stale S&L footnote: "the director of Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan when it crashed in 1988 at a cost of $1 billion to taxpayers."
In 1990, Bush paid a $50,000 fine and was banned from banking activities for his role in taking down Silverado, which actually cost taxpayers $1.3 billion. A Resolution Trust Corporation Suit against Bush and other officers of Silverado was settled in 1991 for $26.5 million. And the fine wasn't exactly paid by Neil Bush. A Republican fundraiser set up a fund to help defer costs Neil incurred in his S&L dealings. Friends and relatives contributed -- but not then-President and Barbara Bush, which would have been unseemly. Since then, the Bush political combine has done such a remarkable job keeping Neil in the background that what seemed like a 10-year news blackout didn't end until mid-February, when the Austin Business Journal reported that Bush "quietly is heading a local start-up that's raising at least $10 million in second-round funding." According to the business newsweekly, Bush has already raised $7.1 million from 53 investors underwriting Ignite! Inc., an educational software company. After being banned from banking and all but airbrushed out of the family portrait -- or at least the family news profile -- Neil Bush is back.
Bush wasn't just an average S&L exec drawing a big salary and recklessly pushing a federally insured institution beyond its lending limits. As a director of a failing thrift in Denver, Bush voted to approve $100 million in what were ultimately bad loans to two of his business partners. And in voting for the loans, he failed to inform fellow board members at Silverado Savings & Loan that the loan applicants were his business partners. Federal banking regulators later followed the trail of defaulted loans to Neil Bush oil ventures, in particular JNB International, an oil and gas exploration company awarded drilling concessions in Argentina -- despite its complete lack of experience in international oil and gas drilling. It probably helped that the Bush family had cultivated close ties with the fabulously corrupt Carlos Menem, former president of Argentina.
When JNB's rights and obligations were assumed by other investors, Neil tried to persuade another American oil and gas exploration company, Plains Resources, to invest in Argentina. Plains wasn't buying. But it was hiring, and picked up Neil as a consultant for its Argentine market -- because, as Plains executive Carlos Garibaldi told The New York Times' Jeff Gerth in 1992, Neil had "traveled
That claim was hard to make in 1993, when Neil, Marvin, James Baker III, John Sununu, and Thomas Kelly (who had served as director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War) joined President Bush on a trip to Kuwait. Three months out of office, the elder Bush was traveling on a Kuwait Airlines flight to accept an honorary degree from the country's university and its highest honor from its leader: Emir Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Sabah. The rest of the Bush entourage was following along to exploit the market in a country that considered the ex-president its savior. Former Secretary of State Baker was doing deals for Enron (the Houston-based energy-related company and contributor to Bush the Elder and later a $525,000 donor to George W. Bush's two gubernatorial races in Texas). Marvin was representing U.S. defense firms selling electronic fences to the Kuwaiti Defense Ministry. And Neil was selling anti-pollution equipment to Kuwaiti oil contractors.
Money for war and who knows what else.
Organized Crime, The CIA and the Savings and Loan Scandal
The savings and loan scandal of the 1980s has been depicted in a myriad of ways. To some, it is "the greatest ... scandal in American history" (Thomas, 1991: 30). To others it is the single greatest case of fraud in the history of crime (Seattle Times, June 11, 1991). Some analysts see it as the natural result of the ethos of greed promulgated by the Reagan administration (Simon and Eitzen, 1993: 50). And to some it was a premeditated conspiracy to move covert funds out of the country for use by the U.S. Intelligence Agency (Bainerman, 1992: 275). All of these depictions of the S & L scandal contain elements of truth. But to a large degree, the savings and loan scandal was simply business as usual. What was unusual about it was not that it happened, or who was involved, but that it was so blatant and coarse a criminal act that exposure became inevitable. But with its exposure, three basic but usually ignored "truths" about organized crime were once again demonstrated with startlingly clarity:
There is precious little difference between those people who society designates as respectable and law abiding and those people society castigates as hoodlums and thugs.
The world of corporate finance and corporate capital is as criminogenic and probably more criminogenic than any poverty-wracked slum neighborhood.
The distinctions drawn between business, politics, and organized crime are at best artificial and in reality irrelevant. Rather than being dysfunctions, corporate crime, white-collar crime, organized crime, and political corruption are mainstays of American political-economic life.
It is not our intent to discuss the unethical and even illegal business practices of the failed savings and loans and their governmental collaborators. The outlandish salaries paid by S & L executives to themselves, the subsidies to the thrifts from Congress which rewarded incompetence and fraud, the land "flips" which resulted in real estate being sold back and forth in an endless "kiting" scheme, and the political manipulation designed to delay the scandal until after the 1988 presidential elections are all immensely interesting and important. But they are subjects for others' inquiries. Our interest is in the savings and loans as living, breathing organisms that fused criminal corporations, organized crime, and the CIA into a single entity that served the interests of the political and economic elite in America. Let us begin by quickly summarizing the most blatant examples of collaboration between financial institutions, the mob, and the intelligence community.
First National Bank of Maryland: For two years, 1983-1985, the First National Bank of Maryland was used by Associated Traders, a CIA proprietary company, to make payments for covert operations. Associated traders used its accounts at First National to supply $23 million in arms for covert operations in Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, and Nicaragua (Bainerman, 1992; 276-277; Covert Action 35, 1990).
The links between the First National Bank of Maryland and the CIA were exposed in a lawsuit filed in Federal District Court by Robert Maxwell, a high-ranking bank officer. Maxwell charged in that suit that he had been asked to commit crimes on behalf of the CIA. Specifically, he charged that he was asked to conceal Associated Traders' business activities, which by law he was required to specify on all letters of credit. Maxwell alleged that he had been physically threatened and forced to leave his job after asking that his superiors supply him with a letter stating that the activities he was being asked to engage in were legal. In responding to Maxwell's lawsuit, attorneys for the bank state that "a relationship between First National and the CIA and Associated Traders was classified information which could neither be confirmed nor denied (Bainerman, 1992: 276-277; Washington Business Journal, February 5, 1990).
Palmer National Bank: The Washington, D.C.-based Palmer National Bank was founded in 1983 on the basis of a $2.8 million loan from Herman K. Beebe to Harvey D. McLean, Jr. McLean was a Shreveport Louisiana businessman who owned Paris (Texas) Savings and Loan. Herman Beebe played a key role in the savings and loan scandal. Houston Post reporter Pete Brewton linked Beebe to a dozen failed S & L's, and Stephen Pizzo, Mary Fricker, and Paul Muolo, in their investigation of the S & L fiasco, called Beebe's banks "potentially the most powerful and corrupt banking network ever seen in the U.S." Altogether, Herman Beebe controlled, directly or indirectly, at least 55 banks and 29 S & L's in eight states. What is particularly interesting about Beebe's participation in these banks and savings and loans is his unique background. Herman Beebe had served nine months in federal prison for bank fraud and had impeccable credentials as a financier for New Orleans-based organized crime figures, including Vincent and Carlos Marcello (Bainerman, 1992: 277-278; Brewton, 1993: 170- 179).
Harvey McLean's partner in the Palmer National Bank was Stefan Halper. Halper had served as George Bush's foreign policy director during the 1980 presidential primaries. During the general election campaign, Halper was in charge of a highly secretive operations center, consisting of Halper and several ex- CIA operatives who kept close tabs on Jimmy Carter's foreign policy activities, particularly Carter's attempt to free U.S. hostages in Iran. Halper was later linked both to the "Debategate" scandal, in which it is alleged that Carter's briefing papers for his debates with Ronald Reagan were stolen, and with "The October Surprise," in which it is alleged that representatives of the Reagan campaign tried to thwart U.S. efforts to free the Iranian hostages until after the presidential election. Halper also set up a legal defense fund for Oliver North.
During the Iran-Contra Affair, Palmer National was the bank of record for the National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty, a front group run by Oliver North and Carl "Spitz" Channell, which was used to send money and weapons to the contras.
Looting the S&Ls. This is where Jack Abramoff’s teachers were schooled.
George Herbert Willie Sutton Walker Bush
“It’s where the money was. By the way, thanks for the rub.”
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