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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 02:15 AM
Original message
WaPo: Allbritton Loses Riggs Bank (front page, day 3)
Critics Say Allbritton Ruined Bank He Loved

By David Montgomery and Kathleen Day
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, July 17, 2004; Page A01

(Mods, story has up to three headlines, posted head is the first clicker)

Joe L. Allbritton loved Riggs Bank to death.

The strong-willed Texan bought control of the beloved and storied Washington institution in 1981 at its peak of influence and prestige. The "bank of presidents" served 21 first families over the years, financed the purchase of Alaska and became the largest bank in the region.

Yesterday, Washington awoke to learn that after more than 160 years, the Riggs name will disappear, swallowed by PNC Financial Services Group Inc. Allbritton once dismissed such faceless financial conglomerates as "toothpaste banks" -- Crestar, Sovran -- and vowed never to sell out to one. But by yesterday he had no choice. His Riggs was no longer the largest or most important bank in the Washington area, and it was enveloped in a thickening cloud of scandal over failing to guard against money laundering and catering to dictators along with presidents.

Over the years, Allbritton's passionate devotion to "the Riggs" never flagged, nor did his strong personal intervention in the bank's direction or his cultivation of rarefied segments of the market -- embassies, trusts, private banking for the richest of the rich.


Two top bank regulators -- the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency -- recently began a targeted review of Joe Allbritton's activities at the bank and its holding company, Riggs National Corp., to see if he violated any laws and whether any civil fines or criminal referrals to the Department of Justice should be made, government sources familiar with the investigation said.

At issue is whether Allbritton was an active participant in the daily operations of the bank even though he has not been a director or executive of the bank for three years, the sources said. If regulators determine he was an active participant, then he could face fines or other sanctions, government sources said.



Thurs&Fri. WaPo's in here:


Some others:


Related WaPo Sat:

Pittsburgh Bank To Buy Riggs
PNC Financial to Pay $705.2 Million For Embattled Washington Institution

By Terence O'Hara
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 17, 2004; Page A01

Riggs National Corp., reeling from multiple probes into money laundering within its once-elite embassy banking division, yesterday agreed to sell out to a Pittsburgh banking company for a bargain price.

One of Washington's oldest commercial institutions, the 168-year-old bank will become part of PNC Financial Services Group Inc., which will pay a combination of cash and stock worth $705.2 million. The deal is not expected to be made final, however, for at least another six months, and PNC has reserved the right to cancel the purchase if regulators or prosecutors charge Riggs with any further wrongdoing.

PNC officials said the purchase will give them a low-priced entry into one of the most profitable and fastest-growing banking markets in the country. All of Riggs's 51 branches, about three-quarters of which are in the District, will be renamed PNC.

Joe L. Allbritton, the face of Riggs for more than 20 years after he bought it in 1981, and his son Robert, the current chief executive, will cash in stock options worth millions in the deal. Joe Allbritton steadfastly refused to sell Riggs during an era of bank consolidation when ordinary shareholders might have realized more of a premium and instead charted it on a course that produced a long, slow decline in earnings and prestige. At the same time the bank was cultivating high-risk relationships with foreign leaders including officials of the Saudi government, Chile's Augusto Pinochet and Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

There was no showy news conference with both merger partners proclaiming the deal, which valued Riggs on the low end of comparable purchases. In a written response to a list of questions, Joe Allbritton, who remains the company's biggest shareholder, expressed regret that the bank will lose its independence. But he said, "Now it is time to move along and let others manage Riggs into the future."


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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 02:23 AM
Response to Original message
1. NYT
PNC Financial to Acquire Riggs National

Published: July 17, 2004

WASHINGTON, July 16 - PNC Financial Services, the Pittsburgh bank, said Friday that it would acquire the venerable and beleaguered Riggs National Corporation for $779 million in stock and cash. The deal ends Riggs's independence, but does not fully put to rest all the problems engulfing the bank.

Riggs, which is based here, is mired in investigations of possible money laundering and terrorist financing through Saudi Arabian and Equatorial Guinean accounts at the bank. The sale comes after a scathing Senate report released late Wednesday that portrays Riggs as a willing facilitator of possibly illicit financial deals involving a corrupt, brutal regime in the oil-rich Equatorial Guinea as well as years of shady interactions with Chile's former dictator, Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

While the sale is fairly small by standard valuations, it is significant because the scandal enveloping Riggs has been watched with great apprehension by other banks wary that it will force regulators to police the industry much more strictly.


"I was amused by the comment of the PNC people on the conference call today that regulators, and I'm paraphrasing, were more than thrilled by this sale - they were doing cartwheels," said Gary B. Townsend, a banking analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey


"What has been swept under the rug for years is criminal activity," said Charles Intriago, publisher of Money Laundering Alert, a newsletter. "Banking regulators have been asleep at the switch and I'm worried that the Justice Department is going to be their bunkmates."


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gandalf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 04:18 AM
Response to Original message
2. Long NYT article on Riggs from April 11, 2004
3070 words with a lot of background information.

Here is a pdf-file of this article:

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. gandalf your link's not working
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gandalf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-04 04:12 AM
Response to Reply #4
16. It should work now, I hope

Click on the link.

I don't understand these cheap yahoo-sites...
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susu369 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. Was Rush Limbaugh a customer of Rigged, I mean Riggs, bank?
Edited on Sat Jul-17-04 08:03 AM by susu369
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. related article: Buying a Broken Bank
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 17, 2004; Page E01


"Riggs is a broken bank. This is not a company that you just acquire, throw your name on it, and be done with it," said Gerard S. Cassidy, managing director of RBC Capital Markets. "There's a lot of hard, heavy lifting that has to be done."

PNC is buying a bank with problems including out-of-date technology and continuing questions about its failure to prevent possible money laundering by embassy customers.


Rohr said Riggs plans to divest itself of most of its international and embassy business before the deal goes through. Those divisions got a lot of attention from Riggs management, but turned little profit in recent years. Now, they have become a major liability. Allegations that Riggs helped hide the fortune of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet came in the wake of revelations that Riggs had flouted money-laundering rules in its handling of the accounts of foreign embassies, including those of Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea. Earlier this year, Riggs was slapped with a $25 million fine.

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Why would anyone want to buy a bank that's been funding
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
7. Poppy's/Junior's "blind trusts" held in Riggs accounts managed
Edited on Sat Jul-17-04 09:26 AM by emad aisat sana
by the now dumped US Ambassador to UK William Stamps Farish III? With Uncle Jonathan at the helm as chairman what a winning combo.

Snip from UK Financial Times:

PNC to buy Riggs bank for $779m
By James Politi in New York
Published: July 16 2004 14:17 | Last Updated: July 16 2004 14:17

Riggs National, a bank that has held accounts for US presidents and boasts many foreign embassies as its clients, on Friday agreed to be sold for nearly $800m in stock and cash to PNC Financial of Pennsylvania.....................

This week, a congressional report slammed Riggs for not informing regulators that it was handling tens of millions of dollars for Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, and for top officials in the African dictatorship of Equatorial Guinea. In May, Riggs was ordered to pay a record fine of $25m for money-laundering violations related to diplomats' accounts.

Shortly after, the bank that in the 19th century financed the US government's purchase of Alaska with $7m in gold, announced it was up for sale.

PNC, which edged out competing offers for Riggs from other regional banks in the US, expects the bank's international and embassy units to be divested before the deal closes.

So, the banker to US presidents and foreign embassies...fined for money laundering violations related to diplomats' accounts.

NO official explanation given about what Farish was dumped so unceremoniously from top London posting in June.

The buzz at London's prestigeous Foreign Correspondents' Club says Farish's wife Sarah was interviewed by UK police in June re her involvement in the now defunct French media giant Versailles whose chairman/c.e.o. Carl Cushnie has been arrested for fraud/embezzlement along with his financial director. By 'involvement' I take it that what's implied is that she was a concealing an investment which was not

Farish and wife departed last saturday. Don T Johnson now left in charge as "Charg d'Affaires ad interim" - ie pooper scooper in residence....

Embassy biog on Johnson:

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Poppy's bagman Farish quits top London posting
This was an excellent thread, worth looking at again.


"Which makes me think the Farish resignation is merely the tip of an iceberg that's going to sink something titanic in the next few weeks. Like the BFEE." June 21

OK emad I'm waiting patiently

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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. It was the mysterious/unexpected deaths of those Saudi princes
the Salman brothers who were highly connected to Saudi ruling family and Farish's frequent partners in bloodstock/horse breeding (quoted on post #39).

Salmans, Farish, Al-Maktoum brothers of Dubai, UAE and Paul Mellon all ran mutually-beneficial bloodstock/breeding syndicates registered offshore in the Carribean. Their London political salons the hottest hotbed of politicking.

Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is UAE Defence Minister and based 50% of the year in UK. Farish appointment as top Bushman at US embassy a handy pre-cursor to war in Iraq given strategic importance of the Straits of Hormuz, patrolled by UAE marine forces under Shaikh Mohammed.

Mohammed is a crook. His UK equine interests, Godolphin, were confiscated in late 1995 in the UK High Court which issued a gagging order about it. He still spearheads that operation in public, worth a quoted $2.5billion, and won't allow media speculation about the court action that took him to the cleaners. But he doesn't own it!

It was Kissinger and Meese - via Thatcher's man Jonathan Aitken and later John Major - who promoted Shaikh Mohammed's elevation to Crown Prince of the Dubai after deals struck with his father Shaikh Rashid's bagman Mahdi Al Tajir, UAE Ambassador to the UK under Thatcher. Previously Shaikh Mohammed was an also ran and not in direct line of sucession to the Dubai rulership. Subsequent elevation to Defence Minister of the UAE was always considered way out of line given his capabilities.

Dubai may be the source of the now discredited WMD intelligence which featured so prominently in the Blair JIC pre-war report, now outed as lavatory-paper grade intelligence.

Either way, the Farish saga may well be connected to the Riggs biz, given that he was Poppy's blind trust bagman from 1980-88, and then 1988-92. And now Junior's.

Wonder what size payoff Jonathan Bush will be given in his golden goodbye?

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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I'm starting to think anything connected with Dubai is supicious
I've just done a search in my recently saved file (both DU threads and other articles) and found a bunch of mentions of Dubai, none of them positive.

For starters, BCCI was based in Dubai (although founded and owned in Pakistan.) Dubai is still spoken of as the money-laundering center of the Persian Gulf.

Indian crime lord and Islamic terrorist Dawood Ibrahim was operating out of Dubai in 1993 when his group bombed the Mumbai Stock Exchange, and members of his group are still based in Dubai. Bank accounts in Dubai have been linked to other terrorists and also to the weapons-dealing Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan.

On Plame Thread #4, someone quoted a statement by Senator Lautenberg, in which he said, "This week, my staff uncovered documents from the Department of Commerce revealing a 'flurry of business activities' between Halliburton and the Iranian government when Vice President Cheney ran the company. The documents indicate contacts between an Iranian oil company called Kala Limited and a subsidiary of Halliburton, Halliburton Products and Services, which has 'offices' in Dubai but is registered in the Cayman Islands."

So what you say fits right in. (I wonder where in the Caribbean those breeding syndicates were registered. Could it have been the Cayman Islands by any chance?)
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Cheney Hid Pakistani Nuclear Proliferation in '89 to Make a SALE!
Cheney helped cover-up Pakistani nuclear proliferation in '89 so US could sell country fighter jets

Tuesday, March 16 2004
Jason Leopold

When Pakistan's clandestine program involving its top nuclear scientist selling rogue nations, such as Iran and North Korea, blueprints for building an atomic bomb was uncovered last month, the world's leaders waited, with baited breath to see what type of punishment George W. Bush would inflict upon Pakistan's President Pervez Musharaff. Bush has, after all, spent his entire term in office talking tough about countries and dictators that conceal weapons of mass destruction and even tougher on individuals who supply rogue nations and terrorists with the means to build WMD. For all intents and purposes, Pakistan and Musharraf fit that description.

Remember, Bush accused Iraq of harboring a cache of WMD, which was the primary reason he gave for the United States launching a preemptive strike on that country a year ago, and also claimed that Iraq may have given its WMD to al-Qaeda terrorists and/or Syria, weapons that, Bush said, could be used to attack the U.S. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and top members of the administration reacted with shock when they found out that Abdul Qadeer Khan, Pakistan's top nuclear scientist, spent the past 15 years selling outlaw nations nuclear technology and equipment. So it was sort of a surprise when Bush, upon finding out about Khan's proliferation of nuclear technology, let Pakistan off with a slap on the wrist. But it was all an act. In fact, it was actually a coverup designed to shield Cheney because he knew about the proliferation for more than a decade and did nothing to stop it.

Like the terrorist attacks on 9-11, the Bush administration had mountains of evidence on Pakistan's sales of nuclear technology and equipment to nations vilified by the U.S.?nations that are considered much more of a threat than Iraq?but turned a blind eye to the threat and allowed it to happen. In 1989, the year Khan first started selling nuclear secrets on the black-market; Richard Barlow, a young intelligence analyst working for the Pentagon prepared a shocking report for Cheney, who was then secretary of defense under the Bush I administration: Pakistan built an atomic bomb and was selling its nuclear equipment to countries the U.S. said was sponsoring terrorism. But Barlow's findings, as reported in a January 2002 story in Mother Jones magazine, were "politically inconvenient."

"A finding that Pakistan possessed a nuclear bomb would have triggered a congressionally mandated cutoff of aid to the country, a key ally in the CIA's efforts to support Afghan rebels fighting a pro-Soviet government. It also would have killed a $1.4-billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Islamabad," Mother Jones reported. Ironically, Pakistan, critics say, was let off the hook last month so the U.S. could use its borders to hunt for al-Qaeda leader and alleged 9-11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Cheney dismissed Barlow's report because he desperately wanted to sell Pakistan the F-16 fighter planes. Several months later, a Pentagon official was told by Cheney to downplay Pakistan's nuclear capabilities when he testified on the threat before Congress. Barlow complained to his bosses at the Pentagon and was fired.


If this planet blows to pieces this year, thank Khan Labs' and Bush

You may never have heard of Khan Laboratories, but if this planet blows to pieces this year, it will be thanks to Khan Labs' creating nuclear warheads for Pakistan's military. Because investigators had been tracking the funding for this so-called "Islamic Bomb" back to Saudi Arabia, under Bush security restrictions, the inquiry was stymied. (The restrictions were lifted, the agent told me without a hint of dark humor, on September 11.)

Noam Chomsky, who read the story on page one of the Times of India, has wondered, "Why wasn't it all over US papers?

.. A top-level CIA operative who spoke with us on condition of strictest anonymity said that, after Bush took office, "There was a major policy shift" at the National Security Agency. Investigators were ordered to "back off" from any inquiries into Saudi Arabian financing of terror networks, especially if they touched on Saudi royals and their retainers. That put the Bin Ladens, a family worth a reported $12 billion and a virtual arm of the Saudi royal household, off limits for investigation.

I probed our CIA contact for specifics of investigations that were hampered by orders to back off of the Saudis. He told us that Khan Laboratories investigation had been effectively put on hold.

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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. "recently saved file"
Good plan. I need to do that! Get organized. Links and a gazillion google searches a day aren't cutting it.

Halliburton skirted whatever the law was for trading with banned countries. The legal way to shimmy around the law and intent of Congress was to have a foreign subsidiary--only foreign workers, and under their control--deal with Iran. But, with a mighty "go f*** yerself," Halliburton also based Americans at the same office. This was sometime right before he became veep.

Here's a 2003 Counterpunch--there was more recently, like you say.

Yeah, Dubai and UAE has been coming up a lot. I hit on it yesterday when I was looking into Firstrand, an SA bank, and illegal diamond trade in general.

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Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
9. They seem to have forgotten all about Jonathan Bush, FratBoy's uncle....
...who has been associated with Riggs since 1970....



"A political Web site written by a Democratic operative drew attention yesterday to the fact that President Bush's uncle, Jonathan J. Bush, is a top executive at Riggs Bank, which this week agreed to pay a record $25 million in civil fines for violations of law intended to thwart money laundering.

Jonathan Bush, who is a major fundraiser for his nephew, was appointed in 2000 to run Riggs Investment Management Co. His association with Riggs began when he headed J. Bush & Co., a New Haven, Conn., company he created in 1970 and built to offer advice on money management."

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gandalf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. What is interesting here is
that the headline of the article is "Web Site Cites Bush-Riggs Link", as though a web site were the main source for the connection Riggs-Bush. And web sites as sources have a bad reputation.

But in the article itself they describe the facts, that Jonathan is, without doubt, working for Riggs.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-17-04 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
12. Gravy Train
The ragpicker's dream.

Well they fly past the ghettos and the factories
Ridin' on the Gravy Train
Leaving all the places that they really ought to brave
Ridin' on the Gravy Train
Past the coal mines black and scarred
Starter houses in the loading yard
On the Gravy Train, On the Gravy Train

There's the lucky little mothers in their luxury cars
Ridin' on the Gravy Train
Never thank each other or their lucky stars
Ridin' on the Gravy Train
That's worse than ingratitude
Worse than a piss poor attitude

On the Gravy Train, Gravy Train

Well the hanger-uppers and the hangers-on
Ridin' on the Gravy Train
Champagne suppers with their daggers all drawn
Ridin' on the Gravy Train
Some act tough, some act rude
Some bit of fluff complain about the food
You wanna see somebody getting really rude
Get on the Gravy Train, Gravy Train

Well the golden goose is clattering-a-down the track,
And they're gonna be ridin' in an old caboose
Coming back

There's the soldiers of fashion on the hit parade
Ridin' on the Gravy Train
Tongue lashing with the bitch brigade
Ridin' on the Gravy Train
Free loader licks my boots
Tells me how he digs my suit
You got lucky son, don't get cute
Get on the Gravy Train

Mark Knopfler

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-18-04 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
Committee on Governmental Affairs
Norm Coleman, Chairman
Carl Levin, Ranking Minority Member

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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. There's now online video of the hearing
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Transcripts for Senate Hearings take 3 months
to get. I found that out during the coup in Haiti, way back in February.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
20. Motley suit - subpoena of the bank's records
Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004
MUST SEE: stories on Riggs National Bank -- note links to 2 of 19 hijackers in San Diego through wire transfer from Saudi Arabia. Jonathon Bush, George W. Bush's uncle, is a top official within the bank and the Motley suit brought by the 9/11 families has issued a subpoena of the bank's records. -KFH
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. We're holding accountable the financiers of 9/11 terrorism
Litigation for the Victims of 9/11

9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism

"We're holding accountable the financiers of 9/11 terrorism."

The case is a lawsuit on behalf of the families of the September 11 victims focusing on wealthy Saudi individuals, banks, corporations, and Islamic charities implicated in the financing of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda. The suit is being brought in the individual names of the immediate family members of the 9/11 victims. The case will rest on the premise that those who finance the terrorist organizations are liable for the damages done by them.

The case will represent the cutting edge of tort (civil justice) law. When someone causes an injury to another person, the legal profession calls such an act a "tort". A tort is committed when one person is injured because of the wrongful act of another. The purpose of tort law is to assign responsibility to the individual, group, or company responsible for causing such harm. The tort system is the most powerful tool civilized society has to promote safety. The aim of the lawyers bringing this lawsuit is no less than safety and freedom from terrorism by exposing its nefarious underbelly.

The individuals, banks, corporations, and Islamic charities used by the terrorists to perpetuate the atrocities on 9/11 can and must be held accountable under the tort law system which has been expanded to encompass anti-terrorism. Once held accountable, they will never again be able to use their resources or services to aid terrorists in mass murder. Therefore, the ultimate aim of the litigation will be to bankrupt those individuals or entities that are currently funding terrorism to ensure that they will not be able to do so again in the future. The President and the Congress in enacting the post 9/11 "Patriots Act" urged victims to bring to American justice those who supported, aided, and abetted the 19 highjackers and bin Laden. Our case will do exactly this.

A First-Rate Legal and Investigative Team to Make 9/11 Financiers Accountable

The internationally recognized plaintiff's lawyer, Ron Motley, leads this litigation. He brings formidable experience in tort and international law to the litigation.
Motley and his firm Motley Rice led the pioneering products liability litigation against the asbestos and tobacco industries and Firestone. Representing twenty-five states, the firm's effort resulted in the historic $350 billion dollar settlement against the tobacco industry.
Two world class investigators head the experienced international team of researchers on the case against the sponsors of al-Qaeda.
Jean-Charles Brisard is an expert on corporate and diplomatic intelligence. The French parliament and intelligence community commissioned his report entitled "The Economic Network of the Bin Laden Family", the most exhaustive study of the financial network of the Bin Laden organization ever written. This report was read before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and delivered to President Bush in person by the president of France.

If you or your family member has been victimized by the September 11 attacks and you wish to join the suit, brought by the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism, in order to hold those responsible for funding the terrorists accountable, please call the Motley Rice law firm at 1-800-768-4026. Joining the lawsuit will in no way jeopardize your right to receive aid from the federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
22. kick
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:28 PM
Response to Original message
23. More conglomeration. More centralized power. Bad. (nt)
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
24. So much of this stuff is tied together that they have surrounded..........
themselves! They went to the well one too many times. I have that feeling they will pull just about anything to escape. Republicans politicians are just a small part of it. All these folks working at all the financial houses, the large corporations and many others stand to be ruined if the stuff goes down. Them Iran-contra hearings didn't go into executive sessions to save people's arse. It was more of matter blowing the cover of the lobbyist they really were working for.

Quite a few people have been saying for quite some time that the money don't match the books or what the value is. This sounds just like what happend down south, it is about the time inflation gets eclipsed by hyperinflation. The US right now probably looks like Argentina did back in the mid and late 90's :scared:

The Complete Saudi Primer

Michael Moore's new movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, delves into the relationship between the Bush dynasty and the House of Saud. Follow along with this guide to everything you always wanted to know about the Bush-Saudi connection but were afraid to ask.

June 24, 2004
THE BCCI-BUSH-SAUDI-TERRORIST NEXUS: The Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), which was investigated by Congress in the 1980s, appears to be at the nexus of the Bush-Saudi connection. It's principal was Khalid bin Mahfouz, a man USA Today reported was among Saudi businessmen who, even after the U.S.S. Cole attack, "continued to transfer tens of millions of dollars to bank accounts linked to indicted terrorist Osama bin Laden." Under Mahfouz (who was later indicted for his actions at BCCI), the Wall Street Journal noted in 1991 that there was a "mosaic of BCCI connections surrounding Harken Energy" and "number of BCCI-connected people who had dealings with Harken all since George W. Bush came on board." And according to U.S. officials who investigated the bank in the 1980s, "BCCI was the mother and father of terrorist financing operations." A secret French intelligence report "identifies dozens of companies and individuals who were involved with BCCI and were found to be dealing with bin Laden after the bank collapsed. Many went on to work in banks and charities identified by the United States and others as supporting al Qaeda."

WAS BCCI'S INDICTED PRINCIPAL A BUSH BUSINESS BACKER?: Author Kevin Phillips, a top Republican strategist under President Nixon, reported in his new book, "Bush made his first connection in the late 1970s with James Bath, a Texas businessmen who served as the North American representative for two rich Saudis (and Osama bin Laden relatives) - billionaire Salem bin Laden and banker and BCCI insider Khalid bin Mahfouz. Bath put $50,000 into Bush's 1979 Arbusto oil partnership, probably using bin Laden-bin Mahfouz funds." Also of interest: Former CIA Director James Woolsey testified to the Senate on 9/3/98 that Mafouz's sister was married to Osama bin Laden. And according to the conservative American Spectator, "Bush has given conflicting statements about Bath's investment in Arbusto, finally admitting to the Wall Street Journal that he was aware that Bath represented Saudi investors."

(lots of links embeded in that article)
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
25. Just like to see the name Khashoggi and PNC
Edited on Tue Jul-20-04 09:33 AM by seemslikeadream
together if ya know what I mean

WHO IS MAURICE STRONG? And why should you care?

Some answers are here at
Here are some excerpts I took from this link
Originally written By Ronald Bailey and Published in The National Review September 1,1997

Among the hats he currently wears are:
Senior Advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan;
Senior Advisor to World Bank President James Wolfensohn;
Chairman of the Earth Council;
Chairman of the World Resources Institute;
Co-Chairman of the Council of the World Economic Forum;
member of Toyota's International Advisory Board.
As advisor to Kofi Annan, he is overseeing the new UN reforms.

Yet his most prominent and influential role to date was as
Secretary General of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development
the so-called Earth Summit -- held in Rio de Janeiro, which gave a significant push to global economic and environmental regulation.

Strong started in the oil business in the 1950s. He took over and turned around some small ailing energy companies in the 1960s, and he was president of a major holding company -- the Power Corporation of Canada -- by the age of 35

In 1966, by now a Liberal favorite, Strong became head of the Canadian International Development Agency and thus was launched internationally. Impressed by his work at CIDA, UN Secretary General U Thant asked him to organize what became the first Earth Summit -- the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. The next year, Strong became first director of the new UN Environment Program, created as a result of Stockholm

After a couple of years, Strong left Petro-Canada for various business deals, including one with Adnan Khashoggi through which he ended up owning the 200,000-acre Baca ranch in Colorado, now a "New Age" center run by his wife, Hanne.
(see more about this in a later link)

Nature Conservancy
1996 PNC Financial/Pittsburgh National Bank Foundation $1,000 Nature Conservancy--Conshohocken, PA
1995 PNC Financial/Pittsburgh National Bank Foundation $2,000 Nature Conservancy--PA
1994 PNC Financial/Pittsburgh National Bank Foundation $250 Nature Conservancy
1994 PNC Financial/Pittsburgh National Bank Foundation $1,000 Nature Conservancy--Philadelphia, PA

and let's just keep this in mind

The New Yorker, 17/03/03, pp. 76-81



Why was Richard Perle meeting with Adnan Khashoggi?


At the peak of his deal-making activities, in the nineteen-seventies, the Saudi-born businessman Adnan Khashoggi brokered billions of dollars in aims and aircraft sales for the Saudi royal family, earning hundreds of millions in commissions and fees. Though never convicted of wrongdoing, he was repeatedly involved in disputes with federal prosecutors and with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in recent years he has been in litigation in Thailand and Los Angeles, among other places, concerning allegations of stock manipulation and fraud. During the Reagan Administration, Khashoggi was one of the middlemen between Oliver North, in the White House, and the mullahs in Iran in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. Khashoggi subsequently claimed that he lost ten million dollars that he had put up to obtain embargoed weapons for Iran which were to be bartered (with Presidential approval) for American hostages. The scandals of those times seemed to feed off each other: a congressional investigation revealed that Khashoggi had borrowed much of the money for the weapons from the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (B.C.C.I.), whose collapse, in 1991, defrauded thousands of depositors and led to years of inquiry and litigation.

Khashoggi is still brokering. In January of this year, he arranged a private lunch, in France, to bring together Harb Saleh al-Zuhair, a Saudi industrialist whose family fortune includes extensive holdings in construction, electronics, and engineering companies throughout the Middle East, and Richard N. Perle, the chairman of the Defence Policy Board, who is one of the most outspoken and influential American advocates of war with Iraq.

The Defence Policy Board is a Defence Department advisory group composed primarily of highly respected former government officials, retired military officers, and academics. Its members, who serve without pay, include former national-security advisers, Secretaries of Defence, and heads of the C.I.A. The board meets several times a year at the Pentagon to review and assess the countrys strategic defence policies.

Perle is also a managing partner in a venture-capital company called Trireme Partners L.P??? which was registered in November, 2001, in Delaware. Triremes main business, according to a two-page letter that one of its representatives sent to Khashoggi last November, is to invest in companies dealing in technology, goods, and services that are of value to homeland security and defence. The letter argued that the fear of terrorism would increase the demand for such products in Europe and in countries like Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

The letter mentioned the firms government connections prominently: "Three of Triremes Management Group members currently advise the U.S. Secretary of Defence by serving on the U.S. Defence Policy Board, and one of Triremes principals, Richard Perle, is chairman of that Board." The two other policy board members associated with Trireme are Henry Kissinger, the former Secretary of State (who is, in fact, only a member of Triremes advisory group and is not involved in its management), and Gerald Hillman, an investor and a close business associate of Perles who handles matters in Triremes New York office. The letter said that forty-five million dollars had already been raised, including twenty million dollars from Boeing; the purpose, clearly, was to attract more investors, such as Khashoggi and Zuhair.

Perle served as a foreign-policy adviser in George W. Bushs Presidential campaignhe had been an Assistant Secretary of Defence under Ronald Reaganbut he chose not to take a senior position in the Administration. In mid-2001, however, he accepted an offer from Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld to chair the Defence Policy Board, a then obscure group that had been created by the Defence Department in 1985. Its members (there are around thirty of them) may be outside the government, but they have access to classified information and to senior policymakers, and give advice not only on strategic policy but also on such matters as weapons procurement. Most of the boards proceedings are confidential.

As chairman of the board, Perle is considered to be a special government employee and therefore subject to a federal Code of Conduct. Those rules bar a special employee from participating in an official capacity in any matter in which he has a financial interest. "One of the general rules is that you dont take advantage of your federal position to help yourself financially in any way," a former government attorney who helped formulate the Code of Conduct told me. The point, the attorney added, is to "protect government processes from actual or apparent conflicts."

Advisory groups like the Defence Policy Board enable knowledgeable people outside government to bring their skills and expertise to bear, in confidence, on key policy issues. Because such experts are often tied to the defence industry, however, there are inevitable conflicts. One board member told me that most members are active in finance and business, and on at least one occasion a member has left a meeting when a military or an intelligence product in which he has an active interest has come under discussion.

Four members of the Defence Policy Board told me that the board, which met most recently on February 27th and 28th, had not been informed of Perles involvement in Trireme. One board member, upon being told of Trireme and Perles meeting with Khashoggi, exclaimed, "Oh, get out of here. Hes the chairman! If you had a story about me setting up a company for homeland security, and Ive put people on the board with whom Im doing that business. Id be had"a reference to

about me setting up a company for homeland security, and Ive put people on the board with whom Im doing that business. Id be had"a reference to Gerald Hillman, who had almost no senior policy or military experience in government before being offered a post on the policy board. "Seems to me this is at the edge of or off the ethical charts. I think it would stink to high heaven."
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
26. Rigging the books - More boardroom dirt
July 23, 2004
Rigging the books

More boardroom dirt

Riggs was a lofty, independent institution that specialized in dealing with foreign embassies. Its biggest client became the African nation of Equatorial Guinea, headed by dictator Teodoro Obiang. The ruler was an honored guest at a Riggs luncheon.

Even worse was the banks dealings with Latin Americas worst dictator at a time when he was charged with human rights atrocities and his assets had been frozen by court order. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., commented at a Senate hearing:

In 1994, top Riggs officials went to Chile and asked Gen. Pinochet a notorious military leader accused of involvement with death squads, corruption, arms sales and drug trafficking if he would like to open an account at Riggs Bank here in Washington. Mr. Pinochet said yes.

The dictator sent $8 million to Riggs, which created offshore shell corporations and put part of his money into them. After a British newspaper reported that Riggs was dealing with Pinochet, the bank changed names on his accounts to hide his identity.

Riggs also had 150 accounts for rich Saudi Arabians, who deposited or withdrew millions at a time. The bank failed to report these transfers.


Edit for emphasis


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PROGRESSIVE1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
27. ..
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-23-04 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
28. Osama bounty-hunters hired by Riggs CEO

Osama bounty-hunters hired by Riggs CEO

Written by queen mudder

Washington DC (Rioters) - A beleagured President Bush Junior has ordered a White House news blackout on stories circulating in the media this week that his uncle Jonathan Bush, chief executive of the notorious Riggs Bank, is embroiled in further controversy regarding the hiring of vigilantes to scour Kabul for Osama Bin Laden in an effort to win the $25 million bounty offered by the Pentagon.

Sources close to the President's official bagman - ousted Ambassador to the UK William Stamps Farish III - claimed yesterday that in order to finance payment of the $25 million fine imposed last month on Riggs Bank for fraud, money laundering and helping General Pinochet hide his Enron consultancy fees, Jonathan Bush hired vigilantes and freelance terrorists to find, capture, imprison and torture Osama and/or his lookalikes. The story has been widely reported in the US press amid growing disbelief about military tactics in the Afghanistan region.

However, the plot went horribly wrong and resulted in Idema, Bennett and their accomplices being busted by the US Military in Kabul, despite their attorneys' plea bargain statements that their clients carried a letter of personal recommendation from ex-CIA head George Tenet.


Biblical scholars may well comment that the name Jonathan means "gift of God" in Hebrew, which would mean an uncanny triple whammy for the three generations of Bushmen all bearing that first name. For the Opus Dei organisation this could well be the celestial omen they have been prophesying about since October 2001 when the official Enron logo at the company's Texas headquarters was seen to be weeping tears of blood and Brent Marker Crude high-grade oil following the company's $100 billion collapse.

More news is expected at the weekend.

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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-24-04 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Brent Bennett Marker Crude??
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-24-04 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. Brent Bennett?

To revert to a previous story that I posted on July 12 about the fake prison that was found to be operating in Afghanistan, there have been several developments - not least being that the three men are facing trial in Afghanistan on charges of robbery together with beating and torturing the people that they kidnapped. We can, of course, say 'kidnapped' without fear of censure as the men were operating completely (!) outside of the knowledge and control of the occupying US military forces.

They are now positively identified as being Jonathan Keith Idema (48) - better known as Jack Idema, whose occupation was given only as "a former member of the U.S. special forces". Also standing accused with him is Brent Bennett, who refused to give any occupation for himself to the court (I hope this isn't him), together with the mysterious third man, now positively identified as Edward Caraballo, calling himself a journalist. There are a further 4 non-US citizens standing in the dock with the 3 Americans.

It is still not certain what the purpose of this ' private prison' actually was, but evidence is mounting that they were following through with the scenario that the book, showing Jack Idema on the cover, "The Hunt for Bin Laden", was portraying. In a nutshell, they had their eyes on the reward of $50million that is being offered for the capture of Osama bin Laden. It's a lot of money and I would be rather surprised if more of these vigilante-style operations don't creep out of the woodwork over time.

The claims by the accused seem to be straight out of a spy story though, with Jack Idema now claiming that they were operating their jail with the direct sponsorship of Donald Rumsfeld's office in the Pentagon known as "The Cabal". He elaborated, "The American authorities absolutely condoned us and absolutely supported us". As though to support his claims to be a "Mission Impossible" operative, he wore a freshly pressed Army shirt with an American flag sewn onto the right shoulder. He continued to say, "At times we were in touch with the Department of Defense every day, at the highest levels, sometimes five times a day."

The Arab News service, AlJazeera, were surprising calm about the issue, possibly because by allowing these clowns to carry on without any control in Afghanistan, the US military have already made themselves look worse than AlJazeera could with any number of fabricated stories (not that I'm saying that they make up anything - oh, no!).
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-30-04 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
31. SA shakes hands with the devil
Jean-Jacques Cornish | Johannesburg

30 July 2004 07:15

The investigation determined that from 1995 until 2004, Riggs bank administered more than 60 accounts and certificates of deposit for the government of Equatorial Guinea, Equatorial Guinea government officials, or their family members.

By 2003 the Equatorial Guinea accounts represented the largest relationship at Riggs bank, with aggregate deposits ranging from $400-million to $700-million at a time.

The investigation has determined that Riggs bank serviced the Equatorial Guinea accounts with little or no attention to the banks anti-money laundering obligations, turned a blind eye to evidence suggesting the bank was handling the proceeds of foreign corruption, and allowed numerous suspicious transactions to take place without notifying law enforcement.

The London-based Africa Confidential quotes Equatorial Guinea official spokesperson Alfonso Nsue as saying: The investigation that led the American Senate to Riggs bank has nothing to do with our government nor with our dignitaries ...

In the Scotsman this week, Fred Bridgland said the US changed tack just over three years ago after Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco and Dallas-based Triton Energy, a company with close ties to President George W Bush, had invested more than $5-billion in Equatorial Guineas oil production.


The companies lobbied for strengthened US relations with the Nguema family. The US Embassy in Malabo was reopened in December 2001.

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Pallas180 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-01-04 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
32. Here's history of PNC bank(new Riggs owner)_ but not one word on
Edited on Sun Aug-01-04 08:00 AM by Pallas180
who is on its board of directors...I think that's kinda strange

Bank goes back to 1700's

Black Rock owns PNC:

another shell owning shell owning shell

Pittsburgh home of Scaiffe - I wonder if they owned the bank
originally or are part of it...Scaiffe Mellon BAnkk
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