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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 08:11 AM
Original message
Bank with close ties to Bush administration engulfed in scandal
Bank with close ties to Bush administration engulfed in scandal
By Joseph Kay

The Justice Department announced on Friday that it is launching a criminal investigation into Riggs Bank. In recent months, the Washington-based bank has become engulfed in a scandal related to charges of money-laundering, corruption and terrorist financing.

Riggs, which touts itself as the most important bank in the most important city in the world, has been known for decades as the bank of the Washington elite, including politicians, foreign ambassadors and the wealthy. It has held presidential accounts stretching back to the time of the Civil War, and is a prominent fixture in the political and social establishment of the nations capital.

Or rather, it was a prominent fixture. In July, PNL Financial Services agreed to buy Riggs for $779 million. The sale will become final by early next year.

The banks prominent embassy and international operations will be shut down in an attempt to bury a scandal that has the potential of becoming much larger. That an institution like Riggs could so quickly disintegrate is an indication of the extent of the corruption that has overtaken American finance and government.


WaPo: Criminal Probe of Riggs Bank Underway
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wishlist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
1. Great article providing new (to many of us) details of the Bushco connects
Finally, an article outlining the Saudi/Riggs/911 connections and the extensive BushcoRiggs connections including Jonathan and much much more. Thanks for posting!
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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
2. Time for another Karl Rove diversion by starting a Senate investigation
...into bank over-draws in Martha Stewart's checking accounts.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
8/14/04--the botched march 7th coup attempt in equatorial guinea brings attention to the role played by big oil not just for the riggs bank probe but who bankrolled the mercenaries--

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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Weatherford International:
Edited on Wed Aug-25-04 09:39 AM by emad aisat sana
Weatherford International Conclude Orwell Group Deal
Weatherford International, who have a presence on the Aberdeen Offshore Technology Park, has concluded the 100 million plus deal to buy Aberdeen oil service company Orwell Group. Orwell has more than 500 employees in its various operations, which include Offshore Rentals and Downhole Technology. At the end of 1999, Orwell acquires the drilling and downhole technology centre at the Aberdeen Offshore Technology Park from Scottish Enterprise and the former Grampian Regional Council. Weatherford is one of the largest global providers of innovative mechanical solution

James R. Schlesinger, Peabody Energy--director
CIA Director--(1973)
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al bupp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. How Long Before
Ashcroft has to recuse himself from this investigation as well?

Good digging, Seems


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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Terrorist finance crackdown remains strong
UPI - Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2004 5:46:27 PM EST By SHIHOKO GOTO, UPI Senior Business Correspondent

Moreover, the Department of Justice's decision to press criminal charges last week against Riggs Bank, one of Washington's most established financial institutions, has demonstrated just how far the government is prepared to crack down on terrorist financing and dubious financial transactions in general. In fact, stopping the flow of money to terrorist groups has been one major success for the administration, as agencies continue to work closely and governments remain united in a common objective.

Granted, it is not easy to grasp just how much money flows into one terrorist group. But at the same time, the 9/11 Commission pointed out that two major funding sources to date have been Islamic charities and informal value transfer systems, such as hawalas, which have come under close scrutiny and shut down if found to have harbored illegal activities.

Indeed, Treasury announced Tuesday that it designated First Merchant Bank of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Infobank of Belarus as "corrupt financial institutions."

Moreover, potential targets of government investigations are not just limited to Islamic groups. With its headquarters based across from the White House, Riggs Bank has been the banker to presidents since the Civil War, and it has been the favored bank for ambassadors and the very wealthy in the Washington area due to its exclusive private banking division.

In particular, investigators will be probing into the bank's relations with the Saudi royal family and the possibility of the bank facilitating financial flows to Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Alimhdhar, who were two of the hijackers on board the flight that crashed into the Pentagon.

:hi: Thanks al bupp

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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
7. I wonder if this story has any relationship to this scandal?
Aug. 12, 2004, 1:03PM

Police investigate death of executive of ConocoPhillips
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

Galveston police said they are uncertain of the circumstances surrounding the death of a ConocoPhillips executive found dead at the bottom of a staircase at an upscale hotel.

The body of Keith Ashley Pichanick, 43, executive assistant to ConocoPhillips Chairman Archie Dunham, was found in a stairwell at the San Luis Resort in the 5200 block of Seawall Boulevard at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Pichanick had been reported missing to Houston police about an hour earlier. A hotel employee making the rounds found his body on a stairwell landing, said Galveston police Lt. Walter Braun.

Galveston County Chief Medical Examiner Stephen Pustilnik ruled Tuesday that Pichanick died from blunt-force trauma caused by a fall. He did not rule whether the death was an accident, homicide or suicide....cont'd

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I was wondering about that too Dover
could be?
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
8. USA/Africa: Oil And Transparency
United States Senate

Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations,

Committee on Governmental Affairs

Norm Coleman, Chairman; Carl Levin, Ranking Minority Member

Money Laundering and Foreign Corruption: Enforcement and Effectiveness of the Patriot Act Case Study Involving Riggs Bank

Report Prepared by the Minority Staff of the Permanent Subcommittee On Investigations

Released in Conjunction with the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations' Hearing on July 15, 2004

July 14, 2004 >

I. Introduction

From 1999 to 2001, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Governmental Affairs, at the request of Senator Carl Levin, Ranking Minority Member, conducted a detailed investigation into money laundering activities in the U.S. financial services sector, including in-depth examinations of money laundering activities in private banking, correspondent banking, and the securities industry. ...In 2003, again at Senator Levin's request, the Subcommittee initiated a followup investigation to evaluate the enforcement and effectiveness of key anti-money laundering provisions in the Patriot Act, using Riggs Bank as a case history ...

II. Executive Summary

The evidence reviewed by the Subcommittee staff establishes that, since at least 1997, Riggs has disregarded its anti-money laundering (AML) obligations, maintained a dysfunctional AML program despite frequent warnings from OCC regulators, and allowed or, at times, actively facilitated suspicious financial activity.

The evidence also shows that federal regulators did a poor job of compelling Riggs Bank to comply with statutory and regulatory anti-money laundering requirements. They were too tolerant of the bank's weak AML program, too slow in reacting to repeat deficiencies, and failed to make prompt use of available enforcement tools.

Two sets of Riggs accounts, one involving Augusto Pinochet and the other involving Equatorial Guinea, illustrate the bank's poor AML compliance.2 They also illustrate the failure of federal bank regulators to exercise meaningful oversight of a bank with numerous high risk accounts and fundamental, long-standing AML deficiencies.


Equatorial Guinea Accounts. The Subcommittee investigation also determined that, from1995 until 2004, Riggs Bank administered more than 60 accounts and CDs for the government of Equatorial Guinea (E.G.), E.G. government officials, or their family members. By 2003, the E.G. accounts represented the largest relationship at Riggs Bank, with aggregate deposits ranging from $400 to $700 million at a time. The Subcommittee investigation has determined that Riggs Bank serviced the E.G. accounts with little or no attention to the bank's 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 Subcommittee investigation found, for example, that Riggs opened multiple personal accounts for the President of Equatorial Guinea, his wife, and other relatives; helped establish shell offshore corporations for the E.G. President and his sons; and over a three-year period, from 2000 to 2002, facilitated nearly $13 million in cash deposits into Riggs accounts controlled by the E.G.

President and his wife. On two of those occasions, Riggs accepted without due diligence $3 million in cash deposits for an account opened in the name of the E.G. President's offshore shell corporation, Otong, S.A. In addition, Riggs opened an account for the E.G. government to receive funds from oil companies doing business in Equatorial Guinea, under terms allowing withdrawals with two signatures, one from the E.G. President and the other from either his son, the E.G. Minister of Mines, or his nephew, the E.G.

Secretary of State for Treasury and Budget. Riggs subsequently allowed wire transfers withdrawing more than $35 million from the E.G. government account, wiring the funds to two companies which were unknown to the bank and had accounts in jurisdictions with bank secrecy laws. The Subcommittee has reason to believe that at least one of these recipient companies is controlled in whole or in part by the E.G. President. When, in 2004, the bank requested more information about the two companies from the E.G. President, he declined to provide it, except to say the wire transfers to them had been authorized.

The senior leadership at Riggs Bank were well aware of the E.G.

accounts and met on several occasions with the E.G. President and other E.G. officials. The bank leadership permitted the account manager handling the E.G. relationship to become closely involved with E.G. officials and business activities, including advising the E.G. government on financial matters and becoming the sole signatory on an E.G. account holding substantial funds. ...

Riggs Bank failed to cooperate initially with Subcommittee requests for information about the E.G. accounts, identifying only about half the E.G. accounts at the bank and producing limited account documentation and electronic mail. The Subcommittee later learned that the bank had failed to designate the E.G. accounts as high risk accounts until October 2003, and did not subject them to additional scrutiny despite obvious warning signs, such as the involvement of foreign political figures, a country with a culture of corruption, and frequent high dollar transactions. The bank also failed to monitor or report suspicious activity in the E.G. accounts. The bank closed these accounts in recent weeks.

Regulatory Failure. Given the fundamental, long-standing deficiencies in Riggs' AML program, it is difficult to understand why federal regulators failed to act sooner to require the bank to correct them. The OCC recently acknowledged: "there was a failure of supervision" at Riggs, and "e gave the bank too much time." The evidence shows that, since 1997, OCC examiners repeatedly identified major AML deficiencies at Riggs Bank, but more senior OCC personnel allowed these AML deficiencies to continue year after year without forceful action to stop them. ...

It was only in 2004, six years after the OCC began citing Riggs for AML deficiencies, that federal regulators imposed their first civil fine on the bank. ...

The Subcommittee's investigation indicates that the failure of supervision in the Riggs matter is not an isolated case, but symptomatic of a pattern of uneven and, at times, ineffective AML enforcement by federal regulators. ...

An important ancillary issue raised by the Riggs case history involves the ability of U.S. financial institutions with foreign affiliates to get key due diligence information about accounts opened and managed by their foreign affiliates. After questions arose about the $35 million in wire transfers from the E.G. oil account, for example, Riggs sent letters under section 314 of the Patriot Act to at least two banks, Banco Santander and HSBC USA, asking them voluntarily to share information about the beneficial owners of certain accounts to which the funds had been directed.

... Both banks declined to provide the requested information, because the accounts had been opened at their foreign affiliates in Luxembourg or Spain. .... ...

Oil Company Payments. During its analysis of large bank transactions involving E.G. accounts at Riggs Bank and other financial institutions, the Subcommittee staff became aware of a number of substantial payments that had been made by oil companies doing business in Equatorial Guinea to individual E.G. officials, their family members, or entities controlled by these officials or family members. For example, these payments, which sometimes exceeded $1 million, paid for E.G. land leases or purchases, E.G. Embassy expenses, in-country security services, or expenses for E.G. students studying abroad. In a few instances, the evidence shows that oil companies entered into business ventures with companies owned in whole or in part by the E.G. President, other E.G. officials, or relatives.

For example, in 1998, ExxonMobil established an oil distribution business in Equatorial Guinea of which 85 percent is owned by ExxonMobil and 15 percent by Abayak S.A., a company controlled by the E.G. President. These types of payments and business ventures, which came to light as a result of the Subcommittee's detailed review of bank transactions involving Equatorial Guinea, are often unknown to the public and raise concerns related to corruption and profiteering. To reduce opportunities for corruption, the oil companies doing business in Equatorial Guinea should adhere to disclosure practices advocated in such international transparency initiatives as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative led by U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the G-8 Anti-Corruption and Transparency Initiative.These initiatives would require the oil companies to make public disclosure of all payments made to E.G officials, their family members, or entities they control. To further reduce opportunities for corruption, U.S. oil companies should not participate in future business ventures in which individual E.G. officials or their family members have a direct or beneficial interest. Congress should also amend the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to require U.S. companies to disclose substantial payments to and business ventures entered into with a country's officials, their family members, or entities they control.

III. Findings

Based upon its investigation, the Subcommittee Minority staff makes the following findings of fact.

(1) Assisting Pinochet. Riggs Bank assisted Augusto Pinochet, former president of Chile, to evade legal proceedings related to his Riggs bank accounts and resisted OCC oversight of these accounts, despite red flags involving the source of Mr. Pinochet's wealth, pending legal proceedings to freeze his assets, and public allegations of serious wrongdoing by this client.

(2) Turning a Blind Eye. Riggs Bank managed more than 60 accounts and certificates of deposit for Equatorial Guinea, its officials, and their family members, with little or no attention to the bank's 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.

(3) Dysfunctional AML Program. For many years, Riggs Bank ignored repeated di

rectives by federal bank regulators to improve its anti-money laundering program, instead employing a dysfunctional system that failed to safeguard the bank against money laundering or foreign corruption.

(6) Uneven AML Enforcement. Current AML enforcement efforts by federal agencies are uneven and, at times, ineffective, as demonstrated by cases in which federal regulators have allowed AML compliance problems to persist at some financial institutions for years, failed after three years to issue final regulations implementing the Patriot Act's due diligence requirements, and failed to issue revised guidelines for bank examiners testing AML compliance with the Patriot Act's due diligence requirements combating money laundering and foreign corruption.

(7) Unseen Payments. Oil companies operating in Equatorial Guinea may have contributed to corrupt practices in that country by making substantial payments to, or entering into business ventures with, individual E.G. officials, their family members, or entities they control, with minimal public disclosure of their actions.


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CanIgonow Donating Member (192 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
10. I really liked the two prominent names in this thread:
Riggs Bank as in rigs a deal.
And Orwell Group as in, what else, George Orwell himself!
I just hope this was a coincidence and not intentional.
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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-04 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. Orwell's real name was ERIC BLAIR!
Edited on Thu Aug-26-04 10:48 AM by emad aisat sana
say no more....
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
11. Gee. The Bush Organized Crime Family feeds at the petrodollar trough..
They don't call it the BFEE for nothing. They earned their loot the old fashioned way -- they stole it! From seemslikeadream's original article:

Bank with close ties to Bush administration engulfed in scandal


The Saudi accounts

The public revelations concerning the banks relationship with Saudi Arabia came mainly through the publication of a Newsweek article on December 2, 2002 (The Saudi Money Trail). The news magazine reported that in January 2000, two of the hijackers who were on the plane that crashed into the PentagonNawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdharreceived monetary aid and other assistance from Omar al-Bayoumi.

Alhazmi and Almihdhar are at the center of suspicions of US government complicity in the 9/11 attacksand for good reason. The CIA had identified the two as early as January 2000 as Al Qaeda operatives, and the Washington Post reported in June 2002 that the FBI also knew of the two from January of 2000. Yet they were allowed to enter the US and live openly in San Diego for 18 months prior to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Newsweek reported in September 2002 that the roommate of Alhazmi and Almihdhar in San Diego was an FBI informant!

According to the December 2002 Newsweek article on Riggs Bank, al-Bayoumi apparently did work for Dallah Avco, an aviation-services company with extensive contracts with the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation, headed by Prince Sultan, the father of the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar. According to informed sources, some federal investigators suspect that al-Bayoumi could have been an advance man for the 9/11 hijackers, sent by Al Qaeda to assist the plot that ultimately claimed 3,000 lives.

Al-Bayoumi may have been receiving assistance in his activities from sections of the Saudi royal family. The Newsweek article states: About two months after al-Bayoumi began aiding Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Newsweek has learned, al-Bayoumis wife began receiving regular stipends, often monthly and usually around $2,000 and totaling tens of thousands of dollars. The money came in the form of cashiers checks, purchased from Washingtons Riggs Bank by Princess Haifa bin Faisal, the daughter of the late King Faisal and wife of Prince Bandar, the Saudi envoy who is a prominent Washington figure and personal friend of the Bush family. The checks were sent to a woman named Majeda Ibrahin Dweikat, who in turn signed over many of them to al-Bayoumis wife...

Dweikats husband, Osama Basnan, is reported to be a sympathizer of Al Qaeda and is known to have had friendly relations with the two hijackers, Alhazmi and Almihdhar.

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nyrnyr1994 Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-04 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
12. small correction
Not that it really matters, but the name of the bank that took over Riggs is PNC, not PNL. Anyway, analysts believe that PNC has made a big mistake in taking over Riggs at this point because of the scandal. PNC, on the other hand, thinks that the scandal (and pending law suits) will disappear. They deserve it anyway.

It proves that there really is no "thinking behind the money."
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-04 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
13. kick
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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-04 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
14. WaPo: New Spotlight on Pinochet
New Spotlight on Pinochet
Riggs Probe Renews Push to Prosecute Ex-Dictator

By Kathleen Day and Pascale Bonnefoy
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 26, 2004; Page E01

The investigation of money laundering at Riggs Bank has helped reopen efforts in Chile to hold former dictator Augusto Pinochet accountable for alleged human rights violations during his 17-year rule.

Chile's Supreme Court said it will rule today whether Pinochet is mentally fit to stand trial -- with prosecutors using evidence of how he manipulated accounts at Riggs to argue that he is.

A Senate report released last month on possible money-laundering violations at Riggs suggests that Pinochet, 88, actively managed millions of dollars in recent years to hide assets from international prosecutors seeking restitution for the families of his alleged crimes. Critics say the information -- coupled with a television interview of Pinochet aired in Miami last year -- undermines Pinochet's long-standing claim that several strokes have rendered him too infirm to be charged and tried in court.

The report by the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations had a ripple effect in Chile, touching off a fierce debate and sparking a judicial investigation into the source of Pinochet's wealth. In the past four weeks a judge questioned Pinochet's wife and children, and finally, even Pinochet himself for 45 minutes. At a hearing yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments from prosecutors, who want Pinochet's immunity from prosecution lifted, and from Pinochet's attorneys, who want it to remain in place.


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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-04 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. This is too strange......
Edited on Thu Aug-26-04 09:47 AM by JudiLyn
From the Washington Post article posted by Snazzy:
What has changed in this case, with the Riggs scandal, is that Pinochet was interrogated by a judge with the acquiescence of his own lawyers, implicitly admitting that their client is perfectly capable of participating in judicial proceedings," prosecuting attorney Eduardo Contreras said. He said the Miami interview showed Pinochet could recall events of 30 years ago with precision.

"If he is stripped of immunity this week, there may be an avalanche of requests to have him investigated for any of the other 300 criminal cases brought against him pending in courts," he said.

Defense attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez, a former top government official under Pinochet, said Pinochet "cooperated voluntarily with the judge" during the recent interrogation about his wealth, but only "within his limitations," and remains unfit to be tried.

Rodriguez presented a letter by the Cuban journalist who interviewed Pinochet, Maria Elvira Salazar, saying that Pinochet committed many mistakes, had mental lapses and was so often incoherent during the interview that it had to be "extensively edited."
I wanted to understand what kind of Cuban journalist would step forward to get Pinochet off the hook and reinstate his "insanity" plea, and learned this one is from Miami, where you'll find all the right-wing Cuban extremists:


Here's a look at Salazar which might tell you how dependable she is:
Posted on Sat, Aug. 24, 2002

TV host under fire in money laundering case


Special to The Herald

LIMA - ``I thought he loved me, but he only used me.''

Sounds like a theme for the wildly popular Spanish-language talk show Laura en America, which is taped in Peru for U.S. broadcast weekdays at 4 p.m. on Telemundo.

But in this case, which has captivated all of Peru, that is what talk show host Laura Bozzo has been desperately trying to prove to Peruvian authorities for weeks -- that former intelligence chief Vladimiro Montesinos has been trying to blackmail her. Montesinos is on trial for corruption during former President Alberto Fujimori's 10-year rule.

Bozzo, who became a popular figure in Miami and other parts of the United States when Telemundo picked up her show two years ago, has been under house arrest in Peru since late July. She is accused of receiving more than $3 million in laundered money from Montesinos in exchange for her political support.

Bozzo, who is being questioned about her relationship with Montesinos, says he used former Telemundo journalist Mara Elvira Salazar as an intermediary. This week, a tape of a conversation between Bozzo and Salazar surfaced in which Salazar asks Bozzo for $100,000 for Montesinos.
{Free registration required)

Is that just flat out crazy or WHAT?

On edit:

I forgot to mention the former and ELECTED President Bush, Jeb Bush, and the pResident all have thick ties to the Miami Cuban "exile" community.
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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-04 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Such nice hair (Ha)
"They are the ones, the Marxists, who should ask me for forgiveness," the ailing general said in the interview, recalling a 1986 attempt on his life in which five of his bodyguards were killed.

"I never ordered anyone to be killed," the ailing general said in the interview Monday. "I harbor no hatred or rancor. I am good, I consider myself an angel."

Pinochet told the interviewer, Maria Elvira Salazar, that he agreed to talk to her "as a show of appreciation" to his "friends" in Miami who are exiled from Cuba.

Pinochet wasn't prepared to give further media interviews, telling Salazar "this the last interview I will give in my life.

Cached only:


U.S. licensed tv airs terrorists calling for armed invasion of Venezeula

By: (Tahis G. and Martín Sánchez.
Translation by Eva Golinger)

Miami, January 12 ( On Monday, a group of Venezuelan ex-military officers opposed to the democratic government of President Hugo Chavez, openly called for the intervention of the U.S. Army to stop the process of change occurring in Venezuela.

On the local television program Maria Elvira Confronta, hosted by Maria Elvira Salazar on channel 22 in Miami, rebel Venezuelan officer Luis Pina was asked if he would agree with a military invention in Venezuela by the United States and if he would like to see the U.S. Marines walking on his native Venezuelan territory with the intention
of overthrowing President Hugo Chavez.

Mr. Pina, who is now retired Sergeant and representative of the anti-Chavez organization, Todos por Venezuela (All for Venezuela), responded that he would agree with such action by the US military, 'along with 80% of Venezuelans that are hoping for that U.S. intervention to happen.' A person who accompanied Piña at the show seemed also pleased with his response.

Later on the debate show Descalzi Vs. Brown, broadcasted in the same channel, invited guest Silvino Bustillos, a Venezuelan retired Colonel (Aviation), also expressed his desire to see his native country invaded by the U.S. and asked also for an intervention by United Nations forces.


(Those are School of the Americas grads., pals of Otto Reich)

Sounds like a Cuban-exile mouthpiece/neocon plant ala Judith Miller. The only media that Pinochet would talk to.
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loftycity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-04 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
15. Margaret Thatcher's son is ivolved in Riggs fiasco ..right?
Edited on Thu Aug-26-04 09:23 AM by loftycity
And he is moving back to Texas.
To be closer to the BCF.
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reprobate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-04 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
16. Is there even one male of the bush family...........

.....that has NOT been implicated in financial or voter fraud of some kind? This is the most mafiaesque family in the world
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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-04 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
20. State Dept. Daily Brief
Edited on Thu Aug-26-04 06:03 PM by Snazzy
QUESTION: Okay. Sudan's having banking troubles here and says it's going to close its Embassy and is looking for a little help from the United States. I wonder if any is forthcoming or what your readout is on this?

MR. ERELI: Well, I would refer you to a statement that Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesman Richard Boucher put out on June 17th in which we said, for the record, that we noted that a number of foreign missions were having difficulties with banking services in the United States. The Department of State said that it's in the foreign policy interest of the United States that foreign missions have access to banking services, that it is fundamental to the normal operation of diplomatic missions and essential to the United States for maintaining our diplomatic relations around the world.

We also noted a Department of Treasury statement from June 16th in which the Department of Treasury said that it is its policy that persons or organizations working in the United States should have access to U.S. banking services.

Further to that, we have been working with the Department of Treasury and foreign embassies, including the Embassy of Sudan, to facilitate their access to banking services. I would say we are very actively engaged on this. It's important to us. We want to see the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese Embassy be able to conduct their business here normally, and we're working on it.


QUESTION: You said other countries are having -- or other missions in Washington are having the same difficulties that the Sudanese have.

MR. ERELI: I said that a number of other missions have had difficulties. We refer to that in our statement of July 17th.

QUESTION: You don't have -- do you want to name any?


QUESTION: I didn't think so.

QUESTION: Adam, does that mean that the State Department is talking to banks about this? I mean, are you an intermediary for the diplomatic corps in Washington?

MR. ERELI: I would say we are doing what we can to help the Sudanese have access to and establish relationships that would allow it to conduct business in the United States and conduct its diplomatic business in the United States. That's our policy with all countries and certainly is the case here. But I am not in a position to get into detail about who we're engaged with and who we're talking with.

QUESTION: But you can't say what you can do? You're just -- you're doing all you can but you can't say what that is?

MR. ERELI: Well, I would say we are working to facilitate the establishment of a relationship that would allow the Sudanese Embassy to have access to banking services.

QUESTION: Relationship with the banks?

MR. ERELI: With financial institutions, yeah.

I'm sorry, we'll go back to the -- to your question.


MR. ERELI: Still on Sudan? Okay.

QUESTION: Now, in regard to banking services, is this in any way a fallout from what occurred with Riggs Bank and its demise?

MR. ERELI: Yeah, I think there's a connection.

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-04 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Yeah, I think there's a connection
Thanks Snazzy
I see no mention of Jonathan :shrug:
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