By Wayne Madsen – October 3, 2005
The one individual who stands tall among those intelligence and law enforcement officers who was aggressively pursuing the criminal network that would carry out 911 was FBI counter-terrorism top man John O’Neill. Ever since the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, O’Neill’s pursuit of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda had been dogged. After further terrorist attacks at the Khobar Towers barracks in Dharan, Saudi Arabia; the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; and the USS Cole in Aden harbor, O’Neill’s biggest problem was not Al Qaeda, it was resistance from top officials inside the U.S. government.
According to classified documents from French intelligence, Al Qaeda and Bin Laden had still been under the operational control of U.S. and British “security services” until 1995, fully two years after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. As of 1996, the U.S. State Department continued to refuse to list Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization. After the 1996 bombings of the Khobar Towers that killed nineteen U.S. military personnel, the State Department under Secretary of State Warren Christopher, FBI Director Louis Freeh, and the Saudi government did everything they could to obstruct O’Neill’s investigation.
In his aggressive pursuit of Al Qaeda, O’Neill, according to people who worked closely with him, began to have serious concerns over complicity by those inside the Clinton and Bush administrations. There was the mysterious theft in the summer of 2000 of his briefcase at a Tampa hotel during a retirement seminar where the only other participants were 150 other FBI agents. In the briefcase were a few classified emails and a classified document called the Annual Field Office Report, a summary of the New York FBI’s office counter-terrorist and counter-intelligence operations, including one very sensitive investigation being conducted by another New York counter-intelligence FBI special agent, Michael Dick. Although a lighter, cigar cutter, and expensive pen were stolen, the papers were all accounted for when the briefcase turned up 90 minutes later at another nearby hotel. Ninety minutes, of course, was sufficient time to photocopy the documents and discover what O’Neill knew about both Al Qaeda and their Israeli shadows.
Special Agent Dick, who worked closely with O’Neill, had discovered a troubling ring of Israeli movers operating in the New York and New Jersey areas. Furthermore, some of these Israelis not only had connections with Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies but were also shadowing Arab and Muslims that had been under investigation as potential terrorist cells. But the Israelis were acting independently and there was no effort made to inform the FBI or local police of any intelligence they were obtaining on their targets.
Further frustrating Dick’s counter-espionage activities against the Israelis was the fact that they were using communications methods that made it almost impossible to conduct communications surveillance: they used Verizon pre-paid cell phones, two-way Nextel walkie-talkies, and Internet cafes.
At the same time, the DEA had discovered a nationwide ring of Israeli “art students,” many of whom had past connections to Israeli intelligence and military demolition units, were operating in and around New York and New Jersey. What the DEA did not realize was that the art students were also shadowing the very same Arab cells that would later carry out the 911 attacks.
And the DEA had become aware of a drug connection between the Russian-Israeli Mafia in Colombia and the globe trotting Saudi Prince Nayif al Saud. The DEA’s Operation Millennium was directed against this network, which largely took down most of the network in June 1999, when 808 kilograms of cocaine were seized in Paris. Later the DEA, in June 2000, the DEA declassified a “SECRET DEA-6” report from the DEA’s BCO (Bogota Country Office) so that the PCO (Paris Country Office) could share the intelligence on Saudi cocaine smuggling operations with the Paris police. The DEA and French law enforcement had compiled tons of evidence that Prince Nayif was transporting cocaine to support some major event.
The DEA report stated that Nayif stated that Allah had authorized him to sell drugs and that later his reason for selling the drugs would become known. It is significant that Nayif did not use alcohol, tobacco or drugs. Nayif claimed diplomatic immunity and the Saudi government threatened France and the Clinton administration with withholding lucrative contracts if they pursued their prince. Because of O’Neill’s close contacts with DEA, this intelligence would have been made known to him as well. The Saudi cocaine smuggling network involved organized crime elements tied to the Russian-Israeli Mafia in Miami; Medellin, Colombia; Marbella and Barcelona, Spain; Venezuela; Geneva; and the Netherlands. According to the DEA report, Nayif fathered a child with a woman named Doris Salazar, a Colombian national residing in Miami. The report also states that an organized crime figure only identified as “Pepe,” a Cuban American who ran a “large section of the Miami Port” and who came to Florida during the 1978 Mariel boat lift, was involved with Nayif in “protecting narcotic shipments upon arrival in the Miami port.” The declassified SECRET DEA-6 report contains the names of a number of cooperating witnesses in the investigation of Nayif and the cocaine smuggling network and the author takes seriously the statement in the document: “Protect identities of the cooperating defendants.”
The DEA originally became interested in the Israelis because they suspected they were involved in an Israeli Mafia Ecstasy smuggling ring. However, it soon became clear that the DEA had stumbled across something much larger – not only were DEA offices and homes of DEA agents around the country being cased by the Israelis, but they were also targeting Federal judges, U.S. Marshals, Environmental Protection Agency law enforcement officers, and FBI agents for surveillance.
It also became clear to the DEA that the Israeli art students were also involved with certain Colombians. On March 22, 2002, at the Oak Hills Apartment Complex in Irving, Texas, DEA agents arrested Israeli art student Dahan Eldad, along with Elsa Beatriz Africano-Leon, a Colombian national. On March 27, DEA agents arrested four other Israelis in the same apartment complex, including Aran Ofek, who said his father was a retired Israeli army two-star general. A $10,000 bond for another arrested Israeli, Michal Gal, was placed by Ophir Baer, an employee of Israeli telecommunications firm AMDOCS, Inc., a firm with operational access to the telephones being used by FBI agents John O’Neill, Michael Dick, and the DEA agents involved in tracking the Saudi/Mafia cocaine shipments being used to support various terrorist and intelligence cells in the United States and abroad.
On April 11, 2001, a DEA agent and a Fredericksburg, Virginia policeman questioned two female Israeli “art student” nationals at the shopping center in Fredericksburg. The passport for Yael Gavish contained some interesting entry/exit visas: 13 December 2000, entry into Bogota, Colombia and 5 February 2001, exit visa from Bogota. In addition, on 5 February there was a possible entry visa for Panama, which was followed by a 9 March 2001 entry visa in New York City. Gavish’s colleague Meirav Balhams had a New York State identity card listing her address as 354 Paterson Plank Rd., Jersey City, New Jersey. An FBI 9-11 suspect list dated February 22, 2002 lists Dominik Suter, along with an Ornit Levinson, a.k.a., Omit Suter, with an address of 312 Pavonia Avenue, Jersey City. Dominik Suter was the head of Urban Moving Systems of nearby Weehawken, the base of operations for two white vans with the same rear license plate that were seen parked at the Doric Apartments (near Patterson Plank Road) and at Liberty State Park at the same time the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The occupants of both vans, all Israelis, were seen celebrating the attack while dressed in Arab garb. Five Israelis in one of the vans were later arrested by the local police and FBI near Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the late afternoon of September 11.
O’Neill’s FBI colleague, Mike Dick, aggressively investigated this Israeli ring before and after 911. But like O’Neill, he soon found himself removed from his duties on the orders of the then-head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Michael Chertoff. Dick was very suspicious when Israeli movers quickly moved Zim American Israeli Shipping Company out of its 10,000 square feet of office space on the 17th Floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The partially Israeli state-owned firm forfeited a $50,000 security deposit when it terminated its lease and vacated the building one week prior to 911. According to a non official cover (NOC) CIA source who worked with Dick, Israeli movers moved explosives into the 17th Floor office space after Zim moved out.
After 911, Dick as well as the CIA NOC were harassed by their superiors on orders “from above.” Those orders came from Chertoff. Dick was first relieved of his primary counter-espionage duties, eventually sent to Pakistan to investigate the kidnapping of <>Wall Street Journal<> reporter Daniel Pearl, and eventually buried in a desk job at FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. According to the CIA source, Pearl was murdered because he was getting too close to the money trail that financed 911. The CIA source said, “the same group that beheaded Pearl in Pakistan did the beheadings in Iraq.” The source added that the beheadings were “not Al Qaeda.”
The CIA source, who emphasized his past Republican credentials, emphasized that Al Qaeda was merely a “list” of arms dealers, mercenaries, drug dealers, financiers, and terrorists used by the CIA and Saudis during the Afghan Mujaheddin War against the Soviets. The source also iterated that all the 911 hijackers had fake IDs. During a joint CIA-FBI operation against lead hijacker Mohammed Atta in Fort Lee, New Jersey in 2000, the CIA and FBI team leaders complained to their superiors that their operation was being photographed by Israeli agents, thus compromising the operation. The CIA source affirmed that the Israelis in New Jersey were providing cover for the future hijacker teams.
It was not the first run-in by the CIA operative with the Israelis. He once caught a senior U.S. diplomat with close ties to Israel taking bribes from Moroccan government officials to write favorable reports on Morocco’s continued control over disputed and oil and mineral rich Western Sahara. Attempts to follow the diplomat’s laundered money were rebuffed by Madeleine Albright’s State Department.
The problems at the top of the CIA and FBI, said the source, existed since the Russian/Soviet spies Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen were able to penetrate the top levels of both agencies. “They got there with help,” said the source.
O’Neill decided that because his own agency was stymieing his own investigative leads, he relied on DEA to handle his most sensitive inquiries and communications. Although DEA memos later suggested that Israeli telecommunications companies, under contract to the Justice Department, may have penetrated sensitive DEA communications as part of an intelligence operation, O’Neill was sure that his communications at the FBI were totally compromised and forced to rely on the DEA because of both internal political pressure from the FBI and Justice Department leadership and his fear that his communications were being wiretapped.
O’Neill also relied on French intelligence to obtain wiretap information on Al Qaeda cells. O’Neill was certain that the Saudi government and oil industry-centric members of the Bush administration were behind the Al Qaeda network. He was also aware of repeated negotiations between U.S. oil companies like UNOCAL and Halliburton and Taliban representatives dating back to 1996, the same year the Khobar Towers were bombed by the Taliban’s Al Qaeda wards. Although those negotiations ceased after the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa, they began again in earnest after George W. Bush became president.
O’Neill had discovered that some of his Al Qaeda targets were involved in some very un-Islamic fundamentalist activities, including drug smuggling, teenage prostitution, and blood diamond dealing. The financial trail led O’Neill to a network of bank accounts in London, Dubai, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, and Jersey. The network investigated coincided exactly with the activities being carried out by the Russian-Israeli Mafia and its links to diamond, drug, and weapons dealers that was especially active in New York and Florida. The future 911 hijackers and their Israeli “shadows” had more than living in the same neighborhoods and frequenting the same bars, video rental stores, and rental mailbox stores in common.
By the way, John O’Neill died on 9/11, on his first day at work as the new Head of Security at the WTC.
For the record, during my recent interview with Robb Revere I misspoke when I said “Dick Wolf”. I meant to say Mike Dick.
Israeli Dual Citizens in the US Congress and the Obama Administration
Google Translator (60 Languages)
Posted by by michaelruark
August 23, 2012, Updated May 19, 2014
Dual Citizenship — Loyal to Whom? (Sept. 19, 2014) (Israeli nationals of Bush Administration)
Members of the US government with dual-citizenship to the US and Israel
I did research for this post. Look it up yourself, put in your own work. I also understand that some of this information might be a little dated now; it was originally posted in 2012. But, recently there have been comments which have accused me of doing no research. It said, “Did you just randomly pick a list of Jews? That is a bold face LIE. If the truth is available, why live in a propagandized world. It is not difficult to…
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British intelligence reported in February 2002 that the Israeli Mossad ran the Arab hijacker cells that were later blamed by the U.S. government’s 9/11 Commission for carrying out the aerial attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. WMR has received details of the British intelligence report, which, was suppressed by the government of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.
A Mossad unit consisting of six Egyptian- and Yemeni-born Jews infiltrated “Al Qaeda” cells in Hamburg (the Atta-Mamoun Darkanzali cell), south Florida, and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in the months before 9/11. The Mossad not only infiltrated cells but began to run them and give them specific orders that would eventually culminate in their being on board four regularly-scheduled flights originating in Boston, Washington Dulles, and Newark, New Jersey on 9/11.
The Mossad infiltration team comprised six Israelis, comprising two cells of three agents, who all received special training…
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The Ties That Bind – Mapping The Covert Connections
Beginning in 1988 and lasting until approximately 1992, Project Hammer was the latest in a series of highly secretive banking practices – known as collateral trading programmes – that are used to create, as if by magic, huge amounts of unaccountable funds for use in specific projects.
These vast pools of unvouchered slush funds are applied to finance a wide variety of clandestine activities that include secret military projects, geo-political requirements and the development of infrastructure projects.
It is also whispered that in the case of the Project Hammer programme at least, that a percentage of the proceeds generated from this secretive activity found their way into the pockets of VIP’s and well-known politicians. Names associated with such corrupt behaviour are carried on the wind but if one listens attentively the names George Bush (senior) and Jim Baker III are just discernible – to the trained ear.
An example of the types of projects that these funds are expended on, was the trading programme known as E F G Jacobi – a predecessor of Hammer – that was, I understand, used largely to finance military facilities and related operations at the top secret US “Pine Gap” base located near Alice Springs, in Australia.
In order to maintain secrecy that surround genuine activity, these trading programmes are routinely said not to exist. Enquiries about them are deflected and attention is, instead, focused on the warnings issued by government agencies about fake programmes. This, when combined with the numerous prosecutions that occur every year of fraudulent High Yield Investment Programme transactions, serve to create the impression that authorised programmes do not occur.
The reasons for this deflection are many but not least is the fact that the asset base on which these programmes usually operate are also said not to exist – at least in the quantities that they actually do. The assets in question are large volumes of gold and lesser amounts of platinum plundered by the Nazis and Japanese during WWII.
The fact that gold has been the one stable commodity used to back and support the issuance of currency over the decades, means that it has been subject to considerable government and central bank secrecy. It was only in 1997, that the Bank of England decided to lift this veil of secrecy and allow the London bullion market a degree of openness. But that openness did not include coming clean about the true amount of gold in existence that is far larger than official figures allow.
Because of this and the extremely covert nature of related trading programmes, comprehensive details of their operations and the financing techniques employed have remained hidden from public view. This, at least, was the case prior to the publication of part one of this series The Project Hammer File. Further examination of the techniques and activity of Project Hammer represented by this essay, now places into the public domain additional important material.
Project Hammer remains a high level state secret in a number of countries including the USA. This was de facto confirmed by the CIA in its refusal to release any relative information following to my Freedom of Information Act request. The exemption used by the CIA to reject my request was that relative material is “properly classified pursuant to an Executive order in the interest of national defence or foreign policy.”
Project Hammer also stands out because proceeds from the trading activity were illegally diverted by major banks. Confirmation of this was provided by Brigadier General Erle Cocke in his April 2000 affidavit. In this, General Cocke was asked about the involvement of former US Treasury Secretary, Lloyd Bentsen, who was retained to investigate what had happened to (and to also recover) the missing funds. Asked if Bentsen “had the government’s interest in closing this whole problem, have you ever had a discussion [with Bentsen],” Cocke replied.
“Many hours just trying to find out whether any agency, any group, Federal Reserve, Treasury, CIA, FBI, security agencies, and so forth, all of them put together whether any of which would really like to finish. And, quite frankly, nobody stepped up to the plate.”
Cocke was the asked if “…they would like to finish it?” and responded:
“I think they would like to finish it, but they all back away. It is not my cup of tea, or they have spent enough time with it and are not going to realize anything, and therefore they just quit. They don’t confirm, they don’t deny, they just stop.”
One can conclude that the banks that diverted this money, were too powerful for any agency of the US government to tackle. Providing suitable and substantial “incentives” to former senior Bush Administration figures to bring their influence to bear quietly to ensure that action against the banks was not taken, also helped
Although not part of the sanctioned plans for Project Hammer – which was to generate funds to pay off debts on bullion certificates issued by certain metal trusts – the funds were siphoned-off surreptitiously to rescue numerous major US and other banks that were, by the latter half of the 1980’s, tottering on the brink of bankruptcy.
The banks only had themselves to blame for their imminent collapse. Reckless lending to Third World nations for over a decade or more when combined with the raw greed of senior bank executives had caused unparalleled damage to the worlds banking system. The inability of indebted Third World nations to repay their massive debts could have been – in fact was – foreseen but ignored.
The spiral of gluttony had taken prisoner the faculty of prudence and reason as bank executives, seeking their next bonus and promotion, pleaded with sovereign nations to take loans they did not need and ultimately could not repay. Nor was it unusual for some of the loaned funds to find their way into the private bank accounts of corrupt state officials – “diversions” that were known about in the boardrooms of the top banks, but ignored as “business as usual.”
By the end of the 1980’s big banks including Citibank, Chase Manhattan, the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, England’s Midland Bank and many, many others were in dire straits. In all but name they were bankrupt. The fear of a prolonged series of collapses – a sort of “domino theory” of finance – of the worlds top banks was regarded in some quarters with palpable fear; the entire western banking system was rocking when it should have been rolling along nicely.
Somewhere, someone – nobody knows who (or at least no one is saying) took the decision to bail out the banks and save the banking system by diverting Project Hammer funds for this purpose. Those banking executives who caused the problem in the first place weren’t confronted by their mistakes or held to account by their shareholders but instead continued to collect their million dollar pay cheques, boost their bonus payments and profit shares, flick ash off their Cuban cigars, quaff bottles of expensive Cheval Blanc and slap each other on the back in delighted relief. One of those sighing relief was almost certainly Citibank’s John Reed. Another quite likely to have also been cultivating a quiet exhalation was Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank boss, Sir William Purvis.
Meanwhile many investors who had placed their money into Project Hammer in return for an agreed profit as well as all those middle-men who had worked hard for their promised commission, were relieved of their money in a twisted version of the well known axiom: one man’s loss is another banker’s gain.
STEALING FROM THIEVES
The sanctioned purpose of Project Hammer was of a macroeconomic nature. Which is a nice way of saying that it was all to do with “repatriating” assets earlier stolen by someone else. Except when nations steal valuable assets during wartime it’s called “plunder” but when the victors in that war grab those same assets they call it “recovery.”
The assets in question were a vast horde of gold and lesser quantities of platinum – plus not inconsiderable volumes of loose gemstones – that had been grabbed by the Nazi’s and the Japanese during WWII. Large volumes of this loot found their way to the Philippines where they were hidden in numerous treasure sites by the Japanese occupiers who planned to recover them after the war.
But it didn’t quite work out the way the Japanese had planned. They lost the war along with the Philippines that, it seems, they were fairly confident they would be allowed to keep in a negotiated truce with the Allies. In their place the OSS – the wartime forerunner of America’s spy agency the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), began recovering the bullion plundered from a dozen or so nations.
This bullion formed what became known as the “Black Eagle” fund, which was part of a secret agreement eclipsed behind the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement. Consequently, the metal was placed under the care of OSS (and later CIA) operative, Severino Garcia Santa Romana, who put it under the control of numerous corporate entities he formed for the purpose. These entities, in turn, proceeded to establish 176 bank accounts in 42 different countries in which to deposit these assets under private treaty agreement.
Confirmation for this comes from General Cocke who was asked: “I have been advised that a chunk of the Hammer Project funds that were used to trade, to invest and reinvest, came from a large block of assets that CIA put into the bank [Citibank]?” Cocke replied: “And they pulled that several times from several sources. Nobody is going to confirm it.”
Following Santa Romana’s death in 1974, his former attorney and trustee was able to “acquire” considerable portions of Santa Romana’s estate by illicit means. The lawyer was Ferdinand Marcos who went on to become president of the Philippines and a favourite friend of the United States until his overthrow in 1986. The acquisition of these assets helped give rise to stories of “Marcos gold” – a legend that was supplemented by additional later recoveries of WWII gold and other loot using a Filipino Army Battalion under the overall command of Marcos henchman, General Fabian Ver.
But Marcos was not the sole illegitimate beneficiary of war loot once controlled by Santa Romana. Another was the late Baron Krupp who, I have been told, also gained access to some of these assets. Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that Santa Romana, prior to his death, was apparently associated with former US president and head of the CIA, George Bush, and “had some contact” with Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida.
In any event, this bullion has, collectively, given rise to a whole class of gold and platinum certificates issued over the decades, mainly by top-drawer European banks. The certificates bear the names of prominent, and in some cases infamous individuals – usually heads of state – as beneficiaries. But these named owners were and are not the legal beneficiaries but rather were cat’s paws used to muddy the waters concerning the true origin of the bullion. Nor did the banks that held the assets own them but they could and did use them in support of their off-balance sheet activity – to the point of irresponsibility.
It should not be forgotten that this gold and platinum was stolen and under international law every effort should have been made to return it to its rightful owners – rather than secretly stash it in bank vaults for use in cold war covert operations. And although it can reasonably be argued that the true owners could never be traced, since the greater quantity of the bullion was privately owned (rather than being central bank bullion), it is clear that the ends dictated the means.
And even though numerous nations around the world were to benefit from post war reconstruction based on the use and application of this war booty, the price of this apparent largesse was for these nations to be moulded into Uncle Sam’s image. As they say in American boardrooms, there is no such thing as a “free lunch.”
In examining the techniques employed in setting up Project Hammer, one is struck not just by the complexity of it but also by the way the banks and intelligence agencies involved structured things to shield themselves from responsibility (and lawsuits no doubt) by utilising subterranean networks each working at “arms-length.”
Piecing these techniques and networks together has been an arduous, painstaking task but in doing so it further unveils a shadow world of parallel finance usually only known to those initiated into it.
THE EMPIRE STATE CONNECTION
During his April 2000 deposition, just days before his death from cancer, Brigadier General Erle Cocke, when asked what the overall objectives of Project Hammer were replied:
“Well, it was mainly to bring back monies to the United States from all types of activities, both legitimately and illegitimately. Not that they were in the smuggling business per se, but they were all in the arms business, they were all retracing dollars of one description or another that had accumulated all through the forties and fifties really. And that probably is as broad a definition as I can give you…”
General Cocke then added that involvement in Project Hammer extended to:
“…the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agencies of all types, Pentagon in the broad sense of it and as such, the Treasury, Federal Reserve. Nobody got out of the act, everybody wanted to get in on the act.”
Cocke’s involvement with clandestine CIA activities dates back many years. At the very least he is known to have been involved with the CIA’s Nugan Hand Bank. For example, US Treasury records obtained by veteran journalist and author, Jonathan Kwitny, show Cocke as the registered “person in charge” of Nugan Hand’s Washington office.
Cocke also indicated in his affidavit that he was regularly contacted by the CIA for expert assistance over the years and was usually debriefed by them following overseas travel. Despite this, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the CIA made on behalf of this writer was dismissed with the statement that “…no records responsive to your request were located,” which is not entirely the same thing as saying that no records exist.
It also appears that the CIA are not the only ones who care to deny knowledge of General Cocke. Another is former Citibank CEO and Chairman, John Reed who, in a sworn affidavit dated 5th December 2000, stated he had “no knowledge of any persons named Erle Cocke, Jr or Barrie D. Wamboldt.” Both the CIA and Citibank’s John Reed hold at least one major advantage over General Cocke…he is dead and while it is true that the dead can’t lie, it is also true that they can’t rebut anyone’s testimony – sworn or otherwise.
In his deposition, Cocke states that although he had never “met” John Reed, he had attempted on numerous occasions to speak with him, but was continually rejected:
“We did our best to make the normal approaches, but I can see the President of the United States with no trouble. I cannot see Reed.”
The “we” Cocke was referring besides himself was Paul Green, a “long time real estate lawyer in New York,” with “50 years practice” who “had done most of his real estate dealings through Citibank.” Green also did some of his banking business with Citibank, at their 5th Avenue, New York branch, under account number: FOCUS #946 963 94.
According to Cocke, Green was an outside counsel for Citibank and went back “30 odd years with large transactions through that bank buying and selling big buildings. He was very much involved buying and selling the Empire State Building one time.” Asked if Paul Green was involved in the purchase and sale of collateral instruments, Cocke replied:
“Probably not as an individual. But he represented the clients that certainly wanted to do the same thing.” 
News in late March 2003, revealed that the Empire State Building had just been sold by Casino king, Donald Trump, and the heirs of shady Japanese billionaire Hideki Yokoi for $57.5 million. Yokoi (who at the time was serving a prison sentence had secretly negotiated the transaction through a middleman) and his partner Trump had gained ownership of the building in 1991 for $42 million. Little is known about Yokoi’s WWII activities.
The building last changed hands four decades earlier in 1961, when it was acquired by real estate tycoon Harry Helmsley from the Prudential Insurance Company in a sale-leaseback deal. The world-renowned skyscraper was built on land owned by the Astor family and later sold to the Du Pont’s in 1929. John Jacob Astor was one of the first Americans to become involved in the Opium trade from which his later fortune derived. This he invested in Manhattan real estate.
Construction of the Empire State building began in 1930. Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates were the architects of the Empire State Building. They also designed One Bankers Trust Plaza in New York City, the HQ of Bankers Trust, together with the Credit Lyonnais building.
It is of more than passing interest that one law firm represents many of the “actors” who appear in this story. That firm is White & Case. Amongst numerous notable achievements listed on its website background/history was its representation of the sellers (the Du Pont group) of the Empire State Building in 1954 for the princely sum of $51.5 million. As we noted earlier, almost forty years later in 1991, the building sold for the less than princely sum of $42 million. I am not certain how the real estate investors define investment performance over the years but an aggregate loss of $9.5 million over the course of 37 years doesn’t usually constitute an investment accomplishment by any standard I know of.
In any event, the 1954 sale was to a Chicago “group” headed by businessman, Colonel Henry Crown, who went on to take a controlling interest in General Dynamics, a major defence contractor. During WWII, Crown was the procurement officer for the Western division of the Corps of Engineers. This is of some interest, since the US Army Corps of Engineers do appear to have been involved in the post war recovery of plundered gold stashed in the Philippines. Crown also became involved in the mining industry in 1942, when Crown’s principal company, Material Service Resources Company, acquired Freeman Coal Mining Company. In any event, by 1954, when Crown was involved in the purchase of the Empire State Building, he was fronting for the Chicago “mob” and laundering their money into real-estate.
In my e-book The Secret Gold Treaty, I make mention of the fact that Santa Romana’s sidekick and CIA associate, General Ed Lansdale, had his name appear in connection with substantial UBS gold bullion deposits. Indeed, Lansdale is a central figure in the recovery by the OSS and later the CIA of plundered gold and other assets stashed on the Philippine islands by the Japanese Golden Lily plunder teams. Lansdale’s name also surfaced in another major event. According to the late Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, who was Lansdale’s close military associate on covert missions, Lansdale was identified as being present in Dallas on 22nd November 1963 – the day President John Kennedy was assassinated. Lansdale’s speciality was black operations and assassination and Prouty believed him to have been a party to the Kennedy slaying. Lansdale’s skills in these departments were honed following a tour he made to the Philippines to put down the so called HUK uprising, as well as his later posting to Saigon in 1954, to pave the US takeover from the French – particularly of the opium trade.
Investigations conducted by Prof. Peter Dale Scott, for his book on the JFK assassination, reveal many leads linking Lee Harvey Oswald to Max Clark, a former security officer of General Dynamics. Moreover, there were additional links between Jack Ruby and General Dynamics controlling stockholder, Henry Crown and his friend Jake Arvey – Ruby’s former political boss in Chicago. Crown is further implicated in these matters because of his association with Hilton Hotels International, of which he was a director. In particular, Crown had negotiated with a Cuban pro-Baptista faction for casino rights in the Havana Hilton.
Moreover, as one begins digging deeper into the defence contractor, General Dynamics, one is confronted by a most unusual entity by the name of Empire Trust Co., which has been likened to a “private CIA” who’s shareholders used it to protect their business interests around the world. These included interests in Cuba, Guatemala and in “General Dynamics.” Empire Trust later merged into the Bank of New York, but in its earlier years it was a vehicle – at least in part – for the Smiths, the Scottish banking family. This is not the place to go into greater detail about Empire Trust (which I hope to do at another time) but suffice it to say that one internationally known individual, Lord Peter Carrington, is of the Smith banking family. Lord Carrington’s name was once purloined and used as the hero in a play entitled “Rescuing Rosebud.” Interestingly, the Empire Trust can also be connected to Citigroup.
But the connections just keep on happening. It is known that Colonel Crown was connected to a number of Texan businessmen, including Robert B. Anderson who would later become Secretary of the Treasury. Anderson was, moreover, one of the central figures in setting up the Black Eagle gold trusts using gold plundered by the Axis during WWII – and had accompanied Ed Lansdale to Tokyo in 1945, when Lansdale reported to General MacArthur – his boss – on all the loot that he and Santa Romana had uncovered in the Philippines.  Not least, two of Santa Romana’s “front companies” used by him for the deposit of plundered WWII bullion just happen to have the name “Crown” in their title: Crown Commodity Holding International, and just plain Crown International. Stranger still, is the fact that for many years, Santa Romana lived in a suite at the Hilton Hotel in Manila.
Meanwhile, a brief review of White & Case’s client list tell us that they also represented the First National Bank (the forerunner of Citibank), Astor Trust Company, Prudential, J P Morgan & Co., Saudi Aramco, Swiss Bank Corporation and Seagram Company Ltd. of Canada, controlled by the Bronfman family (regarded by some as the kings of the Canadian mafia). But White & Case’s most “enduring” client is Bankers Trust Company, a J P Morgan controlled bank, which the law firm was “centrally involved” in forming back in 1903.
The ancestor of all trust companies is England’s Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust, which dates back to 1868 and was conceived by one of the foremost legal minds of the day, Lord Westbury. The current Lord Westbury, Richard Bethell, will appear later in this story.
But first, lets step through the looking glass and examine one of the early Hammer deals, which General Cocke believed:
“…was one of the very early transactions as far as I am concerned with Hammer.” I think he [Dan Hughes] is the one who expanded Hammer in the sense that we moved from one hundred million [dollars] to a billion type movement, and now we are doubling, about a trillion. He is the one who enhanced it is the best way of saying.”
THE HUGHES PORTAL
Dan Hughes Jr – the nephew of US Representative Hughes from New Jersey – made a considerable fortune in the construction business in Florida during his early working life. By the mid 1980’s, with paper assets nearing $100 million, he became involved in collateral trading and by late 1989 entered the realm of Project Hammer.
During the autumn of 1989, Hughes was approached by Peter Seaman, the President & Chairman of a small investment bank called Nantucket Holding Company. Seaman had developed an arrangement with Ecoban, Limited, a small merchant bank with offices in London & New York City that specialised in emerging market-debt and the A’forfait market Seaman using Nantucket Holding Company, concluded an agreement by which Ecoban would purchase $100 million worth of documentary letters of credit issued by the Head Offices of Citibank, N.A., and the Chase Manhattan Bank N.A. Hughes had access to these bank credits via a $50 billion “commitment” extended to him by the Bankers Trust Company.
To fund the purchase Ecoban needed the support of a bank and turned to Midland Bank Aval Limited (MidAval), the Forfaiting subsidiary of Midland Bank Group International Trade Services (MiBGITS). MidAval, once wholly owned by Midland Bank had, shortly before commencing with the Hammer transaction, concluded a private agreement with Sir William Purvis, chairman of the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, wherein HSBC purchased a controlling equity stake in MidAval. This meant that MidAval was 60% owned by HSBC and 40% owned by Midland Bank.
Accordingly, on 12th October 1989, MidAval issued a letter agreeing to purchase “$100 million with rolls until funds are exhausted of documentary letters of credit…” An earlier MidAval letter (dated 25th September 1989) stated that they “irrevocably commit to purchase the above letters of credit and pay the amount agreed between you and Ecoban Limited (“the purchase price”) to Citibank N.A., Lugano.”
The reference to “Lugano” was deleted in later letters at the specific request of Nantucket’s Peter Seaman as detailed in his 11th October 1989 letter to Brian Fitzpatrick, the Managing Director of Ecoban Ltd. Lugano was of some considerable importance as we shall see later – but not least because it was at Union Bank of Switzerland in Lugano where, according to Dan Hughes, the actual trading of the Hammer programme took place.
Meanwhile, MidAval’s letter was addressed to Jardine, Emett & Chandler New England Inc, in Boston, USA, who acted as an agent for MidAval. On the strength of MidAval’s signed and authorised letter, Jardine, Emett & Chandler issued it own “Request for collateral instruments” under its letterhead. This letter, dated 12rth October 1989 bore the reference “Midland Bank Aval Limited for Ecoban Limited.”
To close the circle Dan Hughes had earlier instructed his attorney, Oswald (Ozzie) Howe Jr of the Miami law firm of Mershon, Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwoody & Cole, to cause to be issued a Sight draft dated 6th October 1989, drawn on the Southeast Bank N. A., Miami, and payable to Bankers Trust Company for $50,000. A further Sight draft was issued in the amount of $25,000 at the request of Bankers Trust.
Following this sequence of events nothing happened and no draws were made against the Sight drafts issued by Southeast Bank in favour of Bankers Trust. But on the 18th October 1989, Hughes received a time and sequence confirmation from Joan Johnson, Vice President and Operations Manager of Security Pacific bank in Los Angeles,” which Hughes believes activated his transaction through a “back door” arrangement which would cut him out of his commission. Thereafter, Peter Seaman point blank and inexplicably refused to speak with Hughes again.
General Cocke was an experienced banker from a long line of bankers and was a former full time US representative at the World Bank. Intimately familiar with the operational techniques of trading programmes he was asked: “Can you explain in a general way how it [Hammer] functioned, that it was a trade programme, for those of us that are not familiar?”
“The stock way all big banks, all central banks, change within themselves and curtail their balances, build up their peaks and then sell it.”
He went on to explain that “…most of it is done in a four week program to be technically correct,” and involved the trading of banking instruments – usually known as collateral – that are heavily discounted and then sold off.
MAPPING THE COVERT CONNECTIONS
To appreciate the subtleties of how the diversion of this particular “portal” into Project Hammer may have occurred, it is instructive to look at the connections and associations of the principal players.
Ecoban: In addition to Ecoban Limited in London, there was the affiliated Ecoban Finance Limited that conducted business out an address on Third Avenue in New York City. A one time President and CEO of Ecoban Finance Limited in New York was Jim Demitrieus who more recently was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Ixnet/IPC which was acquired by Global Crossing in June 2000. Global Crossing was one of the US firms that recently suffered a spectacular collapse together with Worldcom, Enron and the accountancy firm Arthur Andersen. All were subjected to a welter of media attention for what was believed to have been unparalleled insider trading activities by senior executives.
Earlier in his career, Demitrieus “served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Commodity Division of Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc. responsible for the precious metals, energy products, foreign exchange trading subsidiary and institutional brokerage division.” Of interest here is the little known fact that Drexel, Burnham, Lambert, New York, was a recipient of gold bullion from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in January 1984. It is not clear from Mr. Demitrieus’ available Vitae if this was the same time period he was the senior vice president of Drexel’s bullion business, but I am informed this is probably the case. Before that, Demitrieus“ held senior level financial positions with Freeport McMoRan, ITT and Arthur Andersen.”
Significantly, Freeport McMoRan, back in the days when it was Freeport Sulphur, positively heaved with CIA and elite heavy-hitters – not to mention persistent whispers of its involvement in the recovery of plundered gold stashed in Indonesia where Freeport had the largest copper mining operation in the world. Over the years the Freeport senior management have included such luminaries as Augustus “Gus” Long, the chairman of Texaco who has “done prodigious volunteer work for Columbia Presbyterian Hospital” – which has been described as a “hotbed of CIA activity.” Meanwhile, perhaps one of the best-known directors was Dr. Henry Kissinger, who was appointed to the board in 1995.
Another director was Robert Lovett, who has been described as a “Cold War architect” and had been an executive at the old Wall Street bank of Brown Brothers Harriman. He also served as Undersecretary of State, Assistant Secretary of War, and Secretary of Defence. He was a best friend of Chase Manhattan Bank Chairman (and Warren Commissioner), John J McCloy.
The Chase Manhattan and Citibank connection (note these are the exact same two banks that were to issue the Project Hammer documentary letters of credit) to Freeport was further enhanced by the board appointment of Godfrey Rockefeller – brother of James Stillman Rockefeller who was appointed Chairman of Citibank (then known as First National City Bank or FNCB for short) in 1959. Godfrey Rockefeller was a one-time trustee of the Fairfield Foundation that financed a variety of CIA “fronts.” Meanwhile, Stillman’s cousin, David Rockefeller, was chairman of Chase Manhattan and regarded as the “goliath of American banking.”
By a strange coincidence of fate it was Robert Lovett and John J McCloy, who together with Robert B. Anderson, formed Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson’s team of financial experts concerned with tracking WWII gold looted by the Axis powers. Indeed, Lovett and McCloy were responsible for negotiating the secret agreement hidden behind the Bretton Woods Agreement concerning the establishment of the “Black Eagle Trust” that was to make use of plundered WWII bullion in the post war years.
As connections go, there can be few that dovetail in to this story so comprehensively as that of the late David Alexander Harrison III – a lawyer, investment banker and philanthropist, who died in June 2002. Twelve days after the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbour, Harrison signed up for military service and served on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff in the Philippines. Reaching the rank of captain, he was discharged in August 1944. He began his business career at Freeport Sulphur Co, in New York and in 1947, joined the law firm of White & Case in New York City, where he practised corporate law. In 1961, he joined the Wall Street investment bank of Reynolds & Co – which later became part of Morgan Stanley – where he was made a partner.
Earlier, we noted that General Edward Lansdale, a CIA (and formerly OSS) operative had been strongly linked to the 1963 assassination of President John Kennedy. He was also a key player in the Black Eagle gold trust. We also observed that Colonel Henry Crown, of the Empire State Building, also had links to Lee Harvey Oswald, who is officially held responsible – as the “lone gunman” – for JFK’s murder. Crown is also further linked to the Black Eagle gold trust. These two unusual “associations” – black gold and the JFK assassination – likewise extend to Freeport Sulphur (now Freeport McMoRan).
According to the JFK assassination investigation files of New Orleans District Attorney, Jim Garrison, Freeport Sulpher’s then Vice President, Charles A. Wight, flew to Cuba to set up an import deal for Cuba’s Nickel ore to a Canadian front corporation. Accompanying Wight on this flight was Clay Shaw, suspected by Garrison to have been the key figure in Kennedy’s slaying. Piloting the Freeport Sulphur aircraft was David Ferrie – a CIA contract agent and also a key Garrison suspect. David Ferrie meanwhile, frequently piloted aircraft carrying narcotics and was, as early as 1957, a paymaster to Barry Adler Seal – who would later become the biggest drug smuggler in American history. Ferrie was also a mentor to Lee Harvey Oswald.
Prior to his appointment to the Freeport Sulphur board of directors, and chairman of its Executive Committee, Charles Wight was a Vice President of the Bankers Trust Company. Wight plainly was a significant player in a number of events, including apparently, an assassination plan of a head of state. A Garrison memo noted an interview he had conducted with a James J. Plaine of Houston, Texas, in which Plaine said was contacted by Freeport Sulphur’s Mr. White (later identified as Charles Wight), regarding a possible assassination plan for Cuba’s Fidel Castro. Fidel today, Jack Kennedy tomorrow perhaps?
Freeport Sulphur was, in fact, an enclave of the fabulously wealthy Whitney family, and John Hay “Jock” Whitney, the heir to the family fortune, had significant ties to both the OSS and the CIA. During WWII, “Jock” was “…temporarily detailed to ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan of the OSS…” and was second cousin to CIA staff officer Tracy Barnes, regarded in the Agency as the “Golden Boy” of CIA director Allen Dulles. Jock Whitney was also a lifelong friend of “…William H. Jackson, who briefly served as second in command at the newly formed CIA as Deputy Director under Walter Bedell Smith.” Whitney’s pro-British perspective eventually led him to being appointed US Ambassador to London in 1957.
The name Whitney – although not part of the same family line as the “rich” Whitney’s – occurs elsewhere in this story. Although Santa Romana told people that he worked for the OSS during the war, because it was easier to explain things this way, the fact is that he worked directly for then Colonel (later General) Courtney Whitney, MacArthur’s closest friend and also his pre-war financial adviser in the Philippines. During the war, Whitney was in charge of a secret military group of Filipino soldiers trained in Australia and then sent on clandestine missions behind Japanese lines in the Philippines.
After the war, and following MacArthur’s ignominious sacking as commander of allied forces in Korea by President Truman, Texan oil millionaire H L Hunt backed MacArthur’s bid to become the next US president. Hunt, who was reported to be the richest man in the world at that time shared the rabid anti-communist – even pro fascism – of many of MacArthur’s closest (and former military) aides including General Courtney Whitney, General Bonner Fellers and General Charles Willoughby.
This association between MacArthur and Hunt is not without significance, for it is now widely accepted that H L Hunt was deeply involved in the assassination of President John Kennedy.
In my earlier essay, The Spoils of War, I noted that General Willoughby was a member of a secret right-wing group, called the Shickshinny Knights of Malta (as distinct from the official Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta). I also noted that Brigadier General Erle Cocke who proclaimed himself to be a Malta Knight in his 67-page Project Hammer affidavit, was probably a Shickshinny knight since his name does not appear on the membership roll of the official Order. This conclusion is supported by the fact that General Cocke during the Korean war acted as a liaison officer between General MacArthur’s staff and the staff of General Marshall.
This “black gold” constellation of connections extends to a range of momentous political events including, as we have seen, the JFK assassination. It also very likely extends to Nixon’s Watergate as well. For example, another senior MacArthur aide, General Marquat, was placed in charge of a secret post-war slush fund – composed of recovered gold and other war loot – that was used to help rebuild Japan as well as fund a range of anti-communist activities. This was called the “M-fund” – and has been held to be so secret that it is usually denied to exist (as usual).
One of those engaged in later negotiations regarding this fund was General Alexander Haig – Nixon’s last White House chief of staff. Haig has been named as a principal “plotter” in the plans to force Nixon’s resignation in the wake of Watergate. He is also a Knight of Malta, albeit of the official Order and not the Shickshinny variety. I also understand that Haig’s father-in-law, General Alonzo Fox, was a close associate of… General Willoughby.
Meanwhile it has been reported that Richard Nixon, as Vice President during Eisenhower’s Administration, handed over direct control of this fund – now valued to be in excess of $500 billion – from the MacArthur/Marquat clique to certain members of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democrat Party. This was in exchange for a promise that it would be covertly used to further Nixon’s political career – specifically to get him elected president.
A number of those deeply implicated in Watergate were also involved in the JFK assassination. And Alexander Butterfield, who was in charge of the tapes and taping system in Nixon’s Oval Office – the recorded conversations of which led directly to Nixon’s fall from power – was also a former career intelligence officer in Asia with a deep knowledge of Nugan Hand Bank officer, Bernie Houghton. Nugan Hand Bank, it will be recalled, not only laundered narcotics money but also laundered Marcos gold out of the Philippines to Australia – and quite probably also to those controlling Golden Triangle opium production.
Midland Bank: When looking at MidAval’s parent, Midland Bank Group International Trade Services (MiBGITS), one could do worse than read the very informative book by former Arms company Chairman, Gerald James, entitled “In the Public Interest.” James recounts numerous chilling accounts of Her Majesty’s intelligence service MI6 deep involvement with MiBGITS special defence unit. Included are details of Stephan Kock, who James claims to have been a former head of the Foreign Office’s so called assassination squad, Group 13. Another intelligence-connected individual named in James’ book is Sir John Cuckney, who was a non-executive director of Midland Bank from 1978 until 1988 and was responsible for having formed the defence unit in the first place. Gerald James and his munitions company Astra, also had dealings with, and a private account at, MidAval.
Kock’s boss at Midland was Comte Herve de Carmoy, a Frenchman and a leading light on the Trilateral Commission. He left Midland in 1988, to take up the position as the most senior executive of Belgium’s massive transnational company, Societe Generale. He was replaced as head of Midland International by John Louden who had an unfortunate speech impediment and who was a multilingualist – leading wags in the bank to say of him that he could stutter in seven languages. De Carmoy’s departure was followed by both Cuckney and Kock following what Gerald James describes as “funny practices” relating to a loss of £100 million involving all three.
Although a similar amount to the MidAval’s Project Hammer transaction, this sum of £100 million cannot have been the same money for two reasons. Firstly the Hammer amount was in dollars and not pounds and was discounted at approximately 4% over the prevailing one-year interest rate (LIBOR). For US banks of the standing of Chase & Citibank at that time, a market rate of perhaps one quarter of one percent – or at most, one half of one percent was applicable. Four percent was unheard of by a very long shot indeed. Secondly, at least a year separated the two movements of money.
Even so there are notable connections between the MidAval CEO, Ian Guild, and Herve de Carmoy (who was known in the bank as “Herve the Swerve”). Firstly, de Carmoy was Guild’s overall boss. Secondly, shortly after de Carmoy moved to Societe Generale, a valued employee of MidAval (also a Frenchman referred to in-house by the affectionate nickname of “Froggy”) left MidAval employment to take up the post of Chef du Cabinet at the specific invitation of de Carmoy. Thirdly, Guild and the other two senior executives – plus some other staff – left Midland in 1990 to form IndoSuez Aval Limited. IndoSuez Bank was directly owned by Societe Generale and negotiations between de Carmoy, his Chef du Cabinet – the former MidAval employee – and the three senior MidAval executives had been ongoing for almost a year before satisfactory terms were settled.
Following the take over of Midland Bank by HSBC, MidAval had its name changed to HSBC Forfaiting Limited. It was dissolved in February 2000. Former staff had long since scattered to the four winds. IndoSuez Aval Limited is likewise now defunct.
Peter Seaman: In addition to being the President and Chairman of Nantucket Holding Company, Peter Seaman was a successful businessman and involved in a number of other enterprises. These included an entity called Harbour Fuel Holdings Co, Inc of Westchester County in which Seaman was a partner with attorney Stuart Root. Both Root and Peter Seaman were clients of attorney Kenneth C. Ellis. Root was a director of another firm called Bowery Advisors Subsidiary Corporation, which was registered in Florida with a principal mailing address of Kenneth C. Ellis “care of” the Southeast First National Bank building located at Biscayne Boulevard, Miami. Seaman had a residence in Greenwich, Connecticut where, by another odd coincidence, his next-door neighbour was Citibank’s John Reed.
Following his close association with Dan Hughes in setting up of the MidAval Hammer deal in October 1989, Seaman thereafter refused to ever speak with Hughes again. Whether it was caused by guilt for diverting Hughes commission or some other factor that caused this extraordinary vow of silence, we shall never know. Peter Seaman died taking all his secrets with him.
Oswald Howe Jr: Dan Hughes attorney throughout the Hammer deal and the subsequent years of investigation was Oswald (Ozzie) Howe Jr., of the Miami law firm of Mershon, Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwoody & Cole – whose offices were located in the Southeast Bank building at the Southeast Financial Center. According to Dan Hughes, it was Howe who introduced him to Southeast Bank and that Howe did a lot of real estate work for the bank. Interesting real estate work appears to have been one of Howe’s specialities in fact, as we shall shortly see.
Hughes also feels that his ongoing Hammer related law case would be a great deal more effective if several vital documents had not mysteriously disappeared from Howe’s office. In any event, Mershon, Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwoody & Cole is now defunct and Howe practices law and is the senior partner for Howe, Robinson & Watkins LLP, in Miami.
As a Florida attorney, Oswald Howe has registered numerous business entities. One of the more interesting is the 1983 registered, Hines Florida Club Corp, with an address at 2800 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, Texas. This is an entity of Gerald D. Hines, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, a multi-billionaire and the largest real estate developer in Houston as early as 1965. Another Hines entity located at the same address – which incidentally is a building owned by Hines, is City Club of Miami Inc. This entity was registered by Howe in 1983, notably in the middle of the Iran Contra era. In this case, however, the Florida registration record shows the owner and developer as “Gerald D Hives” rather than Gerald D. Hines. Spelling errors seem to appear with uncommon frequency when it comes to Hines. Howe’s registration of Hines Florida Club Corp, mentioned above – has Hines listed of “Gerald D Hineo.” Such typographical errors are said to be an old CIA trick to camouflage paper trails, according to some investigators.
Deeper research shows a connection between Hines and the Phoenix real estate developer Del E Webb, who owned the New York Yankees until 1965. Webb’s business entity, the Del E Webb Development Corporation was fingered, in an investigation following the death of an Arizona journalist, Don Bolles, for being an “active business partner with organized crime for three decades.” Webb’s corporation had been the developer of the Las Vegas, Flamingo Hotel, owned by mobsters, Bugsy Siegal and Meyer Lansky. Author Anthony Summers, revealed that Webb was protected at “the highest levels” by former FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover. Moreover, Webb’s further mob connections also extended to Chicago power broker, Col. Henry Crown who we met earlier in this essay. Indeed, so close were the Crown-Webb connections that one former Webb executive revealed that he had to be interviewed by Crown before the Webb Corporation would hire him.
Gerald Hines also built and owns 2700 Post Oak Boulevard in Houston (not a million miles away from S. West Oak Drive which is owned by G. H. Bush). This was the home of many oil companies, including Buttes Gas & Oil Co on whose board of directors sat Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt II, the grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt. Kermit’s background is as wild as it is disturbing.
Kim was with the OSS during WWII, and served in the most secret of all OSS posts, Cairo, as a cryptographer. In this role he would almost certainly have come into contact with Allen Dulles, the Swiss based OSS operative and later a director of the CIA. Kim also joined the CIA, officially as Dulles Near & Middle East expert, but was in fact a clandestine operator par excellent. His “activities” included the overthrow of Iran’s Mossadecq, who was replaced by the CIA choice, the Shah of Iran in 1953. The Shah’s name would later appear on a bank of England Obligation certificate in the amount of $5.45 billion, with the code “Theheran Memorial King.”
By 1954, Kim was working closely with leading Nazi war criminals. This particularly included Otto “Scarface” Skorzeny – who had earlier been hand-chosen by the Nazi hierarchy to secretly transport nazi gold, other plunder and key Nazi assets to safety in Latin America and elsewhere around the world prior to the fall of Berlin in 1945. Kim’s association with Skorzeny focused on the failed plan to topple Egypt’s president Nasser using elements of the fascist-leaning Muslim Brotherhood.
By 1957, Kim was working for Gulf Oil which, by 1959, owned a 20% slug of George Bush’s Zapata operations that was later used by Cubans in the aborted Bay of Pigs fiasco aimed at toppling Cuba’s Fidel Castro. With Gulf Oil, he continued his speciality work as he had done in the CIA; Kim was a prolific arms dealer. In the 1960’s he established a consulting company and recruited Adnan Khashoggi – another prolific arms dealer – to serve as an agent for US defence contractors, Northrup and Raytheon, who Kim was representing via his consulting firm.
It is more than likely that Kim first met Khashoggi in 1962, when King Faisal secretly commissioned the twenty-seven year old Adnan, to act in an unofficial capacity to strengthen ties with the US and western nations. In this capacity, Khashoggi was to act as the ears and eyes of the Saudi royal family, acquire arms, invest to win friends and bring his charms and the Kingdom’s money to exert influence where required.
Interestingly, 1963 was the year of issue of a Union Bank of Switzerland Trust Note in the amount of Swiss Francs 92.625 billion in the (as usual) misspelled name of Adnan Kasogi. This obligation note bears the “Special Code: Panama Fusse King” and almost certainly formed part of the Santa Romana Black Eagle loot.
Kim’s relationship with Khashoggi resulted in a close relationship he also had with Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz – to whom we shall return later. Kim was also a crony of multi-billionaire financier, Sir James Goldsmith, who owned a stake in Canadian gold mining company Barrick Resources. Kim’s associations extended to organised crime and Las Vegas hotels on the one hand, and on the other, extended deeply into the CIA – arguably two heads of the same beast, but in any event these Siamese-twin associations reveal Kim Roosevelt to have been a classic covert operator of considerable distinction.
The foregoing are just some of the more interesting “threads” that fan out from an investigation of Oswald Howe. Additional research is being conducted as we speak.
Southeast Bank: Southeast Bank N A., was declared insolvent on 19th September 1991. It exists no more. Over the years it could boast some famous, if not infamous clients – but one suspects that such boasting was the last thing the bank’s board of directors had in mind. One such account “holder” was Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos who used his henchman and former law school classmate, Roberto Benedicto to front for him. In addition to being appointed by Marcos as the Philippines Ambassador to Japan, he was also a signatory on Marcos’s Credit Suisse accounts and was clearly content to be used by Marcos as a catspaw to hide his money and gold bullion. Benedicto died in May 2000, following a heart attack.
Other illustrious clients of Southeast Bank over the years have included criminal luminaries as Licio Gelli and Michele Sindona, named by author Luigi DiFonzo’s, in his book “St. Peter’s Banker.” DiFonzo reveals that $34 million “lost” money of Robert Calvi’s collapsed bank, the Banco Ambrosiano, was traced to the Banco Ambrosiano subsidiary in Nassau, where it was withdrawn and the funds smuggled to two Miami banks – one of these being the Southeast First National Bank (of Miami) account number 18221465.
Bankers Trust: Bankers Trust International – a subsidiary of Bankers Trust – was the other Miami bank named in the book “St. Peter’s Banker” as having funds stolen from Banco Ambrosiano deposited with it. According to the books author, Luigi DiFonzo these funds were deposited into account number 001050018 that was also controlled by Licio Gelli and Michel Sindons (i.e., Sindona).
IN 1982, Ferdinand Marcos arranged via his right-hand man, General Fabian Ver to transfer 50 tonnes of gold bullion to Switzerland – shipped via two 747 aircraft on charter. The charter aircraft were arranged by an individual using the name Ron Lusk who had been retained by Ver to deliver the gold to Bankers Trust, Zurich.
Bankers Trust is also of considerable interest for other reasons too. Firstly, readers will recall that Dan Hughes caused two Sight drafts to be issued in favour of Bankers Trust for the collateral commitment relative to the Chase and Citibank debenture instruments, an activity which, as we have already seen, caused General Erle Cocke to believe kicked-off the Project Hammer programme in a big way.
Secondly, the lawyers and investigators who were building a lawsuit for Dan Hughes and other clients cheated out of their money were quietly negotiating with the Central Intelligence Agency in an attempt to settle privately and quietly out of court. According to Dan Hughes, these negotiations were taking place with the office of Buzzy Krongard, the then No. 3 man in the CIA hierarchy. By profession Krongard is a banker and had formerly been the chairman and CEO of investment bank, Alex Brown Inc. In September 1997, Krongard engineered the merger of Alex Brown with Bankers Trust and became the vice chairman of the board of directors of Bankers Trust. A few months later in January 1998 he was recruited as a “counsellor” to CIA boss, George Tenet. In March 2001, he was promoted to Executive Director, making him the No. 2 man of the spy agency.
But the strange coincidences don’t end there. South African intelligence operatives, Rolf van Rooyen and Riaan Stander,  who are both deeply enmeshed in the Project Hammer story, were working closely with Gregory Serras, the President/CEO of the San Diego brokerage firm of Vanguard Capital. This involved discussions for Vanguard to act on their behalf on the Private Placement of Argentinean government approved debenture instruments that formed part of a trading programme that van Rooyen and Stander had been working on. In a signed letter, Serras – acting on behalf of his bank, Morgan Stanley & Co – requested confirmation that the debentures in question were “legal securities authorised and approved by the government of Argentina…”
Vanguard appear to change their banking relationships from time to time. At the time Serras was in contact with van Rooyen, their relationship was with Morgan Stanley & Co. Today it is with the Bank of New York, Inc – itself no stranger to front-page scandals involving money-laundering activities for Russian crime syndicates and political figures. Of interest is the fact that Vanguard was earlier affiliated with Buzzy Krongard’s old firm, Alex Brown – which had changed its name following the take over of Bankers Trust by Germany’s Deutsche Bank – to Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown Inc. It is now Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.
The fact is that when it comes to the fraternity of banking, one can often disregard the supposed rivalry that is said to exist, because incestuous relationships are commonplace. In the past, at least, the big banks owned significant chunks of each other’s stock, whereas nowadays they just tend to merge together. Take for example the Bank of America, whose second largest stockholder was J P Morgan. In third place was Citibank. Meanwhile, Citibank’s larges stockholder was J P Morgan which in December 2000 merged with Chase Manhattan to form the all powerful J P Morgan/Chase. Bankers Trust was a J P Morgan creation from day one.
White & Case: No doubt by sheer coincidence alone, the Marcos account at Southeast Bank held by Roberto Benedicto was a “White & Case Trust” account (number 018-410191). It may also have been mere coincidence that Peter Seaman’s and Stuart Root’s attorney Kenneth C Ellis – who was the registered addressee at Southeast Bank building for the Bowery Advisors Subsidiary Corporation – is also listed on the White & Case website as a Partner of that firm who specialises in financial matters and who now works out of their Singapore office.
UBS Lugano: One of the more flamboyant financiers of recent decades undoubtedly is Italian, Florio Fiorini, the former director of finance of the Italian state-owned oil company, ENI. Fiorini is best known for his failed attempt to rescue Roberto Calvi’s bankrupt private bank, Banco Ambrosiano – an affair that also involved mafia financier Michel Sindona and, of course, Licio Gelli, the Grandmaster of the secret Masonic lodge P2, that was a de facto parallel government of Italy.
Unlike others, Fiorini spilled the beans in two books he wrote while in Champ Dollon prison in Switzerland for “fraudulent bankruptcy.” Of the many secrets Fiorini revealed in his books, one of the most explosive was the now infamous “Conto Protezione,” or protection account, used to launder profits derived from a myriad insider dealing activities by some of the largest and most prestigious banks and transnational corporations in Europe. A significant slice of the profits were paid to what Fiorini amusingly described as the “starving of the parties” – or in plain words kickbacks paid to the various political parties.
The administrator of the secret kickback account numbered 633369 was a member of P2 and a former Minister of Justice of disgraced Prime Minister Bettino Craxi, who went by the name of Claudius Hammerings – and if one deletes the last four letters of his name… coincidence throws up the word “Hammer.” Readers will by now have guessed that the account was held at UBS Lugano.
Fiorini’s name also appears prominently in the story of the looting of MGM, the famous Hollywood film studios by Italian mafia “thug” Giancarlo Paretti. The MGM affair was an event that almost brought France’s state-owned bank, Credit Lyonnais crashing to its knees and, without intervention and an infusion of considerable sums of money from the French taxpayer, France’s once proud bank would have folded.
This is not the place to recount the MGM/Credit Lyonnais story, but it is of passing interest only to note that Credit Lyonnais recruited attorney Charles Meeker, to join MGM as president to handle negotiations with Paretti. Prior to joining MGM, Meekers was with the law firm of White & Case. Following a warrant issued by France, Paretti was eventually arrested and cuffed by federal agents in a conference room in the downtown Los Angeles office of White & Case.
Credit Lyonnais has also been deeply involved in Black Eagle gold transactions. In one transaction I am familiar with, a large block of bullion was to be purchased by a representative operating on behalf of Credit Lyonnais Rouse Limited, London, the precious metals trading arm of the bank.
It is also interesting to note that UBS Lugano was not only the bank of choice for those running the secret insider trading Protection Account, but it was the bank of choice for former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The numerous confidential accounts he had at that bank have been dubbed the “Mother” money laundering account for the Marcos family by Marcos gold investigator, Reiner Jacobi.
But the UBS connections don’t end here. The Honorary Chairman of UBS (now part of the Swiss Bank Corporation group) is Nicholaus Senn, who was also the chairman of the enormous transnational corporation, Compagnie Financiere Richemont AG, until his retirement in September 2002. Senn was also the senior partner of the Swiss based international law and consultancy firm of Senn, Christians and Letemeyer, which coincidentally, acted for the late Baron Arndt Krupp. In particular, Carl Letemeyer and Nicholaus Senn worked hard on behalf of the Krupp Estate in regard to the Krupp Heritage & World Peace Foundation (Singapore) that received a legacy of US$97 billion from Baron Krupp. This was a cash gift. According to documents I have in my possession, Krupp’s “secret” properties and businesses did not form part of this legacy. However, the most interesting fact is that prior to his death, Baron Arndt Krupp controlled some of the Santa Romana “Black Eagle” fund assets. Of the $97 billion gifted, $47 billion were on deposit in account nmber 4 77 22 P with the trust department of the Standard & Chartered bank, London.
Indosuez: is one of those banks that are barely visible but which consistently circle the waters of black gold and Project Hammer – like a prowling shark with just the tips of its fins showing. For example, in one bullion transaction being negotiated by Dr. A Konig a the Swiss representative of Rolf van Rooyen’s Eastcorp Syndicate, the nominated closing bank for the transaction was Indosuez, Lugano – where Eastcorp Holdings maintained an account. This is in addition to the migration of some MidAval staff to Indosuez following their involvement in the Project Hammer trading programme outlined earlier. With the closure of Indosuez Aval, a rump of former MidAval employees (now unfortunately ex-Indosuez Aval as well), including MidAval’s former CEO, found a new berth for their abilities. This was at Standard & Chartered Bank in London. Standard Bank Nominees, meanwhile, is the second largest shareholder of Oppenheimer’s Anglo-American, with a stake of 11.74%.
While the hidden connections of the Hughes “portal” into Project Hammer are vital to understanding how the world of parallel finance operates, there were still deeper “rhythms” at work. An examination of these leads to the companies, people and intelligence assets that sit at the heart of the so-called Anglo-American relationship.
THE KESWICK-JARDINES CONNECTION
A few days after I first published part one of Project Hammer in late October 2001, I was alerted to an anonymous posting on http://www.cryptome.org of a document produced by the South African National Intelligence Agency in 1998. The document describes plans, then alleged to be in preparation, for a coup to occur during the 1999 South African general election. Whilst this did not happen, the document was of significance because it describes members of – and entities aligned with – those who wished to disrupt the ruling African National Congress (ANC) political party.
A large part of this document outlines the alleged involvement in the coup of Executive Outcomes; the British based private security company that is part of the “Palace Group” of companies. A few days prior to this document being made available, I had published charts showing the “Network” of the Palace Group that formed the London end of the associated South African intelligence group known as the “Eastcorp Syndicate.” This group was headed by Rolf van Rooyen and Riaan Stander – both South African intelligence operatives who were deeply involved in Project Hammer. Not only were the London and South African “networks” closely aligned but in some cases also shared the same executives.
One of the entities appearing on the Cryptome.org document, as a member of the London network/Palace Group was Jardine Flemming of Hong Kong, listed as “Banking and Investments.” Two lines beneath appeared the name Defence Systems Ltd – a division of the Vickers arms manufacturer. Jardine Flemming was also listed in the same document as a “Role Player,” a few lines beneath the name of Tony Buckingham – the high profile head of Executive Outcomes (EO). In an accompanying “Financial Report” it was revealed that Executive Outcomes used account number 600774426 at Jardine Fleming Bank Limited located at Port Moresby, Hong Kong. The account, rendered as at 15th May 1998, held a balance of US$36 million, and included Tony Buckingham (amongst others) of those authorised to sign cheques on the account.
Jardine Fleming Bank Limited was established in 1970 as a joint venture of the huge transnational company, Jardine Matheson Limited, and British merchant bank, Robert Fleming. Jardines 50% stake in this Hong Kong bank was exchanged in 1999, for a direct 18% stake in Robert Fleming that was later (April 2000) sold to the Chase Manhattan Corp, the holding company of what is now the huge US bank of J P Morgan Chase. But a year later, in May 2001, the magicians musical chairs were in use again, when it was announced that Jardine Fleming Bank was to be sold by J P Morgan Chase to Standard Bank. The transfer of ownership occurred on 3rd July 2001 with the renaming of Jardine Fleming Bank to that of Standard Bank Asia Limited, but trading under the new name of Standard Jardine Fleming Bank Limited.
Of considerable significance is the fact that at the time Jardine, Emett & Chandler – the firm of Boston insurance brokers mntioned earlier – issued its letter on behalf of MidAval seeking collateral instruments – it was owned by Jardine Matheson Limited. Meanwhile, Jardine Resources Limited, with an address in the Isle of Man, was a business entity used by Rolf van Rooyen, for collateral trading programme and other activity. The Isle of Man also boasted a branch of Jardine Fleming Bank Limited.
Jardine Matheson Limited, originally formed over 170 years ago, created a fortune from the China opium business. Since that time it has diversified enormously and remains the family fiefdom of the Keswick family, ancestors of the firms co-founder, William Jardine. The Keswick clan, in addition to having had family members awarded the chairmanship or directorships of such notable international companies as Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, Rio Tinto Zinc and Samuel Montagu – the London merchant bank that was part of the Midland Bank Group (itself now owned by HSBC), are also able to boast having had family members as head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and decades long membership of the Court of the Bank of England.
Rio Tinto Zinc was founded in 1873 by Hugh Matheson the co-founder of Jardine Matheson. In 1995, RTZ acquired a minority ownership in Freeport McMoRan. Meanwhile Anglo American (which has long had very close ties with RTZ), together with De Beers is the fiefdom of the Oppenheimer family, owns a significant piece of Lonrho. Between them, these three intertwined conglomerates dominate the precious metals and mining world – amongst other notable accomplishments. For example, the Oppenheimer’s Minorco holding company is believed to be the single largest investor in the United States.
Minorco, founded in 1981, was quick to obtain an interest in America’s then biggest bank, Citibank, who’s CEO, Walter Wriston, together with Citibank’s principal attorney, Robert Clare – a partner of the powerful law firm of Shearson & Sterling – both accepted invitations to sit on the Minorco board.
According to the authors of the book “Dope Inc,” the Keswick family control a substantial part of the world’s narcotics trade and use HSBC, the bank that they are said to control, to “… provide centralized rediscounting facilities for the financing of the drugs trade.” How true this is remains unknown to this writer but it is known that Li Ka-shing – the Chinese billionaire who owns a 3% stake in Jardine Matheson Limited and who sat on the board of HSBC – has been accused of being a member of Chinese intelligence as well as being associated with the narcotics trade. Indeed, the latter allegation arose repeatedly during my investigation of Project Hammer whilst the use of HSBC as an “authorised six-point laundry” was also mentioned. Meanwhile, the description of “centralised rediscounting facilities” referenced by the authors of Dope Inc is suggestive, to this writer at least, of collateral trading techniques.
Such connections are almost endless it seems. Take for example, the rise to fortune of Peter Munk, chairman of Barrick Gold that was formed in Toronto, Canada in 1983 with the majority stake being held by Saudi royal family middleman and arms dealer, Adnan Khashoggi. Khashoggi was long been associated with Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and so called “Marcos” gold. Indeed, so trusted was he that Marcos had him fronting for two “eclipsed” Marcos accounts; one in the name of Etablissement Mabari with the private Swiss bank of Lombard Odier & Cie., and the other in the name of Etablissement Gladiator at COGES Corraterie Gestion S A., Geneva. Of interest too, is the fact that Sir Henry Keswick is reported to have been responsible for “lifting” Munk to a new career, although he also received patronage from Australia’s multi-billionaire businessman, Sir Peter Abeles.
Sir Peter received considerable attention in Jonathan Kwitny’s excellent book “The Crimes of Patriots,” because of his alleged mafia connections and close association with Bernie Houghton and Michael Hand in the CIA drug smuggling laundry, the Nugan Hand Bank – which also arranged to surreptitiously ship gold bullion for Marcos. At this point it is worth reminding readers that Brigadier General Erle Cocke – who I have referenced earlier following his affidavit detailing his knowledge and involvement in Project Hammer – was reported by Kwitny to be a key player in the Nugan Hand Bank. And Project Hammer is said to be a general continuation of Nugan Hand Bank activity.
THE TIES THAT BIND
The ties that bind are kept hidden from public view. Activities such as the one we have been discussing are made to operate on an “arms length” basis – both to confuse and also to ensure deniability. Following these subterranean and diverse threads can easily confuse and patience and persistence are required to arrive at the reality that is hidden behind all the smoke and mirrors. The story of Puffin Investments is a case in point.
During a number of extensive telephone interviews with Canadian, Barrie Wamboldt, it was hinted that it would be worthwhile looking into the activities of an Alan Shepherd and a firm of his called Puffin Investments. Readers will remember that Barrie Wamboldt was involved with Project Hammer and had worked with General Cocke and Paul Green to recover Project Hammer funds.
Puffin Investment Company Limited, a Bahamian company, was owned by Old Harrovian, Alan Shepherd who had connections to the British Royal family resulting from generous donations he made to the Royal Windsor Horse Show of which he was vice president. In March 2001, Shepherd and Puffin Investments were involved in a High Court action initiated by the Financial Services Authority – the government watchdog – for enticing investors to put up money for a “sham” investment trading programme. According to the Sunday Express newspaper reporting the court case, up-front fees paid by investors on the promise of massive returns were not repaid.
A week later, on 1st April 2001, the Sunday Express carried a further report detailing a lawsuit against Alan Shepherd, his American wife Sherry and previous Conservative Party “grandee,” Sir Edward du Cann who was the former chairman of City merchant bank, Keyser Ullman. Du Cann was earlier involved in Tradeswind, an arms trading company in which he was a director with Tiny Rowland of Lonrho fame and Egyptian, Ashraf Marwan – known as “Dr. Death.” Earlier in his career, du Cann had served as chairman of Lonrho, thus working alongside board directors such British intelligence luminary Nicholas Elliot of MI6.
Shepherd, his wife Sherry and du Cann were being sued for £1.25 million in a dispute involving the search for “one of the worlds most fabulous buried treasures.” The treasure in question was “30 tons of gold statues, bullion, doubloons and precious stones” stolen by Scottish pirate Captain William Thompson. The treasure was currently valued at £500 million. The law suit was brought by Richard Bethell of the Bermuda based Hart Group, who alleged that Shepherd and du Cann were guilty of “misrepresentations” over an agreement for the provision of various “services” to Shepherd’s planned treasure hunt. One cannot help but be reminded of stories that have circulated in the past concerning gold plundered by the Japanese during WWII and hidden on the Philippines that was later recovered and “laundered” as treasure recovered from sunken Spanish galleons travelling from Peru to Spain. A variation of this story is the recovery of lost “pirate treasure” – otherwise known as gold on the Cocos Islands.
Richard Bethel – elevated to Lord Westbury following the recent death of his father – was a former SAS and Scots Guards officer and, like Alan Shepherd, an Old Harrovian. The Hart Group of which he is the Chief Executive officer, is one of a number of companies that form the Global Marine Security Systems Company (GMSSCO). If one is a distinct cynic – as this writer has become – it would be easy to conclude that a marked similarity in structure exists between GMSSCO and Rolf van Rooyen’s South African “Eastcorp Syndicate” that was closely allied with the “London Network” of Executive Outcomes. For example, companies belonging to the Eastcorp syndicate also had a maritime and security theme.
But the similarity doesn’t end there. Lord Westbury, is currently serving as Chief Executive Officer of Defence Systems Limited which, as we have already seen, is an integral member of the London “network” of the Palace Group (named so because of its close proximity to the Royal family’s official London residence, Buckingham Palace). Moreover, Executive Outcomes has been described as “the advance guard for major business interests engaged in a latter-day scramble for the mineral wealth of Africa.” This is a particularly incisive description when readers of part one of this series will recall that one aspect of Project Hammer apparently involved the disappearance of substantial quantities of gold reserves as well as stocks of De Beers diamonds, just prior to the takeover of the Republic of South Africa in 1994 by Nelson Mandela and the ANC. This theft has become known as “Apartheid’s missing billions.”
Defence Systems Limited have a client list that comes straight from the top-drawer and includes oil and gas companies like British Petroleum, Shell, British Gas of the UK and “Amoco, Chevron, Exxon, Mobil and Texaco of the United States.” Major mining and mineral extraction companies such as Canada’s Cambior and De Beers and Anglo American of South Africa and the giant US construction firm of Bechtel also feature.
Another client is Canadian based Ranger Oil, which by happy coincidence, is the same name as an entity that forms part of the Palace Group and which is run by arms trader Mick Ranger. By miraculous good fortune, Mick Ranger was also a board member of Bridge S A, which was one of the entities formed and run by Rolf van Rooyen and Riaan Stander. Meanwhile, Sandline, which many knowledgeable insiders believe is Executive Outcomes by another name, has a client base that includes Rio Tinto Zinc.
DSL is now owned by Armor Holdings Inc of Jacksonville, Florida, but is still headquartered in London. This affiliation seems, on the face of it, to be a particularly binding one for Armor Holdings is said to have its very own US spook-type “network.” The senior executives of Armor Holdings are predominantly bankers of one strain or another. Take, for example, Thomas W. Strauss, formerly a vice chairman of Salomon Brothers, the Wall Street investment bank that was once minority owned by the Oppenheimer’s Anglo-American & De Beers strategic holding company Minorco. Until 1993, Salomon’s owned the controlling interest in Bank of New York, which as you will recall, is the current affiliated clearing bank of Gregory Serras’s Vanguard Capital. Today, Salomon’s is owned by Citigroup.
We might also mention Armor Holdings director, Burtt R Ehrlich, whose family securities firm, Ehrlich and Boger is owned by Cater Allen Bank of the Channel Islands and which specialises in “offshore finance.” Likewise, Nicholas Sokolow, formerly a partner in the Wall Street firm of Coudert Brothers, and Warren B Canders, a former senior vice president of Orion Bank Ltd – a merchant bank owned by the Royal Bank of Canada.
A subsidiary of Armor Holdings is the very shadowy United States Defense Systems Inc (USDS) that on paper is based in Chantilly, Virginia. However, its real operating headquarters are Manassas, Virginia. Staff recruited by USDS are usually former military types or specialists with criminal intelligence backgrounds possessing surveillance skills. They are usually told they will be working in support of Department of Defense programmes and require a DoD security clearance. Operations have, in the past, included surveillance of US citizens during Fourth of July at Capitol Mall in DC.
A Google internet search using the search term “Armor Holdings Inc revealed a curious message dated September 2001 from an aggrieved investor who wanted to know:
I’m horrified to find one of my investments is in a company with links to Bin Laden. Apparently it is common knowledge in London that a senior figure in Armor, Ambrose Cary has familial ties to Bin Laden and uses those in his work. How can it be allowed that a US company providing security to US companies, embassies and airports round the world can deal simultaneously with this type of person? Does anyone else have further information on this?
Unsurprisingly, no answer to the question was posted. Had this been the first Bin Laden connection it is likely I would have ignored it. However, the name had already arisen during a deposition given by Rolf van Rooyen to German police in 1995, following his detention and questioning. At that time he admitted to being “involved” with a Jean Ruiz, of Saudi Finance.
Saudi Finance (Saudifin) headquartered in Geneva, owned a controlling interest in Banque Al Saoudi – via the Paris based holding company, Saudi Arab Finance Corporation. The Banque Al Saoudi was – according to a 1999 PBS Online “Frontline” story – one of the principle international financing vehicles for the Bin Laden family. Interestingly, in 1989 – in the early stages of Project Hammer’s timeline, Banque Al Saoudi would have collapsed in bankruptcy had it not been for the timely intervention of the French central bank, the Banque de France, who shored it up prior to a partial take-over by non other than Banque Indosuez, who decided to change its name to Banque Francaise pour l’Orient. A year later the bank merged with the Mediterranee group. Of note is the fact that a subsidiary, Saudifin S A was active in Panama until 1997, when it was dissolved. Moreover, the Frontline story revealed that both Banque Al Saoudi and Banque Indosuez were “instrumental” in financing a portion of Middle East weapons contracts during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Meanwhile, those who are familiar with the story of black gold will recall that Dr. Bay was the controller on behalf of the CIA and US Treasury in the YAB/42 bullion transaction that involved then President Marcos of the Philippines. This transaction was structured to use cutouts including Navegocian Global SA and DuPont along with other CIA conduits to make it ostensibly a private non-government transaction.
The transaction code YAB/42 is also instructive. Not only does YAB spelled backwards yield the name “Bay” but altogether 42 “major trusts were tapped to help fund” the deal. Coincidentally, 42 is also the number of countries where Santa Romana gold was deposited in the immediate post WWII years to form the “Black Eagle” fund, discussed earlier.
One of the more salient facts about the Puffin Investments fiasco, is that Alan Shepherd’s American wife, Sherry, is the daughter of Dr. Ole Bay. Dr. Bay is known to have been the “Master Wizard” who arranged and ran the Project Hammer trading programme. According to one former intelligence source familiar with the inner workings of Project Hammer, Dr. Bay had told him that the ultimate responsibility for Hammer lay with the CIA and the US Treasury, and that Robert Rubin – who later became US Treasury Secretary – acted as Dr. Bay’s “gofer” on the project. Robert Rubin is now a director and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Citigroup.
Currently, Li Ka-shing (who we mentioned earlier) made a bid to purchase control of global communication network giant, Global Crossing (which was also mentioned earlier), via a joint venture of Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies Telemedia. Representing Ka-Shing’s bid to take control of Global Crossing was the powerful neo-conservative attorney, Richard Perle, who sought a nod of approval from the Pentagon for the deal. Perle, who is one of the present Bush Administration “think-masters” is close to Bush senior, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and others on the Defense Policy Board, which he chaired.
On this occasion Ka-shing was unsuccessful and this led to the government owned Singapore Technologies, having to go it alone. Singapore is the home of the almost legendary former Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who has been in government office since the late 1960’s. He also remains a powerhouse in the Singapore business community and presently heads the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation. His son, Lee Hsien Loong, is the present minister of finance and deputy prime minister. Loong’s wife, Ho Ching, is the former CEO of Singapore Technologies who, by coincidence, resigned as CEO, just a few weeks prior to the announcement of the joint venture with Li Ka-shing to acquire Global Crossing. However, she was the incumbent CEO of the firm in Spring 2001, when it took a controlling interest in Global Crossing Asia.
However, there are further, less well-known and far more shadowy, aspects about Lee Kuan Yew that the general public is not cognisant of. For some while now I have been in possession of a copy of a Certificate of Deposit for 792,000 kilograms of Platinum that is dated July 2, 1972 and bears the passport sized photograph, thumbprint and name of – yes, you guessed – Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. The certificate and accompanying documents – which run to several dozen pages – contain some of the usual spelling and typographical mistakes (for example, “Jhonson & Mathew” instead of Johnson & Mathey) that have become the trademark of these “deniable” bullion certificates that bear the names of famous people, heads of state and politicians etc.
Clearly, Lee Kuan Yew has been part of the Black Eagle gold story for the past thirty years and the phenomenal growth of Singapore as a model and powerhouse of new business ventures – and as an enduring Asian success story – may well be predicated on metal plundered during WWII? Interestingly, some of the bullion and other assets plundered by the Japanese during the war came from Singapore. But a secret transfer of this wealth from private ownership to the public purse may not have been what the previous owners of this metal had in mind?
Back on the Richard Perle front, a recent story by legendary investigative reporter, Sy Hersh, revealed that Perle had furtively met with a leading Saudi investor in Marseilles, France, on 3rd January 2003, in what was seen as an attempt to gain private financial advantage from the planned war in Iraq. A furious Perle responded to the report by calling Hersh a “terrorist.” The meeting was arranged on Perle’s behalf by non other than Adnan Khashoggi (who we also mentioned earlier). Khashoggi also attended the meeting.
By now, readers may not be surprised to learn that the name “Mr. Adnan Kasogi” (one of those all too frequent misspelling, in this case Kasogi for Khashoggi), appears on a UBS Obligation Certificate in the amount of Swiss Francs 92.6 billion. Khashoggi’s old friend, Ferdinand Marcos, also has his name leaping out from another certificate in this series, namely a Swiss bank Corp Gold Deposit for 7, 120,000 kilograms of 99.99% pure gold and dated September 9th 1956. Marcos’s fingerprint appears on the certificate along with the usual stamps and signatures of a variety of bank officers and others.
Meanwhile, Khashoggi, who is a trusted adviser to the Saudi royal family, is one of the “high net worth individuals” who’s past investments have been handled by Mayo Shattuck, formerly head of Alex Brown (also mentioned earlier). It is of passing interest that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz took a 10% stake in Citigroup (also mentioned earlier) back in 1991, following a cash “infusion” of $400 million, that was eclipsed from view by the Carlyle Group, who acted as the facilitator for the investment.
In 1997, Mayo Shattuck was made Trustee of the Bronfman (also mentioned earlier) family fortune. He resigned as CEO of Deutsche Banc Alex Brown on 12th September 2001, the day following the tragic events in New York City and Washington that has come to be known as “911.”
On 13th September 2001, news reports began circulating of suspicious stock market transactions that suggested foreknowledge of the events that were to take place on 911. Short sales of airline and insurance stocks that sharply fell in price in the wake of the 911 tragedies were later traced back to Alex Brown.
It is possible that such a shocking and cynical 911 stock market manipulation may have been based on an earlier template. On the eve of the Bay of Pigs invasion – a deniable activity that was later to so clearly reveal the covert connections that lay behind the JFK assassination – another stock market “wheeze” occurred. In-the-know CIA insiders began a buying spree of stocks in Cuban sugar companies. A successful US take-over of Castro’s Cuba would’ve seen the prices of these stocks soar. Stockbrokers became “… curious about the sudden influx of orders on what one broker called the ‘tip’ that cheap sugar shares might prove a sweet gamble. Prices were climbing when the [US backed Cuban] brigade hit the beach.”
Whatever else it may involve, Project Hammer process to be nothing other than business as usual.
 Available for free download at http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk
 See Project Hammer part one – “The Project Hammer File” freely available on my website www deepblacklies.co.uk.
 Information about Project Hammer has been garnered from numerous sources. Those sources that I am able to will be named in the text. The remainder will remain confidential.
 Page 51 of General Cocke’s affidavit. One of the CIA “sources” was the slush fund controlled by Japanese Liberal Democrat Party bosses and known as the “M-fund” after General MacArthur’s economic supremo in Tokyo, General Marquat.
 General Cocke’s 67-page affidavit is available for free download on my website http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk – just click on the Project hammer File link and follow the instructions.
 See Jonathan Kwitny’s excellent book “The Crimes of Patriots” – Touchstone Books, New York, 1987 – for a detailed background on the Nugan Hand Bank affair.
 See http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk/cocke-news.html for a copy of the CIA’s letter.
 See http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk/cocke-news.html for a copy of the cover-sheet of John Reed’s affidavit.
 See page 43 of Cocke’s deposition at lines 11, 12 & 13.
 From Cocke’s affidavit.
 See page 40 & 41 of Cocke’s deposition at lines 19 through 21 and 1 through 6.
 Ibid – page 41 at lines 9 and 10.
 If one includes the inflationary effect over this time period it would reveal that the sale price is, in fact, a great deal less now than it was almost fifty years ago, which is more than curious. Nor does the leasing agreement over this same period seem especially lucrative?
 For Crown’s involvement with the Chicago mob, see Linda Minor’s part 2 of the series of articles “Follow The Yellow Brick Road,” http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0204/S00030.htm
 1954 is a year that constantly recurs in this story – see my Secret Gold Treaty for details.
 See Seagrave’s “Gold warriors.”
 Thanks again to Linda Minor for these connections. See also http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_issues/17th_Issue/rambler3.html
 It is not clear from the banking records I have viewed online, but it looks as though the Astor Trust Company was absorbed into an entity that formed part of the Bankers Trust Company.
 See Dope Inc, EIR 1992.
 Forfaiting is the discounting of bank guaranteed receivables (Aval) on a non-recourse basis.
 I use the term “private agreement” under advice – following a recent telephone conversation with a representative of Companies House, who told me that no change of ownership notification had been made for MidAval at that time. MidAval had first been registered as a limited company under the shelf registration name of “Diplema Twenty Nine Limited” in June 1983. A change of name to Midland Bank Aval Limited was formally notified to Companies House in April 1996 – although the firm had been trading in the name of Midland Bank Aval Limited from day one. Following the full buy-out of Midland Bank Plc., by the HSBC Group, MidAval had its name changed to HSBC Forfaiting Limited. The company was dissolved in February 2000.
 Italics are mine
 Sworn and notarised affidavit of Dan Hughes dated 31st December 1990.
 There are believed to have been numerous different “portals” providing access into Project hammer over the period of its life. The Dan Hughes transaction was one of these – albeit a significant and “early” one according to the testimony of General Erle Cocke.
 Demitrieus’s Vitae is drawn from that published on the Global Crossing website.
 For details concerning the Freeport Board of Directors see internet report entitled “Freeport Sulpher’s Powerful Board of Directors.”
 See Phillip Zweig’s massive book “Wriston” – Crown Publishers, New York – 1995 for a comprehensive background on Citibank and Chase.
 For details of these three gentlemens involvement of the Black Eagle Trust see Seagrave’s self published book, Gold Warriors – details available on my website http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk linked under the heading of “The Seagrave Affair” on the main page.
 My thanks to Linda Minor for pointing out this interesting connection.
 For full details see: http://www.realhistoryarchives.com/collections/hidden/freeport-cuba.htm – thanks go to Linda Minor and Kenn Thomas for this link.
 See Danile Hopsicker’s excellent “Barry & the Boys – the CIA, the Mob and A,merica’s Secret History” – The Madcow Press, 2001.
 See http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk.
 See Cocke’s affidavit page 7 – The Project Hammer File exhibits.
 See Seagrave’s accompanying exhibits to his book Gold Warriors.
 Copy of email from Kenn Thomas dated 17th July 2002.
 See Prof. Peter Dale Scott’s, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK – University of California Press, 1993.
 See Jonathan Kwitny’s Crimes of Patriots for the Butterfield reference.
 I know much of the inner workings of MidAval for the simple reason that I was the Treasurer and an Associate Director of that firm until 1991. However, I knew nothing of the Project hammer deal that was strictly handled by the three principal executive directors.
 Detailed on page 164 of James’ book.
 I am indebted to Linda Minor for her most able research on the Col Crown connections and other aspects of this story.
 My thanks to Lois Battuello for permission to use her extensive personal research on Kermit Rooselvelt and Buttes et al.
 See http://www.marcosbillions.com for some additional background on Roberto Benedicto and his willingness to front for Marcos. Additionally I have a two-page Marcos document listing details of the numerous bank accounts he controlled either directly or through others.
 See DiFonzo, Luigi. St.Peter’s Banker. New York: Franklin Watts, 1983
 See William Scott Malone’s “Golden Fleece”, Regardies, October 1988.
 See part one “The Project Hammer File” for background on van Rooyen and Stander’s involvement in Project Hammer.
 See news reports circa 2000 of BoNY involvement in illegal money laundering activities of IMF funds on behalf of Russian criminal and political figures.
 See “Everybody’s Business, An Almanac – The irreverent guide to Corporate America,” edited by Milton Moskowitz, ichael Katz, and Robert Levering, 1980, Harper & Row, San Francisco.”
 Although this may, of course, just be pure coincidence – it is worth noting.
 For a comprehensive account of the MGM/Credit Lyonnais affair see David McClintick’s and Anne Faircloth’s informative “Predator” which is freely available on the internet.
 See Peter Johnston’s story contained in my “The Secret Gold Treaty” e-book available for free download at http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk
 According to the Anglo-American website as at November 1998.
 See The part one – “Project Hammer File” for further details
 See Dope Inc page 101.
 For a detailed background on the Keswick family and related associations see “Dope Inc” by EIR. See page 115 for the cited reference.
 See 2001 article in AsiaWeek Magazine by journalist Alejandro Reyes entitled “The Superman of Hong Kong.”
 See “Inside Story: the Bush gang and Barrick Gold Corporation by Anton Chaitkin at http://www.afrocentric.news.com
 See Sunday Express 25th March 2001, for details of this story.
 For du Cann’s connection to Lonrho, see Linda Minor’s “Follow the Yellow brick Road part 4 – From Harvard to Enron“ at http://www.newsmakingnews.com/lm4,30,02,harvardtoenronpt4.htm
 Their offices are, in fact, right next door to Buckingham Palace.
 See “The Privatisation of Violence – New mercenaries and the state” by Christopher Wrigley, March 1999 – published by http://www.caat.org.uk/information/issues/mercenaries-1999.php
 For further details see “Rent-a-Spy Inc” at http://www.tijuanaimc.org/news/2002/11/79.php
 Minorco held a 14% stake in Salomon Brothers. Anglo American held a 39% stake in Minorco while De Beers held another 21%.
 For background on Minorco see “Anglo-American Corporation- A Pillar of Apartheid” published September 1988 by http://multinationalmonitor.org/hyper/issues/1988/09/mm0988_08.html
 See “Rent-A-Spy” for referenced details.
 See the van Rooyen deposition to German police that forms part of the exhibits of The project Hammer File (part 1).
 Board directors of Banque Al Saoudi included Shiek Salem bin Laden.
 For a more detailed background on YAB/42 see The Secret Gold Treaty appendix headed “Aquino WWII gold.”
 See my The Secret Gold Treaty for details of the purposeful typographical mistakes on these certificates – See also Seagrave’s Gold Warriors in which observes the same “deniability” phenomena.
 The “Identic Code” for this certificate is “Panama Fusse King.”
 My thanks go to Lois Battuello for providing research material on this aspect of the story and for her generous assistance over the years.
 Hopsicker’s “Barry & the Boys” – page 112.
The video will be posted online and it will air as part of the syndicated public radio show “Intelligence Squared U.S.” On Aug. 9, online viewers can tune in here (http://bit.ly/1HfUS03) or via IQ2US’s app (http://shorefi.re/VTwKwx)