Friday, April 22, 2005

War profiteering, state terrorism, Iran-Contra, Iraqgate, BCCI, Jackson Stephens...

Chris Floyd, in the Moscow Times 22 April 2005, wrote about war profiteering and state terrorism, Iran-Contra, Iraqgate and the BCCI affair.

According to Floyd: "Two George Bushes and Bill Clinton brokered massive backroom oil deals for Saddam."

"Chilean gun-runner Carlos Cardoen was a CIA frontman used by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bush I to funnel cluster bombs and other weapons secretly to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War.

"At Reagan's direct order, Saddam received U.S. military intelligence, billions of dollars in credits and a steady supply of covert 'third-country' arms to sustain his war effort, even though the White House was fully aware of Saddam's "almost daily use" of illegal chemical weapons, The Washington Post reported.

"Later, Bush I, as president, would also mandate the sale of WMD material to Saddam, including anthrax - long after Saddam notoriously 'gassed his own people' at Halabja.

"As in the present UN scandal, Saddam paid for his covert cluster bombs with oil...

"Helping Saddam kill people with chemical gas was not the only reason why Reagan and Bush I aided their favorite dictator...

"In 1986, George Bush I visited the Middle East with a secret message to be passed to Saddam via Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak: 'Drop more bombs on Iran's cities.'

"How do we know this? From the sworn testimony of Howard Teicher, the National Security Council official who accompanied Bush and wrote the official "talking points" for the trip. Ostensibly, Bush urged this mass killing of civilians as a strategy to halt Iran's gains at the front.

"But as The New Yorker reported - 13 years ago - there was another layer to this covert plot.

"A fierce aerial offensive by Saddam would force Iran to seek more spare parts for its U.S.-made planes and anti-aircraft weapons, inherited from the ousted Shah.

"Bush was already waist-deep in the Iran-Contra scam, which involved selling Tehran U.S. military goods through back channels, then funneling the secret profits to the Contras, the gang of right-wing insurgents and CIA-trained terrorists in Nicaragua. Congress had forbidden U.S. aid to the Contras, so Reagan and Bush used the mullahs (and Central American drug lords) to run their illegal terrorist war. More innocent deaths in Iran meant more backdoor cash for the Contras. A win-win situation!

"When Bush I became president, he clasped Saddam even closer, sending him billions in U.S.-backed 'agricultural credits' through BNL, an Italian bank tied up with BCCI - the international 'financial consortium' that was actually 'one of the largest criminal enterprises in history,' according to the U.S. Senate. BCCI laundered money and financed arms dealing, terrorism, smuggling and prostitution, while corrupting government officials worldwide with bribes and extortion.As Bush well knew, Saddam was using the BNL cash for arms, not food; indeed, that was the point of the exercise.

"When some honest U.S. officials threatened to unravel the BNL gun-running scam, Bush appointed Cardoen's own lawyer to a top Justice Department post -- overseeing the investigation of his former boss. Under heavy White House pressure, the case was quickly whittled down to the usual 'bad apple' underlings carrying out some minor fraud. But perhaps Papa Bush was just being fatherly.

"Earlier, another BCCI offshoot bank had bailed out one of Bush Junior's many business failures with $25 million in cash. That deal had been brokered by mysterious Arkansas tycoon Jackson Stephens, one of the Bush family's biggest campaign contributors. Curiously enough, Stephens was also a top moneyman for another leading politician: Bill Clinton.

"When Clinton took office, he obligingly deep-sixed the continuing probes into BCCI, Iraqgate and Iran-Contra. That's how the system really works."

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