Munnsville woman allegedly high on ‘bath salts’ dies after attacking child
by Jeremy Ryan
– A Madison County woman alleged to be high on drugs is dead after assaulting her child and receiving a Taser shock while she struggled with police.
According to State Police, around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, troopers were called to an apartment on North Main Street in the Village of Munnsville for a report of a woman assaulting her three-year-old child. While police were responding to scene, they say Madison County 911 dispatchers received several follow-up reports that the woman was punching and choking the child and had started to attack a neighbor.
When police arrived, they say they found 35-year-old Pamela McCarthy apparently under the influence of “bath salts”, an illegal synthetic drug. Police say Trooper Christopher Budlong attempted to arrest McCarthy, who was “violently combative” and may have been “growling,” according to police and resisted attempts to handcuff her. Budlong used his police-issued pepper spray on McCarthy to no effect, so he then deployed his Taser and was able to handcuff McCarthy with the help of rescue personnel.
Police then say that after McCarthy was taken into custody she went into apparent cardiac arrest. She was taken by ambulance to Oneida Healthcare, where she later died.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, State Police said the use of the Taser was justified. Troopers said the woman has a history of using bath salts.
An autopsy was unable to pinpoint the exact cause of death, according to police. It could take several weeks before toxicology results are back.
Wednesday morning, eyewitnesses David and Zachary Bridge told CNY Central’s Jim Kenyon that they saw McCarthy come out of the rear exit of her apartment with the boy in her arms, and tumble down the stairs holding onto the child. They say she began assaulting the child and was yelling incoherently. Witnesses say at one point she was sitting on the pavement spinning and laughing as she was hurting the child. They said the boy’s father intervened and took the child away from McCarthy, at which point she chased a neighbor, Heather Ames, into her apartment and attacked her.
Ames told Kenyon that she fought off the attack, and McCarthy went back out into the parking lot, stripped off all of her clothes, and threatened people passing by.
Witnesses say McCarthy then went back into her apartment and tumbled down the stairs again, this time with her pet pit bull in her arms, and then injured the dog as well. State Police and rescue units showed up at which point McCarthy became combative and resisted arrest. Ames says the Trooper (Budlong) repeatedly told McCarthy to let go of the dog, and pepper-sprayed her to no avail.
At several points, witnesses say McCarthy was warned by Troopers that she would be tased if she did not let go of the dog. After McCarthy was tased and handcuffed, a neighbor informed the Trooper that McCarthy had undergone an operation to place stents in her heart just two days prior to the incident.
All three eyewitnesses Kenyon spoke with said that Trooper Budlong was justified in the way he handled the situation.
Police say the child was taken by ambulance to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. He was treated for minor injuries and released to family members.
State Police held a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Oneida. Deputies say Onondaga Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy, but they were unable to determine the cause and manner of death. Troop D commander Major Rodney Campbell says they are waiting for toxicology test results.
Campbell confirmed that McCarthy was high on bath salts and was not coherent at the time of her death.
The case will be presented to a grand jury, which is standard procedure when a person dies in police custody.
Black woman raped and tortured by white gang in U.S. now claims: ‘I made the whole thing up to get back at my boyfriend’
By David Gardner
A black woman who claimed she was kidnapped, stabbed, beaten and raped by a seven white people now says she made the whole thing up to get back at her boyfriend.
Megan Williams shocked America in 2007 with a list of accusations that strained the imagination: Four men and three women beat her with sticks, forced her to eat faeces, raped her and taunted her with racial slurs over several days in a ramshackle trailer in West Virginia.
But the suspects eventually confessed to their actions and pleaded guilty. All but one were sent to prison.
Megan Williams photographed in 2007 showing three wounds she said was inflicted on her during her ordeal
But now Williams is taking it all back, saying she lied in 2007 because she wanted revenge on a boyfriend who had beaten her.
The woman’s lawyer, Byron Potts, said she no longer wants to live a lie.
‘She told me the only thing not self-inflicted were the bruises on her face,’ Potts said at a news conference in Columbus, Ohio.
Williams, 22, who now lives with a caregiver, was in the office with Potts but she did not appear before reporters.
Williams’ lawyer, Byron Potts, tells reporters his client is recanting all of her allegations
Potts said she has received several anonymous phone calls from people threatening her life.
‘She is recanting the entire incident. She says it did not happen, and she’s scared,’ Potts said.
Seven white men and women were convicted in the case, in which Williams had also said that hot wax was poured on her and that two of her captors had forced her to drink their urine.
Police said the assaults occurred at a trailer owned by Frankie Brewster in a rural area of Logan County, about 50 miles from Charleston, West Virginia.
Williams was rescued after an anonymous caller alerted authorities.
Potts said that Brewster’s son, Bobby, was the boyfriend who had beaten Williams and that she had stabbed herself with a straight razor to help embellish the story of being tortured.
Prosecutors, who knew about the relationship even during the case, have dismissed Williams’ new claim.
Lawyers for the defendants would not discuss their plans.
Williams’ supporters were cautious about responding to the statement by a woman whose mother described her during the 2007 case as ‘slow’.
Potts urged prosecutors in West Virginia to re-evaluate the case and he said that Williams wants people convicted to be released from prison.
Brian Abraham, the former Logan County prosecutor who pursued the cases, said authorities realised early in the investigation that they could not rely on statements from Williams, who tended to embellish and exaggerate details.
Instead, he said, the seven defendants were convicted on their own statements and physical evidence.
‘If she’s going to say that she made it all up, that’s absurd,’ Abraham said.
‘This looks like another attempt to generate more publicity.’
Clockwise from top left: Frankie Brewster, 49, Karen Burton, 46, Alisha Burton, 23, Bobby Brewster, 24, Danny J. Combs and Frankie Brewster
Potts said he did not know why the defendants have pleaded guilty to something they did not do.
He said Williams is aware that she could face legal consequences for fabricating the story and that he wants to have her psychologically evaluated.
He said Williams told him certain people were controlling her and influencing her during the case. He did not elaborate.
In a January interview with The Call & Post, a black newspaper in Cleveland, Williams acknowledged she had been mistreated but said her mother made her embellish the story for exposure and financial gain.
Williams told the newspaper that she was afraid of her mother, who knew some of the defendants.
Williams’ mother, Carmen Williams, died in June.
Potts said he did not know what role the mother might have had in fabricating the case.
Those convicted were Bobby and Frankie Brewster; Danny Combs; George Messer; Burton; and Burton’s daughter Alisha Burton and son Linnie Burton Jr.
Linnie Burton Jr. was the only defendant not to serve jail time.
He was convicted of a misdemeanor battery charge and given a six-month suspended sentence.
Abraham said none of the seven have appealed.
People who have supported Williams were guarded Wednesday.
‘We did have some concerns about what was being done at the time and how it was carried out by Megan and the family, because of her mental condition,’ said the Rev. Audie Murphy, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Logan and Boone counties in West Virginia.
‘We feel the legal system will handle it accordingly,’ Murphy said. ‘We didn’t rush to judgment then, and we’re not rushing to judgment now.’
‘Several drunk troops behind bloodbath, laughed on shooting-spree, burned corpses’
Gruesome new details are surfacing after 16 Afghan villagers including nine children were shot in their houses by at least one US serviceman. Witnesses to the atrocity now say that several drunken American soldiers were involved.
Neighbors at the village where the killings took place said they were awoken past midnight by crackling gunfire:
“They were all drunk and shooting all over the place,” Reuters cites Agha Lala, a villager in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district.
Lala’s neighbor Haji Samad lost all of his 11 relatives in the rampage, including children and grandchildren. He claims Marines “poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them.”
Twenty-year-old Jan Agha says the gunfire “shook him out of bed.” He was in the epicenter of the horrible shooting, witnessing his father shot as the latter peered out of a window to see what was going on.
“The Americans stayed in our house for a while. I was very scared,” the young man told reporters.
Lying on a floor, Agha says, he pretended to be dead.
He added that his brother was shot in his head and chest. His sister was killed as well. “My mother was shot in her eye and her face. She was unrecognizable,” he said.
The Afghan parliament said the incident was barbaric and demanded justice. Both NATO and US officials condemned the violence, promising a swift investigation.
US ‘fundamental strategy’ in Afghanistan won’t change – Pentagon
The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, George Little, said on Monday that there was “every indication” that the perpetrator, whose name he refused to disclose, had not been accompanied by any other soldiers. He also said that the mass killing would not change the “basic war strategy” in Afghanistan.
“Despite what some are saying, we’re not changing our fundamental strategy,” Little said.
Also on Monday NATO reacted to the massacre of Afghan villagers, with spokeswoman Oana Lungescu saying the shooting was an “isolated incident.” She emphasized it would not affect the timeline of the previously discussed withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Earlier a preliminary official report said the unnamed culprit, identified as a member of the US army staff, had acted alone and is now in custody after turning himself in at an American base.
US troops in Afghanistan have been put on high alert as the Taliban has issued a threat vowing “to take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr.”
The statement published on the group’s website said that the US is “arming lunatics in Afghanistan who turn their weapons against the defenseless Afghans.”
Afghan officials, fearing possible violent demonstrations, have deployed extra police and troops in and around Kandahar.
The incident was one of the worst of its kind since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. It comes just weeks after copies of the Koran were burned at a US military base, provoking mass riots in Afghanistan.
Slaying of 16 Afghan civilians ‘absolutely tragic and heartbreaking’ – Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama has said during an interview with Denver TV Station KCNC that the killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier was “absolutely tragic and heartbreaking” but also noted that he was “proud generally” of what US troops had accomplished in Afghanistan while working under strenuous conditions.
In another interview, this time with Orlando-based WFTV, the president reiterated his stance in favor of a pullout from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. He said the incident “does signal the importance of us transitioning in accordance with my plans that Afghans are taking more of the initiative in security.”
Asked whether the incident could be compared to the infamous 1968 My Lai Massacre, in which US troops murdered up to 500 civilians in South Vietnam, Obama responded by saying it was not comparable. “It appeared you had a lone gunman who acted on his own,” he noted.
US defense secretary Leon Panetta said that the death penalty was a possible punishment against the soldier who perpetrated the massacre. He noted that officials will use the military justice system to try the soldier and that the shootings must not derail the military mission in Afghanistan.
In the meantime, Reuters quoted an anonymous US official who said that the accused soldier had been treated for traumatic brain injury after being in a vehicle that rolled over in Iraq in 2010.
From crucial tracking evidence in the Scott Peterson murder trial to exculpatory call records in the Duke alleged rape case, cell phones have emerged as an important resource for both criminal investigators and defense lawyers. Now a small group of international forensic code breakers is working to go beyond the obvious and familiar — the call logs and address books — and tap deeper into our phones, into a hidden gold mine of personal information. Their work is prompting kudos from crime busters while raising concern among civil libertarians.
“Cell phones are ubiquitous in today’s world and nearly all crimes have a digital component to them,” says Rick Mislan, an assistant professor of computer and information technology at Purdue University. Mislan, a former U.S. Army electronic warfare officer, is one of a handful of experts working on forensic methods to access the inner secrets in cell phones. Twenty years ago it would have taken a police agency months of shoe leather and paper hunting to assemble the kind of information that is available on a cell phone’s internal memory and which can be extracted by a deep probe. Says Chris Calabrese of the American Civil Liberties Union technology and liberty program: “They contain a great amount of information that essentially is a subjective picture of our habits, our friends, our interests and activities, and now some even have location tracking.”
Most cell phone owners think simply removing a phone’s SIM card removes personal information, but the phone’s internal memory, even communication exchanged between the phone and its server, remain. Phone manuals detail how to perform multiple reset commands to erase personal information and some online recycling phone services offer command sets for specific phones, but most people never bother to go through the tedious process, Mislan says. For example, child predators who stalk “moblogs” — the cell phone equivalent of web blogs that are popular with young phone users — may believe they have deleted text messages and postings, but the evidence may still exist within the phone’s memory. Mislan recently examined the cell phone of an alleged child pornography ringleader and pulled off 250 “deleted” contacts from its memory.
However, few U.S. law enforcement agencies have the forensic tools at hand and criminals often exploit that advantage, stymieing investigators with simple if crude methods. Drug dealers, Mislan says, will buy throwaway phones, assign distinctive rings to customers or suppliers, and then destroy the screen, leading an arresting officer to believe the phone is broken or the phone’s information is inaccessible. (Old-style forensics often means laboriously photographing cell phone screen after cell phone screen to record evidence.)
Typically, law enforcement agencies rely on simply “thumbing through” a cell phone to retrieve data, says Sgt. Michael Harrington, a detective with the Michigan State police. Another tool, as anyone who has watched the nightly cable crime news shows knows, is “pinging” a phone to search for its location, helpful in missing-persons cases and in tracking suspects. A more complex forensic approach now available utilizes a command system developed in the late 1970s to initialize modems to ask the phone specific questions about the information it may be storing. Those commands, known as AT, were one of the tools 17-year-old hacker George Hotz used to unlock his iPhone from the AT&T network. “Coming into this project I didn’t know that cell phones used AT commands,” Hotz wrote on his blog last week, as he thanked his fellow hackers for their help.
But not all cell phones respond to modem-style commands and some cell phone developers are often loath to share their proprietary technology. Nokia phones are particularly hard to crack, Harrington says. In the U.S. alone there are over 2,000 models of phones — and even within one model line there may be a dozen phones using different codes for each function. “We are in a constant state of catch-up — a company rolls out new models every three to six months,” Mislan says. The Holy Grail for the cell phone code breakers is to develop a forensics tool — a “Swiss Army knife” as Harrington calls it —that can be used easily in the field.
Europe’s single, standardized GSM network, as opposed to the multi networks — GSM, CDMA and iDEN found in the U.S. — gave European forensics investigators an edge as they began to develop ways of accessing a phone’s internal memory. Two of the leading cell phone forensics experts are British — West Yorkshire Detective Constables Steve Hirst and Steve Miller. Like their American colleagues — “tinkerers” as Mislan calls them — the two spend their evenings buying up old cell phones on eBay, deconstructing and decoding them, and then sharing their research online with colleagues around the world.
In Europe, Constable Miller says, so-called “flasher boxes” are used to hold a cell phone’s memory while repairs are under way. The boxes are the size of a deck of cards and come with about 100 cables that can be connected to specific data points on different phones and offer direct access to memory. Flasher technology allows the investigator to do a “hex dump” of the cell phone’s memory — a large amount of hexadecimal code — and then write software to decode the information. It is not the 30-second process seen on the popular CSI television shows, but can take hours of downloading, followed by days and weeks of software development, but the results can be revealing. “You get a fingerprint of who the person is,” says Harrington. Recently, Dutch forensics experts were able to extract vital information via hex dump from the remains of a phone, shattered and soaked in blood and water. “Let’s talk about hex!” is the slogan on phone-forensics.com, a popular online forum where the code breakers chat.
Meanwhile, the demands on the code breakers exceed their ranks, despite a growing number of computer and cell phone forensics programs at U.S. universities. Recently, an Indiana state prison official handed Mislan a bag of smuggled phones confiscated from inmates who are suspected of using them to conduct criminal activities from behind bars, but Mislan says that because of other investigative work, it will be six to 12 months before he has the time to take a look at them.
The legal system also is not keeping pace with forensic investigation methods. There have been several conflicting appellate opinions on warrantless cell phone searches and the law is not “settled” at this point, ACLU’s Calabrese says. Just as emerging fingerprint and DNA technologies were challenged, cell phone evidence is under scrutiny. In the meantime, all of us — innocent citizen and criminals alike — continue to pump ever more data into cell phones and PDAs, those indispensable companions that have so much to say about us.
– As Jessica Shaver and I chat at a coffee shop in Chicago’s north-side Andersonville neighborhood, a police car pulls into the parking lot across the street. Then another. Two cops get out, lean up against their cars, and appear to gaze across traffic into the store. At times, they seem to be looking directly at us. Shaver, who works as an eyebrow waxer at a nearby spa, appears nervous.
“See what I mean? They follow me,” says Shaver, 30. During several phone conversations Shaver told me that she thinks a small group of Chicago police officers are trying to intimidate her. These particular cops likely aren’t following her; the barista tells me Chicago cops regularly stop in that particular parking lot to chat. But if Shaver is a bit paranoid, it’s hard to blame her.
A year and a half ago she was beaten by a neighborhood thug outside of a city bar. It took months of do-it-yourself sleuthing, a meeting with a city alderman and a public shaming in a community newspaper before the Chicago Police Department would pay any attention to her. About a year later, Shaver got more attention from cops than she ever could have wanted: A team of Chicago cops took down her door with a battering ram and raided her apartment, searching for drugs.
Shaver has no evidence that the two incidents are related, and they likely aren’t in any direct way. But they provide a striking example of how the drug war perverts the priorities of America’s police departments. Federal anti-drug grants, asset forfeiture policies and a generation of battlefield rhetoric from politicians have made pursuing low-level drug dealers and drug users a top priority for police departments across the country. There’s only so much time in the day, and the focus on drugs often comes at the expense of investigating violent crimes with victims like Jessica Shaver. In the span of about a year, she experienced both problems firsthand.
On the night of May 13, 2010, Shaver was smoking a cigarette with her friend Damon outside the Flat Iron bar in Wicker Park. She said she saw a woman walking away from the bar alone when two men began shouting profanities at her. The men then began walking toward the woman. “I made eye contact with her, and she looked like she was in trouble,” Shaver said.
Shaver shouted at the men to leave the woman alone, at which point she says the the two men turned their attention to her, approached her, and began shouting at her. Damon told the men to leave Shaver alone. They jumped Damon and began to beat him. Shaver said she then tried to pry the men off her friend, and managed to free him long enough for him to get away and call 911. Shaver said she was punched repeatedly, including in the face. She fell, stood up, and was hit in the face again. The men then robbed her and left. When she woke up the next morning with bruises, she went to the hospital. Doctors found a concussion and several contusions.
Two weeks later, Shaver still hadn’t heard from the detective assigned to her case. When she finally went to the police station in person to get an update on the investigation, she was told there was no record of the incident. She filed another report, but was told it was unlikely police would be able to track down the witnesses again, and that even if they were, the witnesses’ memories were likely to have faded. Shaver says she decided to investigate on her own. She went back to the Flat Iron and questioned customers and employees herself. A bartender gave her the men’s nicknames: “Cory” and “Sonny,” the guy who hit her. Shaver learned that Sonny was also a reputed cocaine dealer. She heard he had a violent streak, and had been banned from a number of neighborhood bars.
“I was scared,” Shaver said. “I’d heard bad things about this guy, and he knew who I was.”
Shaver is thoroughly tattooed, which makes her easy to recognize. So she dyed her hair, covered her tattoos with clothing, and kept investigating. She worked her way through social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace until she was able to put actual names to her attackers’ faces and nicknames. And yet she still couldn’t get anyone at Chicago PD to help her. “I gave them the guy’s name and everything,” she said. “There were even hip hop videos online with him in them. I told them,‘That’s the guy!’ They still wouldn’t listen to me.”
In August 2010, three months after the attack, Shaver contacted a reporter for Time Out Chicago, who began asking around about her case. Shaver also met with Chicago Alderman Joe Marino. Shortly before the Time Out article went to press, a detective finally called Shaver down to the police station to identify her attacker. But even with her identification, the police didn’t arrest “Sonny.” He wasn’t charged with the assault until the following month, when he was arrested on an unrelated domestic violence charge.
Shortly after she finally identified her attacker at the police station, Shaver said the detective in charge of her case told her, “Now I don’t want to hear any more bitching from you.”
Arresting people for assaults, beatings and robberies doesn’t bring money back to police departments, but drug cases do in a couple of ways. First, police departments across the country compete for a pool of federal anti-drug grants. The more arrests and drug seizures a department can claim, the stronger its application for those grants.
“The availability of huge federal anti-drug grants incentivizes departments to pay for SWAT team armor and weapons, and leads our police officers to abandon real crime victims in our communities in favor of ratcheting up their drug arrest stats,” said former Los Angeles Deputy Chief of Police Stephen Downing. Downing is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an advocacy group of cops and prosecutors who are calling for an end to the drug war.
“When our cops are focused on executing large-scale, constitutionally questionable raids at the slightest hint that a small-time pot dealer is at work, real police work preventing and investigating crimes like robberies and rapes falls by the wayside,” Downing said.
And this problem is on the rise all over the country. Last year, police in New York City arrested around 50,000 people for marijuana possession. Pot has been decriminalized in New York since 1977, but displaying the drug in public is still a crime. So police officers stop people who look “suspicious,” frisk them, ask them to empty their pockets, then arrest them if they pull out a joint or a small amount of marijuana. They’re tricked into breaking the law. According to a report from Queens College sociologist Harry Levine, there were 33,775 such arrests from 1981 to 1995. Between 1996 and 2010 there were 536,322.
Several NYPD officers have alleged that in some precincts, police officers are asked to meet quotas for drug arrests. Former NYPD narcotics detective Stephen Anderson recently testified in court that it’s common for cops in the department to plant drugs on innocent people to meet those quotas — a practice for which Anderson himself was then on trial.
At the same time, there’s increasing evidence that the NYPD is paying less attention to violent crime. In an explosive Village Voice series last year, current and former NYPD officers told the publication that supervising officers encouraged them to either downgrade or not even bother to file reports for assault, robbery and even sexual assault. The theory is that the department faces political pressure to produce statistics showing that violent crime continues to drop. Since then, other New Yorkers have told the Voice that they have been rebuffed by NYPD when trying to report a crime.
The most perverse policy may be asset forfeiture. Under civil asset forfeiture, police can seize property from people merely suspected of drug crimes. So long as police can show even the slightest link of drug activity to a car, some cash, or even a home, they can seize it. In the majority of cases, most or all of the seized cash goes back to the police department. In some cases, the department has taken possession of cars as well, but generally non-cash property is auctioned off, with the proceeds then going back to the department. An innocent person who has property seized must go to court and prove his property was earned legitimately, even if he was never charged with a crime. The process of going to court can often be more expensive than the value of the property itself.
Asset forfeiture not only encourages police agencies to use resources and manpower on drug crimes at the expense of violent crimes, it also provides an incentive for police agencies to actually wait until drugs are on the streets before making a bust. In a 1994 study reported in Justice Quarterly, criminologists J. Mitchell Miller and Lance H. Selva watched several police agencies delay busts of suspected drug dealers in order to maximize the cash the department could seize. A stash of illegal drugs isn’t of much value to a police department. Letting the dealers sell the drugs first is more lucrative.
Earlier this year, Nashville’s News 5 ran a report on how police in Tennessee are pulling over suspected drug dealers and seizing their cash along I-40, often without bothering to make an arrest. The station combed through police reports showing that officers spent 10 times as long policing the side of the interstate where a drug runner would be leaving after he sold his supply — and thus would be flush with sizable amounts of cash — than on the side where he was likely to be flush with drugs. The police were letting the drugs be sold in order to get their hands on the cash.
Back in Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) recently signed a new law that will require convicted drug dealers to reimburse the police agencies that arrested and prosecuted them. The law will provide even more incentive for departments to devote time and resources to drug crimes — and that shift comes at the expense of solving more serious crimes.
The bill does not require reimbursement from convicted rapists or murderers.
Which means battery victims like Shaver can expect even less cooperation from police as more officers are moved to investigations that pay for themselves — and then some.
Shaver’s next encounter with Chicago police came in April of this year. She and her then-boyfriend were living on the first floor of a three-story graystone in the Edgewood neighborhood. “Nate,” a friend of Shaver’s boyfriend whom Shaver describes as a “stoner hippie,” was between residences, and asked if he could sleep on their couch while he waited for his new apartment to become available. They agreed.
“He never had keys,” Shaver said. “He’d text us when he was coming home to sleep, and one of us would let him in. He had been here about a week before the raid.”
The raid came on the night of April 14, 2010, part of a series of drug raids across Chicago that night by the city’s Mobile Strike Force and Targeted Response Unit, essentially a SWAT team.
Shaver, her then-boyfriend and a roommate were in the apartment with her four dogs when the door flew open with the crash of a battering ram. “I thought we were being robbed,” Shaver recalled. “It wasn’t clear to us that they were cops at all. I had a flashback to my attack. I was just terrified. I peed myself. I had peed myself, and I was shaking, trying to gather my dogs while they were pointing these guns at me — these huge guns that could blow me apart. My Vizsla mix ran off, and I was afraid they were going to shoot it. I asked if I could get it, and they said ‘We don’t give a fuck about your dog.’”
According to the search warrant, the police were searching for Nate. Shaver said they looked through Nate’s belongings gathered on the couch and found about $900 and a sandwich bag filed with marijuana. They didn’t leave a receipt for what they took.
“They were going through his mail,” she said. “They tried to say he was my brother. They kept looking for some way to say he had always lived here. He had mail here, but it was mail he brought from his old place. It all had his old address on it.”
Shaver’s boyfriend and roommate were handcuffed. Shaver started to panic. She told the police about her prior assault, and asked if she could take some anti-anxiety medication and change her clothes. They refused.
“There were 20 to 25 cops in my apartment now. Some of them were in street clothes. Some of them were in SWAT clothes with face masks. They told me I wasn’t allowed to move. I wasn’t even certain they were police until about two hours later, when a uniformed cop showed up with the warrant,” she recalled.
Shaver says she heard laughter from her bathroom and bedroom. “They went to my bathroom and started going through all of my medication, laughing about how messed up I was,” she said. “I also have a ‘lady drawer,‘ where I keep sex toys and some sex-related gag gifts friends have given me.” Shaver said that when the cops finally left, they had left her place a shambles. When she looked in her bedroom, the police had emptied the drawer and laid all of her sex toys out on her bed.
The raid ruined the door to Shaver’s apartment and she has since been evicted. She filed a complaint with Chicago PD, but never heard back. When she attempted to get a copy of the affidavit for the search warrant to see what probable cause they had for such a violent raid, she was told that since she was not the target of the raid, she is not allowed to see the affidavit. As for “Nate,” authorities have yet to issue a warrant for his arrest. Chicago PD and the officer who left Shaver his number after the raid did not return The Huffington Post’s requests for comment.
FIGHTING CONSENSUAL CRIMES IN A VIOLENT CITY
“This case is a perfect example of how the war on drugs distracts police from doing the job we hired them for,” Downing said.
Chicago is one of the most violent cities in the country, and is home to America’s most violent neighborhood. The city is usually left out of annual “Most Dangerous Cities” lists because of disputes between the state of Illinois and the FBI on how crimes are reported, but Chicago has roughly triple the murder rate of New York City, and double that of Los Angeles. Crime has gone down in Chicago over the last 20 years as it has in the rest of the country, but at a slower rate than in cities of similar size.
Perhaps more tellingly, the city’s clearance rate — the percentage of homicides solved by police — was 70 percent in 1991. It dropped to under 40 percent in 2008 and 2009. According to a report (PDF) from the criminal justice reform advocacy group The Sentencing Project, drug offenses made up 4.8 percent of Chicago PD arrests in 1980. In 2003, they made up 28.2 percent. The overall number of drug arrests increased 264 percent over that period. An analysis by the Marijuana Policy Almanac found that from 2002 to 2007 alone, overall pot arrests in Cook County jumped from 25,776 to 32,996.
The drug war’s financial incentives appear to be having an effect. A drug offender is much more likely to be arrested in Chicago than he was 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. But kill someone in Chicago, and you’re only about half as likely to be caught as you were in the early 1990s.
Last July, more than a year after her attack, Shaver’s assailant “Sonny” was finally convicted. He was sentenced to six months of probation. Reflecting back on the last tumultuous two years, Shaver says, “It just doesn’t make sense. Repeat violent offenders get to walk while casual pot smokers get terrorized by SWAT teams. I’m pretty disappointed in the justice system.”
Dog Thefts Are Way Up — Do You Know How to Protect Your Pet?
By Lisa Peterson
American Kennel Club Director of Communications Lisa Peterson and Jinx
As a former crime reporter I was trained to sniff out statistics and trends. So when I retrieved my journalist instincts here at the American Kennel Club I discovered an emerging trend affecting dog owners – pet theft.
Since 2007 the AKC has been tracking dog, based on customer and media reports, stolen from owners’ cars, homes and yards among other places. The fact is that for the first seven months of 2011 we’ve tracked a shocking 49% increase in pet thefts nationwide over the same period last year.
Why this sudden uptick in stolen dogs? Certainly money, or lack thereof, and other economic motivations are in play here. People are stealing pets to keep for themselves, not wanting to pay a purchase price or adoption fee. Criminals are engaging in “dognapping” to quickly sell the pups for profit to unsuspecting buyers or waiting for owners to offer a reward, some as much as $10,000, and then miraculously have the dog appear.
We have noticed that smaller breeds like Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese and Pomeranians, along with puppies in general, sadly make up a majority of stolen dogs in the AKC Companion Animal Recovery National Pet Theft Database. We believe some of this year’s increase extends beyond the purebred market, since for the first time we are seeing more mixed-breeds dogs being stolen from shelters and adoption events as well as more pit bulls being taken.
Despite this alarming rise, it is not our intention to create panic among dog owners but to educate them about this potential crime and offer preventive measures and proactive recovery methods. And, yes, despite a myth I hear often, you can file a police report for your stolen dog and we’ll show you how. First here are five prevention tips and then three recovery tips:
FOUR PREVENTION TIPS
1. Don’t let your dog off-leash. Keeping your dog close to you reduces the likelihood it will wander off and catch the attention of thieves. Recently, a woman carrying her Maltese as she exited a convenience store had it snatched out of her arms.
2. Don’t leave your dog unattended in your yard. Dogs left outdoors for long periods of time are targets, especially if your fenced-in yard is visible from the street. For example, a Bulldog in North Carolina was stolen out of his backyard by thieves who stretched the chain link fence to gain access to the dog.
3. Be cautious with information. If strangers approach you to admire your dog during walks, don’t answer questions about how much the dog cost or give details about where you live. In Oklahoma a family was approached in a park while playing with their adorable pit bull puppy, only to be followed home. The next morning a gunman broke into the house, tied up the family and stole the puppy.
4. Never leave your dog in an unattended car, even if it’s locked. Besides the obvious health risks this poses to the dog, it’s also an invitation for thieves, even if you are gone for only a moment. And remember, leaving expensive items in the car such as a GPS unit or laptop will only encourage break-ins.
5. Don’t tie your dog up outside a store. This popular practice among city-dwelling dog owners can be a recipe for disaster. If you need to go shopping, patronize only dog-friendly retailers or leave your dog at home.
THREE RECOVERY TIPS
1. Protect your dog with microchip identification. Collars and tags can be removed so make sure you have permanent ID with a microchip. Thieves will not know the dog has a microchip until a veterinarian or shelter worker scans it so keep contact information current with your microchip recovery service provider. Incredibly, after seven years a stolen Weimaraner puppy was returned to its rightful owner when it was scanned for microchip some 500 miles away from its first home.
2. If you suspect your dog has been stolen, immediately call the police / animal control officer in the area your pet was last seen and file a police report. If your dog has a microchip, ask to have that unique serial number, along with the dog’s description, posted in the “stolen article” category on the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.
3. Canvass the neighborhood and post fliers. Talk to people in the immediate vicinity where your pet went missing for possible sightings of the actual theft.
For more tips and how to get your dog microchipped visit www.akccar.org and eHome Remedies.
Big Brother 2.0: 10 New Ways That The Government Will Be Spying On You And Controlling Your Behavior
Posted by Alexander Higgins
As Big Brother goes high tech here is a list of pervasive technologies the government is using to spy on the public, crush dissent, and control the masses. Thank you to our friends over at www.endoftheamericandream.com for this post.
The American Dream
Are you ready for Big Brother 2.0? If you think that the hundreds of ways that the government watches, monitors, tracks and controls us now are bad, just wait until you see what is coming. We live in an age when paranoia is running wild. As technology continues to develop at an exponential pace, governments all over the globe are going to discover a multitude of new ways to spy on us and control our behavior. In a world where everyone is a “potential terrorist”, we are told that things like liberty, freedom and privacy are “luxuries” that we can no longer afford. We are assured that if we just allow the government to watch all of us and investigate all of us that somehow that will keep us all safe. But it isn’t just the government that is watching us. Now we are being taught to spy on one another and to report any trace of “suspicious activity” to the government immediately. The entire civilized world is being transformed into one giant prison grid, and many of the new technologies that are now being introduced are going to make things even worse.
The following are 10 new ways that the government will be spying on you and controlling your behavior….
#1 Are you ready for “electronic skin tattoos”? One team of researchers has created an extremely thin, extremely flexible “smart skin” that will open up a whole new world of possibilities. Wearing “skin-mounted electronics” might seem like a great idea to tech geeks, but it also could create a whole lot of new problems. The following is how an article in one UK newspaper described this new breakthrough….
The “epidermal electronic system” relies on a highly flexible electrical circuit composed of snake-like conducting channels that can bend and stretch without affecting performance. The circuit is about the size of a postage stamp, is thinner than a human hair and sticks to the skin by natural electrostatic forces rather than glue.
Yes, this kind of technology would be a great way to connect wirelessly to the Internet and it would be helpful for doctors that need to monitor their patients, but the potential for abuse is also there.
Once this type of technology becomes widespread, governments will be able to monitor the location and activities of their citizens like never before.
In addition, this type of technology could one day become mandated by governments. For example, someday you may be required to have an “electronic skin tatoo” in order to prove your identity or to participate in commerce.
Also, it is not too far of a stretch to imagine that “skin-mounted electronics” could be used to control large populations. Just remember, if you connect yourself physically to the Internet, that also means that the Internet is connected to you.
#2 According to a shocking document obtained by Oath Keepers, the FBIis now instructing store owners to report many new forms of “suspicious activity” to them. According to the document, “suspicious activity” now includes….
-paying with cash
-missing a hand or fingers
-making “extreme religious statements”
-purchasing weatherproofed ammunition or match containers
-purchasing meals ready to eat
-purchasing night vision devices, night flashlights or gas masks
According to WorldNetDaily, this document is part of a “series of brochures” that will be distributed “to farm supply stores, gun shops, military surplus stores and even hotels and motels.”
#3 The U.S. military has developed an invisible “pain ray” that is remarkably effective. The following is how a recent article posted on Alternet described this weapon….
It sounds like a weapon out of Star Wars. The Active Denial System, or ADS, works like an open-air microwave oven, projecting a focused beam of electromagnetic radiation to heat the skin of its targets to 130 degrees. This creates an intolerable burning sensation forcing those in its path to instinctively flee (a response the Air Force dubs the “goodbye effect“).
Sadly, this weapon is already being used in American prisons. How long will it be before it is used on the general population?
#4 Be careful about what you put up on Facebook or Twitter. Law enforcement agencies all over the globe are now focusing on social media as never before. For example, the NYPD has just created a special “social media” unit dedicated to looking for criminals on Facebook and Twitter.
#5 Facial recognition technology has now come of age. With the millions of security cameras that are going up all over the world, such technology is proving to be very useful for law enforcement authorities. In fact, police in London are using it to track down people that were involved in the London riots. The following is an excerpt from a recent CBC report that described these efforts….
Facial recognition technology being considered for London’s 2012 Games is getting a workout in the wake of Britain’s riots, with officers feeding photographs of suspects through Scotland Yard’s newly updated face-matching program.
Facial recognition technology is rapidly going to become part of our everyday lives. In fact, now even Facebook is using it. Eventually it is going to become very difficult to avoid the reach of this technology.
#6 “Smart meters” are going into homes all over North America and Europe. These smart meters monitor your home every single minute of every single day and they transmit very sophisticated data about your personal behavior back to the utility company.
They are already being used by police all over the United States in drug cases. If a smart meter catches you using an “unusual” amount of energy there is a good chance that your home will be raided.
The European Parliament has set a goal of having smart meters in the homes of 80 percent of all electricity consumers by the year 2020, and Barack Obama is working very hard to get them into as many American homes as he can.
#7 Our children are being trained to accept being under surveillance almost constantly. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending huge amounts of money to install surveillance cameras in the cafeterias of U.S. public schools so that government control freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating.
#8 Perhaps you thought that only Tom Cruise had to worry about “pre-crime”. Well, now “pre-crime” is popping up in the real world too. The Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice has announced that it will begin using analysis software to predict crime by young delinquents and will place “potential offenders” in specific prevention and education programs.
#9 According to the ACLU, state police in Michigan are now using “extraction devices” to download data from the cellphones of motorists that they pull over. This is taking place even if those pulled over are not accused of doing anything wrong.
The following is how an article on CNET News described the capabilities of these “extraction devices”….
The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.
#10 LRAD sound cannons are already been used by law enforcement authorities to disperse large crowds inside the United States. So how much “damage” can sound do? Well, it turns out that sound can actually do a whole lot of damage. The following is how Alternet describes these cruel weapons….
The Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, built by American Technology Corporation, focuses and broadcasts sound over ranges of up to hundreds of yards. LRAD has been around for years, but Americans first took notice when police used it in Pittsburgh to ward off protesters at the 2009 G-20 summit. It is generally used in two ways: as a megaphone to order protesters to disperse; or, if they disobey, as an “ear-splitting siren” to drive them away. While LRAD may not be deadly, it can permanently damage hearing, depending on how it’s used.
LRAD sound cannons do not discriminate. When they are being used to disperse protesters, any innocent bystanders in the area will be affected as well. If anyone gets too close to an LRAD sound cannon while it is in use, permanent damage can result. Small children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Sadly, the use of LRAD sound cannons is becoming more common. In fact, they have even been used to break up college block parties.
So is this the kind of world that you want to live in?
Do you want your children and grandchildren to live in a world where liberty and freedom are all but forgotten?
This world is headed toward a very dark place. These “Big Brother” technologies are going to become even more pervasive and even more oppressive. If this trend is not stopped now, someday these technologies will get into some very evil hands, and then all hell will be unleashed.
So what do all of you think about these “Big Brother” technologies? Please feel free to post a comment with your opinion below….
A Nazi in the (pocket) is worth four in the Bush (family)
Part One – Part II ‘Frauds-R-Us’
Prescott Bush, granpa of Dubya
The Nazi’s American Banker
What is interesting about the history of the Bush family are the connections; Avril Harriman, Allen Dulles, the Rockefellers (the start of the oil connection), James Baker III, Gulf Oil, Pennzoil, Osama bin Laden…on and on it goes.
A lapse of memory?
By William Bowles
05/07/03: (Information Clearing House) It’s as well to remember that the Web never forgets, at least the US pres should take note of this fact and be careful of his utterances and how they can come back to haunt him. In fact four generations of Bush family history and too many skeletons in too many closets to count are to be found on the Web.
And given all the ‘pullpit pounding’ (more of which below) by ol’ Duyba and his minions, over the dubious moral character of Saddam and his cronies, much of which has underpinned the justification for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it’s as well to compare the two sets of rogues. Not surprisingly, there’s little to choose between the two except that, in the case of the Bush gang, they have a ‘pedigree’ in perfidy which extends back almost a century and four generations that makes Saddam look positively angelic by comparison.
Prescott Bush – setting a family example
In a previous piece (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3243.htm) a quote I used mentioned Prescott Bush the present pres’s granpa (http://www.americanpolitics.com/20030210Koop.html) so I decided to do a little researching to see what other dirty little secrets the Bush family have hidden in the dark recesses of the WWW and lo and behold, there’s a load of stuff out there (7,630 links to be precise, according to good ol’ google just on granpa Prescott Bush).
It’s 1918 and, well you know students, they’re always up to innocent pranks. It seems Grandpa Bush set his grandson some fine family precedents starting with digging up Geronimo’s skull,
“In 1918, Prescott Bush and two companions crept into the cemetery near Fort Sill and pried open the grave of Geronimo.
The head was taken out, spiffed up and forwarded to New Haven, where it was given pride of place for goofy rituals that have been attended by generations of Bushes and a veritable army of powerful types.”
The Apache nation (what was left of it anyway) was not amused. Okay, we’ll forgive granpa Bush his ‘juvenile pranks’ but it seems that this set the scene for the rest of his miserable life until his death in 1972 from carcinoma of the lung.
From skulls to Zyklon B (and back again)
But it seems that great-granpa George Walker was also in on the business of making money out of death (like great-granpa like great grand-son),
“George Walker, GW’s great-grandfather, also set up the takeover of the Hamburg-America Line, a cover for I.G. Farben’s Nazi espionage unit in the United States. In Germany, I.G. Farben was most famous for putting the gas in gas chambers; it was the producer of Zyklon B and other gasses used on victims of the Holocaust. The Bush family was not unaware of the nature of their investment partners. They hired Allen Dulles, the future head of the CIA, to hide the funds they were making from Nazi investments and the funds they were sending to Nazi Germany, rather than divest.”
It just doesn’t stop does it, as Prescott Bush, son of George continued in the ‘grand tradition’ of skullduggery by also doing deals with the Nazis,
“On October 20, 1942, the US Alien Property Custodian, under the “Trading With the Enemy Act,” seized the shares of the Union Banking Corporation (UBC), of which Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder. The largest shareholder was E. Roland Harriman. (Bush was also the managing partner of Brown Brothers Harriman, a leading Wall Street investment firm.)
“The UBC was established to send American capital to Germany to finance the reorganization of its industry under the Nazis. Their leading German partner was the notorious Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen, who wrote a book admitting much of this called “I Paid Hitler.”
“Among the companies financed was the Silesian-American Corporation, which was also managed by Prescott Bush, and by his father-in-law George Herbert Walker, who supplied Dub-a-Ya with his name. The company was vital in supplying coal to the Nazi war industry. It too was seized as a Nazi-front on November 17, 1942. The largest company Bush’s UBC helped finance was the German Steel Trust, responsible for between one-third and one-half of Nazi iron and explosives.
“Prescott Bush was also a director of the Harriman Fifteen Corporation, (this one owned largely by Roland’s brother, Averell Harriman), which owned about a third of the Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation, the rest owned by Friedrich Flick, (a member of Himmler’s “Circle of Friends” who donated to the S.S.).”
What is interesting about the history of the Bush family are the connections; Avril Harriman, Allen Dulles, the Rockefellers (the start of the oil connection), James Baker III, Gulf Oil, Pennzoil, Osama bin Laden…on and on it goes. It looks like this’ll have to be part one of an on-going series on the Bush dynasty and their dirty dealings.
The story of steel magnate and billionaire bankroller of the Nazis, Fritz Thyssen and his Bush family connection is so incredible, that it deserves to be turned into a movie (obviously not by Hollywood). It all starts with John Loftus, a former U.S.Department of Justice Nazi War Crimes prosecutor who is the source of the following,
“From 1945 until 1949, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears, most futile interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American Zone of Occupied Germany…. [The interrogation of] [m]ultibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the man whose steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine.”
They were trying to find out what had happened to Thyssen’s billions but without success. Why?
“What the Allied investigators never understood was that they were not asking Thyssen the right question. Thyssen did not need any foreign bank accounts because his family secretly owned an entire chain of banks. He did not have to transfer his Nazi assets at the end of World War II, all he had to do was transfer the ownership documents – stocks, bonds, deeds and trusts–from his bank in Berlin through his bank in Holland to his American friends in New York City, Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker. Thyssen’s partners in crime were the father and father-in-law of a future President of the United States [my emph. WB].
“The British and American interrogators may have gravely underestimated Thyssen but they nonetheless knew they were being lied to. Their suspicions focused on one Dutch Bank in particular, the Bank voor Handel enScheepvaart, in Rotterdam. This bank did a lot of business with the Thyssens over the years. In 1923, as a favor to him, the Rotterdam bank loaned the money to build the very first Nazi party headquarters in Munich.
“If the investigators realized that the US intelligence chief in postwar Germany, Allen Dulles, was also the Rotterdam bank’s lawyer, they might have asked some very interesting questions. They did not know that Thyssen was Dulles’ client [my emph. WB] as well. Nor did they ever realize that it was Allen Dulles’s other client, Baron Kurt Von Schroeder who was the Nazi trustee for the Thyssen companies which now claimed to be owned by the Dutch [my emph. WB]. The Rotterdam Bank was at the heart of Dulles’ cloaking scheme, and he guarded its secrets jealously.
“[T]he Dutch connection remained unexplored until 1994 when I published the book “The Secret War Against the Jews.” As a matter of historical curiosity, I mentioned that Fritz Thyssen (and indirectly, the Nazi Party) had obtained their early financing from Brown Brothers Harriman [my emph. WB], and its affiliate, the Union Banking Corporation. Union Bank, in turn, was the Bush family’s holding company for a number of other entities, including the “Holland American Trading Company.”
There are so many twists and turns to this story, that this is not the place to to go into all the labyrinthine links between the Nazis, the Bush Family and the CIA (via Allen Dulles) or indeed, a host of other corporate connections. But this final quote from the same source, gives you an idea of just how much money is involved,
“The enormous sums of money deposited into the Union Bank prior to 1942 is the best evidence that Prescott Bush knowingly served as a money launderer for the Nazis. Remember that Union Banks’ books and accounts were frozen by the U.S. Alien Property Custodian in 1942 and not released back to the Bush family until 1951. At that time, Union Bank shares representing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of industrial stocks and bonds were unblocked for distribution. Did the Bush family really believe that such enormous sums came from Dutch enterprises? One could sell tulip bulbs and wooden shoes for centuries and not achieve those sums. A fortune this size could only have come from the Thyssen profits made from rearming the Third Reich, and then hidden, first from the Nazi tax auditors, and then from the Allies.”
For the full story please go to the link above.
All of which makes the following quote from Dubya all the more sickening,
“In April 1999, [then] Texas Governor George W. Bush proclaimed a week of remembrance for the Holocaust. He said, “I urge Texans to never forget the inhumanity of those who perpetrated the Holocaust, and reflect upon our own humanity and our responsibility to respect all peoples.”
Like granpa like grand-son? Well given where Dubya got his money from, and his continuing in the ‘grand tradition of the Bush gang, I’m feeling quite biblical about things, so I thought following,
Would be useful. I know there will be some among you who think I’ve just got it in for the Bushes, so in my wanderings over the Web, I came across this little gem from http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/herskowitz.html
“Duty, Honor, Country
The Life and Legacy of Prescott Bush
By Mickey Herskowitz
This paean to the life of Prescott Bush, by a conservative writer is a salutory warning to us all. I quote,
“He [Prescott Bush] was a unifier, not a divider. And he was of such high integrity [sic] that behind the scenes was where he was at his best. He was a man of great faith. His grandfather was a minister whose faith and integrity were fully ingrained in the Bush family. Prescott always emphasized honesty, charity, fairness and proactive dedication to God, family and country.”
From a review by Susan Kurz.
I could go on quoting, but I’m afraid I’ll throw up. Check it out for yourself at http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/herskowitz.html. Townhall.com is, by the way, “the first truly interactive community on the Internet to bring Internet users, conservative public policy organizations, congressional staff, and political activists together under the broad umbrella of “conservative” thoughts, ideas and actions.”
There’s none so blind as those that refuse to see.
From Eugenicist to anti-abortionist
Not content with digging up the ancestors, supporting Fascism,laundering Nazi money through a Dutch-based bank, selling weapons to the mullahs of Iran, trading guns for drugs, doing business deals with Osama bin Laden, the Bush family in the form of ol’ granpa Prescott was an early supporter of the Eugenics movement (or racial purity, to give it its real name). And a rather embarassing connection it is too, as Bush Snr discovered,
“…And the Birth Control League was there, which had long trumpeted the need for eugenical births–fewer births for parents with “inferior” bloodlines. Prescott [Bush’s] partner Tighe was a Connecticut director of the league, and the Connecticut league’s medical advisor was eugenics advocate Dr. Winternitz of Yale Medical School.
Now in 1950, people who knew something about Prescott Bush knew that he had very unsavory roots in the eugenics movement. There were then, just after the anti-Hitler war, few open advocates of sterilization of “unfit” or “unnecessary” people. (That would be revived later, with the help of General Draper and his friend George Bush
Then, very late in the 1950 senatorial campaign, Prescott Bush was publicly exposed for being an activist in that section of the old fascist eugenics movement. Prescott Bush lost the election by about 1,000 out of 862,000 votes
In his foreword to a population control propaganda book, George Bush wrote about that 1950 election: “My own first awareness of birth control as a public policy issue came with a jolt in 1950 when my father was running for United States Senate in Connecticut. Drew Pearson, on the Sunday before Election day, ‘revealed’ that my father was involved with Planned Parenthood…. Many political observers felt a sufficient number of voters were swayed by his alleged contacts with the birth controllers to cost him the election….”
The Bush story is such a fascinating history of capitalist corruption and power that it needs to be presented to a public that is consistently lied to, not only by the corporate media but by our so-called leaders. In Part Two, I’m going to give you the low-down on the Bush family’s involvement in the scams and dealings of the Reagan years, the Iran-Contra scandal and one of the biggest rip-offs in history, the savings and loan scandal, which cost the US taxpayer literally trillions of dollars. Yeah, you read right, trillions!
From The Progressive Review: http://prorev.com/bush2.htm
Great moments in a great American family
1918 – 1994
Much of this article originally appeared in the Progressive Review during the 1992 campaign. It has been updated
BEHIND THE BUSHES INDEX
Prescott Bush Sr., leads a raid on a Indian tomb to secure Geronimo’s skull for Skull & Bones.
Prescott Bush’s investment firm sets up deal for the Luftwaffe so it can obtain tetraethyl lead.
Three firms with which Prescott Bush is associated are seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act.
SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE: The president of the Florida Holocaust Museum said Saturday that George W. Bush’s grandfather derived a portion of his personal fortune through his affiliation with a Nazi-controlled bank. John Loftus, a former prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Nazi War Crimes Unit, said his research found that Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a principal in the Union Banking Corp. in Manhattan in the late 1930s and the 1940s. Leading Nazi industrialists secretly owned the bank at that time, Loftus said, and were moving money into it through a second bank in Holland even after the United States declared war on Germany. The bank was liquidated in 1951, Loftus said, and Bush’s grandfather and great-grandfather received $1.5 million from the bank as part of that dissolution . . . Loftus pointed out that the Bush family would not be the only American political dynasty to have ties to the “wrong side of World War II.” The Rockefellers had financial connections to Nazi Germany, he said. Loftus also reminded his audience that John F. Kennedy’s father, an avowed isolationist and former ambassador to Great Britain, profited during the 1930s and ’40s from Nazi stocks that he owned. “No one today blames the Democrats because Jack Kennedy’s father bought Nazi stocks,” Loftus said. Still, he said, it is important to understand these historical connections for what they tell us about politics today. The World War II experience points out how easy it was then — and remains today — to hide money in multinational funds.
SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE
George Bush and the Liedtke brothers form Zapata Petroleum. Zapata’s subsidiary, Zapata Offshore, later becomes known for its close ties to the CIA.
The Bush family buys out the Liedtke brothers.
George Bush sets up a Mexican drilling operation, Permago, with a frontman to obscure his ownership. The frontman later is convicted of defrauding the Mexican government of $58 million.
Manuel Noriega recruited as an agent by the US Defense Intelligence Agency.
Some investigators believe George Bush spent part of this year and the next in Miami on behalf of the CIA, organizing rightwing exiles for an invasion of Cuba. Is said to have worked with later Iran-Contra figure Felix Rodriguez.
According to the Realist, CIA official Fletcher Prouty delivers three Navy ships to agents in Guatemala to be used in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Prouty claims he delivered the ships to a CIA agent named George Bush. Agent Bush named the ships the Barbara, Houston and Zapata.
Bay of Pigs invasion fails. Right-wingers blame Kennedy for failure to provide air cover. CIA loses 15 men, another 1100 are imprisoned.
George Bush invites Rep. TL. Ashley — a fellow Skull & Boner — down to Texas for a party in order to meet “an attractive girl.” Bush writes that “she may be accompanied by an Austrian ski instructor but I think we can probably flush him at the local dance hall.” Bush notes that he’s had to unlist his phone because “Jane Morgan keeps calling me all the time.” [From a letter in the Ashley archives uncovered by Spy magazine.]
Zapata annual report boasts that the company has paid no taxes since it was founded.
John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Internal FBI memo reports that on November 22 “reputable businessman” George H. W. Bush reported hearsay that a certain Young Republican “has been talking of killing the president when he comes to Houston.” The Young Republican was nowhere near Dallas on that date.
According to a 1988 story in The Nation, a memo from J. Edgar Hoover states that “Mr. George Bush of the CIA” had been briefed on November 23rd, 1963 about the reaction of anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Miami to the assassination of President Kennedy. George says it ain’t him, admits he was in Texas but can’t remember where.
George Bush runs as a Goldwater Republican for Congress. Campaigns against the Civil Rights Act.
Bush, runs as a moderate Republican, gets elected to Congress. Robert Mosbacher chairs Oil Men for Bush.
Apache leader Ned Anderson meets with the Skull & Bones lawyer and George Bush’s brother Jonathan who attempt to return the skull Prescott Bush had looted. Anderson refuses the skull because he says it isn’t Geronimo’s.
George W. Bush joins Skull & Bones at Yale
Bush loses Senate race to Lloyd Bentsen, despite $112,000 in contributions from a White House slush fund. Jim Baker is campaign chair. Bush later claims to have reported correctly all but $6000 in cash –which he denies he got. A 1992 story in the New York Times says the $6000 was listed in records of Nixon’s “townhouse operation” which was designed in part to make GOP congressional candidates vulnerable to blackmail.
Bush is named UN Ambassador by Nixon.
Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs finds enough evidence of Noriega’s involvement in drug dealing to indict him, but US Attorney’s office in Miami considers grabbing Noriega in Panama for trial here to be impractical. State Department also urges BNDD to back off.
Bill Liedtke gathers $700,000 in anonymous contributions for the Nixon campaign, delivering the money in cash, checks and securities to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (the infamous CREEP) one day before such contributions become illegal. Bill says he did it as a favor to George.
Bush is named GOP national chair. Brings into the party the Heritage Groups Council, an organization with a number of Nazi sympathizers.
Bush, according to Lowell Weicker, inquires as to whether records of the “townhouse operation” should be burned.
Robert Mosbacher wins an offshore drilling concession from Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Watergate tapes indicate concern by Nixon and aide HR Haldeman that the investigation into Watergate might expose the “Bay of Pigs thing.” Nixon also speaks of the “Texans” and the “Cubans.” and mentions “Mosbacher.”
In another tape, Nixon decides following his re-election to get signed resignations from his whole government so he can centralize his power. Says Nixon to John Erlichman: “Eliminate everyone, except George Bush. Bush will do anything for our cause.”
Bush is named special envoy to China.
DEA report notes Noreiga’s involvement in drug trade.
George W. Bush graduates from Harvard Business School
Jerry Ford names George Bush CIA director, his fourth political patronage job in a little over five years. Bush later claims this is the first time he ever worked for the CIA. At his confirmation hearings, Bush says, “I think we should tread very carefully on governments that are constitutionally elected.”
Bush holds first known meeting with Noriega. Noriega starts receiving $110,000 a year from the CIA.
Noriega found to be working for Cubans as well, but keeps his CIA gig.
Bush sets up Team B within the CIA, a group of neo-conservative outsiders and generals who proceed to double the agency’s estimate of Soviet military spending.
Senate committee headed by Frank Church proposes revealing size of the country’s black budget — intelligence spending that, in contradiction to the Constitution, is kept secret even from the Hill. According to journalist Tim Weiner, Bush argues that the revelation would be a disaster and would compromise the agency beyond repair. By a one vote margin the matter is referred to the Senate. It never reaches the floor.
Chilean dissident Orlando Letelier is assassinated by Chilean secret police agents. CIA fails to inform FBI of pending plot and of assassins’ arrival in US. CIA claims the hit was the work of left-wingers in search of a martyr.
Bush writes internal CIA memo asking to see cable on Jack Ruby visiting Santos Trafficante in jail. In 1992, Bush will deny any interest in the JFK assassination while CIA head.
Bush claims nuclear war is winnable.
Philippine dictator Marcos buys back Robert Mosbacher’s oil concession. Mosbacher claims he was swindled. Philippine officials say they never saw any expenditures by Mosbacher on the project.
Bush, Mosbacher and Jim Baker become partners in an oil deal.
From a Washington Post article by Bob Woodward and Walter Pincus: “According to those involved in Bush’s first political action committee, there were several occasions in 1978-79, when Bush was living in Houston and traveling the country in his first run for the presidency, that he set aside periods of up to 24 hours and told aides that he had to fly to Washington for a secret meeting of former CIA directors. Bush told his aides that he could not divulge his whereabouts, and that he would not be available.” Former CIA chief Stansfield Turner denies such meetings took place.
George W. Bush declares his candidacy for the Midland Congressional district. He wins the Republican primary and loses in the general election.
George W. Bush begins operations of his oil firm, Arbusto Energy. With the help of Jonathan Bush, he assembles several dozen investors in a limited partnership including Dorothy Bush, Lewis Lehrman, William Draper, and James Bath, a Houston aircraft broker
Bush becomes Reagan’s vice presidential candidate. Runs as a rightwinger again.
Mosbacher becomes chief fundraiser for Bush’s presidential campaign. Forms a millionaire’s club of 250 contributors, each of whom cough up $100,000.
William Casey forms a working group to prepare for possible Carter October political surprise. In early October, an Iranian official meets with three top Reagan campaign aides. All three deny memory of the meeting in subsequent proceedings.
On October 21, Reagan hints he has a secret plan to release the hostages. This is right around the alleged date of a Paris meeting at which the so-called “October Surprise” was settled. Some allege that at this meeting it was agreed to end the arms embargo against Iran if Iran would release its hostages after the election. While Bush’s presence at this meeting has been denied by the House committee investigating the October Surprise, Bush’s whereabouts at this critical time remain in doubt. The White House, in fact, has leaked conflicting stories.
Rep. Dan Quayle goes on a Florida golfing vacation with seven other men and Paula Parkinson — an insurance lobbyist who later posed nude for Playboy. Parkinson describes Quayle as a husband on the make, but says she turned him down because she was already having an affair with another congressman. Marilyn Quayle says, “anybody who knows Dan Quayle knows he would rather play golf than have sex.”
The Reagan-Bush campaign receives stolen copies of Carter’s briefing books.
Bush’s campaign manager, James Baker, forces the dismissal of Bush aide Jennifer Fitzgerald, described in a 1982 Time story as having “much to say about where Bush goes, what he does and whom he sees.” Bush continues to pay Fitzgerald out of his own pocket.
Reagan-Bush inaugurated. Hostages released moments before. Shortly thereafter, arms shipments to Iran resume from Israel and America. In July, an Argentinean plane chartered by Israel crashes in Soviet territory. It is found to have made three deliveries of American military supplies to Iran. In a 1991 story in Esquire, Craig Unger quotes Alexander Haig as saying “I have a sneaking suspicion that someone in the White House winked.” Says Unger: “This secret and illegal sale of military equipment continued for years afterwards.”
James Baker named Reagan’s chief of staff.
SEC filings for Zapata Oil for 1960-66 are found to have been “inadvertently destroyed.”
Reagan authorizes CIA assistance to Contras.
CIA director William Casey begins Operation Black Eagle to expand US role in Central America. Urges use of “selected Latin American and European governments, organizations and individuals” in the project.
Inslaw, a computer software company, signs a $10 million contract to install a case-tracking program in 94 US Attorney’s offices. Four months later, after obtaining a copy of Inslaw’s proprietary version of the program, the government cancels the contract and begins an aggressive campaign to force the company into bankruptcy. Later sources claim that the program was installed by the CIA and sold to various foreign intelligence agencies.
After $3 million is poured into Arbusto with little oil and no profits, just tax shelter George W. Bush changes the company name to Bush Exploration Oil Co. Subsequently he is kept afloat by an investment from Philip Uzielli, a Princeton friend of James Baker III. For the sum of $1 million, Uzielli bought 10% of the company at a time in 1982 when the entire enterprise was valued at less than $400,000. Subsequently, to save the company George W. Bush merges with Spectrum 7, a small oil firm owned by William DeWitt and Mercer Reynolds. DeWitt had graduated from Yale a few years earlier than Bush and was the son of the former owner of the Cincinnati Reds. Bush becomes president of Spectrum 7. He also gets 14% of the Spectrum’s stock. Meanwhile, 50 original investors in Arbusto get paid off at about 20 cents on the dollar.
Noriega meets again with George Bush.
Bush presents an autographed photo to a WWII Ukrainian leader under the Nazis, whose regime killed 100,000 Jews.
KAL 007 crashes under circumstances that remain suspicious to this day.
Bush promotes Jennifer Fitzgerald from appointments secretary to executive assistant. Seven staffers resign in protest. Fitzgerald tells the New York Post: “Everyone keeps painting me as this old ogre. I really don’t worry about it. All these bizarre things just simply aren’t true.”
Neil Bush forms his first oil company. He puts in $100, his partners contribute $160,000 and Neil is named president of the firm, JNB Exploration.
Jeb Bush’s business partner, Alberto Duque, goes bankrupt, is eventually convicted of fraud and is sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Jeb Bush lobbies the Department of Health & Human Services on behalf of Cuban-American businessman Miguel Recarey, Jr., whose medical firm later collapses. Recarey, who was close to mobster Santos Trafficante, later flees the US under indictment with at least $12 million in federal funds.
George Bush takes part in meetings to plan increased “third country” aid to the Contras..
CIA mines Nicaraguan harbors.
Jennifer Fitzgerald is sent to work on Capitol Hill after stories arise linking her romantically with George Bush.
Stuart Spencer’s public relation firm starts receiving over $350,000 from Panama to improve Noriega’s image.
CIA starts using BCCI as a conduit.
George Bush thanks Oliver North for “dedication and tireless work with the hostage thing, with Central America.” Bush will later deny knowing about the Contra effort until late 1986.
Neil Bush joins the board of Silverado S&L, serves until 1988. Silverado loans his partners in JNB $132 million which they never repay. Silverado will eventually collapse at a taxpayer cost of $1 billion.
408 TOW anti-tank missiles are shipped from Israel to Iran. A day later, US hostage Benjamin Weir is released.
VP Bush goes to Honduras to promote support for the Contras. Takes along baseball players Nolan Ryan and Gary Carter.
Contra figure Felix Rodriguez meets with Donald Gregg, Bush’s national security advisor, to complain about Iran-Contra operatives skimming funds from the Contras.
Bush may have made several secret visits to Damascus between 1986-88 according to a 1992 report in Time, which said two senior GOP senators were pressing for a probe. The allegation is that Bush went to negotiate the release of hostages in Lebanon but in fact stonewalled Syria, “playing for campaign timing. Republicans want to get to the bottom of intelligence-community suspicions that the US somehow blew a chance to free Terry Anderson and his fellow captives.”
Iranian arms runner Manucher Ghorbanifar proposes “diversion” of profits from Iran arms sales to Contras.
George W. Bush and partners receive more than $2 million of Harken Energy stock in exchange for a failing oil well operation, which had lost $400,000 in the prior six months. After Bush joined Harken, the largest stock position and a seat on its board were acquired by Harvard Management Company. The Harken board gave Bush $600,000 worth of the company’s publicly traded stock, plus a seat on the board plus a consultancy that paid him up to $120,000 a year. When Harken runs short of cash it hooks up with investment banker Jackson Stephens of Little Rock, Arkansas, who arranges a $25 million stock purchase by Union Bank of Switzerland. Sheik Abdullah Bakhsh, who joins the board as a part of the deal, is connected to the infamous BCCI.
Bush’s former chief of staff, Daniel Murphy, flies to Panama with South Korean influence peddler Tongsun Park on a private plane owned by arms dealer Sargis Soghnalian to meet with Noriega. Murphy later tells a Senate subcommittee that he informed Noriega that he need not resign before the 1988 election despite the Reagan administration public pressure to the contrary.
Bill Casey dies.
Lee Atwater accuses Robert Dole of spreading stories about Bush and Jennifer Fitzgerald. An agreement is worked out, as reported by Sidney Blumenthal in the Washington Post: “The Dole people didn’t spread any rumors and promised not to do it again. And the Bush people haven’t spread rumors about the Dole people spreading rumors and won’t do it again. ”
Harken Energy project gets rescued by aid from the BCCI-connected Union Bank of Switzerland in a deal brokered by Jackson Stephens, later to show up as a key supporter of Bill Clinton.
Jeb Bush and a partner default on a $4.5 million loan from a Florida S&L. The default will cost taxpayers’ millions. Bush and his partners will repay only ten percent of the loan but will keep all real estate collateralized by it.
Silverado S&L goes under after receiving 126 cease & desist orders in past four years from the Topeka office of the Office of Thrift Supervision. These orders found conflict of interests, insider abuse and other violations.
Dwight Chapin, ex-Nixon dirty trickster, gets job in Bush campaign.
Rudi Slavoff becomes head of Bulgarians for Bush. In 1983, Slavoff organized an event honoring Austin App, promoter of the theory that the Holocaust was a hoax.
Slavoff joins other GOP ethnic leaders in the Coalition of American Nationalities co-chaired by Edward Derwinski. Among them is a former member of an Hungarian pro-Nazi party. After press revelations, eight of the leaders accused of anti-semitism resign from the campaign. Bush says: “Nobody’s giving in… These people left of their own account.”
GOP flier warns that “all the murderers, rapists and drug pushers and child molesters in Massachusetts vote for Michael Dukakis.”
Bush establishes Team 100, which will eventually grow to 249 individuals who contribute nearly $25 million in soft money to help the GOP cause. The contributions also apparently help the contributors, various of whom get ambassadorial appointments, legislative favors, and intervention on regulatory and criminal matters.
Bush denies knowledge of Noriega’s involvement in drug dealing.
The Willie Horton ad is aired. Credit for similar tactics is given to campaign guru Lee Atwater, whose PR firm had represented drug-connected Bahamian prime minister Oscar Pinding and the Philippines’ Marcos. Atwater himself had represented UNITA, the CIA-backed Africa rebel group.
Fred Malek, ex-Nixon aide, resigns from the Bush campaign after it’s revealed that he compiled a list of Jews in the Labor Dept. as part of a Nixon investigation of a “Jewish cabal.”
A few days before the supposedly surprise arrest of five BCCI officials, some of the world’s most powerful drug dealers quietly withdraw millions of dollars from the bank. Some government investigators believe the dealers were tipped off by sources within the Bush administration.
Although Felix Rodriguez, former leading cop under Batista, claims he left the CIA in 1976, Rolling Stone reports that he is still going to CIA headquarters monthly to receive assignments and get his bulletproof Cadillac serviced.
Bankruptcy judge George Bason Jr. concludes that the government stole Inslaw’s software through “trickery, fraud and deceit.”
Stock market drops 43 points on false rumor that Washington Post was about the publish the Bush-Fitzgerald story.
Bush inaugurated. Aides tell the press that the new administration would rather “stay one step behind than be one step ahead.”
Bush authorizes CIA support to Noriega’s opposition, giving Noriega an excuse to annul Panama’s elections.
Bush claims executive privilege to avoid testifying in the Oliver North trial, thus becoming first president to use this power to keep his acts as vice president under wraps.
Dan Quayle declares changes in Soviet Union “just a public relations extravaganza.”
Bush brother Prescott flies to Shanghai after the Tiananmen Square massacre to close a deal for an $18 million resort there, despite his brother’s ban on high-level Chinese contacts. Prescott says, “We aren’t a bunch of carrion birds coming in to pick the carcass. But there are big opportunities in China, and America can’t afford to be shut out.”
Prescott Bush also visits Japan, searching for consulting contracts just ten days before his brother arrives on a presidential tour. The Japanese firm that paid Prescott a quarter-million dollar consulting fee comes under investigation for exchange law violations and links to the Japanese mob.
C. Boyden Gray, the president’s top ethics official, corrects his 1985 and 1986 financial disclosure forms. He forgot to include $98,000 in income.
George Bush signs the S&L bailout bill promising that “these problems will never happen again.”
The Chicago Tribune reports: “After 14 fishing outings, the President has failed to catch a single fish.”
At White House behest, the DEA lures drug dealer to Lafayette Park to make arrest in front of presidential home for the benefit of Bush’s upcoming drug speech. At first, drug dealer is dubious, asks DEA agent, “Where the fuck is the White House?”
Defense secretary nominee John Tower runs into confirmation troubles when it is revealed that he has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees from defense contractors. Runs into more trouble with revelations of womanizing and drinking. His nomination is rejected.
The sale of three communications satellites to China is announced. Prescott Bush is a $250,000 consultant in the deal.
GOP memo is leaked implying that House Speaker Tom Foley is a homosexual.
President Bush signs a top-secret directive ordering closer ties with Iraq, which opens the way for $1 billion in new aid just a little more than a year before Bush goes to war against that country. The agricultural credit allows Saddam Hussein to use his hard currency for a massive military buildup.
A second judge concurs that the government stole Inslaw’s software.
The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published by the US government, reports that the GNP of East Germany during the 1980s was greater than that of West Germany. The figures come from the CIA.
Bahrain officials suddenly break off offshore drilling negotiations with Amoco and decide to deal with Harken Energy, George Bush Jr.’s firm. Harken has had a series of failed ventures and no cash, so the Bass brothers are brought in to finance Harken’s efforts at a cost of $50 million.
Neil Bush bails out of JNB Exploration, the firm where he became president with a $100 ante, leaving his partners to worry about its debt. Days earlier he forms Apex Energy with a personal investment of $3000. The rest of the money — $2.7 million — comes from an SBA program designed to help “high risk start-up companies.” Like JNB, it proves to be just that. Apex will later go belly-up with no assets.
Two months after his father’s inauguration, George W. Bush announces that he and a syndicate of investors have purchased the Texas Rangers. The investors are Edward “Rusty” Rose, Richard Rainwater, Bill DeWitt, Roland Betts (a former Yale frat brother) and Tom Bernstein (Bett’s partner in a film investment concern). While Bush appears to lead the group, Rainwater makes clear that Rose is to control how the business is run. Bush’s stake in the $86 million deal is 2%, financed with a $500,000 loan from a Midland Bank of which he had been a director and $106,000 from other sources. Rainwater and Rose put up 14.2 million, Betts and Bernstein invested about $6 million and the balance comes from smaller investors and loans. Bush will eventually sell his share for $15 million.
Federal regulators give Bush son Neil the mildest possible penalty in the $1 billion failure of the Silverado S&L. The deal is so good that Bush drops his appeal. Among other things, Neil, as a Silverado director, voted to approve over $100 million in loans to his business partners.
January: Bahrain awards exclusive offshore drilling rights to Harken Oil. This is a surprise as Harken is in very shaky financial condition, has never drilled outside of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma and had never drilled undersea at all. The Bass brothers are brought in by Harken for sufficient equity to proceed with the effort. Harken’s stock price increases from $4.50 to $5.50.
George W. Bush sells two-thirds of his Harken Energy stock at the top of the market for $850,000, a 200% profit, but makes no report to the SEC until March 1991. Bush Jr. says later the SEC misplaced the report. An SEC representative responds: “nobody ever found the ‘lost’ filing.” One week after Bush’s sale, Harken reports an earnings plunge. Harken stock falls more than 60%. Bush uses most of the proceeds to pay off the bank loan he had taken a year earlier to finance his portion of the Texas Rangers deal.
August: Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait. Harken’s stock price drops substantially. Two months after Bush sells his stock, Harken posts losses for the 2nd quarter of well over $20 million and is shares fall another 24 %, by year end Harken is trading at $1.25. Bush has insisted that he did not know about the firm’s mounting losses and that his stock sell-off was approved by Harken’s general counsel.
George W. Bush is asked by Carlyle Group to serve on the board of directors of Caterair, one of the nation’s largest airline catering services which it had acquired in 1989. The offer is arranged by Fred Malek, long time Bush associate who is then an advisor to Carlyle.
October: Arlington, Texas Mayor Richard Greene signs a contract that guarantees $135 million toward the new Texas Ranger Stadium’s estimate price of $190 million. The Rangers put up no cash but finance their share through a ticket surcharge. From the team’s operating revenues, the city will earn a maximum of $5 million annually in rent, no matter how much the Rangers reap from ticket sales and television (a sum that will rise to $100 million a year). Another provision permitts the franchise to buy the stadium after the accumulated rental payments reached a mere $ 60 million. The property acquired so cheaply by the Rangers includes not just a fancy new stadium with a seating capacity of 49,000 but an additional 270 acres of newly valuable land. Legislation is passed and signed that authorizes the Arlington Sports Facilities Development Authority with power to issue bonds and exercise eminent domain over any obstinate landowners. Never before had a Texas municipal authority been given the license to seize the property of a private citizen for the benefit of other private citizens. A recalcitrant Arlington family refuses to sell a 13 acre parcel near the stadium site for half its appraised value. The jury awards more than $4 million to the family.
Fred Malek returns to power with ambassador status to head up planning for the economic summit.
S&L industry is losing money at the rate of $3 million a minute. Bailout chief estimates total cost at $325-500 billion.
Some 200 young soccer players have their games canceled for security reasons because Bush wants to go fishing on the Potomac nearby. Says one seven-year-old player: “We had a tough soccer game and he’s just going fishing. He could play somewhere else.”
Bush brother Jonathan’s east coast brokerage fined in two states for violating laws and Jonathan is barred from public trading in Massachusetts.
Bush’s attorney general, Richard Thornberg, is warned about BCCI but does nothing.
Federal court of appeals throws out the Inslaw case on the grounds that it did not belong in bankruptcy court.
Bush says, “The economy is headed in the right direction.”
Former top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Sununu goes to work for a prominent figure in the BCCI scandal less than a month after leaving the Bush administration. Edward Rogers Jr. signs a $600,000 contract to give legal advice to Sheik Kamal Adham, an ex-Saudi intelligence officer who is being investigated for his role in BCCI’s takeover of First American Bancshares.
The Miami acting US Attorney is allegedly rebuffed by the Justice Department in his efforts to indict BCCI and some of its principal officers on tax fraud charges. Justice Department later denies this occurred.
Danny Casolaro, a reporter investigating the Inslaw story, is found dead in a motel room bathtub, the day after he met a key source. The death was ruled a suicide. Perhaps he is despondent over the loss of his briefcase, which is missing from the room.
George Bush spends three nights in a Houston hotel so he can claim Texas residency. Texas has no income tax.
Neil Bush bails out of Apex Energy after collecting $320,000 in salary plus expenses. Bill Daniels, cable-TV magnate who has been lobbying against regulation of the cable industry, offers Neil a job. According to a representative, he “thought Neil deserved a second chance.”
New York Times reports that three of Bush’s top fundraisers are being sued in connection with bank failures and another pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with an S&L. These men include the GOP national finance chair, vice chair and two co-chairs of the President’s Dinner, which raised $9 million for Republican causes.
Former US Attorney General Elliot Richardson, representing the owners of Inslaw, tells Mother Jones, “I don’t know any case where the government has stonewalled like this.”
First of Harken Energy’s wells off Bahrain comes up dry. George W. Bush takes a leave of absence from the firm to work in his father’s campaign, saying “I don’t want to involve this company in any kind of allegations of conflicts or whatever may arise.”
Village Voice reports that President Bush has taken at least 76 partisan flights during his term, at a cost to the taxpayers of over $6 million.
Nixon’s Jew hunter Fred Malek is back as Bush’s campaign manager.
Campaign sells photo opportunities with the president at a fundraiser for $92,000 each.
Washington, DC, loses $52,000 in taxes because Bush claims to be a Texas resident.
Donald H. Alexander contributes $100,000 to Team 100; shortly thereafter he’s named ambassador to the Netherlands.
Bush says: “I will do what I have to do to be reelected.”
JERRY URBAN, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, JUNE 4, 1992: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network — known as FinCEN — and the FBI are reviewing accusations that entrepreneur James R. Bath guided money to Houston from Saudi investors who wanted to influence US policy under the Reagan and Bush administrations, sources close to the investigations say . . . The federal review stems in part from court documents obtained through litigation by Bill White, a former real estate business associate of Bath . . . White became entangled in a series of lawsuits and countersuits with Bath, who for some six years has prevailed in the courts. . . . In sworn depositions, Bath said he represented four prominent Saudis as a trustee and that he would use his name on their investments. In return, he said, he would receive a 5 percent interest in their deals. Tax documents and personal financial records show that Bath personally had a 5 percent interest in Arbusto ’79 Ltd., and Arbusto ’80 Ltd., limited partnerships controlled by George W. Bush, President Bush’s eldest son. Arbusto means ‘bush’ in Spanish. Bath invested $ 50,000 in the limited partnerships, according to the documents. There is no available evidence to show whether the money came from Saudi interests. George W. Bush’s company, Bush Exploration Co., general partner in the limited partnerships, went through several mergers, eventually evolving into Harken Energy Corp., a suburban Dallas-based company . . . Bush said that to his knowledge, Bath’s investment was from personal funds, and no Saudi money was invested in Arbusto. Bath, 55, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, declined to comment for the record. Spokesmen for FinCEN and the FBI also declined to comment. According to a 1976 trust agreement, drawn shortly after Bush was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Sheik Salem M. Binladen appointed Bath as his business representative in Houston. Binladen, along with his brothers, owns Binladen Brothers Construction, one of the largest construction companies in the Middle East. According to White, Bath told him that he had assisted the CIA in a liaison role with Saudi Arabia since 1976. Bath has previously denied having worked for the CIA . . . Bath received a 5 percent interest in the companies that own and operate Houston Gulf Airport after purchasing it on behalf of Binladen in 1977.
With the new Ranger stadium being readied to open the following spring, George W. Bush announces that he would be running for governor. He is says his campaign theme will be self-reliance and personal responsibility rather than dependence on government.
PBS FRONTLINE: [From a French source] The Saudi authorities’ decision to issue an arrest warrant for Osama bin Laden on 16 May 1993 does not threaten to affect the relationship between the bin Ladens and the royal family. Osama, one of Mohammed’s youngest son, has been known for years for his fundamentalist activities . . . King Fahd’s two closest friends were: Prince Mohammed Ben Abdullah (son of Abdul Aziz’ youngest brother), who died in the early ’80s and whose brother, Khaled Ben Abdullah (an associate of Suleiman Olayan), still has free access to the king; and Salem bin Laden, who died in 1988 . . . Like his father in 1968, Salem died in a 1988 air crash…in Texas. He was flying a BAC 1-11 which had been bought in July 1977 by Prince Mohammed Ben Fahd. The plane’s flight plans had long been at the center of a number of investigations. According to one of the plane’s American pilots, it had been used in October 1980 during secret Paris meetings between US and Iranian emissaries. Nothing was ever proven, but Salem bin Laden’s accidental death revived some speculation that he might have been “eliminated” as an embarrassing witness. In fact, an inquiry was held to determine the exact circumstances of the accident. The conclusions were never divulged . . . There was also a political aspect to Salem bin Laden’s financial activities . . . Salem bin Laden played a role in the US operations in the Middle East and Central America during the ’80s. On his death in 1968, Sheik Mohammed left behind not only an industrial and financial estate but also a progeny made up of no less than 54 sons and daughters, the fruit of a number of marriages . . . Upon Sheik Salem’s death, the leadership of the group passed to his eldest son, Bakr, along with thirteen other brothers who make up the board of the bin Laden group. The most important of these are Hassan,Yeslam and Yehia. Most of these brothers have different mothers and different nationalities as well. Each has his own set of affinities, thus contributing to the group’s international scope. Bakr and Yehia are seen as representatives of the “Syrian group”; Yeslam, of the “Lebanese group”. There is also a “Jordanian group.” Abdul Aziz, one of the youngest brothers, represents the “Egyptian group” and is also manager of the bin Laden group’s Egyptian branch, which employs over 40,000 people. Osama bin Laden is, incidentally, the only brother with a Saudi mother.
George W. Bush is elected Governor of Texas, defeating Ann Richards 53 to 46 %.
The BCCI affair
CARTER, REAGAN, BUSH,
CLINTON, BUSH, AND BCCI
THE GREATEST FINANCIAL scandal in history — the BCCI affair — left American participants virtually untouched. The media covered the scandal poorly even though, according to one investigative journalist, up to a hundred Washington politicians and lawyers might have been criminally liable.
As a result — much like Clinton and the Dixie Mafia — Americans have but the vaguest notion of what happened. In fact, the two stories overlap. And like many contemporary sagas of corruption, the two stories reached deep into both the major parties. In fact, if George W. Bush is elected, we will be entering our fifth consecutive presidential administration (two Democratic and three Republican) with direct ties to leading figures in the biggest financial scandal of all time.
This time line suggests some of the interplay of individuals and parties:
National Bank of Georgia president Bert Lance, whom former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter described as being like a brother and was Carter’s chosen but defeated successor, meets with Jackson Stephens, a Naval Academy classmate of Carter. Stephens Inc. arranges public offering of NBG stock. Stephens would later be described by the New York Post as the man who was to “Clinton what Bert Lance was to candidate Jimmy Carter.”
Both Stephens and Lance help Carter in his race for the White House. Carter uses the NBG corporate plane without disclosing it. Campaign is later fined.
Two Indonesian billionaires come to Arkansas. Mochtar Riady and Liem Sioe Liong are close to Suharto. Riady is looking for an American bank to buy. Riady’s agent is Jackson Stephens.
Lance comes to Washington as director of the Office of Management and Budget. He quickly comes under investigation for his past financial dealings and in September resigns. His lawyer is Clark Clifford, later embroiled in the BCCI case.
Hillary Clinton, the Arkansas governor’s wife, is getting considerable business from Stephens Inc.
George W. Bush begins operations of his oil firm, Arbusto Energy. He assembles several dozen investors in a limited partnership including Dorothy Bush (a friend of BCCI figure Robert Altman), Lewis Lehrman, William Draper, and James Bath, a Houston aircraft broker who bought several planes from Air America, a CIA front. Bath’s firm appears to be owned by Saudi investors. He also was a part-owner of a Houston’s Main Bank, along with a couple of BCCI figures.
Stephens brokers the arrival of BCCI to this country, and steers BCCI’s founder, Hassan Abedi to Bert Lance.
Stephens Inc tries to sell Riady stock in the National Bank of Georgia. The Washington Post quotes a US banker suggesting that Riady is working for Suharto, who is trying to butter up Carter: “They think of this country like a ‘regime’ similar to their own and they just don’t realize that such a ploy wouldn’t work.” There’s no deal. Lance’s bank will eventually be taken over by a BCCI front man — Ghaith Pharaon. Pharaon later sells his bank to First American. Pharaon will be fined $37 million by the Federal Reserve Board and become a fugitive.
Abedi moves to secretly take over First American Bankshares — later the subject of the only BCCI-connected scandal to be prosecuted in the US.
Mochtar Riady and Stephens Inc set up Stephens Finance Ltd. In Hong Kong.
Lance is indicted on charges of violating federal banking laws. Clifford’s partner, Robert Altman, represents Lance who eventually achieves a hung jury.
During this same period, Stephens is, according to Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin in “False Profits,” playing “a crucial role in BCCI’s penetration of the US market.”
Mochtar Riady buys a stake in the Worthen holding company whose assets include the Stephens-controlled Worthen Bank. Price: $16 million. Other Worthen co-owners will eventually include BCCI investor Abdullah Taha Bakhish. Deal handled by C. Joseph Giroir II. Giroir is the Rose law firm chair who hired Hillary Clinton. Giroir will continue to be a deal-maker for the Riadys.
Arkansas state pension funds — deposited in Worthen by Governor Bill Clinton — suddenly lose 15% of their value because of the failure of high risk, short-term investments and the brokerage firm that bought them. The $52 million loss is covered by a Worthen check written by Jack Stephens in the middle of the night, an insurance policy, and the subsequent purchase over the next few months of 40% of the bank by Mochtar Riady. Clinton and Worthen escape a major scandal. Mochtar’s son James comes back to Arkansas to manage Worthen as president.
Worthen is investigated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for improper loans to companies owned by the Riadys and Stephenses.
George W. Bush and partners receive more than $2 million of Harken Energy stock in exchange for a failing oil well operation, which has lost $400,000 in the prior six months. After Bush joins Harken, the largest stock position and a seat on its board is acquired by Harvard Management Company. The Harken board gives Bush $600,000 worth of the company’s publicly traded stock, plus a seat on the board plus a consultancy that pays him up to $120,000 a year. When Harken runs short of cash it hooks up with Jackson Stephens, who arranges a $25 million stock purchase by Union Bank of Switzerland. Sheik Abdullah Bakhsh, who joins the board as a part of the deal, is connected to BCCI.
Stephens’ wife Mary Ann runs George Bush’s campaign in Arkansas. He is a member of Team 100 — individuals who have given $100,000 to the Republican party.
A few days before the supposedly surprise arrest of five BCCI officials, some of the world’s most powerful drug dealers quietly withdraw millions of dollars from the bank. Some government investigators believe the dealers were tipped off by sources within the Reagan administration.
Bahrain officials suddenly break off offshore drilling negotiations with Amoco and decide to deal with Harken Energy, George W. Bush’s firm. Harken has had a series of failed ventures and no cash, so the Bass brothers are brought in to finance Harken’s efforts at a cost of $50 million. Harken’s investment banker is the same firm that helped in BCCI’s acquisition of First American. Among the other BCCI-connected figures that help the deal: Bahrain’s prime minister.
Bush’s attorney general, Richard Thornberg, is warned about BCCI but does nothing.
Stephens Inc gives $100,000 to a Bush dinner committee.
With Stephens, Mochtar Riady buys BCCI’s former Hong Kong subsidiary from its liquidators.
A former top aide to White House Chief of Staff John Sununu goes to work for a prominent figure in the BCCI scandal less than a month after leaving the Bush administration. Edward Rogers Jr. signs a $600,000 contract to give legal advice to Sheik Kamal Adham, an ex-Saudi intelligence officer who is being investigated for his role in BCCI’s takeover of First American Bankshares.
The Miami acting US Attorney is reportedly rebuffed by the Justice Department in his efforts to indict BCCI and some of its principal officers on tax fraud charges. Justice Department later denies this occurred.
Ronald Reagan is introduced at the GOP convention by former senator Paul Laxalt, whose law firm represented BCCI in a drug money case. The chair of the convention, Craig Fuller, has been the number two official of Hill & Knowlton which was involved in the BCCI-First American case. Bush’s campaign press representatives has done PR for a Saudi sheik accused of involvement in the BCCI affair, earning $200,000 in fees in just two months.
Employees of Stephens Inc. give more money to the Clinton campaign than those of any other firm except Goldman, Sachs and the NY law firm of Wilke, Farr & Gallagher.
Stephens’ Worthen Bank gives Clinton a $3.5 million line of credit allowing the cash-strapped candidate to finish the primaries. Little Rock Worldwide Travel provides Clinton with $1 million in deferred billing for his campaign trips. Without the Worthen and Worldwide largess, it is unlikely that the cash-strapped candidate could have survived through the later primaries.
Webster Hubbell, a former Rose law firm partner — although not known for skill in Asian trade matters — goes to work for a Lippo Group affiliate after being forced out of the Clinton administration and before going to jail. Hubbell represented both Worthen and James Riady during the 1980s.
With the settlement of civil fraud charges against Clark Clifford and Robert Altman, the puny and often diverted investigation into the American branch of the BCCI scandal effectively comes to an end. Under the deal, the pair will have to surrender $5 million in stock in First American Bankshares, which had been illegally controlled by BCCI. They will, however, get to keep $10-15 million in proceeds obtained during their tenure as First American attorneys.
The BCCI scandal cheated depositors out of over $10 billion worldwide. Many of these were lower income people now being paid off at 15 and 25 cents on the dollar for damage done by a illegal operation willingly used not only by hundreds of drug dealers and other criminals from various countries but by the intelligence services of five nations (including the CIA) and at least one government, Pakistan, seeking to finance its nuclear weapons development.
Things always moved a little too smoothly in the BCCI investigation, leaving scores of unanswered questions and, so far as can be determined, hardly anyone to blame. One exception, Swaleh Naqvi, BCCI’s number two man, was given a mild sentence — over the objections of Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. He later told prosecutors that he had never explained to Altman and Clifford who really owned First American.
Naqvi’s plea bargain with Justice appeared to have been what the Wall Street Journal called “sweetheart justice.” Said the Journal: “When drugs and money laundering arrive, political corruption cannot be far behind. If we had an explanation of how BCCI got away with its illegal purchase of First American, we could afford to dismiss such ambiguous connections as lawyer-client relationships. But we have no such answer, and are left to speculate why, in the Naqvi plea-bargain, the Justice Department does not seem to be pressing for one.”
The American media has studiously downplayed the story to the end. The New York Times, for example, put the Altman-Clifford settlement on its business page.
But while the story has disappeared not all the characters connected to this saga have. One, for example, is still president and another is ahead in the polls.
[The best book on the BCCI scandal is False Profits]
Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940), nicknamed “The Fighting Quaker” and “Old Gimlet Eye”, was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. By the end of his career he had received 16 medals, five of which were for heroism. He is one of 19 people to twice receive the Medal of Honor, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.
In addition to his military achievements, he served as the Director of Public Safety in Philadelphia for two years and was an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventurism. In his 1935 book War is a Racket, he described the workings of the military-industrial complex and, after retiring from service, became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s.
In 1934 he was involved in a controversy known as the Business Plot when he told a congressional committee that a group of wealthy industrialists had approached him to lead a military coup to overthrow Franklin D. Roosevelt. The individuals that were involved denied the existence of a plot, and the media ridiculed the allegations. The final report of the committee stated that there was evidence that such a plot existed, but no charges were ever filed. The opinion of most historians is that while planning for a coup was not very advanced, wild schemes were discussed.
Allegations of the Business Plot
In November 1934, Butler alleged the existence of a political conspiracy of Wall Street interests to overthrow President Roosevelt, a series of allegations that came to be known in the media as the Business Plot. A special committee of the House of Representatives headed by Representatives John W. McCormack of Massachusetts and Samuel Dickstein of New York, who was later revealed to have been a paid agent of the NKVD, heard his testimony in secret. The McCormack-Dickstein committee was a precursor to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
In November 1934, Butler told the committee that a group of businessmen, saying they were backed by a private army of 500,000 ex-soldiers and others, intended to establish a fascist dictatorship. Butler had been asked to lead it, he said, by Gerald P. MacGuire, a bond salesman with Grayson M–P Murphy & Co. The New York Times reported that Butler had told friends that General Hugh S. Johnson, a former official with the National Recovery Administration, was to be installed as dictator. Butler said MacGuire had told him the attempted coup was backed by three million dollars, and that the 500,000 men were probably to be assembled in Washington, D.C. the following year. All the parties alleged to be involved, including Johnson, said there was no truth in the story, calling it a joke and a fantasy.
In its report, the committee stated that it was unable to confirm Butler’s statements other than the proposal from MacGuire, which it considered more or less confirmed by MacGuire’s European reports. No prosecutions or further investigations followed, and historians have questioned whether or not a coup was actually close to execution, although most agree that some sort of “wild scheme” was contemplated and discussed. The news media initially dismissed the plot, with a New York Times editorial characterizing it as a “gigantic hoax”. When the committee’s final report was released, the Times said the committee “purported to report that a two-month investigation had convinced it that General Butler’s story of a Fascist march on Washington was alarmingly true” and “… also alleged that definite proof had been found that the much publicized Fascist march on Washington, which was to have been led by Major. Gen. Smedley D. Butler, retired, according to testimony at a hearing, was actually contemplated”.
The McCormack-Dickstein Committee confirmed some of Butler’s accusations in its final report. “In the last few weeks of the committee’s official life it received evidence showing that certain persons had made an attempt to establish a fascist organization in this country…There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned, and might have been placed in execution when and if the financial backers deemed it expedient.” [n 1][n 2]