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Bush, Looting Fed Banks

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  • WMR  May 8-10, 2009 -- Was Clan Bush involved in looting of other Federal Reserve Banks?  ...   There is additional information to report on the Treasury Note that is secured by $250 billion in gold (2500 metric tons) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. After the sudden resignation of New York Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Stephen Friedman, a one-time top economic adviser to President George W. Bush and someone who apparently profited from the government's bailout of Goldman Sachs while he served as both Chairman of the New York Fed and as a board member for Goldman Sachs, the entire Federal Reserve Bank system appears to be involved in a massive ploy to loot the United States of its gold and cash reserves.    ...   On May 5, 2009, WMR reported: "According to WMR's sources, the FBI and London police are working together on a case that involved a $250 billion U.S. Treasury Note seized by the FBI from a London safety deposit box company, London Safe Deposit Company, Ltd. The box was reportedly placed at the London firm by self-described 20-year CIA veteran Robert Booth Nichols, who reportedly died in Geneva, Switzerland on February 14, 2009.   ...   A heart attack was believed to have been the cause of death but there was a blow to Nichols's head. A 'friend' of Nichols, a New York stockbroker who was reportedly helping Booth move a large sum of cash, bonds and gold in Geneva, arranged for a quick cremation of Nichols's body and the U.S. embassy in Bern was notified.   ...   The T-Note is reportedly secured by 2500 metric tons of gold at the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta."   ...   The scheme involving the Atlanta Fed T-Note, according to court papers filed in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of New York, involves the jailed former chairman of the collapsed Bayou hedge fund, Samuel Israel III, and a first cousin of George W. Bush, former Fox News political adviser John P. Ellis.   ...   The Treasury Note in question is not the only one in existence that is involved with the massive money movement operation out of the United States. Sources tell WMR that there are two additional Treasury Notes, each for an equal amount of money in gold reserves as the note secure by 2500 metric tons of gold at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. They are Treasury Notes drawn on 2500 metric tons at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago and 2500 metric tons of gold at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Together, the gold in question is worth $750 billion in U.S. gold reserves, ironically about equal to the sum of money allocated by the administration for the bailout of Wall Street and the banks.   ...  There is additional information and documents on the attempted $250 billion U.S. Federal Reserve heist found at this blog. The current malfeasance found within the Federal Reserve system can be traced back to the administration of George H. W. Bush.   
  • Bloomberg    "Bayou's Israel Was Cheated in Scam, Investigator Says     By David Glovin and Bob Van Voris    ...   July 15 (Bloomberg) -- As Samuel Israel grew desperate to raise money in 2004 to save his Bayou Group LLC hedge fund firm, he turned for help to a Hawaii man who promised a windfall and then conned him out of $10 million, said a U.K. investigator.   ...   Robert Booth Nichols cheated Israel, later convicted in his own $400 million theft, in a ``prime bank'' fraud, a scheme used by con-artists promising quick riches in secret markets, the U.K. investigator said in a document filed in June in federal court in New York. U.S. prosecutors seeking to recover funds for Bayou investors won a British judge's ruling in November freezing $1 million Nichols held there, and they may be pursuing millions more in Singapore, Nichols's lawyer said.   ...   ``Israel was defrauded,'' wrote Stephen Annis, an investigator in the U.K.'s Assets Recovery Agency. Nichols, who Annis said was under investigation by U.S. prosecutors as of November, ``benefited from his criminal conduct.''   ...    Israel hid losses from Bayou investors before his fund collapsed in 2005. He pleaded guilty and is now in prison after faking suicide and jumping bail to avoid a 20-year sentence. Prosecutors and Bayou's bankruptcy estate have sued to recover funds for investors who lost $250 million.   ...   Bayou's lawyers asked a bankruptcy judge yesterday to order 33 investors to return $89 million. They said the payouts were fraudulent transfers under bankruptcy law and that the hedge funds and individuals who received the money should have seen the ``red flags'' of fraud. The estate has already recovered $30 million.   ...    Bayou Lawsuit   ...   Separately, Bayou is suing Nichols, who once claimed to have worked for the CIA, and his wife, Ellen, and U.S. prosecutors are pursuing their assets. Annis's statement, written Nov. 13, 2007, as part of a U.S. bid to freeze Nichols's U.K. account, was filed last month in Bayou's New York lawsuit against Nichols.   ...    ``This is the investors' money,'' Ross Intelisano, a lawyer who represents 20 Bayou investors, said of the funds given to Nichols. Gary Mennitt, a lawyer for the bankruptcy estate of Stamford, Connecticut-based Bayou, declined to comment.   ...   Nichols, 65, denies wrongdoing and seeks to retain the $1 million. He said in court papers that he helped Israel invest in a legitimate, though unspecified ``project'' involving U.S. government obligations. Nichols said he had no reason to believe Israel was engaged in fraud.   ...   ``He was asked to find something, and he found it,'' Nichols's lawyer, Joseph Bainton, said in an interview, declining to elaborate. ``There are very few people capable of performing this service, for which he was paid a lump sum of $10 million.''   ...   `Suicide Is Painless'    Israel, whose sentence in April included a $300 million fine, faces 10 additional years in prison for jumping bail. On June 9, the day he was to report to prison, his car was found on a bridge north of New York City with the words ``suicide is painless'' written in the windshield dust. On July 2, he surrendered to police in Massachusetts.   ...   In 1998, Bayou's finance chief, Daniel Marino, and co- founder James Marquez created a sham accounting firm to serve as the fund's auditor rather than report modest setbacks. Israel admitted he led a years-long fraud as losses grew.    ...   By 2004, with their fraud unraveling, Israel and Marino were ``desperate'' for cash and began searching for high-payout, short-term investments, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which sued the pair in 2005.   ...   `Investment Scams'   ...   ``Israel sought to invest in a series of `prime bank instrument trading programs' in Europe,'' the SEC said in its lawsuit. ``These program, which themselves are an enduring staple among fraudulent investment scams, required that large sums of money be sent to various foreign and domestic banks.''    ....   In most such scams, con artists claim to have access to a secret trading market among top banks, or prime banks, where they buy notes, guarantees or debentures at a discount, yielding high returns for investors with no risk.   ...   ``In reality, no such instruments or market exists,'' Annis, the U.K. investigator, said.    ...   According to Annis, Israel turned to Nichols, who in a 1993 lawsuit claimed to have worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for 20 years. Nichols was also the target of a 1987 probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of organized crime in the entertainment industry, the Hollywood Reporter said in 1993. Bainton said he's unaware of charges being filed against Nichols.   ...   Nichols claimed to have experience with prime bank investments, Annis said. Israel traveled in April 2004 to London, where two people referred by Nichols told him the investment was safe, Annis said.   ...   Money Transfers   ...   On Nichols's instruction, Israel moved $120 million through accounts in Europe and North America, and ultimately $100 million in Bayou funds made its way into a Wachovia Bank account in New Jersey, the SEC said. In May 2005, the Arizona Attorney General seized the money after concluding it was related to fraud. The $100 million will go to Bayou investors.    ...   Also in 2004, Nichols told Israel he needed a short-term loan he'd repay with his share of their ``extraordinary profits,'' Annis wrote. Israel advanced Nichols $10 million, of which $1.06 million ended up in the U.K. account -- money now frozen by the U.S. That year, Nichols fabricated a document that made it appear as if the $10 million was a fee for services, Annis said.   ...    Nichols ``has shown he is capable of setting up and operating a large-scale fraudulent enterprise,'' Annis wrote.    ...   President's Cousin   ...   Nichols said in court papers that he believed the investment was on behalf of Israel personally, that Nichols was told his services ``involved matters of national interest,'' and that a first cousin of President Bush, John P. Ellis, vouched for the legitimacy of the transaction. Nichol said the deal required him to contact representatives of foreign governments that he knew, according to court documents.   ...    Bainton wouldn't elaborate on the investment's ``national interest.''    ...   ``Mr. Ellis attended some meetings and gave Mr. Nichols some assurance with respect to the approval of the United States,'' Bainton said. Ellis worked at GH Venture Partners in 2004, Nichols said.    ...  ``These allegations are ridiculous, and I categorically deny them,'' Ellis said in a phone interview.   ...   Traveling   ...   Nichols has homes in Hawaii and California, according to court papers and public records. A woman answering the phone at Nichols' California home, who said her name was Eleanor, said Nichols and his wife were traveling.   ...   Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia in New York, declined to comment, as did Israel's lawyer, Barry Bohrer.    ...   U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon on July 3 said she was doubtful the money paid to Nichols came just from Israel. She said she ``has not yet been apprised of any money'' in Israel's pocket ``that did not actually belong to Bayou.''   Israel, who cooperated with prosecutors after he pleaded guilty in 2005, claims he was duped. In a legal brief filed on his behalf before sentencing, Bohrer wrote, ``Sam Israel is the victim of fraud.'' Other details in the brief are redacted.   ...   The criminal case is U.S. v. Israel, 05cr1039, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).   ...   The bankruptcy case is In re Bayou Group LLC, 06-22306, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District New York (White Plains).   ...    To contact the reporters on this story: David Glovin in Manhattan federal court at dglovin@bloomberg.net; Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net;   video
  • LATimes  Trial Offers Murky Peek Into World of Intrigue : Testimony: Presenting himself as a CIA operative, a mystery man sues the LAPD for alleged false arrest that he says cost him his gun permit and millions of dollars. March 21, 1993|HENRY WEINSTEIN and PAUL FELDMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITERS Email Share A tale of international intrigue is unfolding in a tiny Burbank courtroom where a San Fernando Valley man is seeking damages from the Los Angeles Police Department for allegedly ruining a multimillion-dollar deal to sell a high-tech, hand-held machine gun to foreign governments.    ... While most police abuse cases center on beatings or bullets, the Burbank trial focuses on the credibility of Robert Booth Nichols, a mysterious figure whose name first surfaced in a late 1980s FBI investigation of alleged mob penetration into the entertainment industry.   ...  Again, last year, his name surfaced in a House Judiciary Committee report on possible malfeasance in the Justice Department during the Reagan era. The report also linked Nichols to an aborted business venture at the Cabazon Indian Reservation in Indio which, he said on the witness stand, dealt with the manufacture of machine guns to sell to the Nicaraguan Contras.    By taking the city to court for false arrest, Nichols, 50, could earn a multimillion-dollar damage award. But the lawsuit, stemming from a 1986 incident at The Palomino nightclub in North Hollywood, has also served to draw Nichols out of the shadows and onto the witness stand under oath for the first time.    ...  Nichols says the Police Department caused him to lose his concealed weapon permit, which in turn cost him financing to manufacture the machine gun.    ...   Nichols, who served as a technical adviser on anti-terrorism and had a bit part in the recent Hollywood blockbuster "Under Siege," is a mustachioed 6-foot, 3-inch man who is often described as a Clark Gable look-alike. Beyond that, opinions about him sharply diverge.    ... During four days of frequently heated testimony last week, Nichols presented himself as a dashing, globe-trotting businessman and intelligence operative. Armed with letters on White House stationery and snapshots of himself posing with foreign political and military dignitaries, Nichols told jurors that he toiled quietly and selflessly for nearly two decades on behalf of shadowy CIA keepers in more than 30 nations from Central America to Southeast Asia.    ...   However, a far different portrait of Nichols was painted by Assistant City Atty. Robert Seeman, who is fighting to save the city from a major payout for damages.    ...   Seeking to portray Nichols as a phony, Seeman got Nichols to admit on the stand that he is not certain that the people who paid him for his "intelligence work" were employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Seeman also sought to discredit Nichols' stature as an entrepreneur by drawing out testimony that Nichols has never sold a gun nor made a penny of profit from his firms' business ventures.    ...   A CIA spokesman, in a telephone interview, would not comment on whether Nichols was employed or affiliated with the agency.    ...   Nichols came under suspicion by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of international money laundering in 1978, according to a 1987 federal court wiretapping affidavit. The affidavit, prepared by FBI Agent Thomas G. Gates, states that "FBI investigative files further reveal that Nichols may have been associated with the Gambino LCN (organized crime) family in New York City."    ...   Nichols has never been indicted and has sued Gates for defamation. But his lawsuit has been dismissed twice in federal court.    ...  More recently, Nichols became the subject of public scrutiny in the wake of the mysterious August, 1991, death of Washington investigative reporter Danny Casolaro.   ...   Ads by Google Be on 1st Page $10/day Pay Nothing Until After You Are On The 1st Page! Top10SEO.com Submit Your Website Free Drive Traffic to Your Website. Submit Your Site And Get Leads Now. Manta.com/Website_Submission   ...   A House Judiciary Committee report released in September said Nichols had frequent contact with Casolaro just before the journalist, who was probing a web of conspiracies ranging from the Iran-Contra affair to alleged Justice Department skulduggery, was found with his wrists slashed in a West Virginia motel room.   ...  The report, titled "The INSLAW Affair," said the Justice Department had failed to adequately investigate charges that high-level officials had stolen and misused a private firm's sophisticated computer software designed to help track criminals. The report also called for further investigation into Casolaro's death, which was declared a suicide by West Virginia officials.    ...   Nichols acknowledged to committee investigators that he had spoken to Casolaro often and served as a sounding board for him, but would not provide a sworn statement to the House committee.    ...   There has been no discussion about the INSLAW case or Casolaro in the Burbank courtroom. But in four days of testimony, Nichols has provided a colorful, complex and often conflicting portrait of his past.   ...  The trial, which enters its second week of testimony Monday, stems from a 1986 incident in which Nichols, armed with a concealed pistol, was taken into custody by Los Angeles police at The Palomino.
  • DailyBeast  ‘Octopus Murders’ Review: Sam Israel, the Ponzi Schemer Who Got Duped Jun 30, 2012 4:45 AM EDT Bayou Hedge Fund founder Sam Israel, frantic to deliver the returns he promised to investors, was taken in by a crazy scheme involving the Rothschilds and a ‘secret market,’ Guy Lawson writes in ‘Octopus.’   ...  Octopus: Sam Israel, The Secret Market and Wall Street’s Wildest Con by Guy Lawson 368 pp. Crown. $26. (Adam Rountree / AP Photos) If you dig movies about cons, like Catch Me If You Can, The Sting, and The Spanish Prisoner you will blow through Octopus, Guy Lawson’s deftly and enthusiastically told tale of Sam Israel and the Bayou hedge fund fraud. If you think you know all about Ponzi schemes and have had enough, you don’t know the whole story. The Israel caper is the best real-life scam story since Ivar Kreuger convinced post-World War I America he had loaned money to Europe’s broken governments in exchange for monopoly rights to sell matches on the continent.    ...   When Israel’s trading prowess failed to deliver the returns he had promised his investors, he lied about them and hoped to make up the losses later. While he faced few redemptions, there were no problems and for a while, he had an easy time raising capital. The hapless Wilpon family, which owns the New York Mets, even invested in Bayou to diversify the risks of its investments with Bernie Madoff. Israel’s scam was the familiar tale of a life that became a bigger lie that became a Ponzi scheme. It’s the scam that Israel fell for that is truly outrageous.    ...   Desperate to make enough money to cover his promises, cover-over his lies, and salvage his reputation, a stressed-out Israel turned to a man named Robert Booth Nichols, who claimed to be a CIA “asset” and all-around international man of mystery. Lawson leaves it to us to decide whether Nichols had any role in covert operations. Handily for scam artists, Lawson points out, the CIA doesn’t confirm or deny claims of this sort. On the other hand, Lawson did find high-ranking military sources who knew the man, though they tended to regard him as a blowhard.    ...   Nichols told Israel about a fantastic conspiracy of 13 families—including the Rothschilds, a conspiracy theory favorite—who control world finances through a secret “shadow market,” of bonds issued, at their direction, by central banks like the U.S. Federal Reserve. The scam works like this: bonds are issued and sold at a discount to certain selected financial institutions and secret wealthy traders. These bonds can then be sold at face value to people outside the loop. The guaranteed returns are split between the lucky trader and the cabal that runs the world, which uses its part of the proceeds to maintain global confusion and, to some extent, stability through charitable projects.    ...   Israel’s guilt and desperation had left him mentally vulnerable to the wildest of conspiratorial fantasies. Fraud followers will recognize this as a “prime bank” scam, of the type usually used to ensnare Florida retirees. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission even maintains a page devoted to prime bank frauds.    ...   “‘I kept asking myself if it was all a con,” Israel told Lawson. “I was with Bob all the time. I saw everything that he saw. I knew how hard it was to keep up a fraud.”    ...   Israel’s guilt and desperation had left him mentally vulnerable to the wildest of conspiratorial fantasies. But those weren’t the only causes of his belief. Israel comes from an influential New Orleans family, which had long participated in the global commodities trade. He grew up with connections in both finance and politics and knew well the advantages of private dealings with people of power. Also, Israel is a distant Rothschild, on his mother’s side.    ...    When Israel tried to make a name for himself on Wall Street in the 1980s, he was trained by master traders of inside information who, in the days when trades were comparatively slower, used their non-public information of mutual fund buys and sells, as well as takeover information, to make quick profits. Israel was taught from the start that the investments were rigged to favor highly networked cheaters.    ...   A final reason that he likely believed in the scam was that Nichols, now dead, seems to have believed his own story. Even while Nichols took Israel for $10 million of Bayou’s money—in exchange for a supposedly poison-rigged case of Federal Reserve bonds issued to fund China’s Chang Kei Shek attempt to resist Japan’s invasion—the con man seemed to believe that he needed the trader’s prowess to access the shadow bond market, where they could score real dough.    ...   The one thing Nichols didn’t know was that Israel’s trading skills had been exaggerated.   ...   In April 2008, after years of continually putting Bayou’s assets at risk of being stolen by a network of people that Nichols said could help them access the shadow market (at a few points, all of the money was almost absconded with), Israel was convicted of running Bayou as a Ponzi scheme and sentenced to 22 years in prison. Two months later he faked his suicide and attempted to run, only to give up when the police arrested his girlfriend, charging her with aiding his escapade.    ...   In prison, Israel is still victim to the con. Though the Fed declared them clever frauds, he wants his Federal Reserve bonds back, he is convinced that he killed a man in Europe (long story, Lawson says it was staged), and he thinks he knows who really killed John F. Kennedy. Because what conspiracy is complete without that? Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.    ...   Michael Maiello is a New York–based columnist, performer, author, and playwright. He has written for Forbes, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Newsweek. He is currently a columnist for The Daily.
  • MJR Planet Triple Murder Case - The Octopus Murders, Rancho Mirage My dad was murdered along with two friends- This is what it's like when you're involved in exposing high level corruption- www.desertfae.com for evidence, blog, and more. music- Let The Towers Shake! Music: Jade Leary- profile.myspace.com magnatunes.com ... desertfae murder unsolved Michael Riconosciuto INSLAW octopus cabazon Ted Gunderson Sid Seimer Virginia McCullough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjnhRnaevU0 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEPJPdnP5YM&feature=related  1981-2005 Octopus Murders, Rancho Mirage, 2009 Updates on suspects

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3kbikyxrpg&feature=related 

    For 28 years Rachel Begley has waited for the murderer(s) of her father, Ralph Boger, 42, Fred Alvarez, 32, vice-chairman of the Cabazon Indian Tribal Council, and Patricia Castro, 44, to be brought to justice. For three of those years, Begley actively investigated the execution-style triple slaying while gathering documents and secretly taping interviews with suspects and placing them on her website: http://desertfae.com/indexnonplain.htm   ... The executions took place on June 30, 1981 while Alvarez, Boger and Castro relaxed in the back patio of Alvarez’s rented home on Bob Hope Drive in Rancho Mirage, California. The three victims each were shot with a single .38 caliber bullet to the head, according to an autopsy report. There were no visible signs of a struggle. Their bodies were discovered on July 1 by former tribal chairman Joe Benitez and Cabazon member William Callaway.    ...   The two male victims, along with Benitez and Callaway, were scheduled to meet at 10 A.M. on July 1 with Steve Rios, an attorney in San Juan Capistrano, to initiate an investigation of Cabazon tribal affairs, according to the Indio Daily News dated 7-1-81.    ...   Victims Alvarez and Boger had previously divulged their findings to the Daily News, currently known as the Desert Sun, asserting to the reporter that they were marked for death, but their story never got published.    ...   The Indio Daily News did report the subsequent killings of Alvarez, Boger and Castro however. Staff writer Paul Zalis wrote that Indio City Manager Phillip Hawes confirmed that William Cole, a Los Angeles-based attorney, had been hired to investigate possible links between the triple slayings and the Cabazon Casino.    ...    Cole said his office was coordinating efforts with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in investigating the murders. He noted that “sheriff’s deputies had confiscated papers from the Alvarez home and he expected officials to turn those over to his office.”    ...   “Detective Gordon Hunter said the sheriff’s department was ‘investigating leads’ into the Alvarez slayings, but said he had no ‘knowledge’ of whether deputies had confiscated any of Alvarez’s papers,” wrote Zalis.    ...    Alvarez’s mother, Phyllis, told the Indio Daily News that “she believed the murders were the result of a ‘Mafia contract.’ She also said her son was killed because he was trying to get the Cabazon Casino shut down.”    ...   Rachel Begley was 13 years old when her father, Ralph Boger, and his friends were murdered. She never gave up hope that the killers would be prosecuted, and consistently prodded local jurisdictions over a span of years to get the case re-opened. Her efforts were rewarded when a Detective at the Riverside Sheriff’s department was assigned to the cold-case file in 2007.    ...   Today, their respective findings resemble the stuff of spy novels, comprised of all the malevolent dynamics of clandestine government agents and organized crime figures involved in murder, money laundering and covert arms deals while exploiting Indian sovereignty (independent of most U.S. laws) at the Cabazon reservation.    ...    The triple murders still remain officially unsolved and arrest warrants have been withheld by the Deputy Attorney General, California Department of Justice, despite the fact that multiple witnesses have been substantiated and one suspect has confessed his involvement and admitted he was a “hitman.”    ...   The triple-homicide case was originally investigated by Deputy Attorney General Sanford Feldman and Special Agent Frank E. Brock respectively, both from the special investigations unit of the state Department of Justice, San Diego, California. Decades later, the same DOJ office is again stalling while the window of opportunity for arrests of the perps is rapidly closing.    ...   Rachel Begley has withheld her story awaiting approval of arrest warrants from the DOJ. But now it appears prosecution is not on the horizon, possibly due to the complexities and magnitude of the case. If the warrants are not forthcoming, Begley is prepared to go public. For over a year she has promised Emmy Award winning journalist Nathan Baca at KESQ-TV in Palm Desert exclusivity to the unpublished details of the story. Baca is calling it “The Octopus Murders.” ~~~~~~~~~~    ...   On the tenth anniversary of the triple-murders, Barbara Clark, the aunt of Fred Alvarez, sent a 4-page letter to the Cabazon Nation in Indio. The letter was dated June 28, 1991.    ...   Clark wrote that her nephew, Fred Alvarez, had visited with her in Truckee, California two weeks prior to his death. While they ate breakfast she said Fred discussed things that were going on at the Cabazon reservation, such as “dealings with the Contras, plans for weapons sales, and mismanagement of the tribal business.”    ...   Fred told his aunt that he planned to meet with an attorney “to get everything documented.” He added that “the management of the tribal business wanted him out of the way --- He knew they had placed a contract out on him, and he even knew who the hit man was.” Clark didn’t ask the name of the hit man because she didn’t take Fred seriously at the time.    ...   Clark, who is a Native American member of the Maidu Indian Nation/Pitt River in Northern California, wrote that a year after her nephew’s murder, a woman came to the delicatessen that she managed and mentioned that she was from Rancho Mirage. Clark noted that her nephew had been murdered there. As the conversation progressed, Clark said the woman told her, “Oh! I knew that the big Indian was going to be killed two weeks before he was killed.”    ...   The woman explained that her boyfriend’s sister had been dating a “high roller” in Palm Springs who talked about the upcoming murder of the “big Indian.” Clark provided the information to the California Attorney General’s office, and was subsequently informed by investigators from the DOJ that the “high roller” was John Paul Nichols, Jr.   ...   Clark said she flew to Riverside to testify before a Grand Jury, noting that it was about the same time that John Philip Nichols, Sr. was being charged with solicitation of murder of five other men. Clark wrote that “the Grand Jury failed to act on the evidence at hand – she was told later by a reliable source that there were too many big names involved, and the case was to be dropped. The case was then closed.”    ...   ~~~~~~~~~~   ...  The public background to the story begins with the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, located 25 miles east of Palm Springs, California. According to public historical data, on May 15, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant issued an executive order which officially created the Cabazon Reservation, consisting of 2,400 acres over three parcels of desert (later reduced to 1,700 acres).    ...  After more than a century in the desert, the tribal nation began blazing the path for Native American gaming in California. http://www.indiangaming.com/istore/Dec08_Cabazon.pdf 

    According to a San Francisco Chronicle article entitled, “Tiny California Tribe’s Huge Clout,” dated September 4, 1991, in 1980 a rundown warehouse was transformed into the “Cabazon Indian Casino,” the first Indian card room in the nation. Tommy Marson, described in congressional hearings as a known associate of the Gambino crime family, “lent the Cabazon tribal administrator, John Philip Nichols, $50,000 to start the casino, according to Nichols’ son, John Paul. The manager of the casino was Rocco Zangari, a former bookie later indicted on racketeering charges.”    ...   Citing local ordinances forbidding gambling, Indio police staged a series of raids on the casino in 1981, but Cabazon lawyers fought back, winning a court injunction that not only prohibited local law enforcement from interfering with gambling activities on the reservation, but ultimately led to a Supreme Court ruling on February 25, 1987 that neither the State of California nor Riverside County could regulate the bingo and card game operations of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. This landmark case, known as the “Cabazon Decision,” made them the first tribe in California to establish non-regulated gaming and resulted in the creation of the Indian gaming industry. The Cabazon tribe had established high-stakes bingo that same year, in 1987.    ...   The National Indian Gaming Commission was subsequently established pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. http://www.nigc.gov/ The purpose of NIGC is to “shield Indian tribes from organized crime and other corrupting influences; to ensure that Indian tribes are the primary beneficiaries of gaming revenue; and to assure that gaming is conducted fairly ---“ Today, there are fewer than 55 members of the Cabazon Band. http://www.fantasyspringsresort.com/cbmi/index.html  As owners and operators of Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, the Cabazon tribe oversees the 12-story, 250-room hotel, Vegas-style casino with nearly 2,000 slots, 40 table games, an off-track betting room, and virtual poker room as well as five restaurants.    ..   The darker, more obscure aspects of this success story bubbled to the surface in 1980 when Fred Alvarez, vice-chairman of the Cabazon Indian Tribal Council, wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan outlining criminal enterprises that he had uncovered at the reservation. All copies of the letter disappeared after his murder, but a response, signed personally by Ronald Reagan, dated October 6, 1980 was subsequently found in which Reagan said he found Alvarez’s comments to be “very interesting.”    ...   Authorities explain that the cash nature of Indian gaming made it an ideal business to launder money. That same lack of accountability made it easy for an outside management company to skim the vast majority of an operation’s income. “Someone will come in and manage the operation, when in fact the purpose is to skim the profits,” said one FBI supervisor.    ...   Reagan was elected president of the United States the following year, in November 1981, five months after the Alvarez, Boger, Castro triple homicide occurred. With all resistance eliminated at the Cabazon reservation, it marked the beginning of government exploitation of the tiny band of Indians when “outside management” in the form of Cabazon tribal administrator John Philip Nichols formed a joint venture with Wackenhut International, a Florida-based security firm run by former FBI, CIA, NSA and military officials.    ...   Police reports indicate that Nichols previously did business in Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, the Netherlands, England, Canada, France, Spain, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. In 1960 Nichols became the manager of a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Sao Paolo, Brazil, then he became a Pentecostal leader of the Chilean Pentecostal movement and attended several evangelical and gospel congresses in Bolivia.    ...   When Nichols was hired in 1978, he wrote himself a 10-year contract with the Cabazon tribe that gave him 50 percent of the profits of any business he brought to the reservation. In the summer of 1980 and during the next three years, Nichols embarked on a series of international security and military ventures to provide security for Crown Prince Fahd’s Saudi Arabia palace, proposals to manufacture 120mm combustible cartridge cases on the reservation and in Latin America, along with 9mm machine pistols, laser-sighted assault weapons, sniper rifles and portable rocket systems. At one point he even sought a contract to develop biological weapons on the reservation.    ...   In January 1985, John Philip Nichols was arrested for hiring a man to solicit the murder of five people, but the murders were not carried out due to his arrest. He was convicted of felony murder solicitation. (While serving 18 months in the California Institution for Men in Chino, John Philip Nichols’ son, John Paul Nichols, took over his position as acting administrator of the Cabazon tribe. In 1989, Mark Nichols inherited the position of administrator from his brother, John Paul Nichols).    ...   A Los Angeles Times article entitled, “Indian’s Aide Held in Alleged Slaying Plot,” dated January 19, 1985 reported that Indio Police Capt. Carl Kennedy was unable to connect the murder-for-hire proposal leading to Nichols’ arrest with the unsolved July, 1981 execution murders of Fred Alvarez, Ralph Boger, and Patricia Castro in Rancho Mirage.   ..   “The killings were investigated without success by the Riverside County Sheriff’s office,” according to the Times, “but official interest in the murders was renewed last year when Jimmy Hughes, a 27-year-old ex-Army Ranger, told authorities that he had been the payoff man in the Alvarez case.”    ...   “Hughes, security director of the Cabazon band’s casino and bingo operations for four years until early 1984, reported that he had been instructed in John Philip] Nichols’ presence to take $25,000 to the mountain community of Idyllwild in the summer of 1981 and give the money to a man there as partial payment for the Alvarez killings.”   ...   The Los Angeles Times further reported that the Riverside County sheriff’s office and the state Department of Justice initiated an investigation, but after months without announced results, Jimmy] Hughes went public with his information in October 1984, then fled the country.    ...   Indio Police Chief Curtis R. “Sam” Cross, who worked on the murder-solicitation case against John Philip Nichols, told the Press Enterprise in Riverside, California in March 1985 that he sent a letter to Rep. Jim Bates, D-San Diego, requesting a congressional investigation of the Cabazon Indians’ business ventures.    ...   Nothing ever came of all the investigations in the 1980’s.    ...   Despite all the allegations set forth over the years, Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, refused to intercede in Cabazon affairs, noting, “ --- By solemn treaty with the Indian tribes, recently affirmed by President Bush, we must treat Native Americans as sovereign nations.”    ...   In 1991 a series of events, including the death of Washington D.C. investigative journalist Danny Casolaro on August 10th, brought the Cabazon-related triple homicide back into national scrutiny. Casolaro had been preparing to visit Indio to investigate the Cabazon/Wackenhut connections to a cabal of spooks, arms dealers, drugs and organized crime figures which he dubbed “The Octopus.”   ...   A San Francisco Chronicle article entitled, “Tiny California Tribe’s Huge Clout,” dated September 4, 1991, best summarized the failure of the justice system at every level to unlock the mystery of Cabazon’s forbidden secrets. Reporter Jonathan Littman mused: “In all, federal and state agencies have helped] to finance nearly $250 million worth of projects on the 1,700-acre reservation. That is particularly impressive in light of the tribe’s size – the entire Cabazon population numbers no more than 30.    ...    “To observers in and out of government, these undertakings pose an obvious question: How did a tiny band of Indians, one of the smallest in the nation, give rise to a multimillion-dollar network whose influence reaches into all quarters of the U.S. government?    ...   “The answer lies in a maze of politicians, military officers, organized-crime figures, intelligence agents, foreign officials ranging from Saudi sheiks to Nicaraguan Contras – and John Philip Nichols, a globe-trotting evangelical social worker with an uncanny ability to win federal grants, who once served 18 months in state prison for solicitation to commit murder.    ...   “Although the full story of the Cabazon reservation is still unfolding, there are indications that this network reaches far beyond the borders of the tribe’s land.”    ...   Perhaps this is what Rachel Begley is up against as she awaits news from the California Department of Justice whether arrest warrants will be forthcoming for the murderer(s) of her father. The Detective at the Riverside Sheriff’s Department did his job, he solved the case. It’s now up to the DOJ to bring justice to the victims and their families, as well as closure to the dozens of investigators who worked the case during the past 28 years.     -END- 

 
July 15 (Bloomberg) -- As Samuel Israel grew desperate to raise money in 2004 to save his Bayou Group LLC hedge fund firm, he turned for help to a Hawaii man who promised a windfall and then conned him out of $10 million, said a U.K. investigator.  ...  Robert Booth Nichols cheated Israel, later convicted in his own $400 million theft, in a ``prime bank'' fraud, a scheme used by con-artists promising quick riches in secret markets, the U.K. investigator said in a document filed in June in federal court in New York. U.S. prosecutors seeking to recover funds for Bayou investors won a British judge's ruling in November freezing $1 million Nichols held there, and they may be pursuing millions more in Singapore, Nichols's lawyer said.    ...   ``Israel was defrauded,'' wrote Stephen Annis, an investigator in the U.K.'s Assets Recovery Agency. Nichols, who Annis said was under investigation by U.S. prosecutors as of November, ``benefited from his criminal conduct.''    ...   Israel hid losses from Bayou investors before his fund collapsed in 2005. He pleaded guilty and is now in prison after faking suicide and jumping bail to avoid a 20-year sentence. Prosecutors and Bayou's bankruptcy estate have sued to recover funds for investors who lost $250 million.    ...   Bayou's lawyers asked a bankruptcy judge yesterday to order 33 investors to return $89 million. They said the payouts were fraudulent transfers under bankruptcy law and that the hedge funds and individuals who received the money should have seen the ``red flags'' of fraud. The estate has already recovered $30 million.   

Bayou Lawsuit  Separately, Bayou is suing Nichols, who once claimed to have worked for the CIA, and his wife, Ellen, and U.S. prosecutors are pursuing their assets. Annis's statement, written Nov. 13, 2007, as part of a U.S. bid to freeze Nichols's U.K. account, was filed last month in Bayou's New York lawsuit against Nichols.    ..   ``This is the investors' money,'' Ross Intelisano, a lawyer who represents 20 Bayou investors, said of the funds given to Nichols. Gary Mennitt, a lawyer for the bankruptcy estate of Stamford, Connecticut-based Bayou, declined to comment.    ...   Nichols, 65, denies wrongdoing and seeks to retain the $1 million. He said in court papers that he helped Israel invest in a legitimate, though unspecified ``project'' involving U.S. government obligations. Nichols said he had no reason to believe Israel was engaged in fraud.    ...    ``He was asked to find something, and he found it,'' Nichols's lawyer, Joseph Bainton, said in an interview, declining to elaborate. ``There are very few people capable of performing this service, for which he was paid a lump sum of $10 million.''

`Suicide Is Painless' Israel, whose sentence in April included a $300 million fine, faces 10 additional years in prison for jumping bail. On June 9, the day he was to report to prison, his car was found on a bridge north of New York City with the words ``suicide is painless'' written in the windshield dust. On July 2, he surrendered to police in Massachusetts.   In 1998, Bayou's finance chief, Daniel Marino, and co- founder James Marquez created a sham accounting firm to serve as the fund's auditor rather than report modest setbacks. Israel admitted he led a years-long fraud as losses grew.    ...    By 2004, with their fraud unraveling, Israel and Marino were ``desperate'' for cash and began searching for high-payout, short-term investments, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which sued the pair in 2005.

`Investment Scams' ``Israel sought to invest in a series of `prime bank instrument trading programs' in Europe,'' the SEC said in its lawsuit. ``These program, which themselves are an enduring staple among fraudulent investment scams, required that large sums of money be sent to various foreign and domestic banks.''    ...   In most such scams, con artists claim to have access to a secret trading market among top banks, or prime banks, where they buy notes, guarantees or debentures at a discount, yielding high returns for investors with no risk. ``In reality, no such instruments or market exists,'' Annis, the U.K. investigator, said. According to Annis, Israel turned to Nichols, who in a 1993 lawsuit claimed to have worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for 20 years. Nichols was also the target of a 1987 probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of organized crime in the entertainment industry, the Hollywood Reporter said in 1993. Bainton said he's unaware of charges being filed against Nichols.    ...   Nichols claimed to have experience with prime bank investments, Annis said. Israel traveled in April 2004 to London, where two people referred by Nichols told him the investment was safe, Annis said.

Money Transfers On Nichols's instruction, Israel moved $120 million through accounts in Europe and North America, and ultimately $100 million in Bayou funds made its way into a Wachovia Bank account in New Jersey, the SEC said. In May 2005, the Arizona Attorney General seized the money after concluding it was related to fraud. The $100 million will go to Bayou investors.    ...   Also in 2004, Nichols told Israel he needed a short-term loan he'd repay with his share of their ``extraordinary profits,'' Annis wrote. Israel advanced Nichols $10 million, of which $1.06 million ended up in the U.K. account -- money now frozen by the U.S. That year, Nichols fabricated a document that made it appear as if the $10 million was a fee for services, Annis said.    ...   Nichols ``has shown he is capable of setting up and operating a large-scale fraudulent enterprise,'' Annis wrote.

President's Cousin  Nichols said in court papers that he believed the investment was on behalf of Israel personally, that Nichols was told his services ``involved matters of national interest,'' and that a first cousin of President Bush, John P. Ellis, vouched for the legitimacy of the transaction. Nichol said the deal required him to contact representatives of foreign governments that he knew, according to court documents. Bainton wouldn't elaborate on the investment's ``national interest.''  ``Mr. Ellis attended some meetings and gave Mr. Nichols some assurance with respect to the approval of the United States,'' Bainton said. Ellis worked at GH Venture Partners in 2004, Nichols said. ``These allegations are ridiculous, and I categorically deny them,'' Ellis said in a phone interview.

Traveling  Nichols has homes in Hawaii and California, according to court papers and public records. A woman answering the phone at Nichols' California home, who said her name was Eleanor, said Nichols and his wife were traveling.   ...   Rebekah Carmichael, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia in New York, declined to comment, as did Israel's lawyer, Barry Bohrer.    ...  U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon on July 3 said she was doubtful the money paid to Nichols came just from Israel. She said she ``has not yet been apprised of any money'' in Israel's pocket ``that did not actually belong to Bayou.''    ...   Israel, who cooperated with prosecutors after he pleaded guilty in 2005, claims he was duped. In a legal brief filed on his behalf before sentencing, Bohrer wrote, ``Sam Israel is the victim of fraud.'' Other details in the brief are redacted. The criminal case is U.S. v. Israel, 05cr1039, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan). The bankruptcy case is In re Bayou Group LLC, 06-22306, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District New York (White Plains).  To contact the reporters on this story: David Glovin in Manhattan federal court at dglovin@bloomberg.net; Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Oster at poster@bloomberg.net; Larry Edelman at ledelman3@bloomberg.net.

 
Bush    top
PROGRESSIVE  CONSERVATIVE*
  • Dov Zakheim, Mastermind of 9/11 ... aircraft company, remote control expertise, executive Pentagon Comptroller ... missing $2.3 Trillion.. developed Hillary Clintons Iraq / Iran war strategies?
see all of NewsFollowUp.com Flight 77 Pentagon research
Rice Watch    top         
PROGRESSIVE  REFERENCE CONSERVATIVE*
  • FAS  U.S. v. Steven J. Rosen Keith Weisman Criminal Action 1:05 CR 225
  • Jerusalem Post  "US attorney Kevin DiGregory asked the court not to grant the defense's request to summon the government officials, and denied Lowell's claim that Rice had leaked information to Rosen."
  • Khaleej Times  articles by Henry Kissinger and Noam Chomsky
  • World Policy Institute  links include Voices in the Wilderness to Raytheon Corp
  • Washington Post,  and more below on leaks to AIPAC
  • Notes Rice Rosen Weissman leaks:  national defense information, subpoenas granted for her and Other witnesses subpoenaed: Stephen Hadley, Eliot Abrams, William Burns, David Satterfield, Gen. Anthony Zinni, more below
How Bush neo-cons and AIPAC are using the Franklin, Rosen Weissman indictments to undermine freedom of the press in America.
  • The successful prosecution of Franklin, Rosen and Weissman and bills like Senate Bill 3774 enables Bush administration to prosecute anyone they choose for leaking classified information.
  • This sets a dangerous precedent and undermines a free press.

 

Related NFU pages
Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University "Kit Bond's anti-whistle blower, anti-accountability bill  ...   Senate Bill 3774 is the latest piece of legislation allegedly aimed at protecting national security. Introduced by Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), it would criminalize unauthorized disclosure of classified information. This bill is dangerously vague and provides virtually unlimited discretion to the Department of Justice in deciding whom to prosecute. It would be a catastrophe for reporters and the free press.  Search AIPAC, Rosen, Weissman  

Latest Updates at NFU Media Page

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Downing Street Memo   and  text   top
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  • Progressive Caucus Dennis Kucinich
  • Raw Story six memos
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  • Smirking Chimp prewar bombing illegal, soften targets, search.
  • The Times of London copy of memo link
  • Notes:  Written by Mathew Rycroft almost one year before Iraq invasion.  Bush decision to strike already set before going to Congress.  Main stream media have ignored it.   
  • Times Online search
  • Tom Paine, proof, in memo
  • Truth Emergency  "Come Build a Breakthrough Campaign, to Expose and Disempower, the Seamless Lies behind 9/11, Resource Wars, Troop Betrayal and Constitutional Jeopardy"
  • Wikipedia Published in The Sunday Times of Britain, Secret and stricktly personal UK eyes only
  • Word Whammy place peace signs on our freeways July 4th holiday.  
Downing Street Memo, Reference   top
REFERENCE REFERENCE REFERENCE
Michael Ledeen- 'Rove's brain', and Rove - 'Bush's brain'.

from Aztlan.net

Condoleezza Rice was a Chevron Director from 1991 until January 15, 2001 when she was transferred by President George Bush Jr. to National Security Adviser. Previously she was Senior Director, Soviet Affairs, National Security Council, and Special Assistant to President George Bush Sr. from 1989 to 1991.

Another Chevron Corporation giant in the Bush administration is Vice President Dick Cheney. Vice President Cheney was Chairman and Chief Executive of Dallas based Halliburton Corporation, the world’s largest oil field services company with multi-billion dollar contracts with oil corporations including Chevron. Lawrence Eagleburger, a seasoned Bush counselor who held top State Department posts under George Bush Sr., is a director of Halliburton Corporation.

Halliburton's global network of investments includes projects in politically volatile areas including the Caspian Sea region. Dick Cheney was instrumental in negotiating a Caspian Sea pipeline for Chevron. The crude oil pipeline is a 900-mile project stretching from western Kazakhstan to the Black Sea that will primarily benefit Chevron by connecting the Tengiz oil field to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in Russia. Chevron, the largest oil company member of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, holds a 55 percent ownership interest with the Republic of Kazakhstan in Tengizchevroil. The 40-year, $20 billion joint-venture company was formed in 1993 to develop the Tengiz field. Tengiz is one of the world’s largest oil fields with 6 to 9 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

Also, there are allegations that the Bush Administration declared war in Afghanistan, not necessarily to combat terrorism, but to make it possible for U.S. oil interests to construct gas and oil pipelines from the Caspian Sea through Afghanistan to Pakistani harbors on the Indian Ocean. The first phase, now accomplish, was to install a friendly "puppet" regime in Kabul. La Voz de Aztlan has a report on this subject at:

 

The Sunday Times - Britain  May 01, 2005  The secret Downing Street memo , fair use

SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY

DAVID MANNING, From: Matthew Rycroft,  Date: 23 July 2002,  S 195 /02 23 July 2002,  S 195 /02 23 July 2002,  S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell

IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER'S MEETING, 23 JULY

Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

page 2

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battle plan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban war fighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.

Conclusions:

(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

page 3

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)

MATTHEW RYCROFT

(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)

 

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Lawyer: Rice Allegedly Leaked Defense Info  Washington Post  fair use
 

By MATTHEW BARAKAT The Associated Press Saturday, April 22, 2006; 12:59 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice leaked national defense information to a pro-Israel lobbyist in the same manner that landed a lower-level Pentagon official a 12-year prison sentence, the lobbyist's lawyer said Friday.

Prosecutors disputed the claim.  The allegations against Rice came as a federal judge granted a defense request to issue subpoenas sought by the defense for Rice and three other government officials in the trial of Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman. The two are former lobbyists with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who are charged with receiving and disclosing national defense information.

Defense lawyers are asking a judge to dismiss the charges because, among other things, they believe it seeks to criminalize the type of backchannel exchanges between government officials, lobbyists and the press that are part and parcel of how Washington works.

During Friday's hearing, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III said he is considering dismissing the government's entire case because the law used to prosecute Rosen and Weissman may be unconstitutionally vague and broad and infringe on freedom of speech.  Rosen's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said the testimony of Rice and others is needed to show that some of the top officials in U.S. government approved of disclosing sensitive information to the defendants and that the leaks may have been authorized.

Prosecutors opposed the effort to depose Rice and the other officials. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin DiGregory also disputed Lowell's claim, saying, "She never gave national defense information to Mr. Rosen."  The issuance of subpoenas does not automatically require Rice or anybody else to testify or give a deposition. A recipient can seek to quash the subpoena.

Calls to the State Department seeking comment Friday evening were not immediately returned.  The judge also granted subpoenas for David Satterfield, deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Iraq; William Burns, U.S. ambassador to Russia and retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni.

"Each of these individuals have real-life dealings with the defendants in this case. They'll explain what they told Dr. Rosen in detail," Lowell said. "On day one, Secretary of State Rice tells him certain info and on day two one of the conspirators tells him the same thing or something less volatile."  The indictment against Rosen and Weissman alleges that three government officials leaked sensitive and sometimes classified national defense information to the two, who subsequently revealed what they learned to the press and to an Israeli government official.

One of the three government officials is former Pentagon official Lawrence A. Franklin, who pleaded guilty to providing classified defense information to Rosen and Weissman and was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.  Franklin has said he was concerned that the United States was insufficiently concerned about the threat posed by Iran and hoped that leaking information might eventually provoke the National Security Council to take a different course of action.

The indictment against Rosen, of Silver Spring, Md., and Weissman, of Bethesda, Md., alleges that they conspired to obtain classified government reports on issues relevant to U.S. policy, including the al-Qaida terror network; the bombing of the Khobar Towers dormitory in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 U.S. Air Force personnel; and U.S. policy in Iran.  Lowell said it is impossible for Rosen and Weissman to determine what is sensitive national defense information when they are receiving the information from government officials who presumably understand national security law and therefore would not improperly disclose national defense information.

The World War I-era law has never been used to prosecute lobbyists before.

 

Senate Bill 3774
Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University "Kit Bond's anti-whistle blower, anti-accountability bill  ...   Senate Bill 3774 is the latest piece of legislation allegedly aimed at protecting national security. Introduced by Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), it would criminalize unauthorized disclosure of classified information. This bill is dangerously vague and provides virtually unlimited discretion to the Department of Justice in deciding whom to prosecute. It would be a catastrophe for reporters and the free press.  Search AIPAC, Rosen, Weissman  

 Clinton Global Initiative