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BUSH I, TO HUSSEIN: "Drop more bombs on Iran's cities."

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    Guns, Oil and Bank Gut Check in the Labyrinth http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd04232005.html By CHRIS FLOYD With fresh indictments last week, the UN
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2005
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      Guns, Oil and Bank
      Gut Check in the Labyrinth

      With fresh indictments last week, the UN oil-for-food
      scandal took an unexpected turn into the Labyrinth --
      the tangled skein of war profiteering and state
      terrorism that has seen the Bush Family's lust for
      blood money emerge in three of the darkest criminal
      episodes in modern American history: Iran-Contra,
      Iraqgate and the BCCI affair.

      Texas oil baron David Chalmers of Bayoil and his
      partners were hit with criminal charges for allegedly
      cutting deals with Saddam Hussein in the notorious
      skim operation that outflanked UN sanctions and
      diverted funds intended for humanitarian relief.
      Prosecutors were shocked -- shocked! -- to find such
      collusion and corruption in the oil business.

      Of course, the fact that three U.S. presidents -- the
      two George Bushes and their new best pal, Bill Clinton
      -- actually brokered massive backroom oil deals for
      Saddam that dwarfed Bayoil's petty chiseling, plus the
      fact that Saddam's nation-strangling thievery has
      since been eclipsed by the epic rapine of Bush II's
      Babylonian Conquest, in no way mitigates the
      seriousness of the Chalmers indictment. But somehow we
      doubt you'll be seeing those august statesmen sharing
      leg irons with old Davy anytime soon.

      Chalmers is a longtime denizen of the Labyrinth. In
      the mid-1980s, he joined up with Chilean gun-runner
      Carlos Cardoen, the Financial Times reported. Cardoen
      was a CIA frontman used by Presidents Ronald Reagan
      and Bush I to funnel cluster bombs and other weapons
      secretly to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War.
      At Reagan's direct order, Saddam received U.S.
      military intelligence, billions of dollars in credits
      and a steady supply of covert "third-country" arms to
      sustain his war effort, even though the White House
      was fully aware of Saddam's "almost daily use" of
      illegal chemical weapons, The Washington Post
      reported. Later, Bush I, as president, would also
      mandate the sale of WMD material to Saddam, including
      anthrax -- long after Saddam notoriously "gassed his
      own people" at Halabja.

      As in the present UN scandal, Saddam paid for his
      covert cluster bombs with oil. Chalmers would move the
      actual black stuff and broker its sale for the CIA and
      Cardoen, taking a cut in the process. Since 1999,
      Chalmers has been doing the same thing on behalf of
      Italtech, owned by another crony in the old Cardoen
      gun-running scheme. The Texas baron must be aghast to
      find himself in hot water for an activity that was
      once blessed at the highest levels. Perhaps he
      neglected to cross the requisite Bushist palms with
      sufficient silver -- or else, as with many a Bush
      minion, he's just been tossed overboard as chum for
      the sharks when he's no longer of any use.

      But let's be fair. Helping Saddam kill people with
      chemical gas was not the only reason why Reagan and
      Bush I aided their favorite dictator. They had bigger
      fish to fry -- using the Constitution as kindling for
      the feast.

      In 1986, George Bush I visited the Middle East with a
      secret message to be passed to Saddam via Egyptian
      President Hosni Mubarak: "Drop more bombs on Iran's
      cities." How do we know this? From the sworn testimony
      of Howard Teicher, the National Security Council
      official who accompanied Bush and wrote the official
      "talking points" for the trip. Ostensibly, Bush urged
      this mass killing of civilians as a strategy to halt
      Iran's gains at the front. But as The New Yorker
      reported -- 13 years ago -- there was another layer to
      this covert plot.

      A fierce aerial offensive by Saddam would force Iran
      to seek more spare parts for its U.S.-made planes and
      anti-aircraft weapons, inherited from the ousted Shah.
      Bush was already waist-deep in the Iran-Contra scam,
      which involved selling Tehran U.S. military goods
      through back channels, then funneling the secret
      profits to the Contras, the gang of right-wing
      insurgents and CIA-trained terrorists in Nicaragua.
      Congress had forbidden U.S. aid to the Contras, so
      Reagan and Bush used the mullahs (and Central American
      drug lords) to run their illegal terrorist war. More
      innocent deaths in Iran meant more backdoor cash for
      the Contras. A win-win situation!

      When Bush I became president, he clasped Saddam even
      closer, sending him billions in U.S.-backed
      "agricultural credits" through BNL, an Italian bank
      tied up with BCCI -- the international "financial
      consortium" that was actually "one of the largest
      criminal enterprises in history," according to the
      U.S. Senate. BCCI laundered money and financed arms
      dealing, terrorism, smuggling and prostitution, while
      corrupting government officials worldwide with bribes
      and extortion.

      As Bush well knew, Saddam was using the BNL cash for
      arms, not food; indeed, that was the point of the
      exercise. When some honest U.S. officials threatened
      to unravel the BNL gun-running scam, Bush appointed
      Cardoen's own lawyer to a top Justice Department post
      -- overseeing the investigation of his former boss.
      Under heavy White House pressure, the case was quickly
      whittled down to the usual "bad apple" underlings
      carrying out some minor fraud.

      But perhaps Papa Bush was just being fatherly.
      Earlier, another BCCI offshoot bank had bailed out one
      of Bush Junior's many business failures with $25
      million in cash. That deal had been brokered by
      mysterious Arkansas tycoon Jackson Stephens, one of
      the Bush family's biggest campaign contributors.
      Curiously enough, Stephens was also a top moneyman for
      another leading politician: Bill Clinton. When Clinton
      took office, he obligingly deep-sixed the continuing
      probes into BCCI, Iraqgate and Iran-Contra.

      That's how the system really works. All the guff about
      law, democracy and morality is just cornball for the
      yokels back home -- and for the cannon fodder sent off
      to die in the elite's commercial and dynastic wars.
      The Labyrinth -- that knotted gut of blood and bile --
      has poisoned us all.

      Chris Floyd is a columnist for The Moscow Times and a
      regular contributor to CounterPunch. His book, Empire
      Burlesque: The Secret History of the Bush Regime, is
      available at www.globaleyefloyd.com. He can be
      contacted at cfloyd72@....

      * * * *
      In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed for educational purposes and without profit and as such we believe constitutes a 'Fair Use' as provided for in Sec.107 of the US Copyright Law and complies with the Good Faith Fair Use Defense [17 USC 504(c)(2). For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
      * * * *
      Oh, for those good old days when the worst thing a sitting US President could do was merely disgrace his office. tpb
      * * * *
      Privilege, lack of a mother's love and the frittering away of an excellent education bred him;
      Alcoholism, inadequacies, false friends, false bravado and false idols fed him;
      Ubiquitously distrustful and obsequious advisers led him;
      Fear and self-loathing will end him.
      * * * *
      "It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." --Henry Ford

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