1. Even after President Clinton left office, the media have remained obsessed with his alleged wrongdoing. As the Bush administration proceeds with its agenda, much of the journalistic discourse has centered on Clinton’s pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich. Curiously, the Bush administration and the Justice Department have shied away from the controversy. (“U.S. Attorney to Probe Pardon of Rich” by Robert L. Jackson and Richard A. Serrano; Los Angeles Times; 2/15/2001; p. A1.)
2. This is uncharacteristic of the attack dog mentality that has pervaded the Republican Party in the past. One possible hint of the reason for the Republicans’ reticence on the subject was presented by Bill Clinton, who stated (correctly, as it turned out) that Dick Cheney’s chief of staff (Lewis Libby) had been one of Rich’s lawyers. (“Clinton Denies Wrongdoing in Pardon, Cites Israeli Influence on Rich’s Case” by Tom Brune and John Riley [Newsday]; San Jose Mercury News; 2/16/2001; p. 15A.)
3. Another hint lay in the fact that Rich had extensive dealings with Iran and Iraq during the 1980’s, and those dealings were reported to the Mossad by Rich. (“Israel Pressed for Rich’s Pardon” by Jodi Enda and James Kuhnhenn; San Jose Mercury News; 2/15/2001; pp. 1A-10A.) Note that this fact suggests the possibility that Rich may have been involved in the overlapping Iran-Contra and Iraqgate scandals.
4. A substantive hint that Rich may very well have been involved in the Iraqgate scandal was contained in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s report on the scandal-plagued BCCI. (“Avenue of the Americas: The Centre of it All;” Financial Times; 2/6/2001; p. 15.) (“Appendices: Matters for Further Investigation” from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s report on BCCI.)
5. Agriculture Department credits were a major element in the arming of Saddam Hussein. BCCI was deeply involved in the Iran-Contra scandal operations. The Foreign Relations Committee’s report also recommends further investigation of links between the BCCI and the Atlanta Branch of the Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro. (Idem.)
6. The Atlanta Branch of BNL was a main vehicle for effecting the Iraqgate machinations. In addition, the report recommends the investigation of the BCCI’s role in transferring funds from Middle Eastern countries and American financial institutions. (Idem.)
7. Next, the program excerpts FTR-186. The discussion reviews the links between alleged CIA operative James R. Bath, BCCI and Arbusto Energy, George W’s first oil company. (Fortunate Son; J.H. Hatfield; St. Martin’s Press; copyright 2000 [HC].) (The Outlaw Bank; Jonathan Beatty and S.C. Gwynne; copyright 1993; Ramjack [published in the United States by Random House] )
8. The report on BCCI also recommends investigation of possible links between BCCI and Monzer Al Kassar, one of the top arms and drug dealers involved in the Iran-Contra affair. (“Appendices: Matters for Further Investigation” from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s report on BCCI)
9. Next, the broadcast highlights connections between Osama Bin Laden and Al-Kassar. (“The Great Hunt” by Pino Buongiorno; Panorama; 1/25/2001; p. 83.) Bin Laden attempted to buy $400 million worth of weapons from Al-Kassar.
10. The rest of the program excerpts FTR-228. The excerpt highlights a meeting in Jerusalem in July of 1986 at which George Bush and Army intelligence agents McKee and Gannon were present. (This meeting had been a major point of interest for Iran-Contra Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh. (Iran-Contra: The Final Report; published by Times Books.)
11. Both McKee and Gannon were killed in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. (Gideon’s Spies; Gordon Thomas; Thomas Dunne; copyright 1999.) (The name of arms and drug dealer Monzer Al-Kassar has come up in connection with the bombing of Pan Am 103. The Pan Am insurance investigator’s report claimed that Al-Kassar was the author of the bombing and that the attack was allowed to go forward in order to silence McKee and Gannon. Al-Kassar was pivotally involved in the Iran-Contra scandal. If the BCCI affair were fully investigated, it seems probable that the resulting scandal would bring down the Bush administration in that Bush, his father, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell are implicated in one aspect or another of the Iran-Contra affair, the Iraqgate scandal, or the machinations of Osama Bin Laden.