Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #801 The Sportin’ Life

Bobby Riggs’ Milieu

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

Lis­ten: MP3

Side 1  Side 2

This descrip­tion con­tains infor­ma­tion not in the orig­i­nal program.

Intro­duc­tion: With much of the human race foam­ing at the mouth over the World Cup com­pe­ti­tion cur­rently under­way in Brazil, we pause to note the pro­found con­nec­tions between the world of sport, inter­na­tional fas­cism and orga­nized crime.

The demon­stra­tive links between soccer’s pop­ulist fan base and fas­cist gangs and hooli­gans is well doc­u­mented. It was on dis­play in Brazil. In addi­tion to the overt Nazi salutes given by Croa­t­ian fans in the stands, a Ger­man neo-Nazi sup­porter ran onto the field dur­ing that country’s match with Ghana.

Brazil will also be host­ing the sum­mer Olympics. (CORRECTION: The Sumer Olympics will be held in 2016, not later this year, as stated in the pro­gram. The Sum­mer and Win­ter Olympics are no longer held in the same year.) A recent Nation arti­cle notes the sig­nif­i­cant degree of over­lap between the cor­rupt forces manip­u­lat­ing soc­cer (what most of the world calls foot­ball) and the extra­or­di­nar­ily cor­rupt world of the Olympics.

High­light­ing the pro­foundly cor­rupt world of big-time sport, the sup­pos­edly “ama­teur” Olympics are man­aged by the Inter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, which has main­tained long-standing dom­i­nance by fas­cists and, as the Nation mag­a­zine arti­cle notes, “ideal can­di­dates for a perp walk.”

The Inter­na­tional Olympic Committee

Cen­tral to the dis­cus­sion is Thomas Bach, long asso­ci­ated with the Adi­das firm. (Adi­das and Puma were founded by the Dassler broth­ers, with roots in the Third Reich. Later estranged, their CV’s also over­lap the SS. It is alto­gether prob­a­ble that they con­sti­tute an ele­ment of the remark­able and deadly Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work. Bach was also a for­mer lob­by­ist for Siemens, inex­tri­ca­bly linked with Ger­man intel­li­gence and the Bor­mann group.)

Ele­vated, in part, by his asso­ci­a­tion with the con­sum­mately cor­rupt Al-Sabah rul­ing fam­ily of Kuwait, Bach also rose in the IOC ranks because of his close rela­tion­ship with Juan Anto­nio Sama­ranch, the for­mer sports min­is­ter for fas­cist dic­ta­tor Fran­cisco Franco and a long­time loy­al­ist to the Span­ish fas­cist cause.

Sama­ranch chose roughly half of the cur­rent mem­ber­ship of the IOC!

The mem­bers of the com­mit­tee undergo a bizarre ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­mony, the occult-tinged nature of which would con­sti­tute famil­iar turf to the con­sid­er­able num­ber of princes and princesses on the IOC.

The IOC mem­ber­ship over­laps appar­ently insti­tu­tion­al­ized cor­rup­tion embed­ded in FIFA (soc­cer) and much of the rest of global pro­fes­sional sport, net­work­ing in this capac­ity with numer­ous pow­er­ful cor­po­rate entities.

In the 1972 Munich Sum­mer Olympics, eleven Israeli ath­letes were killed by Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists, aided by Ger­man Nazis. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment had a tip-off three weeks in advance about the event, but took no action. Later the Ger­man gov­ern­ment main­tained close con­tact with the Pales­tin­ian forces that con­ducted the killing.

Next, we turn to the world of Amer­i­can foot­ball. We have dis­cussed gam­bling, orga­nized crime and the NFL in FTR #304. One of the peo­ple dis­cussed at length was for­mer San Fran­cisco 49ers owner Edward DeBar­tolo, Jr. Barred by Major League Base­ball from own­ing the Chicago White Sox (who per­haps feared a rep­e­ti­tion of the 1919 “Black Sox” scan­dal), DeBar­tolo was forced to give up own­er­ship of the 49ers after con­vic­tion on a gam­bling charge.

He is now a part­ner with NFL Hall of Fame quar­ter­back Joe Mon­tana. The Mon­tana real estate deal, in which he part­nered with DeBar­tolo, appar­ently led to the FBI inves­ti­gat­ing the group.

Although every­one involved claims that there was noth­ing sus­pi­cious, a San Jose Mer­cury News arti­cle observes that Kurt Wit­tek was con­victed of bank fraud in a Sav­ings and Loan scam in North Carolina.

The pro­gram con­cludes with a look at the “Bat­tle of the Sexes” in ten­nis. With the 50th anniver­sary of Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion hav­ing passed, two of the orga­nized crime fig­ures who may well have been involved in that assas­si­na­tion have come back into pub­lic view in the con­text of an alleged fix­ing of the “Bat­tle of the Sexes” ten­nis match between Bil­lie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

San­tos Traf­fi­cante and Car­los Mar­cello, both dis­cussed in The Guns of Novem­ber, Part I, are two of the mob­sters alleged in a recent ESPN story to have been prime movers behind the fix­ing of the King/Riggs match.

Alleged to have run up big debts to the mob, Riggs was appar­ently an asso­ciate of the orga­nized crime milieu. His alleged fix­ing of the match was done to pay off his gam­bling debts as well, of course, as mak­ing money for the mob.

At the time, the King/Riggs match was a media sen­sa­tion. Was it, in fact, yet another exam­ple of the cor­rup­tion that infects every aspect of Amer­i­can existence?

Pro­gram High­lights Include: FIFA chief Sepp Blatter’s nephew Philippe Blatter’s involve­ment with a com­pany that appears to have been scalp­ing World Cup tickets; Univision king­pin Jerry Perenchio’s role in set­ting up the Riggs/King match; review of the role of Ger­man intel­li­gence agent Hans Lange­mann as secu­rity chief for the 1972 Olympics; review of Langemann’s role cov­er­ing up the Munich 1980 Okto­ber­fest bomb­ing; review of the CIA recruit­ment of Ali Has­san Salameh, mas­ter­mind of the 1972 Olympics mas­sacre; neo-Nazis’ role in the 1972 Olympics mas­sacre; review of the appar­ent roles of Car­los Mar­cello and Santo Traf­fi­cante in the assas­si­na­tion of JFK.

 

Croa­t­ian foot­ball fans at a recent match

1. In FTR #766, we dis­cussed a mem­ber of Croatia’s national soc­cer (foot­ball) team and his lead­ing of a crowd in a pop­u­lar Ustachi cheer–the Croa­t­ian equiv­a­lent of “Sieg Heil.” The world of soc­cer and its over­lap with pop­ulist fas­cism is well doc­u­mented. Many soc­cer teams have a strong, explicit fas­cist ele­ment in their fan base.

In the World Cup under way in Brazil, that fas­cist fan ele­ment has been in evi­dence. A neo-Nazi sup­porter of the Ger­man team ran on the field dur­ing that country’s match with Ghana. Some Ger­man fans showed up in black­face for that match.

Of note here is the Brazilian/FIFA author­i­ties’ sin­gu­lar inabil­ity to pre­vent this type of demonstration.

“Nazi Sym­pa­thizer Invades Pitch Dur­ing Ghana-Germany Game” by Gra­ham Wat­son; Yahoo News; 6/21/2014.

 FIFA’s plea to elim­i­nate racism at this year’s World Cup con­tin­ues to fall on deaf ears.

Despite a vehe­ment cam­paign from the orga­ni­za­tion and pleas and pub­lic ser­vice announce­ments from teams and play­ers, it has been one of the over­rid­ing themes of the 2014 World Cup.

The anti-discrimination Fare net­work, which made reports to FIFA about the mat­ter on Thurs­day, noted that there were sev­eral neo-Nazi signs at matches involv­ing Rus­sia and Croatia.

And on Sat­ur­day, it took cen­ter stage again when a Nazi sym­pa­thizer rushed the field dur­ing the Ghana-Germany game. No secu­rity attempted to stop him as he took his shirt off to reveal a pro-Nazi mes­sage. He had to be ush­ered off the field by Ghana mid­fielder Sul­ley Muntari.

Sev­eral Ger­man fans also showed up to the game with their faces painted black.

It sure seems like FIFA and sta­dium secu­rity per­son­nel could do a much bet­ter job of find­ing these peo­ple and escort­ing them out of the sta­dium. After all, a cam­paign to elim­i­nate racism isn’t much of a cam­paign if you don’t do some­thing to actu­ally help stop it from happening.

2a. High­light­ing the pro­foundly cor­rupt world of big-time sport, the sup­pos­edly “ama­teur” Olympics are man­aged by the Inter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, which has main­tained long-standing dom­i­nance by fas­cists and, as a Nation mag­a­zine arti­cle notes, “ideal can­di­dates for a perp walk.”

Cen­tral to the dis­cus­sion is Thomas Bach of the Adi­das firm. (Adi­das and Puma were founded by the Dassler broth­ers, with roots in the Third Reich. Later estranged, their CV’s also over­lap the SS. It is alto­gether prob­a­ble that they con­sti­tute an ele­ment of the remark­able and deadly Bor­mann cap­i­tal network.)

Ele­vated, in part, by his asso­ci­a­tion with the con­sum­mately cor­rupt Al-Sabah rul­ing fam­ily of Kuwait, Bach also rose in the IOC ranks because of his close rela­tion­ship with Juan Anto­nio Sama­ranch, the for­mer sports min­is­ter for fas­cist dic­ta­tor Fran­cisco Franco and a long­time loy­al­ist to the Span­ish fas­cist cause.

Sama­ranch chose roughly half of the cur­rent mem­ber­ship of the IOC!

The mem­bers of the com­mit­tee undergo a bizarre ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­mony, the occult-tinged nature of which would con­sti­tute famil­iar turf to the con­sid­er­able num­ber of princes and princesses on the IOC.

The IOC mem­ber­ship over­laps appar­ently insti­tu­tion­al­ized cor­rup­tion embed­ded in FIFA (soc­cer) and much of the rest of global pro­fes­sional sport, net­work­ing in this capac­ity with numer­ous pow­er­ful cor­po­rate entities.

“Meet the IOC, Ideal Can­di­dates for a Perp Walk” by Andrew Jen­nings; The Nation; 2.10/2014.

Remem­ber that pub­lic­ity shot from the Usual Sus­pects with Kevin Spacey in the lineup? The photo above is an update, snapped late last year in the board­room of the Inter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, in a mar­ble palace on the banks of Lake Geneva. This lineup has thir­teen men, most past mid­dle age, in busi­ness suits and ties, and two women—the big cheeses expect­ing the best seats in Sochi. Dead cen­ter is the new IOC pres­i­dent, Germany’s Thomas Bach. We’ll come back to him, but for now, know that Bach, 60, was a pro­tégé of Horst Dassler, the Ger­man busi­ness­man who bribed more sports offi­cials than most of us ever heard of. Dassler’s fam­ily owned Adi­das and a mar­ket­ing com­pany that laid out $100 mil­lion in kick­backs to acquire TV and mar­ket­ing rights to the soc­cer World Cup, the world track and field championships—and the Olympics.

At Bach’s right shoul­der is the Swiss boss of world soc­cer, Sepp Blat­ter. For decades, Blat­ter didn’t notice hefty bribes being trousered by his col­leagues in return for giv­ing World Cup con­tracts to Dassler com­pa­nies. Accused of han­dling a $1 mil­lion bribe intended for Joao Have­lange, for­mer pres­i­dent of FIFA (the inter­na­tional soc­cer fed­er­a­tion) and doyen of the IOC, Blat­ter hired inves­ti­ga­tors who reported that there was a mis­un­der­stand­ing and that he was no more than “clumsy.”

Have­lange resigned in dis­grace from the IOC in Decem­ber 2011. Blat­ter survived—despite los­ing eight of FIFA’s twenty-three exec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers to scan­dals in the past three years. An FBI-organized crime squad, now dig­ging into FIFA’s embed­ded cor­rup­tion, has a coop­er­at­ing wit­ness in Miami and prob­a­bly another in New York. Blat­ter, sched­uled to be played by Tim Roth on the big screen later this year, might not make it to Sochi.

At Bach’s other shoul­der is Lamine Diack from Sene­gal, pres­i­dent of the IAAF (the Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions) and also on the Dassler gift list. I dis­closed these bribes for the BBC pro­gram Panorama in 2010, and a year later the IOC rebuked Diack. But the Lords of Lau­sanne for­give and for­get, so he’s back at the heart of Olympic idealism.

Loom­ing over the diminu­tive Blat­ter, smil­ing broadly, dark curls tum­bling around his shoul­ders, is Sheik Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, king­maker for Thomas Bach. Fahad is the 50-year-old stripling of the group, a past chair of OPEC, a Kuwaiti royal and by far the rich­est. Com­mit­tee mem­bers seemed uncon­cerned by a 2008 US embassy cable, dis­closed by Wik­iLeaks, say­ing he was “widely per­ceived as being corrupt.”

Next in line and another atten­tive sup­porter of the sheik is Patrick Hickey, 68, who has risen from an unre­mark­able back­ground in north Dublin, his rep­u­ta­tion guarded by a sharp-tongued lawyer. In pri­vate cor­re­spon­dence in 1991 with one of the bribe pay­ers on the Salt Lake City Win­ter Olympics bid­ding com­mit­tee, Hickey revealed that some IOC mem­bers were sell­ing their votes for $100,000 to rival wannabe Olympic hosts from Nagano. At the time, he was gun­ning for mem­ber­ship in the IOC, but said noth­ing to its offi­cials. It has done him no harm that he never snitched.

Hickey gets cozy with peo­ple many of us wouldn’t invite home to meet our loved ones. Seek­ing a wealthy patron in Europe to pay for a regional Olympics to mir­ror the Pan-American Games and not find­ing any tak­ers among rep­utable lead­ers, Hickey turned to the pres­i­dent of the national Olympic com­mit­tee of Belarus, whose day job is being Europe’s last dic­ta­tor. Ignor­ing Belarus’s unen­vi­able dop­ing record, Hickey pre­sented the thug­gish Alexan­der Lukashenko with a plaque com­mend­ing his “Out­stand­ing Con­tri­bu­tion to the Olympic Move­ment.” But Lukashenko is broke, so Hickey pur­sued the oil-rich pres­i­dent of the Azer­bai­jan Olympic Com­mit­tee, another head of state. A noted klep­to­ma­niac and jailer of reporters, Ilham Aliyev has report­edly offered mil­lions to fund the event in 2015.

A step away—listen up, NHL people!—is a for­mer den­tist, René Fasel, now the Swiss boss of inter­na­tional hockey and one of the biggest cheeses in Sochi. Three years ago, the IOC’s Ethics Com­mis­sion rep­ri­manded Fasel for a curi­ous deal involv­ing the pay­ment of 1.9 mil­lion Swiss francs ($2 mil­lion) by a Swiss mar­ket­ing com­pany to a for­mer school pal for “advice” on acquir­ing win­ter sport con­tracts. Fasel vig­or­ously denied palm­ing a slice but admit­ted “a case of poor judg­ment.” The CEO of that mar­ket­ing com­pany, which obtains mas­sive con­tracts from FIFA, is Sepp Blatter’s nephew Philippe Blat­ter. The com­pany uses the offices once occu­pied by the Dassler company.

Thomas Bach, who won a fenc­ing team gold medal at the 1976 Mon­treal Olympics, spent a cou­ple of years work­ing for Dassler’s quaintly named “inter­na­tional rela­tions” team. Days before the vote that ele­vated Bach to Olympic lead­er­ship last Sep­tem­ber, Ger­man TV sta­tion WDR aired alle­ga­tions that Bach was involved in—or at least aware of—cheating in the years when he com­peted (appar­ently, if fencers held a wet glove to their elec­tric scor­ing jacket, their oppo­nents’ strikes didn’t reg­is­ter). Bach refused to com­ment, but his spokesman denies everything.

On ele­va­tion to the Olympic pres­i­dency, Bach resigned his chair­man­ship of Ghorfa, a German-Arab busi­ness group that empha­sizes its boy­cott of parts made in Israel to ensure its lucra­tive exports to the Arab world. An Amnesty Inter­na­tional offi­cial has crit­i­cized Ghorfa’s con­sid­er­able involve­ment in arms sales to the region, say­ing it is “not inter­ested in pro­mot­ing fun­da­men­tal human rights.”

After the photo lineup at IOC HQ, Bach sped to the UN and talked up the Olympic Truce, an IOC fan­tasy that claims its sports extrav­a­ganza spreads world peace. Global war­riors, take note that com­bat is for­bid­den off-piste dur­ing Feb­ru­ary. If this delu­sion ever came to pass, it would depress Olympic “part­ners” like Gen­eral Elec­tric, whose engines power death-dealing F-16 fight­ers and Apache helicopters.

Pres­i­dent Bach is at ease with the likes of GE. From the early 1980s, before join­ing the IOC, he lob­bied for the end of ama­teurism, the start­ing point for the pri­va­ti­za­tion of the Games. He became a favorite of for­mer IOC pres­i­dent Juan Anto­nio Sama­ranch, once sports min­is­ter in Franco’s Spain and a thirty-seven-year loyal fas­cist. I attempted to ask Sama­ranch why his right arm was more mus­cu­lar than his left. That got me a seven-year ban from IOC press conferences.

Half of the cur­rent 107 IOC members—eight of them princes or princesses—were cho­sen by Sama­ranch. His final appoint­ment was his son, Juan Anto­nio Jr. New mem­bers are ini­ti­ated in a bizarre cer­e­mony, halfway between the style of the mob and the Masons, over­seen by the chief of pro­to­col, who used to be Pal Schmitt. He stood down as Hungary’s pres­i­dent in 2012 after being accused of pla­gia­rism and stripped of his doc­tor­ate. The IOC removed him as chief of pro­to­col, but he remains a mem­ber. The cer­e­mony involves the chief of pro­to­col hold­ing a huge Olympic flag. He swings it down to waist level and the ini­ti­ate, grasp­ing a cor­ner, swears he (or she) will respect “the deci­sions of the IOC, which I con­sider as not sub­ject to appeal on my part.”

Off-camera are other Olympic Com­mit­tee mem­bers: France’s Guy Drut, con­victed of fraud but amnestied by for­mer French Pres­i­dent Jacques Chirac; Lee Kun-hee, the Korean boss of Sam­sung, who was con­victed of evad­ing $39 mil­lion in taxes—but Sam­sung is an Olympic spon­sor and so Lee was for­given. Then there’s Russ­ian mem­ber Shamil Tarpis­chev, once Yeltsin’s ten­nis coach. He has prob­lems trav­el­ing to the United States: for the past two US Games, in Atlanta and Salt Lake City, his visas were delayed, and then his travel was restricted to the area of the event. In Rus­sia, Tarpis­chev has been accused of mafia associations—which he denies. It has not helped that he has been pho­tographed with Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, the Russ­ian mob­ster accused by the US gov­ern­ment of fix­ing the ice dance medal at Salt Lake City. And Princess Nora of Liechtenstein’s secre­tive fam­ily bank has long been the choice of tax felons and money launderers.

2b. An arti­cle not included in the orig­i­nal broad­cast notes FIFA chief Sepp Blatter’s nephew Philippe Blatter’s involve­ment with a com­pany that appears to have been scalp­ing World Cup tickets.

 “FIFA Part­ner, Wanted in World Cup Ticket Scam, Is On the Run” by Ben Tavener; Mash­able; 7/10/2014.

FIFA part­ner Ray Whe­lan gave police in Rio de Janeiro the slip Thurs­day, just moments before offi­cers were set to re-arrest him on charges of ille­gally sell­ing World Cup tick­ets, local media reported.

Whe­lan, 64, is CEO of Switzerland-headquartered Match Hos­pi­tal­ity, FIFA’s exclu­sive provider of hos­pi­tal­ity pack­ages for the World Cup. He is now offi­cially con­sid­ered a fugitive. . . .

2c. The spe­cific involve­ment of Philippe Blat­ter with Match Hos­pi­tal­ity is detailed below:

FIFA Hospitality’s Provider Arrested over World Cup Ticket Scalp­ing”; Mer­co­Press; 7/8/2014.

. . . . Match Hos­pi­tal­ity pro­vides deluxe pack­ages to high-end foot­ball cus­tomers and was allo­cated 445,500 of the 3 mil­lion pur­chasable tick­ets for the 2014 World Cup, accord­ing to FIFA. One of its share­holder com­pa­nies is owned by Philippe Blat­ter, the nephew of FIFA pres­i­dent Sepp Blatter.

FIFA has vowed to clamp down on cor­rup­tion in soc­cer, and in 2012 hired a U.S. pros­e­cu­tor to inves­ti­gate alle­ga­tions includ­ing that Qatar’s bid for the 2022 World Cup was “improp­erly influenced.” . . . .

3. Der Spiegel gives us another jolt­ing rev­e­la­tion con­cern­ing the 1972 Olympics Mas­sacre in Munich. Ger­man author­i­ties had been warned almost a month in advance of Pales­tin­ian inten­tions to cre­ate an inci­dent at the Olympics.

Despite a warn­ing from the for­eign min­istry, the Munich secu­rity offi­cials took no sig­nif­i­cant action, this despite the fact that the Black Sep­tem­ber group appears to have been method­olog­i­cally amateurish.

The secu­rity offi­cials at the games per­mit­ted Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists to walk right past the build­ing where the Israeli ath­letes were quartered.

In the past, we’ve exam­ined sev­eral con­sid­er­a­tions that weigh heav­ily on this issue;

  • Secu­rity at the games was under the super­vi­sion of a BND offi­cer names Hans Lange­mann. (BND is the Ger­man for­eign intel­li­gence ser­vice, descended from the Gehlen spy outfit.)
  • Lange­mann allegedly con­spired with Hans Koll­mar (head of the BKA–the Ger­man Fed­eral Police) to stage ter­ror­ist inci­dents to be blamed on the left.
  • Lange­mann, while work­ing for the Ger­man domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice, pro­vided an alibi for Karl Heinz Hoff­man, head of the neo-Nazi ter­ror group that per­pe­trated the 1980 Okto­ber­fest bomb­ing in Munich.
  • The Ger­man author­i­ties tried to blame the Okto­ber­fest bomb­ing on the left, despite evi­dence that the crime was part of a series of attacks per­pe­trated by the post­war fas­cist international.
  • The Black Sep­tem­ber ter­ror­ists who exe­cuted the Olympics mas­sacre were aided by Ger­man neo-Nazis.
  • Ger­man neo-Nazi ter­ror­ists appear to have received assis­tance from the very domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice that is sup­posed to keep them in check.
  • Doc­u­ments indi­cat­ing com­plic­ity by the domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice in Nazi ter­ror were destroyed the day before being turned over to a prosecutor.
  • The leader of the Olympics ter­ror squad (Ali Has­san  Salameh) was the son of one of the Grand Mufti’s top aides.
  • At the time of his assas­si­na­tion by the Mossad, Salameh was work­ing for the CIA.

“Ger­many Had a Tip-Off Three Weeks Ahead of Munich Mas­sacre, Der Spiegel Claims” by Raphael Ahren; Times of Israel; 7/22/2012.

Ger­many had a tip-off from a Pales­tin­ian infor­mant in Beirut three weeks before the 1972 Munich Olympic mas­sacre that Pales­tini­ans were plan­ning an “inci­dent” at the Games, a Ger­man news mag­a­zine charged Sunday.

The For­eign Min­istry in Bonn took the tip-off suf­fi­ciently seri­ously to pass it on to the secret ser­vice in Munich and urge that “all pos­si­ble secu­rity mea­sures” be taken.

But the Munich author­i­ties failed to act on the tip, which was passed on to Bonn by the Ger­man Embassy in Beirut, and have never acknowl­edged it in the ensu­ing 40 years, Der Spiegel said in a front-page story to be pub­lished Mon­day but made avail­able online in Ger­man on Sunday.

The fail­ure to act upon that tip-off at the time, and the sub­se­quent fail­ure to acknowl­edge that it had even been received, Der Spiegel added, is only part of a 40-year cover-up by the Ger­man author­i­ties of the mis­han­dling of the 1972 ter­ror attack, in which 11 mem­bers of the Israeli team were mas­sa­cred by Pales­tin­ian Black Sep­tem­ber terrorists.

“The fed­eral gov­ern­ment [in Bonn] and the local gov­ern­ment of the state of Bavaria com­mit­ted grave errors in their han­dling of the attack on Israeli ath­letes dur­ing the Olympic Games in Munich, and have kept the true extent of the fail­ure true under wraps until today,” Der Spiegel asserted.

For the first 20 years after the mas­sacre in Munich, the Ger­man author­i­ties refused to release any infor­ma­tion about the attack; nor did they accept any respon­si­bil­ity for the tragic results. . . . .

. . . . On Sun­day, Der Spiegel said it obtained hith­erto secret reports by author­i­ties, embassy cables and min­utes of cab­i­net meet­ings that demon­strate just how ama­teur­ish the Ger­man offi­cials were ahead of the Sep­tem­ber 5 attack, which also claimed the life of one Ger­man policeman.

Accord­ing to Bonn’s offi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion of the event, the Pales­tin­ian Black Sep­tem­ber ter­ror group car­ried out its deadly mis­sion with “pre­ci­sion.” But the Ger­man author­i­ties knew the Black Sep­tem­ber was a badly pre­pared group that barely man­aged to find hotel rooms in Munich, Der Spiegel stated.

As far back as August 14, 1972, three weeks before the mas­sacre, the Ger­man Embassy in Beirut reported to Bonn that an infor­mant had talked about Pales­tin­ian plans for “an inci­dent” dur­ing the Olympics, accord­ing to the report. Four days later, the For­eign Min­istry in Bonn told the secret service’s Munich branch about this and advised author­i­ties to “take all pos­si­ble secu­rity measures.”

Need­less to say, the nec­es­sary secu­rity mea­sures were never taken. The report revealed, for instance, that the ter­ror­ists were strolling by the apart­ments of the Israeli ath­letes with­out any­body stop­ping them from doing so.

All these facts are miss­ing from the offi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion of the Ger­man government.

The offi­cial doc­u­men­ta­tion also con­ceals the fact that the Munich pros­e­cu­tion inves­ti­gated the city’s police chiefs for sus­pected neg­li­gent homi­cide, the mag­a­zine reported.

“Mutual accu­sa­tions should be avoided, as well as self-criticism,” a For­eign Min­istry offi­cial told a spe­cial cab­i­net ses­sion just two days after the deadly attack. “From that moment on, this appar­ently became the motto of the gov­ern­ments in Bonn and Munich,” the mag­a­zine wrote.

4a. We have dis­cussed gam­bling, orga­nized crime and the NFL in FTR #304. One of the peo­ple dis­cussed at length was for­mer San Fran­cisco 49ers owner Edward DeBar­tolo, Jr. Barred by Major League Base­ball from own­ing the Chicago White Sox (who per­haps feared a rep­e­ti­tion of the 1919 “Black Sox” scan­dal), DeBar­tolo was forced to give up own­er­ship of the 49ers after con­vic­tion on a gam­bling charge.

He is now part­ner with NFL Hall of Fame quar­ter­back Joe Montana.

What is not men­tioned is the back­ground of Kurt Wit­tek, their partner.

“49ers Leg­ends Mon­tana, Eddie DeBar­tolo Plan Lux­ury Hotel, Enter­tain­ment Venue Across from Santa Clara Sta­dium Site” by Mike Swift; San Jose Mer­cury News; 12/12/2010.

For­mer 49ers great Joe Mon­tana and ex-owner Eddie DeBar­tolo Jr. are two of the most sto­ried names in fran­chise his­tory. Now they’re maneu­ver­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the 49ers’ most ambi­tious real estate ven­ture ever: the $937 mil­lion sta­dium the team hopes to build in Santa Clara for the 2015 season.

Mon­tana, DeBar­tolo and a third busi­ness part­ner, Con­necti­cut devel­oper Kurt Wit­tek, want to build a lux­ury hotel, sports bar and enter­tain­ment com­plex on two parcels of city-owned land adja­cent to the site of the planned 68,500-seat sta­dium. The Hall of Fame quar­ter­back and his part­ners capped a series of meet­ings with Santa Clara offi­cials with a writ­ten request last week for an 18-month exclu­sive nego­ti­at­ing agree­ment to com­plete a deal. . . . .

4b. The Mon­tana real estate deal, in which he part­nered with DeBar­tolo, appar­ently led to the FBI inves­ti­gat­ing the group.

Although every­one involved claims that there was noth­ing sus­pi­cious, a San Jose Mer­cury News arti­cle observes that Kurt Wit­tek was con­victed of bank fraud in a Sav­ings and Loan scam in North Carolina.

Inter­est­ingly, this story does NOT men­tion that Eddie DeBar­tolo was involved. The San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle arti­cle above–which DOES men­tion DeBartolo’s involve­ment, does NOT men­tion Wittek’s crim­i­nal background.

“FBI Report­edly Eyed Joe Mon­tana, then Dropped Probe” by Philip Matier and Andrew Ross; San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle; 5/5/2014.

The FBI sting oper­a­tion that snared state Sen. Leland Yee and Chi­na­town tong leader Ray­mond “Shrimp Boy” Chow was snoop­ing around an even big­ger Bay Area name — 49ers foot­ball leg­end Joe Mon­tana — but came up empty, accord­ing to informed sources.

Mon­tana, the Hall of Fame quar­ter­back who has dab­bled in devel­op­ment deals since retir­ing from foot­ball after the 1994 sea­son, was con­tacted by an under­cover FBI oper­a­tive about an unspec­i­fied busi­ness propo­si­tion dur­ing the Yee-Chow inves­ti­ga­tion, accord­ing to one source famil­iar with the case.

“Nobody has said he did any­thing wrong,” said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sen­si­tiv­ity of the case.

Fear that Montana’s name would bub­ble up as part of the FBI’s cor­rup­tion probe is among the rea­sons U.S. Dis­trict Judge Charles Breyer plans to issue a pro­tec­tive order bar­ring pros­e­cu­tors and defense attor­neys involved in the cor­rup­tion case from dis­clos­ing cer­tain evi­dence to the pub­lic, includ­ing wire­taps and record­ings, accord­ing to sources. . . . .

. . . . Montana’s busi­ness part­ner on the Santa Clara deal is Kurt Wit­tek, a devel­oper who also teamed up with the for­mer quar­ter­back on plans to develop the tran­sit vil­lage — 12 acres of hous­ing and com­mer­cial space next to the South Hay­ward BART Station. . . .

. . . . Wit­tek was con­victed of bank fraud by a fed­eral jury in 1992 after he helped a busi­ness asso­ciate secure an ille­gal loan to buy a North Car­olina sav­ings and loan. He later got part of the case tossed on appeal, and his five-year prison sen­tence was reduced to probation.

5. With the 50th anniver­sary of Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion hav­ing passed, two of the orga­nized crime fig­ures who may well have been involved in that assas­si­na­tion have come back into pub­lic view in the con­text of an alleged fix­ing of the “Bat­tle of the Sexes” ten­nis match between Bil­lie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

San­tos Traf­fi­cante and Car­los Mar­cello, both dis­cussed in The Guns of Novem­ber, Part I, are two of the mob­sters alleged in a recent ESPN story to have been prime movers behind the fix­ing of the King/Riggs match.

Alleged to have run up big debts to the mob, Riggs was appar­ently an asso­ciate of the orga­nized crime milieu.

His alleged fix­ing of the match was done to pay off his gam­bling debts as well, of course, as mak­ing money for the mob.

We also note that Jerry Peren­chio, long­time king­pin of the Uni­vi­sion Span­ish lan­guage TV net­work arranged the match.

At the time, the King/Riggs match was a media sen­sa­tion. Was it, in fact, yet another exam­ple of the cor­rup­tion that infects every aspect of Amer­i­can existence?

“The Match Maker” by Don Van Natta, Jr.; espn.go.com; 8/25/2013.

When Hal Shaw heard the voices at the Palma Ceia Golf and Coun­try Club in Tampa, Fla., on a win­ter night some 40 years ago, he turned off the bench light over his work table and locked the bag room door. He feared bur­glars. Who else would be approach­ing the pro shop long after mid­night? Then Shaw, who was there late rush­ing to repair mem­bers’ golf clubs for the next day’s tour­na­ment, heard the pro shop’s front door unlock and swing open.

Peer­ing through a diamond-shaped win­dow, Shaw, then a 39-year-old assis­tant golf pro, watched four sharply dressed men stroll into the pro shop. He says he instantly rec­og­nized three of them: Frank Ragano, a Palma Ceia mem­ber and mob attor­ney whose wife took golf lessons from Shaw, and two oth­ers he knew from news­pa­per pho­tographs — Santo Traf­fi­cante Jr., the Florida mob boss whom Ragano rep­re­sented, and Car­los Mar­cello, the head of the New Orleans mob. Traf­fi­cante and Mar­cello, now deceased, were among the most infa­mous mafia lead­ers in Amer­ica; Mar­cello would later con­fide to an FBI infor­mant that he had ordered the assas­si­na­tion of John F. Kennedy. A fourth man, whom Shaw says he didn’t rec­og­nize, joined them.

Shaw’s work­room was about 20 feet from the men, who sat at a cir­cu­lar table. Through the win­dow to the dark­ened bag room door, he could see them, but they couldn’t see him. Shaw says he was “pet­ri­fied” as he tried to remain com­pletely still, wor­ry­ing that the men would find him lurk­ing there. Then Shaw heard some­thing he’d keep secret for the next 40 years: Bobby Riggs owed the gang­sters more than $100,000 from lost sports bets, and he had a plan to pay it back. . . .

. . . . Ragano explained that Riggs “had the first match already in the works … and the sec­ond match he knew would fol­low because of Bil­lie Jean King’s pop­u­lar­ity and every­thing that it would be kind of a slam dunk to get her to play him brag­ging about beat­ing Mar­garet Court,” Shaw says Ragano told the men. Shaw also says he heard Ragano men­tion an uniden­ti­fied mob man in Chicago who would help engi­neer the pro­posed fix.

“Mr. Ragano was emphatic,” Shaw recalls. “Riggs had assured him that the fix would be in — he would beat Mar­garet Court and then he would go in the tank” against King, but Riggs pledged he’d “make it appear that it was on the up and up.”

At first, Traf­fi­cante and Mar­cello expressed skep­ti­cism, Shaw says. They won­dered whether Riggs was in play­ing shape to defeat Court or King, but Ragano, now deceased, assured them Riggs was train­ing. The men also won­dered whether there would be enough inter­est in exhi­bi­tion ten­nis matches to gen­er­ate sub­stan­tial bet­ting action. In the early 1970s, as it does today, ten­nis attracted a tiny frac­tion of sports bet­ting dol­lars. Ragano assured them that there was ample time for Riggs to get the media to pro­mote the matches so enough peo­ple would be inter­ested to place bets with the mob­sters’ net­work of ille­gal bookmakers.

...Finally, Shaw says, the men asked about Riggs’ price for the fix. “Ragano says, ‘Well, he’s going to [get] peanuts com­pared to what we’re going to make out of this, so he has asked for his debt to be erased.’” Riggs “has also asked for a cer­tain amount of money to be dis­cussed later to be put in a bank account for him in Eng­land,” Ragano told the men, accord­ing to Shaw.

After nearly an hour, the four men stood up, shook hands and agreed they’d move for­ward with Riggs’ pro­posal, Shaw says.

Lamar Wal­dron, an author of sev­eral books about the mafia, says Shaw’s account of the meet­ing rings true. “In the early 1970s, pro­posed deals were usu­ally brought to Traf­fi­cante and Mar­cello by other cities’ mob lead­ers, busi­ness­men and lawyers for the mob,” says Wal­dron, whose book “Legacy of Secrecy” is being devel­oped into a film by Leonardo DiCaprio with Robert De Niro slated to play Mar­cello. “They’d accept some, pass on oth­ers. I know Mar­cello and Traf­fi­cante also met dur­ing that period in the Tampa area.”

After the men left the pro shop, Shaw says he stayed hid­den in the dark­ened room for a half hour until he was cer­tain they were gone.

“Mob­sters have been here for cen­turies,” Shaw says of Tampa, where he has lived his entire life. “There were gang­land mur­ders on top of one another. I was brought up with the fear fac­tor. You don’t mess around with these peo­ple. You stay clear of them, and you don’t do any­thing that would make them angry.”

But as he approaches his 80th birth­day this Decem­ber, Shaw says he is moti­vated to tell his story. “There are cer­tain things in my life that I have to talk about, have to get off my chest,” he says of the meet­ing, which he says occurred dur­ing the last week of 1972 or the first week in 1973. “It’s been 40 years, OK, and I’ve car­ried this with me for 40 years. … The fear is gone. … And I wanted to make sure, if pos­si­ble, I could set the record straight — let the world know that this was not what it seemed to be.”

...A box­ing pro­moter and tele­vi­sion pro­ducer named Jerry Peren­chio, who pro­moted the Ali-Frazier bout in 1971 as “The Fight,” orga­nized “The Bat­tle of the Sexes” between King and Riggs. He put up a $100,000 winner-take-all prize for the best-of-five sets match and arranged for it to be played in the Hous­ton Astrodome in prime-time on national television.

...Dur­ing those weeks, Larry Riggs noticed some “unsa­vory char­ac­ters” kept show­ing up at Pow­ers’ house to meet pri­vately with his father. “They weren’t golfers,” Larry Riggs says. “I called them shady char­ac­ters with the kind of flashy suits on and the ties and what­ever. They just didn’t fit in.”

After one of the vis­its, Larry Riggs con­fronted his father. “Who are those guys?”

“Friends of mine from Chicago.”

...That’s when Larry Riggs says he rec­og­nized the men as asso­ciates of Jackie Cerone, the Chicago mob hit man with whom his father had played golf and cards back at the Tam O’Shanter Coun­try Club out­side of Chicago. “Very not upright cit­i­zens of our coun­try,” Larry Riggs now says of the men vis­it­ing his father.

“What the hell are those guys doing?” Larry Riggs asked his father.

“They’re here to see me. We have a lit­tle busi­ness that we’re doing. Don’t worry about it. Everything’s OK.”

But Larry Riggs says he wor­ried obses­sively. And he says his father never iden­ti­fied the men or explained why they flew from Chicago to Los Ange­les to meet with him sev­eral times before the King match. . . .

. . . . By early 1974 — only a few months after the loss to King — Riggs moved to Las Vegas and worked at the Trop­i­cana Hotel and Casino as the res­i­dent ten­nis pro and casino greeter. Paid an annual salary of $100,000, he moved into a house on the hotel’s golf course.

The Trop­i­cana was the casino where mob­sters had skimmed pack­ets of $100 bills from the count­ing room — the crime immor­tal­ized in the film, “Casino.” One of the men who ben­e­fited from the Trop­i­cana skim was Riggs’ Chicago golf­ing buddy, Jackie Cerone. In 1986, Cerone and four other men, from the Chicago, Detroit and Kansas City mobs, were con­victed of skim­ming a total of $2 mil­lion from the Trop­i­cana dur­ing the mid-‘70s. Larry Riggs says he is unsure who had arranged the job at the Trop­i­cana for Bobby Riggs. . . . .

6. The pro­gram con­cludes with an excerpt from The Guns of Novem­ber, Part I, detail­ing the appar­ent roles of Car­los Mar­cello and Santo Traf­fi­cante in the assas­si­na­tion of JFK.

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #801 The Sportin’ Life”

  1. Pick up a copy of “Among the Thugs” by Bill Buford. For­mer edi­tor of Amer­i­can lit­er­ary jour­nal “Granta” “infil­trates” Man­ches­ter United foot­ball sup­port­ers. British foot­ball has long been used as a recruit­ing tool by the fas­cist National Front.

    Posted by Eve Memory of the Third Kind | July 7, 2014, 1:23 am
  2. Today, on ESPN’s pre-coverage of the Argentina/Netherlands match-up, reporter Jeremy Schaap, in response to a ques­tion about how Argentina fans are present in large num­bers in Brazil, opined that it was like Brazil had been invaded by a fifth col­umn of Argen­tini­ans. I found that amus­ing, and won­der if Schaap was hint­ing at the Nazi rat lines to South America.

    Ricky Ger­vais cer­tainly was, when yes­ter­day, he tweeted after the Brazil loss that it would not be the first time that thou­sands of Ger­mans would have to lay low in Brazil for a while. Together with Dave’s prior cov­er­age of Rus­sell Brand’s quip about Hugo Boss a while back, it seems like there is at least an aware­ness of increased fas­cist activ­ity, and hence these prods from enter­tain­ers and reporters.

    Posted by Sampson | July 9, 2014, 9:19 am

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