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CIA, Military Connections of Prominent “9/11 Mosque” Backer

Comment: Go figure! R. Leslie Deak, one of the seminal and most important backers of the “9/11 Mosque” project, has numerous ties to the intelligence community and defense establishment–CIA [apparently] in particular.

As discussed in FTR #721, the State Department and CIA continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic fascist organization that looms large in the background of Feisal Abdul Rauf and the other key figures involved with the Mosque project. (Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.)

Deak’s father also had an intelligence background and died a strange death after his prominent Deak  & Co.  firm was found to be laundering drug money. Drug connections figure in the younger Deak’s milieu, as well.

One of the companies to emerge from the corporate wreckage of Deak-Perera was Goldline, prominent backer of virulent Mosque opponent Glenn Beck’s  Fox television show.

All of this raises more questions than it answers.

Is this entire project–as the author hints–designed to exacerbate tensions and heat up the political climate for Obama?

“Untangling the Bizarre CIA Links to the Ground Zero Mosque” by Mark Ames; The New York Observer; 9/10/2010.

Excerpt: . . . But meanwhile, links between the group behind the controversial mosque, the CIA and U.S. military establishment have gone unacknowledged.

For instance, one of the earliest backers of the nonprofit group, the Cordoba Initiative, that is spearheading the Ground Zero mosque, is a 52-year-old Scarsdale, New York, native named R. Leslie Deak. In addition to serving on the group’s board of advisors since its founding in 2004 by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Deak was its principal funder, donating $98,000 to the nonprofit between 2006 and 2008. This figure appears to represent organization’s total operating budget–though, oddly, the group reported receipts of just a third of that total during the same time period. . . .

. . . Leslie Deak’s resume also notes his role as “business consultant” for Patriot Defense Group, LLC, a private defense contractor with offices in Winter Park, Florida, and in Tucson. The only names listed on the firm’s website are those of its three “strategic advisers.” These include retired four-star General Bryan “Doug” Brown, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command until 2007, where he headed “all special operations forces, both active duty and reserve, leading the Global War On Terrorism,” and James Pavitt, former deputy director for operations at the Central Intelligence Agency, where he “managed the CIA’s globally deployed personnel and nearly half of its multi-billion dollar budget” and “served as head of America’s Clandestine Service, the CIA’s operational response to the attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Besides Pavitt, Brown and a third advisor, banker Alexander Cappello, the Patriot Defense Group is so secretive it doesn’t even name its management team, instead describing its anonymous CEO as a former Special Forces and State Department veteran, the group’s managing director as a former CIA officer experienced in counter-terrorism in hostile environments and the group’s corporate intelligence head as a “23-year veteran of the U.S. Secret Service who worked on the personal security details of former Presidents Bush and Clinton.”

Patriot Defense Group’s primary business involves leveraging its government connections and know-how. The firm is divided into two divisions: one that “focuses exclusively on the needs of the U.S. military and law enforcement communities as well as the requirements of friendly foreign governments,” and a corporate division, which “provides business intelligence and specialized security services to corporate clients and high net-worth family enterprises.”

So, to recap: From 2006 to 2008, R. Leslie Deak worked as a “business consultant” to this super-secretive security contractor with ties to the CIA and counterterrorism forces, and in those same three years he also donated nearly $100,000 in seed money to the foundation now advocating the construction of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.

Interestingly, during the same three-year period during which the Deak Family Foundation was financing the Cordoba Initiative, Deak also donated a total of $101,247 to something called the National Defense University Foundation. The National Defense University is a network of war and strategy colleges and research centers (including the National War College) funded by the Pentagon, designed to train specialists in military strategy. The organization recently announced a November 5 dinner gala in honor of Defense Secretary and former CIA chief Robert Gates. Sponsors include Northrup Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and…the Patriot Defense Group.

Deak also sits on the NDUF’s board of directors, the chairman of which is Mark Treanor, the former general counsel for Wachovia bank from 1998 through its collapse in 2008 and a major bundler of campaign donations for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008. Wachovia, now owned by Wells Fargo, was recently fined $160 million for laundering “at least $110 million” in Mexican drug money between 2003 and 2008, while Treanor was Wachovia’s general counsel, though the figure is likely higher since Wachovia admitted it didn’t put any controls on at least $420 billion–that’s billion–in cash moved through its network of Mexico currency exchanges.

Which leads to another odd coincidence: Laundering money for drug lords is what brought down Deak & Co., the company run by Leslie Deak’s father, Nicholas Deak, years ago. The elder Deak, a former top intelligence commander during World War II for the OSS (the forerunner of the CIA), was the founder of Deak-Perera, which became for a time one of the world’s biggest foreign currency and gold dealers. But in 1984, a Presidential Commission on Organized Crime accused the firm of acting as a money laundering operation for Columbia drug cartels, who reportedly brought sacks of cash containing tens of millions of dollars into Deak’s Manhattan offices. By the end of 1984, Deak & Co. had declared bankruptcy, and a year later, Nicholas Deak was murdered in the company’s headquarters at 29 Broadway by a deranged homeless woman. . . .

But add to this array of unexpected connections the work of Imam Rauf on behalf of the U.S. government—which includes serving as an FBI “consultant” and being recruited as a spokesperson by longtime George W. Bush confidante Karen Hughes, who headed up the administration’s propaganda efforts in the Muslim world—and a compelling picture begins to emerge. Bush’s favorite Imam, with backing from a funder with connections to the CIA, the Pentagon and the currency trading company that now sponsors rightwing firebrand Glenn Beck, proposes to build a mosque around the corner from the site of the most devastating terrorist attack ever visited on America. In the name of “[cultivating] understanding among all religions and cultures,” he puts forth a project that offends a majority of Americans and deals a significant setback to the broader acceptance of Muslim-Americans. It’s a little like Billy “White Shoes” Johnson claiming the only reason he moonwalks after scoring a touchdown is to lower tensions on the football field and raise the other team’s spirits.

Whether the Cordoba Initiative ever gets its way with the Ground Zero Mosque, it may well have a lasting legacy at odds with its stated intention: By damaging the very moderates and progressives who actually view New York, and the nation as a whole, as a tolerant melting pot, and strengthening the position demagogues on both sides, it will almost certainly deal a setback to interfaith relations. It will also help to hobble the Democratic party. Which just might have been the point all along. [Italics are mine–D.E.]


7 comments for “CIA, Military Connections of Prominent “9/11 Mosque” Backer”

  1. With the 2014 midterms around the corner, here’s a nice rehash of the story behind the 2010 “Ground Zero Mosque” faketroversy:

    Black Bag
    The Ground Zero Mosque Was an Inside Job
    Matthew Phelan
    9/11/14 8:46 am

    Second only to the sub rosa network of Tea Party fronts funded by Libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch, the infamously tone deaf plans for an Islamic community center just blocks away from 9/11’s Ground Zero came to define the midterm elections of 2010. This is the weird story of who funded that mess.

    On the surface, the whole sad episode had the look simply of just a ditzy misunderstanding—the accidental sharp abutment of “limousine liberal” multiculturalism against the still raw national mood.

    But, a quick glance at the Form 990s for the organizations involved in what came to be known as (eye roll) “the Ground Zero Mosque” shows that the entirety of its operating budget—more really—came from a fixture on the U.S. military and diplomatic scenes, R. Leslie Deak: a man who at that time was working as a business consultant for the private defense contractor Patriot Defense Group, LLC, alongsidea former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command, General Doug Brown, and James Pavitt, a former director of operations for the CIA. On a current Google+ profile—that you’d better believe I saved an HTML file of—Les Deak boasts of having once had a “DoD Secret Security Clearance.”

    Deak’s father, Nicholas Deak, had career-long U.S. intelligence community ties also. Called “the James Bond of the world of money” by waiting room sedative Time magazine, Nicholas Deak followed his WWII-era role in the CIA’s precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), running a daring, white-shoe currency and precious metals firm on Wall Street, Deak-Perera, used by the CIA to monitor global capital flows and to smuggle covert ops funding into, buh, countries of great national security interest to the United States. Nick Deak and his company hit their first wave of fatally negative publicity during the Church committee hearings of the mid-1970s, when it was discovered that Deak-Perera had been instrumental in smuggling money into Iran, Guatemala, and the Congo to finance the CIA’s government coups there. By the mid-1980s, he was dead, murdered under very bizarre circumstances, and Deak-Perera was mired in a drug-related money laundering scandal that ultimately forced the firm into bankruptcy.

    R. Leslie Deak worked for his dad at that time, from 1973 to 1985. He was President and CEO of Deak-Perera when he left the company.

    Today, among other gigs, Les Deak is on the Board of Advisors of the Center for a New American Security, by far one of the most influential foreign policy think tanks in the country right now, with multiple employees holding down key positions in the Obama administration. One of my favorite Leslie Deak stories involves himthreatening to sue a man on Facebook for posting a protest photo taken outside the center’s D.C.-area headquarters.

    Mark Ames, currently of Pando Daily, formerly the senior editor of NSFW Corp. (and a co-founder along with future Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi of that Moscow-based expat rag The eXile), covered the Deak’s Family Spooktacular quite ably for both the New York Observer and Salon years ago; He’s still baffled by them.

    “Weirdest f ucking story I’ve ever worked on,” Ames said via email, “that includes anything in weird-as-hell Russia.”

    The non-paranoid, un-fun explanation for how R. Leslie Deak came to be involved in the Great 9/11 Terror Mosque at Ground Zero would probably stem from the vast amount of business he does in Egypt, where he reportedly spends six months out of every year. He also converted to Islam when he married his current wife, Moshira Soliman. In that context, it makes some kind of sense that, as one of two people running the Deak Family Foundation, he gave $98,000 to the non-profit spearheading the mosque project, the Cordoba Initiative, from 2006-2008: a figure higher than Cordoba’s operating budget or reported earnings in those years.

    It was—without question—the most partisan non-PETA-related fight over a Burlington Coat Factory in world history.

    But: Was it a manufactured controversy? Designed to generate jingoistic outrage, just in time to influence key midterm elections, swinging congress away from the Democrats and (potentially) frustrating efforts by the young, new Obama administration to draw down the War on Terror? Or was it simply a goofball mistake, made by some weird yahoos with a lot of money to throw at their bad ideas?

    These are still unanswered questions four years later, but one thing that is known definitely, is that the planned Islamic cultural center at 45-47 Park Place was not a secret training center for al-Qaeda terrorists or an endzone dance to celebrate the 9/11 terror attacks.

    It was funded by one of the most well-connected men working just slightly outside of the U.S. government. It was an inside job.

    So where’s the analogous fake controversy that for the 2014 elections that the public can frantically use as a rallying cry? Is it just the scraps this year? That’s almost disappointing. Oh well, voter suppression will just have to do the trick. What a lame midterm.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 16, 2014, 5:55 pm
  2. I think it is highly unlikely that this was an op intended to hurt Obama for the elections. Deak is part of the milieu in Washington that sees “Al Qaeda= bad, Muslim Brothers= moderating influence”. And they are willing to PAY for that worldview.

    Deak was clearly involved in outreach to the MB before, during, and after the “Arab Spring” on behalf of Obama’s Joint Chiefs of Staff no less. (named in this article as “J-5”) As this article makes clear, he is also connected to the 555 Grove St. crowd as well. While this issue did Obama no favors politically, he has nobody to blame but his own Joint Chiefs of Staff and his “reboot with the Muslim world” policy.

    So, while, yes, this could be considered an “inside job”, I don’t think it could be considered a “partisan inside job”. If the GOP REALLY wanted to go after Obama on this stuff, they would call out the numerous MB-linked staffers on his various advisories. But, as the power elite of the GOP (Boehner, McCain, Graham, Norquist, etc.) are ALSO deeply in bed with the same folks, support the MB, and would support the same policies in the White House, they aren’t going to say much.


    … Deak had connections as a business consultant to The Patriot Defense Group, LLC (Patriot Defense) headquartered in Maitland, Florida with additional offices in Tucson, Arizona. The company engages in “specialized training, operational support, and logistics to the United States government, military and law enforcement communities. Its specialized training services are also provided to friendly foreign governments in accordance with United States Department of State ITAR approvals or under the auspices of the United States Department of Defense, Foreign Military Sales Program.”

    One of the members of a Patriot Defense affiliate is Ammar Charani, President of Icm Global Net, Inc. Charani was on the board of the Muslim Education Foundation (MEF) in the mid-1990’s along with other directors with Muslim Brotherhood affiliations that have emerged in terrorism funding investigations. As head of MEF, Charani engineered a scheme to switch Muslims to former long-distance carrier MCI and take advantage of a 5% charitable contribution arrangement that funneled $150,000 in funds to a Muslim Charity under investigation by the U.S. Treasury Department, Benevolence International Foundation (Benevolence).

    Benevolence was alleged to have passed on funds to Al Qaeda, Hamas and other designated terrorist groups. An MEF – related group, International Charity Network, Inc. of Winter Park, Florida contributed more than $300,000 to Benevolence in 1996 -1997. We note that Charani was a past President of the Islamic Center of Central Florida, an Orlando Mosque that figured in a scheme to raise funds for Hamas in 2009 with the assistance of former UK Parliamentarian George Galloway and Mahdi Bray, executive director for Muslim Brotherhood front, the Muslim American Society. The NER published an investigative report on this recent episode that led to requests by California Democratic Congressman, Brad Sherman for investigations by both the State Department and The Department of the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service about possible violations of the tax exempt status of participating organizations.

    … Note what Deak said in an email to the NDUF board in response to questions triggered by a New York Observer expose in September 2010 about his donations and efforts on behalf of the Cordoba Initiative. His rationale was based on an alleged J-5 support of Islamic Sharia studies by Imam Rauf:

    “The donations were made in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and were used to fund a study by Islamic scholars of the Definition of What Constitutes a Shariah Complaint State. The organizer of this project at the time was a little known, but well respected, Imam – Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. This project grew out of, and was vetted and encouraged by, J-5 as part of helping formulate a response to radical Islam. The project was finished in 2009 and moved to Egypt in early 2010 for implementation with the support of JCS and the NDP (ruling party – which no longer exists). I continued to maintain good relations with Imam Feisal until recently. ”

    This is a bizarre explanation of why he dropped his support for the Cordoba Initiative and who he blames for the Ground Zero Mosque controversy and their alleged nefarious motivations:

    “In 2009, Imam Feisal became involved with developing a site with a local developer who was a congregant of his to expand space for his existing congregation in NY. I declined to become involved in the project due to concerns regarding its financial viability. The project was public and was well known and was even front page news in the NYT six months before it exploded into the Ground Zero Mosque controversy. The publicity occurred after the aborted attempt by the Times Square bomber when the Mosque was seized on by Pamela Geller and Frank Gaffney as an easily exploitive issue with which to raise money for the Center for Security Policy. By some accounts, the amounts raised off of this issue of Islamophobia and “Shariah” by ultraconservative groups runs into the tens of millions of dollars (some say hundreds of millions). At this point, it appears unlikely that the Mosque will be built – but the damage the controversy has done to our basic rights of religious freedom and our reputation in the Muslim world is incalculable.

    An NDUF board member had also challenged Deak about his purported activities and alleged reporting on behalf of the J-5 while on a sojourn in Egypt following the fall of the Mubarak regime. Note Deak’s justification:

    I am also enclosing a report delivered in person last week to the Joint Chiefs Staff. It was also forwarded by NDU to OSD and was delivered by Rep. Gary Ackerman to both the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees. It is representative of the type of work I have been doing. The report is confidential but not classified since I am a civilian.

    [. . .]

    Two years ago I retired and moved to DC to work pro bono on issues related to formulating responses to radical Islamist Ideology. This work grew out of projects that I funded to engage leading scholars in the Islamic world to work on the issue. The project was encouraged and vetted by DoD, NSC, DHS and State. Last year the project was moved to Egypt under the supervision of the NDP. Since the NDP no longer exists, the project is back to square one and will be built out again once a new Islamic state sponsor is located. Fortunately, the potential of the emerging democratic movement to accomplish the same objectives is providing a viable alternative and I have been asked to assist in this area as well.

    I am currently in Cairo and, at the request of J-5, and at some personal risk, am undertaking an informal, unofficial assessment of the situation by meeting with my extensive contacts from all parts of society-including our Embassy, political operatives, Brotherhood, freedom movement, former and current officials, military, presidential candidates and businessmen. Many of these contacts are inaccessible through normal channels available to the USG.

    Some of these activities, and access to some of the contacts, are facilitated by my affiliation with NDUF but all my efforts are in the interests of furthering our National Security.

    Deak delivered a report dated May 11th to the NDUF board by email on May 19th presenting his views on the turmoil and the possible role of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Here are his views concerning the role of the Egyptian MB, which in light of recent developments appear either naive or purposely whitewashed:

    Except for the MB, there is no organization with the capability to get out the vote. The opposition is highly fragmented and disorganized. There is a possibility that the old parliamentarians may run for election independently and serve to weaken the MB, but it is unlikely.

    The MB has indicated that they will not run, but they are negotiating with the candidates and will throw their weight behind the one that will assure their interests.

    The recent issue with the Salafis is largely viewed as manufactured by the MB in order to make the MB appear more moderate. I would personally expect that the MB and the military will resolve the Salafi problem once it has served its purpose.

    What can we conclude from this kerfuffle at the NDUF board meeting?

    First, that Muslim money buys influence even at institutions that support national security education for senior military personnel at the most strategic level in the Pentagon.

    Second, if not for the diligence, perseverance of well-informed NDUF board members, this influence would have drawn others with connections to the Muslim Brotherhood into our national security system.

    Third that our national security apparatus, as exemplified by the J-5 in the Pentagon, has to drop the veil from their eyes about accommodating Islamic initiatives.

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | September 17, 2014, 8:40 am
  3. Also, to be clear, at the time, while I was not thrilled by the mosque idea, there were (and are) dozens of more important issues involving the jihadists than that building. The focus on it was out-of-whack compared to other issues of greater import.

    As for this midterm, it seems clear to me that the big issue for the GOP is immigration. It should be pointed out that it was a BUSH law that led to so many Central American kids showing up at the border all of a sudden. If one is looking for a psyop meant to hurt the Dems, that is an area one should look. If one listens to “right-wing rant radio” at all, it is quite clear this is their biggest talking point, and that the jihad has dropped down the charts. Their party is hugely split over this issue, but the “grassroots” are still pretty unhappy about immigration, mostly the Tea Party elements. The more pragmatic Rove/Bush elements are FOR immigration, based on love for cheap labor, and the fact that they can do MATH and can see things like “public school enrollment/diversity statistics in Texas” and can postulate that an anti-Mexican GOP has no mathematical future.

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | September 17, 2014, 9:15 am
  4. @Tiffany: It is kind of interesting that Deak’s lawsuit against Rauf played such an inconsequential role in the 2012 elections. In retrospect it seems like a gimme for the GOP but maybe, as you suggested, it was Deaks’s biography that didn’t quite “fit the narrative” that kept it from becoming one the main memes for that election cycle.

    And speaking of psyops targeting the American public just in time for elections, it’s sure starting to look like the the final stretch of the election season is going to center around a strange fusion of the standard anti-Latino rhetoric, ISIS hysterics, AND Ebola concerns into a Frankenstein’s meme-Monster that is becoming grimly fascinating to watch even by the GOP’s standards. For instance…:

    Yep. Those refugee kids are ISIS sleeper cells.

    by digby
    9/21/2014 01:00:00 PM

    You knew some fatuous moron would come right out and say it, didn’t you? That fatuous moron is Tracy Byrnes Fox news contributor:

    “It’s really serious and this has been something that has been bothering me for a while now. We are not taking it serious enough. ISIS is here. I don’t care what anybody says. They’re here. What scares me the most, Brenda, is that they infiltrate the minds of children and when children cross the border everyone, you know, the tears start coming down. We want to take care of them, but so many of these kids are trained to hate us and potentially kill us. And yet we are just letting them in, welcoming them with open arms, paying for their medical, paying for everything and it’s just going to come back to bite us.”

    Golly, it sure sounds like she thinks we need to “bring them to justice” doesn’t it? After all “these kids are trained to hate us a potentially kill us.” And you know what that means…

    And then there’s
    * Drudge pushing Brietbart stories citing right-wing disinfo physicians outfit claiming that the enterovirus outbreak is being brought in by immigrants.

    * “Gateway Pundit” Jim Hoft citing the Oathkeepers claims that terrorists were caught crossing the border in Texas.

    * James O’Keefe making videos of him sneaking across the Mexican border in a Bin Laden mask and then making a video of O’Keefe crossing the US-Canadian border dressed as an ISIS member carrying Ebola while proposing the US build a wall with Canada.

    * GOP congressman Trent Franks raising the alarm that ISIS is planning on attacking the US from Mexico citing a report by Larry Klayman.

    * A GOP congressional candidate just expressed his willingness to declare ware on Mexico over problems with immigration and drug cartels.

    That’s all just a casual sampling of the contemporary meme-machine and this is all happening when the GOP is increasingly almost calling for “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria. So we have this strange convergence of memes where Latinos are increasingly being conflated with ISIS and diseases like Ebola as part of the GOP’s emerging strategy. Beyond the incredible damage this is going to do to that party’s prospects of ever appealing to Latinos, you have to wonder how that’s going to work out for the GOP in the short-run too. Because even after all the ISIS fear-mongering, the American public still doesn’t appear to have any appetite to see a major new US military commitment in the Middle East, especially with ground troops involved. But the GOP doesn’t seem to be able to help itself when it comes to fear mongering and declaring war. So GOP is increasingly committing itself to demonizing Latinos as ISIS’s comrades in arms in an attempt to freak out enough voters to support a ground war in Iraq and Syria. Will that work even for just this election cycle while ignoring the longer term impact on the party? It’s not clear.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 21, 2014, 7:38 pm
  5. @Tiffany: Following up on the question of why there hasn’t been more “Muslim Brothers in DC” rhetoric from the GOP, remember when John McCain was booed by a crowd of voters for suggesting that Obama was “an arab”. Well, when GOP Congressman Doug Lamborn – who sits on the House Armed Services Committee – was asked to “work with your other congressmen on both sides of the aisles and support the generals and the troops in this country despite the fact that there is no leadership from the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House, [applause]”, he didn’t make McCain’s mistake. He made a very different kind of mistake:

    Maddow Blog
    GOP rep urges US generals ‘behind the scenes’ to resign
    09/26/14 03:40 PM—Updated 09/26/14 04:47 PM

    By Steve Benen

    Congressional Republican condemnations of President Obama’s foreign policy are as common as the sunrise. Congressional Republicans urging active-duty U.S. generals to resign, during a war, to protest President Obama’s foreign policy is something else entirely.

    As U.S.-led airstrikes continue Friday near the Syrian border with Iraq, it’s hard to imagine what would make the situation worse than the military suddenly losing all its generals.

    But that is exactly what Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) told a group of voters he wants to see happen, the Colorado Independent reported.

    “A lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes, saying, ‘Hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House has given you, let’s have a resignation,’” Lamborn said Tuesday, adding that if generals resigned en masse in protest of President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy, they would “go out in a blaze of glory.”

    Look, I don’t expect much from Lamborn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. After eight years in Congress, arguably his most notable legislative accomplishment is championing a House-approved measure to cut off funding for NPRfor NPR.

    For that matter, maybe the far-right Coloradan was just flapping his gums a bit, telling tall tales in the hopes of making himself look like a big shot in front of a group of local voters, but never actually doing what he claims to have done.

    But if Lamborn was serious, and a member of the House Armed Services Committee actually met “behind the scenes” with U.S. military generals, suggesting they should resign in order to undermine U.S. foreign policy during a war, that’s … a little crazy.

    It’s not exactly clear from local reports what it is about Obama’s foreign policy that Lamborn doesn’t like, but under the circumstances, it doesn’t much matter. If a member of Congress has concerns about a president’s approach to international affairs, he or she has a variety of options, including introducing legislation limiting the scope of the administration’s policy.

    The options do not include – or more to the point, the options aren’t supposed to include – meeting privately with generals, during a war, to urge them to “go out in a blaze of glory.”

    As it turns out, Lamborn is running for re-election against retired Air Force Gen. Irv Halter (D), who told the Colorado Independent, “Our elected officials should not be encouraging our military leaders to resign when they have a disagreement over policy. Congressman Lamborn’s statement shows his immaturity and lack of understanding of the American armed forces. Someone who serves on the House Armed Services Committee should know better.”

    That’s putting it mildly.

    This is one of those rare instances in which it would be good news if a congressman was lying while boasting to voters.

    Update: My colleague Kate Osborn talked to Corey Hutchins, Rocky Mountain correspondent for CJR’s United States Project, who originally recorded Lamborn’s remarks. Here’s the transcript of the exchange:

    VOTER: Please work with your other congressmen on both sides of the aisles and support the generals and the troops in this country despite the fact that there is no leadership from the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House. [applause] It was not necessarily a question but [unintelligible].

    LAMBORN: You know what, I can’t really add anything to that, but do let me reassure you on this. A lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes, saying, ‘Hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House has given you, let’s have a resignation. You know, let’s have a public resignation, and state your protest, and go out in a blaze of glory.” And I haven’t seen that very much, in fact I haven’t seen that at all in years.

    In Lamborn’s defense, it’s not clear that his mass resignation plan means the generals are just going to suddenly abandon the battlefield. For instance, maybe they can join one of the militias on the US-Mexican border where bold leadership is sorely needed. That’s where ISIS’s hallucinatory mind-control rays are already in use:

    TPM Livewire
    Texas Lt. Gov: ‘Prayer Rugs’ Found On Texas Side Of Mexican Border

    By Daniel Strauss
    Published September 26, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT 11225 views

    Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) warned that “prayer rugs” have been found on the Texas side of the Mexican-Texas border and suggested that states have both an obligation and a right to act independently of the government on border security.

    “Prayer rugs have recently been found on the Texas side of the border in the brush,” Dewhurst said during a speech Friday at the Values Voter Summit, echoing a claim reported on Breitbart and thought to actually be an Adidas soccer jersey.

    Dewhurst went on to say that he believed that states had the right to “act independently of the government” when it comes to border country.

    Dewhurst is one of a number of Republicans who have argued that there’s a threat of terrorist coming into the country through the southern border.

    Note that the “prayer rug” was found in July which means ISIS’s mind-control rays can clearly cause loss of time. Let’s hope that technology doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. It could be devastating.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 26, 2014, 7:11 pm
  6. And the hits keep coming:

    Media Matters
    Allen West Tells Military To Disobey Commander In Chief
    West Lashes Out At New Rules Expanding Military Service To Undocumented Immigrants

    September 26, 2014 2:33 PM EDT

    Fox News contributor Allen West, who has previously called President Obama an “Islamist” with unclear “loyalties,” is now calling on the military to ignore orders from its commander in chief.

    The Military Times reported that the Department of Defense will expand an existing program, Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI), to allow recruiters “to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills, mostly rare foreign language expertise or specialized health care training.” The program “is capped at 1,500 recruits per year. Officials say it’s unclear how many of those might be unlawful DACA status immigrants as opposed to others who are also eligible for military service under MAVNI, including those with legal, nonpermanent visas such as students or tourists.”

    The Times noted that “the military recruits about 5,000 noncitizens each year, nearly all of them permanent U.S. residents, or so-called ‘green card’ holders. Starting in 2006, DoD began accepting some foreigners with nonpermanent visas, such as students or tourists, if they had special skills that are highly valued. After entering military service, foreigners are eligible for expedited U.S. citizenship. Since 2001, more than 92,000 foreign-born service members have become citizens while serving in uniform.”

    West, a retired Army Lt. Colonel whose servicee ended in controversy, reacted to the news on his Facebook page by writing that “Barack Hussein Obama took out his pen and ordered our Military to enlist illegal aliens. In other words, this charlatan has allowed those who have disrespected our Constitution and are not citizens to take an oath to support and defend the very document, our rule of law, of which they are in violation.”

    He added: “This is an illegal order and should not be followed by our Military.”

    West’s post:

    Morning folks. While you were sleeping, Barack Hussein Obama took out his pen and ordered our Military to enlist illegal aliens. In other words, this charlatan has allowed those who have disrespected our Constitution and are not citizens to take an oath to support and defend the very document, our rule of law, of which they are in violation. Obama has no constitutional authority to make any laws or rules concerning naturalization as stated in Art I Sect 8 Clause 4. This is an illegal order and should not be followed by our Military. As well, we are pink-slipping men and women in uniform, Americans, and Obama wants to enlist illegals. We are already outsourcing our national security to Syrian Islamists. This is intolerable and just another reason why we must flip the Senate and begin to reverse Obama’s tyranny. Any Democrat supporting this illegal order needs to be voted out!

    West has repeatedly launched vitriolic attacks against President Obama. He’s called the president a “disgusting racist,” and claimed “Barack Hussein Obama has an Islamist sympathy … I don’t understand where this president’s loyalties lie, and I have to ask the question, whose side is he on?” Despite his controversial history, West is a regular on the Republican Party fundraising circuit.

    The former Florida congressman previously questioned the “loyalties” of decorated veteran and Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) for serving with her fellow Democrats on the Benghazi select committee.

    Well, on the plus side, at least the far right meme-machine in control of the GOP’s hive mind isn’t yet calling for a coup. We’ll have to give that meme a little more time.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 27, 2014, 4:39 pm
  7. Mark Ames has a fascinating new piece about about the spooky life and death of Nicholas Deak:

    Pando Daily
    The biggest CIA-drug money scandal you never read

    By Mark Ames
    On October 26, 2014

    With the release of the new Gary Webb film “Kill The Messenger” and the sudden renewed interest in what goes on in that dark underbelly of the US Empire — drug running, money laundering, death squads, assassinations of lives and of reputations — I’m reminded of the incredible life and death of Nicholas Deak, the CIA’s Cold War banker hailed in Time magazinee as “the James Bond of the world of money” until the mid-1980s, when his global finance empire was destroyed by Reagan Administration accusations of large-scale Latin American drug money laundering.

    The Reagan Commission on Organized Crime spent much of 1984 attacking Deak’s global foreign exchange firm, Deak-Perera. By the end of the year, Deak was forced to appear before the commission in a testy public interrogation; his financial empire collapsed within days.

    A year later, in 1985, Deak was assassinated in his Wall Street high-rise by a paranoid-schizophrenic bag lady from Seattle, who’d been hired for the job by Latin American mobsters, according to a private internal investigation led by former FBI detectives. The assassin, Lois Lang (pictured above), had previously spent several murky years in the underbelly of Silicon Valley, where she fell under the care of a famous Stanford Research Institute psychiatrist, Frederick Melges — an expert on dosing his subjects with drugs and hypnosis to induce “artificial” dissociative states. Perhaps not surprisingly, Dr. Melges was up to his eyeballs in secret CIA behavior modification programs that were going on at Stanford until they were exposed in Congressional hearings in 1977. [For more on this stranger-than-fiction story, read “James Bond and the Killer Bag Lady” co-authored with Alexander Zaitchik.]

    Nicholas Deak’s end came fast. Exactly thirty years ago, in 1984, his global financial empire, Deak-Perera, was accused by the Reagan Administration of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars of Colombian drug cartel cash.

    Nicholas Deak should’ve been the least likely target for a Reagan Administration takedown over cocaine money laundering, and not only because the same Reagan Administration was busy aiding and abetting the CIA’s mercenary army, the Contras, as they moved cocaine into the US, and illegal weapons into their Honduras bases. What made targeting Deak all the stranger was that one of Deak’s closest longtime friends, William Casey, was head of Reagan’s CIA at that time. And as Gary Webb’s reporting (and Robert Parry’s exposés before and after Webb) have shown, Casey’s CIA was at that very same time aiding and protecting the Contras’ cocaine-running operation.

    Deak’s downfall was covered in the New York Times by a young greenhorn Ivy League grad named Nicholas Kristof, a budding serial dupe who, unsurprisingly, failed to connect the giant dots in front of his face about Deak’s deep ties to the CIA, and his close personal relationship with the Agency’s director, Bill Casey.

    Kristof’s December 1984 article, “Collapse of Deak & Company,”” begins:

    In the world of foreign exchange and precious metals, no name glitters like Deak-Perera.

    Founded in 1939 by a Hungarian immigrant, Nicholas L. Deak, the company grew into prominence by making markets in currencies no one else would touch and in later years, by aggressively promoting private investment in gold. Today, it is the largest nonbank foreign exchange and precious metals operation in the United States.

    …At the heart of the collapse, according to the Deak family, are allegations in a report by the President’s Commission on Organized Crime about the laundering of money, so that drug traffickers could secretly repatriate profits to Latin America.

    Kristof did enough of his archive searching to uncover Deak’s role in some spectacularly shady intelligence operations, but somehow managed to miss Deak’s own intelligence links — including Deak-Perera’s central role in the Lockheed Bribery Scandal, the “Watergate of Corporate America,” under which the CIA funneled millions of bribe dollars to a Japanese war criminal-turned-Yakuza don, who used the funds to influence Japan’s ruling party. Deak-Perera moved the CIA’s funds; Lockheed reps and a Spanish-born priest in Macao carried the cash. Here, however, Kristof leaves out the CIA’s role, so that it all appears, in Kristof’s limited grasp, to reflect “the peculiar world of high finance”:

    [T]he report of the President’s Commission, and testimony before it, offer some glimpses into a peculiar world of high finance.

    – From 1969 to 1975, Deak & Company was the conduit used by the Lockheed Corporation to transfer money intended by Lockheed to bribe Japanese officials. That bribery scandal resulted a year ago in the criminal conviction of a former Prime Minister, Kakuei Tanaka. In 15 deliveries, Deak & Company moved $8.3 million to Hong Kong, where a Spanish-born priest representing Lockheed took the cash and carried it to Japan in a flight bag or in cardboard boxes labeled ”oranges.” “Lockheed Corporation came in and asked us to make a payment,” Leslie Deak explained. “We made a payment. The fact that the money was used later for bribes is Lockheed’s shame, not ours.”

    – The most serious charges involve the “laundering” of tens of millions of dollars garnered by cocaine traffikers. David Williams, an investigator for the commission, said in hearings in March that the “Grandma Mafia” – a well-known cocaine ring that involved many middle-aged or elderly women – deposited $7.6 million. The money was later transferred to Miami, Panama and Colombia, and Mr. Williams quoted a leader of the ring as doubting that her contact in the company could have been so naive as not to have known the origin or the money.

    Had Kristof checked his own paper’s archives a little more thoroughly, he would’ve spotted a 1977 New York Times article on the powerful Veterans of the OSS organization — whose president through those years was Nicholas Deak, whom the Times photographed in a private room beside his colleague and friend, James Jesus Angleton the paranoid founder of the CIA’s counterintelligence division.

    Had Kristof dug a little deeper, he would’ve come across his former New York Times colleague Tad Sculz’s blockbuster exposé in the New Republic’s April 10, 1976 issue, reporting leaks from the Church Committee on Deak-Perera’s role as the CIA’s money mover:

    Most of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation’s secret payments to agents in Japan and to Japanese government figures between 1969 and 1975 were transmitted by Deak & Co., a New York-based firm of international currency dealers that has for many years also served as a covert channel for worldwide financial operations of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Deak’s involvement with the CIA is a matter of guarded knowledge in Washington’s intelligence community.

    Sculz was the anti-Kristof: one of the great investigative reports of the Cold War, he had been targeted by the CIA as “anti-agency” and “under suspicion as a hostile foreign agent” — used his Senate sources to shine light into Deak’s essential finance role in CIA covert operations:

    Having built his company into one of the leading United States foreign-currency dealer firms, Deak is said to have performed various covert services for the CIA in the last 25 years.

    …Deak is said, for example, to have handled CIA funds in 1953 when the agency overthrew Iran’s Premier Mohammed Mossadeq and restored the Shah to the throne. In that instance, the money went through Zurich and a Deak correspondent office in Beirut. During the Vietnam war, Deak & Co. allegedly moved CIA funds through its Hong Kong office for conversion into piastres in Saigon on the unofficial market. Deak officials in Hong Kong and Macao helped the CIA investigate Far East gold smuggling in the mid-1950s. It has also been suggested that Deak & Co.’s Hong Kong office may have ‘laundered,’ with the CIA’s knowledge, illegal contributions to the Nixon reelection campaign in 1972, although it is unknown whether Deak & Co. was aware of the precise nature of that operation.

    The Lockheed Bribery Scandal, with Deak and the CIA at its center, led to the passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the first ever law criminalizing bribery of foreign officials.

    Around the same time that was going on, in 1975, Bill Casey gave a speech at a banquet honoring Deak. They’d bonded as spies in World War Two, and carried on throughout the Cold War, always keeping close to their intelligence comrades working inside the Agency. “It is a privilege to share this moment in the remarkable career of such an old and good friend and companion as Nick Deak,” Casey said:

    Having had the privilege of seeing Nick Deak in action and being with him in some of his endeavors, I claim to speak about him with authority. During World War II, both of us served in the Office of Strategic Services under the Great and legendary ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan. We served in different parts of the world—I in Western Europe, Nick in Southern Europe and Southeast Asia—but I can attest to the high reputation for courage, boldness and reliability which he acquired in the OSS and for the esteem in which Bill Donovan held him.

    Having from time to time counseled Nick Deak as lawyer and friend, I have had the opportunity to witness, and to some degree to understand, the remarkable way in which he developed the Deak-Perera Group.

    Casey described how Deak, a Hungarian aristocrat from a prominent banking family, emigrated in 1939 to the US, rose up the elite wartime spy agency, and helped the US transition into a global empire with his unique grasp of global finance:

    As soon as World War II began, he joined the U.S. Army. His knowledge of Europe and his linguistic abilities brought him quickly to the Office of Strategic Services. He was first assigned to our Middle East Headquarters at Cairo and was given responsibility in the Eastern Mediterranean with particular emphasis on the Turkish border, Cyprus and Crete. After the landings in North Africa, Sicily and Italy in the Western Mediterranean, our interests in the Eastern Mediterranean diminished, and Captain Deak was assigned to intelligence work in Burma, Thailand and Malaya.

    In August, 1945, Nicholas L. Deak, in charge of an OSS unit, at the airport in Rangoon, Burma, accepted on behalf of the United States, the sword of surrender of the Commanding General of the Japanese forces in Burma. He wound up commanding an OSS unit in Indochina and was sent, at the end of his military duties, to Shanghai in China, being discharged with the rank of Major. For another year, he continued his intelligence and political duties in Asia and Washington with the Department of State.

    Returning to New York in 1946, he resumed the foreign exchange business he had started in 1939. The Deak-Perera Group was on its way.

    The tightly integrated, interdependent world economy which we know today was then just beginning to evolve. Businessmen were encountering obstacles and frustrations flowing from the foreign exchange restrictions which then prevailed. To function in foreign trade and investments, they needed sophisticated knowledgeable advice. Deak and Co., Inc. remedied that problem in America.

    At the time of his speech honoring Deak, Bill Casey was serving as the head of the Export-Import Bank, having earlier served as chairman the SEC under Nixon. In 1984, as head of the CIA, Bill Casey was the dark face of Reagan’s Central America policies: The dirty wars in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador that left tens of thousands dead; the illegal mining of Nicaragua’s harbors; the illegal Iran-Contra covert operations to fund the Contra mercenary army by selling arms to Ayatollah Khomeini; and the darkest operation of all, the CIA’s involvement—passive or otherwise—in helping their Contra mercenaries run cocaine into America’s cities to finance their death squads, an operation that eventually put the Contra drug runners in business with “Freeway” Rick Ross, the crack cocaine kingpin of the 1980s.

    And so in 1984, the Reagan Commission on Organized Crime spent most of the year trying to compel Nick Deak to testify before the committee, led by a federal prosecutor and West Point grad named Jim Harmon. Members on the commission included segregationist Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond, and the powerful first cousin of Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush — John M. Walker Jr., assistant secretary of the Treasury Department in charge of enforcement and financial crimes. (Vice President George H W Bush also led a number of powerful Reagan task forces — on terrorism, drugs, and drug money laundering in South Florida, among others.)

    I interviewed Harmon in 2010 about his commission’s takedown of Deak. In our talk, he was very friendly and forthcoming, with no hint of malice, and no residual memory of hostility in the proceedings.

    “Nicholas Deak was quite a guy—parachuting into Romania, accepting Japan’s surrender in Burma,” Harmon told me by phone. “Before our investigations, money laundering wasn’t illegal because there were no laws against it. We needed to learn the ins and outs first, and that’s why we called in Deak. We called others too—EF Hutton, Steve Wynn—it’s thanks to what we learned from them that we were able to devise the world’s first anti-money laundering.”

    And yet in early 1984, after Deak publicly refused to testify in Washington alongside mob informant Jimmy “The Weasel” Fratianno, Harmon lashed out before reporters: “Mr. Deak will be asked to explain how over $100 million was laundered through his company and further into various criminal schemes.”

    Finally, at the end of November 1984, the commission used a subpeona to force Deak to testify in Washington, appearing just before a hooded Colombian witness gave testimony about how he laundered drug funds through Deak.

    A year later, Deak was murdered, along with his receptionist, by the unlikeliest assassin imaginable — a homeless paranoid-schizophrenic from Seattle by way of Mountain View, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and the forgotten goings-on at the Stanford Research Institute.

    Gary Webb was hardly the first journalist to pull up the floorboards and shine light onto the dark workings of empire. It’s not a pretty sight, and despite all the official Enlightenment cant about transparency and human improvement, there are a lot of people in this country who don’t want to know. Quite possibly a majority, even a supermajority — that was the lesson of the Reagan Revolution, it’s a lesson brilliantly retold in Rick Perlstein’s new book “Invisible Bridge,” and until someone can make a strong rational case — not a religious case based on liberal morality or Enlightenment cant — why all the non-journalists and non-liberal arts grads in this country’s lives are necessarily improved by learning every horrible shitty thing this country does — and that list is long, like reading all the names of the war dead — then we may as well admit that Gary Webb was driven to suicide so that one day, we might safely troll each other on Twitter, the perfect insta-medium to nurture our selective amnesia, without ever having to put much on the line.

    Note that, at the time of the 1984 Congressional testimony by Nicholas Deak, R. Leslie Deak, was the executive vice president of Deak & Company and president of Deak-Perera.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 27, 2014, 6:14 pm

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