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FTR #966 Dramatis Personae of the Russia-Gate Psy-Op

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment [4].

Roger Stone Salutes [5]

Roger Stone Salutes

Introduction: Developing information about the cast of characters in the “Russia-Gate” psy-op, we highlight the political allegiance of “Team Trump”–the operatives involved with Trump’s campaign and business dealings with Russia, as well as Robert Mueller, former FBI chief and a very special prosecutor indeed.

Although Trump certainly had links to Russian mob figures, they are by no means the prime movers in this drama.

Most importantly, we detail the political resumes and deep politics underlying the cast of characters in this drama, tracking the operational links back to Joe McCarthy and the red-baiting specialists from the first Cold War.

Joe McCarthy legal point man Roy Cohn is, to a considerable extent, the spider at the center of this web. Cohn:

Roger Stone is another figure who weaves throughout this concatenation. Stone:

The point man for the Trump business interests in their dealings with Russia is Felix Sater. A Russian-born immigrant, Sater is a professional criminal and a convicted felon with historical links to the Mafia. Beyond that, and more importantly, Sater is an FBI informant and a CIA contract agent [13]As the media firestorm around “Russia-gate” builds, it is important not to lose sight of Sater. ” . . . . He [Sater] also provided other purported national security services for a reported fee of $300,000. Stories abound as to what else Sater may or may not have done in the arena of national security. . . .” We wonder if helping the “Russia-Gate” op may have been one of those. 

Beyond Sater, other key players in this concatenation do not track back to “Kremlin/Putin/FSB/KGB.” Rob Goldstone–the publicist whose overture to Donald Trump, Jr. initiated the latest “Russia-gate journalistic feeding frenzy in the media, began his career a journalistic foot soldier [9] for Rupert Murdoch, the very same Rupert Murdoch whose christening as a GOP/right-wing propagandist was initiated by Roy Cohn.

Goldstone contacted Donald Trump Jr., dangling the bait that there might be dirt on Hillary available if he met with some associates. Foremost among those is a Russian attorney, Natalie Veselnitskaya. Her apparent purpose in this meeting was not to offer up dirt on Hillary Clinton but to work toward easing a media lockdown on a documentary about the Magnitsky affair.

Spun in the West, the U.S. in particular, as a classic example of ham-fisted Russian corruption and violence, the Magnitsky affair was revealed in the film documentary to be an example of U.S. corruption, not Russian.

Crafted by Putin political opponent Andrei Nekrasov, the film [14] revealed an unexpected dynamic [15]: ” . . . . Nekrasov discovered that a woman working in Browder’s company was the actual whistleblower and that Magnitsky – rather than a crusading lawyer – was an accountant who was implicated in the scheme. . . .”

Attempting to lift the media blackout on Nekrasov’s film was Veselnitskaya’s goal, not disseminating dirt on Hillary Clinton.

CORRECTION: At a couple of points in the audio discussion of Goldstone, Veselnitskaya et al, Mr. Emory misspeaks, describing the participant in the meeting as “Donald Trump.” It was his son Donald Trump, Jr.

Program Highlights Include:

1. By way of review, we remind listeners that the point man for the Trump business interests in their dealings with Russia is Felix Sater. A Russian-born immigrant, Sater is a professional criminal and a convicted felon with historical links to the Mafia. Beyond that, and more importantly, Sater is an FBI informant and a CIA contract agent [13]. [13] ” . . . . He [Sater] also provided other purported national security services for a reported fee of $300,000. Stories abound as to what else Sater may or may not have done in the arena of national security. . . .” We wonder if helping the “Russia-Gate” op may have been one of those. 

2. Rob Goldstone–the publicist whose overture to Donald Trump, Jr. initiated the latest “Russia-gate journalistic feeding frenzy in the media, began his career a journalistic footsoldier for Rupert Murdoch, the very same Rupert Murdoch whose christening as a GOP/right-wing propagandist was initiated by Roy Cohn.

“Britain’s Gift to America: The New Sleazocracy” by Peter Jukes; The New York Times; 7/14/2017. [23]

. . . . According to Mr. Goldstone’s account,he moved from local journalism to work for Rupert Murdoch’s best-selling British daily newspaper The Sun and other tabloids before turning to public relations for pop stars. . .

3. Trump dirty tricks operative and former campaign manager was introduced to Trump by Joe McCarthy legal point man and later Trump attorney Roy Cohn.

“Is Roger Stone Making Good on a 40-Year-Old-Grudge” by Michael D’Antonio; CNN; 5/20/2017. [7]

. . . . In the middle of the Watergate scandal, Stone, who engaged in dirty tricks during Richard Nixon’s 1972 campaign, was discovered to have hired a Republican operative to infiltrate the George McGovern campaign and was subsequently fired from his job. After the President’s resignation, Stone remained an ardent Nixon apologist and loyalist. He even had the man’s face tattooed on his back  [24]and devoted his life to ruthless, anything-goes politics (or political consulting, as you may know it). Stone’s motto was and continues to be: “Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack.” And anyone who has watched Trump closely over the years would think it was his personal slogan, too.

Stone was introduced to Trump in the 1980s by the notorious Roy Cohn. Then a Manhattan lawyer who represented several reputed mobsters, Cohn had become infamous in the 1950s as the chief inquisitor during Joe McCarthy’s “Red Scare” hearings in the United States Senate. After McCarthy’s inquisition was shut down, Cohn began a new life as a political and legal fixer. He became a mentor to Stone and Trump and taught both men how to manipulate the media and bully opponents. . . .

4. Goldstone contacted Donald Trump Jr., dangling the bait that there might be dirt on Hillary available if he met with some associates. Foremost among those is a Russian attorney, Natalie Veselnitskaya. Her apparent purpose in this meeting was not to offer up dirt on Hillary Clinton but to work toward easing a media lockdown on a documentary about the Magnitsky affair.

Spun in the West, the U.S. in particular, as a classic example of ham-fisted Russian corruption and violence, the Magnitsky affair was revealed in the film documentary to be an example of U.S. corruption, not Russian.

Crafted by Putin political opponent Andrei Nekrasov, the film revealed an unexpected dynamic: ” . . . . Nekrasov discovered that a woman working in Browder’s company was the actual whistleblower and that Magnitsky – rather than a crusading lawyer – was an accountant who was implicated in the scheme. . . .”

Attempting to lift the media blackout on Nekrasov’s film was Veselnitskaya’s goal, not disseminating dirt on Hillary Clinton.

“How Russia-Gate Met the Magnitsky Myth” by Robert Parry; Consortium News; 7/13/2017. [15]

 Near the center of the current furor over Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 is a documentary that almost no one in the West has been allowed to see, a film that flips the script on the story of the late Sergei Magnitsky and his employer, hedge-fund operator William Browder.

Donald Trump Jr., speaking at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

The Russian lawyer, Natalie Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump Jr. and other advisers to Donald Trump Sr.’s campaign, represented a company that had run afoul of a U.S. investigation into money-laundering allegedly connected to the Magnitsky case and his death in a Russian prison in 2009. His death sparked a campaign spearheaded by Browder, who used his wealth and clout to lobby the U.S. Congress in 2012 to enact the Magnitsky Act to punish alleged human rights abusers in Russia. The law became what might be called the first shot in the New Cold War.

According to Browder’s narrative, companies ostensibly under his control had been hijacked by corrupt Russian officials in furtherance of a $230 million tax-fraud scheme; he then dispatched his “lawyer” Magnitsky to investigate and – after supposedly uncovering evidence of the fraud – Magnitsky blew the whistle only to be arrested by the same corrupt officials who then had him locked up in prison where he died of heart failure from physical abuse.

Despite Russian denials – and the “dog ate my homework” quality of Browder’s self-serving narrative – the dramatic tale became a cause celebre in the West. The story eventually attracted the attention of Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, a known critic of President Vladimir Putin. Nekrasov decided to produce a docu-drama that would present Browder’s narrative to a wider public. Nekrasov even said he hoped that he might recruit Browder as the narrator of the tale.

However, the project took an unexpected turn [25] when Nekrasov’s research kept turning up contradictions to Browder’s storyline, which began to look more and more like a corporate cover story. Nekrasov discovered that a woman working in Browder’s company was the actual whistleblower and that Magnitsky – rather than a crusading lawyer – was an accountant who was implicated in the scheme.

So, the planned docudrama suddenly was transformed into a documentary with a dramatic reversal as Nekrasov struggles with what he knows will be a dangerous decision to confront Browder with what appear to be deceptions. In the film, you see Browder go from a friendly collaborator into an angry adversary who tries to bully Nekrasov into backing down.

Ultimately, Nekrasov completes his extraordinary film – entitled “The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes” – and it was set for a premiere at the European Parliament in Brussels in April 2016. However, at the last moment – faced with Browder’s legal threats – the parliamentarians pulled the plug. Nekrasov encountered similar resistance in the United States, a situation that, in part, brought Natalie Veselnitskaya into this controversy.

As a lawyer defending Prevezon, a real-estate company registered in Cyprus, on a money-laundering charge, she was dealing with U.S. prosecutors [26] in New York City and, in that role, became an advocate for lifting the U.S. sanctions, The Washington Post reported.

That was when she turned to promoter Rob Goldstone to set up a meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr. To secure the sit-down on June 9, 2016, Goldstone dangled the prospect that Veselnitskaya had some derogatory financial information from the Russian government about Russians supporting the Democratic National Committee.Trump Jr. jumped at the possibility and brought senior Trump campaign advisers, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, along.

By all accounts, Veselnitskaya had little or nothing to offer about the DNC and turned the conversation instead to the Magnitsky Act and Putin’s retaliatory measure to the sanctions, canceling a program in which American parents adopted Russian children. One source told me that Veselnitskaya also wanted to enhance her stature in Russia with the boast that she had taken a meeting at Trump Tower with Trump’s son.

But another goal of Veselnitskaya’s U.S. trip was to participate in an effort to give Americans a chance to see Nekrasov’s blacklisted documentary. She traveled to Washington in the days after her Trump Tower meeting and attended a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, according to The Washington Post.

There were hopes to show the documentary to members of Congress but the offer was rebuffed. Instead a room was rented at the Newseum near Capitol Hill. Browder’s lawyers. who had successfully intimidated the European Parliament, also tried to strong arm the Newseum, but its officials responded that they were only renting out a room and that they had allowed other controversial presentations in the past.

Their stand wasn’t exactly a profile in courage. “We’re not going to allow them not to show the film,” said Scott Williams, the chief operating officer of the Newseum. “We often have people renting for events that other people would love not to have happen.”

In an article about the controversy in June 2016, The New York Times added [27] that “A screening at the Newseum is especially controversial because it could attract lawmakers or their aides.” Heaven forbid!

So, Nekrasov’s documentary got a one-time showing with Veselnitskaya reportedly in attendance and with a follow-up discussion moderated by journalist Seymour Hersh. However, except for that audience, the public of the United States and Europe has been essentially shielded from the documentary’s discoveries, all the better for the Magnitsky myth to retain its power as a seminal propaganda moment of the New Cold War. . . .

5. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were advocated for by Stone as participants in the debates between Hillary Clinton and Trump. (Johnson and Stein’s combined vote total helped Trump win in several key states.)

 “The Democratic Party’s Billion-Dollar Mistake” by Steve Phillips; The New York Times; 7/20/2017. [12]

. . . . Although some Democratic voters (in particular, white working-class voters in Rust Belt states) probably did swing to the Republicans, the bigger problem was the large number of what I call “Obama-Johnstein” voters — people who supported Mr. Obama in 2012 but then voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, or Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, last year (according to the exit polls, 43 percent of them were nonwhite).

In Wisconsin, for example, the Democratic vote total dropped by nearly 235,000, while Mr. Trump got only about the same number of votes as Mr. Romney in 2012. The bigger surge in that state was for Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein, who together won about 110,000 additional votes than the candidates of their respective parties had received in 2012. And in Michigan, which Mrs. Clinton lost by fewer than 11,000 votes, the Johnson-Stein parties’ total increased by about 202,000 votes over 2012. . . . [8]

6a. Roger Stone was touting Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Johnson and Jill Stein were advocated for by Stone as participants in the debates between Hillary Clinton and Trump. (Johnson and Stein’s combined vote total helped Trump win in several key states.)

Stone then worked with Roy Cohn to put “independent” Republican John Anderson the Presidential candidate for the Liberal Party in New York. This gambit gave Reagan a key victory in New York, as noted above.

“The Gary Johnson Swindle and The Degradation of Third Party Politics” by Mark Ames; NSFWCorp; 11/6/2012. [8]

. . . . The fact that Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party was founded and funded by the Koch brothers (David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s VP in 1980 in order to make it easier for the Kochs to shovel more money into the party and the libertarian cause), and that Gary Johnson was a longtime loyal Republican — considering all of this, and what’s at stake in presidential elections, it would seem to me malpractice for a journalist to assume there isn’t a story, or several stories, to be found under the Gary Johnson rock. Stories that matter. And that are bizarre and fun and grotesque in their own right. . .

. . . . Exhibit A: Roger Stone, a self-described “GOP hitman” with a giant tattoo of Richard Nixon’s face etched across his back. Roger Stone —the skeeziest, meanest, most flamboyant and most Russian-nihilistic of any Republican dirty trickster working the field going back a few decades, the Satanic Zelig of Republican black ops, who’s had a hand in just about every major GOP election crime you’ve heard of, and lots more you haven’t heard of. Everyone seems to have forgotten already, but last spring, Roger Stone made a big public stink about how he’s fed up with the Republican Party and the two-party stranglehold, and joined Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party campaign. Pro bono. Because democratic idealism and principles are what Roger Stone is all about. . . .

. . . . This episode comes from a rather candid interview Roger Stone gave to the Weekly Standard in a 2007, and in it he describes how the most effective election fraud trick of all is using a credible Third Party candidate to split the opposition’s vote. In 1980, Stone’s candidate was Ronald Reagan, and his enemy was incumbent president Jimmy Carter. The wild card in the 1980 election was a popular Illinois liberal Republican named John Anderson, who lost in the primaries against Reagan and decided to run against him and Carter anyway, given his popularity and disgust with both Reagan and Carter.

John Anderson’s biggest problem was getting his name on the ballots. Roger Stone realized that if Anderson could get on the New York state ballot, it could split the liberal vote and hand the electoral prize to Ronald Reagan. So Stone seeks help from a political operative so evil he makes Roger Stone look like a Mormon: Roy Cohn, Sen. McCarthy’s right-hand henchman during the Red-baiting hearings. Cohn brings a mobster named Fat Tony Solerno with him, and they ask Roger Stone what his problem is and how they might help.

Roger Stone’s problem was simple: He wanted to get “Mr. Clean” outsider John Anderson on the New York state ballot as a third party candidate to drain votes from Carter, but there wasn’t nearly enough time to make it happen. Most people were led to believe that Anderson would naturally split the Republican vote, but that wasn’t the case at all. Privately, polls showed that in tight state races, Anderson’s candidacy caused far more damage to Carter than to Reagan. . . .

. . . . Stone, who going back to his class elections in high school has been a proponent of recruiting patsy candidates to split the other guy’s support, remembers suggesting to Cohn that if they could figure out a way to make John Anderson the Liberal party nominee in New York, with Jimmy Carter picking up the Democratic nod, Reagan might win the state in a three-way race. “Roy says, ‘Let me look into it.'” Cohn then told [Fat Tony Salerno], “‘You need to go visit this lawyer’–a lawyer who shall remain nameless–‘and see what his number is.’ I said, ‘Roy, I don’t understand.’ Roy says, ‘How much cash he wants, dumbf–.'” Stone balked when he found out the guy wanted $125,000 in cash to grease the skids, and Cohn wanted to know what the problem was. Stone told him he didn’t have $125,000, and Cohn said, “That’s not the problem. How does he want it?” Cohn sent Stone on an errand a few days later. “There’s a suitcase,” Stone says. “I don’t look in the suitcase . . . I don’t even know what was in the suitcase . . . I take the suitcase to the law office. I drop it off. Two days later, they have a convention. Liberals decide they’re endorsing John Anderson for president. It’s a three-way race now in New York State. Reagan wins with 46 percent of the vote. I paid his law firm. Legal fees. I don’t know what he did for the money, but whatever it was, the Liberal party reached its right conclusion out of a matter of principle.” I ask him how he feels about this in retrospect. He seems to feel pretty good–now that certain statutes of limitations are up[…] “Reagan got the electoral votes in New York State, we saved the country,” Stone says with characteristic understatement. “[More] Carter would’ve been an unmitigated disaster.” . . . .

6b. Tony Salerno–the Cohn mob client whose talents were drawn upon by Roger Stone in the positioning of John Anderson–is a Trump crony as well.

 . . . Trump bought his Manhattan ready-mix [concrete] from a company called S & A Concrete. Mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano secretly owned the firm. S & A charged the inflated prices that the LeFrak and Resnik families complained about, LeFrak to both laws enforcement and The New York TimesAs [reporter Wayne] Barrett noted, by choosing to build with ready-mix concrete rather than other materials, Trump put himself ‘at the mercy of a legion of concrete racketeers.’ But having an ally in Roy Cohn mitigated Trump’s concerns. With Cohn as his fixer, Trump had no worries that the Mafia bosses would have the unions stop work on Trump Tower; Salerno and Castellano were Cohn’s clients. Indeed, when the cement workers struck in summer 1982, the concrete continued to flow at Trump Tower. . . .

7. It was Roy Cohn who introduced Rupert Murdoch to Ronald Reagan and thus initiated the forging of the right-wing Republican media Amen Chorus that dominates today. The Murdoch journalistic empire was the breeding ground for Rob Goldstone.

“How Roy Cohn Helped Rupert Murdoch” by Robert Parry; Consortium News; 1/28/2015. [9]

Rupert Murdoch, the global media mogul who is now a kingmaker in American politics, was brought into those power circles by the infamous lawyer/activist Roy Cohn who arranged Murdoch’s first Oval Office meeting with President Ronald Reagan in 1983, according to documents released by Reagan’s presidential library.

“I had one interest when Tom [Bolan] and I first brought Rupert Murdoch and Governor Reagan together and that was that at least one major publisher in this country would become and remain pro-Reagan,” Cohn wrote in a Jan. 27, 1983 letter [28] to senior White House aides Edwin Meese, James Baker and Michael Deaver. “Mr. Murdoch has performed to the limit up through and including today.” . . .

8. Eventually, the rehabilitated SS general Karl Wolff began feeding information to “Frenchy” Grombach, a former military intelligence agent who formed a network of operatives who fed information to the CIA, among others. As indicated here, one of Grombach’s major sources in his efforts was Wolff. Among the primary recipients of Grombach’s and Wolff’s information was Senator Joseph McCarthy, who utilized dirt given him by the network to smear his opponents. Among those who were trashed during the McCarthy period were people involved with Safehaven.

Blowback; Christopher Simpson; Collier [Macmillan] {SC}; Copyright 1988 by Christopher Simpson; ISBN 0-02-044995-X; pp. 236-237. [19]

 . . . One of Grombach’s most important assets, according to U.S. naval intelligence records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, was SS General Karl Wolff, a major war criminal who had gone into the arms trade in Europe after the war. . . . Grombach worked simultaneously under contract to the Department of State and the CIA. The ex-military intelligence man succeeded in creating ‘one of the most unusual organizations in the history of the federal government,’ according to CIA Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick. ‘It was developed completely outside of the normal governmental structure, [but it] used all of the normal cover and communications facilities normally operated by intelligence organizations, and yet never was under any control from Washington.’ By the early 1950s the U.S. government was bankrolling Grombach’s underground activities at more than $1 million annually, Kirkpatrick has said. . . .

. . . Grombach banked on his close connections with Senators Joseph McCarthy, William Jenner, and other members of the extreme Republican right to propel him to national power. . . .Grombach’s outfit effectively became the foreign espionage agency for the far right, often serving as the overseas complement to McCarthy’s generally warm relations with J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI at home . . . . U.S. government contracts bankrolling a network of former Nazis and collaborators gave him much of the ammunition he needed to do the job. Grombach used his networks primarily to gather dirt. This was the American agent’s specialty, his true passion: political dirt, sexual dirt, any kind of compromising information at all. ‘He got into a lot of garbage pails,’ as Kirkpatrick puts it, ‘and issued ‘dirty linen’ ‘reports on Americans. ‘Grombach collected scandal, cataloged it, and used it carefully, just as he had done during the earlier McCormack investigation. He leaked smears to his political allies in Congress and the press when it suited his purposes to do so. Grombach and congressional ‘internal security’ investigators bartered these dossiers with one another almost as though they were boys trading baseball cards. . . .

9. Next, we recap some of the deep political connections of Joe McCarthy (this text was read into the record in AFA #2 [29].) Note that McCarthy’s backing traces to the same German-American pro-Nazi Fifth Column that we analyzed in FTR #’s 918 [17], 919 [18] and 929 [30].

The Nightmare Decade: The Life and Times of Senator Joe McCarthy by Fred Cook; Random House [HC]; Copyright 1971 by Fred Cook; ISBN 0-394-46270-X; pp. 132-133. [16]

. . . . Why did he [McCarthy] rage in defense of the Nazi murderers of American soldiers?

The answer lies in the influence exerted by some of McCarthy’s ultraconservative, even pro-Nazi, backers in Wisconsin. McCarthy had been bankrolled in his political campaigns by such leaders of Wisconsin’s powerful German-American community as Frank Seusenbrenner and Walter Harnischfeger. Seusenbrenner was the president of the Kimberly Clark Paper Company and president of the board of the University of Wisconsin; Harnischfeger was president of the Harnischfeger Company, of Milwaukee, makers of traveling cranes, overhead machinery–and prefabricated houses. Both men were known as being fiercely pro-German.

McCarthy showed not the slightest repugnance for Harnischfeger’s passionate ultrarightism and admiration for Hitler. Before the war, one of the manufacturer’s nephews attending the University of Wisconsin had shocked fellow students by displaying an autographed copy of Mein Kampf, and flaunting a watch-chain swastika. During the war, Harnischfeger had advocated a negotiated peace with Germany, and as soon as the war ended, he played a leading role in organizing a German relief society. The Harnischfeger Corporation w one of eight Midwestern concerns holding war contracts that were ordered by the President’s Fair Employment Practices Commission to stop discriminating against workers because of race or religion. The commission charged on April 12, 1942, that these firms had refused to employ Jews or Negroes and had advertised for only Gentile, white Protestant help.

After 1945, Harnischfeger made several trips to Germany. He criticized the dismantling of German factories, denounced the war-crimes trials, and urged the restoration of Germany’s colonies. After Joe McCarthy became a Senator, he inserted Harnischfeger’s pronouncements in the Congressional Record; and Upton Close, the profascist radio commentator, parroted the views to his radio audience.

McCarthy’s 1947 financial troubles, stemming from his stock market reverses and his heavy overload of loans from the Appleton State Bank, appear to have been cured by this Wisconsin angel. “I have made complete arrangements with Walter Harnischfeger to put up sufficient collateral to cure both our ulcers,” McCarthy finally wrote to his harried banker friend, Matt Schuh. At the time of the 1948 Presidential election, McCarthy had listened to the returns in Harnischfeger’s home. The industrialist’s interest in prefabricated housing was believed in Washington to have been one of the reasons that McCarthy had so interested himself in the issue.

In terms of the Malmedy investigation, Anderson and May described the McCarthy-Harnischfeger axis in these terms: “Ten days after the Malmedy investigation was begun, a young man named Tom Korb worked for six weeks, carried on the books as McCarthy’s administrative assistant.” He stayed long enough to help Joe write a speech on the Malmedy Massacre, delivered on July 26, 1949, and then he went back to his job as a lawyer and corporation official in Milwaukee. His employer: the Harnischfeger Corporation.” . . . .

10. Bush also recently selected Robert Mueller, a member of his father’s Justice Department, to be FBI director. Reprising information from FTR #310 [20]:

 “S.F. Prosecutor Mueller Picked to Lead FBI, Mend Its Image” by Zachary Coile and Bob Egelko; San Francisco Chronicle; 7/6/2001; pp. A1-A12. [31]

President Bush tapped Robert S. Mueller III [32], the U.S. attorney in San Francisco, as the new director of the FBI yesterday, seeking a no-nonsense manager to repair the image of an agency accused of botching several recent high-profile cases.

Mueller, a 56-year-old veteran federal prosecutor who helped put Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega [33] behind bars, was nominated to succeed Louis Freeh [34]. Freeh, who led the department through eight turbulent years under President Bill Clinton [35], retired last month.

Mueller was picked for the 10-year FBI director’s term after proving himself as acting deputy attorney general during Bush’s presidential transition. His nomination requires Senate confirmation.

11a. On April 4, Treasury Secretary O’Neill met with powerful Islamist Republicans whose spheres of interest overlap those of the institutions and individuals targeted on March 20, 2002. Reprising information from FTR #356 [36]:

(“O’Neill Met Muslim Activists Tied to Charities” by Glenn R. Simpson [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Journal; 4/18/2002; p. A4.)

11b. A principal figure in the group that interceded on behalf of the (alleged) Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa-connected targets of the Operation Green Quest raids was Talat Othman, a close business and political associate of President Bush.

Among the Muslim leaders attending [the meeting with O’Neill] was Talat Othman, a longtime associate and supporter of President Bush’s family, who gave a benediction at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in August 2000 . . . But he also serves [with Barzinji] on the board of Amana Mutual Funds Trust, an investment firm founded by M. Yacqub Mirza, the Northern Virginia businessman who set up most of the entities targeted by the Treasury and whose tax records were sought in the raid. . . . (Idem.)

12. As Mr. Emory hypothesized in FTR#353 [37], the Norquist/GOP/Islamist links are part of the Republican Party’s ethnic outreach program. Again, one should note that these elements are directly connected to Al Qaeda and exemplify the Saudi/petroleum/GOP/Bush structural economic and political relationships at the core of the corruption of investigations into Al Qaeda and 9/11.

. . . .The case also highlights conflicts between the Bush administration’s domestic political goals and its war on terror. GOP officials began courting the U.S. Muslim community intensely in the late 1990’s, seeking to add that ethnic bloc to the party’s political base. . .  (Idem.)

13. The Amana organization (on the board of which Othman serves) has numerous areas of overlap with organizations described as being implicated in terrorism and the milieu of Al Queda.

. . . Two nonprofits affiliated with Mr. Mirza and named in the search warrant, the SAAR Foundation Inc. and the Heritage Education Trust Inc., held large blocks of shares in Amana’s mutual funds in 1997, according to SEC records. The SEC documents and other records detailing connections between Mr. Othman and the Islamic Institute [on the board of which Mr. Othman serves] and the raided groups were compiled by the National Security News Service, a Washington based nonprofit research group. . . (Idem.)

14. Further details have emerged about the links between Al Taqwa and the GOP/Bush administration.

. . . .Mr. Othman also is on the board of Mr. Saffuri’s [and Norquist’s] Islamic Institute, the GOP-leaning group that received $20,000.00 from the Safa Trust, one of the raid’s targets. The president of the Safa Trust, Jamal Barzinji, is a former business associate of Switzerland based investor Youssef Nada, whose assets were frozen last fall after the Treasury designated him a person suspected of giving aid to terrorists. [Italics are Mr. Emory’s.] (Idem.)

15. Othman’s links to Bush are profound.

. . . Mr. Othman has ties to the Bush family going back to the 1980’s, when he served with George W. Bush on the board of a Texas petroleum firm, Harken Oil & Gas Inc. Mr. Othman has visited the White House during the administrations of both President Bush and his father George H.W. Bush. . . .(Idem.)

16. Next, the program reviews other areas of intersection between the labyrinthine network attacked in the 3/20 raids, the Al Taqwa milieu, and the Republican Party. A recent Wall Street Journal article described some of the organizations targeted in the raids:

“Funds Under Terror Probe Flowed From Offshore” by Glenn R. Simpson [with Michael M. Phillips]; Wall Street Journal; 3/22/2002; p. A4. [38]

. . . . These include Al-Taqwa Management, a recently liquidated Swiss company the U.S. government believes acted as a banker for Osama bin Laden’s al Queda terrorist network . . . Two people affiliated with the companies and charities are linked by records to entities already designated as terrorist by the U.S. government. Hisham Al-Talib, who served as an officer of SAAR, the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Safa Trust Inc., another Mirza charity, during the 1970’s was an officer of firms run by Youssef M. Nada, records show. Mr. Nada is a Switzerland-based businessman whose assets have been frozen by the U.S. for alleged involvement in terrorist financing, and is alleged by U.S. officials to be a key figure in the Taqwa network. . .Jamal Barzinji, an officer of[Emphasis added.]

Mr. Mirza’s company Mar-Jac and other entities, also was involved with Mr. Nada’s companies in the 1970’s, according to bank documents from Liechtenstein. A message was left yesterday for Mr. Barzinji at his address in Herndon. Mr. Barzinji and Mr. Talib live across the street from each other. A third business associate of Mr. Nada, Ali Ghaleb Himmat (who also has been designated by the Treasury as aiding terrorism), is listed as an official of the Geneva branch of another charity operated by Mr. Mirza, the International Islamic Charitable Organization. . . .

17. Further detailing the background of Othman, the broadcast highlights the connections between people associated with the Nugan Hand Bank and Othman.

. . . .Harken Energy was formed in 1973 by two oilmen who would benefit from a successful covert effort to destabilize Australia’s Labor Party government (which had attempted to shut out foreign oil exploration). A decade later, Harken was sold to a new investment group headed by New York attorney Alan G. Quasha, a partner in the firm of Quasha, Wessely & Schneider. …William Quasha [Alan’s father] had also given legal advice to two top officials of the notorious Nugan Hand Bank in Australia, a CIA operation. After the sale of Harken Energy in 1983, Alan Quasha became a director and chairman of the board. Under Quasha, Harken suddenly absorbed Junior’s struggling Spectrum 7 in 1986. (“Bush Family Value$: The Bush Clan’s Family Business” by Stephen Pizzo; Mother Jones; September/October 1992; accessed at www.motherjones.com/news_wire/bushboys.html [39] .) (For more about Nugan Hand, see AFA#’s 4, 25, 30.)

18. Othman also has links to Gaith Pharoan of the BCCI and, through him, to James R. Bath and the Bin Ladens.

. . . . Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh, in turn, was a business associate of BCCI front man Gaith Pharoan; he bought a chunk of Harken’s stock and placed his representative, Talat Othman, on Harken Energy’s board of directors. . . . (Idem.)