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

News & Supplemental  

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 ® 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

Post a comment