Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Money Laundering' is associated with 127 posts.

FTR #1027 Send in The Clowns: Reflections on the Kavanaugh Circus

“A friv­o­lous soci­ety can only achieve dra­mat­ic sig­nif­i­cance through what its friv­o­li­ty destroys.”–Edith Whar­ton.

The large­ly inept ques­tion­ing of Brett Kavanaugh about his youth­ful, drunk­en sex­u­al behav­ior eclipsed Kavanaugh­’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in far more seri­ous, and alto­geth­er lethal activ­i­ties dur­ing his piv­otal role with the Bush admin­is­tra­tions, pri­mar­i­ly that of George W. Bush: ” . . . . Kavanaugh, now Pres­i­dent Trump’s nom­i­nee to the Supreme Court, had an ordi­nary-sound­ing title: staff sec­re­tary. But he wield­ed extra­or­di­nary influ­ence as the advis­er respon­si­ble for screen­ing, review­ing and edit­ing doc­u­ments deliv­ered to Bush, inter­views and doc­u­ments show. . . . But no jus­tice in recent mem­o­ry has worked as intent­ly as Kavanaugh at the high­est lev­els of the nation’s polit­i­cal machin­ery, schol­ars said. . . . Doc­u­ments and inter­views show that while Kavanaugh was not a pol­i­cy­mak­er, he was direct­ly involved in help­ing the White House man­age a wide array of sen­si­tive mat­ters, includ­ing the war on ter­ror­ism . . . .  ‘It put Kavanaugh at the cen­ter of every polit­i­cal and pol­i­cy deci­sion at the Bush White House,’ said Peter Irons, pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at San Diego and author of sev­er­al books about the Supreme Court. ‘He is exact­ly the kind of per­son that the legal con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment wants on the court.’ . . . . Kavanaugh was respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing the process that helped shape the president’s think­ing and fueled the Bush admin­is­tra­tion agen­da. ‘He was every­where,’ said Michael Ger­son, a speech­writer in the Bush admin­is­tra­tion and now a syn­di­cat­ed colum­nist at The Post. . . . ‘Vir­tu­al­ly every piece of paper had to pass through the staff secretary’s hands,’ Rove said. . . .”

Kavanaugh­’s wife also had deep ties to the George W. Bush admin­is­tra­tion. ” . . . . Ash­ley Estes Kavanaugh worked as media rela­tions coor­di­na­tor for the George W. Bush Pres­i­den­tial Cen­ter from 2009–2010; worked as Direc­tor of Spe­cial Projects for the George W. Bush pres­i­den­tial Foun­da­tion from 2005 to 2009; was Pres­i­dent George W. Bush’s per­son­al sec­re­tary from 2001 to 2005; was an assis­tant in the White House from 2001 to 2005; and worked on the Bush-Cheney 2000 cam­paign from 1996 to 2000. Her time with Bush dates to his work in Texas as gov­er­nor there. She was assis­tant to Gov­er­nor George W. Bush from 1996 to 1999. She attend­ed the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Austin from 1994 to 1997. . . .”

In the con­text of Kavanaugh­’s Sen­ate ques­tion­ing, Mr. Emory made a num­ber of points, includ­ing the fol­low­ing:

1.–Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gor­such attend­ed the same high school. Where­as there was a huge com­mo­tion over Brett Kavanaugh­’s drunk­en sex­u­al behav­ior (as there should have been), there was no atten­tion what­so­ev­er paid to Neil Gor­such’s boast­ing of par­tic­i­pa­tion in a social group of reac­tionary stu­dents who called them­selves “The Fas­cism For­ev­er Club.” (That such a social group exist­ed was cor­rob­o­rat­ed by the edi­tors of Gor­such’s high school year­book.)  This was cov­ered in FTR #945. A screen cap­ture of the high school year­book edi­tors’ mus­ings  on Gor­such’s Fas­cism For­ev­er social cir­cle is includ­ed in the writ­ten descrip­tion for the pro­gram.
2.–Absent on the Sen­ate Judi­cia­ry Com­mit­tee that queried and vet­ted Judge Kavanaugh was Al Franken, who was pro­fes­sion­al­ly destroyed in one of the most hys­ter­i­cal­ly fascis­tic, unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic events in recent mem­o­ry. (We dis­cussed this in FTR #998, and sup­ple­ment­ed it in FTR #999.) A lynch mob alto­geth­er rem­i­nis­cent of the young women fea­tured in Arthur Miller’s dra­mat­ic para­ble The Cru­cible, forced Franken’s res­ig­na­tion from the Sen­ate large­ly on the ado­les­cent, obvi­ous­ly joc­u­lar and libidi­nous events occur­ring dur­ing a USO tour. An obvi­ous gag pho­to of Franken pre­tend­ing to grope the breasts of an osten­si­bly sleep­ing LeAnn Twee­den (who was not asleep and was wear­ing a flak jack­et) fed the flames of a grotesque polit­i­cal immo­la­tion. On the same USO tour, Twee­den was pho­tographed grab­bing the butt of a male per­former, onstage.
3.–Franken said he wel­comed an inves­ti­ga­tion and vet­ting of the charges against him. There was NONE! The charges of right-wing flak Twee­den (a Birther accord­ing to her friend actor Tom Arnold) were then aug­ment­ed by an alle­ga­tion by a Trump backer that Franken groped her while she was hav­ing a pic­ture tak­en with him at the Min­neso­ta State Fair. Her Trump-back­ing hus­band and her father were present, and the pic­ture was tak­en by her fam­i­ly mem­bers.
The appar­ent assault of Chris­tine Blasey (Ford) by a drunk­en Kavanaugh, although rep­re­hen­si­ble, pales by com­par­i­son with the enor­mous destruc­tion of life that took place dur­ing the admin­is­tra­tions of George W. Bush, includ­ing:

1.–The Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks.
2.–The ongo­ing war in Afghanistan that stemmed from those attacks.
3.–The war in Iraq, which also stemmed from the 9/11 attacks.
4.–The blood­bath in the war against ISIS, also a result of the inva­sion of Iraq.
5.–The enor­mous destruc­tion of life stem­ming from the finan­cial col­lapse over­seen by Dubya’s admin­is­tra­tion. In FTR #412, record­ed in June of 2003, Mr. Emory fore­cast the eco­nom­ic col­lapse of 2008, not­ing that it was delib­er­ate­ly “engi­neered,” in order to serve as a pre­text for slash­ing fund­ing for domes­tic social wel­fare pro­grams.

The pro­gram fea­tures an excerpt from FTR #715. Not­ing that Kavanaugh­’s resume stretch­es back to the Pres­i­den­cy of George H.W. Bush and gath­ers momen­tum with the Pres­i­den­cy of his son (for whom Kavanaugh­’s wife also worked), it appears pru­dent to give some con­sid­er­a­tion of the trans-gen­er­a­tional nature of the Bush fam­i­ly and crim­i­nal activ­i­ties that are part and par­cel to that fam­i­ly’s involve­ment with fas­cism.

Among the key items of dis­cus­sion is the opaque nature of Dubya’s Harken Ener­gy and the large, mys­te­ri­ous amounts of mon­ey flow­ing into, and out of, the firm. It may well have been a mon­ey laun­der­ing vehi­cle, with the pres­ence of Alan Quasha on the board of direc­tors being sug­ges­tive.

A native of the Philip­pines, Quasha is the son of William Quasha, head of the Philip­pine branch of the Nugan Hand Bank. Part of “Team Mar­cos,” William was inevitably in close prox­im­i­ty to, if not involved with, the recy­cling of the enor­mous gold deposits stashed in the Philip­pines by the Japan­ese dur­ing World War II. In the dis­cus­sion with Russ Bak­er, he sug­gests that Harken may (among oth­er things) have been used to laun­der some of the Gold­en Lily loot from Gen­er­al Yamashita’s trea­sure.

As not­ed in FTR #‘s 356 and 1006, among oth­er pro­grams, it was Talat Othman–a for­mer direc­tor of Harken Ener­gy, a polit­i­cal advis­er and per­son­al friend of both Georges Bush and the man­ag­ing direc­tor of Grover Norquist and Karl Rove’s Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute who inter­ced­ed with then Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Paul O’Neill on behalf of the indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions tar­get­ed by the 3/20/2002 Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids. O’Neill was fired months lat­er and then FBI Direc­tor Robert Mueller–that most spe­cial of prosecutors–helped derail the Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tion.

As high­light­ed in FTR #569, Rita Katz and John Lof­tus, who ini­ti­at­ed the Oper­a­tion Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tion and did much of the heavy lift­ing were sur­veilled by FBI and/or CIA. Robert Mueller’s FBI cov­ered up Green Quest.

The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of a hor­ror show that emerged in the after­math of the kid­nap­ping and mur­der of Pol­ly Klass (whose slay­ing led to the pas­sage of California’s “Three Strikes” law.) One can only imag­ine the extent to which con­nec­tions like this bear on the Sau­di spon­sor­ship of ter­ror­ism and the Unit­ed States’ reluc­tance (or inabil­i­ty) to do any­thing about it. What might sur­face if the U.S. were to tru­ly crack down on the Saud­is?

Although what was appar­ent­ly done to Dr. Ford is rep­re­hen­si­ble, it pales by com­par­i­son to oth­er hor­rors vis­it­ed on young women.

Mr. Emory notes that noth­ing has been done about this and noth­ing will be done–by ANY of the peo­ple and insti­tu­tions who weighed in on the Kavanaugh cir­cus.

For to inves­ti­gate these charges would be to cut across the U.S./Saudi pow­er axis. THAT is absolute­ly invi­o­lable, as no one knows bet­ter than Brett Kavanaugh!

” . . . . Jill saw broth­els [in Sau­di Ara­bia] where chil­dren were kept. The broth­els were plain look­ing build­ings in the cen­ter of the town, with yel­low doors. Men con­stant­ly came in and out, most­ly Arabs from the oil fields, but men from oth­er busi­ness­es as well. Jill peeked past the yel­low door into one of the broth­els and saw a room filled with young girls, white-skinned, about twelve-years old. She learned lat­er that many of them were Amer­i­can, abduct­ed and shipped from the Unit­ed States. The lit­tle girls were wear­ing small, skimpy, see-through skirts. A cus­tomer would pick one of them, and take whomev­er he want­ed upstairs.

Lat­er, Jill saw some of the lit­tle girls get­ting air in the back of the broth­el, She could tell they were drugged by the way they walked. Although she nev­er learned who ran the broth­els, she found out that in two or three years the lit­tle girls were turned into the streets where they were left to die. I asked Jill if she ever report­ed what she saw, lit­tle girls who were drugged and forced into sex­u­al slav­ery. She admit­ted that she had – to some­one in the diplo­mat­ic corps. He said he would see what could be done about the abduct­ed Amer­i­can girls – but to her knowl­edge, noth­ing was ever done. . . .”


FTR #920 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 3: The Underground Reich Emerges Into Plain View

QUICK: How many Pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates can you name who kept a book of Adolf Hitler’s speech­es by their bed­side? Don­ald Trump does. For many years, what Mr. Emory terms “The Under­ground Reich” has been a fun­da­men­tal point of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis in these broad­casts and posts. In the third pro­gram ana­lyz­ing the Don­ald Trump cam­paign, we exam­ine the “Trumpenkampfver­bande,” its polit­i­cal antecedents and adher­ents. Exem­pli­fy­ing, and net­work­ing with, gen­er­a­tions of fas­cists and fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions, the Trumpenkampfver­bande embod­ies the emer­gence of the Under­ground Reich into plain view. A sig­na­ture ele­ment of Trump’s cam­paign is his resus­ci­ta­tion of the “Amer­i­ca First” slo­gan and con­cept, a man­i­fes­ta­tion both of his thin­ly-veiled appeal to Nazi and white suprema­cist ele­ments and his will­ing­ness to cede dom­i­nance over world affairs to a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed “third pow­er bloc.” The Amer­i­ca First con­cept mobi­lizes pow­er­ful feel­ings among those feel­ing over­whelmed and left behind by polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ments glob­al­ly and in the Unit­ed States. We note that the “orig­i­nal” Amer­i­ca First was financed by Nazi Ger­many. Trump’s invo­ca­tion of Amer­i­ca First exem­pli­fies the nature of his polit­i­cal her­itage and alle­giances. One of his top advis­ers Joseph E. Schmitz, “obsessed with all things Ger­man” and, accord­ing to asso­ciates, some­one who “fired the Jews” (from the Pen­ta­gon) and man­i­fest­ed Holo­caust denial. This is not atyp­i­cal of “Team Trump.” One of the most impor­tant fig­ures in main­stream­ing “alt right” (i.e. Nazi, white nation­al­ist and anti-Semit­ic) atti­tudes has been Breitbart’s Steve Ban­non, now essen­tial­ly run­ning the Trump cam­paign. Trump and his cam­paign have a habit of re-tweet­ing infor­ma­tion from “alt right” web­sites and mes­sage boards. Of pri­ma­ry sig­nif­i­cance in ana­lyz­ing Trump con­cerns the main finan­cial backer of his real estate projects–Deutsche Bank. In addi­tion to the fact that this places a poten­tial Pres­i­dent in the posi­tion of owing upwards of $100 mil­lion to an insti­tu­tion that has open­ly defied U.S. reg­u­la­to­ry posi­tions, Deutsche Bank is a pri­ma­ry ele­ment of the remark­able and dead­ly Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work, about which we speak so often. Pro­gram High­lights Include: Analy­sis of the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Trump’s father was in the Ku Klux Klan; review of Trump’s asso­ci­a­tion with for­mer Axis spy Nor­man Vin­cent Peale; review of Trump’s counsel–Senator Joe McCarthy aide Roy Cohn; Trump’s addi­tion­al finan­cial back­ing from George Soros, who got his start in busi­ness “Aryaniz­ing” Jew­ish prop­er­ty dur­ing the Holo­caust; Trump’s tweet­ing of a cam­paign ad fea­tur­ing Waf­fen SS-clad World War II re-enac­tors; The enthu­si­as­tic sup­poprt Trump has received from David Duke.


FTR #913 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates

Bring­ing up to date top­ics cov­ered in pre­vi­ous pro­grams and posts, this broad­cast begins with fur­ther cov­er­age of the devel­op­ment of UFOs–so-called “fly­ing saucers.” They were observed at the Roswell and Area 51 mil­i­tary bases and described as hav­ing been devel­oped by the CIA, not “space aliens.”

In numer­ous posts and pro­grams, we have not­ed that the GOP/Underground Reich ele­ment of U.S. intel­li­gence has used Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-derived jihadis as proxy war­riors and armed her­alds of cor­po­ratist eco­nom­ics. In that con­text, we high­light the frankly sus­pi­cious release of Boston Marathon bomber Tamer­lan Tsar­naev’s immi­gra­tion file–only 206 of 651 pages were released in their entire­ty.

The use of Islamists as proxy war­riors also bears con­sid­er­a­tion in light of law enforce­men­t’s casu­al atti­tude toward 17 Mus­lim men who fired “hun­dreds of shots” and were “chant­i­ng” in the ear­ly morn­ing hours in a park in San Bernardi­no Coun­ty in Cal­i­for­nia. Why was­n’t the FBI more con­cerned?

With ten­sions ris­ing in the West­ern Pacif­ic between the U.S. and Chi­na, new­ly-elect­ed Philip­pines pres­i­dent Rodri­go Duterte har­bors deep resent­ment of the U.S. over the extrac­tion of a self-pro­claimed CIA agent who incurred crim­i­nal charges in Min­danao while appar­ent­ly look­ing for Gold­en Lily loot in the Islands.

After detail­ing yet anoth­er “sui­cide” of a key exec­u­tive of Swiss Re, we present a sig­nif­i­cant analy­sis of the recent replace­ment of the head of the Israeli Defense Force with Avig­dor Lieber­man, the head of a far-right wing Israeli polit­i­cal par­ty: “Israel has been ‘infect­ed by the seeds of fas­cism,’ he [for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Ehud Barak] said.”

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The CIA’s use of Ger­hard von Mende, Nazi Ger­many’s top offi­cial coor­di­nat­ing Islamist forces work­ing for the Third Reich; The Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety’s spon­sor­ship of Mohamed Atta asso­ciate and Chechen jiha­di Mohame­dou Ould Slahi.


FTR #903 Daniel Hopsicker on Donald Trump and How He Is Going to Make America Great Again

Don­ald Trump’s entire busi­ness career–his “art of the deal”–derives from high­ly ques­tion­able deal­ings with a pan­theon of orga­nized crime fig­ures, cor­rupt financiers and intel­li­gence-con­nect­ed oper­a­tives. From his ear­ly entre­pre­neur­ial career in Atlantic City to his under­tak­ings in Flori­da to his oper­a­tions in West­ern cities like Las Vegas, one finds Trump asso­ci­at­ed with Jim­my-Hof­fa linked Mafia fig­ures, peo­ple from the milieu of Howard Hugh­es and Iran-Con­tra play­ers such as Adnan Khashog­gi. Trump has pro­ject­ed financier Carl Icahn as his Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury, ignor­ing Icah­n’s link to what Daniel has called “Cocaine One” and the mys­te­ri­ous, nefar­i­ous Sky­way air­lines. Trump’s Atlantic City deals involved mob-linked fig­ures like Dan Sul­li­van, Ken­neth Shapiro, “Fat Tony Saler­no” and Nicky Scar­fo. More sig­nif­i­cant­ly, the State of New Jer­sey, Atlantic City offi­cials, and the Hol­i­day Inn inter­ests have aid­ed Trump in high­ly ques­tion­able ways. In Las Vegas, Trump has been the heir to fig­ures from the Mey­er Lan­sky and Howard Hugh­es inter­ests, such as Louis Less­er. Trump’s larg­er cir­cle of friends links to indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions involved with the Mar­cos fam­i­ly in the Philip­pines, whose largesse derived from the Gold­en Lily loot secret­ed by the Japan­ese in World War II. Pro­gram High­lights Include: Craig Less­er (Louis Lesser’s son) and his role in access­ing some of the Gold­en Lily loot in the Philip­pines; Iran-Con­tra fig­ure Adnan Khashog­gi’s sale of his per­son­al yacht to Don­ald Trump; Khashog­gi’s links to Imel­da Mar­cos; Trump’s flip­ping of a lux­u­ry Palm Beach (Flori­da) prop­er­ty to Russ­ian mob­ster Dim­it­ry Rybolovlev; Trump’s use of “off­shoring” tac­tics to ren­der his deal­ings opaque.


FTR #900 The Panama Papers and the Underground Reich

Analy­sis of the Pana­ma-based Mos­sack Fon­se­ca law firm sug­gests the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the firm is an intel­li­gence front of some kind. Beyond that, there are indi­ca­tions that the out­fit and/or key peo­ple involved with its gen­er­a­tive milieu are linked to the Under­ground Reich. Erhard Mos­sack, father of Mos­sack Fon­se­ca co-founder Juer­gen, not only served in the SS, but appears to have been recruit­ed by U.S. after the war. Erhard Mos­sack was in pos­ses­sion of lists of Were­wolf gueril­la unit mem­bers. Orig­i­nal­ly assem­bled to con­duct gueril­la war­fare against Allied armies occu­py­ing Ger­many, the Were­wolves were a key ele­ment of post-war Nazi escape routes and the Otto Sko­rzeny-man­aged ODESSA net­work. The Were­wolves were also the tem­plate for the ear­ly CIA/Gehlen Org “stay behind” units, the gen­e­sis of what became pop­u­lar­ly known as Oper­a­tion Glad­io. Mos­sack Fon­se­ca has helped “off­shore” mon­ey for many inter­ests, includ­ing the Mar­cos fam­i­ly’s Gold­en Lily-derived for­tune and the Thyssen-Borne­misza fam­i­ly’s art deal­ings. One of the most inter­est­ing of Mos­sack Fon­se­ca’s oper­a­tions is its piv­otal­ly impor­tant Neva­da sub­sidiary, head­ed by a Chilean woman named Patri­cia Amu­nategui, an admir­er of Augus­to Pinochet, Sara Palin, Mitt Rom­ney, the Koch broth­ers, the Dalai Lama and the cult built around Swa­mi Yoganan­da. A well-known and sem­i­nal “guru,” Yoganan­da was an admir­er of Hitler and Mus­soli­ni in the 1930’s. Pro­gram High­lights Include: Mos­sack Fon­se­ca’s use of bear­er bonds for some of its sub­sidiary oper­a­tions; Erhard Mos­sack­’s prob­a­ble work spy­ing for the CIA on Cuba in Pana­ma; Juer­gen’s broth­er Peter’s work as Pana­ma’s Hon­orary Con­sul in Frank­furt, seat of the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank; review of the use of stolen art as a key cap­i­tal resource by the Nazis; the BND’s refusal to release infor­ma­tion about Erhard, although they had a file on him; review of the BND’s prac­tice of recruit­ing from among the fam­i­lies of exist­ing BND mem­bers; Pierre Omid­yar’s refusal to pub­lish Ken Sil­ver­stein’s sto­ry on Mos­sack Fon­se­ca and sub­se­quent demand for pay­ment by “Vice News,” which did pub­lish the arti­cle.


Bitcoin Accepted for Political Contributions

If you thought that cam­paign finance had become a sticky wick­et in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Cit­i­zens Unit­ed and McCutcheon deci­sions, you might be bit­ter­ly amused by the lat­est devel­op­ment in the lubri­ca­tion of the wheels of democ­ra­cy. The Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion has giv­en the nod to accept­ing Bit­coins as cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions. Fans of Cit­i­zens Unit­ed and McCutcheon will be thrilled to know that the top tenth of one per­cent of Bit­coin own­ers con­trol 50% of the total of the cur­ren­cy in exis­tence.


Aktion Feurland: Did Hitler Escape?

A recent book exam­ines the very real pos­si­bil­i­ty that Adolf Hitler may have escaped at the end of World War II–his “sui­cide” a care­ful­ly planned and exe­cut­ed ruse. Fur­ther­more, the book high­lights that gam­bit in the con­text of known col­lu­sion between the Third Reich and the West­ern Allies as the war drew to a close. The authors posit that the key play­ers in the real­iza­tion of Aktion Feurland–the code-name for the operation–were names well known to reg­u­lar lis­ten­ers and users of this web­site: Allen Dulles on the Allied side and Mar­tin Bor­mann for the Third Reich. Cen­tered on a quid pro quo arrange­ment, the authors hypoth­e­size that Aktion Feur­land involved the trans­fer of Nazi tech­nol­o­gy to the U.S. and the West (known as Project Paper­clip) and the sav­ing of price­less works of art from destruc­tion, in return for the safe pas­sage of Hitler, Bor­mann and oth­er top Nazis.


The Ministry of Truth and Malaysian Air 370

Nev­er have we seen the news media–The Min­istry of Truth in the most lit­er­al, Orwellian sense–behave more shame­ful­ly. The same Islamist/Muslim Broth­er­hood ele­ments fig­ure into this inves­ti­ga­tion as into 9/11 and–most recently–the Boston Marathon bomb­ing. The pilot was a devo­tee of Malaysian Mus­lim Broth­er Anwar Ibrahim, who was con­vict­ed on sodomy charges hours before the plane’s dis­ap­pear­ance.


More Collateralized “Death” Obligations

“Par­ticipo” alerts us to an arti­cle from The New York Post updat­ing the mor­tal­i­ty rate in the finan­cial indus­try. These deaths are occur­ring as numer­ous inves­ti­ga­tions are under­way into var­i­ous kinds of malfea­sance in the glob­al finan­cial sec­tor, manip­u­la­tion of the for­eign exchange rate, in par­tic­u­lar.


FTR #775 Ratzinger Leaves the Ship–The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

The star­tling res­ig­na­tion of Pope Bene­dict XVI (nee Joseph Ratzinger) brings to mind a num­ber of con­sid­er­a­tions. Ratzinger was some­thing of a care­tak­er, charged with sus­tain­ing the Opus-Dei style reac­tion grip­ping the Vat­i­can and keep­ing the lid on poten­tially dam­ag­ing inquiries.. He took office with the Holy See engulfed in scan­dal and inquiry, includ­ing the bur­geon­ing priest molesta­tion inves­ti­ga­tions, renewed inquiries into mon­ey laun­der­ing by the Vat­i­can Bank and inquiries con­cern­ing the Vatican’s behav­ior dur­ing and after World War II. Might some of those issues over­whelmed his papa­cy, forc­ing the first Papal res­ig­na­tion in his­to­ry?