by Nina Burleigh

Recently I attended one of those legendary Washington dinner parties, attended by British cosmopolites and Americans in the know. A few courses in, people were gossiping about the Bush family's close and enduring friendship with the Saudi ambassador, Prince Bandar, dean of the diplomatic corps in Washington. By the end of the evening, everyone was talking about how the unfolding events were going to affect the flow of oil out of Central Asia.

I left wondering whether 6,000 Americans might prove to have died in New York for the royal family of Saud, or oil, or both. But I didn't have much more than insider dinner gossip to go on. I get my analysis from the standard all-American news outlets. And they've been too focused on a) anthrax and smallpox, or b) the intricacies of Muslim fanaticism, to throw any reporters at the murky ways in which international oil politics and its big players have a stake in what's unfolding.

A quick Nexis search brought up a raft of interesting leads that would keep me busy for 10 years if the economics of this war was my beat. But only two articles in the American media since September 11 have tried to describe how Big Oil might benefit from a cleanup of terrorists and other anti-American elements in the Central Asia region. One was by James Ridgeway of the Village Voice. The other was by a Hearst writer based in Paris and it was picked up only in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In other words, only the Left is connecting the dots of what the Russians have called "The Great Game" -- how oil underneath the 'stans' fits into the new world order. Here's just a small slice of what ought to provoke deeper research by American reporters with resources and talent.

Start with father Bush. The former president and ex-CIA director is not unemployed these days. He's been globetrotting as a member of Washington's Carlyle Group, a $12 billion private equity firm which employs a motorcade of former ranking Republicans, including Frank Carlucci, Jim Baker and Richard Darman. George Bush senior and colleagues open doors overseas for The Carlyle Group's "access capitalists."

Bush specializes in Asia and has been in and out of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (countries that revere him thanks to the Gulf War) often on business since his presidency. Baker, the pin-striped midwife of 'Election 2000' was working his network in the 'stans' before the ink was dry on Clinton's first inaugural address. The Bin Laden family (presumably the friendly wing) is also invested in Carlyle. Carlyle's portfolio is heavy in defense and telecommunications firms, although it has other holdings including food and bottling companies.

The Carlyle connection means that George Bush Senior is on the payroll from private interests that have defense business before the government, while his son is president. Hmmm. As Charles Lewis of the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity has put it, "in a really peculiar way, George W. Bush could, some day, benefit financially from his own administration's decisions, through his father's investments. And that to me is a jaw-dropper."

Why can we assume that global businessmen like Bush Senior and Jim Baker care about who runs Afghanistan and NOT just because it's home base for lethal anti-Americans? Because it also happens to be situated in the middle of that perennial vital national interest -- a region with abundant oil. By 2050, Central Asia will account for more than 80 percent of our oil. On September 10, an industry publication, Oil and Gas Journal, reported that Central Asia represents one of the world's last great frontiers for geological survey and analysis, "offering opportunities for investment in the discovery, production, transportation, and refining of enormous quantities of oil and gas resources."

It's assumed we need unimpeded access in the 'stans' for our geologists, construction workers and pipelines if we are going to realize the conservation-free, fossil-fueled future outlined recently by Vice President Cheney. A number of pipeline projects to carry Central Asia's resources west are already under way or have been proposed. They would go through Russia, through the Caucasus or via Turkey and Iran. Each route will be within easy reach of the Taliban's thugs and could be made much safer by an American vanquishment of Muslim terrorism.

There's also lots of oil beneath the turf of our politically precarious newest best friend, Pakistan. "Massive untapped gas reserves are believed to be lying beneath Pakistan's remotest deserts, but they are being held hostage by armed tribal groups demanding a better deal from the central government," reported Agence France Presse just days before September 11.

So many business deals, so much oil, all those big players with powerful connections to the Bush administration. It doesn't add up to a conspiracy theory. But it does mean there is a significant MONEY subtext that the American public ought to know about as "Operation Enduring Freedom" blasts new holes where pipelines might someday be buried.

Nina Burleigh has written for The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and New York magazine. As a reporter for TIME, she was among the first American journalists to enter Iraq after the Gulf War.


Something "Evil" This Way Comes

by Scott Morschhauser

October 17, 2001-I once heard General Electric's CEO Jack Welch comment that the key to success was to pick one consistent message and repeat it ad infinitum. I also learned through years of studying history and the media that in a propaganda campaign one should divert the attention of the masses with a simple, yet passionately inflammatory message. These two concepts keep repeating in my mind after viewing George W. Bush's state of the war address on Thursday Oct. 11.

The entire press event on Oct. 11 lasted approximately 45 minutes. Bush delivered a prepared address for 6 minutes followed by a 38-minute question and answer session with the press corps. During the 6-minute address the word evil was used twice, 10 more times during the Q&A session. George W. Bush used the word evil in the answer to almost every single question, sometimes using the word twice in a single answer. He was obviously well prepped to deliver the message. The goal was to hammer the message home. We, the U.S., are good and the enemy, still not entirely defined, is evil. The extrapolated message is that since we are good, all of our actions are good. Since the enemy is evil, all of their actions are evil. If we, the good citizens of the United States, receive this message that he has been hammering into our brains, we will not question the actions of our government.

Before I receive another influx of hate mail, let me say that obviously the attacks on Sept. 11 were evil in the sense that innocent civilians were targeted and indiscriminate murder is easily defined or labeled as evil. I think that's a given. But the U.S. response to the attacks, including some of the peripheral subplots that I'll get into shortly, are not so easily slotted into good vs. evil. It is childish to look at the world as black and white.

Let's start by taking a look at all of the statements from the Thursday address by George W. Bush using the word evil:

1. "We're angry at the evil that was done to us, yet patient and just in our response."

2. "Our war on terrorism has nothing to do with differences in faith. It has everything to do with people of all faiths coming together to condemn hate and evil and murder and prejudice."

3. "Today, the Justice Department did issue a blanket alert. It was in recognition of a general threat we received. This is not the first time the Justice Department have acted like this. I hope it's the last, but given the attitude of the evildoers, it may not be."

4. "And-but the truth of the matter is, in order to fully defend America, we must defeat the evildoers where they hide."

5. "There's no question that the leader of Iraq is an evil man."

6. "We learned a good lesson on September the 11th, that there is evil in this world."

7. "I know there's a lot of children in America wondering what took place. I think it's essential that all moms and dads and citizens tell their children we love them and there is love in the world, but also remind them there are evil people."

8. "After all, on our TV screens the other day, we saw the evil one threatening, calling for more destruction and death in America."

9. "Moms and dads are not only reassessing their marriage and the importance of their marriage, but of the necessity of loving their children like never before. I think that's one of the positives that have come from the evildoers."

10. "The evil ones have sparked an interesting change in America, I think, a compassion in our country that is overflowing."

11. "We don't hold any religion accountable. We're fighting evil."

12. "And these murderers have hijacked a great religion in order to justify their evil deeds."

As I watched the address, the word evil kept jumping out, looming large over every answer, and I wondered if anyone else was thinking how absurd this was. The message was clear. We are good, so therefore all of our actions are good. They are evil and therefore all of their actions are evil.

International conflicts, such as the one with which the U.S. is now embroiled, are always complex matters that require intense scrutiny and discussion not only by our government, but also by the average citizen. We are the United States, the government should represent us, and we have the right to understand what is going on and weigh in on the issues. To dumb down the conversation to a simplistic good vs. evil melodrama is an insult to the intelligence of the American people as well as a disservice to the memory of the victims of the terrible attacks of Sept. 11.

With the good vs. evil message successfully driven home, one must now address the second part of my hypothesis. What are we being diverted from focusing our attention on? Here are a few items that I believe deserve further investigation and discussion, by all Americans. I only mention each briefly and there are many more questions that need to be addressed.

1. Humanitarian Aid - The current administration realizes that citizens have been quite critical of past military actions because of collateral damage and other humanitarian issues. We are told by our government that we are doing a wonderful job shipping humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, but the international experts in humanitarian aid are jumping up and down screaming that we aren't. In fact, the Afghan citizens were getting much more aid before we started bombing. There have been many complaints that we are dropping food into land mine fields, tempting children to their death. The international organization Doctors Without Borders has condemned our humanitarian program as military propaganda. It's wonderful to involve our children in the cause (George W. Bush asked the children of America to send money to help the children of Afghanistan, which is a great lesson in social responsibility), but it is no substitute for a true and serious humanitarian aid program by our government.

2. The Carlyle Group - Follow the money. Who will profit from this war? A private investment organization known as the Carlyle Group that invests heavily in military contracting. Members include Republican strong-arm lawyer James Baker III (seen often during the Florida vote counting), former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci (Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's college roommate), Fred Malek (George H.W. Bush's campaign manager, better known as Nixon's "Jew counter") and other wealthy Republican government families, probably the Bushes and most frighteningly the bin Ladens of Saudi Arabia. You can search the web on the Carlyle Group for information. A recent article in the Baltimore Chronicle is a good place to start. I think that this blatant conflict of interest should send the collective spider sense tingling for all of the world's inhabitants. has an article titled "Missing the Oil Story" that relates the Carlyle Group to my next item.

3. Oil - Gee, didn't see this one coming. I found several articles on September 12 discussing the U.S. oil interests that seem to be in the forefront of the administration's agenda. Here's a quick quote from an article at the Frontier Post, "The US Ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlain, paid a courtesy call on the Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman Aminuddin, here Tuesday (Oct. 9, 2001) and discussed with him matters pertaining to Pak-US cooperation in the oil and gas sector." You should check out articles at the,, and the article "US companies to invest in Pakoil, gas sectors" from

4. Previous Lies - It's a well known fact that CNN was a puppet mouthpiece for the George H. W. Bush administration during the Persian Gulf War. The other networks marched right along. Investigative reporting was out the door. Who can forget that old chestnut, "The Patriot Missile has a 90 percent success rate." In fact, the Patriot was a horrible failure. We even sold bubble gum cards to children with false statements about our weapons and their accuracy. The truth is that we bombed the hell out of innocent civilians. And innocent civilians are innocent civilians, whether they work in a poor village in Iraq or the Twin Towers in New York. This is just one of a myriad of lies that were reported as truth during that war. Why would we assume that we are being told the truth this time? For the most part, it's the same bunch of guys running the show.

5. Liberties - Keep us pumped full of fear (state of alert warnings without reasons why or what to do) and maybe we won't notice that the Bill of Rights has been tossed out the door. Continually criticize senators and congressmen as partisan or unpatriotic whenever they disagree or question the Bush administration on any issue (whether it relates to the fight on terrorism or not) and eventually they'll shut up, agree to everything, and stop representing those who elected them to office.

6. U.S. Terrorist Training Camps - George W. Bush emphatically stated that we were going to comb the globe to stamp out terrorism wherever we find it. Well, we've been training terrorists at the School of the Americas (SOA) in Ft. Benning Georgia, for decades-now known as Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC). Many famous human rights violators, such as Manuel Noriega, were trained there before signing on to the U.S. payroll to help with CIA operations in Latin America. It has also been reported that we are now picking and choosing which terrorist organizations we'll go after based on who we need in our coalition against Osama bin Laden. In other words, U.S. sanctioned terrorists are okay and, therefore, not evil. We should clean up our own closets while we're combing the globe. Just track down Sister Gwen Hennesey, an elderly nun from Dubuque, Iowa, who is still sitting in a prison cell for protesting the actions of the School of the Americas. I'm sure she'll tell you all about it. You can write to her in prison at: Sister Hennesey, #90288-020 FPC Pekin, PO Box 6000, Pekin, IL 61555. You can also search for the web site, School of the Americas Watch.

These are just a few of the actions taking place that will affect every American citizen, and we would be wise to keep our eye on the ball. I don't have all of the answers, but I sure have a lot of questions. A childlike fairy tale of good vs. evil is just not cutting it for me.

Supporting our government in time of crisis? Sure. Give us information, let us scrutinize the information, and as long as the government's actions are legit it will get our support. A nation united? Sure, as long as we are standing together for justice. United as long as we demand and receive the truth so that we can end a 60-some year stretch of military-related lies. Blind faith when we have been lied to continually for decades, lies which have created the situation that we now face? Our answer should be simple, passionate, and we should repeat it ad infinitum. No.

If my message has not been repeated enough I'll take one more shot at it. We, the average citizens of the United States, need to demand the facts from our government so that we can decide if the are actions being taken are ones we can support. We need to decide if the actions are justified and appropriate, because to accept what we know to be morally wrong would be, well . . . evil.

The CIA's Wall Street Connections

Transcript of interview with Michael C. Ruppert
on Guns and Butter:

The Economy Watch with Kellia Ramares
and Bonnie Faulkner

Aired on KPFA 94.1 FM, Berkeley, CA Friday, October 12, 2001

FAULKNER: On September 29, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that investors had yet to collect more than $2.5 million in profits they made trading options in the stock of United Airlines before the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. The uncollected money raises suspicions that the unidentified investors had advance knowledge of the attacks. The securities and exchange commission is investigating high levels of short sales and purchases of "put" options, on the stocks of United Airlines and American Airlines in the three business days before the attacks. Short sales and put options are bets that a stock will fall in price.

Meanwhile, the Interdisciplinary Center, a counter-terrorism think tank headed by former Israeli intelligence officers, has issued a report on Osama bin Laden's finances, saying insiders profited by nearly $16 million dollars on transactions involving the two airlines and the investment banking firm Morgan Stanley, which occupied 22 floors of the World Trade Center. And that report excluded other unusual trading activity involving insurance companies with significant exposure to damage claims resulting from the attacks.

Joining us by phone from Southern California is Michael C. Ruppert. Ruppert is a former Los Angeles Police Department field officer and narcotics investigator whom the CIA twice tried to recruit.

In the course of investigations in the mid 1970s, he came across information the CIA was trading drugs in order to fund covert operations. He was forced out of the LAPD in November 1978 after being shot at and threatened for speaking out about CIA drug activity.

At a Town Hall meeting on November 15, 1996, Ruppert publicly confronted then-CIA director John Deutsch with information about three specific CIA drug operations. The confrontation led to an invitation to appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he spoke and presented written evidence concerning the CIA's infiltration of and illegal relationships with a number of police departments throughout the country.

Michael Ruppert publishes "From The Wilderness," a magazine which deals with the effects of illegal covert operations on our society.

He's here today to discuss his latest article for that magazine . . . about the CIA's knowledge of, and connections to, the suspect trading that occurred in the days prior to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Michael Ruppert, welcome to "Guns and Butter: The Economy Watch."

RUPPERT: Good to be here.

FAULKNER: Good to have you. Do you think the CIA had advance knowledge of the attacks? Did they know a specific attack was coming?

RUPPERT: I am absolutely convinced that the Central Intelligence Agency had complete and perfect foreknowledge of the attacks, down to date, time place and location, yes.

FAULKNER: Tell us how the CIA monitors the stock market.

RUPPERT: Well, I have written several stories about this over the years. One of the primary functions of the Central Intelligence Agency by virtue of its long and very close history of relationships with Wall Street, I mean to the point where the current executive vice president of the New York Stock Exchange is a retired CIA general counsel, has had a mandate to track, monitor, all financial markets worldwide, to look for anomalous trades, indicative of either economic warfare, or insider currency trading or speculation which might affect the US Treasury, or , as in the case of the September 11 attacks, to look for trades which indicated foreknowledge of attacks like we saw.

One of the vehicles that they use to do this is a software called Promis software, which was developed in the 1980s, actually 1979, by Bill Hamilton and a firm called INSLAW, in [the] Washington D.C. area. And Promis is very unique for two reasons: first of all, it had the ability to integrate a wide range of databases using different computer languages and to make them all into one readable format. And secondly, in the years since, Promis has been mated with artificial intelligence to even predict moves in markets and to detect trades that are anomalous, as a result of those projections. So, as recently as last year, I met with members of the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] national security staff, who came down to Los Angeles where I am, who are investigating stolen applications of Promis software and its applications, and we reconfirmed at that time that, not only the US, but Israel, Canada, and many other countries use Promis-like software to track real-time trades in the stock markets to warn them of these events.

RAMARES: Kellia Ramares here. Mike, is it possible that the terrorists could have gotten hold of this software?

RUPPERT: Uh, no, it's, well, it is and it isn't. The key piece of evidence around September 11 is not that the software would have had any impact. The key evidence, as I heard you describing, was the trades themselves, the so-called put options and the short selling of American Airlines, United Airlines, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and a couple of reinsurance companies in Europe, which are just really off the maps. You wouldn't need software to look at these trades and say, "Oh my God, this is directly connected to World Trade Center."

RAMARES: OK, but hindsight is 20-20. United Airlines had a lot of trouble last year: labor disputes, lots of cancellations. We were on a verge of a recession going into the attacks and Morgan Stanley's an investment banking firm. Some day traders could have seen some activity and joined the party entirely innocently. How can you make a prediction of an attack?

RUPPERT: Herzliyah, International Policy Institute in Israel which tracks counter-terrorism, also tracks financial trading. That's a clear cut sign about how closely the two are related. And their reports are very clear that between September 6 and 7 the Chicago Board Options Exchange, CBOE, saw purchases of 4,744 put options on UAL, but only 396 call options. On September 10, the day before the attacks, 4,516 put options were placed on American Airlines, against only 748 calls, calls being bets that the stock will go up, puts being that the stock will go down. No similar trading in any other airlines occurred on the Chicago Exchange in the days immediately preceding Black Tuesday. That means that someone had advance knowledge that only the stocks of these two airlines would be adversely impacted. Had it just been an industry-wide slump, then you would have seen the same kind of activity on every airline, not just these two. But what is also very anomalous, very out of whack here, is the fact that the number of put options placed, that the level of these trades was up by 1,200 percent in the three days prior to the World Trade Center attacks.

RAMARES: Give us a brief overview, really, of the connections between the CIA and the banking and investment community. Your article suggests there is a revolving door between Wall Street and the CIA.

RUPPERT: Oh, indeed there is. First of all, it's very important to note right up front that European investigators, who are tracking trades in the insurance companies, as well as the Israeli institute, have disclosed that the UAL put options were primarily held by Deutsche Bank-A.B. Brown. And its very important to note that the current Number Three at CIA, the Executive Director, a man by the name of A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard, was, until 1998, the chairman of A.B. Brown. The company went from being owned by Banker's Trust to being owned by Deutsche Bank. But this is a man effectively running CIA, who came from the bank that handled the trades.

Historically speaking, we go back to 1947, we look at Clark Clifford, who wrote the National Security Act, in 1947. He was a Wall Street banker, and a lawyer from Wall Street. He was the chairman of First American Bancshares that brought BCCI onto US shores in the late 1980s. He was given the design for the CIA by John Foster and Allen Dulles, two brothers: John Foster becoming Secretary of State, Allen becoming director of Central Intelligence, who was fired by John Kennedy. They were partners in what is until this day the most powerful law firm on Wall Street: Sullivan Cromwell. Bill Casey, the legendary CIA director from the Reagan/Iran Contra years, had been chairman of the Securities and Exchange commission under Ronald Reagan. He, in fact, was a Wall Street lawyer and a stockbroker. I've already mentioned Dave Doherty, the Vice President of NYSE [New York Stock Exchange] who is the retired CIA general counsel. George Herbert Walker Bush is now a paid consultant to the Carlyle Group, the 11th largest defense contractor in the nation, very influential on Wall Street. "Buzzy" Krongard is there. John Deutsch, the former CIA director, who retired a couple of years ago, a few years ago, is now on the board of Citibanc or Citigroup. And his number three, Nora Slatkin, the Executive Director at CIA is also at Citigroup. And Maurice "Hank" Greenburg, who is the chairman of AIG insurance, which is the third largest investment pool of capital in the world, was up to be the CIA director in 1995 and Bill Clinton declined to nominate him. So there is an inextricable and unavoidable relationship between CIA and Wall Street.

FAULKNER: Michael Ruppert, this is Bonnie Faulkner. Does the CIA itself invest in the stock market?

RUPPERT: That's unknown. What is known, and what was disclosed by hearings chaired by Senator Frank Church in 1976, is that the CIA was known and proven in the Congressional Record to operate proprietary companies, some of which do trade their stock on Wall Street. One of these, Southern Air Transport, excuse me, was at it during the Iran Contra years. There are others: Evergreen Air, which may or may not be a proprietary, but has strong CIA connections; there are tons of these companies out there. It's not known if CIA manipulates markets, although I really believe that they do.

FAULKNER: Is the CIA's budget public knowledge?

RUPPERT: No. By law. Under the National Security Act of 1947 the CIA's budget is hidden in the budgets of all the other departments of government. We've never been able to pin down, because it's a secret, exactly how much money CIA gets. But the best estimates available-and these are from very good sources-are that it's around 30 billion dollars a year.

FAULKNER: So I'm assuming then that no one knows where they keep their budget. I mean, do they keep it in the bank drawing interest? I guess we don't know.

RUPPERT: Well, no, the way it would work under the NSA-National Security Act-is that if the budget is $30 billion, $10 billion may be in the Department of Defense, five in the Department of Justice, three in US Treasury. That's how they hide the funds.

RAMARES: Michael, Kellia Ramares again. You've laid out a scenario which would suggest that the CIA is so involved in Wall Street, they knew these trades were happening; they knew why. Why would the CIA let such a horrendous thing happen if they knew about it? All the loss of life, all the economic damage that we led off our show with that's going to happen to everyday people, state and local governments, small investors, businesses. Why did they let it happen if they knew?

RUPPERT: Well, first of all, let's look at history. I'm a great addict of the History Channel and all this year on "The Secrets of World War II," one of their series, they have run maybe three, four, five times, a documentary showing clearly that Franklin Roosevelt had absolute knowledge that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor on December the seventh. Navy had broken the codes. That information was made Top Secret. And Roosevelt allowed the attacks to happen with the express purpose of bringing the US into World War II. So there is historical precedent for this. What I have been writing in "From the Wilderness" for more than two years, and we've been publishing four years now, was of huge economic inconsistencies, bubbles that were about to burst, about a pending collapse of the US economy that was going to happen anyway.

Just two days before the attacks, I sent a bulletin to my subscribers saying there's a monstrous derivatives bubble, to the tune of about 20 trillion dollars that's about to burst. The price of gold has been manipulated, and the stock market's ready to crash. And in fact, we had seen the Dow drop by almost 900 points in the three weeks prior to the attack. So, in point of fact, the economic crash was going to happen anyway. As a result of the attacks, now there are two benefits for the government: Number One, there is a convenient enemy upon whom to place the blame for the economic crash. And second, the legislation passed by Congress has unleashed a torrent of short term, and what are going to be extremely expensive, solutions which are keeping the US economic bubble inflated. This incentive: now it's about 100 billion dollars so far I believe, between 40 for the military and another 60 in tax cuts, is robbing Peter to pay Paul. And I am absolutely convinced that Social Security is toast and this was their way to get their foot in the door on that.

RAMARES: Yes, but what about their plans to privatize Social Security? I don't want my retirement in the stock market after what you've said and even what I saw before.

RUPPERT: I sure don't either. You have to remember that the current Bush administration is a reincarnation of the administration we saw during Iran-Contra, and during the years of President Bush's presidency from '89 to '93. These are the people who brought us the savings and loan crisis, which took $500 billion dollars out of US taxpayer pockets. These guys know how to loot an economy. There are very credible, well-documented stories from GAO [General Accounting Office] that have been written even in the Washington Times [a very conservative newspaper] showing that the Department of Defense has, and this is the right word, has lost more than three trillion dollars in the last two years. That money is not lost; it's been stolen.

More than 59 billion dollars has been taken out of HUD [US Department of Housing and Urban Development]. There are monstrous economic costs which are going to fall on the American taxpayer. But they will not fall on the administration or its allies on Wall Street.

RAMARES: Speaking of Wall Street, it doesn't feel like it's a level playing field for the small investor, the person who has their kid's college fund in something in Wall Street to try to make it grow.

RUPPERT: No. It absolutely is not. In 1929, some 15 percent of all the stock in circulation was owned by households. In 2001, 75 percent of the stock in circulation was owned by households. That tells you who's carrying the burden.

If you look at some of the market activity in recent years, for example, two years ago, Goldman Sachs went public. And that means that households bought their stock but Goldman Sachs took the money and cashed out. There has been a strong trend in the movement of money by the very rich offshore, out of the country, into safe havens, so that when the bubble does break, it'll be the taxpayer holding the bag.

RAMARES: Is Congress knocking on your door to look more into this? Are we going to see congressional hearings into possible knowledge of the CIA of the attacks? I mean we're talking about they let mass murder happen.

RUPPERT: Yes . . . I have spoken confidentially to two members of the House of Representatives. And I have to tell you that my take on their view, and these are members who I consider to be allies and very progressive and awake: they're basically frightened. The climate is one of near hysteria. There is an overwhelming attitude in the general public of wave the flag and kill the bad guys. And it's not politically wise, I guess, in their viewpoint, to risk their careers by raising questions. But some of them have to and some of them must.

Everyday, there are more and more holes in all of the stories surrounding September 11, and this avoids people from looking at a broader agenda in Central Asia, which has to do with the drug trade and the oil. Bear in mind that Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has documented that 300 billion dollars a year in drug money moves through the US banking system. And that was in a minority report to the Senate Banking Committee released this February, I believe it was. But that money is now an integral component to sustaining the bubble. And that's why we're seeing CIA operatives moving willy-nilly into Uzbekistan, to give us immediately another Laos, just like we had in the Vietnam era with Air America planes flying with tons of heroin to markets in the US and Western Europe. And that's what's coming out of this. Also, there's a huge grab for oil and a major pipeline to run from Uzbekistan down to the Pakistani coast, which will weaken Russia's grip on the region. And I believe, long term, the economic motive is to Balkanize Russia. But members of Congress now faced with this are kind of overwhelmed. There have been a few voices speaking up here and there to oppose civil rights legislation that was punitive, to address issues of the war-making powers. But Congress needs to find its legs and its lungs real quickly.

FAULKNER: Michael Ruppert, this is Bonnie Faulkner. We have one minute left. You've mentioned when the bubble is going to burst. A lot of people think that the bubble has already burst . ..


FAULKNER: What do you expect to see?

RUPPERT: I was already predicting that the Dow would be at 8,000 or below by the end of October. Now the . . . who knows what the short-term impacts of all of the money that's being poured out of the Treasury are going to have. But bear in mind there is still a huge bubble. According to Russian economists-I was in Russia in March-there's 300 trillion dollars in derivatives waiting to pop. Now what that means is one more good terrorist attack and we could really understand what a bubble is.

RAMARES: And the FBI has said watch out for terrorist attacks in the next few days and the CIA says that we're at 100 percent risk of terrorist attacks. Give us your web site and little bit about your magazine for those who might be interested in learning more.

RUPPERT: OK, the web site is www dot cop v like in Victor CIA dot com. "From the Wilderness" is a newsletter we publish 11 times a year. We're read in 17 countries, by 16 members of the US Congress, including the Intelligence Committees of both houses, as well as by professors at 11 universities in the US and Canada. It's a monthly subscriber. The web site is free; the subscribers get a little more information and a little newer. But we take great pride in the fact that we document everything that we publish so we don't ask anybody to take anything on faith.

RAMARES: OK, Thank you very much for joining us. You have been listening to Michael C. Ruppert, publisher of "From the Wilderness" magazine and author of an article on the CIA, the stock market and the terrorist attacks. Again his web site is Again, thank you for joining us.

RUPPERT: My pleasure.


Legal Group Blasts Papa Shrub
On Bin Laden Link

Bush Sr. Could Profit From War

by Geoffrey Gray

Larry Klayman likes suing the United States government. Over the last seven years as chairman and general counsel of Judicial Watch, a public interest law firm in Washington, he has filed over 150 lawsuits against the feds, including more than 80 against former president Bill Clinton himself. Called the Ralph Nader of the right, Klayman has litigation habits considered by some Beltway insiders as wildly ambitious. Others think he's just plain crazy.

But now Klayman and Judicial Watch are pawing in disbelief through President George W. Bush's past business connections with the Saudi-based Bin Laden family. The firm is demanding that GWB's father, the original President Bush, immediately resign from his post as a paid senior adviser to the Carlyle Group, a private Washington equity firm that according to The New York Times has essentially become the nation's 11th largest defense contractor.

Carlyle's investors include the Bin Laden family, which has disowned its terrorist son Osama; Bush Sr.; and former Bush inner guard members Nick Carlucci and James Baker. Judicial Watch says all involved stand to benefit from any increase in U.S. defense spending.

"It's mind-boggling," says Klayman. "This conflict of interest has now turned into a scandal." With the recent U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan, Klayman says, the conflict of interest is now "direct."

Klayman questions why Bush the Younger is not aggressively pursuing Saudi Arabia, a country known to harbor terrorists. He points to Bush the Elder's business connections there, like the Saudi-based Bin Laden family, through Carlyle. "President Bush should not ask, but demand, that his father pull out of the Carlyle Group," says Klayman.

Neither former president Bush-who has continued advising his son on handling the war on terrorism-nor the Carlyle Group returned calls seeking comment.

In a case of "like father, like son," President Bush also had connections to the Carlyle Group, the Voice has learned. In the years before his 1994 bid for Texas governor, Bush owned stock in and sat on the board of directors of Caterair, a service company that provided airplane food and was also a component of Carlyle. For his consulting position, Bush was paid $15,000 a year, according to a Texas insider, and a bonus $1000 for every meeting he attended-roughly $75,000 in total. Reports show Carlyle was also a major contributor to his electoral fund.

Upon hearing about the Bush-Bin Laden family connection, other Washington nonprofits have joined Judicial Watch in expressing their concern.

"Carlyle is as deeply wired into the current administration as they can possibly be," Charles Lewis, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, told "George Bush is getting money from private interests that have business before the government, while his son is president. And, in a really peculiar way, George W. Bush could, some day, benefit financially from his own administration's decisions, through his father's investments. The average American doesn't know that. To me, that's a jaw-dropper."


Bin Laden Family Could Profit
From A Jump In Defense Spending
Due To Ties To U.S. Bank

By Daniel Golden, James Bandler
and Marcus Walker Staff Reporters of


27 September 2001

A U.S. inquiry into bin Laden family business dealings could brush against some big names associated with the U.S. government. Former President Bush said through his chief of staff, Jean Becker, that he recalled only one meeting with the bin Laden family, which took place in November 1998. Ms. Becker confirmed that there was a second meeting in January 2000, after being read the ex-president's subsequent thank-you note. "President Bush does not have a relationship with the bin Laden family," says Ms. Becker. "He's met them twice."

Special Report: Aftermath of Terror Bin Laden Family Could Profit From a Jump In Defense Spending Due to Ties to U.S. Bank By Daniel Golden, James Bandler And Marcus Walker, Staff Reporters of 'THE WALL STREET JOURNAL'

If the U.S. boosts defense spending in its quest to stop Osama bin Laden's alleged terrorist activities, there may be one unexpected beneficiary: Mr. bin Laden's family.

Among its far-flung business interests, the well-heeled Saudi Arabian clan -- which says it is estranged from Osama -- is an investor in a fund established by Carlyle Group, a well-connected Washington merchant bank specializing in buyouts of defense and aerospace companies.

Through this investment and its ties to Saudi royalty, the bin Laden family has become acquainted with some of the biggest names in the Republican Party. In recent years, former President Bush, ex-Secretary of State James Baker and ex-Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci have made the pilgrimage to the bin Laden family's headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Bush makes speeches on behalf of Carlyle Group and is senior adviser to its Asian Partners fund, while Mr. Baker is its senior counselor. Mr. Carlucci is the group's chairman.

Osama is one of more than 50 children of Mohammed bin Laden, who built the family's $5 billion business, Saudi Binladin Group, largely with construction contracts from the Saudi government. Osama worked briefly in the business and is believed to have inherited as much as $50 million from his father in cash and stock, although he doesn't have access to the shares, a family spokesman says. Because his Saudi citizenship was revoked in 1994, Mr. bin Laden is ineligible to own assets in the kingdom, the spokesman added.

The bin Laden family has long disavowed Osama, and has cooperated fully with several federal investigations into his activities. The family business, headed by Osama's half-brother Bakr, epitomizes the U.S.-Saudi alliance that the suspected terrorist often rails against. After the 1996 truck bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 U.S. servicemen, Saudi Binladin Group built military barracks and airfields for U.S. troops.

But the Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued subpoenas to banks used by the bin Laden family seeking records of family dealings, a person familiar with the matter said. This person said the subpoenas weren't an indication the FBI had found any suspicious behavior by the family. A family spokesman said he had no knowledge of the subpoenas but that the family welcomes them and has nothing to hide.

People familiar with the family's finances say the bin Ladens do much of their banking with National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia and with the London branch of Deutsche Bank AG. They also use Citigroup Inc. and ABN Amro, the people said.

"If there were ever any company closely connected to the U.S. and its presence in Saudi Arabia, it's the Saudi Binladin Group," says Charles Freeman, president of the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington nonprofit concern that receives tens of thousands of dollars a year from the bin Laden family. "They're the establishment that Osama's trying to overthrow."

Mr. Freeman, who served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, says he has spoken to two of Osama's brothers since hijacked airplanes rammed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11. They told him, he says, that the FBI has been "remarkably sensitive, tactful and protective" of the family during the current crisis, recognizing its longstanding friendship with the U.S.

A Carlyle executive said the bin Laden family committed $2 million through a London investment arm in 1995 in Carlyle Partners II Fund, which raised $1.3 billion overall. The fund has purchased several aerospace companies among 29 deals. So far, the family has received $1.3 million back in completed investments and should ultimately realize a 40% annualized rate of return, the Carlyle executive said.

But a foreign financier with ties to the bin Laden family says the family's overall investment with Carlyle is considerably larger. He called the $2 million merely an initial contribution. "It's like plowing a field," this person said. "You seed it once. You plow it, and then you reseed it again."

The Carlyle executive added that he would think twice before accepting any future investments by the bin Ladens. "The situation's changed now," he said. "I don't want to spend my life talking to reporters."

A U.S. inquiry into bin Laden family business dealings could brush against some big names associated with the U.S. government. Former President Bush said through his chief of staff, Jean Becker, that he recalled only one meeting with the bin Laden family, which took place in November1998. Ms. Becker confirmed that there was a second meeting in January 2000, after being read the ex-president's subsequent thank-you note. "President Bush does not have a relationship with the bin Laden family," says Ms. Becker. "He's met them twice."

Mr. Baker visited the bin Laden family in both 1998 and 1999, according to people close to the family. In the second trip, he traveled on a family plane. Mr. Baker declined comment, as did Mr. Carlucci, a past chairman of Nortel Networks Corp., which has partnered with Saudi Binladin Group on telecommunications ventures.

Former President Carter met with 10 of Osama's brothers early in 2000 on a fund-raising trip for the Carter Center in Atlanta. According to John Hardman, executive director of the center, the brothers told Mr. Carter that Osama was completely removed from the family. After Mr. Carter and his wife followed up with breakfast with Bakr bin Laden in New York in September 2000, the bin Laden family gave $200,000 to the center. "We don't have any reason to think there's a connection" between Osama and the rest of the family, Mr. Hardman says.

During the past several years, the family's close ties to the Saudi royal family prompted executives and staff from closely held New York publisher Forbes Inc. to make two trips to the family headquarters, according to Forbes Chairman Caspar Weinberger, a former U.S. secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. "We would call on them to get their view of the country and what would be of interest to investors."

Mr. Weinberger said no trips to Saudi Arabia were planned. "If we went," he said, "we may or may not call upon them. I don't think the sins of the son should be visited on the father or the brother and the cousins and the aunts."

There is no indication President George W. Bush has met any of the bin Ladens, but he was indirectly linked to one of them two decades ago. His longtime friend James W. Bath, who met Mr. Bush when they were both pilots in the Air National Guard, acted as a Texas business representative for Osama's older brother, Salem bin Laden, from 1976 to 1988, when Salem died in a plane crash. Mr. Bath brought real-estate acquisitions and other deals to Salem bin Laden, an ebullient man who headed the family construction business. Mr. Bath generally received a 5% interest as his fee, and was sometimes listed as a trustee in related corporate documents. Mr. Bath acknowledged that during the same period he invested $50,000 in two funds controlled by Mr. Bush but said that stake was unrelated to his dealings with Mr. bin Laden.

Among the properties that Salem bin Laden bought on Mr. Bath's recommendation was the Houston Gulf Airport, a lightly used airfield in League City, Texas, 25 miles east of Houston. But Mr. bin Laden's hope that it would develop a major overflow airport for Houston never materialized, in part due to concern over wetlands. Ever since his death, his estate has sought to sell the airfield -- without success. Today, it is still on the market.


Bush Sr. Should Stop Working for International Equity Firm
While Son is President

Conflict of Interest Could Cause Problems For America's Foreign Policy in Middle East
and Asia

(Washington, D.C.) Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government abuse and corruption, called on former President George Herbert Walker Bush to resign immediately from the Carlyle Group, a private investment firm, while his son President George W. Bush is in office. Today's New York Times reported that the elder Bush is an "ambassador" for the $12 billion private investment firm and last year traveled to the Middle East on its behalf. The former president also helped the firm in South Korea.

The New York Times reported that as compensation, the elder Bush is allowed is allowed to buy a stake in the Carlyle Group's investments, which include ownership in at least 164 companies throughout the world (thereby by giving the current president an indirect benefit). James Baker, the former Secretary of State who served as President George W. Bush's point man in Florida's election dispute, is a partner in the firm. The firm also gave George W. Bush help in the early 1990's when it placed him on one of its subsidiary's board of directors.

"This is simply inappropriate. Former President Bush should immediately resign from the Carlyle Group because it is an obvious conflict of interest. Any foreign government or foreign investor trying to curry favor with the current Bush Administration is sure to throw business to the Carlyle Group. And with the former President Bush promoting the firm's investments abroad, foreign nationals could understandably confuse the Carlyle Group's interests with the interests of the United States government," stated Larry Klayman, Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel.

"Questions are now bound to be raised if the recent Bush Administration change in policy towards Iraq has the fingerprints of the Carlyle Group, which is trying to gain investments from other Arab countries who would presumably benefit from the new policy," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch noted that even the Clinton Administration called on the Rodham brothers to stop their business dealings in Georgia because those dealings started to destabilize that country.


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