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From Hitler to the Carlyle Group

“It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."
- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864, (letter to Col. William F. Elkins) Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

President George W. Bush answers a question during his press conference in Washington November 7, 2002."These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us because we stand in their way. We're not deceived by their pretenses to piety.  We have seen their kind before. They're the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions, by abandoning every value except the will to power, they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way to where it ends in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies."
- President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001

Bush Ancestor's Bank Seized by Gov't
Sat, Oct 18, 2003
By JONATHAN D. SALANT, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites)'s grandfather was a director of a bank seized by the federal government because of its ties to a German industrialist who helped bankroll Adolf Hitler's rise to power, government documents show.

Prescott Bush was one of seven directors of Union Banking Corp., a New York investment bank owned by a bank controlled by the Thyssen family, according to recently declassified National Archives documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

Clamor Magazine - Heir to the Holocaust
Prescott Bush, 1.5 Million Dollars, and Auschwitz: How the Bush Family Wealth is linked to the Jewish Holocaust
By Toby Rogers, Clamor Magazine
But while President Bush publicly embraced the community of holocaust survivors in Washington last spring, he and his family have been keeping a secret from them for over 50 years about Prescott Bush, the president's grandfather. According to classified documents from Dutch intelligence and US government archives, President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush made considerable profits off Auschwitz slave labor. In fact, President Bush himself is an heir to these profits from the holocaust which were placed in a blind trust in 1980 by his father, former president George Herbert Walker Bush.

The US government had known that many American companies were aiding Hitler, like Standard Oil, General Motors and Chase Bank, all of which was sanctioned after Pearl Harbor. But as The New York Times reporter Charles Higham later discovered, and published in his 1983 groundbreaking book, Trading With The Enemy; The Nazi American Money Plot 1933-1949, "the government smothered everything during and even after the war." Why?

According to Higham, the US government believed "a public scandal ... would have drastically affected public morale, caused widespread strikes and perhaps provoked mutinies in the armed services." Higham claims the government thought "their trial and imprisonment would have made it impossible for the corporate boards to help the American war effort."

However, Prescott Bush's banks were not just financing Hitler as previously reported. In fact, there was a distinct business link much deeper than Mr. Higham or Mr. Loftus knew at the time their books were published.

A classified Dutch intelligence file which was leaked by a courageous Dutch intelligence officer, along with newly surfaced information from U.S. government archives, "confirms absolutely," John Loftus says, the direct links between Bush, Thyssen and genocide profits from Auschwitz.

Fascism: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
…The most common feature of fascism cited in contrast to socialism is the fact that neither Hitler nor Mussolini nationalized their nations' industries. Some contend that this difference is also more cosmetic than actual, since both leaders used extreme regulation to control industry, while leaving them in the hands of their owners. Hitler commented on this difference in a letter to Herman Rauschning, where he wrote:

"Of what importance is all that, if I range men firmly within a discipline they cannot escape? Let them own land or factories as much as they please. The decisive factor is that the State, through the Party, is supreme over them regardless of whether they are owners or workers. All that is unessential; our socialism goes far deeper. It establishes a relationship of the individual to the State, the national community. Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings."

It is also possible, since Fascism incorporates corporatism, that a Fascist regime may de-facto nationalize certain key industries, simply by maintaining close personal and/or business relationships with the corporations' owners.

How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power

Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president

Ben Aris in Berlin and Duncan Campbell in Washington
Saturday September 25, 2004
The Guardian

George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.
...
Three sets of archives spell out Prescott Bush's involvement. All three are readily available, thanks to the efficient US archive system and a helpful and dedicated staff at both the Library of Congress in Washington and the National Archives at the University of Maryland.

The first set of files, the Harriman papers in the Library of Congress, show that Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of a number of companies involved with Thyssen.

The second set of papers, which are in the National Archives, are contained in vesting order number 248 which records the seizure of the company assets. What these files show is that on October 20 1942 the alien property custodian seized the assets of the UBC, of which Prescott Bush was a director. Having gone through the books of the bank, further seizures were made against two affiliates, the Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation. By November, the Silesian-American Company, another of Prescott Bush's ventures, had also been seized.

The third set of documents, also at the National Archives, are contained in the files on IG Farben, who was prosecuted for war crimes.
...
The author of the second book, to be published next year, John Loftus, is a former US attorney who prosecuted Nazi war criminals in the 70s. Now living in St Petersburg, Florida and earning his living as a security commentator for Fox News and ABC radio, Loftus is working on a novel which uses some of the material he has uncovered on Bush. Loftus stressed that what Prescott Bush was involved in was just what many other American and British businessmen were doing at the time.

"You can't blame Bush for what his grandfather did any more than you can blame Jack Kennedy for what his father did - bought Nazi stocks - but what is important is the cover-up, how it could have gone on so successfully for half a century, and does that have implications for us today?" he said.

"This was the mechanism by which Hitler was funded to come to power, this was the mechanism by which the Third Reich's defence industry was re-armed, this was the mechanism by which Nazi profits were repatriated back to the American owners, this was the mechanism by which investigations into the financial laundering of the Third Reich were blunted," said Loftus, who is vice-chairman of the Holocaust Museum in St Petersburg.

 

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.”
- Theodore Roosevelt, 26th US President, "Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star", May 7, 1918

“Americans are asking, "How will we fight and win this war?" We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network.”
- President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001

FBI AND US SPY AGENTS SAY BUSH SPIKED BIN LADEN PROBES BEFORE 11 SEPTEMBER
The Guardian (London)
Wednesday, November 7, 2001
Officials told to 'back off' on Saudis before September 11
by Greg Palast and David Pallister
“FBI and military intelligence officials in Washington say they were prevented for political reasons from carrying out full investigations into members of the Bin Laden family in the US before the terrorist attacks of September 11.”

“US intelligence agencies have come under criticism for their wholesale failure to predict the catastrophe at the World Trade Centre. But some are complaining that their hands were tied.”

“But the FBI files were closed in 1996 apparently before any conclusions could be reached on either the Bin Laden brothers or the organisation itself. High-placed intelligence sources in Washington told the Guardian this week: "There were always constraints on investigating the Saudis".”

“They said the restrictions became worse after the Bush administration took over this year. The intelligence agencies had been told to "back off" from investigations involving other members of the Bin Laden family, the Saudi royals, and possible Saudi links to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Pakistan.”
(Click here for a BBC Newsnight version of the Greg Palast story in RealAudio format.)

WALL STREET JOURNAL: BUSH SR. IN BUSINESS WITH BIN LADEN FAMILY CONGLOMERATE THROUGH CARLYLE GROUP
FAMILY HAD RENOUNCED TIES TO TERRORIST SON BUT FAMILY STILL UNDER FBI INVESTIGATION
FATHER OF PRESIDENT SHOULD PULL OUT OF INTERNATIONAL CONSULTING FIRM
Sep 28, 2001, Judicial Watch
(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, reacted with disbelief to The Wall Street Journal report of yesterday that George H.W. Bush, the father of President Bush, works for the bin Laden family business in Saudi Arabia through the Carlyle Group, an international consulting firm. The senior Bush had met with the bin Laden family at least twice. (Other top Republicans are also associated with the Carlyle group, such as former Secretary of State James A. Baker.) The terrorist leader Osama bin Laden had supposedly been “disowned” by his family, which runs a multi-billion dollar business in Saudi Arabia and is a major investor in the senior Bush’s firm. Other reports have questioned, though, whether members of his Saudi family have truly cut off Osama bin Laden. Indeed, the Journal also reported yesterday that the FBI has subpoenaed the bin Laden family business’s bank records.

Sleeping With the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude
by Robert Baer
According to Robert Baer, the center of the global economy is a "kingdom built on thievery, one that nurtures terrorism, destroys any possibility of a middle class based on property rights, and promotes slavery and prostitution." This kingdom also sits on one quarter of the world's oil reserves, thus ensuring that it receives the full support and protection of the U.S. government. Sleeping With the Devil details the hypocritical and corrupt relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and the potentially calamitous economic consequences of maintaining this Faustian bargain.

As Baer makes clear, the U.S. has been aware of problems within the bitterly divided Al Sa'ud family for years, but has ignored the facts in order to keep lucrative business deals afloat. (The amount of money the royal family spends to influence powerful American politicians and lobbyists is staggering.) Particularly damning are his details regarding Saudi Arabia's support of militant Islamic groups, including al Qaeda. The ruling family funnels millions of dollars to such groups in order to dissuade them from overthrowing the monarchy--a protection scheme that is shaky at best, given the hatred most citizens feel for the ruling family. To prevent economic disaster that could come from either a local uprising or an interruption in the flow of oil due to terrorism, Baer raises the possibility of the U.S. seizing the Saudi oil fields and forcing a regime change on its own terms: "An invasion and a revolution might be the only things that can save the industrial West from a prolonged, wrenching depression," he warns.

Baer spent 21 years with the CIA, much of it in the Middle East, so he is an informed guide to this complex subject. His alarming book deserves to be read for raising many important and troubling questions. --Shawn Carkonen

PBS - frontline: saudi time bomb?: interviews: james baker (former U.S. Secretary of State)
Frontline
: So our policy's based on the realities on the ground?
During the Gulf War, he was secretary of state in President George H. W. Bush's administration. He argues that access to Saudi energy reserves is vital to U.S. national security interests, and that the U.S. cannot allow the kingdom to become destabilized. This interview was conducted mid-October 2001.
Baker: It's based on our national interest and our national security interests, you bet. And that's really what a nation's foreign policy ought to be primarily focused on, if I may say so. ...

Frontline: Saudi Arabia, you say, is essential to our national security because of energy, because of oil. When you were secretary of treasury and secretary of state, Saudi Arabia became an integral part of our economy. We got the oil money back in many cases, right? ... We got their money back in military purchases of equipment and various construction contracts in Saudi Arabia, many of which you testified in favor of. What I'm getting at is that in that part of the world, people say, "Oh, yes. The Saudis are very nice to you. They give you low-priced oil, help subsidize your economy. Then you get the money back by making them buy all of these weapons, buy all of these things, and even invest in your Treasury bills and in your major corporations. And that's why you're so tight with [the regime.]"

Baker: You make a lot of statements that the Saudis sell us low-priced oil. There have been many times in our history where we've been really concerned about the activities of OPEC to increase the price of oil and adversely affect our economy. Now, oftentimes, we're able to work through the Saudis, who are the biggest producers, in order to alleviate that. That's not the equivalent of their selling us low-priced oil.

Frontline: Then we get them to buy -- with the urgings of people like yourself and our government -- our equipment, our construction projects, our technology.

Baker: I'm not sure that's really right. They buy our construction, they buy our technology, because it's the best. They buy our military equipment because it's the best. They buy from America because they want America presence there to the extent we can be in the kingdom, because we are their security.

Why are we their security? We're their security because we have a self-interest in making sure that those energy reserves in the Persian Gulf don't fall under the control of a country that is adverse to the United States.

As I told you, I worked for four administrations under three presidents. And in every one of those, our policy was that we would go to war to protect the energy reserves in the Persian Gulf. That is a major and very significant national security interest that we have.

Bush-Taliban allegations remain cloudy
By Mike Kirkland
UPI Legal Affairs Correspondent
From the Washington Politics & Policy Desk
Published 2/27/2002 7:06 PM
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A book recently published in France makes two remarkable claims: The Bush administration was negotiating an oil pipeline with the Taliban until last summer; and the late John O'Neill, the nemesis of Osama bin Laden, had resigned from the FBI's war against terrorism protesting that the administration's oil policy was obstructing his investigation.

If true, the revelations would recast history.

Republican-controlled Carlyle Group poses serious Ethical Questions for Bush Presidents, but Baltimore Sun ignores it
by Alice Cherbonnier, The Baltimore Chronicle
AN IMPORTANT TENET of journalism is that you should always ask, “Who benefits?”

In the case of a war, the answers to this question become of paramount importance. Suppose, for example, that profits from military contracting were to go in the pockets of a former U.S. President whose son (and a presumed future heir) is now President? Suppose further that such profits escalate in times of conflict. Wouldn’t this be of concern to the public? Wouldn’t you expect the media to be all over such an important ethical (not to mention moral, and maybe legal) angle?

Though described by the Industry Standard as “the world’s largest private equity firm,” with over $12 billion under management, chances are readers haven’t ever heard of The Carlyle Group. Isn’t that a little odd, considering it is run by a veritable who's who of former Republican political leaders. Former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci is Carlyle’s chairman and managing director (who, by the way, was college roommate of the current Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld). And that partners in this mammoth venture include former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III, George Soros, Fred Malek (George H.W. Bush’s campaign manager, forced to resign when it was revealed he was Nixon’s “Jew counter”), and—presumably—George H.W. Bush?

All told, Carlyle has about 420 partners all over the globe, from Saudi princes to the former president of the Philippines. Its investments run heavily in the defense sector; they make money from military conflicts and weapons spending....

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.” And, though the WSJ curiously did not mention this, another beneficiary may be George H.W. Bush’s family.

“Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
-
Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichsmarshall and Luftwaffe-Chief at the Nuremberg trials

George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography
Chapter - II - The Hitler Project
by Webster G. Tarpley & Anton Chaitkin
How important was the Nazi enterprise for which President Bush's father was the New York banker?

The 1942 U.S. government investigative report said that Bush's Nazi-front bank was an interlocking concern with the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (United Steel Works Corporation or German Steel Trust) led by Fritz Thyssen and his two brothers. After the war, Congressional investigators probed the Thyssen interests, Union Banking Corp. and related Nazi units. The investigation showed that the Vereinigte Stahlwerke had produced the following approximate proportions of total German national output:

50.8% of Nazi Germany's pig iron
41.4% of Nazi Germany's universal plate
36.0% of Nazi Germany's heavy plate
38.5% of Nazi Germany's galvanized sheet
45.5% of Nazi Germany's pipes and tubes
22.1% of Nazi Germany's wire
35.0% of Nazi Germany's explosives.

Prescott Bush became vice president of W.A. Harriman & Co. in 1926. That same year, a friend of Harriman and Bush set up a giant new organization for their client Fritz Thyssen, prime sponsor of politician Adolf Hitler. The new German Steel Trust, Germany's largest industrial corporation, was organized in 1926 by Wall Street banker Clarence Dillon. Dillon was the old comrade of Prescott Bush's father Sam Bush from the `` Merchants of Death '' bureau in World War I.

Carlyle's way
Making a mint inside "the iron triangle" of defense, government, and industry.

By Dan Briody, Red Herring, January 8, 2002

In running what its own marketing literature spookily calls "a vast, interlocking, global network of businesses and investment professionals" that operates within the so-called iron triangle of industry, government, and the military, the Carlyle Group leaves itself open to any number of conflicts of interest and stunning ironies. For example, it is hard to ignore the fact that Osama bin Laden's family members, who renounced their son ten years ago, stood to gain financially from the war being waged against him until late October, when public criticism of the relationship forced them to liquidate their holdings in the firm. Or consider that U.S. president George W. Bush is in a position to make budgetary decisions that could pad his father's bank account. But for the Carlyle Group, walking that narrow line is the art of doing
business at the murky intersection of Washington politics, national security, and private capital; mastering it has enabled the group to amass $12 billion in funds under management. Business Journalist Dan Briody on Fresh Air from WHYY, May 6, 2003

Among those associated with Carlyle are former U.S. president George Bush Sr., former U.K. prime minister John Major, and former president of the Philippines Fidel Ramos. And Carlyle has counted George Soros, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia, and Osama bin Laden's estranged family among its high-profile clientele. The group has been able to parlay its political clout into a lucrative buyout practice (in other words, purchasing struggling companies, turning them around, and selling them for huge profits)--everything from defense contractors to telecommunications and aerospace companies. It is a kind of ruthless investing made popular by the movie Wall Street, and any industry that relies heavily on government regulation is fair game for Carlyle's brand of access capitalism. Carlyle has established itself as the gatekeeper between private business interests and U.S. defense spending. And as the Carlyle investors watched the World Trade towers go down, the group's prospects went up.

Economic Fascism
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
When most people hear the word "fascism" they naturally think of its ugly racism and anti-Semitism as practiced by the totalitarian regimes of Mussolini and Hitler. But there was also an economic policy component of fascism, known in Europe during the 1920s and '30s as "corporatism," that was an essential ingredient of economic totalitarianism as practiced by Mussolini and Hitler. So- called corporatism was adopted in Italy and Germany during the 1930s and was held up as a "model" by quite a few intellectuals and policy makers in the United States and Europe. A version of economic fascism was in fact adopted in the United States in the 1930s and survives to this day. In the United States these policies were not called "fascism" but "planned capitalism." The word fascism may no longer be politically acceptable, but its synonym "industrial policy" is as popular as ever.

The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group
by Dan Briody (Author)
In The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group, award-winning business journalist Dan Briody closely examines the dealings of this group and explores the high-powered individuals who make up a company which is enigmatically self-described as "a vast interlocking global network." You’ll go inside the Carlyle Group and watch how deals are made and governments swayed to accept the Carlyle way. And you’ll learn how questions abound when you’re playing for keeps.

Witness how the Carlyle Group:

*  Profited from the September 11th terrorist attacks and continues to profit from the ongoing war on terrorism
*  Pried open the wallets of Saudi Arabia and South Korea throughthe whirlwind business trips of former President George Bush
*  Liquidated holdings from the estranged family of Osama bin Laden only after news reports revealed the company’s association with the family
*  Went into overdrive to save the outdated Crusader howitzer which was being built by United Defense–a Carlyle company
*  Was born through the Great Eskimo Tax Scam–a tax loophole used by cofounders Stephen Norris and David Rubenstein that has since been sewn up
*  Found what would become their identity–defense contracting–with the help of former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci

Full of clandestine meetings, quid pro quo deals, bitter ironies, and petty jealousies, The Iron Triangle is a penetrating investigation that will lead you into a world that few could ever imagine.
 

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist….We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
- President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address - January 17, 1961

The ex-presidents' club
Wednesday October 31, 2001, The Guardian
But what sets Carlyle apart is the way it has exploited its political contacts. When Carlucci arrived there in 1989, he brought with him a phalanx of former subordinates from the CIA and the Pentagon, and an awareness of the scale of business a company like Carlyle could do in the corridors and steak-houses of Washington. In a decade and a half, the firm has been able to realise a 34% rate of return on its investments, and now claims to be the largest private equity firm in the world. Success brought more investors, including the international financier George Soros and, in 1995, the wealthy Saudi Binladin family, who insist they long ago severed all links with their notorious relative. The first president Bush is understood to have visited the Binladins in Saudi Arabia twice on the firm's behalf.”

“But if the Binladins' connection to the Carlyle Group lasted no more than six years, the current President Bush's own links to the firm go far deeper. In 1990, he was appointed to the board of one of Carlyle's first purchases, an airline food business called Caterair, which they eventually sold at a loss. He left the board in 1992, later to become Governor of Texas. Shortly thereafter, he was responsible for appointing several members of the board which controlled the investment of Texas teachers' pension funds. A few years later, the board decided to invest $100m of public money in the Carlyle Group. The firm's magic touch was already bringing results. Today, it is proving as fruitful as ever.”

JUDICIAL WATCH TO FILE FOIA LAWSUIT TODAY OVER CARLYLE GROUP DOCUMENTS
Former President Bush Works for International Investment Firm With Ties To Saudi Arabia
Company Had Previously Worked with Bin Laden Family Conglomerate
Nov 27, 2001, Judicial Watch
And documents recently uncovered through Judicial Watch’s FOIA to the Department of Defense shows that the Carlyle Group has high-level access to the U.S. government. The documents include a February 15, 2001 letter on Carlyle Group letterhead to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from former Defense Secretaries Frank Carlucci and William Perry, both now with Carlyle Group. The documents also include Secretary Rumsfeld’s April 3 response to Messrs. Carlucci and Perry. The letters seemingly discuss the restructuring of the Defense Department. The Carlyle Group is listed in the documents as Defense Department contractor. Copies of the letters will be available on the Judicial Watch Internet site at www.judicialwatch.org.

The Secrets of September 11 or here
Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Newsweek
Wednesday 30 April 2003
The report was completed last December; only a bare-bones list of “findings” with virtually no details was made public. But nearly six months later, a “working group” of Bush administration intelligence officials assigned to review the document has taken a hard line against further public disclosure. By refusing to declassify many of its most significant conclusions, the administration has essentially thwarted congressional plans to release the report by the end of this month, congressional and administration sources tell NEWSWEEK. In some cases, these sources say, the administration has even sought to “reclassify” some material that was already discussed in public testimony-a move one Senate staffer described as “ludicrous.” The administration’s stand has infuriated the two members of Congress who oversaw the report-Democratic Sen. Bob Graham and Republican Rep. Porter Goss.

Some sources who have read the still-secret congressional report say some sections would not play quite so neatly into White House plans. One portion deals extensively with the stream of U.S. intelligence-agency reports in the summer of 2001 suggesting that Al Qaeda was planning an upcoming attack against the United States-and implicitly raises questions about how Bush and his top aides responded. One such CIA briefing, in July 2001, was particularly chilling and prophetic. It predicted that Osama bin Laden was about to launch a terrorist strike “in the coming weeks,” the congressional investigators found. The intelligence briefing went on to say: “The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning.”

The substance of that intelligence report was first disclosed at a public hearing last September by staff director Hill. But at the last minute, Hill was blocked from saying precisely who within the Bush White House got the briefing when CIA director Tenet classified the names of the recipients. (One source says the recipients of the briefing included Bush himself.) As a result, Hill was only able to say the briefing was given to “senior government officials.”

That issue is now being refought in the context over the full report. The report names names, gives dates and provides a body of new information about the handling of many other crucial intelligence briefings-including one in early August 2001 given to national-security adviser Rice that discussed Al Qaeda operations within the United States and the possibility that the group’s members might seek to hijack airplanes. The administration “working group” is still refusing to declassify information about the briefings, sources said, and has even expressed regret that some of the material was ever provided to congressional investigators in the first place.

Crony Reform
How the access capitalists at the Carlyle Group became real businessmen.
By Daniel Gross
Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2003, at 1:43 PM PT
Ever since Michael Lewis coined the term "access capitalist" in his 1993 New Republic cover story on the Carlyle Group, the Washington-based private equity firm has stood as a shining example of how connections and favors can trump business experience and skills. Staffed almost entirely by ex-government officials and investing primarily in defense companies that derived most of their revenues from government contracts, the Carlyle Group for much of its existence occupied a dismal niche—a cranny inhospitable to democracy, fairness, and free enterprise. The Iron Triangle, journalist Dan Briody's brisk new book about Carlyle, details many of the unsavory deals that had been the group's specialty.

But in recent years—though it's gone largely unnoticed, even in Briody's comprehensive treatment—Carlyle has transformed itself. Fueled in part by profits from its defense-related deals, Carlyle has gone mainstream. Today, just 15 percent of its $15.8 billion under management is invested in defense and aerospace. And with a new chairman—former IBM CEO Louis Gerstner replaced the shadowy former CIA hand and Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci last January—and a portfolio of everything from real estate to high-yield bonds, Carlyle is starting to resemble a regular old money-management firm.
...
Carlyle's desire to play in the incestuous world of politics, national security, and lobbying led to several embarrassments. Soon after it bought airline services company Caterair, and placed George W. Bush on the board, that company cratered. One Carlyle-owned firm—Vinnell—employed former special-operations troops to train the Saudi military.
 

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
- attributed to George Washington, 1st US President

“And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.”
-
President Bush's address to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night, September 20, 2001

Briefing Depicted Saudis as Enemies
Ultimatum Urged To Pentagon Board
By Thomas E. Ricks, Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 6, 2002; Page A01
A briefing given last month to a top Pentagon advisory board described Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the United States, and recommended that U.S. officials give it an ultimatum to stop backing terrorism or face seizure of its oil fields and its financial assets invested in the United States.

"The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader," stated the explosive briefing. It was presented on July 10 to the Defense Policy Board, a group of prominent intellectuals and former senior officials that advises the Pentagon on defense policy.

"Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies," said the briefing prepared by Laurent Murawiec, a Rand Corp. analyst. A talking point attached to the last of 24 briefing slides went even further, describing Saudi Arabia as "the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent" in the Middle East.

PBS - frontline: saudi time bomb?: interviews: james baker
Frontline:
And yet, they're our allies.

Baker: That's right. We have allies, particularly in this fight against terrorism, that don't embrace democracy, and that don't embrace free markets. We've had allies throughout our history that aren't necessarily of the same philosophy and persuasion that we are, regarding principles and values. Sometimes your realpolitik interests demand that.

"Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one."
- Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Modern History Sourcebook:
Benito Mussolini:
What is Fascism, 1932
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) over the course of his lifetime went from Socialism - he was editor of Avanti, a socialist newspaper - to the leadership of a new political movement called "fascism" [after "fasces", the symbol of bound sticks used a totem of power in ancient Rome].

In 1932 Mussolini wrote (with the help of Giovanni Gentile) and entry for the Italian Encyclopedia on the definition of fascism.

Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine of Pacifism -- born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of cowardice in the face of sacrifice. War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have courage to meet it. All other trials are substitutes, which never really put men into the position where they have to make the great decision -- the alternative of life or death....

Taking Aim at 2004 - Time Magazine
Sunday, Apr. 27, 2003
Can Bush win a second term running on a platform of tanks and tax cuts? An inside look at the campaign playbook

ENDLESS WAR
The symbolism was unmistakable. as Bush talked about tax cuts last week in Lima, Ohio, he was flanked by the guns of two M-1 Abrams tanks. The week before, while pushing those same tax cuts in St. Louis, Mo., he stood in front of a $48 million F-18 fighter jet. As the first statue of Saddam fell in Baghdad three weeks ago, the White House was putting into motion a plan that would allow the President to pivot from his focus abroad to mending fences at home. Bush's "hardware in the heartland" tour follows the battle plan for his re-election effort: from now until November 2004, he will blend martial images with rhetoric about tax cuts and never let the nation forget that we're at war both abroad and at home. "Sure, he talked about his domestic agenda," says a White House official of the St. Louis event, "but there were F-18s in the background." Yes, Bush will focus on kitchen-table concerns, but there will always be the shadow of guns just behind him.
 

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