Thursday, August 14, 2003
Here's the lead paragraph from a piece written by Seymour Hersh for the New Yorker in March of this year. When I say "big fish with connections" in the international arms business, this is what I mean:
'At the peak of his deal-making activities, in the nineteen-seventies, the Saudi-born businessman Adnan Khashoggi brokered billions of dollars in arms and aircraft sales for the Saudi royal family, earning hundreds of millions in commissions and fees. Though never convicted of wrongdoing, he was repeatedly involved in disputes with federal prosecutors and with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in recent years he has been in litigation in Thailand and Los Angeles, among other places, concerning allegations of stock manipulation and fraud. During the Reagan Administration, Khashoggi was one of the middlemen between Oliver North, in the White House, and the mullahs in Iran in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. Khashoggi subsequently claimed that he lost ten million dollars that he had put up to obtain embargoed weapons for Iran which were to be bartered (with Presidential approval) for American hostages. The scandals of those times seemed to feed off each other: a congressional investigation revealed that Khashoggi had borrowed much of the money for the weapons from the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (B.C.C.I.), whose collapse, in 1991, defrauded thousands of depositors and led to years of inquiry and litigation'
Adnan Khashoggi is an example of the type of arms dealer that needs to go down if we're really going to win the war on terrorism. Think of the international arms trade as a business, in which case guys like Khashooggi could be considered the Enrons and the Worldcoms -- lots of connections and rotten to the core. So, that's just the lead paragraph -- what's Khashoggi up to these days?:
'Khashoggi is still brokering. In January of this year, he arranged a private lunch, in France, to bring together Harb Saleh al-Zuhair, a Saudi industrialist whose family fortune includes extensive holdings in construction, electronics, and engineering companies throughout the Middle East, and Richard N. Perle, the chairman of the Defense Policy Board, who is one of the most outspoken and influential American advocates of war with Iraq'
I really really want to know what about Saudi Arabia was in those censored pages of the 9/11 report.
Andrew 9:17 AM : |
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