-Caveat Lector-

an excerpt from:
The Secret War Against The Jews
John Loftus & Mark Aarons©1994
ISBN 0-312-11057-X
658pps -
St. Martinís Press
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY, 10010
--[4b]--

The British secret service had no choice other than to accept this situation.
Aspin and Banks had connections at the highest levels of American
intelligence. More established and "well connected" British security firms
were shouldered aside. Apparently, Aspin had told Bush too much. Aspin and
Banks had the CIA contract for Angola, and there was nothing the British
government could do about it.[54]

Banks enlisted the help of a friend in Special Branch, and at least four
members of the Aspin-Banks private army were members of the British secret
service.[55] But all in all, Aspin's mercenaries were a motley crew. The
first group of mercenaries were pulled out shortly after President Ford
terminated all CIA operations in Angola except for intelligence gathering.
Nothing, however, precluded a British citizen like Aspin from recruiting
replacements. By summertime, Aspin's forces would be the only Western army
left in Angola. The anti-Communist Angolans were getting nervous.

Despite the Congressional ban, there were continued promises of American
support. George Bush still had a few million dollars left in the CIA slush
fund for contingencies, some of which was promised to the Angolans. Henry
Kissinger told them to keep fighting no matter what Congress said and, within
days of the ban, gave promises of aid to Jonas Savimbi's UNITA.[56] It was
Leslie Aspin who stayed on the ground in Zaire, coordinating the war across
the border. Before the Americans pulled out, he made at least one close
friend from the American contingent, a young officer named Bill Buckley, who
had been detached to the CIA from Special Forces, the U.S. army's elite Green
Beret units, which specialize in psychological warfare and counterinsurgency.
The two men forged a link that led them to work together on other
under-the-table operations.[57]

As will be seen in Chapter 18, it was to be a fateful connection for the
secret espionage war against Israel. Aspin and Buckley were two of a kind:
ex-commandos, full of fun and energy, and willing to cut a few corners for
the sake of the mission. According to our sources, what endeared the pair to
the CIA was their disdain for bureaucratic niceties and their willingness to
bend the law a little to get the job done.[58]

Officially, George Bush was telling the regular staff of the CIA that they
had to obey the congressional ban and pull out of Angola. Unofficially, of
course, the CIA and Kissinger were telling the Angolans to keep on fighting.
Over the next year the mercenaries of the British secret service kept the
Angolan guerrillas afloat. By 1977, when Carter was sworn in as U.S.
president, Aspin's back-channel was well established. He had made the
under-the-table link between Bush and the British and South African
governments. Aspin's South African mercenary friends continued the major part
of the program, with the covert support of at least one oil company.[59]


It does not take a genius to figure out why an oil company was paying for
mercenaries after the CIA pulled out. Several U.S. oil companies had
multimillion-dollar investments in the oil-rich Cabinda region of Angola,
which they did not want to see in Communist hands. The irony is that the
Communist Angolan Government quickly pledged that the American oil companies
would be safe from nationalization and would continue to make healthy profits
in Angola. Obviously, no one believed this pledge.

That, say OUT intelligence sources, was what the war was really about: As in
the Middle East, the key was American oil rights.[60] Aspin's army eventually
achieved its victory at the negotiating table, and the British mercenary
troops eventually were called home, leaving the South Africans to launch
token resistance raids. Everybody at the CIA, including Buckley, got medals.
Aspin got a new job, as the unofficial British bagman for American covert
operations hidden from Congress.[61]

As we shall see, Aspin was one of the first arms traders to open an account
in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, which played such an
important part in the secret espionage war against the Jews in the twelve
years when George Bush was vice president and then president.[62] It is no
coincidence that Aspin went back to work on joint British-American money
laundering just as U.S. intelligence was closing down one of the wildest, and
most illegal, money-laundering schemes in American history: the Ed Wilson
Affair.

The following version of events was told to us by an extremely reliable CIA
official with in-depth knowledge of the Wilson case and then confirmed by
other sources.[63] In 1971 Ed Wilson had been fired from the CIA and promptly
hired by a Naval Intelligence-National Security Agency joint operation known
as Task Force 157. The NSA was involved in this operation because as the U.S.
Communications intelligence agency it was using the Task Force's rented
fishing vessels to carry electronic surveillance and detection equipment to
monitor the Soviet fleet in the Mediterranean.[64]

As bizarre as it seems today, officials of Naval Intelligence decided in 1971
that Gadhafi's loyalty could be bought with an under-the-table sale of
American arms, which the Libyan dictator preferred to poorly made Soviet
weapons. Using the NSA as an unwitting cover, the navy actually funded and
approved Wilson's arms shipments to Libya during the early 1970s. This
incredibly stupid initiative was flatly contrary to U.S. policy, and wholly
illegal.[65]

The Department of the Navy was not alone in the scheme to cozy up to Gadhafi.
The oil companies, in particular, continued to do business with the new
madman of the Middle East, strictly in the interests of profits, and were
supported by the Nixon administration.[66]

The British secret service had no intention of getting along with Gadhafi and
sent the ex-SAS mercenaries of the Stirling Company to plan a coup. Colonel
David Stirling had founded the SAS in World War II, and later formed a
company which specialized in using mercenaries as cover for official British
intelligence operations. However, the Libyan coup was blocked at the last
minute. The British "Foreign Office obliged Stirling to drop out because the
Americans felt that Qathafi (sic) would be fairly easy to control."[67]
Shortly afterward Wilson's Task Force 157 began its feeble attempt to bribe
Gadhafi with guns.

When bribery did not work, the United States tried to curry favor with
Gadhafi by leaking information about the British coup plotters as well as his
Libyan opponents.[68] Nothing seemed to work. The navy's Libyan initiative
merely convinced Gadhafi that the West was weak. Subsequently, Admiral Bobby
Ray Inman investigated the Task Force 157 fiasco and eventually had Ed Wilson
fired.

What Admiral Inman did not know was that Wilson had a business associate, an
Iranian Jew named Albert Hakim. The Washington address for Wilson's firm,
Consultant's International, was 1618 K Street Northwest, Washington, D.C.,
the same suite as Hakim's "Stanford Technology."[69] Hakim, who became Oliver
North's banker in the 1980s, later testified that Wilson had "penetrated" -
his Swiss banking operation and was acting without his knowledge in selling
Hakim's high-tech surveillance and communications gear to Libya.[70]

There is reason to suspect that Hakim was Leslie Aspin's business associate,
too. Wilson's gunrunning to Libya for Task Force 157 took place from 1971 to
1974. This was, of course, the same time that Aspin was infiltrating Libyan
arms networks for the British secret service with the help of a banking
source. Without ever mentioning Hakim's name, Aspin confirmed that the banker
was headquartered in Geneva, was affiliated with Jewish financiers, owned
several ships and traded in gold and other commodities.

With apologies to Albert Hakim if we have identified him unfairly, he does
seem to be the only Jewish banker with an organization headquartered in
Geneva who fits this description. Moreover, he certainly is the only one with
an admitted connection (albeit an innocent one) to Ed Wilson's Libyan arms
deals in the early 1970s.

Although Hakim never mentioned Aspin's name, he did tell the IranContra
investigators in Congress of his relationship with the Azima brothers in the
United States. This is coincidental since the Azimas, Iranian expatriates who
operated an air cargo business from their base in Kansas City, worked
directly with Aspin. The name of the company was Global International
Airways, or GIA.[71] Congress censored Hakim's identification, believing that
the Azima family was the crucial "first contact" in opening a secret channel
to Iran for Oliver North.[72]


Because of the censorship, the press failed to realize that Hakim's friends
the Azimas had prior experience with gun running. The local Kansas City
press, however, has quite a file on the Azimas and their mysterious air cargo
company. In 1979 a GIA aircraft that was supposedly hauling vegetables to
Central America was found to contain rockets, mortars, and guns. GIA's pilots
used to joke at their "vegetable" manifest and say that they were carrying
"cabbages and cabbage launchers." The local press referred to GIA as the
"little CIA."[73]

Hakim strenuously denied any knowledge of Wilson's shady activities. He
insisted to Congress that his Swiss operation had been penetrated by
unscrupulous individuals, such as Ed Wilson and Frank Terpil, the former CIA
officer who worked with Wilson to supply Gadhafi with weapons. Hakim said
that when he discovered that some of his employees had been involved in shady
deals behind his back, he fired everyone responsible.[74]

On the one hand, it is possible that Hakim did not know that Wilson was using
his company to smuggle guns to Libya. On the other hand, Hakim may not be at
liberty to tell the whole story.

The former intelligence officers we spoke to on this point say that Hakim is
actually not a bad man, but that he is afraid to tell anyone what really
happened. Our sources say that Hakim was cooperating with the British secret
service. After Aspin revealed how money for Libyan arms was channeled through
Switzerland, the British secret service used Hakim's legitimate business
network to monitor the financial transactions of the one family that
controlled and directed the gun-running operations in the Middle East: the
Al-Kassars of Syria.[75]

According to these sources, Hakim was an innocent pawn used first by the
British secret service and then by U.S. intelligence.

There is a certain irony here. At the same time that the U.S. Navy and Ed
Wilson were trying to run guns to Libya behind the backs of the British,
Wilson was using Hakim's company while Hakim was working with the British
secret service. According to our sources, the British let the navy make fools
of themselves for a little while. Then, after Inman finally fired Wilson, the
British had a chat with the new CIA director, George Bush.[76]

To put it bluntly, the Americans had been "caught with their pants down."
Arming Gadhafi through Task Force 157 was just the kind of scandal that would
tear the intelligence community apart. Bush realized that the Republican
administration was in deep trouble over the Wilson affair. Instead of a
thorough, searching investigation by the CIA, George Bush allegedly ordered a
cover-up in 1976.[77] When Admiral Inman became deputy CIA director in 1981,
he roundly criticized the so-called investigation of the Wilson affair and
apparently concluded there had been a cover-up during Bush's tenure as CIA
head.[78]

The "old spies" say that there is a lot more to the Wilson case than has ever
been made public. Much of the money generated by Wilson in Task Force 157
went to bribe Republican politicians during the Nixon administration.[79]
According to a top-secret Justice Department surveillance report, Wilson was
also observed passing envelopes to several members of a congressional
appropriations committee.[80] Because of the sensitive political scandal, the
Justice Department investigation never went forward. Neither, as Inman later
discovered, did the investigation at the CIA. The whole Task Force 157
scandal was quietly swept under a rug. Also in 1976, Hakim entered into a new
business relationship with the Bechtel Corporation after being screened by
Bechtel General Counsel Cap Weinberger, later secretary of defense in the
Reagan-Bush Administration.[81]

Apparently in 1976 George Bush had become the Republican party's garbage man.
He was the man in charge of the CIA when Hakim's connection to Wilson was
first investigated, and when Wilson's Task Force 157 affair was first covered
up. Bush was also the man in charge of the CIA during the coverup of the
Angleton's Vatican-Vessel scandal, when he covered up when the CIA protected
one of Nixon's Nazis, when the Wilson affair was exposed and during the
Angolan mercenary operation.

Our intelligence sources insist that Bush did not create these scandals. He
inherited them in 1976. One "old spy" was unequivocal: "Bush was a virgin in
covert ops. He spent most of his one year as DCI testifying before Congress.
There was one guy in the Republican party who knew where the bodies were
buried. Bush trusted Bill Casey for advice. That was his big mistake.[82]

In 1976 Casey was running Reagan's presidential campaign. Casey had known
Reagan since the early 1950s, when they had both worked on the Fascist
"freedom fighter" program under Vice President Nixon." Later on, as
president, Nixon had appointed Casey to run the Securities and Exchange
Commission. Casey was one of the Republican party's leading fund-raisers. As
Oliver North later would discover, Casey also had considerable knowledge of
international money laundering.

A number of past and present intelligence officers say that it was Casey who
opened a new private channel to the British in 1976. it did not take a
political genius to realize that the Democrats would take over the White
House, the CIA, and the Securities Exchange Commission in 1977. Time was
running out to hide a dirty chain of money laundering that stretched back to
Dulles. Casey had worked with British intelligence before, and together they
had no problem in devising a new and more reliable banking system that would
permanently avoid congressional scrutiny. Casey, not Bush, forged the British
banking-intelligence connection. George Bush just did as he was told. His
only contribution was to chip in CIA funds to set up the new listening post
in the Gulf states. The British took care of the rest.[84]


Through a series of coups, the British secret service had placed their own
puppets on the thrones of the tiny bedouin kingdoms that comprised Oman and
the United Arab Emirates. These tiny countries ("tribes with flags") were
totally dependent on the SAS and M16 for their survival. Virtually every
aspect of their banking, intelligence, and foreign policy was handled by
British advisers on the scene.[85]

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, was a small town of less
than 100,000 people, but it controlled 10 percent of the oil deposits in the
world. The UAE was the perfect place to hide a bank, a bank to handle covert
operations behind the back of the British Parliament and the U.S. Congress.
The new bank would be called the Bank of Credit and Commerce International,
or BCCI. Although it is now better known as the "Bank of Crooks and
Criminals," the "old spies" say that BCCI really stands for the "British
Cover for Collecting Intelligence."[86]

There had been a previous American attempt to use a financial facility for
covert operations, but the Nugan-Hand bank operation was exposed by the
Australian media and was on its way to bankruptcy by the late 1970s. The
Nugan-Hand bank unraveled along with Wilson and Task Force 157, but not
before it had established close working relations in Saudi Arabia with both
Aramco and the Bechtel Corporation.[87}

As the old bank in Australia collapsed, the new one in Abu Dhabi was coming
into being with the help of the British secret service, which used the same
front men in another British colony, the Cayman Islands. In this "tax haven,"
Nugan-Hand's legal firm of Bruce Campbell & Company set up the International
Credit & Investment Company (ICIC) as a front for the BCCI.[88]

According to our sources in the intelligence community, what no one knows is
that this little British island played an integral role in international
money laundering for several of the Arab intelligence services.[89] The
British used their M16 base on the Cayman Islands as headquarters for an
"International Consortium for Intelligence Collection (ICIC)," a joint
venture of several spy agencies that would secretly own the stock of an
international bank. Later on several witnesses tried to tell Congress about
the "consortium" entity for "Intelligence Cooperation," or IC, that had been
established in the Cayman Islands. What no one realized was that the ICIC spy
consortium was the same ICIC that secretly controlled all the stock of the
BCCI.[90]

Here, according to the "old spies," is how the BCCI-ICIC fraud worked. In
1976 British and American representatives offered stock in ICIC to the
intelligence services of the UAE, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. In effect, the
British secret service "borrowed" the money to start the BCCI from various
friendly intelligence services. The original investors, the Arab spy
agencies, were then repaid under-the-table by the ICIC after the bank started
to turn a profit. The BCCI had no capital of its own, but the public believed
it was funded by wealthy Arabs.[91]

To Sheik Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, the scheme had appeal because the
BCCI was also a perfect conduit for bribes. The sheik, whose country lived
under a constant terrorist threat, was paying more than $10 million a year to
the PLO. As discussed in Chapter 15, the Saudis were paying much more as
bribes to Yasser Arafat. By laundering their bribes through the BCCI, the
Arabs were able to let the British secret service trace the money to various
terrorist cells, which would be identified quietly and then destroyed. The
Saudis, in particular, were getting tired of paying ransom to every obscure
terrorist group that popped up. It was cheaper, and better public relations,
to let the British secretly eliminate the Arab extremists for them.[92]

Monzer Al-Kassar played a key role in this, as the "Banker for the PLO." He
convinced all the terrorist groups, from Abu Nidal to the Marxists, to
transfer their accounts to the new BCCI branch in London. There the secret
service could easily wiretap and decipher every coded transfer of the Arab
bribe money to each terrorist faction in the world. There was only one
problem. According to a number of our sources, to make the scheme convincing
and to protect Al-Kassar's role as an informant, the terrorists would have to
be allowed some successes. There would be no intelligence sharing with
Israel. No Jews would be invited to the ICIC. The BCCI would become the most
anti-Semitic bank in its time.[93]

It took the Mossad a long time to figure out that the BCCI was an
intelligence consortium among the British, the Americans, and the Arabs. it
took them even longer to find out who was behind the setup back in 1976.
Finding out the truth did not do them any good. Many years later, in 1992,
when Israeli intelligence planted items similar to the following in the
American Jewish press, no one would listen: "The CIA had a covert
relationship with BCCI in 1976. At the very same time, George Bush was
director of the CIA. We are told the late William Casey ... met secretly and
regularly with the BCCI bank's founder, Aga Hassan Abedi. Unfortunately there
are so many coincidences."[94]

Israeli operatives were not the only ones to figure out that the BCCI had
been founded as an intelligence front. Before he was deposed, the dictator of
Pakistan, Zulfikar Bhutto also accused the BCCI's founder of having ties to
American intelligence. "On several occasions, Bhutto said publicly that Abedi
was in league with the CIA."[95] To be fair, the British secret service had
told only a handful of people in the CIA about the bank. Abedi was only a
hired hand, although he and his Pakistani friends later stole the bank blind.
While the powers behind the scenes of the BCCI were the bedouin sheiks who
set up the bank, behind them were their masters in British intelligence.[96]


The leaders of Oman and the United Arab Emirates owe their existence to
Julian Amery, a former member of the British secret service and the brother
of John Amery, the British traitor who, as discussed in Chapter 5, was hanged
after World War II as a pro-Nazi propagandist. Forty years later brother
Julian became a paid consultant to the BCCI and its biggest defender in the
British Parliament.[97] In the late 1950s Amery was the undersecretary of war
who was sent to reorganize the armed forces in the area. In 1967 British
mercenaries replaced the sheik of Abu Dhabi of the UAE with his brother,
Sheik Zayed.

In 1970 Timothy Landon of British intelligence launched another SAS mercenary
coup in Oman, blasting the old ruler aside and putting Sultan Qabous on the
throne. Oman and Abu Dhabi became loyal friends of Julian Amery, a staging
ground for the SAS and headquarters for the BCCI.[98] The biggest British
coup was in establishing liaison with Kamal Adham, the head of Saudi Arabian
intelligence from 1963 to 1977. As discussed in Chapter 11, following the
Suez debacle in 1956, British intelligence had wound back the Mossad
connection and actively courted Saudi Arabia. One of the men who established
close relations with Adham was Julian Amery.[99]

It is unlikely that Bush remained entirely ignorant of the new British-Arab
intelligence alliance in 1976. After all, he was director of Central
Intelligence. Moreover, in June 1976 the U.S. ambassador in Lebanon was
killed by a terrorist bomb. It was Bush who instituted a new and
"questionable policy": Instead of asking the Israelis for intelligence, Bush
moved closer to the Arabs, especially Adham and his cabal of BCCI
agents.[100] Bush's personal interest in the Gulf States went back to the
mid-1960s, when his oil company, Zapata, had gained the contract to build
Kuwait's first offshore oil rig.[101]

In support of the British initiative to create the BCCI as an intelligence
collection source, in 1976 Bush authorized the expenditure of CIA clandestine
funds to establish an NSA signals post in the Gulf States.[102]  Through
these signal posts, communications from both ends of the bank's headquarters,
in London and Abu Dhabi, were systematically intercepted.

Because of the extreme sensitivity of British-American wiretap cooperation,
the BCCI records remained with the British secret service, with access given
to only a handful of CIA people.[103]

Our sources insist that none of the BCCI-British intercept results were
shared with the CIA after Bush left office. After Jimmy Carter became
president in 1977, a number of people suddenly resigned from the CIA, went
through the "revolving door," and acquired connections to the BCCI. Others,
including William Casey's close friends, Robert Gray and John M. Shaheen,
appear to have played innocent roles in the Iran-Contra scandal. Gray's
company also represented the BCCI. The original Arab investors, Abedi, Adham,
and friends, secretly bought an American front for the BCCI, from Casey's
friend J. William Middendorf.[104]

To be fair, Casey, his friends, and the CIA did not realize what a mess they
were getting into. They did not know that the British secret service had
relinquished day-to-day control of the BCCI to a group of Moslem bankers
whose incompetence was exceeded only by their crookedness.[105]

All that Carter's CIA inherited was Leslie Aspin. For additional training in
special operations, Aspin was sent to the JFK School for Special Warfare at
Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he earned his "Green Beret."[106] Since he
had already gone through British paratroop school and earned his SAS commando
beret, the course wasn't particularly difficult for him. Not many people in
the world wore both berets, had experience as an intelligence agent in
hostile territories, and possessed a vast knowledge of mercenary operations,
smuggling, and the Middle East. Leslie Aspin was quite a find.

While assigned to Company E, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), of the
First Special Forces unit, he was offered his first formal contract with the
CIA in 1978. The Angola operation did not count-it was off the official
books. Indeed, very few in the CIA even knew how the British mercenary link
came about. But on April 25, 1978, the CIA director of personnel wrote to
Aspin to start his official CIA career.[107]

Aspin was offered a job just as a "contract" agent, someone hired for a
specific job, who then goes back to his own career. Aspin's family told us
that he would go on the CIA books for a day, be briefed on a mission, and
then quickly taken off the books again. In that way the CIA could state
truthfully that "we have no employees named Leslie Aspin."[108] Aspin went
home to England for a brief rest before his next assignment.

Most of the CIA's Angola staff, including Bill Buckley, headed off to the
Middle East. Aspin was not far behind. In 1979 a group of radical Moslems
seized the Holy Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Saudi National Guard was
not quite trained for antiterrorist warfare, so the Saudis asked for help. As
Mecca was off-limits to non-Moslems, the presence of Western agents had to be
a closely kept secret. The odd couple, Aspin and Buckley, went in on the
British-American strike team, disguised in Saudi uniforms.[109]


They blasted the terrorists out of the mosque and stood the survivors up
against a wall. Aspin photographed his firing squad as it executed the
radicals. Then one of the strike team members took a photo of a grinning
Aspin and Buckley, with their arms around each other. Aspin kept the photos
as souvenirs of their secret mission.[110] Not surprisingly, the contract to
clean up the mosque went to another early BCCI insider.[111]

 Over the years, Aspin handled a number of covert assignments for both the
British and Americans. Although Parliament had prohibited sending arms to
South Africa, that was no hindrance to people like Aspin with connections in
the Cayman Islands. By the late 1970s it seems that he was already involved
with TransWorld arms, a Canadian firm that was later involved with
Iran-Contra. Through his London contacts, Aspin was paying for his arms
shipments through a "Geneva Bank," almost certainly the BCCI, which he used
almost exclusively to service his varied clientele.[112] By 1980 Aspin's arm
deals were going quite nicely. He bought a very expensive home in
England.[113]

Unfortunately, he may have been selling arms to terrorists. But, as we shall
see, this may have been part of another British intelligence operation to
ransom hostages.[114] We have confirmed that, starting in the early 1980s,
Aspin's BCCI bank account at the London branch shows several large deposits
from Ghassan Al-Kassar, Monzer's brother and business partner.[115]

Our intelligence sources say the British tricked President Carter well and
truly by foisting Monzer Al-Kassar's arms network on the unwitting CIA. The
British secret service offered to supply Soviet-made arms to the Afghan
resistance, which would disguise CIA participation as well as enable the
mujahideen rebels to resupply themselves with captured Soviet ammunition.
Carter gratefully accepted London's offer. As the naive president later
conceded: "In a highly secret move, we also assessed the possibility of
arranging for Soviet-made weapons (which would appear to have come from the
Afghan military forces) to be delivered to freedom fighters in Afghanistan
and of giving them what encouragement we could to resist subjugation by the
Soviet invaders."[116] Our sources insist that Carter did not know that the
British were buying the arms from Monzer Al-Kassar, who had become the main
sales representative for the Communistcontrolled Polish and Bulgarian arms
industries. To this day, the CIA does not have an inkling that it bought
Eastern Bloc weapons from one of the PLO's leading terrorists.[117]

Although the former intelligence officers we interviewed said that the Carter
administration was totally excluded from British intelligence information
collected from the BCCI, there was accidental contact. After the 1979 Soviet
invasion of Afghanistan, the CIA was searching for a way to launder guns and
money to the mujahideen freedom fighters. It was, they say, purely
coincidental that Abedi's Pakistani branch of the BCCI was chosen as the
repository for CIA funds for the Afghan rebels.[118]



During the Carter administration, the "old spies" say, the only one who might
have had an idea that there was more to the BCCI connection was Aspin's old
comrade-in-arms, Bill Buckley. It was Buckley who oversaw the paramilitary
side of things in Afghanistan for the CIA. The CIA money went from Buckley
through BCCI, Pakistan, to the British secret service, and then to
Al-Kassar.[119] If Buckley knew more about the British-BCCI connection, he
took it to his grave.

Buckley may not have been able to connect the chain because his British
friend Aspin was away working on a different operation with Al-Kassar. In
1980 Aspin's BCCI account in London shows that the Al-Kassars were buying
guns from him, not the other way around. Aspin was selling arms through the
Al-Kassars for delivery to Iran. it may have been the first of Monzer's and
Aspin's hostage ransom operations. it would not be the last.[120]

In fact, Aspin's 1980 ransom deal was the beginning of what would turn into
the American arms-for-hostages scandal, as it provided the prototype that
later was used in the Iran-Contra affair. The Iranian Hezbollah had kidnapped
two British citizens. Monzer Al-Kassar, playing the intermediary, told the
British they could be released for a price, a small one. The Iranians just
wanted to buy some machine guns for their war against Iraq. Leslie and his
brother, Michael, opened a company called Delta Investments, which acquired
American-made Browning machine guns.[121]

After one of the AI-Kassar brothers deposited the Iranian money in Aspin's
London BCCI account, the American weapons were shipped to the United Arab
Emirates, where they were transshipped to the Iranians, who promptly released
the British kidnap victims. Michael Aspin, unfortunately, boasted about the
ransom deal to the British press, which quickly confirmed the story.[122]

The media, which suspected that the British secret service was behind the
ransom arrangements, made a big deal about the successful guns-for-hostages
operation.[123] Leslie should have known then never to trust his brother to
keep his mouth shut. Al-Kassar was too valuable to M16 to risk any more press
leaks.

By January 1981, when Reagan was inaugurated and Casey became head of the
CIA, all the ingredients for the coming disasters were in place: Leslie's
relationship with Monzer, Michael's big mouth, and, of course, the bedouin
bank of BCCI that handled the under-the-table guns-for-hostages deal.


Casey and the British had created a bank for spies that no one supervised,
where it was impossible to trace money, and which was immune from either
congressional or parliamentary scrutiny. The BCCI was a perfect vehicle for
Casey's contacts in the oil industry to make their own bribes to the PLO. The
Jews of Israel would never know what hit them. Neither would the innocent
victims of the Third World, who invested $20 billion in a con game. While
Casey was playing spy chief, his old friend Aga Hassan Abedi was stripping
the bank's assets.

The real villain was Monzer Al-Kassar. If he had been honest with the
British, the secret service would have been able to strike a double blow
against terrorism and drugs, not to mention keeping the BCCI under control.
Al-Kassar could have been the best informant in the world. The problem was
that he was not working for the British at all. He was working for the
Communists. His only loyalty was to Soviet Military Intelligence, the GRU.
Al-Kassar's antiterrorist work for M16 was probably the best sting operation
in recent Soviet history.[124] As we shall see in the next chapters, the one
who got stung the worst was George Bush.

Within a decade Al-Kassar used his protected position within M16 to become
the world's leading drug dealer. By 1989 the drug enforcement agencies of
West Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United States had pooled their
information at a special Interpol conference concerned solely with Monzer
Al-Kassar. There was no doubt about it. Al-Kassar had used political
blackmail to build an arms, drugs, and terrorist empire from South America to
the Middle East.[125]

And, of course, Al-Kassar was killing Jews.
--[cont]--
Aloha, He'Ping,
Om, Shalom, Salaam.
Em Hotep, Peace Be,
Omnia Bona Bonis,
All My Relations.
Adieu, Adios, Aloha.
Amen.
Roads End
Kris

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