A reader inquires as to why Bill Clinton and Bush the Elder are so chummy these
days. This is another case where just considering the political aspect of the
news lets you down. A more helpful approach is to consider Clinton and Bush the
heads of the two biggest political mobs in the country, a metaphor strengthened
by a recent shot of the pair, both in shades, leaning back smugly in their chairs
like a couple of big time dons. Sometimes the families work together; sometimes
they fight it out.
America's course has been driven by mob politics since the Mafia helped Jack
Kennedy get in the White House. Only two presidents have apparently been free
of mob influence: Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Many of the most important events
of our time reflect the influence of criminal forces - from the Mafia to corrupt
big time bankers and local drug dealers:
John F. Kennedy: The 1960 election, Castro assassination attempt, Bay of Pigs,
Lyndon B. Johnson: ML King assassination, RFK assassination, SE Asian heroin
Richard Nixon: CHAOS, Cambodia, Chile, Watergate.
Ronald Reagan Wall Street scandals, S&L scandal, BCCI scandal, Iran-Contra,
Latin American drug trade, domestic spying
George Bush: Iran-Contra cover-up, BCCI cover-up, S&L cover-up
Bill Clinton: Whitewater and associated scandals including ties to the S&L
and BCCI scandals
The relationship between the Bush and Clinton families goes back a long way.
Here's a timeline:
1984 - Clinton bodyguard, Arkansas state trooper LD Brown, applies for a CIA
opening. Governor Clinton gives him help on his application essay including
making it more Reaganesque on the topic of the Nicaragua. According to Brown,
he meets a CIA recruiter in Dallas whom he later identifies as former member
of Vice President Bush's staff. On the recruiter's instruction, he meets with
notorious drug dealer Barry Seal in a Little Rock restaurant. Joins Seal in
flight to Honduras with a purported shipment of M16s and a return load of duffel
bags. Brown gets $2,500 in small bills for the flight. Brown, concerned about
the mission, consults with Clinton who says, "Oh, you can handle it, don't
sweat it." On second flight, Brown finds cocaine in a duffel bag and again
he seeks Clinton's counsel. Clinton says to the conservative Brown, "Your
buddy, Bush, knows about it" and of the cocaine, "that's Lasater's
Barry Seal estimates that he has earned between $60 and $100 million smuggling
cocaine into the US, but with the feds closing in on him, Seal flies from Mena
to Washington in his private Lear Jet to meet with two members of Vice President
George Bush's drug task force. Following the meeting, Seal rolls over for the
DEA, becoming an informant. He collects information on leaders of the Medellin
cartel while still dealing in drugs himself. The deal will be kept secret from
investigators working in Louisiana and Arkansas. According to reporter Mara
Leveritt, "By Seal's own account, his gross income in the year and a half
after he became an informant - while he was based at Mena and while Asa Hutchinson
was the federal prosecutor in Fort Smith, 82 miles away - was three-quarters
of a million dollars. Seal reported that $575,000 of that income had been derived
from a single cocaine shipment, which the DEA had allowed him to keep. Pressed
further, he testified that, since going to work for the DEA, he had imported
1,500 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. Supposed informant Seal will fly repeatedly
to Colombia, Guatemala, and Panama, where he meets with Jorge Ochoa, Fabio Ochoa,
Pablo Escobar, and Carlos Lehder - leaders of the cartel that at the time controlled
an estimated 80 percent of the cocaine entering the United States."...
1985 - Terry Reed is asked to take part in Operation Donation, under which
planes and boats needed by the Contras "disappear," allowing owners
to claim insurance. Reed has been a Contra operative and CIA asset working with
Felix Rodriguez, the Contra link to the CIA and then-Vice President Bush's office.
Reed later claims he refused, but that his plane was removed while he was away.
1987 Terry Reed's plane is returned but, according to his account, he is asked
not report it because it might have to be "borrowed" again. Reed later
says that he had become aware that the Contra operation also involved drug running
and had gotten cold feet. He also believed that large sums of drug money were
being laundered by leading Arkansas financiers. He went to Bush asset Felix
Rodriguez and told him he was quitting. Reed was subsequently charged with mail
fraud for having allegedly claimed insurance on a plane that was in fact hidden
in a hanger in Little Rock. The head of Clinton's Swiss Guard, Capt. Buddy Young,
will claim to have been walking around the North Little Rock Airport when "by
an act of God" a gust of wind blew open the hangar door and revealed the
Piper Turbo Arrow.
Ronald Reagan wants to send the National Guard to Honduras to help in the war
against the Contras. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis goes to the Supreme
Court in a futile effort to stop it but Clinton is happy to oblige, even sending
his own security chief, Buddy Young, along to keep an eye on things. Winding
up its tour, the Arkansas Guard declares large quantities of its weapons "excess"
and leaves them behind for the Contras.
Harken Energy, with George W Bush on the board, gets rescued by aid from the
BCCI-connected Union Bank of Switzerland in a deal brokered by Jackson Stephens,
later to show up as a key supporter of Bill Clinton. The deal was also pushed
along by another Clinton friend, David Edwards. Edwards will bring BCCI-linked
investors into Harken deals including Abdullah Bakhsh, purchases $10 million
in shares of Stephens dominated Worthen Bank.
The job of a politician such as Governor Clinton in a situation like Arkansas
is not to run things but to keep matters calm and look the other way when necessary.
Clinton did this extremely well for the Reagan-Bush illegal Contra-drug operation.
And it worked the other way. The Republican US Attorney Asa Hutchinson knew
far more about the massive Arkansas drug trade than he ever let on. Hutchinson
apparently not only knew about Seal's operation but when an IRS agent and a
state police investigator wanted to take evidence about Mena to a grand jury,
Hutchinson let only 3 of their 20 witnesses appear and one of those who did
- a banker ready to testify about extensive money laundering - found he was
not allowed to tell his story.
There were also a number of occasions leading up to Clinton's impeachment where
it seemed clear that the Republicans suddenly backed off because the inquiries
were moving onto bipartisan turf. For example, a real investigation into Mena
would have hurt both Bush and Clinton. So instead, a corrupt bipartisanship
once again arose to save some of our prominent leaders in both parties.
This is all not well understood by the public because the media is loath to
admit that anything like this could be going on right under its nose. And liberals
don't want to give up their illusion that politics is just a policy debate rather
than often something far more sinister. To get some sense of the way the game
is sometimes really played, here's an account we ran six years ago:
1999 - Former Arkansas state trooper and Clinton bodyguard L.D. Brown charges
in his new book 'Crossfire' that Alphonse D'Amato, after subjecting him to bear
hugs, head locks, and other forms of gratuitous bonhomie at a large dinner party,
asked, "L. D., that Mena thing, that was just a drug deal gone bad wasn't
it?" Writes Brown, "I came away from that conversation thinking he
was trying to convince me Mena was nothing but a drug operation. It reminded
me of the strange Bush and Clinton connection all over again." Later, D'Amato
said to Brown, "C'mon, L. D., let's go take a leak." Brown's lawyer
and aide to the senator accompanied them on the trip to the men's room. Here's
what happened next, according to Brown:
"There were a couple of people in the rest room. While they finished their
business, we also did what we ostensibly came there to do. But there was more
business to do. The Senator's aide checked the stalls in the rest room to make
sure they were vacant and then walked to the only door leading into the room.
The Senator now grabbed me in the familiar headlock. ~~~ Justin [Brown's lawyer]
looked around to see what was going on as the aide put his foot at the bottom
of the door, thus placing an improvised locking mechanism on it. Then the Senator
went for the kill.
"While putting an extra squeeze on the headlock he said, 'L. D., we got
to have your help. We need you to cooperate with us.' I could hear by now that
people were banging on the door to get in the rest room. 'We're fucking in here!'
the aide yelled. D'Amato continued on, oblivious to the commotion as the aide
struggled to keep the door shut. 'Now L. D., we'll take care of you, we'll get
you a job.' With the cigar in his mouth and his arm around my neck, the Senator
looked more like a character from a Mario Puzo novel making me 'an offer I couldn't
refuse' than a United States Senator conducting an investigation on the President
of the United States. I was shocked and I could tell Justin didn't want to be
"People outside obviously were about to wet their pants while this seemed
to drag on forever. The aide was now vigorously struggling to keep the door
shut while I had 'the arm' put on me. The Senator finally released his grip
and I mumbled something about being concerned for my family as we finally walked
out of the bathroom. The aide, clearly exhausted from his bathroom chores went
back to the table with Justin and me while being led by the Senator. The party
was about to break up and I was wishing I had never come. Justin and I rolled
our eyes at each other at what had just happened. We knew it was improper at
best to offer jobs to potential witnesses. It also disappointed me to no end
to find yet another person in this entire Whitewater fiasco who wanted to use