With all the stories in the past few years on bearer bonds and their associated scandals, it's worth pausing once again to put some things in a longer historical context, which I hope to be doing in the next few blogs. We'll begin here, with an article by Tad Szule, "The CIA and the Banks," that appeared in Inquiry on Nov 21, 1977. (The PDF of the entire article is here: The CIA and the Banks). This article was shared with me and I thought - given my forthcoming book Covert Wars and Breakaway Civilziations - that this was definitely worth sharing and analyzing.
As Szule points out in this article, the Carter Administration was reluctant to pursue the prosecution of former CIA Directer Richard Helms because of national security issues:
"The White House feared that disclosures of the CIA's globe-girding financial activities would not only paralyze the agency's operational capabilities - the CIA simply cannot function effectively without secure and deeply concealed channels for the massive movement of money around the world - but, even more, would embarrassingly spotlight the very considerable involvement of some of America's leading banks, financial institutions, and multi-national corporations in top-secret intelligence work abroad. This, in turn, would have led to international scandals, severely damaging the good name of the U.S. banking system."(p. 11)
True enough, any intelligence agency needs a secure source of funding. But what Szule is rightly, and subtly, pointing out is something that forms one of the main themes in my forthcoming book: the sheer industrial-scale size of the CIAs monetary operations is such that, exposure of it, "would have led," in Szule's words, "to international scandals, severely damaging the good name of the U.S. banking system."
In other words, the sheer scale of the CIAs activities is so significant that the entire U.S. banking system is implicated. Szule was subtly suggesting in 1977 that it was not the evil banksters that were "in charge," but rather that they too were penetrated and beholden to something else: a national security state and intelligence apparatus which, given the "globnal threat" of Communism, required a global covert response.... and truly huge financing to accomplish it.
Don't get me wrong...this also was a source of inestimable profits and, moreover, of income that banks in their endlessly creative ways could keep off the books. Everyone stood to make money off the "war against Communism/terrorism...fill in the blank here." Such an arrangement, however, also spells something else: the quasi-permanent nature of the structure - an intelligence-military-industrial-finance capital complex - being erected.
As I have blogged here and suggested, and again, as I suggest in the forthcoming book Covert Wars and Breakaway Civilizations, the scale of this system constitutes a truly hidden system of financial leverage, erected in my opinion on two pillars: plunder, and fraud, a fraud inclusive of industrial scale counterfeiting whose true origins and role in this "Enterprise" have to be understood from a vast historical context. While this isn't the place to outline that context, the scale of the fraud - as evidenced by bearer bond scandals running in the trillions of dollars - is gigantic, and as also evidenced by recent financial events also detailed on this site, many countries in the western system of finance are signaling that they are aware that something is up: the calls for audits of gold and in some cases repatriation of national gold reserves are nothing less than the signal that this system has become known, and that trust and confidence in its Anglo-American overlords is breaking down.
What was this huge system used for? I review it in some detail in my forthcoming book, but Szule's summary is as adequate as any:
"Beyopnd theChilean operations loom the whole skein of CIA worldwide financial relationships - the hidden transfers of vast sums of money to finance subversion, revolutions, coups d'etat, apramilitary operations, bribery, and payments to foreign agents - that the agency would not want to come to light under any circumstances. Such revelations could destroy many of these arrangements and cause untold harm to institutions that have cooperated with the CIA for 'national security reasons.'" (pp. 12-13)
One might add "election fraud" to this list through the tried and true methods of ballot box stuffing and computerized vote hacking. In any case, Szule wrote at a time prior to the massive financial and banking scandals that would eventually implicate the CIA - Nugan Hand, BCCI, Savings and Loan, not to mention the whole cesspool surrounding Roberto Calvi, Michele Sindona, the Vatican bank, and so on. Szule states "There is nothing illegal in these banking operations..."
But let's end this first installment on a what if, on a speculation: What if, as a part of those operations, the national security structure was involved in massive and deliberate fraud, in counterfeiting securities, in stealing currency plates?
Such an enterprise would, by the nature of the case, have to involve at least complicit bankers, if not institutions... and that is a secret that would have to be protected...at all costs....
...the only question is, do covert operations account for the total amounts seemingly involved in such a system? Or to ask the same question differently: do the bearer bonds scandals represent the total? or are they just the tip of a very large iceberg, which iceberg would include derivatives, credit default swaps, and the vast mortgages frauds we saw in the previous decade? If so, then maybe President Carter, in hindsight, should have prosecuted Helms...
See you on the flip side...