This may seem like old news but some of these players wield considerable influence today. It would be difficult to overstate the ways in which the BCCI affair has affected current events.
UNTANGLING THE OCTOPUS
by Steve Mizrach
October Surprise, Iran-Contra, Noriega, Iraqgate, and BCCI
Before he died in an ineptly performed ‘suicide,’ the young journalist Danny Casolaro was working on a book that he claimed tied together many of the ‘gates’ and ‘miniscandals’ surrounding the Bush presidency. The book identified the web which tied all the scandals together as the “Octopus,” a mythical creature with tentacles stretching everywhere. Perhaps the birth of the Octopus lies in the 1980 Presidential election; and its growth occurred under the eight years of the Reagan presidency. Casolaro soon found that the Octopus may have consisted of a ‘shadow government’ apparatus that went back even further than Bush and Reagan. But what’s left of his notes seem primarily to focus on events in the 80s and 90s.
It is very possible that in 1980, Bill Casey and other members of the Reagan team may have conspired with the Iranians to delay the release of the American hostages: they were afraid of an “October Surprise” which might damage Reagan’s chances of defeating Carter. Sure enough, the hostages were released right as Reagan was being inaugurated, and in 1981, the first shipment of arms to Iran began. Gunther Rossbacher, an ex-Navy pilot, and two other foreign sources, insist that on October 21st and 22nd, Bush met with Iranian delegates in Paris. The “October Surprise” may have been how Bush and other Reagan team members located the Iranian ‘moderates’ that played a role in the Iran-Contra scandal. In 1984, the Boland amendment forbade any more military assistance to the Contras. So, in 1985, the underground “Enterprise” – Operation Yellowfruit – began selling arms to Iran and using the proceeds to furnish weapons to the Contras. George Bush claims Iran-Contra has nothing to do with him, but other administration figures’ records show he was at the secret meetings – Poindexter, in particular. Amiram Nir, an Israeli terrorism expert, insists he discussed Iranian arms deals with Bush, but that can’t be confirmed… he died in a mysterious plane crash in Mexico in 1988.
It turns out the Iran-Contra scandal may have been part of a larger arms-for-hostages deal. The Iranians needed weapons in their war against Iraq, and the Reagan administration felt that the Iranians might have been able to convince the Shiite terrorists in Lebanon to release the American hostages held there. Reagan claimed no “quid pro quo,” but then he also claimed he really didn’t remember much, either. In any case, additional hostages were seized after the ‘non-deal’, and many may remain in captivity today, including the Lebanon CIA station head. One man who may have known a great deal about the Iran-Contra business was Manuel Noriega, whose name came up in the 1988 Dukakis-Bush debates. Noriega knew about the Contra drug pipeline, because he was a pusher, himself, while on the CIA payroll throughout the 1980s, and during his trial in Miami in 1989, some testimony emerged which suggested he knew something about the Central American end of the Iran-Contra affair and where some on the missing money may have ‘disappeared’ into.
On the Middle Eastern end, another man who was a delighted beneficiary of American generosity throughout the 1980s was Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The Agriculture Department and other agencies gave Saddam agricultural credits worth millions of dollars which he used to purchase American attack helicopters, chemical weapons for using on the Kurds, and the components of a nuclear weapons program. It is suspected that the CIA and Justice Department overlooked, or aided, the Banco Nazionale Lavoro (BNL) of Italy while it funneled billions in military aid to Iraq. This recently burgeoning scandal, “Iraqgate,” suggests we were playing both sides against the middle during the Iran-Iraq war. We were selling arms to both the Iranians and the Iraqis, and the CIA at various points double-crossed both sides. It is no wonder that America is so distrusted in that part of the world. In any case, there were two men that knew too much, and when Bush became president, he had to clean them up, and he would wage two “cleanup wars” to do it.
One link between Bush, Saddam, and Iran-Contra was the corrupt Middle Eastern bank, the Bank of Commerce and Credit International (BCCI). BCCI, it turns out, laundered drug money, financed CIA and Mossad covert operations, and helped Bush, Saddam, and others split over $250 billion in extortion from the sale of Persian Gulf oil. (BCCI also might have had links to the corrupt drug-money-laundering-and-CIA scandals involving Australia’s Nugan Hand Bank.) Attorney General Richard Thornburgh squashed an investigation into First American Bankshares, secretly controlled by BCCI, in October 1990; and William von Raab, former U.S. customs official, was fired by Treasury Secretary James Brady for delving too deeply into BCCI. This may have a lot to do with the links between Prescott Bush, First American director Stephens, Bahrain, and Iraq. Bush’s family were oilmen, and if there is anything he stood for, it was Big Oil and its interests in the Middle East. (It might be pointed out, incidentally, that it was Norman Schwarzkopf’s father who helped boot out Mossadegh in Iran when he threatened to nationalize holdings of British Petroleum.) The mess was in place, and President Bush had a lot of cleaning up to do.
There is much more here:
Untangling the Octopushttp://smileycoyote.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/october-surprise-iran-contra-noriega-iraqgate-and-bcci/