How many times have we heard or read stories about Vice President Dick Cheney's old firm, Halliburton, and its alleged influence over the government? A public company with more than 100,000 employees, Halliburton had revenues of $13 billion in 2001. However, George Soros is a human Halliburton who will be in a position if John Kerry is elected president to pull the strings. He is reportedly worth $7.2 billion. But his role in buying the White House for John Kerry has received generally positive coverage. Soros, we're told, is a "philanthropist" committed to "democracy." The Republican Party, by contrast, is supposed to be run by fat cats and Big Business, such as those at Halliburton.
Soros may be the biggest political fat cat of all time. Convicted in France of insider trading, Soros specializes in weakening or collapsing the currencies of entire nations for his own selfish interests. He is known as the man who broke the Bank of England. His power is such that his statements alone can cause currencies to go up or down. Other people suffer so he can get rich. But journalists don't want to examine the questionable means by which he achieved his wealth because they share his goal of electing Kerry and the Democrats. Curiously, once he made his fortune he became a global socialist, endorsing global taxes on the very means he employed to get rich – international currency speculation and manipulation.
The media consistently ignore the fact that this so-called "philanthropist" has had several brushes with the law as he has laid siege to national economies and currencies. Hard-working U.S. businessmen understand how Soros has made his money. In protesting a Soros appearance hosted by the University of Toledo, Edwin J. Nagle III, president and CEO of the Nagle Companies, highlighted "the immoral and unethical means by which he achieved his wealth." He added, "I certainly didn't see included in his bio the stories on how he collapsed whole country's currencies for his own self interests so that many may suffer."
Here, Soros signed a consent decree in United States District Court, in a Securities and Exchange Commission case involving stock manipulation, and was fined $75,000 by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for holding positions "in excess of speculative limits." Stories about Soros rarely, if ever, mention any of his legal problems.
Despite his vision of an "open society," he operates an unregulated "hedge fund," open only to the super-rich, and is currently fighting a proposal from the Bush-appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to regulate and monitor these offshore entities. House Speaker Dennis Hastert said on national television that no one really knows where the Soros money comes from.
Of course, anyone who has followed the Sibel Edmonds case knows were some of Hastert's money has come from -- Turkish organized crime figures were caught on FBI wiretaps referring to him as "Denny boy" or something like that.
Soros has categorically denied receiving money from drug cartels or any form of criminal activity. The fact remains, however, that at least some of his financial operations have been based offshore, in banking and financial centers that are widely reported to be considered conducive to money-laundering. The Soros fund is based in the Netherlands Antilles, a self-governing federation of five Caribbean islands. A CIA factbook describes the region as "a transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the US and Europe; money-laundering center."
Soros reportedly purchased a major stake in one of Colombia's biggest banks, at a time when the Drug Enforcement Administration, in its study, "Colombian Economic Reform: The Impact on Drug Money Laundering within the Colombian Economy," was documenting how major drug kingpins were taking advantage of the liberalization of the economy to put illicit drug revenue into legitimate businesses. The report stated: "U.S. and Colombian Government authorities have evidence of drug proceeds being deposited in every major bank in Colombia... A Colombian source indicated that many banks and businesses are owned covertly by principal members of the Cali cartel."
This is exactly the kind of activity that I refer to when I use the term "The Shadow Realm"; this is along the lines of what we have in mind when we talk about "State Capture" (see sidebar for series with these names).
His complex web of financial interests, companies and foundations makes Halliburton look like a Mom & Pop operation.
The charge we read in the press is that Halliburton gets government contracts and makes money from the Iraq war. Far less attention has been paid to the fact that the company has lost 54 employees as a result of that war. Nobody in the press mentions that Soros profits from the Kosovo war, which he supported as a preemptive strike against Yugoslavia, because he runs an investment fund that now does business there. Even though he pays big bucks to advertise his opposition to the Bush policy of democracy-building in Iraq, reporters still describe him as someone with a reputation for building democracy abroad.
However, his position on Iraq may be a diversion from the real reason he wants to get rid of Bush – his longstanding desire to adopt a national "retreat and defeat" approach to the drug problem.
Soros' long-time goal has been to subvert the national anti-drug policy of the U.S. Government, to move away from the use of national and global law enforcement resources against the drug trade. He calls this "harm reduction," meaning that criminal activity associated with the use of drugs will supposedly be reduced if the government takes over the drug trade and provides drugs and drug paraphernalia, including needles, to addicts. But law enforcement would still be required to keep drugs out of the hands of children. If this is not the case, then Soros intends to allow substances such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin to be distributed to children.
If Soros is able to capture the White House and implement his drug policy nationally, millions more people could be led to experiment with dangerous psychoactive substances and damage themselves, their families, and society. Even marijuana, depicted by the media as a "soft" drug, has extremely negative consequences. In the new book, "Marijuana and Madness," one of the editors, Prof. Robin Murray of Britain's Institute of Psychiatry, cites studies and evidence from around the world, some of it going back 40 years, linking the use of marijuana to mental illnesses, including schizophrenia and psychosis.
In a recent article about his growing financial and political clout, the Washington Post sanitized Soros by claiming that he "funded efforts to reform campaign laws, decriminalize marijuana and change [the] criminal justice system." All of that is misleading, if not false. His "reform" of campaign laws left a loophole that will enable him to set a record "for the most money donated by an individual in an election cycle," to quote the Post itself. So where are the investigative stories into Soros and his agenda?
A key part of the Soros agenda -- his proposed surrender in the war on drugs -- has been carefully concealed from the American people during this campaign. The war on Islamic terrorism is front and center, to be sure, but the war on drugs is still of major concern to millions of Americans, especially parents fearful of the influence of Hollywood and the drug culture.
One key aspect of this, perhaps not known to most Americans, is the complex connection between illegal drugs and terrorism.
As we have addressed in past posts, during the Cold War, terrorist organizations had state sponsors. To be sure, this money was channeled via proxies and fronts, so many terrorists had no idea who was ultimately supporting them. With the end of the Cold War, there was not as much money available to fund terrorism, so terrorists had to turn to other means to fund their operations.
As far back as the 1980's we saw how drug cartels and terrorist organizations in Latin America teamed up. It was a natural alliance, as they had the same enemy -- the government -- and shared many of the same needs and methods. In particular, guerrilla groups had the muscle to guard the production and movement of cocaine, and the drug cartels had the money to pay for the help.
But this connection between terrorism and drug trafficking only added a new dimension to the relationship between terrorist or guerrilla organizations and the governments that sponsor them.
In Afghanistan, for example, the Mujahideen were, much to the delight of many Cold Warriors in the United States, involved in the jihad against the Soviet Union. The United States government was only too happy to support the Mujahideen, seeing the jihad as an opportunity to get some payback for Vietnam. Pakistan, however, was certainly not known for any love of communism, and indeed, the government in Islamabad had an idea to use the Mujahideen to collapse the Soviet Union and turn the five Soviet Socialist Republics in Central Asia into Islamic Republics.
Resources, however, even if adequate, were still subject to oversight from the United States Congress. There was a desire to develop a source of funding that could not be cut off by Congress, and that would be abundant as well.
The idea began to take root that the jihad could be funded by narcotics trafficking. The heroin could be sold to the Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan, who found themselves fighting a difficult and unpopular war; from there, the heroin habit would find its way back to the Soviet Union, and cause internal problems for the Kremlin at home. Meanwhile, the profits from the heroin trafficking would provide ample money to pay for the jihad, and this money would be out of reach of Congress.
Narcotics seemed like a perfect way to defeat the Red Army on the battlefield, destabilize the Soviet Union at home, and possibly win the Cold War.
Within a decade, all this had happened: the Cold War was over, but with the end of the Cold War, many terrorist groups found themselves looking for sponsors.
However, there were other ramifications.
While there had always been corruption among government officials and rogue networks involved in drug trafficking, support for narcotics trafficking by government intelligence agencies as a matter of de facto policy to achieve national political objectives was something new -- and improved. It allowed governments that wished to sponsor terrorists a means of funding terrorism without draining national treasuries.
In the Twentieth Century, terrorists had been proxies for national governments, allowing regimes that sponsor terrorism a degree of plausible deniability -- the regimes could distance themselves not just from the acts, but from accountability and repercussions for those acts. With the developing narcoterrorist nexus, however, regimes that chose to sponsor terrorist and guerrilla fighters now had an additional layer of deniability, one made more believable, since terrorist money could no longer be traced back to national governments.
From Former FBI Translator Sibel Edmonds Calls Current 9/11 Investigation Inadequate by Jim Hogue, May 07, 2004:
JH: Here's a question that you might be able to answer: What is al-Qaeda?
SE: This is a very interesting and complex question. When you think of al-Qaeda, you are not thinking of al-Qaeda in terms of one particular country, or one particular organization. You are looking at this massive movement that stretches to tens and tens of countries. And it involves a lot of sub-organizations and sub-sub-organizations and branches and it's extremely complicated. So to just narrow it down and say al-Qaeda and the Saudis, or to say it's what they had at the camp in Afghanistan, is extremely misleading. And we don't hear the extent of the penetration that this organization and the sub-organizations have throughout the world, throughout their networks and throughout their various activities. It's extremely sophisticated. And then you involve a significant amount of money into this equation. Then things start getting a lot of overlap -- money laundering, and drugs and terrorist activities and their support networks converging in several points. That's what I'm trying to convey without being too specific. And this money travels. And you start trying to go to the root of it and it's getting into somebody's political campaign, and somebody's lobbying. And people don't want to be traced back to this money.
Stay tuned for Part 2.