[CN -- The following does not necessarily reflect my views or the views of Conspiracy Nation. It merely reports what was said elsewhere.]
SHERMAN SKOLNICK INTERVIEW -- THE JOLIET CONNECTION
Sherman Skolnick was interviewed on Radio Free America (Shortwave, 5.065 MHz, mon-fri, 9 pm cst) on October 20, 1994. Mr. Skolnick is a veteran investigative reporter from Chicago and founder of the "Citizens' Committee to Clean Up the Courts" in that city. Following is my transcription of that interview. Host/Interviewer is Tom Valentine.
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And now, the newspaper that "tells it like it is" presents Tom Valentine.
Hello, everybody! Welcome back, to Radio Free America.
In this hour, we are going to reach up to Chicago and bring back an old friend and a fellow who's been a guest on this show several times. He is the founder and director of the Committee to Clean Up the Courts, in Chicago. A non-establishment institution, a citizens' group, if you please, that has a lot of feathers in their war bonnet. They have, they've done some notable things. The most notable probably being the arrest and jailing of the former Governor and a former federal judge of Illinois, who ended up dying in jail, Otto Kerner.
And that fellow, of course, is Sherman Skolnick. And Sherman, welcome back to Radio Free America.
Welcome, Tom, and I'm pleased to be on with your listeners again. And I hope they find this very interesting. I've got... We're going to discuss a very timely subject.
What the Wall Street Journal is in a position to know is that the dope transit point, which was in western Arkansas, in a forest -- that is, the Mena, Arkansas airport -- has been transferred to just south of Chicago. And due to a series of situations which I will do my best to outline, as briefly summarize as I can, it is operating now, south of Chicago, in Joliet!
They're using similar apparatuses to "wash" the dope money that's coming in: they're using a local development company; they're using various brokers and banks to "wash" the large sums of money.
Now involved in the situation was a building in Joliet where a lot of federal loan money, loan applications, were kept. And it was part of the apparatus of "washing" the dope money.
But before I get into that, let me just tell briefly how it came in. It came in by barge, up the waterway from New Orleans to the Des Plaines River basin, past a place called Moose Island. And we'll get back to that Moose Island connection in a moment.
Also, airplanes came in with the dope (protected from interference by law enforcement people, by the way). Airplanes came into the Joliet Municipal Airport, among others.
Now what happened was, early in the '80s, a secret unit of the U.S. Treasury Department began an investigation of this and related matters. However, their investigation was ordered stopped by one of the espionage agencies, either the CIA or the NSA, on reasons of (quote) "national security" (unquote). Because what was being brought in, in large quantities, flooding in through Joliet and then being distributed across the country, was a superior narcotic called "China White". It comes from the Laos, Burma, Thailand, "Golden Triangle" connection. And the supposed explanation by the espionage agencies was that high-level members of the Chinese secret police are operating in the United States as scientists and technicians, and that the espionage agencies have got to stop the Treasury from interfering and investigating this because, for reasons of national security, they want to keep track of these people -- even though they're bringing in dope!
Now what happened...
I became aware of all this; I made a summary of what is in the records. And I went and found, I went and demanded a meeting.
We are back, live. It's Radio Free America. And I'm talking with Sherman Skolnick. We're talking now about a major investigation in our so-called "war on drugs". Evidently, the "war on drugs" takes time out for official drug dealing and drug money laundering. But if it's unofficial, well then they'll make war on it.
Go ahead, Sherman. You were tellin' us how a group in Chicago came about this truckload of documents.
I met with them for 35 minutes and I told them that this drug racketeering operation involved 4 federal judges, 2 congressmen, the former Governor, Jim Thompson, and people connected with the Clinton White House. After 35 minutes of summarizing this, he unceremoniously stood up, told me he's not interested, and in so many words told me to mind my own business. And he left me there in the office and walked out the door.
Now what we know from these records is, namely, that one of those that facilitated it was a fellow named Robert Teezak(sp?), who was a crony of George Herbert Walker Bush, the federal judges, Jim Thompson, and others.
And the records that relate to this, of the "washing" of the money, were kept in a building in Joliet called the Private Industry Council. And in 1987, because local citizens from Joliet were complaining to the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Agency, about what they were observing happening, the U.S. attorney here at the time, Anton R. Valukis(sp?) began a supposed grand jury investigation. And issued a subpoena returnable on a certain Monday.
On the Friday preceding that, the building housing all these federal records was burned down! O.K.? It was burned down by Robert Teezak. And I will point out what happened, in a moment, with that.
Now Teezak is a crony of Bush, the former Governor, Anton Valukis, and others. In Chicago, in the early '80s, the U.S. attorney here, the chief federal prosecutor, was Dan K. Webb. He was succeeded by Anton R. Valukis. Both of 'em close cronies of George Bush. In fact Dan Webb (some may remember) was an assistant special prosecutor in the Iran-Contra thing, and took the deposition of Ronald Reagan, and was involved very much in the Admiral Poindexter case.
Now he was the private attorney for Robert Teezak. And in the '80s, when Webb was the U.S. attorney, he violated the law by being, reportedly, the private attorney for Teezak at the same time that Webb was the U.S. attorney and should have prosecuted somebody!
Now one of the apparatuses that they used -- to facilitate the arrangement of the dope shipments -- was a company owned by Teezak, headquartered in Joliet and in the Grand Caymans, called International Games, Incorporated. They distributed games, purportedly manufactured in Hong Kong and other places in the Orient. And Teezak, who lived on Moose Island -- uh, keep that name in mind. By the way, the building where the records were kept was called the Moose Building. The Private Industry Council building was the Moose Building, in Joliet.
Now what happened was, the Treasury unit, by continuing to investigate, caused this grand jury subpoena to be issued by the U.S. attorney. However when the building with the records that they sought... And they were, what was in the building were records that related to federally supported loans -- loans of the SBA [Small Business Administration], HUD, Comprehensive Employment Training Act, and so on -- those records were in that building, and that building was burned down by Teezak.
Now U.S. attorney Valukis, who was a close crony of Teezak and Bush and others, did not investigate the obstruction of justice. And that building was burned down to obstruct the grand jury's subpoena.
Six years went by, and the Treasury unit continued their investigation. Now they [not Treasury unit] needed a fall guy to try to cover the matter up. So in 1993, suddenly, Robert Teezak, the crony of all these people, the congressmen and all that, who -- and by the way: Teezak used to fly his airplane to Hong Kong, supposedly to arrange shipments of the manufacture of his games. You know, the International Games, Incorporated.
Um-hmm [understands]. All right. That makes sense.
Now the apparatus that was used is rather complicated. They used apparatuses, as I said earlier, similar to what was used in Arkansas to wash the dope money. They used local "development" councils. They used bonds that were issued. They used... Here they used three training institutes, supposedly to re-train people for work, but the fraudulent payroll records ('cause they didn't really have all those people working) were in the PIC [Private Industry Council] Building, the...
I'm Tom Valentine, this is Radio Free America.
We are back, live, and I am just "all ears", listening to Sherman Skolnick of the Committee to Clean Up the Courts, talking about this behavior of the people near Joliet, Illinois -- just south of Chicago. They've got a big state pen there, a very famous prison, in Joliet. And, go ahead, Sherman.
Whatever happened to Dan Webb, though? Robert Teezak... You said that Dan Webb not only was a U.S. attorney, but he represented somebody privately?
O.K. Now, according to a headline story, December 5th, 1987, in the [Chicago] Tribune, it says here that the fire (with a picture of the building) was investigated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and that they suspected arson. But they didn't proceed on the thing! And six years later, because of all these other things, Teezak, a close buddy of Bush and all these people that are involved in these dope shipments -- he [Teezak] suddenly confesses that he burned it down, and away to jail he goes to cover up the thing.
Some of the money was "washed" disguised as auto loan paper, which went to support a company that has become one of the major credit card and bank operations in the United States. And that's Household International. And their units are Household Bank. And they reportedly were the beneficiary of this dope money that, that is, the proceeds of the dope money -- the dope that was coming in turned into cash, $100 bills...
But the point of the matter is, we know how the apparatus worked. It worked through Household International. It worked through loaning SBA money, Small Business Administration money -- and the records were in the PIC Building -- to companies that were not creditworthy; that is, they were scams! They quickly thereafter went into bankruptcy. And there was a cover-up through the help of a federal bankruptcy judge from Chicago who was sent twice a month to Joliet to sit in their small federal building to hear these cases. The judge's wife was an assistant U.S. attorney under Webb, in charge of SBA loans. You understand how this was all...
O.K. We are back, live, Sherman Skolnick is my guest. And we're talking about a scam, a drug/money-laundering scam involving officials: local, state, and even federal officials. Go ahead, Sherman.
The apparatus that was used, to "wash" the tremendous sums of money, were local development authorities, fake real estate companies, fraudulent auto loan paper... also, three institutes that supposedly were training minority and other persons for other types of work. Also they were disguised as Small Business Administration loans, Housing and Urban Development-supported loans, subsidies from the U.S. Labor Department -- those records were in the PIC Building when it was burned down.
Now as I said, Anton R. Valukis, the U.S. attorney at the time and a close crony of Bush and the people that were involved here, did not proceed to investigate that obstruction of justice; that is, the obstructing of the grand jury subpoena directed against the records in that building! Nor did he make any effort to reconstruct the records through duplicates that were available through the various banks that were "washing" the dope money.
O.K. That sounds a lot like that BCCI fire that we talked about once before.
Yes, that's right. That's about the size of it.
Now as to what was involved here: very substantial citizens from areas south of Chicago contacted the topmost officials of the DEA, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and complained about the strange goings-on past Moose Island. And what they got... And they complained to Anton R. Valukis himself! And what they got in return, instead of any remedy, were serious threats of bodily harm against themselves and their family. These are not dopers or ex-convicts that were complaining, these were fine, upstanding citizens. And they got no remedy. In fact they got threats.
Now we have been, ourselves, investigating the situation for four years. And when we became aware that the Treasury [Department] unit, who were bitter and disgruntled at being, uh, attempts to stop them...
By the way, the head of the "task force" that we confronted on March... On October 6, '94, previously was a White House aide in the Bush administration and a close crony of George Herbert Walker Bush.
Law enforcement people, and others, that are aware of what's involved here, believe that Bush himself is involved. As to who we directly know is involved, it's the former Governor here, Jim Thompson (he was the Governor of Illinois for 14 years), two of his cronies who were the chief federal prosecutors -- Dan K. Webb, from '81 to '85; and from '86 to '90 was Anton R. Valukis. Also, Fred Foreman(sp?), who was the chief federal prosecutor in this district, covered it up. And, as I said, at the meeting October 6th was the secretary to the current chief federal prosecutor, who is Jim Burns(sp?). I mean, we met in this office in the federal building here, and as I said -- after 35 minutes, the chief of the "task force", Mark Prosperi, got up [and] told me he's not interested. I summarized all that I've just summarized for your listeners. I offered witnesses and documentation. He said he's not interested, and in so many words, went out the door telling me I should mind my own business! Well I head up, for more than 30 years, a public interest citizens group. And we have exposed a great deal of corruption -- not from a political standpoint; that is, not to favor one political party over the other, but in the public interest. And we do it on our cable show, and we've done it on your show in the past, as you know, Tom.
I challenge the DEA, or the ATF (that supposedly investigated the burning down of the building), or the U.S. attorney, or the Justice Department, to finally, once and for all, do something.
I'm Tom Valentine. This is Radio Free America.
All right, we are back live on Radio Free America. We're chatting with Sherman Skolnick. He's uncovered an investigation, a long-term investigation, that's been going on up in [the] Chicago area, near Joliet.
And as you've been hearing, we've got John in Syracuse, New York. You're on with Sherman. Come ahead, John.
But I had a question for your guest that, on all of the stuff that's gone on in this investigation, how has it been that these agencies aren't talking to each other in this investigation?
Bentsen himself was involved in the CIA and the S&L scandal, according to Pete Brewton's book, The Mafia, the CIA, and George Bush.
But the point here is that the Treasury [Department], at least the unit -- tried. And they've gone to substantial risk, to allow their office to be cleaned out; put onto a truck all their notebooks and performance files and delivered into the hands of private citizens that are making this public. I mean...
Sarah McLendon(sp?) the other day, Tom, in a news conference, asked Bill Clinton when Mena, Arkansas went down and there was drugs bein' smuggled in there, why didn't the state of Arkansas, when he was a Governor, hold an investigation of what was goin' on there. He blew it off, he blew off the question, and said to her, back to her, "Oh, the federal boys were in here doin' all this. And I didn't get involved. All I did was some background checks." And he left it at that. But he said that he knew that there was something going on at the Mena airport. You know, Mr. Skolnick, some of this ties together. And I think some of this stuff has to be tied in, before we can ever press forward on it.
Now the question is, is it the Clinton White House and the Clinton Justice Department ordering various people to look the other way now that the dope transit point has been switched from the Mena, Arkansas area and is just south of Chicago, in Joliet? I mean, there's a vast cover-up in the works! And as I said, very substantial citizens have complained to the DEA and the Justice Department. And instead of any remedy, they got threats of death and so on!
So there's a vast cover-up in the works. And one of those that was involved in the overall thing was this John E. Gearham who is a close crony -- from Park Ridge (which is a northwest suburb of Chicago) -- a close crony of first lady Hillary. And it is now... His confession, that relates to this, which I took down in the presence of a witness, is now in the federal court record here in Chicago. (None of the newspapers refer to it.) And he said that he is gonna be made a "fall guy" [i.e., offered up as a sacrifice; a scapegoat for others' guilt] for this overall Clinton administration group of scandals. (The only one [newspaper] that went into it big was, by the way, a major German paper in Hamburg, the Hamburg Obleiden(?). I mean, where is the mass media!?)
That's a good question.
As you can see, John, this is a bi-partisan corruption.
And Mr. Skolnick, there: I think he's just about ready, if I was to play my cards right, to "go for the jugular" on Clinton before they all get away at the same time, Mr. Skolnick.
All right, we are back, live. My guest is Sherman Skolnick. And you know, Sherman, I think the important message here -- and it's one that you have brought to me several times -- is that there are indeed some good Americans working for the government.
The point is, notice what's involved here: the former President, George Bush; former Illinois Governor, Jim Thompson; two of their closest cronies who were, themselves, each chief federal prosecutors here. The one that's covering it up is a Bush crony, Mark Prosperi, the head of the organized crime/drug enforcement "task force". The one that was involved as the attorney for the PIC, the Private Industry Council where the records were all burned down, is now the chief judge in Joliet. I mean, we've got judges -- state, federal -- congressmen. At the time they sent Teezak to jail, there was no inquiry made into his worldwide money laundry operation that he ran under the name International Games, Incorporated, Joliet and the Grand Caymans. There was no investigation of the obstruction of the grand jury by the burning down of the building! There was no investigation, as known to the highest level of the government, of the secret bank accounts known to the Treasury [Department] unit and the banks involved in Chicago and south of Chicago and west of Chicago that were involved in "washing" the "China White". And I don't know, I mean, was the drug, is the drug flow to be allowed to come in, simply because the CIA wants to keep track of high level members of the Chinese secret police that are supposedly operating in the United States and in charge...
Sherman, thanks very much. We'll be seeing you again. Excellent report.
All right folks, stay tuned. We've got another thing breakin' in Indiana. We're gonna be covering that, shortly. I'll see ya right after the news.
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