("Quid coniuratio est?")
When I interviewed Sherman Skolnick on March 15, 1995 and he confirmed to me the following, I just sort of filed it away in the back of my mind for future reference:
But what was the story about: of the four largest news agencies in the world -- O.K.? -- all four had a record that was an open record with the Bank of England for 30 days only: the bribery list of BCCI. They had bribed various public officials in various countries, including... They had bought 25 percent of both Houses of Congress. They wanted congressmen to allow them to proliferate their bank in various branches throughout the United States. And they needed various committees of Congress to "O.K." them. O.K.? So what they did is, through a group of six LaSalle street brokers, they bought 28 U.S. Senators and 108 U.S. Congressmen.
This bribery list was in the hands of four news agencies; one had corroborated that the bribery list is correct. And when the editor of that news agency, with international scope, killed the story, a very brave reporter contacted me -- like in the Spiro Agnew thing years ago -- and says, "Hey, Skolnick. I heard you're a loudmouth there, and you don't mind going with the truth even if it bothers somebody."
And so they gave me the list, together with all the corroboration, and I substantiated it further, from my own sources, and I wrote a story about it.
And one of those that was involved is the wife of Senator Phil Gramm of Texas. His wife, at the time, was Wendy -- uh, she is, Wendy Gramm -- was the head of the commodity futures trading corporation that was involved in these corrupt commodity deals where 25 percent of both Houses of Congress got hundreds of thousands of dollars by way of bribery! She went along with it. There were six commodity brokers on LaSalle street that were a part of it.
As I say, when Mr. Skolnick confirmed this to me on March 15th of this year, I just sort of put it in the back of my mind and forgot about it.
Then, on July 14, 1995, Mr. James Norman, a senior editor at Forbes magazine appeared on Tom Valentine's Radio Free America (5.065 MHz, 9 pm cst, mon-fri) and said the following:
This other matter is very troubling to me. It's another bombshell. Foster's was not the only Swiss bank of a high- level U.S. political figure that's been raided and deleted this way in the past year and a half. The Fifth Column has gone into and cleaned out probably a couple of hundred coded Swiss bank accounts belonging to high-level U.S. political figures -- the biggest names going -- in both parties. The take, we've been told -- is over $2 billion, going on $3 billion.
I can't fully express how disturbing this information is to me. When Mr. Skolnick had first told me this, somehow it did not totally register. Having this charge confirmed by Mr. Norman hit me "right between the eyes". I felt as if, "What's the use of Conspiracy Nation, when these powerful figures are no longer 'owned' by the American people?" But I then saw that, no matter what, public opinion counts -- even if the opinion polls, the mass media, and high-level officials are all "bought and paid for". If the people are still thinking for themselves then all the loudspeakers in the world can't drown them out.
The reference to "Say it ain't so," in the above title, relates to the Black Sox scandal of 1919, when baseball players on the Chicago Black Sox had been found to have accepted bribes in return for throwing some baseball games. The story is told that a young fan, upon hearing about this awful news, came up to one of the baseball players involved and asked, with tears in his eyes, "Say it ain't so." The man said nothing to the boy, but just turned away.
What are we hearing from Congress regarding these horrible charges? The silence is deafening. Congress people periodically get their hackles all raised, and get all puffed up about, any time that what they call "their honor" has been impugned. You can see them on C-Span, for example during the recent House Banking Committee hearings, getting all huffy about that "their honor" has been impugned.
So where are they now? "Their honor" has been impugned. So where are they? Why aren't they getting all puffed up about credible charges that they are traitors? The silence is deafening.
Now, recently, a Mr. Orlin Grabbe, formerly of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of a textbook entitled International Financial Markets as well as several learned papers, has again corroborated, in an ongoing essay ("Allegations Regarding Vince Foster, the NSA, and Banking Transactions Spying") that high-level government figures have indeed been taking bribes:
But life did not stay this simple. For example, the BCCI- Bush-Noriega-Mena connection to drug smuggling was matched by a similar Israeli connection to arms and drug dealing and money laundering. Anything went in the holy crusade to build the bomb and the associated missile delivery systems. Just as the pension funds controlled by Robert Maxwell were looted to pay for Mossad operations in Europe (Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception, HarperCollins, 1994, p. 203), so were American S&Ls in effect looted (or burdened with debt) by the financial machinations of the "Committee of Thirty" to help generate the vast funds needed to maintain and expand Israel's defense industry. Some of these funds found their way into offshore accounts held by U.S. politicians and defense personnel as bribes, kickbacks, "campaign" contributions, and payment for stolen secrets.
Where the hell has this country gone? Dr. Helen Caldicott asked that in her talk (available from Pacifica archives) on "The New World Order":
But where the hell has this country gone? Of the people who were killed who were civilians in Iraq, 60 percent were children. With their legs blown off. And the men who flew the planes came back and said, "It was a wonderful mission!" And they didn't see the blood. And the whole country cheered and flew flags and tied yellow ribbons on everything they could find.
Where the hell has this country gone? We are worse than our parents; they would never have stood for this massive bribery of government officials. Sure, we used to knock them and their "keeping up with the Joneses", but we're worse. We were the 1960s idealists who looked down on our parents' materialism, but we're ten times worse than they ever were. Why is this story being ignored? What is the price of examining it? Will our corporate masters discipline us, give us reprimands, or even fire us from our jobs if we dare to demand that these charges must be answered? Oh and then how could we keep up on our payments and then the others, the "Joneses", would disassociate from us as not being quite "up to snuff" and then -- major horror and terror -- we would be ALONE.
What is the price of being open with this story? Will the smiling, unruffled corporate overseers quietly and sincerely and sympathetically sit us down and regret to tell us that we have been "downsized"? So is it best then to say nothing?
We are worse than our parents. We used to look down on them for their materialism, but we are ten times worse.
I encourage distribution of "Conspiracy Nation."
Coming to you from Illinois -- "The Land of Skolnick"