Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 6  Num. 54
                    ("Quid coniuratio est?")


In CN 6.51, Sherman Skolnick pointed out that

...Watergate was just a minor matter, so that this "zillion" dollar fraud could be perpetrated. Because all during that time of '73 and '74, when things were in crisis -- the oil -- the press was talking about Watergate.

A reader asked if I had any further info on this matter, and I recalled the appearance by ex-CIA agent Trenton Parker on Radio Free America back on July 29, 1993. (Some may quibble with the term "ex"-CIA.) Was there a conspiracy of some type behind the sharp rise in oil prices back around 1973-74? I hauled out and dusted off my old tape of Parker's guest appearance.

Parker's discussion, on the show, of "Operation Interlink" is highly recommended. Parker shared the two-hour program with Fletcher Prouty who stated that Parker's revelations "make this one of the most important shows on the CIA that has ever occurred." (My thanks to Rodney Stich's book, Defrauding America, for tipping me off to the value of the July 29th show. See chapter 18, page 318 of his book. See also the index heading "Operation Interlink" in the same book.) Tapes of the show may still be available from Valentine Communications, PO Box 11089, Naples, Fla. 33716.

Anyway, I can't say that Parker's discussion of Operation Interlink supports Skolnick's claim, per se. However it does support what Skolnick says in a general way. I may, among the many things I "must get around to doing", find time to dig further into the claim of a conspiracy behind the rise in oil prices back in '73-'74. At any rate, I now offer my own summary of Parker's info on Operation Interlink.

In a lawsuit involving Parker, it is alleged that he "was one of the persons who acted as the co-ordinating messenger for [Operation Interlink], which was designed to control world and national oil reserves and raise oil prices and to finance arms for various middle eastern Arab nations, in contravention to various United States laws." In other words, arms merchants wanted to sell their weaponry to the Arabs, but the Congress was blocking it. Apparently Parker is saying that the rise in oil prices helped pay for the clandestine sale of these weapons.

Parker says that he was "trained about oil, and about brokerage firms" back in the 1960s, by CIA. He says that Operation Interlink involved

(1) jockeying for strength and position on behalf of the international oil companies in the middle east;

(2) supplying arms, contrary to the wishes of Congress. This supplying of arms was disguised partly as "foreign aid";

(3) a way to get the arms, since Congress was balking at paying for them. Raising oil prices was "a key point".

"At the same time, there were three major oil areas that were expected to come on-line: and those three areas included Alaska, Gulf Sea, and also Gulf of Mexico, involving Pemex. And so, ways had to be worked out to keep those particular properties off- line."

The plan was to cut down on the worldwide supply of oil and to thereby boost prices, and profits, for the internationals. The international oil giants also coveted the oil found by the independent oil-drilling companies. "It was wealth, and there are people who want to steal wealth," says Parker.

According to Parker, the internationals supported advertising that promoted the idea that the oil companies were making too much money. The motive for this was to help gain support for a "windfall profits tax". Parker says that the eventual legislation only dealt with domestic crude and did not hurt the international oil cartels. The national, independent oil firms found themselves faced with a price ceiling. This greatly hurt their profits. Already badly leveraged via bank loans, the internationals then were able to come in, buy up the bank notes, and take over the independents.

Another strategy used to boost profits was to artificially reduce the worldwide supply of oil. Parker claims that hundreds of thousands of dollars were funneled to ecology groups who then used that money to "shut down an entire Alaskan project in court orders." In Mexico, Pemex was enticed to slow oil production in return for $2 billion in loans to the Bank of the Hacienda. In the North Sea, Parker claims, "catastrophes" began to happen which hurt oil drilling efforts there -- "catastrophes" which were not, in fact, "accidents" but rather something more sinister.

Parker takes pains to emphasize that this was a complicated operation. It boils down to international oil companies colluding with arms merchants and others to profit from a political situation. Congress was against "foreign aid" being used to purchase weapons. For whatever reason -- perhaps perceived "national security" interests -- it was decided to circumvent the wishes of Congress. A way was needed to fund the arms sales. The mideast had lots of oil. If prices could be boosted, surplus profits could be used to pay for weapons. The international oil giants apparently were either enlisted into the operation or saw what was happening and included themselves in, to their own benefit. Other sources of oil production not in the Middle East were slowed or went off-line, prices went sky high, we all payed for it at the gas pumps, and some people did quite well for themselves.

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