"I'm looking at the Madsen now, and ewastud's take seems about right. With Madsen, the trick is usually to ignore his conclusions and keep thinking about the bits and pieces he offers that seem most plausible and interesting.
In this case, one thing that struck me was Madsen's statement that, "According to a Democratic Party official in Ohio, it was always well known that Ney had 'special protection' stemming from his CIA past," and his description of Ney as "The member of Congress, who, like Plame, had been an earlier CIA 'non-official cover (NOC) energy consultant' in the Middle East during the late 1970s and early 80s."
So much about Ney's career has screamed out "CIA" -- but I was never able to find anyone saying it straight out before. Madsen's word may not be rock-solid, but since it echoes my own intuitions, I'm inclined to trust it here.
My eye was also caught by Madsen's reference to "Richard Armitage (who was worried that the CIA would discover his own involvement in shady deals in Azerbaijan)," because -- like Ney's possible CIA history -- it points directly towards the Shackley/Clines/Wilson Enterprise and its involvement in Iran in the 70's. According to my notes, Armitage became involved with Ted Shackley's drugs-arms-and-assassinations operations when he was in Saigon in the early 70's and a few years later was sent by Shackley to Iran to set up similar operations there. Ney was also in Iran in the 70's -- and I've wondered mightily if he was hooked up with the Enterprise then. If, as Madsen says, he was CIA at the time, it starts to look increasingly possible that he was. Also, though I don't seem to have anything in my notes linking Armitage to Azerbaijan, another Enterprise member, Richard Secord, was definitely engaged in dubious schemes there in the early 90's.
I've wrestled a great deal with the question of to what extent the Enterprise network of the 70's and 80's survived after the retirement of its original founders and how such a survival might be related to the drugs-and-arms operations of the 90's that Sibel describes. What Madsen says at least suggests that there really still is something of that nature going on and that Ney and his casino buddies are part of it.
Of course, one thing that any unified theory of Bob Ney is going to have to explain is that 1996 trip to Bosnia funded by the National Security Caucus Foundation -- just before the NSCF funded a burst of Abramoff trips to the Northern Marianas, Moscow, and Pakistan (where Abramoff had been lobbying for the lifting of sanctions related to Pakistan's nuclear program.)
And finally, since I never can resist a good Viktor Bout reference, I was delighted to see him coming into the story Madsen tells as well:Zayat's myriad aircraft firms in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are based in the same locations as those of Russian Mafia arms smuggler (and favored Pentagon contractor) Viktor Bout. Bout's Kyrgyzstan companies -- Phoenix Aviation and Inter Transavia, both connected to U.S. private military contractors operating in Iraq and Africa -- and Zayat's Kyrgyz-based aviation company, Aqua Transit, share the same airfield in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. Zayat's Samaya Investments Ltd. comfortably resides in Tashkent, Uzbekistan along with firms controlled by the Uzbek-speaking Bout. Bout and Zayat share more than central Asian airports and capitals in common -- they both have high level contacts in the Bush administration, contacts that reach right into the Oval Office.Bosnia in the 90's, of course, leads back to Bob Ney again. This stuff may go round and round in circles -- but they're fairly small circles, and the same names and locations keep reappearing. "
When she was National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice interceded with Sharjah authorities not to arrest Bout. She informed U.S. intelligence to "look but don't touch" with regard to Bout. And Alberto Gonzales' Justice Department, while convicting Ney, has yet to go after Zayat's lobbyist, Coffee, George W. Bush's former deputy campaign manager and "eyes and ears" on K Street. And there is continued Department of Homeland Security disinterest in the activities of Bout's Syrian associate Monzer al Qasser, who has been involved with his brother Ghassem in arms and drug smuggling and counterfeiting of $100 U.S. notes. Interpol has long been interested in the al Qassers' weapons smuggling and counterfeiting activities but the official U.S. Secret Service replies have echoed Rice's "look but don't touch" orders. Monzer Al Qasser's weapons smuggling activities, selling former East Bloc arms and using secret bank accounts in Luxembourg and Switzerland, cross the path of Viktor Bout's supply of weapons to the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and pro-Al Qaeda Islamist elements in the Balkans. The supply of arms from Mafia smugglers to Muslim guerrillas in Bosnia and Kosovo also involve the financial networks employed by the Bosnia Defense Fund, a 1990s weapons-purchasing slush fund set up at Riggs Bank in Washington, DC and the Central Bank of Bosnia in Sarajevo by Richard Perle and Douglas Feith. WMR has learned of a significant Washington, DC-based lobbying and smuggling operation involving Al Qasser and Bout. This operation appears to be sanctioned by high-level Bush administration officials.
Thanks starroute. great work as always.
Re Armitage and Azerbaijan - at a minimum we know that he was on the board at the U.S. Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (with James Baker, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle etc)
The Bosnia Defense Fund has always been interesting. I wonder if/when it was disbanded/rebranded - and if they are shovelling weapons to the Chechens in the same way.
This from the interview with Kill The Messenger Director:
"In the film we expanded on those notions with ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi who wrote a very interesting article about Sibel Edmonds. He also states that Douglas Feith and Richard Perle may have helped, or have been instrumental in establishing false end-user-certificates that enabled some people to send weapons to the Chechnya guerillas - most of them, or at least some of them being very closely linked to Al Qaeda."Note how both the Bosnian Defense Fund and this latest vehicle somehow always gets weapons/funds to al-Qaeda.
Tracking Bout is a lot of fun! Doug Farah and Laura have both tried to solve that one.
Llaura has also stumbled around the edges of the NCSF and their 'work' in Bosnia - presumably messing with elections and whatnot. Laura:
"As Garance put it so well yesterday, "Amazing how every trip DeLay seems to have taken also put him on the wrong side of some human rights, freedom, and democracy issue." The same can be said, apparently, for some of the lobbyists of whom DeLay was a frequent beneficiary."Amazing, indeed.