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February 8, 2011

Did Frank Gardiner Wisner, Sr. work for Bechtel before 1942?

Vijay Prashad
"Frank Wisner, Jr., is seasoned State Department official, a very close friend of Mubarak, a man more committed to stability than democracy, and, yes, an employee at Patton Boggs, where one of the portfolios is for Patton Boggs to lobby on behalf of the government of Egypt."
--VIJAY PRASHAD    

Removing the Velvet Glove
Recently interviewed by Amy Goodman, Prof. Prashad from Hartford, Connecticut's Trinity College summed up the contradictions present in the ongoing diaglogue in Egypt by saying: 
The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (New Press People's History)"On the one side, you have sections in the State Department under the illusion that they are carrying forward a policy based on freedom and human rights, and on the other side, there is this much darker foreign policy apparatus conducted by the CIA special envoys, who are actually better called "proconsuls," and of course the United States military. There seems to be this contradiction at work, but it may not in the end of the day be a contradiction, because on one side you can say that the iron fist is being shrouded by the velvet glove. So, Margaret Scobey talking about human rights, going to see ElBaradei, talking about supporting the kind of upsurge of democracy, and on the other side, in much darker, more dangerous rooms, people like Frank Wisner, perhaps the CIA chief, discussing with Mubarak and Omar Suleiman how do we maintain your authority and change perhaps the face of that authority before the Egyptian people and the world."
Dark and Dangerous Rooms

The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous TimesWhat are these dark and dangerous rooms of which Prof. Prashad speaks?
 It has only been fairly recently that we have come to understand the true significance of the role this man's father--Frank G. Wisner, Sr.--played in shaping the world following the second world war. Attorney and author, John J. Loftus, has fought for many year to disclose the secrets contained in documents handled by Frank Gardiner Wisner, Sr. At long last he was able to publish a newly updated, declassified and uncensored version of the original work The Belarus Secret (nominated for the 1982 Pulitzer in history). The CIA's velvet glove was finally removed from the iron fist (to use Prashad's metaphor), thus revealing the true horror of what Loftus, as an attorney fresh from law school, discovered about the American justice system.
He says in the Introduction of this new edition of his expose, entitled America's Nazi Secret:
America's Nazi Secret: An Insider's History
Declassified!
"My new boss shook my hand and said, 'Welcome to the Justice Department. You now represent the most corrupt client in the world, the United States Government.' I thought he was kidding."
Despite all the documents Loftus found and was forbidden by his employer from revealing to the world until now, Loftus still maintains that it is not the government per se which is corrupt--only its law firm, that is, the Justice Department.

That dichotomy posed by Loftus demands further attention. He does not place the blame for the criminal activity on the Central Intelligence Agency, but instead on the State Department and Justice Department lawyers who were working within the agency, compartmentalized from the agents, with all their files hidden from the records of the CIA itself. These are the dark and dangerous rooms on which we must shed light in order to understand how attorneys hired to represent the interests of "the government," i.e. the people as a whole, divert government policy so as to work for the interests of the few.

Conflicts of Interest
Perhaps it is the nature of the legal profession which allows some attorneys to work on behalf of their private clients' interests without seeing the inherent conflict with the interest of their public client.

The Very Best Men: The Daring Early Years of the CIATake Frank Gardiner Wisner, for example. What more do we really know about this man from Mississippi who attended an elite Episcopal boarding school in Virginia, graduated from the University of Virginia in 1931 and then from its law school in 1934? He was tapped for the Seven Society, the University of Virginia's version of Skull and Bones, according to Evan Thomas in The Very Best Men. Burton Hersh tells us, however, in The Old Boys, that Wisner didn't really fit into the mold from which most Wall Street attorneys are formed. Hersh instead paints a picture of a barefoot boy from the old South, a typical stereotype that tends to rile most southerners.

Frank's father, Frank George Wisner, was on the War Industries Board of the lumber branch during World War II, while his banking partner, Philip Stimson Gardiner (Frank Senior's maternal uncle), was secretary of the War Council of the YMCA, going to France and England for service with the American Expeditionary forces in 1917. In those days, that was the closest thing there was to a civilian intelligence agency.

Frank's mother, Mary Jeannette Gardiner, had married Frank George Wisner in 1897 in Iowa, and her first cousin, Sarah Gardiner, married Lauren Eastman. The Wisner and Eastman families originally set out west from Penn Yan, New York, after the Civil War and met up in Iowa with the Gardiners (who descend from Lion Gardiner of Long Island); they moved their families south, virtually building the town of Laurel, Mississippi, such as it was, from scratch.

Wisner, Gardiner and brother-in-law A. Field Chisholm ran the local Laurel Bank. The Gardiners and Eastmans engaged in the lumber business under the name of Eastman, Gardiner & Company, and Frank headed the Laurel Cotton Mills and handled the banking for all the businesses. While the men were 32nd degree Masons, the women joined the Daughters of the American Revolution. All attended the local Episcopal Church.

Young Frank attended the Laurel high school initially, but then was sent to an Episcopal prep school called Woodberry Forest, about halfway between Washington, D.C. and Lynchburg, Va. to force some discipline into the rebellious. When his father:
"...directed his only son to forget collegiate sidelines [two years after finishing law school he was hoping to win a place on a 1936 Olympic team] and get into something, Frank trooped along to Wall Street, where Woodberry Forrest classmates helped snag him a trainee berth at Carter, Ledyard and Milburn, attorney to the Stock Exchange, where Franklin Roosevelt practiced." (Burton Hersh, The Old Boys)

Friends In High Places: The Bechtel Story : The Most Secret Corporation and How It Engineered the WorldOf course, Roosevelt wasn't practicing law in 1936. He was President of the United States. He had begun there as an associate in 1907 at the same time as Grenville Clark, who would become a member of Harvard Corporation in 1931. But FDR stayed only one year before dabbling in politics. Twelve years later he returned to the law, forming a new firm with Grenville Emmet and Langdon Marvin.

But Wisner was at Carter, Ledyard & Milburn for seven years, all of that time working on litigation "on behalf of the engineers at Bechtel."

So something is missing from what we have been told up till now.

The Missing Link
The missing link is a man named John Lowery Simpson. He was the uncle of S.D. Bechtel's wife, according to his obituary that appeared in the Los Angeles Times in 1981:




In addition to the Bechtel connection, it must not be overlooked there is also a United Fruit Co. link as well through John Lowery Simpson. He was chairman of the board for 15 years of International Railways of Central America!
Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, Revised and Expanded (David Rockefeller Center Series on Latin American Studies)
United Fruit owned the Int. Railways of Central America
"Under dictator Jorge Ubico (1931-1944), American-owned United Fruit Company gained control of 42% of Guatemela's land, and was exempted from taxes and import duties. The other two of Guatemala's three main enterprises -- International Railways of Central America and Empress Electrica -- were controlled by United Fruit."

J. Henry Schroder Banking Corp. was one of the primary clients of another Wall Street law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, home to John Foster and his brother Allen Dulles. After William J. Donovan recruited Allen for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS):

"Eleanor Roosevelt would complain in a memo to FDR that Allen, a recurring personage in 'Bill Donovan's outfit,' was 'closely tied up with the Schroeder [sic] Bank, that is likely to be representative of the underground Nazi interests after the war,' one of a 'great many people who are pretty close to the business side.' " (quoted in The Old Boys, p. 89)
 As it would turn out, Eleanor was spot on about the Dulles brothers and their Nazi friends. Nevertheless, little has ever been said about Wisner's own connection to the same bank. Although it is considered by some to be anathema to use Eustace Mullins as a source, the paragraph below was taken from his book, Secrets of the Federal Reserve, because it is factual and accurate:
The Secrets of the Federal ReserveIf anyone supposes this is all ancient history, with no application to the present political scene, we introduce the name of John Lowery Simpson of Sacramento, California. Although he appears for the first time in Who’s Who in America for 1952, Mr. Simpson states that he served under Herbert Hoover on the Commission for Relief in Belgium from 1915 to 1917; U.S. Food Administration, 1917 to 1918, American Relief Commission, 1919, and with P.N. Gray Company, Vienna, 1919 to 1921. Gray was the Chief of Maritime Transportation for the U.S. Food Administration, which enabled him to set up his own shipping company after the war. Like other Hoover humanitarians, Simpson also joined the J. Henry Schroder Banking Company (Adolf Hitler’s personal bankers) and the J. Henry Schroder Trust Company. He also became a partner of Schroder-Rockefeller Company when that investment trust backed a construction company which became the world’s largest, the firm of Bechtel Incorporated. Simpson was chairman of the finance committee of Bechtel Company, Bechtel International, and Canadian Bechtel. Simpson states he was consultant to the Bechtel-McCone interests in war production during World War II. He served on the Allied Control Commission in Italy 1943-44.

In the Face of Evil: Reagan's War in Word and DeedHe married Margaret Mandell, of the merchant family for whom Col. Edward Mandell House was named, and he backed a California personality, first for Governor, then for President. As a result, Simpson and J. Henry Schroder Company now have serving them as Secretary of Defense, former Bechtel employee Caspar Weinberger. As Secretary of State they have serving them George Pratt Schultz, also a Bechtel employee, who happens to be a Standard Oil heir, reaffirming the Schroder-Rockefeller company ties. Thus the "conservative" Reagan Administration has a Secretary of Defense from Schroder Company, a Secretary of State from Schroder-Rockefeller, and a vice president whose father was senior partner of Brown Brothers Harriman.
We also learn that this same John L. Simpson in 1954 was a director of the San Francisco Chamber of
Commerce, as reflected in  BAY REGION BUSINESS, Vol. II (1954):