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November 18, 2012

Hail to the Chief

"It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in." 
- Lyndon B. Johnson

The Rise of David Petraeus

Now that the election is over, it's safe to have David Petraeus out of the way. Before November 6, however, there was always that danger that the Republicans could bring him into the fold and run him against Obama. No doubt aware of the crude adage of Lyndon Johnson, Obama was happy to have the popular general remain within the administration, where friendly eyes could be focused on him.

When Gen. Stanley McChrystal was fired from Centcom in late June 2010, President Obama selected as his replacement Gen. David H. Petraeus. McChrystal had pissed off the President more than once. For example, as Rolling Stone reported:
Last fall, during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave in London, McChrystal dismissed the counterterrorism strategy being advocated by Vice President Joe Biden as "shortsighted," saying it would lead to a state of "Chaos-istan." The remarks earned him a smackdown from the president himself, who summoned the general to a terse private meeting aboard Air Force One. The message to McChrystal seemed clear: Shut the fuck up, and keep a lower profile.
McChrystal had replaced Bush appointee, Gen. David McKiernan – then the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan – on the recommendation of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs, but due to his insubordination would serve only thirteen months at the top post. 

Military Balked on Day One

The day Obama was inaugurated, according to a report by the Daily Star,
CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus, supported by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, tried to convince President Barack Obama that he had to back down from his campaign pledge to pullout all US combat troops from Iraq within 18 months at an Oval Office meeting on January 21, sources have said....
There are indications that Petraeus and his allies in the military and the Pentagon, including General Ray Odierno, now the top commander in Iraq, have already begun to try to pressure Obama to change his withdrawal policy. A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilizing public opinion against Obama's decision....
The assertion that Obama's withdrawal policy threatens the gains allegedly won by the Bush troop surge and Petraeus' strategy in Iraq will apparently be the theme of the campaign that military opponents are now planning.[Retired army General John M. "Jack"] Keane, the army vice chief of staff from 1999-03, has ties to a network of active and retired four-star army generals, and since Obama's January 21 order on the 16-month withdrawal plan, some of the retired four-star generals in that network have begun discussing a campaign to blame Obama's troop withdrawal from Iraq for the ultimate collapse of the political "stability" that they expect to follow the US withdrawal, according to a military source familiar with the network's plans.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, tried to convince President Barack Obama that he had to back down from his campaign pledge to pullout all US combat troops from Iraq within 18 months at an Oval Office meeting on January 21, sources have said.

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, tried to convince President Barack Obama that he had to back down from his campaign pledge to pullout all US combat troops from Iraq within 18 months at an Oval Office meeting on January 21, sources have said.

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, tried to convince President Barack Obama that he had to back down from his campaign pledge to pullout all US combat troops from Iraq within 18 months at an Oval Office meeting on January 21, sources have said.

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, tried to convince President Barack Obama that he had to back down from his campaign pledge to pullout all US combat troops from Iraq within 18 months at an Oval Office meeting on January 21, sources have said.

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::
A few months after the inauguration, rumors abounded that Gen. Petraeus was being courted by the likes of Dick Cheney to run against Obama in 2012 in the hope of reviving the defeated Republican Party. On October 12, 2009, Peter Beinert of the Daily Beast wrote:
It's worth remembering that the last time the Republican Party was in this bad a shape, in the early 1950s, two generals helped resuscitate it. 

There’s another analogy, however, that should worry Democrats even more: Not between General MacArthur and General McChrystal, but between General Dwight Eisenhower and General David Petraeus. Pundits have mused about the Eisenhower-Petraeus comparison before, but the Afghanistan slugfest gives it new relevance.
In the late Truman years, MacArthur, Joseph McCarthy, and the rest of the Republican right wing were a bit like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck today. They succeeded in bloodying the Democrats and scaring the country about overseas threats. But their overseas warmongering and domestic radicalism made them too extreme to ever win national office themselves. Ike was different. He exploited the right’s hysteria, and yet sailed above it at the same time.

Petraeus and Others Had "Endless War" as Their Goal

The potentially most believable rumor was being quietly revealed to Esquire magazine's investigative reporter Ryan D'Agostino, who wrote that, in:
early January, Congressman Massa had called me and sketched out the bare bones of the tale he was now propounding. Four retired generals, he said — "three four-stars and one three-star" — had picked up disturbing reports that Petraeus, the commander of United States Central Command, whose portfolio contains the worst trouble spots on the globe, including Iraq and Afghanistan, had recently met with Cheney — twice — and Cheney was trying to recruit him to run in 2012. 

Were he to be the nominee, Massa said, Petraeus would be in the unprecedented position of a military man running for president against his own commander in chief....
Petraeus with Cheney
 [Massa] knew these generals intimately from his decades as a naval officer and because of his quickly rising prominence as a new member of the House Armed Services Committee. "They said, Eric, this is happening, and you've got to stop it," said the congressman. "And then it became my problem. They've left a steaming pile of dog shit on my desk, and now it belongs to me. And I am now in a position that if I do the right thing, I will likely be destroyed. I know who I'm dealing with here. David Petraeus and I go way back. He's wanted this from the very beginning. And mark my words, as a naval officer of twenty-four years who has looked at our current conflicts from every angle, I believe that having David Petraeus as president is precisely the way for the Dick Cheneys of the world to perpetuate these wars for the rest of our lives, and to start new wars. To have endless wars. Endless war is their goal."
Massa had taken office as a freshman Congressman on January 21, 2009. A year later this liberal Democrat, who favored the single-payer system for health care, was also complaining against the strong-arm tactics of his own party (Rahm Emanuel in particular) to get his vote for the Affordable Health Care Act, which passed in the House on March 21 without his vote.

The Fall of Eric Massa

Despite the indication made to the reporter that if he did "the right thing," he would "likely be destroyed," because of the immediacy and blatant nature of the pressure imposed during the days leading up to the vote on Obamacare, Massa connected his ultimate destruction to Democrats rather than to Petraeus or Cheny. His demise stemmed from complaints made by male staffers, submitted formally to the Ethics Committee by either his chief of staff,  Joe Racalto, or deputy chief of staff and legislative director, Ronald S. Hikel:
Racalto first raised questions about Massa's behavior with an aide to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last October. At that time, according to another Pelosi aide, Massa's living arrangement – he shared a townhouse with several junior aides – and allegations that he used foul language around the office were the concerns discussed.

In February, Massa's deputy chief of staff, Ron Hikel, brought more serious allegations of harassment of junior staff to the attention of aides to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Hoyer was, in turn, told, and he gave Massa's office 48 hours to take the matter to the House ethics committee.

Massa removed himself from the reach of the ethics panel by resigning his seat, but the committee has continued to look into the actions of other lawmakers and staff in handling allegations of harassment against Massa.
Dual Canadian/U.S. citizen Hikel worked on behalf of Eric Massa's election to Congress from 2006 until his resignation on February 26, 2010. Research into who Hikel really is is mind-blowing. His misspelled name showed up at Pam Gellar's website in the summer of 2008, just prior to Massa's successful election to Congress: "Obama's Foreign Contributions: Who is Ronald Hickel?" Her answer was that he was a "bundler" from Toronto, Canada. The connection between Hikel and "Hickel" was first made by the Left Coast Rebel blog, which stated:
Ron S. Hikel
If Massa is correct, then the allegations made by legislative director Ronald S Hikel (pictured above) would need to have been coerced by the Democratic leadership to create a situation that would remove Massa from office.

It turns out Mr. Hikel does in fact have a past of shady deals in relation to the Obama Administration. Pamela Gellar at Atlas Shrugs uncovered Hikel as a possible front man funneling foreign money into Obama’s campaign during the 2008 elections. Mr. Hikel’s LinkedIn page confirms that the Massa staffer is the same Ron Hikel in Pamela’s piece.
We also fill in the intervening years left out of his profile by a discovery that he was a consultant hired by a medical technology firm, ACTIVECORE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., which shows up in SEC records: 
"In May, 2004 Mr. Ron Hikel was engaged as a consultant to provide advice and assistance in the healthcare field to our MDI Solutions division. Mr. Hikel was issued 1,000,000 restricted common shares valued at $.015 for a value of $15,000. Mr. Hikel makes his own investment decisions."
The division which used Hikel's services apparently is engaged in software development for the Canadian healthcare industry, which has the single-payer system favored by Massa. A prolific author, Hikel has a  Zoom Information, Inc. profile, which also reveals:
Ron Hikel holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada. He served in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Naval Reserves, completed degrees in political science at Boston and Columbia Universities, taught political science in the U.S. and Canada, and ran a large social science study in Canada. He held Canadian government positions in both Health and Social Service Departments, and also consulted on health care issues within the private sector.

Gen. Wesley Clark
While working for Massa's election, Hikel had contributed to the 2004 Presidential campaign of Gen. Wesley Clark, who had spoken of seeing, in the wake of 9/11, 2001, a classified memo in which neocons in the Defense Department planned "to attack and remove governments in seven countries over five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran." In Clark's words the memo constituted evidence of a "policy coup" during the George W. Bush term. In 2008 Clark considered another Presidential run, but instead he campaigned for Hillary Clinton.

Glenn Greenwald, in November 2011, writing in Salon, explored Clark's "neocon dream," which he credited to "collaborators from the Project for the New American Century."
Massa was also a friend of  Gen. Wesley Clark, working as a special assistant during Clark's reign as NATO supreme allied commander from 1998 until 2001; he then worked on the Clark 2004 campaign for President. Captain Petraeus, it turns out, had been an intern in 1984 for Colonel Wesley Clark, as Clark revealed to Jon Stewart of the Daily Show in 2007.

The final vote on healthcare took place on March 21, weeks after Massa and D'Agostino began work on the conspiracy article about Petraeus, but not published until late May.
Only one day after the issue date of D'Agostino's Esquire article, an Atlantic Wire review talked of its
bizarre revelations, including Massa's contention that Gen. David Petraeus is conspiring with Dick Cheney to run for president--something Massa calls "an American coup d'etat."
However, neither Esquire nor Atlantic Wire named any names of the military sources who may have witnessed the conspiracy or plans for perpetual war in the Middle East, and, even after the alleged meeting between Cheney and Petraeus, the general appeared on Meet the Press and avoided Rumsfeld and Cheney's approval of torture and departure from the abusive treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo.

Were the same generals who reputedly contacted Eric Massa still concerned about the potential he posed to run against Obama, even to be selected as Mitt Romney's running mate? Were the allegations against Massa true or, as he alleged, merely misinterpretations of his admittedly crude behavior?  We'll never really know. Massa did sue Joseph Racalto after the fact, but lost in court.

Selling Arms through Non Profit Think Tanks

Brig. Gen. Russell Howard
Now we have to wonder who, if anyone, may have given Paula Broadwell the task of hooking up with Petraeus while she was Deputy Director of the Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Jebsen Center Director was Brig. Gen. Russell D. Howard, who founded a center for Norwegian shipping for former banker Jan Henrik Jebsen, Chairman of the Gamma Applied Visions Group, a Swiss holding company which owns arms manufacturer, KRISS USA. KRISS makes the short-barrel, semi-automatic submachine gun which Broadwell both talks about and fires in an infomercial, called a documentary, for CNBC, which said that this weapon:

while technically legal for civilians, falls under the National Firearms Act and requires registration. In short, this video is not meant to sell guns to Second Amendment-loving American citizens — it's a B2B [business to business] pitch.

Broadwell appeared in the CNBC 'documentary'.
Robert Farago stated that Lt. Col. Paula Broadwell's "ties to top-level military personnel as the official biographer of Petraeus would have attracted the brand. Kriss has been trying to get military contracts for its weapons systems," he told Abe Sauer, writing for brandchannel on November 13, 2012.

A trustee at the Hudson Institute, for which Brig. Gen. Howard has given counter-terrorism presentations, Jan Henrik Jebsen served with other trustees including Walter P. Stern, a "long-time friend" of Dick Cheney, Richard N. Perle, and John C. Wohlstetter. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is now Senior Vice President of the Hudson Institute.

The Hudson Institute has been recommending its own spin on Petraeus ever since the scandal erupted in the news:
It is clear that Petraeus was a sweetheart, not only of Lt. Col. Broadwell, but of her friends at this center for neocon thought who won't give up short of another war, this time with Iran:
In seeing Iran as a threat to vital U.S. interests, Petraeus bucked the mainstream of more than 30 years of U.S. foreign policy. Presidents and legislators from both parties, as well as military and civilian officials, have tended to downplay the Iranian threat, seeking engagement with Tehran in the vague hopes of reaching a deal that might lead the regime to finally call off its dogs and leave us in peace. Petraeus, on the other hand, fought the Iranians.

October 7, 2012

Hopping Down the Money Trail

Tracking Anders Breivik's Ultimate Bankroller

In the previous blog post, a question was posed with regard to the claim made by Anders Breivik at page 1414 of his compendium that in April and May 2002 he was in England meeting with a group of businessmen whose " primary objective is to develop PCCTS, Knights Templar into becoming the foremost conservative revolutionary movement in Western Europe the next few decades."
Was there a connection dating back to 2002 that can be traced to any known operatives of similar persuasion in Britain?
Oslo police confirmed that Breivik did travel to Britain at least twice — in May 2002 and December 2003, but it had no knowledge about with whom he may have met during those trips. Whether or not Breivik knew who was recruiting him into his new Templar lodge, or why they were doing so, he clearly refused to name any real names when questioned after his arrest. As is the code of every secret society, he revealed nothing that would lead to proving a conspiracy. 

Before proceeding to uncover persons who may have met with Breivik, either in Liberia or London, it is necessary to first explore the source of Breivik's quickly acquired wealth--to follow the trail of money, which is always a prime motivator for conspiracies. 

The trail here begins with Breivik's "media" business, the first step of which occurred in 1998, when registration was made with Central Contractor Registration (CCR.GOV), the primary database for contractors who choose to do business with the U.S. federal government. This information was disclosed by testimony given at Breivik's trial by Oslo police superintendent Unn Hege Sørensen. But she failed to state how he used such a CCR to contract with governments in the U.S. through his telemarketing work with the following companies for which he worked:
  • Telia Norway AS
  • Behring & Kerner Marketing AS or
  • Enitel Telephony
Enitel AS went into bankruptcy ten days after the 9/11 attack in New York City, according to the Board of Directors' announcement made in in Bucharest, Romania. Its subscriber base was soon sold to a Swedish rival company called Tele2, which later threatened to back out on certain commitments unless the government of Norway relaxed requirements on the 3G network construction. 

A Norwegian newspaper reported that while quite young Breivik spent a short time in the hospitality industry--Lekter'n place at Aker Brygge--and the same year he began as a telemarketer in the now defunct advertising firm, Direct Response, where he worked until 2003.  
From Marketing to Advertising

Airport ads
The same newspaper indicated that Anders Behring in 1998 established Behring & Kerner Marketing DA with an unnamed friend, and the company formally dissolved in 2001, presumably after selling the marketing contracts it negotiated to SNT Norway--a marketing company for the communication, advertising and media fields. SNT Norway was controlled by the larger Dutch SNT Group N.V., which was to merge in 2004 into Koninklijke KPN N.V.   

After the merger, disclosures were made by Capital Group International, Inc., Capital Research and Management Company, and Barclays Plc, of their ownership of 5% or more of the ordinary shares of KPN Telecom stock, in the following amounts, respectively:
  • between 5%-10% (November 1, 2006: 7.4%), 
  • 15%-20% (January 8, 2007: 15.07%) and 
  • 5%-10% (January 5, 2007 5.38%).
James Holmes
Capital Research and Management Co., was a privately held company first established in 1931 and, according to SEC statements, manages more than $1 trillion in assets, but "largely has flown under the public radar." It located  in Phoenix, Arizona, because of the region's commitment to fund technology research and development. Intriguingly, CRMC was also the largest investor in a company called Fair Isaac (FICO), related to another mass killing, which occurred in Aurora, Colorado in 2012.

The 2010 annual report for KPN reported, using as its Source, Thomson Shareholder ID Q3 2010:
KPN Shareholding Estimated geographic breakdown:
United States 35 – 40%
United Kingdom 20 – 25%
France 5 – 10%
Germany 5 – 10%
Netherlands 5 – 10%
Rest of World 15 – 20%
Bain Company Steps In

This ownership of KPN through American investors culminated on December 21, 2009 when KPN became 100% owner of the Burlington, Massachuetts-based iBasis, Inc., a Delaware corporation whose stock was formerly traded on NASDAQ. Bain Capital's Erin Wise shows up as a vice president of iBasis, but Robert A. Maginn, Massachusetts GOP chairman, played an even more significant role in setting up the company.

Maginn of Bain and Co.
According to a slip opinion entered in the court in 2009, in the case of Alan and Joan Frishman, Richard Simon, and Sheila Nassberg  v. Robert A. Maginn, Jr.:

Ling Chai
Frishman met Maginn, a partner at Bain and Company, in 1999 as Maginn was attempting to raise capital to invest in a private company originally called CollegeNet, Inc., which was a leading provider of enterprise software to colleges and universities. It was formed in 1998 by the defendant's then fianceé (now wife), Ling Chai, a Princeton graduate with a Harvard MBA (following what Forbes termed "her glory days as onetime 'commander-in-chief' of rebel students in Beijing). It was renamed as Jenzabar, Inc. before the time of Frishman's investment. Additional funding for Chai's startup came from Paul B. Fireman and Stephen Perlman, according to Forbes.

Another Bain partner named Charles Farkas had issued the invitation to Frishman to invest in it, and Frishman then he was contacted by Maginn to discuss it further. Not longer after that, New Media Investors II, LLC was set up by Bain to purchase unregistered securities of Jenzabar, which Magin as the manager. Subsequently, other investors recruited by Frishman were considered by Bain -- the plaintiffs plus  Jack Frishman, Edward Nassberg, Kenneth Gross, Yun Peng Wei, Gang Xiao, and Lily E. Deng--by the last three were rejected as not accredited investors. However, Frishman was told they could invest in that fund under his name.

Prior to the Frishman transaction, Maginn and other unnamed Bain investors, in December 1997 and June 1998, had purchased through an entity known as Sunapee Securities, Inc., unregistered shares of series A convertible preferred iBasis stock for $1 per share. This stock would automatically convert into iBasis common stock upon the closing of an iBasis initial public offering (IPO). In June, 1999, New Media Investors III, LLC (NM III), was created to allow Bain partners with preemptive rights to acquire interests in the iBasis C shares.
According to the lawsuit, Maginn told Frishman:
  1. that he hoped to provide Frishman with $40,000 worth of unregistered pre-IPO shares of iBasis in gratitude for the $200,000 that Frishman raised for Jenzabar; and 
  2. that iBasis was planning an IPO in late 1999 and that the iBasis shares which he would be assigning to Frishman would be "locked up" for a period of six months following the IPO.
Frishman forwarded a check to Bain's office and wrote an email to Maginn, detailing his understanding that he was investing the funds on behalf of himself and the other investors with him in the previous fund on the same basis, but never received the paperwork he felt necessary to ensure himself and his group that it had been documented before iBasis went public on November 10, 1999, and traded as IBAS. Frishman was hired briefly by Jenzabar in late 1999 but let go within a couple of months. In mid-2000 he filed the lawsuit, which is only relevant for purposes of this research to indicate that Bain & Company was promoting investment as early as 1997 in the company which eventually would acquire the marking firm set up by Anders Breivik in Norway at about the same time.

Breivik apparently had exchanged his company's shares for shares of SNT Norway and cashed them out before 2002, when he began traveling on behalf of his cause, which culminated in the Utøya Island massacre on July 22, 2011.

July 22, 2010  Massacre in Norway

Mitt Romney's Role at Bain & Company

We all know that Mitt Romney left Bain & Company in 1984, when its founder, Bill Bain and his partners cashed out much of their stock in Bain & Company in order to spin off Bain Capital under Mitt Romney to do private equity. What many do not know is that Romney, the golden boy, went back in the early 90's to restructure the consulting company's debts, short of filing bankruptcy.  The September 13, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone tells what happened next:
In the late 1980s, a Bain consultant became a key figure in an illegal stock manipulation scheme in London....By the time the 1989 recession began, Bain & Company found itself going broke fast. Cash flows weren't enough to service the debt imposed by the founders, and the firm could barely make payroll. In a panic, Bill Bain tapped Romney, his longtime protégé, to take the reins....Romney had a direct stake in the survival of Bain & Company: He had been working to build the Bain brand his entire career, and felt he had to save the firm at all costs....
Romney moved decisively, and his early efforts appeared promising. He persuaded the founders to return $25 million of the cash they had raided from Bain & Company and forgive $75 million in debt, in return for protection from most future liabilities. Romney then consolidated Bain's massive debts into a single, binding loan agreement with four banks, which received liens on Bain's assets and agreed to delay repayments on the firm's debts for two years. The federal government also signed off on the deal, since the FDIC had recently taken control of a bank that was owed $30.6 million by Bain....
The FDIC considered finding a buyer to take over its loans to Bain, but analysts concluded that "Bain has no value as a going concern." And the government wasn't likely to get much out of Bain if it allowed the firm to go bankrupt: The loan agreement engineered by Romney had left the FDIC "virtually unsecured" on the $30.6 million it was owed by Bain. "Once bonuses are paid," the analysts warned, "all members of the bank group believe this company will dissolve during 1993."

The FDIC agreed to accept nearly $5 million in cash to retire $15 million in Bain's debt – an immediate government bailout of $10 million. All told, the FDIC estimated it would recoup just $14 million of the $30 million that Romney's firm owed the government.

Before the dissolution of the marketing company, in 2000 Anders and another (perhaps the same?) unnamed childhood friend expanded into advertising, creating Media Group AS. They leased an office in Lower Castle Street in Oslo's city center where he met the lawyer, Geir Lippestad, who would defend him after the murders, who had his office at the same place. 

Excerpts from the translated version of questions and answers given by Anders Behring Breivik during  a sanity hearing states with regard to his previous businesses are set out below:

It is a franchise agreement you did with an American company, it was a call-back system that started with, but then it [technical term], the use of an alternative platform to Telenor, and the purpose is cheaper units. For foreigners who want to call overseas. I was chairman. There were a corporation. I had been working on development. I and NN had developed the concept for this company, which was to collect 300 million....

Behring Anders Breivik: – The intention was to ensure that as much of the money was withheld from taxation. For this I had to implement a strategy for money laundering. Therefore, I created accounts in tax havens in the Bahamas and in Latvia. It was perhaps seven countries in total....
Anders Breivik Behring – I made ​​the first million when I was 24, and four million maybe when I was 26

Behring Anders Breivik: – There were at least two countries in the Baltics and maybe three or four countries in the Bahamas.

Prosecutors Inga Bejer-Engh: – But if the conflict in Kosovo importance for the establishment of the Knights Templar in 2001?

Behring Anders Breivik: – Yes, it was probably the straw that made ​​the cup to overflow for very many nationalists in Europe.

Prosecutors Inga Bejer-Engh: – And it was as a result of NATO bombing, is it to understand?

Behring Anders Breivik: – Among other things, the bombing of Kosovo in April 1999 was a very important hitsorisk.

Prosecutors Inga Bejer-Engh: – How do you see this bombing?

Behring Anders Breivik: – It was Kjell Magne Bondevik and … Foreign Vollebekk who was responsible, it was they who signed the documents that gave NATO the ability to bomb Serbia. And I think it was grossly unfair that NATO bombed Serbia who only wanted to deport the Muslims from the area.