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March 30, 2012

Pug Winokur Is Now History

The collapse of Enron occurred in October 2001, one month after the towers fell on 9/11. It's been more than ten years now, and we still don't know where the Enron money went. But all those years ago there were many researchers attempting to find out. One of them was Linda Minor, who went about the search in a unique way--by digging into the background of one of Enron's directors, a man named Herbert Simon Winokur, Jr., who somehow had acquired the moniker "Pug."  This man who seemed to come from nowhere to become a bigwig at the Harvard Corporation was so intriguing to her because of the behind-the-scenes role he played in the life of one of the researcher's best friends, Catherine Austin Fitts. The two women set out to discover who this man was and what made him tick. Their dream of finding where the money went did not become a reality.

Nevertheless, as a result of their research, which was seen by many thousands of internet readers, Pug Winokur is now history

Recently a friend asked if I would republish the Linda Minor's series of articles written ten years ago.  With a new introduction and some revisions from the author, here it is:

by Linda Minor © 2002

PART ONE                                    

Who is left at Enron?

In the last few months, almost all the directors of Enron have resigned with one very notable exception--Herbert Simon "Pug"Winokur, Jr.--a man in the shadows whose name may not have made an impression on most people who read only the headlines. Why is he still around, and where did he come from? If we hope to discover where the Enron money went, this man is a good place to start.

Winokur, top row, second from right, with other Enron board members in Houston, Texas


This series of articles is dedicated to Catherine Austin Fitts, without whose encouragement I would never have attempted the task of writing for internet publication. I had met Catherine online as a member of  a “conspiracy theory research list” (CTRL) or its spinoff, “CIA Drugs” list, set up by Kris Millegan, whose other members included Daniel Hopsicker, DavidGuyatt, Mike Ruppert, Alex Constantine and many other people who were interested in doing research to discover how our government really works. By learning the truth, we hoped to change the course our country had been following for decades.

I had a hope at that time that, just as Dorothy and her companions in the Wizard of Oz had done, we too would follow a yellow brick road to its termination point, where a wizard would be revealed--pulling all the strings behind a curtain. I saw my role as helping to construct that road, constructed of many yellow bricks of information. The task was somewhat akin to putting together a jigsaw puzzle, that when pieced together would show us the real world and how it worked. I hoped that other researchers would be inspired to join in the search for information, each one laying their own bricks to help us reach our destination.

As we look back, we take pride in seeing ten years' worth of construction of that yellow brick road, but the Emerald City still lies before us. There's more work yet to be done.

Linda Minor

Follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City.
Google Prison

Because Pug Winokur--whom Catherine believed was a key operative in the process by which her business, Hamilton Securities Group, suffered a takedown by certain Democrats in the Clinton administration--still remained at Enron to the bitter end, we determined he played an essential part in its collapse. We knew nothing of Mr. Winokur at that time, but resolved find out all about it. The truth we discovered would effectively become his “google prison.” Any internet search of his name would reveal all his good or evil deeds, making them apparent not only to us, but to anyone else who desired to know what he might be up to. Transparency was the only tool that could lead to accountability.

Catherine’s approach was what she called a “data dump.” Mine was to build a historical timeline--finding a point of beginning and working forward to the present. In this way I hoped to understand what motivated him in terms of dollars and cents by following his career through a context of where he had worked, who financed his businesses, and who he was making money for; it's how I "follow the money" in my research.

Pug Winokur’s family

Order of Cloud and Banne
Pug was born in 1943 in Columbus, Ga. (where Fort Benning is located), while his father (married to Marjorie Lipman in 1942) was serving in the U.S. Army Air Force, attaining the rank of Major during his 1942-45 enlistment. He was awarded the Order of the Cloud and Banner (China), indicating his involvement in the China Burma India Theatre. The military decoration Major Winokur received was an honor presented from the Chinese government of Chiang Kai-shek, who fled to Taiwan when the Red Chinese took over China. There were more than 30 of these decorations, for example, awarded to the Flying Tigers of Clare Chennault.

The American troops in the China-Burma-India Theater were commanded by General Joseph Stilwell, who was the Deputy Allied Commander under Lord Mountbatten of Great Britain—the last viceroy of the British colonial empire in India, who was then assigned to Burma. There have been numerous books written about the involvement of these groups in opium smuggling, shown in this slideshow:

With this military background, according to information in Who's Who, Pug’s father returned to his interrupted career in consumer finance--first at Federal Loan Co. and also to Rettews Money Loan beginning in 1958, and Executive Consumer Discount in 1967--all in Philadelphia. These work relationships ended in 1974, followed by his short association with George S. May International in Park Ridge, Illinois, the same city, coincidentally, where Hillary Rodham grew up. In 1975 Winokur, Sr. began a management consulting firm in Wayne, Pa.

The family was of the Jewish religion, and Pug’s father, treasurer of a pawnbrokers’ association, belonged to B’Nai Brith as well as to an association involved with Jewish employment. B’Nai Brith, a Jewish fraternal organization, was the sponsor of the formation of the Anti-DefamationLeague, the seed money of which was put up by Burton Joseph, whose family was involved with the I.S. Joseph Company in Minnesota. Burton Joseph was very closely involved with Meshulam Riklis, whose background will be further explored below.
Meshulam Riklis

Pug has [in 2002] a sister named Lisbeth Cload, married to Nigel Cload, a Mercedes car dealer in Allendale, N.J. Lisbeth is an attorney at McElroy, Deutsch & Mulvaney, LLP in Morristown, New Jersey after spending 11 years at Orbe, Nugent and Darcy. She was a 1969 graduate of Boston University, studied at the University of Lyons (France), and received her law degree from Pace University School of Law in 1986.

Harvard and Clark Clifford

Pug himself went to Harvard, where he received three degrees: A.B. '65 ('64), A.M. '65, and Ph.D. '67. His doctoral degree is in applied mathematics (decision and control theory). His first job out of Harvard was with the U.S. Army, assigned to the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. That was at the end of Robert S. McNamara’s seven years in that job. McNamara left the office in March 1968 to head the World Bank, with Clark Clifford filling out Lyndon Johnson’s term at Defense.

Sixteen years prior to the JFK assassination, Clark Clifford, working for President Truman, wrote the National Security Act of 1947 (creating the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Department). At that time he also advised Truman to recognize the State of Israel, being created in 1948--a move violently opposed by Secretary of State George Marshall. Clifford’s advice about Israel’s recognition was allegedly influenced by Jewish contributions to Truman’s fund-raising efforts, which Clifford headed.

Nineteen years after Kennedy’s murder (1982) Clifford and his law partner (Robert Altman) would secure a banking license for the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) to operate through First American Bancshares of Georgia; Clifford had been representing the foreign investors in BCCI since 1978, when he was also a big fund-raiser for Jimmy Carter.

Pug's First Business--ICF

It is not known whether any contact between Winokur and Clark Clifford—his boss in the Defense Department for only 10 months—continued after 1969, when both men left the government. But when Nixon took office that January, Pug and two other Defense Department analysts did start a "private consulting firm" in Washington, D.C. called Inner City Fund with a black figurehead named Clarence D. “Lucky” Lester, a former Tuskegee airman, as president--ostensibly to promote minority entrepreneurship. Lester was a military science instructor at Howard University while still in the military, retiring as a colonel in 1969. Col. Lester was then assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the same time the Inner City Fund was created. (See Obituary 20 March 1986 Washington Post)
Col. Lucky Lester
Pug remained at ICF during Richard Nixon’s first term and into the second before Watergate's culmination. However, ICF never had any volume of work until after Pug moved on. Normally, we would expect him to have sold his interest in the business to his successors, possibly taking a promissory note secured by preferred stock in the company. It would therefore have been to his advantage to ensure that the company did well even after he left in 1974. He may have even helped to throw money its way in the form of consulting contracts, with such revenues increasing his own stock's value. But it was not a public company, so its records were not open to our perusal, but we can get a hint of how the Inner City Fund was evolving by taking a quick look at its executives.

Winokur's replacement at ICF, James O. Edwards, joined the consulting firm in 1974, when ICF had only $300,000 in annual revenue; by 1982 the revenue had increased to $14.3 million, due primarily to services to the government on energy and environmental issues. As Chairman of American Capital and Research (ACR),  Edwards had worked in the Office of Management and Budget (formerly called the Bureau of the Budget) and was a deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. As we shall see, his tenure at OMB would have coincided with some of Pug's associates in California.

ICF in 1975 hired Richard Gordon Darman with degrees from Harvard in 1964 and 1967, having worked in Nixon’s administration as an adviser to Elliott Richardson until he resigned in the wake of the Saturday night massacre in 1973. He would, however, reappear in every Republican administration until his death, ascending as high as (here it is again) Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George H.W. Bush.

Just before ICF began its huge transformation from a services company to a consulting firm, Pug had married a California woman, Deanne Lynn Howard, who had come to work in Washington, D.C. as a program analyst at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The NEH was set up in 1965 after President Lyndon Johnson apparently realized that his assassinated predecessor John Kennedy had appointed a close friend, William Walton, Chairman of the Fine Arts Commission, to assume a covert role in making a back channel contact with Nikita Kruschev of the Soviet Union. Citing David Talbot's book, Brothers, Peter Janney reveals in his own book, Mary's Mosaic, that within days of the assassination of JFK,
Bobby and Jackie [Kennedy] asked their close friend to quickly reschedule his artistic mission to Russia. They wanted him to deliver a special, secret message to Georgi Bolshakov, formerly a KGB agent under journalistic cover in Washington, who the Kennedys had come to rely upon when they needed to communicate with Khrushchev directly during critical moments. Indeed, Bolshakov had once been referred to by Newsweek as the "Russian New Frontiersman" because he had become so close to Bobby....Bobby and Jackie knew that through Bolshakov their message to the Soviets would be directly communicated to Nikita Khrushchev. They wanted "the Russian who they felt best understood John Kennedy to know their personal opinions of the changes in the U.S. government since the assassination."
 After passage of a federal statute setting up the NEH in 1965, President Johnson named former president of Brown University, Barnaby C. Keeney, to be its first chairman. We learn from Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:
In 1978 it was revealed that Keeney had worked for the Central Intelligence Agency while he was president of Brown. He admitted that he had advised the CIA in matters such as “setting up covert funding operations,” adding in explanation, “I suppose nowadays it is improper to attempt to serve your country ... but then I felt I was doing what I should.”
In 1962 Keeney set up the Human Ecology Fund, which Alex Constantine describes in Virtual Government as "the financial hub of MK-ULTRA."

So we have to wonder what Deanne Howard was engaged in while employed at this ostensibly charitable agency of the government at the time she married Pug. What exactly does a program analyst do?

Pug and Deanne Howard Winokur

March 21, 2012

ACADEMI tied to Bain Capital?

ACADEMI rising
There is a certain culture that Blackwater has and you can change a couple of the guys at the top of the heap, but they are hiring the same kinds of people, they are doing it in the very same way, they are doing much of the same work – and the leadership comes from the same places with the same connections,” he said, adding that “the failures of the past, which have been dramatic, will continue into the future.”      --Jack Rice, a lawyer and former CIA officer

The above quote came from an RT's (Russia Today) article that appeared December 15, 2011 as the last of the American soldiers were being withdrawn from Iraq. Here's the rest of the article:

The recent name change by the company once known as Blackwater, one of the biggest private security contractors in the US, has led to speculation as to whether the company is returning to Iraq, from where it was expelled after a shooting in 2007.­The company adopted the name Xe Services soon after the shooting incident in Baghdad, which left 17 civilians dead. On Monday it announced another new name, Academi, claiming that the changes represent more than just a change of name.

RT talked to Jack Rice, a lawyer and former CIA officer, who thinks that the company now will certainly try to re-establish itself in Iraq and that it has every chance of succeeding.
They have very deep pockets and they also have very very good connections. You can call this company anything that you like, whether it is Blackwater, whether it is Xe, whether it is Academi, whether it is John Smith, it does not make any difference if there is a lot of money and there are connections, there are opportunities,” Rice said. Commenting on the name change, Rice said that Blackwater/ Academi was unlikely to bring any other changes....
Rice believes, however, that the problem with contractor companies extends further than Blackwater, saying that the main flaw of the system is the lack of a controlling mechanism. According to him the contractor companies have become
independent companies that you hire to do things you don’t want to do” and the real problem “is controlling them and Americans did not do it very well.
Peace activist Puneet Dhaliwal of the group “War on Want” also believes that with American troops withdrawing from Iraq it is quite likely the notorious company will be able to return to the country despite its bloody record and government ban.
“Private military security companies are likely to play an increasingly important role in an unstable Iraq,” says Dhaliwal. “But the problem is not with Academi – formerly known as Blackwater – alone, it is the issue of the whole industry.”
“It is one thing to say there needs to be stability in some sort of area. These companies face a situation when there is no accountability for the way they act,” Dhaliwal told RT. “It is systemic: the whole industry faces no serious restrictions.”
“We have seen a lot of outsourcing in conflicts. That allows moral responsibility to be shifted away onto private companies, where there is simply no such scrutiny as there would be for conventional armies,” added Dhaliwal.

You may recall we reported here that the assets of Blackwater/Xe had been sold in January 2011 to a holding company--USTC Holdings, LLC the major investors in which were private equity firms Forté Capital Advisors (“Forté”) and Manhattan Partners (“Manhattan”). Time will tell whose money these firms were investing in the purchase from Prince and his associates. But, now that all the money has been put together and Academi's team is now in place, the company is ready to take on all those contracts in Iraq (and soon Afghanistan?) that drain the budget of the military and add future budget dollars to medical and pension expenses for veterans.

Instead, the U.S. Government will remain behind the scenes, using contractors and their mercenaries, with almost no accountability or oversight for their actions. Many journalists have attempted to speculate who the buyers really were, but so far not successfully.

Who are they now? 

From reading their website, we note, rather tongue-in-cheek, the new owner obviously hired some expert public relations professionals, if not propaganda specialists, to create their public interface, with an excellent store of positively descriptive adjectives:

ACADEMI’s Board of Directors is responsible for establishing ethical corporate governance and oversight for the company. The board comprises a talented collection of seasoned professionals with vast experience in both the public and private sector. All of the board’s initiatives are guided by ACADEMI’s six core principles of 
  • integrity, 
  • governance, 
  • excellence, 
  • dignity, 
  • growth and 
  • innovation.
You can stop laughing now. Those who are banking on making a profit from handling these mercenary contracts in the future are hoping that Mitt Romney will be occupying the White House this time next year. This writer is betting that most of the millions being funneled into Mitt Romney's superpacs come from these same investors, chomping at the bit to control those mercenary contracts as the wars supposedly end. Here is the evidence:

  • Billy Joe “Red” McCombs, Chairman--founder of the Red McCombs Automotive Group, a co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, a former owner of the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and the Minnesota Vikings, and the namesake of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a long-standing member of Forbes Magazine’s top 400 richest Americans and has owned nearly 400 businesses during his career. ...He is also the co-founder of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. Clear Channel is the largest radio station operator and outdoor advertising business in the world, with operations in more than 30 countries. The company was sold to private investors for an excess of $20 billion in 2008. 
The history of Clear Channel Communications began in 1972 in San Antonio, Texas, with its communications empire supporting Bush family campaigns and ending at the end of those presidential election campaigns by a transfer of stock to Bain Capital, the media empire Mitt Romney claims to have created: 
Clear Channel connection--Hicks, who became vice chairman of the radio behemoth Clear Channel in 2000, helped Bush in whatever way he could. According to Salon, "Hicks announced on a conference call among Clear Channel's senior radio executives that the company was supporting Bush's presidential run, that everyone was encouraged to make donations, and that the legal department would be in contact with donors in order to maintain a proper roster." After 9/11 Clear Channel banned "potentially offensive" songs from its stations, and in the run-up to the war in Iraq, bankrolled supposedly grassroots pro-war "Rallies for America" across the country. The company gave nearly $470,000 to Republican candidates in 2006, roughly the same as in '04. Ironically, Hicks's investment fund sold its stake in Clear Channel in 2006 to the private equity firm Bain Capital Partners--the longtime employer of Mitt Romney. "
Clear Channel's history therefore links ACADEMI's McCombs with the Hicks, Muse friends of George W. Bush and with Mitt Romney's firm, Bain Capital:
    In November 2006, the Company announced that it had entered into a merger agreement with a private equity group co-led By Bain Capital Partners, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P., pursuant to which the group would acquire Clear Channel....On July 30, 2008, the Company announced the completion of a merger with an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of CC Media Holdings, Inc., a corporation formed by a private equity group co-led by Bain Capital Partners, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.
    Mitt's Money
    • John Ashcroft--"As Attorney General, Mr. Ashcroft led the U.S. Department of Justice through the transformational period after the September 11, 2001 attacks, reorganizing the Department to focus on its number one priority: preventing terrorism. The tough antiterrorism campaign he directed helped keep America safe throughout his tenure and resulted in the dismantling of terrorist cells across America and the disruption of over 150 terrorist plots worldwide."
    Only one question here--what did Ashcroft know about 9/11, and when did he know it? And one additional note: There are some very interesting articles linked to Ashcroft's name at his new Texas law firm, Ashcroft Group, including one about his support for Mitt Romney and one about the travails of shedding Blackwater's bad-boy image.
    Charlie Wilson, Joanne Herring
    • Retired Admiral Bobby R. Inman (USN) -- Through all the jobs he's had throughout his career, Inman represents those disenchanted souls who stood with LBJ against President Kennedy in November 1963 and beyond, who were rewarded with positions in the LBJ School in Austin and, like the attorneys who serve on the Board of UTIMCO, managing the university's huge endowments and pension funds. These, mostly, men are also connected to the intelligence staffs that were intriguingly connected to Congressman Charlie Wilson of Lufkin's timber district (Arthur Temple) and to his allegedly romantic links to Houston's social darling Joanne Herring.
    It should also be noted that little has changed between the name changes from Xe to ACADEMI, as shown in the management personnel.

    Oh, and just in case you're looking for a job, there are lots of open positions. And I can assure you, if Mitt is elected, there will be millions more. Money talks.