Alex Constantine - November 24, 2006
(Correction: Prince Ahmed bin Salman's name was butchered in a previously posted draft, and it's corrected here. He ran the Saudi state-controlled media in his lifetime. His family has had dealings with bin Laden in the past. I will clarify the issues in part 24. Sorry for the revisions, but this is a long work in progress and a bit of editing may be necessary along the way. - AC)
In 1996, if you lived in England, you could tune into Discovery on Channel Four and take a stroll on "The Torture Trail." This stimulating little adventure prompted public howls for an investigation of the black-market torture-tech trade. One set of the howls originated with the Directorate General for Research of the European Parliament. A panel to look into the underground torture industry – flourishing with the silent blessing of the U.S. and British governments – was mustered.
In the Discovery program, actors posing as prospective clients entered "a secret network of companies making electroshock weapons," and came away "with orders worth over £3 million (consisting of 10,000 electroshock shields and 5,000 shock batons from British Aerospace) ... " The sale of these devices is illegal in the UK, but BAE took the orders "enthusiastically."
The European Parliament report, "An Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control," exposed the outrageous proliferation and political uses of "electro-control technology." Deals were struck "irrespective of the equipment's country of origin or its eventual destination." In the Channel Four program, the actors had been escorted to an underground death merchants' convention, "the secretive Covert Operation & Procurement Exhibition (COPEX) held at Sandown Park racecourse in November 1994. A wide range of internal security was on display. Foreign invitees included delegations from China, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Turkey. The Dispatches team followed through that rendezvous with a meeting at the Royal Ordnances own offices in Lancashire, where they were shown a 40,000-volt shock baton made in Eire, together with an electronic riot shield made in [the] USA by Nova Technologies." The shield "could immobilise 120 people without a battery change. While the deal was struck, Royal Ordnance made an extraordinary confession, that they had sold 8,000 german electroshock batons as part of the Al Yamamah deal to Saudi Arabia. The Dispatches programme team concluded that given that the £500,000 cost of the electroshock deal was paid for in oil, and because BAE would have had to invoice the MoD for payment and the UK government would have had to issue an export licence, they must have known what was going on."167
Ten years later, the Al Yamamah torture baton deal still raises hackles in the UK. BAE has been black-marketing political control gear for some time – with the quiet sanction of each government concerned – and is constantly getting caught at it.
Five years before "The Torture Trail" aired in England, a crate of 150 electro-shock weapons bound for Romania tumbled off a truck at Heathrow Airport and broke open. Police in London teamed with their peers in the U.S. and unearthed a classic covert operation. It led, via another branch of the torture trail, ultimately back to BAE.
The cargo was handled by Elite Worldwide Services for Protech Armor Services in Massachusetts. Wood and Peleman write that Protech "was closely linked to another private company, Custom Armoring Corporation, and specialized in ballistic materials and police equipment. The shields were made by Nova Technologies of Texas and bought by Protech before being flown by air to Heathrow Airport, London. It was part of a well-planned trafficking operation to export the shields to the Romanian Ministry of the Interior via London, Paris and Luxembourg. Alphasafety SA, based in Luxembourg, was the brokering agent for the Romanian government.
"Elite Worldwide Services attempted to gain the release of the shields from UK customs by obtaining help in the UK to falsify a US Commerce Department document, describing the shields as ‘kevlar vests.’ Shortly afterwards, William McNeil, vice president of Protech and treasurer of Custom Armoring ... began to arrange for a second consignment of 150 electro-shock shields from Nova to be flown to Romania via Houston, Paris and Luxembourg. They conspired with Herbert Allen of Nova Technologies, as well as Charles Dye of International Business Connections, the US representative of Alphasafety, to deliver the shields using a false Shipper’s Export Declaration, a Shipper’s Letter of Instructions and an Airway Bill. These documents indicated that the ultimate end-user would be Alphasafety, so that the destination could be presented as Luxembourg, a NATO member and therefore exempt from licensing requirements for such items.
"Around 12 May, the shields were exported unlawfully to Romania, via Luxembourg. Both the US and successive UK governments have refused to divulge the name of the UK broker/s and US supplier/s who were issued licences for a large consignment of such weapons to Saudi Arabia, a state with an appalling record of officially-sanctioned torture. ... The fact that electro-shock torture was carried out in Saudi Arabia was never considered. IPS and Royal Ordnance" – a division of BAE – "offered in a letter to supply more such weapons to the Middle East using suppliers in the United States and Germany. The UK authorities declined to prosecute them for illegal possession of such weapons."168
BAE headlines are a constant feature of the British street corner. (Political economist Joe Roeber found that the arms industry is "the most corrupt legal sector" of the world economy. In the late '90s, "the arms trade accounted for 40-45 percent of the total corruption in world trade despite only amounting to less than half a percent of the total. The Campaign Against Arms Trade revealed that for the past 40 years, "the United Kingdom government knew that the arms industry was riddled with corruption. However it concealed and continues to conceal this from parliament and the public. Instead, the government has gone out of its way to turn a blind eye while continuing to provide political and financial support on arms sales.)169 It hogs the front pages on a perennial basis. For 20 years or so, it's been "Fraud Office launches inquiry into BAE Saudi arms deal," "Inquiry into suspected false accounting at BAE," "Two arrested in dawn raids," "BAE denies it is the target of investigation," ad infinitum.
BAE is a king maker ...
The weapons company with influential friends at the highest level
Times of London
"TONY BLAIR has been dubbed the 'unofficial travelling salesman' of Britain’s biggest arms company, ever since its then chairman openly backed him to become Prime Minister in January 1997. Five months later, after Mr Blair’s general election victory, the new Prime Minister was promoting the interests abroad of the company, then known as British Aerospace." Blair is BAE's personal lobbying pimp, and "has helped BAE with several deals over the years. BAE's political influence is widespread."
There's no end to it. The Al Yamamah arms-for-oil swap was the largest overseas defence deal ever landed by a UK company. If the charges are correct, "then the incentives used to seal it were spectacular as well. According to a BBC Television The Money Programme investigation, the principal beneficiary of BAE's largesse was PRINCE TURKI BIN NASSER, a leading member of Saudi Arabia's ruling royal family and the man who oversaw the Al Yamamah contract."170
It's been established that America's allies in the Middle East, the Saudi royal family, are not above torture – they are very American in that sense, share our values.
One of them, Prince Ahmed bin Salman, was the unofficial Saudi propaganda minister. This point is obvious after a careful perusal of the evidence – the world would already know about the Agency's deceased liaison with bin Laden if it wasn't for the deliberate obfuscations of a veteran CIA Mockingbird – GERALD POSNER, one of the most over-exposed disinformation brokers in the world.
Bin Salman's publishing office in London released the gruesome Nicholal Berg beheading tape in 2004 – the one falsely claimed by the media to originate with a shadowy source in Turkey with a Muslim name. (We'll get to that in part 24).
But first, Gerald Posner, a Fox News staple whose book on the murder of John F. Kennedy, Case Closed, begins with a misleading sentence, ends with a lie. Every word between is equally dubious. This is Posner's tenuous claim to fame.
His distortions concerning bin Salman have been widely reported, so before taking up the prince and the Lexington connection, it's a necessary step to expose Posner's role as a state propagandist and examine his motives.
He hails from the same law firm as John J. McCloy, a CIA official who sat on the Warren Commission, instrumental in covering up intelligence connections to the murder.
Jim DiEugenio, the author of a REAL study of the Robert Kennedy murder in 1968, Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba and the Garrison Case, opines: "Reportedly, like John McCloy and Allen Dulles, Mr. Posner is a Wall Street lawyer." Posner's earlier book on Joseph Mengele "WHITEWASHED that notorious Nazi's ties to the Hitler regime before his MCCLOY-AIDED ESCAPE to South America after World War II. This may help explain Posner's quite questionable use of sources."171
The following are excerpts of critiques that expose his fraudulent "scholarship" – unconscionable shaggy-dog stories culled from a parallel universe – contrived to protect Posner's CIA handlers:
" ,,, blatant twisting of the evidence ..."
Letter to the Federal Bar News and Journal
by Gary L. Aguilar, M.D.
"In response to George Costello's review of Case Closed in the March-April 1994 Federal Bar News and Journal Dr. Aguilar wrote this letter, which contains new information on key witness James Tague, whose face was cut by a bullet or fragment which struck a nearby curb. Tague claims that Posner misrepresented his opinion on which shot struck him, and does NOT RECALL TALKING TO MR. POSNER at all."
On Gerald Posner
by Harrison E. Livingstone
"It is a tough thing being pitted against the likes of Gerald Posner, as I was on NBC's 'Today Show' the morning of September 30, 1998. ... Here we have the spectacle of "conspiracy scholar" Gerald Posner working the ultimate con. We "buffs" are dismissed with a label, like mental patients, and the immense problems with the autopsy and its photographs and X-rays are blamed on Robert Kennedy. ..."
Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination
of JFK by Gerald Posner: A Preliminary Critique
by Martin Shackelford
"The Investigator devoted the entire August-September 1993 issue to Shackeleford's cover-to-cover notes. Through exhaustive footnotes, he demonstrates how Posner simply ignores any and all evidence in the
record which contradicts his 'findings.' We present the entire special issue in four parts. ... "
"The Assassination of JFK - Is the book Case Closed by Gerald Posner an excellent example of historical research, or an error filled, lone assassin biased, view of the case?"
November 17, 1993
"Posner then makes his incredible claim to have done new interviews with the autopsy doctors, in which they supposedly admit that their sworn report on t
he President's head wounds was grossly in error. Both men deny ever saying this to Posner, and he has refused for more than three years to allow anyone to hear the tapes he claims to have made of the interviews.... "
Affidavit of Roger McCarthy, CEO of Failure Analysis Associates
by Roger McCarthy
"Gerald Posner leaves readers of Case Closed with the false impression (without actually stating it) that Failure Analysis Associates did 3D computer graphic studies of the assassination for his book. He did
nothing to correct this in either his U.S. News and World Report article or in his promotional activities at the time his book was released."
Letter by Randolph H. Robertson, M.D. to Chairman John
by Randolph H. Robertson, M.D
"Dr. Robertson followed his testimony with this December 27, 1993 letter to Congressman Conyers. In it he cites additional eyewitness testimony to bolster his theory and calls on Gerald Posner to donate his interview tapes to the National Archives, as he told Congress he would, in order to resolve the crucial conflict in the record as to the autopsy doctors' recollection of the President's head wounds. Posner has still not come forward with these tapes to prove his contentions about his interviews with the doctors. This article is reprinted from the Congressional Record. Prepared Statement to the House of Representatives, November 17, 1993."
A review of Gerald Posner, Case Closed
by Peter Dale Scott, Ph.D.
"Dr. Scott examines Posner's treatment of Jack Ruby's organized crime links and Oswald's whereabouts at the time of the shooting, among other issues. He is the author of Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (University of California Press, 1993) and Deep Politics II: Essays on Oswald, Mexico & Cuba."
Gerald Posner Closes the Case
by James R. Folliard
"Is Case Closed the definitive history of the Kennedy assassination or just another contribution to the mountain of bad writing on that event? Folliard carefully examines Posner's methodology in three critical areas; the testimony concerning the bag in which Oswald allegedly transported the gun, the location of the wound in JFK's back, and the "psychological" profile of Lee Harvey Oswald. He concludes that Case Closed is a "fatally flawed, intellectually dishonest effort," unworthy of the praise that was heaped on it by the major media." [This article was originally published in the November, 1993 issue of The Fourth Decade.]
by Martin Shackelford
Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination
of JFK by Gerald Posner: A Preliminary Critique
by Martin Shackelford
"One year after the publication of Case Closed, Random House issued the "revised and updated" paperback version. Those who expected Posner to address or correct the many documented errors in his original were in for a disappointment."
WIND and GUNSMOKE
(A Deception in Gerald Posner's "Case Closed")
by Michael M. Dworetsky
"The smell of gunsmoke on Elm Street immediately after the shots was an important confirmation that at least some of the shooting came from the western end of Dealey Plaza. Michael Dworetsky of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, University College, London, details Posner's extremely dubious use of testimony to try to make it appear that the smoke could have come from the Texas School Book Depository. In fact, the evidence is conclusive that the wind direction, from the west/southwest, rules out the TSBD as the source of the smoke."
THE POSNER REPORT: A Study In Propaganda: One Hundred
Errors in Gerald Posner's Case Closed: Lee Harvey
Oswald and the Assassination of JFK
"A summary of the documented errors in Case Closed as detailed in the following articles or found by our own research. This by no means a complete list, and we may be adding more articles dealing with other items that are incorrect in Mr. Posner's book."
"This is perhaps one of the worst JFK assassination books ever produced. It overflows with mistakes, distortions, selective presentation of evidence and surprising misrepresentations. .... Several people Mr. Posner claimed to have interviewed say they NEVER SPOKE TO HIM ... "
THE ART OF MISREPRESENTING EVIDENCE
by Stewart Galanor
"Stewart Galanor takes Gerald Posner to task for his blatant twisting of the evidence concerning smoke that was seen on the grassy knoll area by several witnesses at the time of the assassination of JFK."
"Gerald Posner has distorted some of the issues that are central to understanding the assassination."
WHAT GERALD POSNER DECIDED TO TELL READERS--AND KEEP FROM THEM
"In this article we see how Posner tries to fool his readers into thinking there was no relationship between Lee Harvey Oswald and the ultra right-wing, intelligence-connected Guy Bannister. This article exposes Posner's weak attempt to detach Oswald from being connected with one of many US intelligence assets."
[To be continued ... ]
167.) Directorate General for Research, "An Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control," European Parliament, Luxembourg, January 6, 1998.
168.) Wood and Peleman.
169.) David Isenberg, "Scandal sours Saudi arms deal," Asia Times, October 6, 2005.