$$$$ for blood *LINK*

$$$$ for blood *LINK*
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Monday, April 25, 2005 09:41 am


Moscow Times April 22, 2005

by Chris Floyd

With fresh indictments last week, the UN oil-for-food scandal
took an unexpected turn into the Labyrinth -- the tangled skein of war
profiteering and state terrorism that has seen the Bush Family\'s lust for
blood money emerge in three of the darkest criminal episodes in modern
American history: Iran-Contra, Iraqgate and the BCCI affair.

Texas oil baron David Chalmers of Bayoil and his partners were hit with
criminal charges for allegedly cutting deals with Saddam Hussein in the
notorious skim operation that outflanked UN sanctions and diverted funds
intended for humanitarian relief. Prosecutors were shocked -- shocked! --
to find such collusion and corruption in the oil business.

Of course, the fact that three U.S. presidents -- the two George Bushes
and their new best pal, Bill Clinton -- actually brokered massive backroom
oil deals for Saddam that dwarfed Bayoil\'s petty chiseling, plus the fact
that Saddam\'s nation-strangling thievery has since been eclipsed by the
epic rapine of Bush II\'s Babylonian Conquest, in no way mitigates the
seriousness of the Chalmers indictment. But somehow we doubt you\'ll be
seeing those august statesmen sharing leg irons with old Davy anytime

Chalmers is a longtime denizen of the Labyrinth. In the mid-1980s, he
joined up with Chilean gun-runner Carlos Cardoen, the Financial Times
reported. Cardoen was a CIA frontman used by Presidents Ronald Reagan and
Bush I to funnel cluster bombs and other weapons secretly to Saddam
Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War. At Reagan\'s direct order, Saddam
received U.S. military intelligence, billions of dollars in credits and a
steady supply of covert \"third-country\" arms to sustain his war effort,
even though the White House was fully aware of Saddam\'s \"almost daily use\"
of illegal chemical weapons, The Washington Post reported. Later, Bush I,
as president, would also mandate the sale of WMD material to Saddam,
including anthrax -- long after Saddam notoriously \"gassed his own people\"
at Halabja.

As in the present UN scandal, Saddam paid for his covert cluster bombs
with oil. Chalmers would move the actual black stuff and broker its sale
for the CIA and Cardoen, taking a cut in the process. Since 1999, Chalmers
has been doing the same thing on behalf of Italtech, owned by another
crony in the old Cardoen gun-running scheme. The Texas baron must be
aghast to find himself in hot water for an activity that was once blessed
at the highest levels. Perhaps he neglected to cross the requisite Bushist
palms with sufficient silver -- or else, as with many a Bush minion, he\'s
just been tossed overboard as chum for the sharks when he\'s no longer of
any use.

But let\'s be fair. Helping Saddam kill people with chemical gas was not
the only reason why Reagan and Bush I aided their favorite dictator. They
had bigger fish to fry -- using the Constitution as kindling for the

In 1986, George Bush I visited the Middle East with a secret message to be
passed to Saddam via Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak: \"Drop more bombs on
Iran\'s cities.\" How do we know this? From the sworn testimony of Howard
Teicher, the National Security Council official who accompanied Bush and
wrote the official \"talking points\" for the trip. Ostensibly, Bush urged
this mass killing of civilians as a strategy to halt Iran\'s gains at the
front. But as The New Yorker reported -- 13 years ago -- there was another
layer to this covert plot.

A fierce aerial offensive by Saddam would force Iran to seek more spare
parts for its U.S.-made planes and anti-aircraft weapons, inherited from
the ousted Shah. Bush was already waist-deep in the Iran-Contra scam,
which involved selling Tehran U.S. military goods through back channels,
then funneling the secret profits to the Contras, the gang of right-wing
insurgents and CIA-trained terrorists in Nicaragua. Congress had forbidden
U.S. aid to the Contras, so Reagan and Bush used the mullahs (and Central
American drug lords) to run their illegal terrorist war. More innocent
deaths in Iran meant more backdoor cash for the Contras. A win-win

When Bush I became president, he clasped Saddam even closer, sending him
billions in U.S.-backed \"agricultural credits\" through BNL, an Italian
bank tied up with BCCI -- the international \"financial consortium\" that
was actually \"one of the largest criminal enterprises in history,\"
according to the U.S. Senate. BCCI laundered money and financed arms
dealing, terrorism, smuggling and prostitution, while corrupting
government officials worldwide with bribes and extortion.

As Bush well knew, Saddam was using the BNL cash for arms, not food;
indeed, that was the point of the exercise. When some honest U.S.
officials threatened to unravel the BNL gun-running scam, Bush appointed
Cardoen\'s own lawyer to a top Justice Department post -- overseeing the
investigation of his former boss. Under heavy White House pressure, the
case was quickly whittled down to the usual \"bad apple\" underlings
carrying out some minor fraud.

But perhaps Papa Bush was just being fatherly. Earlier, another BCCI
offshoot bank had bailed out one of Bush Junior\'s many business failures
with $25 million in cash. That deal had been brokered by mysterious
Arkansas tycoon Jackson Stephens, one of the Bush family\'s biggest
campaign contributors. Curiously enough, Stephens was also a top moneyman
for another leading politician: Bill Clinton. When Clinton took office, he
obligingly deep-sixed the continuing probes into BCCI, Iraqgate and