Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 10  Num. 86
                     ("Quid coniuratio est?")


"You are never going to understand BCCI if you persist in thinking of it as a bank."

                    -- John Moscow, Assistant D.A., Manhattan
                (qtd. in The Outlaw Bank by Beaty & Gwynne)

In the late 1970s, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. Countering the Soviets, the CIA helped supply the Afghani resistance with weapons. Interwoven with neighboring Pakistan's intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, was BCCI, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. Inter-Services Intelligence controlled supplies of weapons to the Afghan resistance. AGHA HASAN ABEDI, founder of BCCI, dealt directly with CIA chief William Casey. "Abedi was close to Bill Casey. They met many times. BCCI financed operations. BCCI brokered weapons and supplies, BCCI acted as paymaster." (Anonymous source, qtd. in The Outlaw Bank.) The CIA/BCCI relationship grew, and BCCI helped fund CIA and U.S. military covert operations.

In September of 1991, Time magazine carried an article describing BCCI as "a vast, stateless, multinational corporation that deploys its own intelligence agency, complete with a paramilitary wing and enforcement units, known collectively as the Black Network." BCCI's "Black Network" apparently is connected to at least 16 suspicious deaths, including of 2 reporters: Anson Ng of the Financial Times, and Danny Casolaro, a freelance reporter. Both had been working on the BCCI story.

BCCI was aggressive in seeking clients. They did not limit themselves to just rich people trying to hide their money. They also sought out drug kingpins, weapons merchants, and smugglers in general. Helping grease the wheels for secret operations were "Letters of Credit" issued by the shady bank. BCCI's operation was not unique among banks in general, but they were a caricature of how things work in that they exceeded normal bank etiquette in such matters. If you don't believe it, check on balance of payments between nations. "By definition, the world must be in balance with itself. Yet from an approximate balance in the early 1970s, an inexplicable black hole -- a deficit of $20 billion -- had developed by 1978, and in 1982 the deficit hit $110 billion." (The Outlaw Bank)

In Arkansas sits billionaire Jackson Stephens. In his classic article, "The Name of Rose" (New Republic, 4/4/94), L.J. Davis shows how the Rose Law Firm of Little Rock has handled the affairs of Jackson Stephens. Jackson Stephens, according to former Forbes senior editor James Norman, once owned a bank data processing company called "Systematics," and, says Norman, Systematics was itself, in effect, a sort of bank. Jackson Stephens also reportedly served as a front man for BCCI. (CN 7.99)

In "The Money Trail," Sherman Skolnick goes even further. According to that veteran investigator, "Vincent W. Foster, Jr., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, on behalf of the Rose Law Firm and Jackson Stephens and Worthen Bank Group, arranged for BCCI to penetrate the American market." Skolnick cites an article from the New York Post, 2/8/92, as further reference (CN 6.04).

L.J. Davis, in his previously-mentioned article, agrees: the Rose Law Firm has/does handle Stephens' affairs, and Davis even connects BCCI with former Jimmy Carter honcho Bert Lance, Clark Clifford, and Jackson Stephens. (Sara McClendon has stated that Stephens and Carter have been close friends as far back as when they both attended Annapolis.) In a radio interview broadcast on local PBS radio outlet, WILL-AM, on Aug. 4, 1994, Davis described what it was like in Little Rock: "I mean, after I'd been there for awhile, considering the milieu and considering the strange people that did show up there, I wouldn't have been surprised if I encountered a fat man in a fez, Peter Lorre, and a Maltese falcon!"

Another BCCI connection is to the December 1985 crash, in Gander, Newfoundland, of a plane carrying 248 American soldiers. Reportedly, a duffel bag stuffed with U.S. money was surreptitiously spirited away from the crash site by apparent CIA operatives. One of Beaty and Gwynnes sources states that the money on the plane was from BCCI, provided to U.S. Intelligence for covert operations. Investigator Gene Wheaton believes "that Iranian terrorists blew up the plane out of anger after they received a shipment of defective Hawk missile parts from the United States." (The Outlaw Bank) But BCCI's main concern, reportedly, was that their money might be stolen from them, as a peripheral consequence of the plane crash.

Past issues of Conspiracy Nation have covered reports of a possible "fuel-air explosive," a highly-sophisticated device, being used in the tragic Oklahoma City bombing(s) of April 1995. BCCI reportedly is connected to secret sales of something called "Colombine Heads," apparently the triggering device for these fuel-air bombs. As described in The Outlaw Bank, these fuel-air bombs are also known as "the poor man's hydrogen bomb... it worked by exploding a large cloud of vaporized gasoline. The resulting explosion rivaled atomic blasts. It was almost primitive technology, but it took an extremely sophisticated triggering system to ignite the gas cloud."

BCCI, write Beaty and Gwynne, was a big story. Yet the mass media mostly focussed only on the narrow aspect of Clark Clifford's and Robert Altman's involvement. (Both were found "not guilty" of any crimes.) The authors suggest that a great deal of information on BCCI is being held "at the highest reaches of the American government."

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