Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Dark Nexus of the World: More on the Edmonds Revelations & the Meaning of Deep Politics

The "dark nexus" of the world is where its most secretive business is conducted, such as the bribes and secret payoffs that Sibel Edmonds recently revealed were behind a nuclear proliferation ring that involved many top U.S. officials. According to a recent compelling article by Chris Floyd (whose descriptor above I have quoted), this "shadowlands" is "where covert operations, criminal networks, terrorism, high finance and state policy mingle, and battle, in profitable murk." I believe Peter Dale Scott famously called this essential, if diabolical aspect of modern history, "deep politics."

Floyd likens the recent Edmonds tale to that of the scandal around BCCI, "the 'Bank of Credit and Commercial International,' a supposed financial group that a U.S. Senate investigation called 'one of the largest criminal enterprises in history'".

And what were the illicit activities that BCCI facilitated for its entangled crime gangs and government agents? The Senate report:

"BCCI's criminality included fraud by BCCI and BCCI customers involving billions of dollars; money laundering in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas; BCCI's bribery of officials in most of those locations; support of terrorism, arms trafficking, and the sale of nuclear technologies; management of prostitution; the commission and facilitation of income tax evasion, smuggling, and illegal immigration; illicit purchases of banks and real estate; and a panoply of financial crimes limited only by the imagination of its officers and customers."
The Senate investigators found that the CIA lied about is extensive, long-term contacts with BCCI, although the Kerry panel [John Kerry led the 1992 Senate investigation] often couched this flagrant falsehood in more decorous tones, e.g., "the CIA inadvertently failed" to tell the proper federal officials about BCCI's criminal activities (emphasis added). Still, much of the findings are straightforward on this point: "After the CIA knew that BCCI was as an institution a fundamentally corrupt criminal enterprise, it continued to use both BCCI and First American, BCCI's secretly held U.S. subsidiary, for CIA operations."
There's more... a lot more. BCCI helped funnel money to Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, including money for chemical weapons and WMD. Bush Sr. squashed investigations that threatened to expose this. Then there's the links to Bush Jr. (and possibly Bill Clinton).

As Kevin Phillips points out in his devastating – and woefully ignored – book on the Bushes, American Dynasty, Bush II's first large-scale business enterprise, the Arbusto oil company, was almost certainly financed in part with investments from American frontmen for BCCI-connected Saudi grandees Salem bin Laden, older brother of Osama bin Laden and then the head of the family, and Khalid bin Mahfouz, a major stockholder in BCCI.
The failing Arbusto was later bought out by Harken Energy in a sweetheart deal that landed business failure Bush a plum spot on the Harken board and plenty of stock to play with. Bush soon worked his magic touch on Harken: the company began to tank. It was saved by an unusual infusion of $25 million from the Union Bank of Switzerland, one of BCCI's associates. The deal was brokered by long-time Bush family contributor Jackson Stephens – who, curiously enough, was also a major paymaster for Bill Clinton's political rise. In fact, in 1992, Stephens was the largest individual contributor to both Bush I and Clinton in their presidential contest.
There's much, much more, and I courteously encourage the reader to go read all of Floyd's well-written piece. (And a h/t to Inky99 over at Daily Kos, whose own article on this directed my attention to Chris's article.)
According to Peter Dale Scott, who draws conclusions in an academic sort of way (he is a professor, after all):

A deep political system or process is one which resorts to decision-making and enforcement procedures outside as well as inside those sanctioned by law and society. What makes these supplementary procedures "deep" is the fact that they are covert or suppressed, outside public awareness as well as outside sanctioned political processes.
We see deep politics in imperial and post-imperial systems which are accustomed to use criminal assets to intervene lawlessly in other societies....
Deep political analysis focuses on the usually ignored mechanics of accommodation. From the viewpoint of conventional political science, law enforcement and the underworld are opposed to each other, the former struggling to gain control of the latter. A deep political analysis notes that in practice these efforts at control lead to the use of criminal informants; and this practice, continued over a long period of time, turns informants into double agents with status within the police as well as the mob. The protection of informants and their crimes encourages favors, payoffs, and eventually systemic corruption. The phenomenon of "organized crime" arises: entire criminal structures that come to be tolerated by the police because of their usefulness in informing on lesser criminals. In time one may arrive at the kind of police-crime symbiosis familiar from Chicago, where the controlling hand may be more with the mob than with the police it has now corrupted.
Floyd concludes his own article in a more succinct fashion, getting right to the point:

This is the way the world works. Behind the glitz and gossip of presidential campaigns, behind all the earnest "policy debates" on Capitol Hill, behind all the "position papers" and "vision statements" of think tanks and political parties, behind all the great panoply of state and our august Establishment institutions, thieves and murderers have their way, in league with the great and good.
But neither Scott nor Floyd says what has to be said (because each believes the dark political realities are almost too great to fight), that the time is now overripe for the entry of the regular people into history. When it happens, such action shatters the previous status quo, with its networks of criminals and politicians, and changes the society forever. The classic example of this was the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. The storming of the Winter Palace in 1917, backed up by the sailors of the Russian Navy, was another such moment in history.

For the "deep politics" of the criminal gangs and the titans of industry and politics that govern this world are aimed at exploiting the working peoples of the world, and the only answer to such activity must come from the heart and soul of humanity itself. Life against death: what is good in human beings against what is fearful and tyrannical.

Now, I am not advocating a storming of anything. Nor can I predict in what form any revolutionary emergence or change will take place. But the thoroughly corrupt leadership of the nation states and empires that jostle and struggle for supremacy on this globe are leading humanity to the edge of the nuclear precipice, and time is growing far too short. This blog is a minuscule voice in the shout and wild hurrah that is the eternal buzzing of the Internet. It is my stone cast into the void. It is my wish for a spark. It is a prediction awaiting fulfillment, or a drowning in the coming flood of war and holocaust, led by the greedy men and women that ply their trade in and out of the dark nexus of the world's "business."

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