Old news but it links up with other issues I've been looking at and it appears not to have been posted before...http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm/fa/viewstory/story_ID/2675Merrill Death Looks a lot Like Other 'Fishy' Mysteries on Chesapeake
The Views Expressed Here Do Not Reflect Those of The Bay Net - 6/24/2006
Merrill death ruled suicide; Body found in water weighed down by an anchor; Merrill shot through head in a replay of 1978 "suicide" of CIA Deputy Director John Paisley.
The body of Maryland publisher Philip Merrill was discovered June 19 in the Chesapeake Bay near Poplar Island with a gunshot wound to the head and weighed down with an anchor
. Merrill's body was discovered 11 miles from where his boat was found the week prior. As with Paisley, investigators concluded Merrill committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun.Investigators ruled Merrill's death a suicide even before an autopsy was performed
, An experienced medical examiner told WMR that bodies found in the water rapidly lose toxicological and other critical evidence, including the presence of drugs in the bloodstream.
Wayne Madsen Report was the first to speculate that Merrill's death was more than an accident, as reported last week by the mainstream media.
WMR learned that while Merrill, a close friend of Vice President Dick Cheney and financial backer of a number of neo-conservative organizations, was the head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the bank made a number of dubious loans to the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq and a successor agency known as the Trade Bank of Iraq.
In November 2003, $500 million in credit was extended to the Trade Bank of Iraq by the US Export-Import Bank. Much of the money was used to facilitate U.S. "exports" to Iraq, which was actually used to pay major U.S. contractors operating in the occupied country. A 2005 audit report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction concluded that "the CPA did not establish or implement sufficient managerial, financial and contractual controls to ensure that funds were used in a transparent manner." The report stated that $8.8 billion allocated to the CPA was unaccounted for.The Chesapeake Bay is becoming to Washington, DC what the Jersey Pine Barrens were for the New York and Philly mobs -- a place where people simply disappear
. Merrill is the latest victim of the "Chesapeake Triangle".
Washington has experienced similar inexplicable losses in the Bay. On Sept. 26, 1978, retired CIA Deputy Director for Strategic Research John A. Paisley's
sailboat was found moored off Solomon's Island, south of where Merrill's boat was found.
Later, Paisley's body was found in the nearby Patuxent River, his submerged body tied to diving weights. Although Paisley was shot through the head, police ruled it a suicide. Paisley was involved with the electronic intercept programs of both the CIA and NSA and may have had important information on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that he was about to impart to the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
On April 28, 1996, former CIA Director William Colby
, who was cooperating with John DeCamp, a Republican State Senator in Nebraska and a former CIA colleague in Vietnam, in investigating a national pedophile ring said to involve George H. W. Bush and reported in The Washington Times, went missing at his home at Rock Point on Cobb Island in Charles County, southwest of where Paisley's boat was found. After Colby's canoe was found adrift, his body was later discovered on the shoreline of the bay. Colby, a veteran of CIA missions in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, was said to have lost his footing and drowned.
Local police never ruled out foul play in either the Paisley or Colby cases.
Now we have Merrill disappearing under similar circumstances. Merrill outwardly was connected to many neo-conservative organizations. He served on the advisory council of Frank Gaffney's ultra-neocon Center for Security Policy; the Defense Policy Board alongside such arch-neocons as Richard Perle, James Woolsey, and Ken Adelman; set up the neocon Center for Strategic Studies under his Defense Policy Board neocon colleague Eliot Cohen; and was appointed as the President of the U.S. Export-Import Bank by President George W. Bush and was sworn in by his friend Dick Cheney, who recommended him for the EX-IM Bank position. Merrill was also described in yesterday's Washington Post editorial as someone who took on "diplomatic and intelligence missions for the government over the years."
However, Merrill also was very much part of the traditional Washington foreign policy establishment, having served as Assistant Secretary General of NATO, a participant in Law of the Sea and disarmament conferences, philanthropist for the environmental Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the University of Maryland journalism college, and a trustee of the chic Aspen Institute. Merrill served intermittently as a Senior Intelligence Analyst for South Asia at the Department of State from 1961 to 1968.
WMR has learned from an informed source who knew Merrill for a number of years that while Merrill headed the EX-IM Bank from 2002 to 2005, the bank routed a significant amount of money to entities associated with the Russian-Ukrainian-Israeli mafia -- the shadowy network that his been linked to fugitive Marc Rich, his one-time lawyer "Scooter" Libby, Jack Abramoff, Adam Kidan, and various Russian oligarchs who are now exiled in Israel to avoid extradition for their various crimes.
The EX-IM Bank under Merrill's tenure also financed U.S. reconstruction projects in Coalition Provisional Authority-occupied Iraq, programs that resulted in the loss of billions of U.S. taxpayers' funds. Merrill had also supported using future Iraqi oil and natural gas revenues to finance Halliburton and Bechtel oil industry infrastructure projects in the occupied country
. In May 2003, Merrill told a congressional committee that the locking of Iraqi revenues for future U.S. projects had "real merit."http://www.exim.gov/pressrelease.cfm/B040D9A1-1032-5B0F-BAB1587C930C5E1F/December 4, 2002
CONTACT: Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200 PHILIP MERRILL SWORN IN AS PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF EX-IM BANK
Philip Merrill today was sworn in by Vice President Dick Cheney as president and chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). Merrill, a publisher and diplomat with broad experience in both the public and private sectors, was nominated to head Ex-Im Bank by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
"Phil Merrill has been a friend of mine for a long time," Cheney said
. "He has had a distinguished and successful business career as well as holding a number of vital assignments for the White House and Department of Defense. I know he will be a superb chairman of the Bank."
"Ex-Im Bank helps U.S. companies compete abroad by shouldering the commercial and political risks of financing their export sales to growing markets," Merrill said. "We are committed to helping U.S. businesses large and small sustain jobs by tapping these opportunities."
Before joining Ex-Im Bank, Merrill was chairman of the board of Capital-Gazette Communications, Inc., which publishes The Washingtonian magazine, The Annapolis Capital and four other Maryland newspapers.
From 1990 to 1992 he served in Brussels as Assistant Secretary-General of NATO. From 1983 to 1990 he served on the Department of Defense Policy Board, and from 1981 to 1983 he was counselor to the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. In 1988 the Secretary of Defense awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Service, the highest civilian honor given by the department.
Merrill has represented the United States in negotiations on the Law of the Sea Conference, the International Telecommunications Union, and various disarmament and exchange agreements with the former Soviet Union. He is a former special assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State and has worked in the White House on national security affairs. He has served in six previous administrations.Merrill has served as a trustee of the Aspen Institute
, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Johns Hopkins University, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. He was vice chairman of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and a U.S. Director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. He has served on the Department of Defense Policy Board and the Defense Business Board. Among other organizations, Merrill served on the University of Maryland Board of Visitors and on the boards of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Advanced Physics Laboratories. He has established the Capital Gazette Foundation and the Merrill Family Foundation. Merrill graduated from Cornell University
and the Harvard Business School's Program for Management Development. He and his wife Ellie have three children, Douglas, Cathy and Nancy.
Merrill will serve the remaining portion of the four-year term left vacant by the death earlier this year of John Robson
. The term expires January 20, 2005
Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to growth markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank supported approximately $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.