The War Conspiracy (Bobbs-Merrill, 1972) by Peter Dale Scott, Ph.D. of UC Berkeley is a book few Americans have seen. The compelling and meticulously documented history of the creation of the Vietnam War was rushed from bookstores and shelves almost as soon as it was published. Scott, author of Deep Politics and the Assassination of JFK, The Iran-Contra Connection and Cocaine Politics is an expert on the interface between covert operations and the international drug trade. In Chapter Six of The War Conspiracy, entitled "Opium, the China Lobby, and the CIA," Scott traces the connections between drug trafficking in Southeast Asia and American intelligence operations. There are detailed references to C.V. Starr and connections with some figures, like CIA veteran Paul Helliwell, who have been irrevocably and blatantly tied to the drug trade. Those connections also lead directly into the so-called "China Lobby" and firms identified as either CIA proprietaries or "affiliates" such as Sea Supply, Inc. (run by Helliwell), Civil Air Transport (CAT), a CIA proprietary, Civil Air Transport Co., Ltd. (CATCL) -- a separate firm not owned by but affiliated with the CIA through CAT-- and Air America, an evolution of Civil Air Transport. In 1957 the Airdale Corporation which owned 100 per cent of Air America changed its name to Pacific Corp. In 1976 CIA General Counsel Lawrence Houston testified before the Senate's Church Committee looking into intelligence abuses about CIA Air operations. When asked what the one single holding company, above all others, was at the top of CIA proprietary and contract air operations, he identified Pacific Corporation. According to published reports, Houston also testified that the CIA also had interests in investment and insurance companies.
Pacific Corp -- which one source has told me is currently insured by AIG -- and the CIA have, in the 1990s, been connected with the "laundering" of some 28 C-130 military transport aircraft into the hands of private, forest fire, air tanker contractors in the U.S. Subsequently, many of those C-130s turned up all over the world. Some were directly involved in drug trafficking and one in particular, operated by Aero-Postale de Mexico, was seized with a billion dollars in cocaine aboard in Mexico City in 1996. [See FTW, Vol I, No 10 - Dec, 1998]
A key figure in the post-war operations was lawyer Tommy Corcoran, a legendary "fixer" in the Roosevelt Administration, who went on to represent Nationalist Chinese financial interests after the Communists took power in 1949. Corcoran and Helliwell worked closely together in Asia. One of the critical and well-documented U.S. responses to the Communist takeover was to fund remnants of the Chinese Nationalist army -- who had fled into Burma, Thailand and Laos -- with opium. Much of that money, along with the drugs, found its way into the U.S. As noted by writers like the late Jonathan Kwitny of The Wall Street Journal in The Crimes of Patriots (Penguin, 1987) and by Professor Alfred McCoy of the University of Wisconsin in The Politics of Heroin (1972, 1991, Lawrence Hill Books), Helliwell paid the troops using five-pound "sticky" bars of heroin. Helliwell later went on to head Castle Bank and Trust in Florida and the Bahamas and then was heavily involved with The Nugan Hand Bank in Australia and the U.S. Both banks have been heavily linked in official investigations to both drug trafficking and money laundering while also moving money for the CIA.
In The War Conspiracy Scott writes:
"For it is a striking fact that the law firm of Tommy Corcoran, the Washington lawyer for CATCL and [China Lobbyist] T.V. Soong, had its own links to the interlocking worlds of the China Lobby and of organized crime. His partner W.S. Youngman joined the board of U.S. Life and other insurance companies, controlled by C.V. Starr (OSS China) with the help of Philippine and other Asian capital. Youngman's fellow-directors of Starr's companies have included John S. Woodbridge of Pan Am, Francis F. Randolph of J. and W. Seligman, W. Palmer Dixon of Loeb Rhoades, Charles Edison of the postwar China Lobby, and Alfred B. Jones of the Nationalist Chinese government's registered agency, the Universal Trading Corporation. The [Senate] McClellan Committee heard that in 1950 U.S. Life [later part of AIG] (with Edison as a director) and a much smaller company (Union Casualty of New York) were allotted a major Teamsters insurance contract, after a lower bid from a larger and safer company had been rejected, [Jimmy] Hoffa was accused by a fellow trustee, testifying under oath before another committee, of intervening on behalf of US Life and Union Casualty, whose agents were Hoffa's close business associates Paul and Allen Dorfman…
"We find the same network linking CIA proprietaries, war lobbies, and organized crime, when we turn our attention from CAT to the other identified supporter of opium activities, Sea Supply, Inc. Sea Supply, Inc. was organized in Miami, Florida, where its counsel, Paul E. Helliwell, doubled after 1951 as the counsel for C.V. Starr insurance interests, and also as the Thai consul in Miami..."
The historical connections to CIA covert or proprietary air operations are interesting in light of the fact that AIG proudly announces in its 2000 annual report that with 494 full-sized jets -- 89 of which it manages itself -- it owns "the world's most modern fleet of aircraft." AIG customers include major airlines and a number of air transport companies. AIG also reported that in 2000 it leased additional aircraft "to a number of established customers" in South America.
CIA proprietary ownership or interest in companies is very difficult to detect. But, it has been proven by writers like Scott and many other researchers who combed through the paperwork that surfaced during the Iran-Contra scandals of the 1980s, where Air America assets were laundered into companies like Southern Air Transport and Evergreen Air. The single largest stockholder in AIG, the Starr International Company (SICO), holds 13.62% of AIG stock. Aside from knowing that Maurice Greenberg owns 21.86% of SICO (source, SEC) we may never be able to find out who, or what, owns the rest.
They Even Put It In Writing
In September 1997 a group of business and labor executives* reviewed and made recommendations on the use of sanctions by the President of the United States to influence world events. One of those executives was Oackley Johnson of AIG. The group, called the Sanctions Working Group (SWG) of the Department of State's Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, having completed its review of the way the White House has imposed sanctions on foreign governments, completed a detailed report which was sent to the State Department by the Committee head, Michael Gadbaw of General Electric. The advisory panel called for massive revisions in the way sanctions were selected and imposed in foreign affairs to punish or induce foreign governments to behave the way the U.S. wants.
Approval of the recommendations was unanimous from the business community and opposition was unanimous and acerbic from organized labor representatives who sent their dissent separately to the State Department. The report, they said, cared about nothing but the financial interests of major U.S. Corporations.
As an Appendix to the report, which was found at http://www.usaengage.org/studies.html
, Footnote 4 following Tab 5 listed valid U.S. foreign policy objectives. It states: This report addresses sanctions undertaken pursuant to laws or regulations that authorize or mandate unilateral economic sanctions in order to achieve a foreign policy objective.
"The foreign policy objectives may include the transition to democracy, opposing terrorism or support of terrorist activities, sanctioning drug production and transit or trafficking, supporting human and worker rights and religious freedom, opposing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and protecting the environment."
The language "support of terrorist activities" is ambiguous. It could mean that the U.S. would punish those who support terrorist activities or that it might support terrorist activities itself. The drug trafficking language also catches the panel on the horns of a dilemma. As defined in the American Heritage dictionary, to sanction something means to "grant authoritative permission or approval." A secondary meaning means "to punish." In government documents and reports, especially those laying out or recommending policy, every word is reviewed dozens of times. Lawyers and decision makers sign off on every aspect. Drafts usually circulate for weeks before final approval. This language may mean exactly what it says. And if there is ambiguity then it must have been intended.
The whole purpose of From The Wilderness is to teach the world that it is a specific intent of Wall Street and the U.S. government to give authoritative permission and approval to the drug trade to ensure that drug profits -- the money -- comes back under the control of the people who sanctioned the trade to begin with. Is that what Coral Talavera is doing at AIG? I e-mailed Oackley Johnson at AIG and asked him to comment on the report. At press time he has not responded. I have also solicited (again) comment from AIG Corporate offices on the content of this story. Also no response. But I hope to have something from them for Part III in September.
AIG has also been connected, albeit indirectly, to a major money laundering case. As the insurance carrier for the Bank of New York (BoNY) they are defending BoNY in a suit filed this year by BoNY shareholders charging mismanagement of the bank. That suit arose from revelations (See FTW Vol II, No.7, 9/99) in the major media that BoNY had been involved in laundering between $7 and $10 billion in criminal money out of Russia during the 1990s under its Chairman, Thomas Renyi. A credible source has told me, but I have not been able to confirm it, that AIG also insures the U.S. Department of Justice which was charged with investigating BoNY and which decided not to file criminal charges in 1999.
Perhaps no one knows more about your life, not even your immediate family, than the various companies who insure you. Your health, finances, work history, medical records, driving habits and almost every other aspect of your life is recorded in insurance files and records. Is this necessarily something you want available to the CIA or any part of the government? Remember that the CIA doesn't operate under the law or respect privacy. What happens then when a giant like AIG winds up insuring parts of the government or major businesses that violate your rights or break the law?
- Members of the Sanctions Working Group of the State Department's Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy: -- Mark Anderson, AFL-CIO * Harvey Bale, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Assoc. * Steven Beckman, United Auto Workers * Seddik Belyamani, Boeing * Fred Bergsten, Institute for International Economics * Thomas Block, Chase Manhattan Bank * Carol Brookins, World Perspectives * Anthony Corso, Mobil *Greg Farmer, Northern Telecom * Isaiah Frank, Johns Hopkins (SAIS) * Don Fuqua, Aerospace Industries Association * R. Michael Gadbaw, General Electric * R. Harkin, United Technologies * Robert Hormats, Goldman, Sachs International * Nancie Johnson, DuPont * Oackley Johnson, AIG * Robert Johnson, Phelps Dodge & Morenci * Dale Jones, Halliburton * Robert Kapp, US-China Business Council * Frank Kittredge, National Foreign Trade Council * Mary Lou Lackey, Motorola * T. Lee, AFL-CIO *Charles Levy - Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering *Clement Malin, Texaco * Rebecca Mark, Enron Development *Joel Messing, Cigna *Robert Niemeth, Pfizer * G. Staley, Toys R Us * Roger Swanson, US-Japan Business Council * Sandra Taylor, Eastman Kodak * Robert Vastine, Coalition of Service Industries * Alan Wolff, Dewey Ballantine *
AIG has the largest market capitalization (total value of all shares) of any insurance or financial services organization on the NYSE -- $198.4 billion in 2000. It has operations in 130 countries.
Ranked #7 on Forbes Super 100 list of companies. After GE, Citigroup, BankAmerica, Exxon, IBM and Ford.
The largest U.S. underwriter of commercial and industrial insurance.
Operates AIG Financial Services Group, which sells investments, international asset management and "advisory" services.
The largest seller of retirement annuities in the U.S. through its acquisitions of SunAmerica and American General in 1999 and 2001 respectively.
AIG is licensed to operate banks in three countries, including the US (1999) and also issues credit cards.
Originally formed as the Asia Life/C. V. Starr Companies in the 1930s by founder Cornelius Starr who served with the OSS during World War II. The Starr corporation shared the same office building as OSS headquarters in New York, and functioned as an intelligence conduit on shipping, manufacturing and industrial bombing targets in Asia and Germany throughout WW II. [The Los Angeles Times, Sept. 22, 2000]
Early business centered primarily in China and Asia. Starr interests centered in Asia and Panama.
1951 - Changed name to American Life Insurance Company (ALICO).
Acquired major U.S. insurance companies in the 1950s and 60s.
1967 - Incorporated as American International Group (AIG).
1969 - First public offering.
First western insurance company to create joint ventures with Hungary, Poland and Romania in the 1960s.
In 1980 established joint venture with the People's Insurance Company of China.
First insurance company licensed to do business on its own in Japan (1952), Mainland China (1990), and Vietnam (2000).
Member and staunch supporter of the World Trade Organization. During 1997 WTO negotiations, AIG collaborated directly with Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin to negotiate Asian financial, investment and trade agreements covering 102 countries, which one report described as bullying and marked by "messages back and forth from Geneva to Washington, and… reports, between the US Treasury and American International Group." [Third World Economics, No. 175, 16-31, 12/97].
During the 1990s involved with U.S. investment in Russia (overseen by Goldman Sachs and The Harvard Endowment) through Brunswick Brokerage. Secured a $300 million OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) guarantee for a Russian investment fund. [Paul Likoudis, Editor, The Wanderer.]
AIG has "joint venture" interests in Latin America through ZonaFinanciera with Citibank which in May 2001 purchased Mexico's Banamex and will be placing reported drug money launderer and trafficker Roberto Hernandez on its board of directors.
AIG insures more than half of the major US airports.
The world's "market leader" in leasing and remarketing of advanced technology commercial jet aircraft - "the most modern fleet of aircraft in the world. " With 2000 revenues of $2.44 billion AIG owns a fleet of 494 jets, 89 of which it "manages" itself. Clients include airlines in U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America where, in 2000, it leased, "additional aircraft to a number of established customers."
Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, 75 -- Chairman and CEO of American International Group (AIG)
WWII, Served with US Army Signal Corps and Army Rangers
LL.B., New York Law School, 1950
Korean War, Investigated reported massacres at POW camps run by UN/US personnel
Elected AIG President in 1962, CEO in 1967 and Chairman in 1989.
Former Chairman and Director of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
Forbes 111th richest man in the world (More than $4 billion net worth)
Vice Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations
Vice Chairman, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Member, Board of Directors, New York Stock Exchange
Member, Trilateral Commission
Member, The Bilderberger Group
Chairman, The Nixon Center
Chairman, U.S.-China Business Council
Chairman, The Starr Foundation
Accompanied President George Bush on his trade mission to China in 1992
Major contributor to The Heritage Foundation
Name floated by Senator Arlen Specter to become CIA director in 1995 (Reported in U.S. News and World Report - 2/20/95)
AIG Board's Board of Directors as Reported to the SEC
M. BERNARD AIDINOFF -- SENIOR COUNSEL, SULLIVAN & CROMWELL (Attorneys). Director since 1984 -- Age 72. [NOTE: Sullivan and Cromwell is the legal firm that was home to Eisenhower Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen Dulles, who was a key OSS leader during WWII and who served as CIA Director under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.]
ELI BROAD -- CHAIRMAN, SUNAMERICA INC (a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIG). Director since 1999 -- Age 67.
PEI-YUAN CHIA -- RETIRED VICE CHAIRMAN, CITICORP AND CITIBANK, N.A. Director since 1996 -- Age 62.
MARSHALL A. COHEN -- COUNSEL, CASSELS BROCK & BLACKWELL (Barristers and Solicitors); FORMER PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, THE MOLSON COMPANIES LIMITED. Director since 1992 -- Age 66.
BARBER B. CONABLE, JR. -- RETIRED; FORMER PRESIDENT, WORLD BANK, AND FORMER MEMBER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Director since 1991 -- Age 78.
MARTIN S. FELDSTEIN -- PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, HARVARD UNIVERSITY; PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH (Nonprofit Economic Research Center), Director HCA and TRW. Director since 1987 -- Age 61.
ELLEN V. FUTTER -- PRESIDENT, AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Consolidated Edison, Inc. (also serves as Trustee of Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.), J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Director since 1999 -- Age 51.
MAURICE R. GREENBERG -- CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AIG, Director, Transatlantic Holdings, Inc. ('Transatlantic'), which is owned 60.0 percent by AIG. Also serves as Chairman of Transatlantic, a director, President and Chief Executive Officer of C.V. Starr & Co., Inc. ('Starr'), and a director of Starr International Company, Inc. ('SICO') and International Lease Finance Corporation ('ILFC'); Starr and SICO are private holding companies (see 'Ownership of Certain Securities'); ILFC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIG. Director since 1967 -- Age 75.
CARLA A. HILLS -- CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HILLS & COMPANY; FORMER UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE. (Hills & Company provides international investment, trade and risk advisory services). Director, AOL Time Warner Inc., Chevron Corporation, Lucent Technologies Inc. Director since 1993 -- Age 67.
FRANK J. HOENEMEYER -- FINANCIAL CONSULTANT; RETIRED VICE CHAIRMAN, PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA. Director, Carey Fiduciary Advisors, Inc. Cincinnati, Inc. Director since 1985 -- Age 81.
RICHARD C. HOLBROOKE -- FORMER UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS; FORMER VICE CHAIRMAN, CREDIT SUISSE, FIRST BOSTON. Elected February 7, 2001 -- Age 59.
EDWARD E. MATTHEWS -- VICE CHAIRMAN -- INVESTMENTS AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, AIG. Director, Transatlantic. Also serves as a director of Starr, SICO and ILFC, -- Director since 1973 -- Age 69.
HOWARD I. SMITH -- EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, AIG. Director, Transatlantic, 21st Century Insurance Group ('21st Century'), which is owned 62.8 percent by AIG. Also serves as a director of Starr, SICO and ILFC -- Director since 1997 -- Age 56.
THOMAS R. TIZZIO -- SENIOR VICE CHAIRMAN -- GENERAL INSURANCE, AIG. Director, Transatlantic. Also serves as a director of Starr and SICO. -- Director since 1986 -- Age 63.
EDMUND S.W. TSE -- VICE CHAIRMAN -- LIFE INSURANCE, AIG. Also serves as a director of Starr and SICO. -- Director since 1996 -- Age 63.
JAY S. WINTROB -- PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SUNAMERICA. Director, Anchor National Life Insurance Company and First SunAmerica Life Insurance Company, wholly-owned subsidiaries of AIG. Also serves as a director of Starr and SICO -- Director since 1999 -- Age 44.
FRANK G. WISNER -- VICE CHAIRMAN -- EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, AIG. Director, EOG Resources, Inc. -- Director since 1997 -- Age 62. [NOTE: Wisner is the son of former CIA deputy Director, Frank Wisner, Sr. who was present at the creation of the CIA. As head of the Office of Policy Coordination, the forerunner of the CIA's Directorate of Operations. Wisner, Sr. once boasted, "I can play the media like a mighty Wurlitzer." In a 35 year career with the State department, Wisner, Jr. served as U.S. Ambassador to India, the Philippines, Egypt and Zambia.]
FRANK G. ZARB -- CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SECURITIES DEALERS, INC. AND THE NASDAQ STOCK MARKET, INC. -- Elected February 7, 2001 -- Age 66
AIG is a client of Henry Kissinger and Associates. Kissinger is the Chairman of AIG's International Advisory Board.
[© Copyright 2001, Michael C. Ruppert and From the Wilderness Publications. All Rights Reserved. May not be reprinted or redistributed without the express permission of the author ]