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The corporate carve up of the world

What is a coup? - Asset stripping!

The corrupted Leadership

1. Set up a bank account for your chosen military dictator

2. Encourage embezzlement of Public funds via private enterpise, set up offshore tax haven no.1. Ensure your leadership get toys to play with. Villas, Fast cars, Boats. Preferably get them involved in Drug, Diamond racketeering...people trafficking, child prostitution [you could use the UN for this] - this will provide a useful bribery base

3. watch as the country becomes a Hot spot as the Government install your corporate assets to privatise Economic resources and the poor become enslaved / disenfranchised...

4. Set-up a coup via Private 'defense services' in the name of democracy, Clean out top political structure, leave in place corporate resource bribery mechanism

5. Empty dictators bank account into alternative offshore Tax-Haven no.2

6. Replace leadership and start process all over again!

If your leader will not play ball -

1. Use think tanks and Hired PR to assert leaders dictatorial qualities / anti-free-market policies

2. Go to UN - Impose sanctions, Make poor poorer: create tension.

3. Train and Arm rebel forces, preferably local to invoke resistance, using poor areas as cover/base

4. Wait for civil war - announce genocide.

5. Go to UN , or not!

6. send in Peacekeeping force, while special ops do the dirty work

7. Set up corrupted leadership [see left!]

God fearing military dictators - Strange parallels

"God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them." Bush quoted by Haaretz

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo last year proclaimed himself in permanent contact with the Almighty in a state radio broadcast in which one of his aides said:

He can decide who to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to Hell because it is God himself with whom he is in permanent contact and who gives him his strength. - Sunday herald

He [Bush] pledged to Africans, "You are not alone. America has decided to act."

"I believe God has called us into action. Our country has got a responsibility, we are a great nation, we are a wealthy nation, we have a responsibility to help a neighbour in need, a brother and sister in crisis." - news 24

Africas 1st World War

The Congo has received little attention, despite the fact that it is in the throes of one of the most devastating and brutal conflicts of all time. In the last five years of the war there, it is estimated that more than three million people have died. The conflict has been called Africa's First World War because it has involved the national armies of seven African countries. They are all interested in the gold, diamonds, oil, timber and other vast natural resources of the Congo.

The name World War is apt, because it is not only African nations that are involved.

Just yesterday, human rights groups and opposition politicians in Britain accused the British government of blatant hypocrisy yesterday for allowing arms sales worth millions of dollars to central African nations embroiled in the Congo war. British companies sold shotguns, pistols, helmets and body armour to Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Zimbabwe between 1999 and 2001. (Only last week, the British government claimed that careful checks were made on arms exports to central Africa to ensure they could not make their way to the Congo.)

And then there are the Congos vast natural resources, including diamonds, gold and oil.

corporate carve up of Iraq + Africas 1st world war and the corporate diamond / gold scam

There was always a place in Barricks heart for the older Bush and a place on its payroll.

In 1995, Barrick hired the former president as Honorary Senior Advisor to the Toronto companys International Advisory Board. Bush joined at the suggestion of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, who, like Bush, had been ignominiously booted from office. I was a bit surprised that the president had signed on. When Bush was voted out of the White House, he vowed never to lobby or join a corporate board. The chairman of Barrick openly boasts that granting the title Senior Advisor was a sly maneuver to help Bush tiptoe around this promise.


Though Barrick struck out in Indonesia and the Congo, the big payoff came from the other side of the continent. The companys president bragged to shareholders that the prestige of the Mulroney-Bush advisory board was instrumental in obtaining one of the biggest goldfields in East Africa at Bulyanhulu, Tanzania. Barrick, according to its president, had hungered for that concessionholding an estimated $3 billion in bullionsince the mid-1990s, when it first developed its contacts with managers at Sutton Resources, another Canadian company, which held digging rights from the government. (See footnote 1.) Enriched by the Nevada venture, Barrick could, and eventually would, buy up Sutton. But in 1996, there was a problem with any takeover of Sutton: Tens of thousands of small-time prospectors, jewelry miners, so called because of their minuscule finds, already lived and worked on the land. These poor African diggers held legal claim stakes to their tiny mine shafts on the property. If they stayed, the concession was worthless.

In August 1996, Suttons bulldozers, backed by military police firing weapons, rolled across the goldfield, smashing down worker housing, crushing their mining equipment and filling in their pits. Several thousand miners and their families were chased off the property. But not all of them. About fifty miners were still in their mine shafts, buried alive.
'Poppy strikes gold' - Greg Palast

Barrick continue in South America

Barrick Gold, a powerful multinational already notorious for its dealings in North America, Australia and Africa, plans to extract an estimated 500,000 kilograms of gold (along with silver, copper and mercury) from the site over a 20 year period. Before doing so, however, the company will relocate significant parts of the Toro 1, Toro 2 and Esperanza, three giant Andean glaciers. Barrick hopes to transfer the three glaciers to an area with similar surface characteristics and elevation by merging the three into the larger Guanaco glacier.

The anticipated environmental impact, coupled with the removal of a major source of water for surrounding communities, has local Chileans up in arms. But Barrick Gold appears un-phased by the opposition. After all, Pascua Lama is one of the largest foreign investments in Chile in recent years, totaling US$1.5 billion.

As with many gold mines, the Pasuca Lama mine would employ cyanide leaching for on-site processing of the ore. Cyanide is a chemical compound which, even in very small quantities, is extremely toxic to humans and other life forms. If leaked from a mine site or spilt during transportation, it can quickly cause massive toxicity problems for an entire ecosystem, while mobilizing other persistent and toxic heavy metals, as well. - Barrick Gold Strikes Opposition in South America

One of Africa's poorest countries, Equatorial Guinea

which consists of a sliver of the West African coast and several islands in the Gulf of Guinea, was long considered one of the continent's most impoverished and miserable backwaters. Indeed, in 1995, the United States closed down its embassy in Malabo, the capital, as a cost-saving measure. Just a few weeks later, extensive exploration by oil companies confirmed the discovery of major oil and gas deposits under "EG's" territorial waters. Overnight, the country became ground zero for the great West African oil rush. U.S. companies, led by ExxonMobil, Tirton Energy, Samedan Oil, CMS Energy, and Vanco have already invested well over five billion dollars, some of it underwritten by U.S. government agencies, into oil and gas production which could, according to some estimates soon eclipse that of long-time regional oil exporters, including Congo, Cameroon, and possibly even Gabon, with which the country an outstanding border dispute. African Oil Giant Foils Alleged Coup

Col. Tim Spicer, Simon Mann [ex-SAS], General Pinochet, Thatcher,
Riggs Bank, BushCO. Blair, MI6, Saudi oil - The Queen of England...

Western tensions over the safety of corporate assets in the Middle East -- particularly in Saudi Arabia -- have ratcheted higher during the past month amid a stream of government security warnings and several deadly attacks and militant shootouts. Though the concerns and the level of violence within Saudi Arabia are hardly unprecedented, the credibility of alerts issued by the United States and other Western governments is on the rise.
Strategic forecast

"An announcement in Reuters on October 8th that Russia may soon price its oil in Euros explains the additional incentive for American companies to own a piece of the Russian pie. Such a move would drastically weaken the dollar. And while US taxpayers would suffer under a staggering debt burden as a result, Exxon would reap major new profits as the Euro surged in value; further proof that corporations, not nations, rule the world."

Beyond bush II Mike C Ruppert- from the wilderness.com

Hakluyt & Company Ltd = MI6

"For years, activist groups in Europe thought that Manfred Schlickenrieder was a leftist sympathizer and filmmaker. He traveled around Europe, interviewing a broad spectrum of activists, and even produced a documentary video, titled Business As Usual: The Arrogance of Power, about human rights groups and environmentalists campaigning against the Shell oil company.

In reality, Schlickenrieder was a spy, and Shell was one of his clients. His film and his activist pretensions were merely cover designed to win the confidence of activists so that he could infiltrate their organizations and collect "inside information" about their goals and activities.

Schlickenrieder's cover was blown when the Swiss action group Revolutionaire Aufbau began to distrust him. Its investigation uncovered a large pile of documents, many of which were put online at the beginning of 2000 (www.aufbau.org).These documents proved that Schlickenrieder was on the payroll of Hakluyt & Company Ltd., a London-based "business intelligence bureau" linked closely to MI6, the British foreign intelligence service. In addition to spying on behalf of multinational corporations, the documents also indicate strongly that Schlickenrieder was working simultaneously for more than one German state intelligence service."
Big Brother Incorporated

Mark Heathcote, [former?] MI6

"One of [Defence Systems Limited] biggest contracts is with Mark Heathcote, a former MI6 (British equivalent of the Central Intelligence Agency) officer who ran operations in Argentina during the Falklands War, who is now the chief of security for British Petroleum (BP).

Heathcote hired DSL to provide protection from Marxist rebels, who have repeatedly dynamited Colombia's oil pipelines. In 1996, DSL sent a group of British trainers to secretly train Colombian police on BP rigs in lethal-weapons handling, sniper fire and close-quarter combat.

An internal DSL fax dated October 1996 announced: "The effects of the training team are noticed in a positive manner." Another DSL fax states: 'The police morale is high and they have expressed their enjoyment of the training they have received. Good job to whoever was involved."
Guarding the Multinationals by Pratap Chatterjee

Like their colleagues in PNG, these men were not your average businessmen or tourists. All were former members of the Special Air Services, better known as the SAS, an elite British fighting force. Several had participated in covert assassination operations against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in the 1980s.

These men are part of a growing number of slick new corporate security operations around the world linking former intelligence officers, standing armies, and death squad veterans. In unholy alliance, they go into battle for new bosses: the mineral industries, which range from multinational corporations to small oil and mining entrepreneurs. Elizabeth Rubin, a contributing editor of Harper's magazine, summed up this new phenomenon of armies for hire, recently in a radio interview: "It's not just a military machine. Behind it is the old colonial structure, only now it's dressed up in a sort of multinational corporation, with suits and Sat phones instead of Jeeps and parasols." Militarization of Mining

flashback: The sandline affair

Forget the mercenaries, forget the Nigerians. All the indications point to a classic British/American job in Sierra Leone. But while Foreign Secretary Robin Cook denies "official" involvement, his boss the Prime Minister Tony Blair says "we did a great deal to bring about ? {it was a} superb job. So, who really did what in Sierra Leone? Baffour Ankomah takes us through A-Z of a very embarrassing affair.

What Prime Minister Tony Blair calls an "over-blown hoohah" over Sierra Leone started when lawyers acting for Sandline International {variously described as a "mercenary group" and "military consultants"} issued a letter on early May {1998} challenging a criminal investigation launched by the British Customs & Excise into Sandline's shipment of arms to Sierra Leone.

Sandline, based in London's affluent suburb of Chelsea, is headed by Lt. Col. Tim Spicer, 45, a former officer of the UK's elite commando group, the Special Air Service {SAS. Spicer was recruited in 1996 to head Sandline by his boss Tony Buckingham, 46, also a former officer of the SAS's sister commando group, the Special Boat Service {SBS}.

Buckingham is involved in secretive network for companies including Sandline from the same officer at 535 King's Road, Chelsea. Some of the companies in his growing empire are Executive Outcomes, Heritage Oil & Gas, Branch Energy and Diamond works {which has a diamond concession in Sierra Lone}.

Sandline was particularly aggrieved to find itself under "criminal investigation" by Customs & Excise for a job, which according to the company was done of behalf of "Her Majesty's Government" or so, Tom Spicer insists, he was made to understand by "officials" of the foreign Office in London.

'The Good Guys' Won. "If we believe our actions have the blessing of the government, as represented by officials, it's pretty galling then to be investigated as part of a criminal investigation, "Spicer told a press conference in London. "I did the right thing for the right guy, and with approval but I don't have it in writing." -source

Sandlines statement on their closure:

On 16 April 2004 Sandline International announced the closure of the company's operations.

The general lack of governmental support for Private Military Companies willing to help end armed conflicts in places like Africa, in the absence of effective international intervention, is the reason for this decision. Without such support the ability of Sandline to make a positive difference in countries where there is widespread brutality and genocidal behaviour is materially diminished. - source

Somehow this altruism doesn't seem to convince!

The romanticized mercenary:

"It is a story with implausible characters and plot twists. There is the alleged cannibal dictator, his playboy son and scheming relatives. There is the offshore oil waiting to make millionaires out of those audacious or desperate enough to seize it. There is the exiled politician and the Chelsea plutocrat. There is the planeload of mercenaries stopping in Harare to pick up weapons. And, at the heart of it all, there is Simon Mann. How the plot went awry and landed this unusual Englishman in manacles may come to be judged as the end of an era of white buccaneers who thought they ruled Africa."
Soldier of Fortune

Reality shift : Corporate stormtroopers:

"Occupation authorities in Iraq have awarded a $293 million contract effectively creating the world's largest private army to a company headed by Lieutenant Colonel Tim Spicer, a former officer with the Scots Guard, an elite regiment of the British military, who has been investigated for illegally smuggling arms and planning military offensives to support mining, oil, and gas operations around the world. On May 25, the Army Transportation command awarded Spicer's company, Aegis Defense Services, the contract to coordinate all the security for Iraqi reconstruction projects."
Controversial Commando Wins Iraq Contract

Corporate Spin - Defense assistance? sounds cozy...

Col. Tim Spicer

Upon leaving the army in 1995, Spicer went into the private military workplace, first CEO of Sandline International which he left in 2000; then on his own with Crisis and Risk Management Ltd. which became Strategic Counseling International which later became Trident Maritime.

He immediately ran into trouble for incorrectly registering the shareholdings and directorships because he had his publicist Sara Pearson, of PR company The Spa Way, register the company at her offices address.

She helped Spicer's image, which had been badly tarnished by his own doings, with the release of a book, An Unorthodox Soldier. The book has been criticized by opponents for being grossly inaccurate on some key issues. - disinfopedia

The faceless colonel who doesn't murder for money

Too obvious, even for the Americans...!

Aegis is currently being investigated by the Coalition Provisional Authority's Inspector General.

On August 11, 2004, Congressman Marty Meehan (D-MA) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in regards to Aegis' contract with the Pentagon and specifically Tim Spicer's history. Meehan is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Congressional Friends of the Irish National Caucus.

In his letter, Meehan expresses "serious concerns" about the contract due to the history of its founder and CEO. Spicer's defense of two Scot Guards who shot to death an unarmed Catholic teenager in Belfast, despite evidence and two convictions "for the 1992 murder" to the contrary, continues to this day. He also cites Spicer's illegal arms trade to Sierra Leone and involvement "in brutally suppressing a rebellion in Papua New Guinea."

Because Spicer "has been implicated in numerous human rights abuses and violations of international law", as a member of the CFINC, Meehan is "deeply concerned" this contract "sends a troubling message to the people of Northern Ireland and Irish Americans alike that the United States does not uphold its commitments to internationally recognized human rights." Meehan ends by respectfully urging Defense Secretary Rumsfeld to "reopen the contract for competition." - Disinfopedia

Aegis Defence Services Ltd is a UK-registered risk assessment, security and defence assistance company. Our core purpose is to increase the business effectiveness of clients by ensuring that they neither underestimate nor exaggerate the risks to their operations, investments and assets. We do this by:

Identifying and analysing threats to clients? interests worldwide
Explaining clearly the nature of those threats, with a strong practical focus
Advising on risk mitigation strategies
Implementing and reviewing security measures as required

Aegis has four divisions, focusing on risk analysis through Research and Intelligence; risk mitigation through Strategic Protective Security; Maritime Security; and Defence Assistance. We have a global reach, and work for clients in many sectors including insurance and reinsurance, telecommunications, media, shipping and logistics, oil & gas, investment banking and fund management. We also provide consultancy services to selected government bodies and international institutions in Europe, the Middle East, Far East and the Americas.

We work to the highest standards of integrity and legal compliance, while also observing the strictest client confidentiality. The company is managed by a board of directors who are also shareholders.

They are Lt-Col Tim Spicer OBE (Chairman and CEO), Mark Bullough (COO), Jeffrey Day (CFO) and Dominic Armstrong (MD, Aegis Research and Intelligence).

Our activities are overseen by an Advisory Council whose members are:

General Sir Roger Wheeler GCB CBE, former Chief of the UK General Staff Sir John Birch KCVO CMG, former UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations - homepage

Tony Blairs Pet Bulldog

William Bowles

Tim Spicer - is an ex-soldier from the Scots Guards, an elite unit of the British Army, a veteran of Northern Ireland (where he got his OBE) and the Falklands, and he also served in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s. Spicer's (defunct) company, Sandline International took over from Executive Outcomes (EO) which was disbanded after South Africa made it illegal for South African nationals to engage in mercenary activities.

Spicer has close connections to the government of Tony Blair who hired Spicer's Sandline to illegally supply weapons to restore the Kabbah government in Sierra Leone.

The successor to Spicer's Sandline is Aegis Defence Services and just awarded a $239 million contract by the US DoD to supply “75 close protection bodyguard teams to coalition and Iraqi officials” as well as “co-ordinate intelligence gathering for other private security firms in Iraq, including the multi-billion dollar US Dyncorp” [1], it became clear that there is much, much more to Colonel Tim than meets the eye.

Could this connection have something to do with Aegis Defence Services winning the DoD contract (more payback for supporting Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq)? [2]

The contract has been contested by Dyncorp and there are currently three separate US government investigations into the awarding of the contract to Aegis.

Aegis, formed less than two years ago, is small potatoes by PMC standards, In fact in 2003, the company made a loss of £378,000. Investors in Aegis include Frederick Forsyth, author of “The Dogs of War”. [3]

Aegis is also bidding on a 12-month contract offered by the British government's Department of International Development (DFID) to “provide intelligence and security advice” to the government of Sierra Leone. An irony considering Spicer's prior involvement with Sierra Leone when his company broke a UN embargo on arms to Sierra Leone on behalf of Tony Blair's government. [4]

“It's The Wild West”

    “The United States government, the American army, and the private security or intelligence companies are today completely interdependent,” says a European expert. “And, from a military point of view, this is on the increase. Just one example: after the attacks on the Blackwater convoys in Fallujah and Baghdad, the Pentagon proposed providing to the coordinating agency, PMO – Program Management Office – and so today to Spicer, air support for all the private companies officially registered with the PMO. The program's code name is 'Quarterback.' It's incredible. It's the Wild West. Apache helicopters and ground attack fighters are going to henceforth be able to “clear” the roads for private companies.”” (Correspondent)[5]

It's estimated that there are at least 20,000 mercenaries operating in Iraq (some put it as high as 30,000), earning between five and twenty times as much as their state-employed 'comrades-in-arms' [6].

So why all the fuss over PMCs? After all, there was a time when most wars were conducted by mercenaries until the time of large-scale state-enforced conscription at the beginning of the 20th century when mechanised warfare demanded millions of young men to fight and die for capital.

What started out as a fairly 'straightforward' investigation of Aegis Defence Services, a small PMC with connections, tailspinned into a global spider's web of corporate and government connections that (so far) spans countries from South/North America, Africa, the Middle and Far East, with a multitude of players including government leaders from Burma to Uganda with stopovers in South Africa, DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique, Angola, then on to Venezuela, Guyana, Colombia and the United States.

This article can only scratch the surface of the intricacies of the global network of mercenary armies and the connected oil, gas, precious metal mining companies as well as the lucrative arms trading that the companies named here are or have been involved in. (See the Center for Public Integrity links below.)

Various and sundry companies owned by a host of connected players as far apart as Canada, Burma and Uganda, with one company leading to another via 'fronts', shared directors and shareholders, cross-ownership, tax shelters, in a word, all the devices of corporate capitalism designed to obscure who really owns (and hence is responsible for) what.

In addition, one of the hidden players, 'Toxic' Bob Friedland, a power behind the throne of Tony Buckingham's Heritage Oil & Gas, and also a sidekick of Colonel Tim Spicer, has left a trail toxic waste behind him as he dug his way across Burma, the United States, Canada and Venezuela in search of gold. A search that thus far has left cleanup costs (not his to pay) of hundreds of millions of dollars of the cyanide and heavy metal-polluted landscapes.[7]

The sordid doings of these 'Soldiers of Misfortune' is therefore, not restricted to doing the dirty work of imperialism, but leads them wherever they see a fast buck to be made. This is the side of PMCs that the media doesn't report on when it reports the glib comments of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw when he talks of engaging the “reputable private military sector”.

Executive Outcomes
The starting point is Executive Outcomes (EO) (now defunct but not before morphing into Sandline International and then ending up as Aegis Defence Services, with a few stopovers inbetween). EO was one of the first of the Private Military Contractors, set up around 1989, after it became clear that Apartheid South Africa was all washed up. The man credited with creating EO is Eeban Barlow. In addition to Barlow, the other major players in EO/Sandline were Simon Mann (currently languishing in a Zimbabwean jail having been arrested for participating in an alleged coup in Equatorial Guinea in exchange for oil concessions after the coup was over[8]), Tim Spicer, Michael Grunberg, Tony Buckingham and Nic van der Berg, who later took over from Barlow as head of EO. The military network was controlled by shadowy holding companies, called Plaza 107 in the UK (controlled by Grunberg) and the Strategic Resources Corporation in South Africa. [9]

    “EO was registered in the UK in September 1993 by Simon Mann, a former troop commander in 22 SAS specializing in intelligence and South African director of Ibis Air, and Tony Buckingham, an SAS veteran and chief executive of Heritage Oil and Gas. The Heritage Oil and Gas board of directors includes former Liberal Party leader David Steel, and Andrew Gifford of GJW Government Relations, an influential parliamentary lobbyist. The company, originally British, now registered in the Bahamas, is associated with a Canadian oil corporation, Ranger Oil. Both companies had drilling interests in Angola, a country that since the mid 1970s was torn by civil war between the Marxist MPLA government and UNITA rebels who were covertly assisted by the South African special forces.

    “Most of EO's approximately one thousand soldiers (70 per cent of whom are black) are veterans of South Africa's four elite apartheid-era counterinsurgency special forces: 32 'Buffalo' Battalion; the Reconnaissance Commandos ('Reccies'); the Parachute Brigade ('Parabats'); and the paramilitary 'Koevoet' ('Crowbar'). Their assignment was the destabilization of the apartheid regime's southern African enemies.

    “The 32 Battalion, comprised mainly of Portuguese-speaking Angolans, became South Africa's most highly decorated combat unit since the Second World War. Eeben Barlow, the director of EO until July this year, was second-in-command of the 32 Battalion. He chose the paladin, the chessboard knight once featured in the old television series Have Gun, Will Travel, as the company logo when he set up EO in 1989.” [10]

EO's first known major operation was Angola in 1993 where it traded on its 32 Battalion experience defending oil drilling sites and ironically being hired by the Angolan government to fight UNITA, the force Barlow had been working with to destroy the MPLA government during the Apartheid era. In reality, the oil drilling site it recovered from UNITA in Angola at Soyo, was in fact owned by Heritage Oil (which in turn has shares owned by Toxic Bob Friedland's Branch Energy) and at the time, EO was also part-owned by Branch Energy. Heritage Oil has operations in Angola, Congo-Brazaville, DR Congo, Oman, and Uganda. Executive Outcomes was involved in Sierra Leone, Angola, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Canada.[11]

    “Angola seems to be where EO head Barlow met former SAS officer [Tony] Buckingham, now believed to have ultimate control over EO and the complex web of some 80 companies involved in businesses ranging from landmine removal to water purification. Buckingham was representing Heritage Oil at the time of their meeting and had requested that Barlow recruit soldiers to recapture Heritage's assets in Soyo that had been taken by UNITA during the renewed conflict of the Second Civil War. The success of EO's special forces operation in Soyo had inspired the Angolan government to hire EO to direct frontline operations against UNITA.

    “Payments for EO's services were made substantially in partial ownership in Branch Energy, were then transferred through a subsidiary, Carson Gold, and were finally exchanged for shares in DiamondWorks. Capture of vital diamond mining territory was part of the subtext of EO's operations in Angola.” [12]

Also involved in EO's Angolan 'adventures' was Simon Mann, an ex-Royal Scots Guards officer and troop commander with the 'elite' British Special Air Services (SAS). Mann, together with Tony Buckingham, another prominent player in the private army business, awarded Eeben Barlow, the founder of EO, his first contract in Angola.

Led by Lafras Luitingh, a former 5 Reconnaissance Regiment officer, and like Barlow, also an ex-Civil Cooperation Bureau operative, less than 100 EO fighters seized the town in three months and handed it back to the Angolan government. They got huge rewards, including a US$30 million mining contract.

Eeban Barlow
Barlow, joined the SADF in 1974 and went to become a commander of South Africa's notorious 32 Battalion's Reconnaissance (Recce) Wing where he 'assisted' the anti-MPLA UNITA, (the Union for the Total Independence of Angola) guerrilla army. Later, Barlow went on to become a high-ranking employee of the South African Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB) formed in the last years of the Apartheid regime. Barlow it seems, was based in London during the 1980s and it was his job to disseminate disinformation about the ANC but one can speculate on what other activities he and the other CCB operatives got up to whilst stationed in Europe including their involvement in the assassination of the ANC representative in France, Dulcie September in 1987. The CCB was definately involved in assassinations elsewhere, including the assassination of Anton Lubowski, a leading member of Namibia's SWAPO (South West African Peoples' Organisation) in 1989. The manufacture and distribution of drugs, involvement with the so-called Third Force, utilised to destabilise South Africa during the pre-1994 election period. Dr Wouter Basson (so-called Dr. Death) was also part of the CCB operation and behind a CBW programme code-named Project Coast. [13]

The activities of EO, the clients it served, and the global transnational corporate elite that included the DeBeers diamond cartel, Texaco and Gulf-Chevron reveals the role of mercenary groups like EO, especially in Africa. Much of its income came from 'doing deals', that is, getting lucrative mining concessions as payment for providing protection or overthrowing governments that 'got in the way' of doing business such as those conducted in Sierra Leone, Angola and DR Congo. And here the connections between EO and companies such as Diamondworks, becomes important, for the close association between EO and the diamond and gold concessions reveals that EO not only got paid cash for supplying mercenary forces but also obtained lucrative mining concessions as well. [14]

    “In Sierra Leone, Branch Energy had a 60% stake in Branch Energy Sierra Leone, the government had 30% while a local businessman/investor held a small stake of 10%. The same pattern was repeated in Angola and in Uganda. Branch Energy's African assets were mainly concentrated in countries where civil wars and rebellions were raging, so was it just pure luck or coincidence that these countries were selected? In fact the selection appears to have been guided by very defined criteria: the potentials in minerals (diamonds, gold and oil), a bankrupt national economy and armed rebellion threatening the ruling strongman.”[15]

Aside from the fact that the UN outlawed the practice, mercenary outfits are 'free agents' not covered by Geneva Conventions or indeed aside from countries like South Africa who have outlawed the practice, are not regulated by the leading exporters of war, the US and the UK.

    “The American government has also been using these private companies and others, more discreet, for secret activities, as the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal revealed recently. Intelligence agencies subcontract their activities, notably for interrogations. Not only are these private “soldiers” not subject to military discipline or prosecution, but their companies are paid, or see their contracts renewed, on a pro rata basis, according to how much information is obtained. This would appear to have pushed some contractors to extract fantastical confessions from prisoners through torture.” [16]

But perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the drive to privatise war is the fact that our political elite is busy producing rationales for it. Hence British foreign secretary Jack Straw had this to say on the subject,

    “…[a] reputable private military sector might have a role in enabling the UN to respond more rapidly and effectively to crises”.[17]

This followed the Sierra Leone affair, where the UK government had hired Sandline to smuggle weapons into the country in contravention of an UN arms embargo. Clearly Straw's statement (following the publication of a Green Paper that called for the hiring of PMCs to do the work of government) was part of the drive to circumvent all the 'inconvenient' laws that prohibit governments from acting without due process or being accountable to public oversight.

Straw's forward to the Green Paper went on to say,

    “Today's world is a far cry from the 1960s when private military activity usually meant mercenaries of the rather unsavoury kind involved in post-colonial or neo-colonial conflicts.”[18]

Unsavoury seems an odd choice of word especially in the light of the subsequent events in Abu Ghraib and the involvement of CACI, the US PMC in the torture of Iraqi prisoners, for surely the point of privatising state activities is primarily to avoid taking responsibility for one's actions. The smokescreen being used by the likes of despicable individuals like Straw who seeks to justify privatising such activities under the guise circumventing 'bureaucracy', is the height of cynicism. It reveals that far from being the advocates of freedom and democracy, our rulers feel that they can write their own rules in this dog-eat-dog world that they have created.

But unlike the US government who have already made it quite plain that PMCs are above the law,

    “If accepted by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, it would put the highly visible U.S. foreign contractors into a special legal category, not subject to military justice and beyond the reach of Iraq's justice system. … Two U.S. contract employees at Abu Ghraib prison who were accused in a Pentagon report of participating in illegal abuse of Iraqi prisoners … have not been charged with any crimes in Iraq or the United States. … Estimates of the total number of foreigners working here — from Americans to South Africans to Chileans — have ranged from 20,000 to 30,000.”[19]

The British government hides its actions, embarrassed perhaps that its activities expose its hypocritical position? But this is nothing new for the Blair government whose activities ever since coming to power in 1997 have been exemplified by an endless trail of broken promises and lies about its true intentions as it attempts to resurrect the empire. So the fact that it rewards the dregs of its former colonial empire's military occupiers with crumbs off the US table should come as no surprise.


1. 'Controversial Commando Wins Iraq Contract' by Pratap Chatterjee, Corporate Watch June 9th, 2004.

2. 'The Irresistible Rise Of Lieutenant Colonel Tim Spicer In Baghdad's Private Security El Dorado', Rémy Ourdan, Le Monde, By July 1, 2004. Original in French, See translation here.

3. ibid

4. 'The Iraqi contract is said to have been obtained, according to a diplomatic source, because Tony Blair complained at a summit meeting with the Americans that British companies had received scarcely any rewards for the United Kingdom's war effort.' See Note 2.

5. ibid

6. 'US Auditors probes Col Tim Spicer's £160m Iraqi Deal' by Severin Carrell and Solomon Hughes, The Independent on Sunday, 15 August 2004.

7. '”Toxic Bob” Wastes Burma: Forced Labour And Pollution Rampant At Canadian-Owned Mine', March 2001.

8. 'Rent-a-coup: Who's who', Mail & Guardian, 12 Mar 2004

9. 'The Privatisation Of Violence: New Mercenaries And The State' by Christopher Wrigley, March 1999. Campaign Against Arms Trade

10. 'Foot Soldiers of the New World Order: The Rise of the Corporate Military' By Simon Sheppard, New Left Review March/April 1998.

11. 'Canadian Mercenary Corporation Strikes Oil In Uganda. Oil Is Potential Source Of Conflict In Great Lakes Region'

12. 'From Enemy to Peacemaker: The Role of Private Military Companies in Sub-Saharan Africa' by Jesse Selber and Kebba Jobarteh, 2000.

For other sources on EO see the following:

The Observer, 19/1/97, Jane's Defence Weekly, 13/11/96, Jane's International Defence Review 3, 1998, Independent 13/5/98, Africa Confidential, 1/5/98, 29/5/98, 23/10/98.

13. 'Van Rensburg believed there was a threat of chemical warfare against South African security forces', Freedom of Expression Institute, June 2000.

14. 'Mercenary Connections: DiamondWorks, Executive Outcomes, and the New Corporate Military Market' 1999 by Linda Lebrun.

For an massive resource on the activities of EO, see 'Executive Outcomes: Mercenary Corporation OSINT Guide' Dr. Robert J. Bunker and Steven F. Marin, July 1999 and prepared, predictably for the US Army. Unfortunately, many of the links no longer work, so see Center for Public Integrity links below. I've made the OSINT resource available locally just in case it disappears.

15. 'Mercenaries in Africa: From Soldiers of Fortune to Corporate Warriors' by Eva Dadrian August 17, 2004.

16. 'Sandline Affair, The True Story', 3 July 2001, Center for Media, Education & Technology.

17. See Note 9.

18. 'Peacekeeping 'Role' for Mercenaries', BBC, February 13, 2002.

19. 'Military Contractors in Iraq: Privatizing Unaccountability and Torture?', June 17 2004, Common Dreams.

The following links are also extremely useful for anyone wanting to followup on the sordid world of mercenary armies. All are from the excellent
Center for Public Integrity

'Making a Killing: The Business of War' by Phillip Van Niekerk

'Privatizing Combat, the New World Order' By Laura Peterson

'Marketing the 'New Dogs of War'' by Duncan Campbell

'The Curious Bonds of Oil Diplomacy' By Sunday Dare

Supporting Documents

Simon Mann [movie star!], Executive Outcomes, Gold, Oil, diamond manipulators...

A court in Zimbabwe sentenced British mercenary Simon Mann to seven years in prison for attempting to buy arms to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea. - Guardian

A former captain in the SAS, with connections to the British establishment, will face court in Zimbabwe [], accused of planning a coup in an oil-rich African country.

In a gripping tale of crime and politics, the trial of Simon Mann will hear allegations about a murder plot against a dictator accused of cannibalism. Mr Mann, whose father was an England cricket captain, is the scion of the Watney brewing empire. With 69 other men, he has been charged with trying to overthrow Teodoro Obiang, the President of Equatorial Guinea.


Eleven years ago, Mr Mann set up a security company, Executive Outcomes, with a businessman, Tony Buckingham, which became involved in some of the most high-profile conflicts in Africa. It made millions protecting oil installations in Angola from Unita rebels, and operated against insurgents for the Sierra Leone government. A subsidiary company, Sandline International - set up with a former Scots Guard officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Spicer - was at the centre of the so-called "arms to Sierra Leone" affair in the late 1990s.

Mr Mann and the other accused insist they knew nothing about the Equatorial Guinea plot. Instead, they were simply organising security for a diamond mining company in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The arms, bought for $190,000 (101,500) from a state-owned company in Zimbabwe were intended for the security guards. Independent UK

Africa speaks archive

much more

also see: Africa

Executive Outcomes (EO) head Eeben Barlow recently told a South African reporter that

"War and anarchy will reign in Africa because it has been exploited by people making promises. The Cold War left a huge vacuum and I identified a niche in the market - we are selling the business of surviving."

Barlow is a former commander of the notorious 32 Buffalo Battalion of the South African special forces under the apartheid regime. This espionage unit, formed by South African military intelligence specialized in disinformation and assassination. It targeted enemies of the apartheid state and was deployed alongside the unita rebels to fight the Marxist mpla Angolan government. Barlow was also a member of the South Africa Directorate of Covert Collection and the Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB) for which he ran apartheid operations in England in 1988. - Project Underground

In 1969 our favourite ozzie mining corp CRARTZ opened a copper mine on Bougainville, Papua New Guinea (PNG). The island's inhabitants protested against the environmental and social devastation to no avail until 1988 when they formed the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA). They have held their own, against mounting military pressure, armed with home-made rifles, WW2 machine guns and bows and arrows.

The PNG government then decided to hire Sandline International to deal with the rebels once and for all. This plan was accidentally discovered by the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, when he noticed two military cargo planes at the Port Moresby airfield.

The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, denounced the use of mercenaries as "absolutely and completely unacceptable." Australia currently gives about 150m in aid each year to PNG.Corporate watch

Exposes appearing on both sides of the Atlantic on the mercenary group Executive Outcomes, threaten to blow the lid off the British intelligence nexus already identified as responsible for the February 1986 murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, and for the current cataclysmic destabilization of Africa on behalf of circles associated with ...
the Queen of England's Privy Council and Sir George Bush.EIR

Executive Outcomes, the now defunct mercenary firm based in Pretoria, South Africa, that was manned mostly by former members of the South African Defense Force, proved to be a decisive factor in the outcome of some civil wars in Africa. Involved in forcing rebels to the negotiating table in Sierra Leone and more well-known for contributing to the Angolan government's success in forcing UNITA to accept the Lusaka Protocol in 1994, Executive Outcomes reportedly had a web of influence in Uganda, Botswana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa.

Even though the firm's expertise lay in fighting bush wars, it diversified and reportedly operated as many as 32 companies, whose interests range from computer software to adult education. The firm's tactic of quickly regaining control of a client country's mineral-rich regions is well-documented. Within a month of Sierra Leone's hiring of Executive Outcomes in May 1995, government forces had regained control of the diamond-rich Kono district, which produces two-thirds of Sierra Leone's diamonds. In Angola, oil- and diamond-producing regions were the first areas secured by government forces trained by Executive Outcomes. The firm also reportedly mined gold in Uganda, drilled boreholes in Ethiopia and had a variety of interests in the other countries noted above. - more: FAS factsheet

our world

Northbridge Services Group founders have identified through their cumulative experiences in various first world armed forces, government agencies, and the private sector, a growing demand for a highly discrete, totally reliable yet cost effective service provider.

The Company's personnel consist of highly decorated individuals who have, in aggregate, more than 200 years of operational service predominantly in Special Forces therefore can guarantee a truly international blend of experience, pedigree and speciality.

We believe that our ethos of being good citizens of the world, providing a necessary service to governments and organisations which value adherence to discretion sets us apart from the competition. Whether it is strategic advice, intelligence support, humanitarian disaster relief, counter-terrorism, support for law and order or Presidential Close Protection Teams, we have the services and resources to suit. - northbridgeservices.com

In the aftermath of an aborted coup against Equatorial Guinea's dictator Teodoto Obiang in 2004 that involved British and South African mercenaries tied to Mark Thatcher, the son of Margaret Thatcher, Northbridge came up as one of the entities involved. Reuters reported to the British and South African mercenary coup plotters' use of Equatorial Guinea as a jumping off point to capture former Liberian President Charles Taylor from exile in Calabar, Nigeria and deliver him to the UN War Crimes Tribunal for Africa.

The Bush administration had posted a $2 million reward for the capture of Taylor. Northbridge's president, Bob Kovacic claimed that his representative in the United States, Pasquale Dipofi, "did know a couple of the guys on the plane [the coup plotters's plane captured in Harare, Zimbabwe] and one or two in the target country [Nigeria], but we had nothing to do with the mission." Interestingly, Kovacic revealed the Liberian connection to the attempted Equatorial Guinea coup from Kuwait, where he was seeking security contracts in Iraq.

This points to the problem with private actors playing on the international foreign policy stage. If a group of mercenary companies connected to security work in U.S.-occupied Iraq were trying to capture a deposed leader in Nigeria, without that country's approval, or they were trying to launch a coup d'état in Equatorial Guinea, the ramifications of such freelancers acting independently or with a "wink and a nod" from government interlocutors are chilling. - waynemadsenreport.com


Diversified Corporate Services
Services Offered

Commercial/Industrial Investigations
Security Risk Assessments
Private Investigations
Commercial Crime Investigations
VIP Protection
Electronic Surveillance
Counter Surveillance
Covert Operations
Missing Persons
Covert/Overt CCTV Systems

Since MI6 helped establish Diversified Corporate Services in Rome, New York and London in the late sixties, there has been an increasing trend for setting up consultancies, with the tacit approval or encouragement of the Service.

Among the consultants to Ciex, which has 'cornered a lucrative market' in providing a restricted 'confidential service' in 'strategic advice and intelligence' for 'a small group of very substantial customers', are Hamilton McMillan, who retired from the Service's counter-terrorist section in 1996, and former head of the Middle East department Michael Oatley, who previously worked tor another intelligence-linked consultancy, Kroll Associates.

Set up in 1995 by the late Sir Fitzroy Maclean, with a board that includes a former Royal Dutch Shell managing director and a former BP deputy chair, the Hakluyt Foundation provides leading British businesses with information that clients 'will not receive by the usual government, media and commercial routes'. Hakluyt's managing director, Christopher James, was until 1998 in charge of MI6's liaison with commerce, while a fellow-director, Mike Reynolds, was regarded as one of the Service's brightest stars.
Inside the MI6


Communications auditing
Government relations
Regulatory and competition advice
Reputation management
Crisis management
Political public relations
Select Committee training

"...it was announced that Bell Pottinger, the PR firm run by Margaret Thatcher's former spin-guru Lord Bell, had won a contract to "sell" democracy to Iraq, one of the first major contracts awarded to a British company.

But Lord Bell is not the only beknighted Thatcherite to have won business in our newest colony...

A month after Saddam's fall, several former US government officials set up a consultancy firm called New Bridge Strategies. Its website boasted that "the vents unfolding in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East are giving rise to unprecedented opportunities for government and private enterprise". While the US government allocated $87bn for rebuilding the country it had just bombed, New Bridge Strategies prepared to cut itself a piece of the pie."
Iraq: brand new bridges, same old faces

Scorpions detectives have arrested Briton Mark Thatcher at his Cape Town home on allegations that he was involved in a planned coup in Equatorial Guinea.

Scorpions spokesperson Makhosini Nkosi said the unit, part of the National Prosecuting Authority, arrested the son of former British prime minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher on Wednesday morning... -INN

ZW News

Mann let out his Hampshire house and retired to a life of luxury in Cape Town, where his neighbours included Mark Thatcher, Earl Spencer and Teodoro Nguema Obiang, the murderous 34-year-old playboy son of President Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, whose US$4m house was funded from his fathers account with Riggs Bank in Washington. - Sunday herald

Jonathan Bush, President Bush's uncle, was appointed CEO of Riggs Bank's investment arm in May of 2000
American Progress

Riggs Bank courted business from former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and helped him hide millions of dollars in assets from international prosecutors while he was under house arrest in Britain, according to a report by Senate investigators.

The report also says the top federal bank examiner in charge of supervising the District's largest bank kept details about Riggs's relationship with Pinochet out of the Riggs case file. That happened a few months before the examiner retired from the government and joined Riggs as a senior executive. The examiner, R. Ashley Lee, denied the allegations to Senate investigators...

The Senate report also said Lee recommended, while still working for the government, that the bank not be punished for failing to take steps designed to prevent money laundering.

The report, which includes the first account of Riggs's dealings with Pinochet, is the latest blow to an institution that once billed itself as "the most important bank in the most important city in the world." In May the bank agreed to pay $25 million in civil penalties for what federal regulators called "willful, systemic" violation of anti-money-laundering laws in its dealings with the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Equatorial Guinea. Several other federal investigations continue into the bank's activities, and Riggs has hired investment bankers to explore a sale of the company. - INN[link down?]

Try this - The CIA and Riggs Bank

Riggs Directors on 2 Boards Share Personal Ties to Allbritton

Mercenaries working for private military companies
could be used for international peacekeeping duties, the government has suggested.
A long-awaited consultation paper says "reputable" private firms
may be able to do a better, more cost-effective
job than forces like the United Nations. Peacekeeping 'role' for mercenaries

The Wonga list

The British mercenary Simon Mann, who faces up to 10 years in jail today for trying to buy arms to overthrow the president of Equatorial Guinea, paid $500,000 (281,000) towards the plot, according to a list of alleged financiers believed to be in the hands of the South African police. Ely Calil, the London-based Lebanese oil millionaire who is being sued in London by the Equatorial Guinea regime, is alleged to have raised another $750,000.

The allegations come from the so-called "wonga list", written by one of those involved, which claims to name the millionaire backers of the aborted coup. According to the London newsletter Africa Confidential, Mr Calil is considering suing those Equatorial Guinean officials who have accused him of financing the plot.


Other alleged financiers on the list include Mr Calil's Lebanese associate Karim Fallaha, London businessman Greg Wales, London-based property dealer Gary Hersham - a former business partner of Mr Calil's - and a South Africa-based British businessman, David Tremain. Each is alleged to have raised $500,000. Mr Tremain is alleged to have been "fronting" for a syndicate of South African and other minor investors.

Mr Hersham, who runs Beauchamps, a prominent Mayfair estate agency, denies investing any money or knowing of a coup. He says he helped Mr Mann try to raise cash by introducing him to a banker in order to mortgage his 800,000 London house in Portobello Road, Notting Hill.

That failed, and Mr Mann is said to have eventually raised the money against shares he owned in diamond concessions. Guardian

Money shot: Pentagon link to Guinea coup plot

Britain knew in advance of Equatorial Guinea coup plot: report

Sat Nov 13 - Britain reportedly knew about an alleged coup plot in Equatorial Guinea at least five weeks before a team of mercenaries was nabbed in Zimbabwe as they prepared to carry it out.

The weekly paper the Observer said Foreign Secretary Jack Straw confirmed this past week that London was "informed" of the alleged plot "in late January 2004," ahead of the March 7 arrest of the mercenaries in Zimbabwe.

Straw's disclosure was made in a "parliamentary answer" in the House of Commons to a question tabled by Michael Ancram, foreign affairs spokesman of the main opposition Conservative party.

"Until now, cabinet ministers have denied any prior knowledge of the attempted African coup, which would be illegal under international law," the Observer said. - Yahoo

The US knew, Spain knew, Britain knew. Whose coup was it? The gossip and rumour within British and American intelligence circles points towards the UK and US certainly knowing that the coup was in the offing even if there was no direct participation. However, some intelligence figures in African countries have claimed that agents of MI6 and the CIA had been telling senior figures in Equatorial Guineas military and intelligence services that if a coup did take place that they should sit tight, hold still and not defend Obiang. It is claimed that Britain and America intelligence agents told the military and intelligence chiefs of Equatorial Guinea that in return for their inaction they would be well looked after by any post-coup government.

Britain, it appears, had foreknowledge. A South African intelligence report detailing suspicions about a coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea is known to have been seen by British intelligence quite some time before the coup plot was rumbled. The report also links members of the Equatorial Guinea plot with the bloodless coup that took place in Sao Tome and Principe in July 2003. It was from Sao Tome and Principe that some of the mercenaries are thought to have travelled to Equatorial Guinea. - Neil Mackay

Slap on wrist for Oil venture gone wrong

Mark Thatcher, who denies funding a foiled coup in Africa, has agreed a plea bargain with a South African court in return for a lighter sentence -

Britain's Sky television reported he would plead guilty to unwittingly contributing to financing of coup plot by paying for air ambulance services used by mercenaries recruited for the plot.

Thatcher would pay the fine, receive a suspended five-year sentence and be allowed to leave South Africa to rejoin his family in United States, Sky said. - Mark Thatcher Agrees to Bargain in Coup Case


The plan was to use the helicopter as a gunship in a coup that would overthrow the president of Equatorial Guinea and replace him with an opposition leader. The reward for the kingmakers would be millions of dollars in oil concessions. The son of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher pleaded guilty on Thursday to a role in a foiled mercenary plot in west Africa under a plea bargain to avoid prison.

The Cape High Court agreed to a deal for Mark Thatcher to pay a fine of 3 million rand ($500,000) or face five years in jail in South Africa, in addition to a further 4-year prison sentence suspended for five years.

Prosecutors said Thatcher was free to leave South Africa. Mark Thatcher Admits Role in Africa Coup Plot

The relationship with the CIA could prove problematic because it could cast a different light on the bank's dealings with two U.S. foreign-policy allies, former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi ambassador to Washington.

Given the intelligence connections to Riggs, prosecutors could be faced with proving that the bank's failure to disclose financial activity by the foreign officials wasn't implicitly authorized by parts of the U.S. government. - The CIA and Riggs Bank

President Bush's uncle, money manager Jonathan J. Bush, has come out on the losing end of an arbitration hearing that two former clients launched against him.

Jonathan Bush, who runs the J. Bush & Co. money management subsidiary of Riggs National Corp., was accused of putting the two clients in unsuitable investments and misrepresenting the risk associated with his firm's stock portfolio recommendations.

The firm, which caters to wealthy investors, and Jonathan Bush himself were ordered to pay more than half a million dollars to the former clients by a National Association of Securities Dealers panel. - democrats.com

The relationship of Riggs to the Bush administration is more than tangential. Riggs owns a money management firm, J. Bush & Co., operated by Jonathan Bush, the brother of George H.W. Bush and the current president's uncle.

Jonathan Bush played a very important role in helping find investors for the various failed oil businesses that George W. Bush ran before he began his career in politics. Jonathan Bush also helped raise money for George H.W. Bush and is a former chair of the New York Republican State Finance Committee. In 2000, he was briefly named president and CEO of Riggs Investment Management Company (RIMCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of Riggs Bank.

While Jonathan Bush appears not to have been directly involved in the Saudi, Pinochet or Equatorial Guinean accounts, his position at Riggs is an indication of the close ties between the bank and the Bush family.

Moreover, Riggs is owned by the Allbritton family, a Texas family with close ties to the Republican establishment. Joe Allbritton, the former head of Riggs who bought the bank in the mid-1970s, is a friend of the Bush family. His son, Robert Allbritton, is the current chairman and CEO.

The Allbritton family is known among the Washington elite for the party it traditionally holds after the annual Alfalfa Club dinner, hosted to mark the birthday of Robert E. Lee, the southern general in the Civil War. The New York Times ("A Washington Bank, A Global Mess," April 11, 2004) notes, "The Alfalfa roster includes presidents, politicians, diplomats and business impresarios, all bound together by being either formidably influential or fabulously rich. Attendees have included luminaries like Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States; Jack Valenti, the president of the Motion Picture Association of America; and others with surnames like Greenspan, Kissinger and Rehnquist. President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney made their first joint public appearance after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at the Alfalfa gathering in 2002."

Valenti, who, like Allbritton and Bush, is a former Texas businessman, is also on the board of directors of Riggs Bank.

A television station also owned by Allbritton was in the news earlier this year after it refused to air an ad critical of the Bush administration's policy in Iraq.



At Riggs Bank, a Tangled Path Led to Scandal

WASHINGTON, - Riggs Bank, which for years billed itself as "the most important bank in the most important city in the world," now finds itself the most scrutinized bank in the most unforgiving city in the world.

The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has concluded that Riggs executives and bank regulators, even after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, failed to monitor suspicious financial transactions involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

A report it released last week in connection with a hearing on the bank's operations gives a detailed picture of events that snowballed into a financial scandal and appear to have ended the venerable bank's independence. On Friday, the parent of Riggs announced that PNC Financial Services of Pittsburgh had agreed to buy it for $779 million. Still, Riggs, and those who ran it, face more regulatory, Congressional and law enforcement investigations.

The controversy that has shaken Riggs has sent tremors through the industry. Regulators acknowledge that, despite the impetus provided by the terrorist attacks, there are holes in their ability to analyze and prevent possible abuses of the nation's financial system.

To seal those holes, the federal government is considering overhauling the way it polices the activities of banks. Such changes might involve investing a single agency with greater authority to enforce laws against money laundering and terrorist financing, according to regulators and Congressional leaders. At present, a hodgepodge of agencies that do not share information or coordinate activities effectively are charged with overseeing banks.

"9/11 changed my world and changed our world in the regulatory agencies, just like it changed the world of every American," said Daniel P. Stipano, deputy chief counsel at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Riggs's lead regulator. "What happened with Riggs is unacceptable. It cannot be repeated."

In the hearing, Senator Norm Coleman, a Minnesota Republican who is chairman of the investigative subcommittee, pointed out Riggs executives' own responsibility for preventing abuses. "Freedom always implies a corresponding responsibility to respect the rules that society imposes on the market," he said. "Top officials did not always justify their freedom from aggressive oversight with a willingness to respect and implement their social duties."

The scrutiny of the bank involves accounts it held for Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, and for the Saudi Arabian Embassy. It comes at a time when several new books and the documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" have put a spotlight on the kingdom's ties to the Bush administration. The sources of about $700 million in cash and investment accounts at Riggs Bank owned by the African nation of Equatorial Guinea or some of its leaders are also being examined, at a time when American companies have been courting that oil-rich nation to secure petroleum sources outside the Middle East.

The Chilean Congress, reacting to disclosures about General Pinochet's accounts at Riggs, said that on Tuesday it would consider establishing a commission to determine if the accounts contained looted government money. In August, the Chilean Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether General Pinochet, who is 88 and said to be in poor health, must stand trial on charges stemming from a wave of murders and disappearances that swept across the southern cone of South America in the 1970's and 1980's.

Riggs and its senior executives have for months denied any wrongdoing, although one former executive is the subject of a grand jury inquiry. Riggs and its executives now face the possibility of criminal charges. Spokesmen for the Saudi Arabian Embassy have also denied wrongdoing; the Equatorial Guinean Embassy has repeatedly declined to comment. People close to General Pinochet, including his son, have told news services in Chile that he has never had secret bank accounts and that money in the Riggs accounts may be donations from supporters sponsoring his legal defense.

Nonetheless, the actions of everyone associated with the Riggs scandal have set in motion a reappraisal of the guardians of the American financial system.

"Despite all the money laundering laws that Congress has passed, the structural defects are so bad that there's no one implementing them," said Charles Intriago, publisher of Money Laundering Alert, a newsletter. The United States is "on the brink of trying to fix a financial regulatory system that's in a state of great disrepair."

A Dictator's Cash

At a meeting with regulators at the headquarters of Riggs Bank two years ago, Barbara B. Allbritton, a Riggs board member, was offended that the bank had to end its relationship with a valued client, General Pinochet, according to the report and testimony at the Senate hearing.

Mrs. Allbritton, who had a board seat by virtue of her marriage to Joe L. Allbritton, Riggs's former chief executive and single largest shareholder, did not mince her words.

"Why did the Pinochet accounts have to be closed?" she asked, according to testimony in the Senate hearing on Thursday by Lester J. Miller, a federal regulator who monitored Riggs accounts and attended the meeting with her.

Bank regulators, who stumbled across the Pinochet funds during a Riggs review in early 2002, could have given Mrs. Allbritton compelling reasons for closing the accounts. Even at a time when the general was detained on charges of human rights abuses and his assets had been frozen by court orders, Riggs helped him disguise millions of dollars in suspect funds and wire the money worldwide, the Senate report says.

"In 1994, top Riggs officials traveled to Chile and asked General Pinochet, a notorious military leader accused of involvement with death squads, corruption, arms sales and drug trafficking, if he would like to open an account at Riggs Bank here in Washington," Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat, observed in the hearing. "Mr. Pinochet said yes."

Mr. Allbritton, who secured a controlling stake in Riggs in 1981, coveted the bank's international cachet and made regular business trips abroad, including to Chile. Raymond M. Lund, a former Riggs executive who opened General Pinochet's accounts at the bank in the mid-1990's, said in Senate testimony that Mr. Allbritton had a "professional business relationship" with the dictator. Carol Thompson, who oversaw Riggs's Latin American business, told Senate investigators that she occasionally briefed Mr. Allbritton directly on General Pinochet's finances. The Allbrittons have not responded to interview requests.

While General Pinochet's accounts at Riggs may have gone unnoticed by United States regulators until 2002, they were not a secret to the rest of the world. The Associated Press wrote about them as early as 1999, when judicial proceedings began in Spain against General Pinochet. On Dec. 10, 2000, The Observer, a British paper, also mentioned them in connection with possible drug trafficking. Senate records show that the Riggs accounts held $4 million to $8 million from 1994 to 2002.

When regulators asked Riggs in 2000 for a list of its accounts controlled by political figures, the roster provided by the bank did not include General Pinochet's name. Shortly after The Observer article was published, the bank - in a move that it acknowledged last week was improper - changed the name on accounts of the general and his wife from "Augusto Pinochet Ugarte & Lucia Hiriart de Pinochet" to "L. Hiriart &/or A. Ugarte," ensuring that searches for Riggs accounts named "Pinochet" would draw a blank.

General Pinochet was arrested in Chile in early 2001, causing Riggs officers and its board to review whether it was proper to maintain his accounts. The accounts remained open, and the general's arrest was later overshadowed in the news by the terrorist attacks in the United States.

Regulators began vetting American banks more thoroughly after Sept. 11. During a review of Riggs's international operations in April 2002, examiners with the Comptroller of the Currency came across the Pinochet accounts. Overtaxed to complete the international review and a subsequent review of terrorist financing, regulators notified Riggs that they would return in June for a closer look.

On April 8, 2002, Riggs sent $500,000 in cashiers' checks to the general. Later analyses by Senate investigators indicated he cashed them to pay personal expenses. Sometime between the spring and summer of 2002, according to the Senate report and testimony last week, Riggs tried to withhold information about the Pinochet accounts from regulators and then, rather than freeze the accounts as is customary, closed them and returned the money to General Pinochet.

Although Mr. Lund said last week that Riggs executives had documented the source of the general's wealth, Senate investigators say the bank never made any sincere effort to do so, as required by law. Moreover, regulators never considered fining Riggs in 2002 or referring the Pinochet accounts to law enforcement officials, according to Senate records and testimony. The comptroller's lead Riggs examiner at the time, R. Ashley Lee, took an executive position at Riggs later that year.

Mr. Lee said last week that he never made any effort to water down regulatory oversight of Riggs. Senator Levin said that his committee's evidence suggested otherwise and that he planned to ask the Justice Department to investigate.

The Saudi Funds

By October 2002, when Mrs. Allbritton voiced her resentment to regulators about losing General Pinochet's business, another problem was about to engulf Riggs. In November, Newsweek magazine reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was examining Saudi Arabian Embassy accounts at the bank in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks.

The F.B.I. investigation, focusing on accounts controlled by the wife of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's longtime ambassador to the United States, was news to regulators. Once again, as the Senate report showed, outside forces were making them examine Riggs more closely and Riggs executives were proving to be, at best, indifferent gatekeepers.

Although the F.B.I. told The New York Times in late 2002 that it had no evidence that money from Prince Bandar's wife went to the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 attacks - a conclusion that the 9/11 commission also reached last month - news reports prompted regulators to scrutinize Prince Bandar's transactions at Riggs. The F.B.I. briefed them on the Saudi funds in December 2002, and bank regulators told Riggs a month later that they would examine the accounts.

What regulators expected to be a one-month examination lasted five months as regulators uncovered improprieties in some of 150 Saudi accounts at Riggs. Under law, banks are required to vet the background of their customers, report outsized movements of cash and alert regulators when any banking activities are suspicious. Regulators and members of Congress said Riggs frequently failed to carry out these duties, and the Saudi accounts were no exception.

Last week's Senate report said that the Saudi accounts were "equally troubling" as other accounts at Riggs that have come under scrutiny, but noted that a more thorough Congressional examination of the Saudi accounts was under way at the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

Federal investigators and people close to Riggs said regulators had concluded that Riggs inadequately monitored the destinations and uses of large amounts of cash, often more than $1 million at a time, in the Saudi accounts. Many of these transactions involved Prince Bandar personally, these people said.

A member of Saudi Arabia's diplomatic corps said in a recent interview that the prince often made up large shortfalls in the embassy's budget out of his own pocket, which could account for some of the heavy cash movements through the Riggs accounts. Spokesmen for the Saudi embassy have said that the F.B.I. told the embassy that there were no concerns that its Riggs accounts involved money laundering or terrorist financing.

Cease and Desist

Problems with the Saudi accounts led regulators to issue a rare and public cease-and-desist order against Riggs early last year, requiring it to clean up its practices or face further penalties. But unexplained transactions continued to flow through the Saudi accounts late last year, and Prince Bandar refused to provide information about them to Riggs, according to people with direct knowledge of the discussions.

Last March, the same month regulators told the bank it would receive a heavy fine, Riggs said it had closed all Saudi accounts. Minutes of a Riggs meeting on April 7 noted that Prince Bandar had recently requested "$2 million in cash for traveling expenses," a request the bank denied.

"Prince Bandar then asked that Riggs wire $2 million to another bank, which was done," the minutes said, adding that the bank notified regulators about the transaction. In May, regulators fined Riggs $25 million for failing to adequately monitor suspicious activities, the largest such penalty ever imposed on an American bank.

Suitcases of Cash

When regulators began scouring the Saudi accounts in January 2003, yet another media report raised questions about the bank's behavior. The Los Angeles Times reported suspicious activities in Riggs accounts controlled by the government of Equatorial Guinea, and a questionable relationship between a Riggs executive and that country's leader, sparking another regulatory examination of the bank's intersection with a dictator.

Simon Kareri, a Kenyan who oversaw the Equatorial Guinean money at Riggs, liked to serve his bank's clients the old-fashioned way, according to the Senate report: he carried large amounts of money around in suitcases.

The report said that Mr. Kareri, who is the subject of a grand jury investigation, packed up to $3 million in shrink-wrapped bills obtained from Equatorial Guinean leaders into suitcases and walked them through Riggs's front door. Riggs, according to the Senate report, never made any effort to inquire about the source of the money, as it is required to do by law, even though the money was openly tabulated by high-speed counting machines inside the bank.

Three investigators with direct knowledge of the transactions said officials were looking into accusations that Mr. Kareri took bank money for his own use. Riggs fired him earlier this year. His lawyer has declined to comment. Mr. Kareri asserted his right against self-incrimination and declined to answer questions during last week's Senate hearing. But Mr. Kareri was not the only one at Riggs wooing the Equatorial Guineans.

Oil Money From Africa

Although the country's dictator, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasago, had a long record of amply documented human rights abuses, he also presided over a wildly lucrative oil boom that Western companies coveted. Riggs began dealing with him in 1995, and by this year the country had become the bank's largest client, with accounts of $700 million. In turn, Mr. Obiang became a lunch guest at Riggs.

Shortly after one lunch, on May 17, 2001, Robert L. Allbritton, who is Mr. Allbritton's son and chief executive of Riggs National Corporation; the Riggs Bank president and chief executive, Lawrence I. Hebert; and Mr. Kareri all signed a letter to Mr. Obiang. The letter said that Riggs could help Mr. Obiang "reinforce your reputation for prudent leadership" and asked him "how best we can serve you."

According to federal investigators and the Senate report, that service mirrored what the bank provided General Pinochet: massive, no-questions-asked transfers of cash into offshore shell corporations that Riggs created.

Some of the millions of dollars that went into Mr. Obiang's personal accounts came from oil funds established to benefit Equatorial Guineans, according to the Senate report. Last week, Senator Levin noted charges of corruption and abuses against Mr. Obiang and berated Riggs's relationship with the dictator as "abominable."

Mr. Hebert had a different view.

"It's prudent on any bank's part to try to meet the people. They had a lot of money in the account," he testified. "I wanted to hear this fellow talk about his country, talk about what he was trying to do with all this wealth."

A number of American oil companies, especially Exxon Mobil, Amerada Hess and Marathon Oil, had numerous outside business ventures and other financial relationships with Mr. Obiang and his government, in addition to the companies' oil pursuits in the country. Executives from the companies testified last week. Senate records of Riggs accounts show large payments by American oil companies into accounts of Equatorial Guinean officials and their relatives, sometimes in increments as high as $250,000.

Oil industry executives at last week's hearings said that they had gone to great lengths to have honest business relationships in Equatorial Guinea and had not knowingly engaged in corrupt practices.

By the time news reports spurred bank regulators in early 2003 to examine Riggs's involvement with the country, regulators were already consumed by their examination of the Saudi accounts. Nearly a year would pass before they were able to investigate the Equatorial Guinean accounts in any detail. As late as last December, according to the Senate report, Joe L. Allbritton continued to tell regulators that "the bank had no intention of closing the E.G. accounts."

Matters soon escalated beyond Mr. Allbritton's control. Shortly after he dug in his heels, the accounts were closed. Not long after that, Riggs was fined and then, last week, was sold. independent-media.tv

Guinea coup & Sudan Oil linked...

Friedhelm Eronat's Sudan venture was very much a Chelsea-set affair.

The whole deal brokered by his close neighbour, Lebanese businessman, Eli Calil. If his name sounds familiar it's because he is alleged to have helped bankroll last year's failed coup in the West African state of Equatorial Guinea, an allegation he denies.

Mr Felter said: "He was purely and simple an introducing instrument. It was quite natural to ask Eli Calil he said he said I think I know a company that might be interested because they are already in Chad and he therefore introduced the Sudanese lot as it were to Eronat."

One of Darfur's rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement is adamant that the search for oil will enflame the conflict. They want all exploration to stop, until there is peace. Ahmad Hussein Adam of the JEM said: "So when they say they discover oil in Darfur, who is going to benefit from that? Are they the people of Darfur? Of course not. Absolutely not, the only beneficiaries is the ruling elite and ruling minority of the regime."

In the rebels' view, Cliveden Sudan has joined those accused of propping up a pariah regime, whose members include UN war crimes suspects. Yet, under British law, Friedhelm Eronat has done nothing illegal in doing a deal with Khartoum. But then there is the ethical argument. - Channel 4 investigation

The dots connected?

August 12, 2005 -- Pentagon outsources Iraqi security to mercenaries, international brigands, and coup plotters. The U.S. Army Contracting Agency, ignoring protests from human rights organizations, is defending its award of an Iraq Reconstruction Security Support Services (RSSS) contract to Aegis Defense Services of Great Britain. The CEO of Aegis is former Scots Guard Regiment Lt. Col Tim Spicer, a notorious international mercenary who has been connected to guerrilla wars, extrajudicial killings, and coups in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific. Spicer is the former CEO of Sandline International, a Bahamas-registered firm. Spicer, through a complex web of interlocking directorships, was involved in diamond mining in Sierra Leone through Diamond Works and oil exploration in Angola, Uganda, and other countries through Branch Energy. One of his Diamond Works partners was Simon Mann, convicted and imprisoned in Zimbabwe last year for trying to stage a coup in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea. Although Spicer denied it, Sandline was thought to be a European front organization for the now-defunct South African mercenary firm Executive Outcomes. In 1997, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea hired Spicer and Sandline to put down a rebellion on the secessionist island of Bougainville and retake control of the Pangana nickel mine for the firm Rio Tinto Zinc. Upon learning of the mercenary deal, code named "Operation Oyster," the commander of the Papua New Guinea armed forces, Brig. Gen. Jerry Singirok, staged an abortive military coup against Prime Minister Julius Chan. The Papua New Guinea military arrested Spicer along with British, South African and Ethiopian mercenaries. Spicer was threatened with execution on a number of occasions.

Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption later revealed that on February 5, 1997, $18 million to finance the Papua New Guinea coup was transferred to Sandline's account at the Hong Kong and Shanghai bank (account number 600774426). The account holders were listed as Simon Mann, Lafras Luitingh (of Executive Outcomes), Eeben Barlow (of Executive Outcomes), and Anthony L. R. Buckingham (of Executive Outcomes and Branch Energy). The money was traced to the Hong Kong-based Jardine Matheson Group, which had significant gold and oil interests in Papua New Guinea and also had a strategic partnership with Kroll Associates' murky London operation. After the $18 million of the $36 million contract was transferred to Port Moresby, it simply vanished, according to the Hong Kong Commission.

In 1996, another Sandline operation, code named "Operation Contravene," began to clear the way for a mercenary invasion of the island. Bougainville's Prime Minister Theodore Miriung, suspected by Papua New Guinea of being a spy for pro-independence rebels, was assassinated by Papua New Guinea forces on October 13, 1996.

After Spicer's arrest in Papua New Guinea, one of his former military comrades was not surprised. His take on Spicer: "He was the most arrogant, pompous bastard I have ever met . . . He was always very pleased with himself, and I'm not surprised one bit by what's happened."

Papua New Guinea's Judicial Commission headed by Australian Justice Warwick John Andrew tied all the players together in his ruling, "The controllers of Sandline International are obviously Mr. Buckingham, Mr. [Michael] Grunberg [of Diamond Works], and at least to some extent Mr. Spicer . . . There is a strong inference that Sandline Holdings Limited may be something of a joint venture between the interests of Mr. Buckingham and the interests of Mr. Barlow and Executive Outcomes . . . The information provided by Sandline Holdings that they are entirely separate from Executive Outcomes cannot be correct, but the exact nature of their relationship seems clouded behind a web of interlocking companies whose ownership is difficult to trace. The arms and transport helicopters and helicopter gunships for the Bougainville operation were shipped from Belarus, through a Lebanese front company, by a Bulgarian air freight company. The agent for the sale was a London-based firm called Triton Sal, run by a Russian businessman. (Another UK-based company, Consolidated Sales Corp. (CSC) -- registered in the British Virgin Islands -- supplied similar helicopters to Uganda and Rwanda. One of the helicopters sold to Uganda was the one Sudan Vice President John Garang was on when it crashed in mysterious circumstances).

It is interesting to note that according to the Pat Finucane Center in Derry, Ireland, Buckingham traveled in 1995 to Baghdad to meet Saddam Hussein's Oil Minister Safa Hadi Jawad to discuss partnering investments. The Irish center has been fighting a battle with countries that grant contracts to Spicer. In 1992, two of Spicer's Scot's Guard men, Mark Wright and James Fisher, killed Peter McBride, an unarmed teenager, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. They were later convicted for murder, a conviction that was upheld on appeal.

Spicer was also involved in UN sanctions busting in war-torn Sierra Leone. British Undersecretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Dennis MacShane stated that Spicer's Sandline, "violated a UN arms embargo and British law in an affair that caused a political crisis in Britain and was described as …not only embarrassing but I would say quite damaging to the government at the time." The sanctions busting by Sandline involved the use of Executive Outcomes and Russian aircraft to purchase weapons in Bulgaria and secretly ship them to Sierra Leone. In 1997, after Sierra Leone's President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah terminated a security contract with Executive Outcomes after pressure from the International Monetary Fund, he was warned by an Executive Outcomes mercenary that in 90 days he would fall. Eighty-nine days later, Kabbah was ousted in a coup by Maj. Johnny Paul Koromah, a Sandhurst granduate who had been trained by Executive Outcomes.

U.S. hires notorious mercenary "Tumbledown Tim" Spicer -- veteran of coups and rebellions from Sierra Leone to Papua New Guinea. Now, he's bringing his brand of "security" to hapless Iraq.

An April 24, 1998 letter from Sandline's law firm S. J. Berwin & Co to the late British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook outlined Sandline's close ties to the U.S. government in the Sierra Leone sanctions busting:

". . . our client [Sandline] kept informed the U.S. State Department at the highest level, including John Hirsch, the U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Charles Snyder, Director, Office of Regional Affairs [currently George W. Bush's outgoing Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs] and Dennis Linskey, Chief, West and Southern Africa Division. Furthermore, following support having been given for the proposed operation by both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Defense Department. . . we understand that Michael Thomas, the Country Desk Officer for Sierra Leone at the U.S. Department of State met with Philip Parham, the Africa Watcher at the British Embassy in Washington indicating the U.S. Government's full support for Sandline International's involvement."

Sandline also had close links to the Pentagon. On June 24, 1997, the Pentagon and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) hosted a closed conference inside the Pentagon titled "The Privatization of National security Functions in Sub-Saharan Africa." Present were none other than Spicer, Barlow, Grunberg, Sandline's U.S. representative Bernie McCabe (a former Green Beret), and retired DIA chief Gen. Ed Soyster of Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI), now owned by L-3 Communications, and which, like Spicer's Aegis, has lucrative contracts in occupied Iraq. Also present was Charles Snyder, Executive Outcomes' Nick van den Bergh, and a representative of Texaco. CIA, DIA, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), Special Forces, and NSA personnel were also in attendance.

Spicer was also involved in secret negotiations with Angola's UNITA guerrillas on behalf of the British Foreign Office after Diamond Works employees were kidnaped by the rebels in 1998. At the time, UNITA guerrillas had joined the Ugandan-Rwandan war against Congo's President Laurent Kabila. Spicer has also reportedly been involved in backing governments in civil war-torn Sri Lanka and Nepal. His other companies have included Strategic Consulting International, Crisis and Risk Management, and Trident Maritime.

Ironically, Dyncorp protested the award of the Iraq RSSS contract to Aegis, citing the latter's questionable business ethics. Dyncorp has been acsused of covering up incidents involving its security personnel in Kosovo and Bosnia. The incidents involved child prostitution and other criminal activity. Nevertheless, Dyncorp, which has its own knowledge about Spicer's activities around the world, is uniquely placed to question Aegis and its involvement in Iraq. In its decision to reject Dyncorp's charge that Aegis lacked integrity, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated, "Once we reached the conclusion that DynCorp was reasonably excluded from further consideration, the company lacked standing to challenge the integrity of the awardee, Aegis." - wayne madsen report


The Queens counsel?

... the Corps of Commissionaires is not a competitor to Sandline, Executive Outcomes, Defence Systems Ltd., and the rash of other British and Commonwealth ``private'' mercenary companies that have surfaced in recent years; it is an umbrella agency, and central hiring hall, which brings the entire collection of so-called ``private'' services under the direct auspices of the British Crown.

The substantial difference that puts the Corps higher on the pecking order, is that it lists the Queen of England as its official patron and honorary chair. It has substantial sister organizations in Canada and Australia, two countries which are still under the direct sovereign control of the House of Windsor; the Queen is their patron and honorary chair, as well.

A spokesman for the Queen, in a moment of royal indiscretion, admitted to EIR, that Queen Elizabeth II serves as head of the various Corps of Commissionaires, as part of her official duties as Commander-in-Chief of all military forces of the Empire. In short, the Corps is an integral part of the military structure of the Crown--albeit a usually ``invisible'' part.

Given the Corps' royal sponsorship and direction, it should come as no surprise that the British Corps' Board of Governors is dominated by retired senior officers, who have held positions within the Royal Household. Many board members belong to the Order of the Bath, the only chivalric order, which honors military officers who made extraordinary contributions to the Crown. The Order of the Bath was founded, in the eighteenth century, by King George|I, in the early days of the Hanoverian-Windsor dynasty.


The role of the Corps of Commissionaires was substantially upgraded when Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister in 1979, and the radical ``free market'' policies of the Mont Pelerin Society were unleashed on the world with new force. In 1984, following a reorganization, drafted by Peter Loyd, executive director of the British Institute of Management, the Corps of Commissionaires moved to expand way beyond its role in the City. Its uniformed security service was converted into a separate division, within the Corps, and new divisions were created to provide ``specialist security functions.'' At the same time, the Corps began recruiting personnel from a broader range of military, paramilitary, and police agencies. The scope of its operational capabilities expanded tremendously, as the use of privatized counterinsurgency forces, suited to operate in zones of instability, became a crucial part of the British bag of tricks.

The Queen's Corps of Commissaries Dean Andromidas

History of The Corps

Founded in 1859, The Corps, formerly known as The Corps of Commissionaires offers a range of security services, currently operating out of the following offices: Belfast, Birmingham,

Bracknell, Bristol, Cardiff, Crawley, Fareham, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Stevenage and Papua New Guinea.

The re-organisation to turn The Corps into a commercial business began in 1984. By 1986 the new Corps was placing 1,000+ applicants a year in jobs. Today, under the direction of its Managing Director, Francis Peck since 1998, The Corps continues to grow and prosper on commercial principles, employing 3,500 people.

Outside the UK, similar organisations were set up for ex-servicemen in the 20th century and looked upon the Corps of Commissionaires as their parent organisation. Today the Corps of Commissionaires still operates across Canada and in the state of Victoria, Australia. - The Corps






Captain Wardrobes

Down with Murder inc.