March 2, 2009 -- The Stanford-Poppy Bush Link
publication date: Mar 1, 2009
March 2, 2009 -- The Stanford-Poppy Bush Link
When "Sir" R. Allen Stanford decided to hide out in Fredericksburg, Virginia after trying to escape from Houston on a denied charter flight, he may have unwittingly provided investigators a key to an interlocking network of covert CIA front companies, airlines, and individuals dating back decades and involving a number of past covert activities, some of which developed into full-fledged scandals.
WMR has long written about the Houston-based marine salvaging company Oceaneering International. U.S. Judge Mark Fuller, who sentenced former Alabama Democratic Governor Don Siegelman to seven years in prison and is a Republican Party operative, declared on his financial disclosure statements that he has a financial interest in Oceaneering, as well as Doss Aviation, a contractor for the U.S. Air Force. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is also reported to have a financial interest in both firms.
WMR previously revealed that Stanford Financial Group's aviation branch, Stanford Aviation, maintained an office in Fredericksburg co-located with two other aviation firms, Zenith Aviation and AV Craft, and a construction company, Abby Construction, a firm whose principal officer has a past link with Oceneering International.
In 1991, federal law enforcement agents raided AV Craft, Inc. in Miami, Florida. The firm, and others, were under investigation for selling bogus aircraft parts to major airlines like United Airlines. Other Florida firms raided were Classic Aviation Inc. of Hialeah and Air Advantage, Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale. The Federal Aviation Administration refused to disclose the identities of aviation companies in Texas and Arizona that were also under investigation for selling bogus aircraft parts. An April 14, 2004, article in Frankfurter Rundschau as being located in San Antonio and being involved in the aircraft business in eastern Europe.
WMR has previously reported that U.S. intelligence sources have identified Oceaneering as a major CIA proprietary firm and one that inherited much of the previous covert marine business from another proprietary, Zapata Off-shore Drilling Company of Houston. Oceaneering is also headquartered in Houston having moved its headquarters from Santa Barbara, California to Houston in March 1980.
Oceaneering acquired a number of other firms after its move to Houston. Canada's off-shore surveying company Marinav Co. was acquired in 1982. In 1983, Oceaneering took over Steadfast Marine Inc, the U.S. Navy's marine search firm. Steadfast became Oceaneering's East Coast Division with locations in McLean, Virginia, just around the corner from the CIA's main gate, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 1984, Oceaneering acquired Solus Ocean Systems Inc. from Enserch of Dallas.
Oceaneering was contracted by the U.S. Navy to find the wreckage of Korean Airlines 007, shot down by the Soviet Union in 1983, and the space shuttle Challenger.
Oceaneering's acquisitions occurred under its chief executive officer J. Wesley Rogers. He had previously served as Oceaneering's executive vice president responsible for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He also served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank-Lakeside.
On August 21, 2005, WMR reported: "The Bush family off-shore money tranches originated with gold bars and jewels spirited out of the Philippines upon the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. The Marcos fortune was the price exacted by Vice President Bush for his being granted asylum in Hawaii. The gold bars were transported from the Philippines to the International Diamond Exchange Vaults near Rockefeller Center. A CIA proprietary firm called Oceaneering International of Houston procured barges to move some of the gold from secured warehouses to a specially-configured Boeing 747 which then flew the cargo to New York Oceaneering sealifted the remaining gold to Oregon. After George W. Bush’s victory in 2000, the last of the gold and jewels stored in New York was moved to UBS Bank in Zurich. Marcos and Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi set about to create Five Star Trust in 1983 as a means to create a vehicle to use the Philippine wealth to create and funnel fungible assets abroad. In 1989, Five Star Trust was officially established in the Isle of Man by a Houston-based attorney who was a close friend of the Bush family."
On July 12, 1986, Oceneering's Rogers died, along with his instructor pilot and a passenger, in a plane crash in a marshy area west of Galveston. Marcos had fled the Philippines for Hawaii in February 1986. Rogers was succeeded by John R. Huff, a veteran of Zapata Offshore, George H. W. Bush's old company that assisted the CIA in the Bay of Pigs invasion, Western Oceanic, and The Offshore Company, which became Sonat Offshore. One of Sonat's vice presidents was H. Irvin Smith, who also once worked for Zapata Offshore. Huff had also been an financial adviser for Falcon Partners, an investment bank.
In May 2006, Huff stepped down as CEO of Oceaneering, although he remained as non-executive chairman of the board of directors. In 2007, after Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) separated from Halliburton, the firm once headed by Dick Cheney, Huff became a board member of KBR. William P. Utt, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Siez Energy North America, became President and CEO of KBR. Huff also became an energy industry adviser to Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm.
Huff and Utt were major contributors to the Republican Party. Huff donated money to former President George W. Bush, Senators David Vitter (R-LA), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Representative Ken Calvert (R-CA), former Representative Jack Fields (R-TX), and the presidential campaigns of Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney. Utt gave to former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Representative Joe Barton (R-TX), and former President Bush.
Fredericksburg provides a unique window on the shadowy world of the CIA's connections with international banking and finance, oil, and aviation. Zenith Aviation, which shares the same address with Stanford Aviation, is ironic. ZenithTechnical Enterprises, Inc. was the name of the CIA front company in Miami that spearheaded the Bay of Pigs invasion with the assistance of Bush's Zapata Offshore. Operating out of Zenith in an abandoned section of the University of Miami campus was the CIA's JM/WAVE that targeted Cuba with 400 CIA officers that ran 2000 agents around the region. JM/WAVE, the CIA's largest operation outside of Langley, was headed by Ted Shackley who WMR has connected to the October Surprise by the Reagan-Bush 1980 operation to sell weapons to Iran in return for retaining U.S. hostages until after the 1980 presidential election denying Jimmy Carter a second term. Shackley operated out of the same Rosslyn, Virginia building where the doomed SS Poet was chartered to sail the weapons to Iran.
Lee Harvey Oswald's Dallas handler, George DeMohrenschildt, was found shot to death just prior to his 1977 testimony on the John F. Kennedy assassination to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Found later in DeMohrenschildt's personal phone book was the following entry: "Bush, George H.W. (Poppy) 1412 W. Ohio also Zapata Petroleum Midland."
The CIA's code name for the Bay of Pigs invasion was "Operation ZAPATA." The names of the ships supplied by Zapata Offshore for the invasion were "Barbara" and "Houston."
Another person who operated out of 1911 North Fort Myer Drive in Rosslyn was Air Force General Richard Secord, one of the Iran-Contra conspirators. His firms share the name "Stanford" with the Stanford Financial Group empire of R. Allen Stanford, recently of Fredericksburg, home to some others with ties to the old CIA network. Secord was half-owner of Stanford Technology Trading Group Inc. of Virginia, along with Albert Hakim, another Iran-Contra conspirator, and a director of Stanford Technology Corporation of California. Hakim also controlled Stanford Technology Corporation S.A., in Panama, Sci Tech Trading Group Inc., and StanfordTechnology Corporation Services S.A. in Switzerland. Secord's Stanford Technology was used to purchase a 1973 Piper Seneca I from Blaxton Air craft Sales of Trinity, Alabama in 1985 but failed to immediately register the plane with the FAA. Unlike normal Pipers, the plane Secord bought could reach an altitude of 20,000 feet and had a range of 750 miles.
Poppy Bush is getting frail in his later years and will soon depart the scene, joining his past colleagues in covert crimes, Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Ted Shackley, William Casey, and E. Howard Hunt in "spys' Hell." But as a March 9, 1983, letter from Bush to CIA director Casey reveals, Bush has a designated successor, someone that he was in personal contact with as Vice President and the only name not redacted in the otherwise name-redacted letter: Barack Obama's Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates.
With Gates at the Pentagon and retired Admiral Dennis Blair as Director of National Intelligence, little can be expected from the Obama administration in getting to the bottom of a massive covert intelligence operation that has had the United States under siege since 1961. The latest manifestation of that operation is the Stanford Financial Group fraud, the latest in a parade of the savings and loans, BCCI, and Enron.