by Winsip Custer
On October 16th the Robert Redford and James Vanderbilt film based on Mary Mapes' book TRUTH AND DUTY will open nationwide.
Viewers will need to ask several questions of TRUTH, the name of the film:
- Why didn't Mary Mapes who knew of the story in 1999 inform the nation of it then or in 2000 during the Bush/Gore election? What reason could possibly be given to prevent a major media outlet like CBS from pouncing on the story in an important election year even if Mapes was unable for professional or personal reasons for not reporting the story.
- How much weight is given to the testimony of Mrs. Marian Carr Knox? Knox typed the original memos in 1972 and was interviewed by Rather in 2004 so how much weight is given in the Redford/Vanderbilt film to her validation of the accuracy of the contents of the falsified memos and does the film present the introduction of the falsified memos as a "logical" means of managing the potential PR crisis for the Bush political empire by convoluting the argument?
- How well is the Dick Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi visit to Mrs. Marian Carr Knox covered and with their discrediting of Mrs. Knox's testimony and her son's reported affirmations of the truth of her original testimony? Is Patrick Carr's place in the story covered at all?
- Who was the Patrick Carr whose body was found in his burned out Ford Bronco near Ellington Field on December 10, 2000 just two days before the 2000 Presidential election was settled by the U.S. Supreme Court and why was he murdered?
- Is the fact that Dan Rather and Donald Rumsfeld co-owned a 9,000 acre ranch in Las Vegas, New Mexico mentioned in the film? That Rumsfeld owned Misery Plantation in Maryland where Frederick Douglass was tortured or that the Rather family in Texas owns the historic Nassau-Waldec Plantation where the original Buffalo Soldiers were domiciled in Texas?
- Does the film mention that both Mapes and Rather won a Peabody Award for their "breaking" the story of Iraq's Abu Ghraib Prison scandal in 2004 when it was Amnesty International that broke the story in 2003?
- Does the film mention that also at CBS was Lowell Bergman who wrongly covered the 1988 death of Salem Bin Laden in Cibolo, Texas saying that he was flying his BAC-111 jet instead of an ultra-light or that Salem owned the Houston Gulf Manor Airport near Ellington Field and that the purchase was made by the Saudi royal banker, Khalid Bin Mahfouz, with the help of Bush's Air National Guard roommate, Jim Bath? Does TRUTH mention that Salem Bin Laden's Houston airport was razed after the 2001 World Trade Center attack of 911?
- How does the film handle the testimony of General Belasarius Flores who confirmed the essence of the original Killian memos that Marion Carr Knox typed?
- Is Marion Carr Knox's testimony from September 2004 that aired on 60 Minutes repeated in any form in Truth? Why not?
- Does the film mention that Rather worked for the Houston Chronicle whose competitor's reporter, Peter Brewton of the Houston Post, found his 1992 book, The Mafia, CIA and George Bush, about the 1980's S&L scandal, its criminals and masterminds, intertwined with the Iran-Contra criminals while his book which was originally contracted with Simon & Schuster for publication and providing editor Alice Mayhew, editor of Woodward & Bernsteins' All The President's Men as Brewton's editor, but which was derailed during the Bush, Clinton and Perot election of 1992? Does the Redford/Vanderbilt movie provide an epilogue stating that the Houston Chronicle's new managing editor, previously at the Washington Post, Vernon Loeb, who authored at the WP the falsified stories of Pat Tillman's death and Jessica Lynch's rescue and then co-authored with Paula Broadwell the book ALL IN: THE EDUCATION OF GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS add to the difficulty in discerning what is and is not "truth"? Does the film, TRUTH, mention that Loeb's boss at the Washington Post, Steve Coll, became the Henry Luce Professor of Journalism and head of the School of Journalism at Columbia University, New York or that Coll and his other reporter, Jeff Leen, discredited the work of the San Jose Mercury News' Gary Webb, author of Dark Alliance, whose work in California rested squarely on the previous work of Peter Brewton in Texas and which Webb specifically mentions in a debate with Jeff Leen just after the publication of Dark Alliance? Gary Webb would die on December 10, 2004 the same day four years to the day of the death of the 23-year-old, Patrick Carr, who died near Ellington Field. The medical examiner in Webb's case provided as unbelievable an assessment of the facts as that of the death in Texas of Patrick Carr....the same name as the son of Mrs. Marian Carr Knox (When the Houston/Harris County Medical Examiner's office became a symbol of local political corruption Michael Bromwich, leading prosecutor in the Iran-Contra investigation whose case stopped short of recommending impeachment of Reagan and GHWB, was imported to "clean up" the beleaguered office paid from confiscated drug money. The indicted Iran-Contra co-conspirators were pardoned by GHWB, a move echoing Marian Carr Knox's criticism of GWB whom she said thought of himself as being "above the laws"). The 23-year-old Patrick Carr had just moved to Houston from Austin where he had worked for Ellas/Ranch 616/Rather Sweet, owned by the niece of Dan Rather, Rebecca Rather. The boy's uncle was a fishing buddy of Jim Bath's business partner and Mayor of Kemah, Texas, William E. King.
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On Feb. 15, 2015 after listening to Jeff Leen's debate with Gary Webb just after Webb's book Dark Alliance was published and hearing Webb reference his conversation with Peter Brewton, Patrick Carr's father sent Leen the following letter copies out to Peter Brewton and to the people the father had known since high school. Patrick's father had offered to meet with Leen, but not hearing back from him sent the following:
From: William Carr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Pete Brewton <email@example.com>; "Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2015 12:30 AM
Subject: Gary Webb and WP redemption.....an alternative
Additionally, the FinCEN Investigation, the FBI's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network was investigating William E. King's business partner, James Reynolds Bath, in 1992 because he was a director of the Bank of Commerce and Credit International or BCCI often referred to those investigating the Iran-Contra scandal as the "Bank of Crooks and Criminals".
In 1992 the investigation into Bath's business dealings essentially received a "stand down" order. The Houston Chronicle covered the story, but did not delve into just why so little was subsequently done with FinCEN investigation. Today a number of online sites chronicle the great work of FinCEN and its year-to-year accomplishments, but without discussing the BCCI and Iran-Contra connections.
Houston Chronicle June 4 1992:
"Federal authorities are investigating the activities of a Houston businessman -- a past investor in companies controlled by a son of President Bush -- who has been accused of illegally representing Saudi interests in the United States. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network -- known as FinCEN -- and the FBI are reviewing accusations that entrepreneur James R. Bath guided money to Houston from Saudi investors who wanted to influence U.S. policy under the Reagan and Bush administrations, sources close to the investigations say. FinCEN, a division of the U.S. Department of Treasury, investigates money laundering. Special agents and analysts from various law enforcement agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Customs Service, are assigned to work with the FinCEN staff. The federal review stems in part from court documents obtained through litigation by Bill White, a former real estate business associate of Bath. White contends the documents indicate that the Saudis were using Bath and their huge financial resources to influence U.S. policy. Such representation by Bath would require that he be registered as a foreign agent with the U.S. Department of Justice. In general, people required by law to be registered are those who represent a foreign entity seeking to influence governmental action or policy.
An Annapolis graduate and former Navy fighter pilot, White, 46, claims that Bath and the judicial system, under the veil of national security, have blackballed him professionally and financially because he has refused to keep quiet about what he regards as a conspiracy to secretly funnel Saudi dollars to the United States. White became entangled in a series of lawsuits and countersuits with Bath, who for some six years has prevailed in the courts. White says the legal action has financially devasted him and Venturcorp Inc., the real estate development company in which he and Bath were partners. In sworn depositions, Bath said he represented four prominent Saudis as a trustee and that he would use his name on their investments. In return, he said, he would receive a 5 percent interest in their deals. (George W.) Bush said that to his knowledge, Bath's investment was from personal funds, and no Saudi money was invested in Arbusto. Bath, 55, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, declined to comment for the record. Spokesmen for FinCEN and the FBI also declined to comment. According to a 1976 trust agreement, drawn shortly after Bush was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Saudi Sheik Salem M. Binladen appointed Bath as his business representative in Houston.
Binladen, along with his brothers, owns Binladen Brothers Construction, one of the largest construction companies in the Middle East. According to White, Bath told him that he had assisted the CIA in a liaison role with Saudi Arabia since 1976. Bath has previously denied having worked for the CIA. In a sworn deposition, Bath said he was the sole director of Skyway Aircraft Leasing Ltd., a company that a court document shows is owned by Khaled bin Mahfouz. Bin Mahfouz had been a major shareholder in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a banking empire that has been accused of money laundering and of using Mideast oil money to seek ties to political leaders in several countries. Mahfouz and his family own the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia. In 1990, Bath bought the Express Auto Park garage at Hobby Airport for $8.4 million, which included a $1.4 million loan provided by Mahfouz, according to transaction documents. Bath received a 5 percent interest in the companies that own and operate Houston Gulf Airport after purchasing it on behalf of Binladen in 1977. After Binladen died in 1988, his interests in the airport were taken over by Mahfouz, according to court documents.
Houston Chronicle Sept 10 1994
A key figure in the world's largest banking scandal is participating in an attempt to take control of a major city of Houston aviation contractor, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court here. National Commercial Bank-Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (NCB), which is controlled by the family of Sheik Khalid Bin Mahfouz, has claimed rights to 90 percent of the outstanding shares of Southwest Airport Services, according to documents accompanying the lawsuit filed by Sandra C. Bath, president of Southwest Airport Services.
Southwest Airport Services provides fuel and other services for general aviation aircraft at the city-owned Ellington Field. The company also provides fuel to NASA and transient military aircraft, and to Air Force One, the president's plane, when it comes to Houston. Bath filed the lawsuit against the bank and her former husband, James R. Bath, a local entrepreneur.
"Mr. Mahfouz, as owner of National Commercial Bank, hopes to accommodate Mr. Bath's desire to assume control of Southwest Airport Services Inc., and treat it as his personal piggy-bank as he has done over the preceding several years,'' says the lawsuit.
Jerry Urban, another Houston Chronicle reporter, would cover on June 4, 1992 in the article "FBI Investigates Entrepreneur Allegedly Tied to Saudis," in which Urban essentially covers the "stand down" order on the investigation of GWB's National Guard roommate. Urban wrote:
As Jeff Leen's attack on Gary Webb disclosed and as the general disregard for the testimony of former CIA agents like John Robert Stockwell make clear, there is a veil of secrecy that is protected by the U.S. mainline media. Mary Mapes and Dan Rather's 2004 "Memogate" story seems to be taking on that veil of secrecy, but at a deeper level their actions supported it. While there have been some like Columbia University grad and Yale University insider, Alfred W. McCoy, author of The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (1972) which became the 2nd Edition, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (1991), who provide a type of pressure release valve to journalists like Coll, Loeb, Leen and others who can point to their work as evidence that there has been no lack of stories on CIA participation in the drug trade, even this acts as firewall to the dark alliances by pushing back the evidence into the distant past while serious investigative reporters like Webb and Brewton took on the immediacy of the story and paid the price. Brewton's story did not connect the dots to the drug trade as did Webb, however, put together their stories were a lightening bolt for which they would not received as many accolades as has Alfred W. McCoy who has received Yale's Wilbur Lucus Cross Medal, but then their reporting was significantly more pedestrian and volatile disallowing for the management of the storyline upon which the mainline media depends as a tool of propaganda.
Front line reporters like Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News and Bill Steward of ABC who differed from Webb only in the fact that his murder was caught on camera, pay the heaviest price for defending the U.S. Fourth Estate. Others are rewarded as "evidence" that "responsible" reporting is carried out by highly decorated academicians, while reporters like Webb or Steward die. As a corrective to this well-managed worldview which the mainline media protects, readers need to be reminded that Henry Kissinger received a Nobel Peace Prize while Robert Merton whose Black Scholes formulas tanked the U.S. economy in 2008 received a Nobel Prize for economics.
Increasingly people are turning to open source reporting for the truth. For example, open source reporting has become a valuable tool for understanding why in 1992 the FinCEN investigation into James Reynolds Bath's (GWB's Air National Guard Roommate) relationship to the Saudi royal banker, Khalid Bin Mahfouz, was largely abandoned by the U.S. law enforcement entities also investigating the BCCI or Bank of Commerce and Credit International scandal.
From this open source reporting the processes of imperial propaganda can be clearly seen. For example, the history of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt which spawned Al Qaeda as freedom fighters for the Afghans against the Russians which ultimately backfired in 911 found the American University in Cairo thriving under the protection of Hosni Mubarak. One of BCCI's other leading personalities, Kamal Adham, funded the Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism in 1985. While Kamal Adham was convicted in the BCCI scandal, later in 2008 he was given a lucrative contract to supply jet fuel for the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The American University of Cairo is a private university whose President is Lisa Anderson, the former James Shotwell Professor of International Relations at Columbia University, the bastion of applied psychology and sociology in the U.S. where Steve Coll, formerly Jeff Leen's and Vernon Loeb's editor at the Washington Post, had become the Henry Luce Professor of Journalism and Dean of the Columbia Journalism School. Passing through the halls of Cairo's American University was fellow Pulitzer Prize winner with Steve Coll, Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower about 911 and which avoids the toughest questions related to the entire 911 catastrophe. Wright had worked for the U.S. State Department at the United Nations when George Herbert Walker Bush was U.N. Ambassador.