Sunday, November 03, 2013

Obama's old CIA company a model for firm in CIA thriller movie?

 Obama's old CIA company a model for firm in CIA thriller movie?

The CIA kept track of articles written about the 1975 thriller film "Three Days of the Condor." One document discovered in the CIA archives is an article written for the Saturday Review of September 6, 1975 by Karl E. Meyer, a former Washington Post correspondent and New York Timeseditor. The article, once classified by the CIA, was not released until 2001. Titled "The Condor's Bite," Meyer poses the question of whether the CIA operated "think tank" front companies in New York City under "spurious names."

In the movie, the "American Literary Historical Society" is a CIA front company that analyzes foreign books in search of coded messages. The operation runs afoul of the a cell within the CIA. The cell dispatches a rogue assassination team, operating under agency "plausible deniability" rules, to kill the employees of the Manhattan-based think tank. One of the think tank's analysts, Joe Turner (Robert Redford), has discovered a hidden code in one of the books he's analyzing. It is a code that threatens to unmask the CIA's covert cell. Turner leaves to grab lunch for his colleagues and returns to find them all assassinated. That sets off a series of events in which Turner evades the killers who are trying to dispatch him.

In reality, the CIA was clearly interested in the article's suggestion that the CIA could maintain companies under cover in the heart of Manhattan, one of the most visible locations on the planet. Meyer wrote the following about such a scenario:

"Can we believe that the CIA operates 'think tanks' in New York under spurious names? Of course. Can we also accept that the CIA, on occasion, will hire gunmen to wipe out its own? Ditto, if with a little more difficulty. But finally, can we believe that CIA agents can be murdered in the streets of New York with only a lying item in the press, planted by presumably compliant police? Too many people would have to be implicated in such a cover-up, too many friends and relatives would begin asking questions; we are not yet [emphasis added] a totalitarian country. As a film, 'Condor,' is more warning than a documentary."

Was Obama's Manhattan CIA front company Business International the model for "Three Days of the Condor" fictional New York think tank?

After the outrage of the 9/11 attack, one can now safely assume that "Condor's" and Meyer's warnings were unheeded and the film could very well serve as a documentary today. The names Deborah Jeane Palfrey, Roland Carnaby, and Phillip Marshall represent merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the CIA killing its current and former operatives, among a number of other Americans, on U.S. soil.

And that brings us to an actual CIA front company, Business International Corporation, which, like the American Literary Historical Society," operated in the middle of Manhattan, creating tailored intelligence reports for the CIA. One of the editors and authors of such reports was Barack Obama, Jr., who chose not to identify the name of the company in his memoir, Dreams From My Father, Obama merely wrote: "The company promoted me to the position of financial writer. I had my own office, my own secretary; money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders . . ." Obama edited and wrote for two newsletters that would eventually end up on the desks of CIA economic analysts at Langley, Virginia. The newsletters were Financing Foreign Operations and Investing, Licensing, and Trading Conditions Abroad. From 1983 to around early 1985, the CIA was financing a number of "foreign operations," most notably in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, and Western and Eastern Europe.

In 1977, an article in the New York Times confirmed that Business International, in business since the 1950s, was used by the CIA as a front for its agents, especially those operating abroad with the cover of "journalist." Inside Wall Street, Business International's links to the CIA were well known. Even former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said he was surprised when he discovered that Obama worked for Business International. The firm had a brand in Manhattan and it was known to UN diplomats and Wall Street traders.

Three Days of the Condor appeared in theaters as the most egregious abuses of the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency were first coming to light in the wake of the Watergate scandal. In 1976, America elected Jimmy Carter as President, partly in reaction to the abuses of the three-letter agencies and Richard Nixon's "Plumbers." In 1980, America reversed itself by electing the Ronald Reagan-George H W Bush team to run the country. William Casey, a proponent of CIA "proprietary" companies was brought in from Wall Street to run the CIA. Obama's career skyrocketed from his employment with one of Casey's favorite CIA fronts, Business International.

The rest, as they say, is history.