Bahus War Diary - A personal view

A REMINDER

CIA MAY HAVE USED JOURNALIST COVER

Washington Post

February 2nd, 96.

Waiving a regulation that bars the practice, the CIA has used American journalists or news organizations as cover in clandestine operations on "extraordinary rare" occasions over the past 19 years, according to an intelligence official.

The 1977 regulations were a response to a public outcry after congressional committees disclosed that the CIA had had clandestine agents posing as American journalists for decades.



BROWN BOOSTED US WORLD MARKET ROLE

Chronicle News Service

April 4th 96.

The trip that ended in Ron Brown's reported death had been a clear example of his activist philosophy as secretary of commerce using the muscle and prestige of the US government to help American corporations win international contracts.

His trip to Bosnia and Croatia was intended to introduce a dozen big American companies to opportunities likely to grow out to the $5 billion international plan being drawn up to repair power plants, water treatment facilities, oil and gas pipelines, buildings, roads and bridges in the Balkans.

With an eye on protecting American jobs, Brown also planned to press the Croatian government to reconsider its decision last month to buy 18 jetliners from the European Airbus consortium, and to buy the planes instead from the Boeing Co. of Seattle.

BEHIND THE US-FRANCE SPY FLAP, A STRUGGLE FOR DEALS

By William Drozdiak

Washington Post

Feb 28th 95.

When French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur traveled to Saudi Arabia in January 1994, he and his cabinet could scarcely conceal their excitement about nailing down a high priced contract that would open up a market long dominated by Americans.

The $6 billion package was ready to be signed when Balladur sat down with Saudi King Fahd. It included a huge arms transfer of warships and missiles, three big ticket military maintenance contracts and the plum the French had been pursuing for years: a lion's share for the French-led Airbus consortium in modernizing the Saudia state airline fleet.

But Balladur returned home empty-handed. Fahd had inexplicably balked over the terms of the deal at the last minute, and two months later the French learned why.

A high-pressure campaign waged by the American government persuaded the Saudis to give the entire airline contract to Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. Washington had employed its vast intelligence network - including CIA agents and, according to one source, the international eavesdropping capabilities of the National Security Agency - to sniff out French bribes and generous financing terms. In addition, a personal sales pitch to Fahd by President Clinton helped to sway the Saudi monarch. Eventually, Fahd also put the French arms deal on hold.

At the same time, the CIA was picking up reports of large French bribes to Brazilian officials with influence over a $1.4 billion project to build a high-tech radar system that would measure the health of the Amazon rain forest and detect drug trafficking, according to American official quoted in news reports and in Paris and Washington. The espionage work helped Raytheon Corp. snatch the deal away from its rival, the French electronics firm Thomsom CSF.

A congressional study showed in 1993, that the United States had grabbed a 73 percent share of the world market in arms exports, a level two to three times higher than at any time in the past three decades.

AT&T GETS 4$ BILLION SAUDI DEAL

Associated Press

May 10th 94,

AT&T Corp. won a $4 billion seven-year agreement to build an advanced digital communications network in Saudi Arabia, the company said yesterday.

AT&T beat several rivals for the deal, including Northern Telecom Ltd. (Canada) Alcatel (France) Siemens AG, (Germany) and LM Ericsson Telephone Co. (Sweden)

Last month, president Clinton sent a letter to Saudi King Fahd that urged AT&T be chosen. Secretary of State Warren Christopher mentioned it in a visit to the king.

According to the New York Times, "Clinton administration cabinet secretaries reminded the Saudis of pivotal US role in the Persian Gulf War."

ENDING ARMS SALES HYPOCRISY

San Francisco Chronicle

September 19th 95.

85 percent of all US arms exports over the past five years went to nondemocratic and often brutal regimes.

The Clinton administration, like its predecessors, argues without embarrassment that aggressive foreign arms sales are needed to prop up a US arms industry...

And, only a few months earlier...

AT UN SUMMIT, HILLARY CLINTON SAYS SPEND ON CHILDREN, NOT ARMS

Associated Press, March 8th 95,

But Mrs. Clinton's speech at the summit in Copenhagen did not seem to make up for President Clinton's absence, which has compounded a feeling of futility at the week-long meeting.

The United States and other wealthy nations are considering cuts in foreign aid. Denmark, the host country, tried to set an example last week by canceling $166 million in loans owed by six African and Latin American countries. Other wealthy countries praised the move but say they will not follow suit.

NOBEL LAUREATES CALL FOR ARMS CUTS

San Francisco Chronicle, June 26th 95.

In a joint declaration, 11 Nobel laureates demanded "more responsible behavior on the part of the powerful countries" and said the world's trillion dollar arms industry should be converted to build and improve lives, rather than to destroy them.

At a forum held at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco to discuss the declaration, which the laureates presented earlier in the day to UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, several of the signers pointedly criticized the United States.

In a forceful speech, former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias noted that the United States is responsible for three-quarter of international weapons sales to the Third World - "not a matter to be proud of," he said.

The only laureate to refuse to sign was former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who won the prize in 1973.

EAST EUROPE DEATH RATE SOARS

San Francisco Examiner, February 12th 95

New poverty, stress and the end of socialized health care kill 1 million extra over 4 years.
 
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