Tuesday, August 18, 2015

 

Quotable: Slaves to Debt

As confirmed in the DVD bonus features, The International (2009) is transparently inspired by the case of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). In its heyday, the BCCI was one of the world's largest banks.

BCCI was dissolved in 1991 amidst charges of fraud, arms trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes. The bank served as a CIA conduit and according to the film's screenwriter, Eric Warren Singer, the BCCI was also a Mossad tool (for more on this subject see The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America by Peter Dale Scott (Univ. of California Pr., 2007)).

In 1992, über-Zionist Clark Clifford and his law partner Robert A. Altman were indicted by a grand jury in connection with the scandal at the behest of Zionist Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau. However, as with the fictional bank in The International, no one was ever held criminally responsible for BCCI's conduct. The charges against Clifford were dropped and Altman was acquitted.

Likewise, Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich. The 1992 Senate Committee on Foreign Relations BCCI report said of him:
Marc Rich remains the most important figure in the international commodities markets, and remains a fugitive from the United States following his indictment on securities fraud. BCCI lending to Rich in the 1980's amounted to tens of millions of dollars. Moreover, Rich's commodities firms were used by BCCI in connection with BCCI's involving in U.S. guarantee programs through the Department of Agriculture. The nature and extent of Rich's relationship with BCCI requires further investigation.
Three months after he was pardoned the New York Times reported: "Israeli officials disclosed in interviews that they rallied around the campaign out of gratitude for Mr. Rich's philanthropy in Israel and because of Mr. Rich's clandestine role as a 'sa-ayon,' a Hebrew word for an unpaid supporter of intelligence operations. Mr. Rich, they said, financed sensitive missions and allowed agents to use his offices around the world as cover, when Israel was isolated diplomatically." After Rich died in 2013, he was buried in Israel.

If BCCI was such a useful tool then why was it shut down? I can think of at least two possibilities: First, BCCI had become so exposed that it was a liability, a magnet for investigations; closing it was damage control. Second, at times even elites have disagreements, BCCI may have been shut down because its principals had simply made too many powerful enemies.


Below are two outtakes from the film.

Character of Italian arms manufacturer Umberto Calvini (Luca Barbareschi at 35:10): "the real value of a conflict, the true value, is in the debt that it creates. You control the debt, you control everything ... this is the very essence of the banking industry, to make us all, whether we be nations or individuals, slaves to debt."

###

Character of New York District Attorney "Arnie" (James Rebhorn at 59:30): "Do you have any idea of the shitstorm you've gotten me into?"

Character of Assistant District Attorney Eleanor "Ella" Whitman (Naomi Watts): "We're just trying to get to the truth."

Arnie: "I get it. But what you need to remember is that there's what people want to hear, there's what people want to believe, there's everything else and then there's the truth."

Ella: "Since when is that okay? I can't even believe you're saying this to me. The truth means responsibility, Arnie."

Arnie: "Exactly, which is why everyone dreads it."

See also: Puppets & Money

Post last revised: 12 September 2015 

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