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Inside story: the Bush gang and Barrick Gold Corporation

   












by Anton Chaitkin

Barrick Gold, caught scrambling for loot amid the corpses in Zaire, is a corporate front for the George Bush-allied covert political apparatus. The Canada-based Barrick is Bush's only known current business enterprise. The company, which Bush now personally leads, was created by Bush's political partners--British elite narcotics financiers, and arms traffickers and money launderers.
Using the influence of this political faction, Barrick acquired important interests, first in the United States, then in Canada and South America. In South America, as Barrick boasts in its 1995 annual report, the company has an aggressive, long-term approach, with mines and projects established in strategic locations in Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. ``Almost two-thirds of the exploration and development drilling budget will be spent in South America, where the company has decided to focus its efforts,'' the annual report states. In addition, with its intended conquests in Indonesia and Africa, the firm now says it aims to move from third to first among the world's largest gold mining companies.
We present here the results of {EIR'}s investigation of the Bush company, centering on the following principal figures:

George Herbert Walker Bush:
whose father was a partner in the powerful London-controlled private banking firm Brown Brothers Harriman. Relevant to the Barrick story, Bush was U.S. vice president and chief of covert operations in the Reagan-Bush (1981-89) administration, and U.S. President (1989-93). As a former President and power broker, Bush is Barrick Gold Corp.'s chief lobbyist, a stockholder in Barrick, and honorary senior adviser to Barrick's international advisory board.

Adnan Khashoggi:
a Bush-allied Saudi billionaire and arms trafficker, founder of the Barrick Gold Corp.; famous for his illegal weapons sales to Iran.

Peter Munk:
a business failure who became a protege of the British royal family, and Khashoggi's partner. Munk is chairman of Barrick Gold Corp.

Brian Mulroney:
Canadian prime minister (1984-93) and George Bush's errand boy; Barrick Gold lobbyist and director, Bush's lieutenant on the Barrick international advisory board.
Barrick Gold was founded in Toronto, Canada, in 1983. The majority investment in the firm was held by Khashoggi and his arms-trafficking partners, who were just then gearing up the Iran-Israel-Nicaragua guns and cocaine tangle which would explode in 1986 as the ``Iran-Contra'' scandal.
The nominal chief of Barrick Gold was Peter Munk, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who had repeatedly ``died'' as a businessman, only to be repeatedly revived by princes and principalities. This much of Munk's story is before the public in a biography that was written and published with Munk's support, entitled {Peter Munk: The Making of a Modern Tycoon,} by Donald Rumball (Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co., 1996). It vaguely describes Munk's public disgrace, his self-exile in London, and his sudden rise to near-billionaire status, ending with Munk's invitation to George Bush became honorary senior adviser to the board, created in May 1995.

- The Clairtone heist -
Peter Munk first became notorious in Canada in the late 1960s, as the beneficiary in an insider trading scandal. Munk and a partner named David Gilmour owned an audio equipment manufacturing company that had been heavily subsidized by the province of Nova Scotia. Munk and Gilmour quietly dumped 29,000 shares of Clairtone stock in 1967, just before publication of the company's financial report tipped off other investors that the company was failing. After Munk sold at $9 per share, the stock plunged to $1.
Dr. Morton Shulman, a member of the legislative assembly of the province of Ontario, asked government representatives if Munk would escape with his money and no legal consequences (see Ontario Legislative Library record of Ontario provincial parliamentary debate on June 3, 1969).
Ontario Minister of Financial and Commercial Affairs H.L. Rowntree responded that a court had been requested to order the Ontario Securities Commission ``to commence an action in connection with [Munk's] Clairtone Sound Company ... for an action in the name of the company for the accounting of profits allegedly made by him by reason of the improper use of inside information.''
But there was no government action, and Munk would indeed escape. A Clairtone stockholder named John Adams, who had lost about $5,500, had filed a legal action against Munk. Munk hired attorney Charles Dubin, whom Shulman described as ``a lawyer who acts for the Conservative Party whenever there is an embarrassment to be covered up.... He is amazingly good at covering up Conservative scandals.... And Charles Dubin ... knew exactly how to go about subverting the law in this case.''
Shulman reported that Munk's attorney gave Adams $35,000 as a settlement, on Adams's agreement not to make the case public. Then, ``the lawyer for Adams and Charles Dubin went into the Judge's chambers ... [and] requested the judge to remove the papers from the registrar's office and keep them in his own private chambers, which the judge did.''
Charles Dubin, Munk's inventive attorney, the fixer for Mulroney's Conservative Party, became Ontario's chief justice, and only recently retired.
The disappearance of legal papers in the Munk case discouraged other stockholders from going after Munk. But the resulting scandal made him a pariah in Canada, and Munk moved to London to start a new life.

- `Dope, Inc.' puts Munk back together - The sister of Munk's partner, David Gilmour, had married one of the Vansittarts, a family high in the Anglo-Dutch aristocracy. Munk's approved biography reports that this Vansittart activated the formidable Sir Henry Keswick, who made arrangements to lift Munk into a new career. Keswick's family merchant banking firm, Jardine Matheson, had long been the British Empire's leading, out-in-the-open organizer of Asian illegal narcotics trafficking and drug-money-laundering. (Keswick, Jardine Matheson, and their cohorts are central figures in {EIR'}s book {Dope, Inc.} (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, third edition, 1992.)
Jardine Matheson made Munk the chief executive of a Bahamas-registered hotel corporation called Southern Pacific Properties (SPP), with Jardine money, and Jardine's chief executive, David Newbigging, as a director. Then, Jardine's historical dope partner, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O), joined the Munk enterprise; P&O's Lord Geddes himself joined Newbigging on the Munk-SPP board. In future years, as Munk rose to world prominence in the gold business, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. and the Royal Bank of Canada, two ``Dope, Inc.'' financial agencies, would provide credit in the billions of dollars for Munk's expansion.
Munk-SPP became a giant hotel owner in Australia and the South Pacific islands, and seized control of the Travelodge chain.
Munk's rise in Australia was aided by his lifelong close association with fellow Hungarian emigre Sir Peter Abeles, Australia's transport mogul. Munk's stepfather had been secretary and assistant to Abeles's father in Vienna in the late 1940s. Abeles is reportedly known in Europe as ``the White Knight,'' in reference both to his British knighthood, and his reported large role in the cocaine trade. Jonathan Kwitney, in {The Crimes of Patriots} (New York: W.W. Norton, 1987), reports that, after Abeles encountered labor union problems in his American business, Abeles gave to gangster ``associates of ... the most powerful Mafia leader in the United States ... a 20% stake in his U.S. operations.'' His partners were indicted for hiding his payments, but Abeles refused to come to America to testify, and charges were dropped.

- Khashoggi, Barrick, and the ayatollahs -
In 1974, Munk signed an investment partnership agreement with arms-trafficking billionaire Adnan Khashoggi of Saudi Arabia. According to Munk's approved biography, the new alliance was cemented when Munk and Khashoggi were summoned to the London headquarters of Peninsular and Orient. P&O's hereditary boss was Lord Inchcape, whose predecessor in the 1920s (also Lord Inchcape) had directed Britain's India Commission to continue the Empire's opium production.
Munk later told his biographer that he was nervous--Khashoggi was late and perhaps ``the P&O directors wouldn't wait for us and it would seriously harm the relationship. It was already remarkable that they should have a Jew and an Arab together in their dining room.'' But, the mighty Lord Inchcape convinced Khashoggi to plunge in, and Khashoggi now provided most of the cash for the Munk enterprise.
Since this arrangement was sealed back in the 1970s, Munk has grown in favor as London's creature. He became a regular skiing partner of Prince Charles, who recently attended the opening of a Munk speculative real estate venture (a factory outlet mall) in Germany. Munk is a member of the elite ``1001 Club,'' co-founded by Prince Philip, a worldwide grouping of aristocrats, bankers, and speculators who support a radical anti-industrial, ``pro-environmentalist'' looting strategy, and who provide a lion's share of the funding for Prince Philip's World Wildlife Fund.
The first Khashoggi-Munk-London venture was an attempt to build a 10,000-acre ``jet set'' resort complex immediately adjoining the Egyptian pyramids. As the scheme threatened to destroy the entire historical/archeological area, it evoked mass protests, and could not be forced through. Munk sued Egypt's government, and was eventually awarded $17 million by an international referee.
Khashoggi and his associates, backers of the British- and Bush-linked faction of the arms trade, created Barrick Petroleum Corp. in 1981, registered as a Delaware, U.S.A., corporation. Junior partner Munk, having returned from London, set up a parallel ``Barrick Resources'' in Canada.
But Munk's name was anathema to Canadian investors. So, Khashoggi was brought in to lend his prestige to Munk. Khashoggi made a televised publicity tour of the Toronto stock exchange, and announced that he had purchased 10,000 (Canadian) Barrick shares. At that point, in fact, Khashoggi, his brother, and their international associates already controlled the company, partially through Khashoggi's Lichtenstein-U.S.A. conglomerate, ``Triad.''
Munk was now launched as a corporate chairman in Canada. But this first Barrick, an oil development firm, went bust and lost all its money.
In 1983, the Khashoggi-led group formed the gold company whose name was soon changed to Barrick Gold Corp. Sheik Kamal Adham was reportedly one of the new company's founding co-owners. Adham, the chief of Saudi intelligence, had coordinated royalist guerrillas in Yemen, with British arms secretly provided through Khashoggi.
Beginning in 1985, Khashoggi borrowed $21 million, using his Barrick stock as collateral, for the covert transfer of arms to Iran for the Bush-North group, during an official U.S. arms embargo against the Khomeini regime. Khashoggi made Donald Fraser, the Toronto-based businessman who allegedly provided the loan from his Cayman Islands company, president of Khashoggi's Triad American holding company.
Khashoggi used the Monte Carlo office of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International to launder money for Iran arms sales. Barrick Gold Corp. co-founder Kamal Adham was later prosecuted for fraud in the BCCI case, and paid a $100 million fine.
Khashoggi's Saudi royal piggybanks also underwrote George Bush's Central American ``Contras'' adventures, making payments through the Swiss Bank Corp. and a Cayman Islands bank, totalling about $27 million.
When the Iran and Contra scandals blew up in 1986, U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese linked the two scandals in a Nov. 25 public revelation. The next day, Munk announced a shareholders' meeting to decide on an urgent restructuring plan. A new organization emerged, keeping the Khashoggi group in control, but easing Khashoggi out of the limelight and making Munk the sole public figurehead. Personnel were shifted into the Canada organization out of Khashoggi's Triad operations in Utah. Tariq Kadri, Khashoggi's longtime attorney, was made president of the Horsham holding company that was put over Barrick.
As the U.S. Congress took up the arms-for-drugs investigation and other trails leading to Vice President Bush, Khashoggi became too hot for the Canadian partnership, and the Khashoggi group's shares were officially sold off. Khashoggi was himself arrested in 1989, in a fraud case involving the Philippines' Marcos regime. Taken from Switzerland and jailed in New York, Khashoggi was bailed out with a $4 million check from his partner, Peter Munk.

- Bush cashes his gold chips -
In 1986-87, at the height of the Iran-Contra controversy, the Barrick Gold Corp. acquired the Goldstrike property in Nevada for $63 million. The land, proving to hold $10 billion in gold, was the property of the U.S. government. Bush was elected President in 1988, and his administration put through a special dispensation--applied only to the Barrick Gold Corp.--to speed up the normal procedures for a mining company to take official title (``patent'') to the land.
With the Bush Goldstrike intervention, Barrick Gold shot up from insignificance, to world power status, and Bush himself climbed onboard.
President Bush's ambassador to Canada (1989-92), Edward N. Ney, had been for many years a Bush political operative and an international coordinator of Bush's ``privatized'' intelligence activities. In 1992, Ney quit as ambassador and became a director of the Barrick Gold Corp.
The following year, Brian Mulroney resigned as Canadian prime minister. Mulroney was the most unpopular Canadian politician; but, in power, he had directly aided Barrick's international ventures, and had worked closely with Bush to force through free trade agreements. Munk immediately hired the former prime minister as a Barrick step-'n'-fetchit. The approved biography explains Munk's point of view:
``Mulroney [was] the unhappy lightning rod for the angst of a whole nation, in office and out. Munk was well aware of these feelings toward his new recruit.... After nine years trotting around the world to meet world leaders, he had incomparable access to Presidents and prime ministers in all the key spots.... Mulroney arranged the necessary access to the key decision makers. Munk was starting to salivate at the prospect of an inside track into the huge Chinese territory.''
Mulroney has been paid over $300,000 per year by Barrick.
Barrick announced in May 1995, that a new international advisory board was being assembled, under the leadership of ``honorary senior adviser'' George Bush, the former U.S. President, who, like Mulroney, had recently lost his job at the hands of the voters.
On Nov. 27, 1996, the French newspaper {Le Monde} leaked the news that Barrick had been granted a concession to prospect for gold in Zaire--a lead which prompted the present {EIR} Barrick investigation. Canadian newspapers that same day reported that Barrick Gold had convinced the government of Indonesia to award to Barrick control over the world's largest gold find, and that {George Bush and Brian Mulroney had personally done the heavy lobbying} to accomplish this.
The Indonesia deal is indeed startling. The small Canadian mining company Bre-X Minerals Ltd. had intended to develop the Busang gold mine, on East Kalimantan. Suddenly, the government announced that it demanded that Barrick Gold Corp. be cut in to a 75% ownership stake in the mine, which is estimated to hold 57 million ounces of gold, with a current estimated value over $20 billion.
{EIR} contacted Placer Dome Inc., a rival company which has been bidding for the right to develop a share of the Busang mine. A Placer Dome spokesman would make no comment on Barrick Gold, saying only, of his own firm, ``We are a gold mining company, not a political organization.''
The U.S. Republican Party, of course, has been attempting to use President Clinton's fund-raising relationship with Indonesian supporters as a scandal to break the President. Former President Bush, meanwhile, has been reportedly telling world leaders, privately, that the Clinton Presidency is destroyed; that his son, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, will be the next President, reviving the Bush dynasty; and that, therefore, leaders would be smart to work with him now.

Barrick's barracudas

In announcing the creation of Barrick Gold Corp.'s international advisory board on May 3, 1995, Barrick Chairman Peter Munk said, ``They will be providing strategic advice on geopolitical issues affecting Barrick.'' In fact, they are components of the geopolitical dirty tricks apparatus centered around former President George Bush. The following is a brief profile of key members of Barrick's international advisory board and its board of directors:

George Bush:
serves as ``Honorary Senior Adviser.''

Brian Mulroney:
prime minister of Canada from
1984 to 1993. Mulroney became prime minister after backers of the Nicaraguan Contras helped knock out his competitor, Joe Clark. There were no serious investigations of the `Iran-Contra' Canadian connection. Mulroney sacrificed his political career by talking Canadians into accepting Bush's North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Though Canadian banks benefitted, 350,000 industrial jobs were lost, and Mulroney became the most hated man in Canada. In the 1993 elections, Canadians voted out all but 2 of his party's 169 members of Parliament.
In 1994, Mulroney's phone calls to the Presidents of Chile and Argentina, and the prime minister of China, helped Barrick move into gold mines in those nations. His ``advice'' was rewarded with $1.2 million in stock options and $300,000 in fees. Rev. Sun Myung Moon rewarded Mulroney and Bush for their vouching for him in Ibero-America in November 1996. Mulroney, a board member of Archer Daniels Midland, ran ADM's internal ``investigation'' of its price-fixing scandal.

Howard H. Baker, Jr.:
(R-Tenn.) served in the U.S.
Senate from 1967 to 1985, and was Reagan's chief of staff during 1987-88. He is on many corporate boards and runs a lobbying firm, which includes Barrick among its clients.

Paul G. Desmarais, Sr.:
is the richest man in
Canada, and a member of Her Majesty's Council for Canada. He runs Power Corp. of Canada--which generates political power. He serves on many boards with Maurice Strong, a top operative of Prince Philip's World Wide Fund for Nature. For example, Desmarais and Strong are Honorary Director and Honorary Chairman, respectively, of the China-Canada Business Council. Desmarais used his contacts in China to win electricity-generating contracts for Power Corp., and to obtain gold concessions for Barrick. Desmarais is part-owner of Europe's largest private TV network, the banking Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, and Belgium's Petrofina oil giant. As a Commander of Belgium's L'Ordre de Leopold II, it seems natural for him to be involved with Barrick in recolonizing the former Belgian Congo.

Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.:
was president of the Urban
League from 1971 to 1981, when former Democratic National Committee chairman Robert S. Strauss recruited him to become a senior partner in his law firm. Jordan is influential in the Democratic Party and in corporate America.

Andro'nico Luksic:
is a Chilean oligarch who was a
big winner in Chile's Thatcherite sell-off of state assets. He is building a South America-wide banking empire as the local partner for Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, the central bank of the opium trade, and for Spanish banking interests. They have snapped up banks in Chile, Argentina, and Peru--countries which Bush would like to integrate into a Western Hemisphere Free Trade Accord. In 1994, Barrick acquired 500 square miles of Chile's El Indio gold, silver, and copper district, containing 9.5 million ounces of gold. It also has mines in Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, and Venezuela.

Peter Munk:
a member of the 1001 Club (see article, p.|19.

Karl Otto Pohl
was president of the Bundesbank, Germany's central bank, from 1980 to 1991; he was a top official of the International Monetary Fund and Bank for International Settlements, and is a member of Germany's Social Democratic Party.

Jose E. Rohm:
manager of Argentina's private
Banco Central de Negocios, is an expert in turning the privatization of state assets to personal advantage.

Robert M. Smith:
the only real gold miner in the
bunch; chief operating officer of Barrick Gold.

- The board of directors -

Edward N. Ney:
Bush's appointee as ambassador to
Canada (1989-92), is a Barrick director. Ney became CEO of Young and Rubicam in 1970, where he fired one-third of the staff, and built it into the world's biggest ad and public relations agency. He supervised George Bush's 1988 ad campaign, including the infamous racist ``Willie Horton'' ad. As ambassador, he helped jump-start the NAFTA initiative of Bush and Mulroney, with propaganda saturation from Y&R's Burson-Marsteller division, which he now controls. Burson-Marsteller is a veritable private diplomatic service, with agencies in 34 countries.

J. Trevor Eyton:
known as ``Canada's most powerful businessman,'' brokers the incestuous relations among the Club of the Isles' families which are based in Canada. Eyton started his career in British intelligence's Argus-Hollinger nexus, next to media magnate Conrad Black. Since 1979, he has managed Brascan and other entities for the Bronfman family. He was appointed a Canadian senator as a reward for channelling the Bronfmans' money into buying the 1984 election for Mulroney's party, and to help get the Bush- and Mulroney-backed NAFTA three-way accord with the United States and Mexico through the Canadian Parliament. When the Bronfmans fused with Barrick, Eyton joined its board.


Anglo American Corp. set to grab Brazil's CVRD?


Engineers, geologists, and other officials who work at Brazil's strategic mining and industrial corporation Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), suspect that the South African firm Anglo American Corp. may have been already secretly selected as CVRD's buyer. The state-owned CVRD, located in the mineral-rich Amazon region, is scheduled for privatization early in 1997. When President Fernando Henrique Cardoso traveled to South Africa in late November, he was accompanied by CVRD President Francisco Schettino, and together they met in Johannesburg, South Africa, with top executives of the Oppenheimers' Anglo American.
Brazilian nationalists perceive the CVRD privatization as a giveaway of a national treasure to foreign usurers, whose only goal is to loot the country's mineral wealth, and strip Brazil of its sovereignty. Opponents of the privatization have denounced the fact that government officials have leaked strategic secrets to bidders regarding CVRD's operations. {O Globo} journalist Marcio Moreira Alves warned on Nov. 28 that control of CVRD would give Anglo American Corp. ``an immense competitive advantage, besides opening to it the iron mining market, where it is the only large mining company not present [in Brazil].... The activities of Anglo American in Brazil ... represent barely 1.7% of its business, but multiplying that could provide it an escape route, in case of any accident along the way in the country [South Africa] where it is
headquartered.''
Anglo American has an ugly history in Brazil. On Dec. 4, {Monitor Mercantil} documented that Anglo American closed down three mines and fired 3,000 of 5,000 miners employed at its mine in Cuiaba, in Matto Grosso state. Those workers not fired were paid a pitiful average of 350 reals (about $340) a month. Even worse was the situation at another Anglo American mine in neighboring Nova Lima, in Minas Gerais: alarming unemployment, stagnation of the local economy, high accident rates, and 4,500 miners afflicted with work-related diseases. Because of the high death rate among miners, {Monitor} reported, the city of Raposos, right next to Nova Lima, has the highest percentage of widows in all Brazil. ``Is this the `inevitable' modernization which Fernando Henrique Cardoso preaches for the country?'' the daily asked.--{Cynthia Rush}

The preceding article is a rough version of the article that appeared in The Executive Intelligence Review. It is made available here with the permission of The Executive Intelligence Review. Any use of, or quotations from, this article must attribute them to The Executive Intelligence Review.


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