Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pirater på hugget, Jolly Roger i topp

Följande är från kanadensisk författaren Jeff Wells och har ett par år på nacken men kan vara bra att veta. Rätar ut vissa frågetecken. Kolla även t ex "Bill and George: Happy at last" på samma sajt

Thanks to Cryptogon for hosting an mp3 of the recent BBC Radio 4 documentary on Skull and Bones.

Most of the material will be familiar to those who've tried to educate themselves about the shadowy old boy network of privileged Yalies, but here's something I hadn't heard before: in the presidential papers of George HW Bush is a letter from John Kerry, which he'd signed with the traditional salutation of the Bonesman bond, "Yours in 322."

New, but not surprising. As Alexandra Robbins revealed in Secrets of the Tomb, Kerry has been an active adult recruiter for S&B (in 1986 he tried to "tap" a reluctant Jacob Weisberg, future editor of Slate, who was shocked that a liberal senator could support such an organization), and is said to use "322" as a mnemonic device. And of course his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is the widow of a Republican Bonesman, Senator John Heinz.

For many - too many - Skull and Bones means either It's the Illuminati! or It's a frat house! (The latter charge has become increasingly shrill since Kerry became the presumptive Democratic nominee.) While it's true that founder William Russell was greatly influenced by Germanic secret societies, particularly the Bavarian Illuminati, I think it's a mistake to get hung up on the legacy of Adam Weishaupt. More revealing, and more enduring, is the legacy of the opium trade.

Samuel Russell, William's cousin, founded Russell and Company in 1823. Its business was to purchase cheap opium in Turkey and smuggle it into China, where it was strictly prohibited. Americans were competing for narco dollars with the British, who were importing higher quality Indian grades, and were founding family fortunes in the process. Russell's chief of operations in Canton was Warren Delano Jr, the grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Russell's early investors included John Cleve Green, who financed Princeton, and Joseph Coolidge, whose son organized United Fruit which tied together the colonial interests of many New England families, and grandson Archibald Coolidge who co-founded the Council on Foreign Relations. And then there's the Forbes family - the Forbes in "John Forbes Kerry" - who "took drug smuggling to its highest level of profitability and left a legacy that extends into modern times," as Steven Sora writes in Secret Societies of America's Elite.

Skull and Bones - established in 1832 and incorporated in 1856 as the Russell Trust - was sustained by opium money, and established its influence through its ability to place graduates in key positions in the lucrative global drug trade.

Sora advances the thesis that the secret business of societies such as Skull and Bones has been to facilitate the accrual of criminal wealth by a privileged pirate class through such means as drug-running, slave-trading and arms-dealing. Knowing this history, we can make more sense of how a supposedly distinguished family such as Bush can be mixed up in so many stories of drug-running, weapons-smuggling and money-laundering. In the context of the opium trade, the CIA's stuffing Golden Triangle heroin in the corpses of GIs killed in Vietnam and protecting the importation of crack to America's inner cities reads suddenly like business as usual.

That both George Bush and John Kerry are Bonesmen may be nothing but a fluke of the American overclass. That in 2003, George Bush appointed a Bonesman, William H Donaldson, to head the Securites and Exchange Commission, the regulatory body responsible for investigating charges of 9/11 insider trading, is no fluke. That Donaldson is a longtime friend of the Bush family, and classmate of fellow Bonesman and terrorist money launderer Jonathan Bush, is no joke.

Skull and Bones remains to some a silly issue, but an issue it will remain so long as the question "Do you know General Russell?" can send an old boy into a trance faster than "Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?"

posted by Jeff at 1:52 AM

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