We're not the only ones to have had our gold mine stolen and justified due to Masonic Oaths required in LDS Temples: to "give all of my time, talents, and all that I do posses to the building up of the Kingdom of God" e.g. the Church
Other gold mines and assets have been stolen by the world elite (which includes LDS leaders, unbeknownst to members) . This includes the theft of the Lord's Gold Mine Bullfrog Mining/Golden Age & Golden Eagle Mining Claims, Nye County Nevada (shown during a NDE and restaked and purchased 18 years later and then as told it was stolen by the Utah moneychangers - Zion's Bank/Barrick, etc.)
We have the illegal future gold "purchase" documents tying in all the players and many other conclusive documents.
EXPOSE ON CORRUPTION
—By Greg Palast, From The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Penguin/Plume, 2003)
April 2003 Issue
Last week, we ran an excerpt from the recently-released U.S. edition of the book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, in which renowned investigative reporter Greg Palast detailed the shady—and extremely lucrative—connections between former president George H. W. ("Poppy") Bush, a little-known Canadian gold mining company, and the political fortunes of Poppy’s son Dubya.
This week, we give you another excerpt, which tells the story of how Barrick Gold Mining sought to silence Palast and human rights advocates, who were trying to expose the murder of Tanzanian miners by a Barrick subsidiary.
This damning story, and the one we ran last week, were both deleted from the British edition of Palast’s book for fear they would run afoul of that country’s draconian libel law—which makes it a crime even to print a true story if the facts could harm the reputation of a person or company.
Of the thousands of bless you and f___ you messages that arrived at the Guardian papers after we broke the Florida vote swindle story in November 2000, none ruffled my editors’ English reserve but one: a letter demanding we retract the article or else. It was from Carter-Ruck, a law firm with the reputation as the piranhas of England’s libel bar, a favorite of foreign millionaires unhappy about their press. Their letter stated they represented Barrick Corporation – a Canadian-American gold-mining operation that employed George Bush Sr.
Barrick particularly did not like my mention of the stomach-churning evidence that Sutton Resources, a Barrick subsidiary, had buried alive as many as fifty gold miners in Tanzania in August 1996, prior to Barrick’s purchase of Sutton in 1999.
What set their complaint apart from the scores of others we receive from corporations bitching and moaning about my exposes was Barrick’s extraordinary demand. They did not want their denial printed (I’d done that), nor their evidence the story was wrong (I would do that too, if they would provide it). They demanded my paper apologize and pay a tiny fortune for simply mentioning the allegations first reported by Amnesty International. And even that would not be enough. Barrick also demanded we print a statement vowing that my paper had confirmed that no one was killed at the Tanzanian site. Now, I would have been more than happy to confirm that – if I had evidence to that effect. The evidence was, in so many words, "We are billionaires–and you aren’t."
Lacking a first amendment, Britain has become the libel-suit capital of the world. Stories accepted elsewhere draw steep judgments in London. The Guardian papers receive notice of legal action about three times a day–that’s one thousand libel notices a year. This creates a whole encyclopedia of off-limits topics, including an admonition from our legal department not to disparage the marriage of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman–sent the day after they announced their divorce. No paper can afford to defend against all these actions. The Guardian papers operate on a small budget from a not-for-profit foundation. No doubt about it, Barrick could break us in defense costs alone.
In Canada, where libel laws are similar to Britain’s, Frank magazine had picked up my story. Frank swiftly grabbed its ankles by running that incredible retraction–that no one had been "killed or injured" in the mine clearance. The editor apologized to me; they simply had no resources to fight billionaires. Who could blame them? The first report of the alleged killings in Tanzania came from Amnesty International, whom I quoted. I called their headquarters in London. Courageously, Amnesty refused to help. The organization whose motto is "Silence is complicity" announced that, on advice of lawyers, they would be silent.
Barrick made good use of Amnesty’s self-censorship. The company told the court–and the many news outlets around the world that were sniffing around the story–that Amnesty had conducted an investigation and had concluded that "no one was killed in the course of the peaceful removal of miners." If this were true, I would have retracted the story immediately. I’m not infallible, and nothing would have made me more joyous than to find out those miners were still alive. But Barrick could not produce the Amnesty clearance–no such report could be located. Amnesty said Tanzania had barred them from investigating, so the killings remained neither confirmed nor denied–in short they had never cleared Sutton Resources. But that was off the record. Publicly, the Nobel Prize-winning organization (despite several angry calls to them from Bianca Jagger) continued to hide under a desk, knees knocking.
One excellent reporter, chosen Britain’s journalist of the year, told me just to sign whatever it took to get out of trouble. "That’s just how it’s done here." Floyd Abrams, who defends the New York Times in the United States and Europe, explained to my astonishment that the truth alone is not a defense in English courts. Photos of dead bodies and body parts in Tanzania meant nothing in our case.
I’m not a Man for All Seasons. Honestly, I was ready to go along with some kind of bum-kissing apology to Barrick, only because at the time I was living on Red Bull, potassium powder and no sleep trying to get out the Florida vote theft story, and I sure as hell didn’t need another distraction.
But I had a problem. Our paper had encouraged an internationally respected expert on human rights and the environment, Tanzanian lawyer Tundu Lissu, familiar with the allegations, to go to the mine. If Lissu said no one died, I’d sign off as Barrick requested. Instead, over several missions to his home country, he sent back more witness statements, photographs of a corpse allegedly of a man killed by police during the clearing of the site, a list of the dead–and a videotape of bones, and a worker going into one pit to retrieve bodies buried, he says on the tape, by the "Canadians". (Barrick says the bodies were not from the subsidiary’s mine site or, if from the site, the deaths were not the result of the clearance of the site.) In April 2001, when Barrick found out Lissu was asking questions inside the mine site, they sent him and his employer, the World Resources Institute of Washington, DC, a letter outlining a lawsuit if he repeated the allegations concerning the removal of miners.
Then it turned grim. The Tanzanian police, we learned, were hunting for Lissu. Lissu, while in the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam, told officials that the allegations of deaths should be investigated. Hardly an inflammatory statement; but the Tanzanian government determined that was sufficient grounds to charge him with sedition.
That’s when I lost all sense of reason. I hinted that if the Guardian fabricated a lie to save a few coins, I might take action against my own newspaper for defaming me as a journalist. I’d never do it; the threat was nuts (and not exactly a career maker), but I couldn’t let Lissu go to jail by going along with an easy lie. The Guardian’s good moral sense slowed the rush to the usual cheap exit from a suit. However, the money clock on legal fees was ticking, making me the most expensive journalist at the Guardian papers.
Bad news. In July 2001, in the middle of trying to get out the word of the theft of the election in Florida, I was about to become the guinea pig, the test case, for an attempt by a multinational corporation to suppress free speech in the USA using British libel law. I have a U.S.-based Web site for Americans who can’t otherwise read my columns or view my BBC television reports. The gold-mining company held my English newspaper liable for aggravated damages for my publishing the story in the USA. If I did not pull the Bush-Barrick story off my U.S. Web site, my paper would face a ruinously costly fight.
Panicked, the Guardian legal department begged me to delete not just the English versions of the story but also my Spanish translation, printed in Bolivia. (Caramba!)
The Goldfingers didn’t stop there. Barrick’s lawyers told our papers that I personally would be sued in the United Kingdom over Web publications of my story in America, because the Web could be accessed in Britain. The success of this legal strategy would effectively annul the U.S. Bill of Rights. Speak freely in the USA, but if your words are carried on a U.S. Web site, you may be sued in Britain. The Declaration of Independence would be null and void, at least for libel law. Suddenly, instead of the Internet becoming a means of spreading press freedom, the means to break through censorship, it would become the electronic highway for delivering repression.
And repression was winning. InterPress Services (IPS) of Washington, DC, sent a reporter to Tanzania with Lissu. They received a not from Barrick that said if the wire service ran a story that repeated the allegations, the company would sue. IPS did not run the story.
I was worried about Lissu. On July 19, 2001, a group of Tanzanian police interest lawyers wrote the nation’s president asking for an investigation–instead, Lissu’s law partner in Dar es Salaam was arrested. The police were hunting for Lissu. They broke into his home and office and turned them upside down looking for the names of Lissu’s sources, his whereabouts and the evidence he gathered on the mine site clearance. This was more than a legal skirmish. Over the next months, demonstrations by vicims’ families were broken up by police thugs. A member of Parliament joining protesters was beaten and hospitalized. I had to raise cash quick to get Lissu out, and with him, his copies of police files with more evidence of the killings. I called Maude Barlow, the "Ralph Nader of Canada", head of the Council of Canadians. Without hesitation, she teamed up with Friends of the Earth in Holland, raised funds and prepared a press conference–and in August tipped the story to the Globe & Mail, Canada’s national paper.
The Toronto-based newspaper was excited: This was big news about one of the richest men about town, Barrick CEO Peter Munk–not to mention their former prime minister Brian Mulroney, George Bush, repression, greed and blood. The rule in the news biz is, if it bleeds, it leads. So they promised Maude a front-page splash if she’d hold off on her public statement.
The Globe & Mail quickly put Mark McKinnon, their best reporter, on the case. Just as quickly, they yanked him off it and told him to fly home from Africa. From page one to page nothing. Barlow was incensed at the decision of the editor. According to Barlow, the editor pleaded that it wasn’t his call–the spike came from "the highest levels."
While the big shots at the Globe & Mail dove to the mat, spunky little Frank magazine effectively retracted its retraction. They’d seen a videotape with bodies–spirited out of the country by Lissu–and would not stand silent. Barrick insisted the bodies in the films were not from the mine clearance–but Frank wasn’t buying.
Meanwhile, not waiting on that palsied institution, the so-called free press, to act, I issued an alert to human rights groups worldwide. The Guardian’s lawyers went ballistic: In the United Kingdom, one can’t complain of being sued for libel, because under their law, a paper is guilty of defamation until it proves itself innocent. Therefore, publicly defending oneself "repeats" the libel and makes the paper and reporter subject to new damages and court sanctions. Kafka had nothing on the British court system.
The pressure was on. I’m pleased to say that my editor refused to sign the abject, lying retraction–just fifteen minutes before the court-imposed deadline. He told me these encouraging words: "We are now going to spend hundreds of thousands on some fucking meaningless point you are trying to make. I hope you are happy."
 See Joe Conason’s "Exporting Corporate Control: A gold company with ties to the Bush family tries to muzzle a muckraking journalist" on Salon.com, July 20, 2001.
About the author:
An internationally recognized expert on the control of corporate power, before picking up pen and camera, Greg Palast worked with labor unions and consumer groups in the USA, South America and Europe investigating corporate corruption. In America, among his more noted cases, Palast directed government investigations and prosecution of racketeering by nuclear plant builders and, for the Chugach Natives of Alaska, probed charges of fraud by oil companies in the grounding of the Exxon Valdez.
Palast’s lectures at Cambridge University and the University of Sao Paulo are contained in his book, Democracy and Regulation, written with Jerry Oppenheim and Theo MacGregor, published by the United Nations and Pluto Press (2003). He divides his time between New York and London.
For more information, visit
April 2003 Issue
In this excerpt from the recently-released U.S. edition of his book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, renowned investigative reporter Greg Palast details the shady—and extremely lucrative—connections between former president George H. W. ("Poppy") Bush, a little-known Canadian gold mining company, and the political fortunes of Poppy’s son Dubya. This damning story, and a second one we’ll run next week, were deleted from the British edition of Palast’s book for fear they would run afoul of that country’s draconian libel law—which makes it a crime even to print a true story if the facts could harm the reputation of a person or company. —Ed.
George W. could not have amassed this pile if his surname were Jones or Smith. While other candidates begged, pleaded and wheedled for donations, the Bushes added a creative, lucrative new twist to the money chase that contenders couldn’t imitate: "Poppy" Bush’s post-White House work. It laid the foundation for Dubya’s campaign kitty corpulence and, not incidentally, raised the family’s net worth by several hundred percent.
In 1998, for example, the former president and famed Desert Stormtrooper-in-Chief wrote to the oil minister of Kuwait on behalf of Chevron Oil Corporation. Bush says, honestly, that he "had no stake in the Chevron operation." True, but following this selfless use of his influence, the oil company put $657,000 into the Republican Party coffers.
That year Bush pere created a storm in Argentina when he lobbied his close political ally, President Carlos Menem, to grant a gambling license to Mirage Casino Corporation. Once again, the senior Bush wrote that he had no personal interest in the deal. However, Bush fils made out quite nicely: After the casino flap, Mirage dropped $449,000 into the Republican Party war chest.
Much of Bush’s loot, reports the Center for Responsive Politics, came in the form of "bundled" and "soft" money. That’s the squishy stuff corporations use to ooze around U.S. law, which prohibits any direct donations from corporations.
Not all of the elder Bush’s work is voluntary. His single talk to the board of Global Crossing, the telecom start-up, earned him stock worth $13 million when the company went public. Global Crossing’s employees also kicked in another million for the younger Bush’s run. (We’ll meet Global Crossing again in Chapter 3.)
And while the Bush family steadfastly believes that ex-felons should not have the right to vote for president, they have no objection to ex-cons putting presidents on their payroll. In 1996, despite pleas by U.S. church leaders, Poppy Bush gave several speeches (he charges $100,000 per talk) sponsored by organizations run by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, cult leader, tax cheat—and formerly the guest of the U.S. federal prison system.
Some of the loot for the Republican effort in the 1997-2000 election cycles came from an outfit called Barrick Corporation. The sum, while over $100,000, is comparatively small change for the GOP, yet it seemed quite a gesture for a corporation based in Canada. Technically, the funds came from those associated with the Canadian’s U.S. unit, Barrick Gold Strike.
They could well afford it. In the final days of the Bush (Senior) administration, the Interior Department made an extraordinary but little noticed change in procedures under the 1872 Mining Law, the gold rush-era act that permitted those whiskered small-time prospectors with their tin pans and mules to stake claims on their tiny plots. The department initiated an expedited procedure for mining companies that allowed Barrick to swiftly lay claim to the largest gold find in America. In the terminology of the law, Barrick could "perfect its patent" on the estimated $10 billion in ore—for which Barrick paid the U.S. Treasury a little under $ 10,000. Eureka!
Barrick, of course, had to put up cash for the initial property rights and the cost of digging out the booty (and the cost of donations, in smaller amounts, to support Nevada’s Democratic senator, Harry Reid). Still, the shift in rules paid off big time: According to experts at the Mineral Policy Center of Washington, DC, Barrick saved—and the U.S. taxpayer lost—a cool billion or so.
Upon taking office, Bill Clinton’s new interior secretary, Bruce Babbitt, called Barrick’s claim the "biggest gold heist since the days of Butch Cassidy." Nevertheless, because the company followed the fast-track process laid out for them under Bush, this corporate Goldfinger had Babbitt by the legal nuggets. Clinton had no choice but to give them the gold mine while the public got the shaft.
Barrick says it had no contact whatsoever with the president at the time of the rules change. There was always a place in Barrick’s heart for the older Bush—and a place on its payroll. In 1995, Barrick hired the former president as Honorary Senior Advisor to the Toronto company’s International Advisory Board. Bush joined at the suggestion of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, who, like Bush, had been ignominiously booted from office. I was a bit surprised that the president had signed on. When Bush was voted out of the White House, he vowed never to lobby or join a corporate board. The chairman of Barrick openly boasts that granting the title "Senior Advisor" was a sly maneuver to help Bush tiptoe around this promise.
I was curious: What does one do with a used president? Barrick vehemently denies that it appointed Bush "in order to procure him to make contact with other world leaders whom he knows, or who could be of considerable assistance" to the company. Yet, in September 1996, Bush wrote a letter to help convince Indonesian dictator Suharto to give Barrick a new, hot gold-mining concession.
Bush’s letter seemed to do the trick. Suharto took away 68 percent of the world’s largest goldfield from the finder of the ore and handed it to Barrick. However, Bush’s lobbying magic isn’t invincible. Jim Bob Moffett, a tough old Louisiana swamp dog who heads Freeport-McMoRan, Barrick’s American rival, met privately with Suharto. When Suharto emerged from their meeting, the kleptocrat announced that Freeport would replace Bush’s Canadians. (Barrick lucked out: The huge ore deposit turned out to be a hoax. When the con was uncovered, Jim Bob’s associates invited geologist Mike de Guzman, who "discovered" the gold, to talk about the error of his ways. Unfortunately, on the way to the meeting, de Guzman fell out of a helicopter.)
Who is this "Barrick" to whom our former president would lease out the reflected prestige of the Oval Office? I could not find a Joe Barrick in the Canadian phone book. Rather, the company as it operates today was founded by one Peter Munk. The entrepreneur first came to public notice in Canada in the 1960s as a central figure in an insider trading scandal. Munk had dumped his stock in a stereo-making factory he controlled just before it went belly up, leaving other investors and government holding the bag. He was never charged, but, notes Canada’s Maclean’s magazine, the venture and stock sale "cost Munk his business and his reputation." Yet today, Munk’s net worth is estimated at $350 million, including homes on two continents and his own island.
How did he go from busted stereo maker to demi-billionaire goldbug? The answer: Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi arms dealer, the "bag man" in the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostage scandals. The man who sent guns to the ayatolla teamed up with Munk on hotel ventures and, ultimately, put up the cash to buy Barrick in 1983, then a tiny company with an "unperfected" claim on the Nevada mine. You may recall that Bush pardoned the coconspirators who helped Khashoggi arm the Axis of Evil, making charges against the sheik all but impossible. (Bush pardoned the conspirators not as a favor to Khashoggi, but to himself.)
Khashoggi got out of Barrick just after the Iran-Contra scandal broke, long before 1995, when Bush was invited in. By that time, Munk’s reputation was restored, at least in his own mind, in part by massive donations to the University of Toronto. Following this act of philanthropy, the university awarded Munk-adviser Bush an honorary degree. Several students were arrested protesting what appeared to them as a cash-for-honors deal.
Mr. Munk’s president-for-hire did not pay the cost of his rental in Indonesia. The return on Barrick’s investment in politicians would have to come from Africa.
Mobutu Sese Seko, the late dictator of the Congo (Zaire), was one of the undisputed master criminals of the last century having looted hundreds of millions of dollars from his national treasury—and a golfing buddy of the senior Bush. That old link from the links probably did not hurt Barrick in successfully seeking an eighty-thousand-acre gold-mining concession from the Congolese cutthroat. Bush himself did not lobby the deal for Barrick. It wasn’t that the former president was squeamish about using the authority of his former posts to cut deals with a despot. Rather, at the time Bush was reportedly helping Adolf Lundin, Barrick’s sometime industry rival. Africa specialist Patrick Smith of London disclosed that Bush called Mobutu in 1996 to help cinch a deal for Lundin for a mine distant from Barrick’s.
Rebellion against Mobutu made the mine site unusable, though not for the company’s lack of trying. In testimony in hearings convened by the minority leader of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights, expert Wayne Madsen alleged that Barrick, to curry favor with both sides, indirectly funded both and thereby inadvertently helped continue the bloody conflict. The allegation, by respected journalist Wayne Madsen, has not been substantiated: The truth is lost somewhere in the jungle, where congressional investigators will never tread.
Though Barrick struck out in Indonesia and the Congo, the big payoff came from the other side of the continent. The company’s president bragged to shareholders that the prestige of the Mulroney-Bush advisory board was instrumental in obtaining one of the biggest goldfields in East Africa at Bulyanhulu, Tanzania. Barrick, according to its president, had hungered for that concession—holding an estimated $3 billion in bullion—since the mid-1990s, when it first developed its contacts with managers at Sutton Resources, another Canadian company, which held digging rights from the government. (See footnote 1.) Enriched by the Nevada venture, Barrick could, and eventually would, buy up Sutton. But in 1996, there was a problem with any takeover of Sutton: Tens of thousands of small-time prospectors, "jewelry miners," so called because of their minuscule finds, already lived and worked on the land. These poor African diggers held legal claim stakes to their tiny mine shafts on the property. If they stayed, the concession was worthless.
In August 1996, Sutton’s bulldozers, backed by military police firing weapons, rolled across the goldfield, smashing down worker housing, crushing their mining equipment and filling in their pits. Several thousand miners and their families were chased off the property. But not all of them. About fifty miners were still in their mine shafts, buried alive.
Buried alive. It’s not on Bush’s resume, nor on Barrick’s Web site. You wouldn’t expect it to be. But then, you haven’t found it in America’s newspapers either.
There are two plausible explanations for this silence. First, it never happened; the tale of the live burials is a complete fabrication of a bunch of greedy, lying Black Africans trying to shake down Sutton Resources (since 1999, a Barrick subsidiary). That’s what Barrick says after conducting its own diligence investigation and relying on local and national investigations by the Tanzanian government. And the company’s view is backed by the World Bank. See Chapter 8 for more on this.
There’s another explanation: Barrick threatens and sues newspapers and human rights organizations that dare to breathe a word of the allegations—even if Barrick’s denials are expressed. I know: They sued my papers, the Observer and Guardian (for more on that, see Chapter 8). Barrick even sent a letter to the internationally respected human rights lawyer Tundu Lissu, a fellow at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC, outlining its suit against the Observer and warning that it would take "all necessary steps" to protect its reputation should the Institute repeat any of the allegations. Barrick’s threats are the least of Lissu’s problems. For supplying me with evidence—photos of a corpse of a man allegedly killed by police during the clearance of the mine site, notarized witness statements, even a police video of workers seeking bodies from the mine pits—and for Lissu’s demanding investigation of the killings, his law partners in Dar es Salaam have been arrested and Lissu charged by the Tanzanian government with sedition.
In 1997, while Bush was on the board (he quit in 1999), Mother Jones magazine named Barrick’s chairman Munk one of America’s "10 Little Piggies"—quite an honor for a Canadian—for allegedly poisoning the West’s water supply with the tons of cyanide Barrick uses to melt mountains of ore.
Notably, one of the first acts of the junior Bush’s Interior Department in 2001 was to indicate it would reverse Clinton administration rules requiring gold extractors to limit the size of waste dumps and to permit new mines even if they were likely to cause "substantial, irreparable harm." The New York Times ran a long, front-page story on this rule-relaxing windfall for Nevada gold-mining companies, but nowhere did the Times mention the name of the owner of the largest gold mine in Nevada, Barrick, nor its recent payroller, the president’s father.
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