Doing well from the national security state

Ken Silverstein has a series of articles where he notes how people associated with the national security state are benefiting from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the never-ending war on terror that we are engaged in. In the first, he looks at what former head of the CIA George Tenet and former head of the FBI Louis Freeh have been up to.

Freeh’s case is particularly interesting, especially his ownership of a $3 million penthouse in Florida.

Freeh is also hired to conduct investigations, like the controversial report he produced about Penn State’s football program. Nasser Kazeminy, a Minnesota businessman who in 2008 was accused of bribing former Senator Norm Coleman, also hired Freeh to conduct a “thorough investigation” of the allegations against him in the hopes of clearing his name.

In 2011, Freeh issued a public statement saying that his investigation had “completely vindicated” both Kazeminy and Coleman. Sure, Kazeminy had bought Coleman $100,000 worth of presents, but, Freeh said at a press conference, “There was no quid pro quo in the gifts. There was no wrongdoing.” Freeh also met with the Justice Department – which was investigating the bribery charges but declined to bring a case—on Kazeminy’s behalf.

Oh yeah, about Freeh’s Palm Beach penthouse. As I discovered through Florida property records, Freeh’s wife co-owns it with Kazeminy, which kind of makes you wonder about just how thorough and impartial his investigation was. The quit claim deed giving Freeh’s wife one-half ownership of the penthouse was signed nine days after Freeh’s vindication of Kazeminy.

But Silverstein writes that Freeh continues to be called upon to conduct similar ‘investigations’.

Freeh’s firm is helping coordinate the defense of an Israeli billionaire who is being investigated on three continents in regard to bribes he allegedly paid to win a mining stake in one of the world’s poorest countries.

The case involves Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who controls BSGR, a holding company that in 2008 obtained a huge stake in a gigantic iron mine in the West African nation of Guinea.

My source said that the role of Freeh’s firm is to conduct an internal corporate investigation of BSGR and determine whether Steinmetz had knowledge of bribes being paid, or if he was out of the loop and hence if illegal payments were made he would have been unaware of them.

BSGR has strongly denied any wrongdoing, but it’s going to be a tricky case, even for Steinmetz’s dream team. But something tells me that Freeh could be just the right guy to exonerate Steinmetz of wrongdoing.

Freeh was also hired by Penn State to investigate the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case and there were troubling ethical issues there too.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *