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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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rshowalter - 05:02pm Mar 11, 2001 EST (#926 of 931) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Deception can be used not only against potential foes, but against everyone involved, including friends. And lies, even when told for "justified" reasons, have a way of getting people into trouble. Henry Kissinger, perhaps the most influential and imitated foreign policy influence in America for the last half century, seems to have been involved in a number of deceptions. Involved in some decisions that, even if they were somehow justified in some large scale sense, did involve some very ugly and specific human consequences, probably including the unnecessary loss of 20,000 soldiers in Vietnam, the unnecessary death of tens of times that many Vietnamese, and some terrible brutality in South America.

Here is a memo written by Kissenger, Lessons of Vietnam. It is a memo to President Ford, in response to Ford's request for guidance about answering the press. The draft, it is said, was never submitted to the President. One has to believe that the substance of the draft was conveyed. The draft makes stunning reading, in view of other things we now know about Vietnam. It closes.

"I do not believe our soldiers or our people need to be ashamed."

I don't dispute the judgement, but would ask if Kissinger and other leaders, involved in bad decisions largely motivated by a web of lies, had reason to be ashamed.

One might argue no. -- One might argue that, considering the alternatives they believed to be real, they made good choices.

I don't want to debate that now. This is clear. There surely WAS a great deal of deception.

Suppose many of Kissinger's subordinates and co-workers had roughly comparable capacities for deception? It seems sure that many did. Suppose Kissinger was a man of ordinary probity and good faith, in his world? I suspect that he was.

  • ******

    Now, we all know the standard usages of "front operations." Le Carre and many others describe these usages in spy novels. They are usages that trace back centuries.

    If one assumes those usages, and assumes that people sometimes hide their intentions, or decieve, in the course of business, what might be done with an enterprise such as the Carlyle Group , or a number of similar investment businesses?

    Perhaps with only a few in the Carlyle organization even knowing?

    What if one assumes, as accountants routinely do assume outside of classified military matters, that money that cannot be accounted is likely to be misappropriated?

    rshowalter - 05:08pm Mar 11, 2001 EST (#927 of 931) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    Just suppositions, of course. But one could do a great deal.

    Enough to justify serious questions about accounting, and about who benefits from particular military decisions.

    How much would a substantial change in military policy change the current market value of Carlyles equity (currently about 3.5 billion.) ?

    Relatively minor changes might cut that equity by 2/3 or more.

    The NYT argues, by somewhat indirect means, that James Bakers share of that equity may be of the order of 180 million dollars. The share of the current presidents father is likely to be substantial, as well. ELDER BUSH IN BIG G.O.P. CAST TOILING FOR TOP EQUITY FIRM

    These influential people have very direct, and very specific monetary interests in military policy. They may have other interests and liabilities at stake, as well.

    The interests of Carlyle aren't unique. But Carlyle's flexibilities are impressive. It is interesting to see how flexible they are.

    Carlyle's web page, shows an institution with much flexibility, all of it, so far as one can see, entirely legal, and perhaps used with perfect ethical care.

    They have offices in Washington and six other U.S. cities, as well as London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangalore, Tokyo, Seoul, Riyadh, Moscow, Milan, Munich, and Paris.

    Most of their business is necessarily and rightly confidential.

    Their interests are broad, and many -- a Google search of "Carlyle Group and Defense" fills 37 search pages - which are only links to other pages. A similar search of "Carlyle Group and Petroleum" fills 30 search pages. Almost anything could be "hidden in plain sight" in such a logical structure, especially since it can easily be used as a structure of muliple encoding depth? rshowalter 3/9/01 12:28pm

    How fast, within such a structure, would it be possible to convey information untraceably, or move money nobody knew they had?

    How fast could you motivate a change in oil supply or price? How untraceably? How easily?

    How fast could you buy a baseball team? How untraceably? How easily?




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