John Connally and the Texas oilmen were not the only Johnson associates with ties to the Arab world. Clark Clifford,President Johnson’s Secretary of Defense, was considered a man of integrity and, after his retirement from government service, one of Washington’s “superlawyers” until 1991. From 1982 to 1991 Clifford had served as chairman of First American Bankshares, a large DC bank. In 1991 it was discovered that Clifford was a frontman for the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (“BCCI”).
The possible involvement of BCCI principal Agha Hassan Abedi, as a money launderer for the Kennedy assassination and cover up is discussed in earlier blogs. It was discovered that Clifford had made about $6 million in profits from the bank stock. The stock had been purchased with an unsecured loan from BCCI in a scheme that eventually paved the way for BCCI to “foreclose” on the bank shares.
The discovery led to a massive criminal investigation of BCCI and its principles; grand jury indictments on counts of fraud, larceny and money laundering. However, although Clifford was the subject of federal indictments he was not prosecuted. The excuse was his “poor health” although he did not die until 1998. Investigations into BCCI in the United States and England failed to fully uncover the extent of their assets or activities.
It was Senator John Kerry who allegedly discovered the threat BCCI posed to the American financial system. His attempt to investigate was allegedly blocked by powerful interests in the government; an effort which led to Kerry turning to New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who agreed to commence a criminal investigation. David Sirota, “How John Kerry busted the terrorists’ favorite bank,” Washington Monthly Sept. 2004.
The ties between Texas Oilmen, Johnson associates and the Arab world continued through Oscar Wyatt, who pled guilty to paying off Saddam Hussein’s regime $200,000 to secure a big oil contract. Wyatt agreed to return $11 million dollars in profits. Recall it was Wyatt and John Connally who convinced Hussein to release American hostages.
Wyatt pled guilty and served a nine-month sentence–a slap on the wrist.
Why are these figures important to conspiracy buffs? Recall at the beginning of this blog I reasoned that evidence of a fifty-year-old crime might be largely circumstantial. The relationships between Johnson affiliates, Arab criminals and unusual events are undeniable. If there are secret tapes of Johnson and the conspirators; could Nixon have discovered them; could Connally have taken possession of them; could Gerald Ford, a member of the Warren Commission, have learned of them and pardoned Nixon to avoid the discovery that might well have come from a continued Watergate investigation; could Texas oilmen have saved Connally from the worst effects of a bankruptcy because of them; could Connally’s friends Clifford and Wyatt have been saved from the worst consequences of their own involvement with BCCI and Hussein because of them?
When all logical explanations fail, look for the illogical.
If there are tapes, what might have become of them?
If Connally’s conduct was reprehensible; if the Texas Oilmen deserved punishment that was not meted out by the government; fate stepped in to deliver the retribution. Crude oil prices – the lifeblood of the Texas economy, had increased rapidly from 1978 to 1981 – from $14 in 197 to $35 in 1981. Surging prices led to a new interest in energy efficiency – changes in home insulation and manufacturing processes. The economies coupled with the recession in the 1980’s caused crude prices to crash. /http://www.wtrg.com.proces/htm/
The boom-bust cycle is well-known to Americans who are experiencing the same phenomenon today, caused by the spike in residential real estate and mortgage syndication. During the boom, banks lend enthusiastically, assuming prices will continue to rise forever. Then comes the bust and the defaults, foreclosures, lawsuits and bankruptcies.
Among the victims of the crash? Texas oilmen and Connally. How sad that Connally should be a victim of two great disasters of the last half of the twentieth century – the Kennedy assassination and the bust in oil prices. The first may have been the result of his friends’ plotting. The second can be laid in part to their greed.
Connally was an innocent victim of the first disaster, but he signed on willingly to the second, and became its most prominent victim. On July 31, 1986, after months of ridicule in Texas newspapers and magazines, Connally filed for personal bankruptcy, listing debts of $93 million. Texas provides liberal “exemptions” for debtors. Connally was permitted to keep his homestead and $30,000 of personal property; but the vast majority of his assets were scheduled to be sold at a pubic auction, broadcast on local television.
Did Connally truly lose everything. The answer is no. If Connally had evidence that linked his oil friends to the Kennedy assassination, what happened to it? The evidence would be property of his bankruptcy estate. There is no record that any “documents” were claimed by him under the $30,000 “exemption”.
The evidence could have been sold at the auction. Items were listed for sale under general categories, so documents, tapes, etc. would have been lumped together with other “memorabilia”. It is well-known that Connally’s friends bought back many of his most treasured possessions at the auction and gave them to him. Reston, “The Lone Star” pages 602-610. But would Connally risk placing such valuable information on the public auction block? Would he tell his friends about and arrange for them to purchase it? Or would he secrete it in some safe place and use it to “encourage” those friends to buy back his possessions for him?
What happened to Connally after the bankruptcy? In 1990, Connally and Texas oilman Oscar Wyatt traveled to Iraq to negotiate with Saddam Hussein to free 22 American hostages. Connally was referred to as “former Treasury Secretary”. Los Angeles Times, December, 1990. The Americans had been held as involuntary “guests” of Hussein’s regime, their intended use – human shields in the event of an attack.
Connally’s actions, his relationship with Wyatt and the press coverage he received are typical of his last years. He served on several corporate boards, endorsed candidates for office and remained a valuable and highly-paid consultant until his death in 1993.
Did evidence surrounding Kennedy’s assassination die with Connally? If he possessed it at the time of his death, what became of it?
The effect of Johnson’s betrayal of Connally was dramatic. Beginning in 1969, after checking the political landscape, Connally began a move to the Republican party. In 1970 he became Nixon’s Secretary of the Treasury. But there was more; he eventually became a Republican and took his conservative friends with him and changed the political climate in Texas forever. In 1972 he formed “Democrats for Nixon”. In a private meeting with Johnson, Connally explained: “I do what I have to.” James Reston, Jr., The Lone Star, page 447. In public he defined doing what he “had to” as following his conscience away from the peacenick George McGovern, who would be the Democratic nominee for President. The idea that Connally had suddenly developed such a conscience that he would forever destroy the Democratic Party that had made him because of his personal objections to McGovern hardly makes sense. A desire to pull the ground out from under Johnson in retribution for Johnson’s betrayal makes equal, if not more sense.
Why would the conservative Texans, the very ones who had planned the assassination, be included in Connally’s plan while Johnson was left out? Perhaps Connally had something on them – something he could use to threaten them with if they did not do as he demanded.
The “something” could have been hard evidence of their involvement in the Kennedy plot. As President, Nixon had access to privileged information that few could obtain. As Treasury Secretary, Connally had unlimited access to financial records – records of international financial transactions between his Texas friends and others overseas who would have been conduits for the funds used to support the Kennedy assassination and to pay the bribes necessary to cover up the crime. And Nixon? What did he have?
His pattern of wire taps and other bugs is well known. In addition, as President Nixon would have access to the tape recordings from earlier administrations. The Oval Office tapes became public knowledge during the Watergate investigation, when Nixon Aid Alexander Butterfield disclosed them to the Senate investigators. However, they were certainly known to the President before that time. Nixon would have had access to Johnson’s tape recordings, perhaps as incriminating to Johnson as Nixon’s were to himself. And the recordings could have been placed at Connally’s disposal as part of the effort to convert Texas to a Republican state.
Why else would powerful Texas Oilmen, Hunt, George Brown, the King Ranch Bob Kleberg, the Murchison brothers meet with Nixon at Connally’s Picosa Ranch in 1972 and commence Texas’ transition from a bastion of the Democratic Party to the future home of Texas Republican Presidents? Some have speculated it was because they needed political favors from Nixon. However, they could buy political favors. They always had from Republican President Eisenhower. Burrough, The Big Rich pp 216-222. The logical reason they would follow Connally was not because they wanted something, but because Connally had something – on them.