Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner's Kissinger Associates Connection--Conclusion

Between 1986 and 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary-Designate Timothy Geithner was employed at Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger’s Kissinger Associates influence-peddling firm, which also employed George W. Bush’s former special envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, during the early 1990s. Commerce Secretary-Designate Bill Richardson, also is a former employee of Kissinger Associates.

In its April 30, 1989 article by Jeff Gerth and Sara Bartlett, titled “Kissinger And Friends And Revolving Doors,” the New York Times observed that at the same time Henry Kissinger operated his Kissinger Associates influence-peddling operation, Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s former business colleague also “had a continuous window into the government’s most sensitive information as a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board or Pfiab.” According to the New York Times, the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board was “a little-known but powerful group” of 16 scientists, business executives and former U.S. government officials which advises the U.S. President about intelligence issues and intelligence activities.

At least one former Pfiab official, “who asked not to be identified because of the board’s secrecy pledge,” told the New York Times in 1989 that Henry Kissinger, “using his authority as a board member, frequently reviewed intelligence documents outside the regular board meetings.” The former Pfiab official also told the New York Times that he believed that Kissinger’s Pfiab membership gave Kissinger special business benefit because Kissinger “could not have separated the insights gained from his access to United States intelligence data from his continuing analysis and advice” to his Kissinger Associates clients--during the period when Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner was employed at Kissinger Associates.

In the year prior to taking office in the Bush I Administration, former Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger earned $674,000 from his work for Kissinger Associates and an affiliated Kent Associates firm (which paid $214,000 of the total Eagleburger earned from his `consulting’ work for special, private corporate clients).

After posing the rhetorical question “What exactly do they do for that much money?” the New York Times concluded in its April 30, 1989 “Kissinger And Friends And Revolving Doors” article that “little is known about what Kissinger Associates does for its clients.”

The New York Times also reported in 1989 that “When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee tried to elicit more information” on Kissinger Associates activities at his confirmation hearing, Eagleburger “was adamant in his refusal to discuss any details” with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Former Deputy Secretary of State Eagleburger did promise, however, “to disqualify himself for one year from matters involving his clients at Kissinger Associates,” according to the New York Times.

Given Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s past association with Kissinger Associates during the same period that Eagleburger worked for the firm, perhaps Geithner should, like Eagleburger, also agree to disqualify himself for one year from matters involving Kissinger Associates clients, especially since banks (like the Midland Bank of Britain) have been among the clients of Kissinger Associates, historically? And, as a member of the House Banking Committee in the early 1990s, former Representative Henry Gonzalez of Texas, wrote me in a July 16, 1991 letter:

“For your information, the House Banking Committee’s on-going investigation into the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNI) scandal has revealed some new evidence of potential conflicts of interest involving National Security Director Brent Scowcroft, Henry Kissinger and Kissinger Associates.

“Upon learning of this fact, I have asked President Bush, in a letter dated May 2, 1991, to review Mr. Scowcroft’s stock portfolio to ensure any potential conflicts are eliminated.

“I was deeply concerned about Mr. Scrowcroft’s stock holdings, especially since he is in a position to strongly influence our national security and foreign policies.

“Rest assured, I am following this matter with careful attention, and will continue to monitor Mr. Kissinger and Kissinger Associates to ensure they do not practice improper influence over U.S. foreign policy.”
(end of article)