If you want to understand why the status quo is unraveling, start by examining the feudal structure of our society, politics and economy. The predators reckon their aristocratic status in Hollywood/D. C. grants them a feudal-era droit du seigneur (rights of the lord) to take whatever gratifications they desire from any female who has the grave misfortune to enter their malefic orbit. The revelations coming to light about Hollywood Oligarch Harvey Weinstein perfectly capture the true nature of our status quo: a rotten-to-the-core, predatory, exploitive oligarchy of dirty secrets and dirty lies protected by an army of self-serving sycophants, servile toadies on the make and well-paid legal mercenaries. Predators aren’t an aberration of the Establishment; they are the perfection of the Establishment, which protects abusive, exploitive predator-oligarchs lest the feudal injustices of life in America be revealed for all to see. Anyone who protests or makes efforts to go public is threatened by the oligarch’s thugs and discredited/smeared by the oligarch’s take-no-prisoners legal mercenaries. (Recall the Clintons’ Crisis Management Team tasked with crushing any Bimbo Eruptions, i.e. any eruptions of the truth about Bill’s well-known-to-insiders predation of the peasantry.) The dirty secret is that the oh-so-hypocritical power elites of Hollywood and Washington D. C. circle the wagons to protect One of Their Own from being unmasked. The first weapons of choice in this defense are (as noted above) threats from thugs, discrediting the exploited via the oligarchy’s paid goons and lackeys in the mainstream media and dirty lies about what a great and good fellow the oligarch predator is. The last line of defense is a hefty bribe to silence any peasant still standing after the oligarchs’ onslaught of threats, smears and lies.
The rights of the American people have been, and are being trampled into the dust, as the pseudo-representatives glut themselves from the trough of lobbyists and oligarchs alike. It could be proven, but won’t be proven: the investigating ‘authority’ is not accountable to the people and there is no oversight. The FBI, and any investigations under special counsel? Look at Fast and Furious and how the Attorney General’s office covered that one up. What is needed to prove it? Something that doesn’t exist. Here is what is needed: A team of spotless individuals with a leader of unquestionable character and service…with complete authority and impunity: unable to be hindered by any federal, state, or local police and army of ‘authorities.’ This Special Investigative Team would have the power to investigate fully any and all ties to Congressmen, Senators, and Supreme Court judges…to find evidence of bribery, kickbacks, and influence peddling…and then arrest them and bring them to trial. Everyone can jump up and down, desiring to boil in oil anyone making such a suggestion; however, without some kind of accountability, these elected officials are running rampant and trampling the rights of the citizens. Who is going to stop it? The courts? The courts are the biggest pack of crooks of all. Yes, ‘Your Honor,’ and ‘The Honorable,’ ad infinitum. I guarantee that a Special Investigator with impunity would have found plenty of coral snakes under Chief (in)Justice John Roberts’ front porch…if Obama and Holder had been made to step aside and an investigation had been done. This should have been done after he cast his deciding vote on Obamacare. Going back a few years, Obamacare would have never made it to the floor of the Senate if Olympia Snow (R, ME) had not allowed it to come up for a vote. Who paid her off? In order to follow the money, you have to be allowed to follow it: or you’ll just end up arrested or dead. The special unit of investigators I suggested? They need to be armed to the teeth, and they need giant, shiny badges that every human in the Western Hemisphere will recognize. And why not? It worked for Elliot Ness and his team. This won’t be done, of course, for one reason:
This post was published at shtfplan on August 7th, 2017.
Another Trump nominee for a critical government role has decided to withdraw. After two prior Trump nominees, Army Secretary choice Vincent Viola and Labor nominee Andy Puzder, both removed themselves from consideration for their appointed role in recent weeks citing insurmountable opposition or conflicts, moments ago financier Philip Bilden, a senior advisor at HarbourVest Asia and President Trump’s pick to lead the Navy, was said to become the third Trump appointee to withdraw his nomination. “Philip Bilden has informed me that he has come to the difficult decision to withdraw from consideration to be secretary of the Navy,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a statement Sunday evening. He added that “this was a personal decision driven by privacy concerns and significant challenges he faced in separating himself from his business interests.” Bilden’s vast financial holdings, many of which he earned in Hong Kong, would have made it difficult for him to survive the scrutiny of the Office of Government Ethics, USNI News reported. Bilden, who built his career in Hong Kong with the investment firm HarbourVest, was a surprise pick for the Navy post but had been Mattis’ preferred candidate. Yet like billionaire investment banker Vincent Viola, who withdrew his nomination to be secretary of the Army earlier this month, Bilden ran into too many challenges during a review by the Office of Government Ethics to avoid potential conflicts of interest, the sources said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 26, 2017.
Trump’s ongoing spat with Iran escalated on Tuesday, when Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed the US president’s warning to Iran to stop its missile tests, saying the new U. S. president had shown the “real face” of American corruption. “We are thankful to (Trump) for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America,” Khamenei said according to his website. He made the remarks in an address to the commanders of the Army Air Force on the verge of the Islamic Revolution’s victory anniversary which falls on February 10 this year. “During his election campaign and after that, he confirmed what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the U. S. ruling system,” he added. It is unclear if Trump’s domestic opponents will be quick to agree with the Iranian. Provocatively, the Supreme Leader once again alleged that it was the US that created ISIS: “The new U. S. president says Iran should thank Obama! Why?! Should we thank him for [creating] ISIS, the ongoing wars in Iraq and Syria, or the blatant support for the 2009 sedition in Iran? He was the president who imposed paralyzing sanctions on the Iranian nation; of course, he did not achieve what he desired. No enemy can ever paralyze the Iranian nation.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 7, 2017.
While Russia continues to mostly mock and ridicule, and generally take in good humor, the constant allegations by the Obama administration that it “hacked the election”, without actually hacking the election – as in actually rigging or changing the votes – but merely exposing the corruption of the DNC and the cronyism of the Clinton Family Foundation, even if so far the highly confident US “intelligence agencies” have yet to demonstrate a shred of proof substantiating such allegations, China’s reaction to a similar accusation has demonstrated far less sense of humor. That may explain why Beijing quickly slammed Washington’s claims it engaged in mass spying, and demanded an explanation from the US about its own global spying activities, after a US report accused China of using two Chinese hotels as spy centres, an allegation Beijing dubbed a ‘groundless’ smear attempt. Last Wednesday, the Washington Times accused the 4PLA, a unit attached to the Chinese Defence Ministry, of using the Jintang and Seasons hotels in the capital Beijing to conduct espionage. As evidence publication cited an open-source intelligence dossier produced by the Army’s Asian Studies Detachment, as the source of its report. The document does not explain why and how the hotels were allegedly used by the Chinese for hacking.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 8, 2017.
It’s now been almost three weeks since Donald Trump’s shocking (to mainstream propaganda media outlets) victory over Hillary Clinton and her establishment cronies in the presidential election. Despite an overwhelming electoral victory, the furious liberals and their captured media outlets have been conducting a full court press to somehow overturn the verdict of the American people through intimidation of electors, recounts funded by unknown parties, and Soros funded violent protests in liberal enclaves across the country. Meanwhile those of us who work for a living and pay the taxes, allowing the free shit army to protest at their leisure, have continued to go to work in order to make money to support our families just as we did before Trump was elected. As I’ve detailed in dozens of previous articles about the 30 Blocks of Squalor, West Philadelphia is a product of the ‘Great Society’ welfare state and sixty years of total Democrat control of Philadelphia government. While white working middle class Americans voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump on November 8, the reality challenged voters in Philadelphia cast 82% of their votes for a corrupt establishment hack and only 15% for Trump. The black voters on the 30 Blocks of Squalor, ignored and taken for granted by Democrat politicians since the 1950s, cast 93% of their votes for Crooked Hillary. It is baffling how these people would continue to vote for their own servitude, trapped in squalor, dependent upon the state for survival, and wallowing in ignorance produced by government indoctrination public schools.
As we move into the final month prior to this year’s presidential election, the tempo of dramatic world events and developments that are breaking daily is mind-boggling. Every single day we are seeing more outrageously desperate actions on the part of the globalists and their US government minions. Among the latest unfolding developments this week all fast tracking towards world war against Russia is NATO’s violation of international law deploying AWACS (Airborne Radar Warning and Control system) in Syria despite only Syria and Russia possessing the legal right to control the embattled country’s airspace. With both US and Turkish boots on the ground in northern Syria and US-led coalition airstrikes regularly invading the sovereign nation’s airspace, recently targeting Syrian soldiers andplans to kill more, along with former acting CIA director Mike Morell’s recent call to begin killing Russian soldiers, the latest warpath rant comes from Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley who is now threatening Russia (as well as China and Iran) with nuclear war. Spoken just like a true grade school bully on a playground, he boasts, ‘We will beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before!’ This is the kind of moronic leadership that rises to the top of the Empire food chain? I’m afraid so. God help us when his most likely next commander-in-chief is the warmongering bulldog herself Hillary Clinton who’s not any more civilized nor humane. She’s already made it very clear that any real or perceived cyberspace attack on America coming from anywhere in the world constitutes an act of war and a military response against the cyber-perpetrators’ country. After already vowing to bomb Iran and with her constant accusations blaming Putin for everything gone wrong in her miserable life, including exposing her DNC corruption scandal responsible for rigging her presidential election, she is also all but promising to launch World War III against nuclear powered Russia. Incisive insider Paul Craig Roberts and even Putin have both said so. The neocon insanity that she represents is committed to perpetrating both suicidal and genocidal mass murder. With a total of 7,100 US nuclear warheads as of August 2016 and an estimate reported two years ago of 2,150 operationally deployed nukes, America could destroy itself four times over while Russia’s 7,300 nuclear weapons would likely carry the same tremendous overkill power. When we’re all dead, it hardly matters who has what? As the Benghazi ringleader who gave the stand down order that sealed the fate of four murdered Americans would say,’What difference does it make?’ The sheer madness in control of our planet right now actually believes the elite can simply hunker down in their underground luxury bunkers, take a long nuclear winter’s nap and a few years later emerge like Rip Van Winkle unscathed in their grandiose fairy tale. Talk about madness!
Following on the story of how aggressive cross-selling requirements spurred employees to abuse customers and commit fraud at Wells Fargo, this week the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin accused Morgan Stanley of ‘dishonest and unethical conduct’ within the state and Rhode Island relating to employee contests that were run to push securities-based loans onto customers from January 2014 to April 2015. See Morgan Stanley unit accused of high pressure sales tactics: ‘This complaint lays bare the culture at Morgan Stanley that bred the high-pressure effort to cross-sell banking products to its brokerage customers without regard for the fiduciary duty owed to the investor,’ Galvin said in a statement. ‘This contest was relatively local, but the aggressive push to cross-sell was company wide.’ There should be no shock in any of this. Anyone who has dealt with an investment bank the past few years will have experienced cross-selling first hand. Employees are trained to recommend customers with any apparent resources (assets or income) to one of the bank’s army of ‘advisors’. Cross-selling is the business model of today’s finance sector. It has been the motivation for merging different product and advisory firms since the 1990′s when Glass Steagall (1933) divisions between deposit taking and product sales were eroded and then rescinded in 1999. This chart shows the massive consolidation since 1995 which has created the 4 largest US banks today: Citi, JP Morgan, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
Mustafa Denktas had twin sons. One of them, a Kurdish militant, was killed fighting the Turkish army in 2012. Denktas was still in mourning when news arrived three weeks later that the other son had met the same fate. Back then Turkey’s war with separatist Kurds, however bloody and protracted, was essentially a domestic issue. Now it’s an international conflict. When President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent his army into Syria last month, he wasn’t just striking a blow against Islamic State: a second goal was to stop Kurds from creating a de facto state. That’s the element of Erdogan’s Syrian gambit that poses the biggest political risks. It threatens to ensnare his soldiers in a civil war that’s already lasted 5 1/2 years, and drive a wedge between Turkey and its NATO allies – especially the U. S., which considers the Syrian Kurds an ally against Islamic extremists. When Moody’s Investors Service cut Turkey’s rating to junk last week, it cited ‘the persistence of geopolitical threats’ among other reasons. Erdogan is trying to stem a tide that turned more than two decades ago, when war in Iraq left Kurds in charge of that country’s oil-rich north. Since 2011, civil war has given a similar opportunity to Syrian Kurds, who now control of much of the territory along the 900-kilometer border with Turkey. Among the world’s largest ethnic groups without a state of their own, the Kurds can now glimpse a viable one.
This year is seen going down as the worst since 2011 for China’s stock investors as the memory of last summer’s rout lingers and speculative buying switches to the housing market. The Shanghai Composite Index will end the year at 3,075, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg poll of 10 strategists and fund managers. That implies a 13 percent drop over the 12-month period, the steepest in five years, and a gain of 2.9 percent from Wednesday’s close. Fading prospects for monetary easing, a slowing economy and the risk of higher U. S. borrowing costs spurring yuan weakness were among factors weighing on the nation’s shares, the survey showed. Turnover on the world’s second-largest stock market has collapsed to a two-year low as China’s army of investors, unnerved by 2015′s plunge in equity values, charged into other assets. After a frenzied bet on commodities futures soured, they have set their sights on a bigger target – property. With new home prices now jumping the most in six years, analysts are scaling back projections for interest-rate cuts. ‘The property market and the stock market are like a seesaw,’ said Li Lifeng, a strategist at Sinolink Securities Co. in Shanghai. ‘If the ‘fever’ in the property market doesn’t cool down, funds will flow from equities into real estate.’ Small-cap technology stocks are the least preferred by analysts in the survey because of stretched valuations, while building companies are favored thanks to government efforts to boost infrastructure investment.
Former Arkansas Sen. William Fulbright said in 1967, ‘The price of empire is America’s soul, and that price is too high.’ War, expansion, the maintenance of a large standing army: these corrupt a country, as poets from James Russell Lowell to Wendell Berry have tried to tell us. The Vietnam or Iraq War may level villages across the sea but back home, in our villages, they unleash an insidious poison, too. They make our places less liveable. From the pit of the Cold War Edmund Wilson, the Sage of Boonville, New York, lamented that ‘our country has become today a huge blundering power unit controlled more and more by bureaucracies whose rule is making it more and more difficult to carry on the tradition of American individualism.’ In Boonville as in Emporia as in Sauk Centre, the little places that give America soul were ravaged and denuded by the machine of perpetual war. War effaces and perverts the very bases of healthy community life. It elevates impermanence and rootlessness to virtues. It forcibly uproots people; it distorts natural economic patterns, causing artificial regional booms and busts – witness the histories of Detroit and Kentucky; it spreads venereal disease, if not democracy; it separates husbands from wives and parents from children; it leads to a spike in the divorce rate among service personnel and it nationalizes their children in what the Pentagon, with its usual tone-deafness to Orwellian rings, calls ‘the Total Army Family.’ Welcome to the Brave New World. A militaristic state is a centripetal machine that sucks all power to the center. Smaller bodies, grass-roots democratic institutions, are devitalized, wiped out. All political decisions of consequence are made at a level impossibly remote from real life. People we don’t know – people who have no desire or even means to know us – make life or death decisions about us.
In Human Action Ludwig von Mises wrote, ‘corruption is a regular effect of interventionism.’ As Peter Klein highlighted this week, we’ve seen a perfect illustration of that with continuing scandal plaguing Hillary Clinton involving the Clinton Foundation, and the speaking fees she received from Wall Street banks and other powerful companies. The larger government becomes, the more important it is to it have on your side. It’s why EpiPen enjoys the benefit of having so few competitors, and it’s why even fantasy football has had to invest millions in their own army of lobbyists. All the unfortunate consequences of a nation, founded in liberty, devolving into an fascist state.
Last week, we first touched on a topic which, in any non-banana republic, would be a far greater scandal than what Ryan Lochte may or may not have been doing in a Rio bathroom: namely, government corruption, falsification and potential fraud and embezzlement, which has resulted in the Pentagon being unable to account for up to $8.5 trillion in taxpayer funding. Today, Reuters follows up on this disturbing issue, and reveals that the Army’s finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced. The Defense Department’s Inspector General, in a June report, said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. Yet the Army lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up. As a result, the Army’s financial statements for 2015 were ‘materially misstated,’ the report concluded. The ‘forced’ adjustments rendered the statements useless because ‘DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions.’ For those wondering, this is what $1 trillion in $100 bills looks like.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 19, 2016.
Isolationists must not prevail in this new debate over foreign policy,’ warns Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. ‘The consequences of a lasting American retreat from the world would be dire.’ To make his case against the ‘Isolationist Temptation,’ Haass creates a caricature, a cartoon, of America First patriots, then thunders that we cannot become ‘a giant gated community.’ Understandably, Haass is upset. For the CFR has lost the country. Why? It colluded in the blunders that have bled and near bankrupted America and that cost this country its unrivaled global preeminence at the end of the Cold War. No, it was not ‘isolationists’ who failed America. None came near to power. The guilty parties are the CFR crowd and their neocon collaborators, and liberal interventionists who set off to play empire after the Cold War and create a New World Order with themselves as Masters of the Universe. Consider just a few of the decisions taken in those years that most Americans wish we could take back. After the Soviet Union withdrew the Red Army from Europe and split into 15 nations, and Russia held out its hand to us, we slapped it away and rolled NATO right up onto her front porch.
Although many are confused by these markets, there is a simple explanation for every strange thing going on right now: The United States is rapidly devolving into a Third World country. We’ve got the politicians to prove it. On one side is the classic insider, handing out favors to cronies and corporate big-shots while not-so-secretly covering her tracks and lining her pockets; on the other side is the classic Strongman, full of machismo, bluster, simple sloganeering, and even a trademark hair-do/spray tan combo. Just slap some epaulets and a row of chest medals on Donald’s blazer and he could easily pass for our first Yankee Generalissimo. But the analogy goes even deeper with monetary policy, debt, and spending. We are swimming in debt and deficits, with no other plan but “even more,” which leads eventually to an Argentina-style default. Actual economic growth is anemic, while the insiders that live in Washington D. C. and environs grow ever richer on fat contracts and sweetheart legislative deals for big corporations, written by an ever-expanding minion army of lawyers and lobbyists. It’s Third World cronyism on a grand scale.
This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 8 August 2016.
The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an ‘ultimatum’. Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels. Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees. The plot has sparked fury and panic in Poland – a traditional ally of Britain in the fight against federalism – after being leaked to Polish news channel TVP Info. The public broadcaster reports that the bombshell proposal will be presented to a meeting of the Visegrad group of countries – made up of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia – by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier later today. Excerpts of the nine-page report were published today as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy met in Berlin for Brexit crisis talks.
A foreign army consisting of 31,000 soldiers from an anti-American alliance are conducting military ‘exercises’ a few miles from San Diego. Hundreds of tanks converge on the Rio Grande, while jets from 24 countries converge in attack formation, darting through Mexican skies. It isn’t hard to imagine Washington’s response. Yet that’s precisely what has been happening on Russia’s border with the NATO alliance, as the cold war returns. Economic sanctions aimed at sinking Russia’s fragile economy, plus a propaganda campaign designed to characterize Russian President Vladimir Putin as the second coming of Stalin – or, in Hillary Clinton’s view, Hitler – have history running in reverse. Once again, an iron curtain is descending across Europe – only this time it’s the West’s doing. The European Union renewed sanctions against Crimea on Friday: their ‘crime’ – holding a referendum in which the overwhelming majority of voters opted for union with Russia, restoring what had been the status quo since the days of Catherine the Great. And the EU is slated to extend sanctions against the Russian Federation later this week. Yet dissent against this revival of the cold war is rising in Europe, notably in Germany, where Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is calling for the ‘gradual’ lifting of sanctions to reflect progress in the implementation of theMinsk accords, which call for the demilitarization of Ukraine and elections in rebel-held territory. This reflects a division within Germany’s left-right coalition government: Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats are holding out for ‘full’ implementation of the accords. Yet it is the government in Kiev – held hostage by far-right crazies – that has been dragging its feet over Minsk, refusing to grant autonomy to east Ukraine and vowing to continue the war against the rebels in spite of Kiev’s lack of success in pacifying the rebellious region.
For many of us concerned with liberty, the letters ‘NDAA’ have come to symbolize Washington’s ongoing effort to undermine the US Constitution in the pursuit of constant war overseas. It was the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2012 that introduced into law the idea that American citizens could be indefinitely detained without warrant or charge if a government bureaucrat decides they had assisted al-Qaeda or ‘associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States.’ No charges, no trial, just disappeared Americans. The National Defense Authorization bill should be a Congressional mechanism to bind the president to spend national defense money in the way Congress wishes. It is the nuts and bolts of the defense budget and as such is an important oversight tool preventing the imperial executive from treating the military as his own private army. Unfortunately that is no longer the case these days. Why am I revisiting the NDAA today? Unfortunately since 2012 these bills have passed the House with less and less scrutiny, and this week the House is going to vote on final passage of yet another Defense Authorization, this time for fiscal year 2017. Once again it is a terrible piece of legislation that does great harm to the United States under the guise of protecting the United States.
More than two decades ago in China, Miao Liansheng made a first tentative step toward harnessing the sun to produce power – eventually becoming a billionaire. For a time, it worked, making his Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. the world’s biggest solar panel maker. Then in an all-too-familiar scene for clean energy producers, reality took hold for the 60-year-old former soldier in the People’s Liberation Army. QuickTakeSolar Energy Miao’s push to dominate photovoltaics lies in pieces after Yingli missed repayment on 1.76 billion yuan ($270 million) of debt and said it’s talking with creditors about refinancing. It’s teetering is starting to look like the collapse of Shi Zhengrong’s Suntech Power Holdings Co. in 2013 – global aspirations, the amassing of billions of dollars in debt, plunging prices, overcapacity and then retreat. ‘It wasn’t easy for Miao to make the company so big,’ said Zhang Sen, deputy secretary-general of the photovoltaic production unit at the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products. ‘Big companies are sometimes more fragile, especially when the market isn’t good.’
Creating an International Islamist Army: Casey, BCCI, and the Creation of al-Qaeda The other most significant case in which the CIA became a front for sanctioned violence was CIA Director William Casey’s use of the CIA in the 1980s to promote his own plans for Afghanistan. Casey’s Afghan initiatives aroused the concern of the CIA’s professional operatives and analysts, including his deputy directors, Bobby Ray Inman and John McMahon.(35) But this did not deter Casey from making high-level decisions about the Afghan campaign outside regular channels when meeting in secret with foreigners. One man Casey dealt with in this fashion was Agha Hasan Abedi, a close adviser to General Zia of Pakistan and, more important, the head of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI): Abedi helped arrange Casey’s sojourns in Islamabad and met with the CIA director during visits to Washington. Typically, Abedi would stay in a hotel and Casey would go to his suite. The two men, who met intermittently over a three-year period, would spend hours talking about the war in Afghanistan, the Iran-Contra arms trades, Pakistani politics, and the situation in the Persian Gulf. (36) Members of Senator John Kerry’s staff, who investigated this relationship, concluded that Casey in his dealings with Abedi may have been acting not as CIA director but as an adviser to President Reagan, so that his actions were’undocumented, fully deniable, and effectively irretrievable.’ (37)(Casey’s dealings with BCCI may not have been at arm’s length: the weapons pipeline to Afghanistan allegedly involved funding through a BCCI affiliate in Oman, in which Casey’s close friend and business associate Bruce Rappaport had a financial interest. (38)