SENATOR CARL KRUGER
this post is made in response to the special request of Senator CARL KRUGER. the following story is not identical to the real business, but, is similar. there actually is something similar to the HAMMER project, but, we just called it “the competition”.
Extracted from Nexus Magazine
Volume 9, Number 1 December-January 2002
The off-ledger trading programs operated by some central and international banks launder massive amounts of money and provide vast sums to fund covert ‘black budget’ projects.
Project Hammer is all about money. Stupendous great gobs of money. So much money, in fact, that it will challenge whatever reality you thought you had about the over-world of banking, finance and economics. It is also about the nether world of international banking and finance, a world that is said not to exist in reality. But exist it does.
More often than not, this never-never-land of international banking is concealed from public view by the judicious use of two sets of books. It is also eclipsed from interested investigators by a never-ending series of real frauds that result in arrest and imprisonment of numerous scam artists. This creates the clever illusion that the only thing going on are artful scams designed to fleece the unwary.
Such swindles fall under the general category of High Yield Investment Programs, Front End Fee frauds and Prime Bank Note schemes. Numerous law enforcement cases such as these, when twinned with dire “beware” warnings published on FBI, US Treasury and other websites, easily lead one to conclude that there are no such things as “real” trading programs. And the powers that be don’t at all object to this conclusion being reached. It is the old case of hiding trees in a forest.
A key point to keep to the fore in what follows is that trading programs operate “off ledger”. That is to say, the banks and central banks that operate them run two sets of books: one set for public scrutiny, and another set for private viewing only. Another fact to bear in mind is that authorised programs generate quite spectacular profits for very little–in fact, minuscule–risk, and those who are invited to participate as funders accumulate capital at a shockingly rapid rate. One reason, perhaps, why the wealthy get altogether wealthier as the poor sink ever lower into the mire of poverty.
The financial, banking and economic shadow-world in which Project Hammer lived, breathed and manufactured money “out of thin air” is the dirty little secret of the Western economy. It is a form of money creation that is effectively unchallenged by any form of oversight or accountability as we understand it. Hammer and numerous other transactions like it are based on what are known as Collateral Trading Programs, although many other descriptive names and terms are also used.1
The reason for such programs is to create vast pools of ready money that are earmarked for use in sanctioned (authorised) operations and projects. On the plus side, many beneficial projects throughout the world get funded as a result of program trading. On the negative side, there are more shadowy projects. Included in the latter category are certain black operations.
The amalgamated pool of funds created and now held in dormant and orphaned bank accounts runs to trillions of dollars, according to insiders. At the low end of estimates, there is believed to be enough to pay off the US national debt plus some change. At the higher end, estimates range up to hundreds of trillions of dollars. I have been repeatedly told, almost matter-of-factly, that the higher estimates are closer to the truth. I simply don’t know how big the sums amount to, but I can document US$12 trillion. This sum is revealed in the late Baron Krupp papers that form part of the exhibits of the companion volume to dossier The Secret Gold Treaty (http://www.deepblacklies.co.uk).
Many different sources say that programs are also used to launder money by spinning it through a program cycle until it is pristine clean. Drugs, guns and the usual array of dirty money transactions are said to feature.
Since US dollars are the cornerstone of all program activity, Uncle Sam naturally gets a bite of the action. A percentage of the proceeds is collected via private tax treaties negotiated with offshore entities. These treaties also help to shield the reality of these programs from public awareness. There are unsubstantiated rumours that some of the tax take occasionally gets “diverted” for altogether private purposes. It is an allegation that is impossible to stand up, however.
London and Zurich are key centres for program activity, although transactions are usually booked through offshore entities. London and Zurich are also gold centres, and more than one credible source confirms that “black” gold forms an important part of program trading activity. There are also good reasons to suppose that part of Uncle Sam’s share of trading profits is credited to the Exchange Stabilisation Fund. Here it is pooled with other funds and used to shore-up the American economy by–amongst other manoeuvres–manipulating the gold price to keep it below a predetermined price.
Trading programs are the preserve of many governments, their treasury departments and the top international banks which by their very nature have the necessary mechanisms in place to enable trading to take place efficiently and secretly. Banks from G7 nations dominate.
It follows, therefore, that a number of problems occur as a consequence of the multijurisdictional nature of supervision; and although safeguards are in place to ensure that “clean” money is fed into the system, this doesn’t always happen. Funds of suspect origin do enter the system and are made pristine clean by this form of paper alchemy.
Large sums of black gold, cash or other forms of convertible assets are used as “collateral” to initiate trading programs. There are also certain classes of government-issued treasury notes and bonds that are privately lodged with major Western banks. These “treasuries” are never meant to see the light of day, but are in turn used by major banks to back the issuance of their own bank debentures “off ledger” in substantially leveraged amounts that can run into tens of trillions of dollars–or their foreign currency equivalents.
In turn, this bank “paper” is traded in pre-arranged “buy/sell” transactions at steep discounts (cents on the dollar) off the face value of the issued bank debentures. The trading of the paper between banks–using proxies–is arranged and coordinated so that the traded obligations effectively “wash out” or are otherwise cancelled, although other scenarios exist where issued paper is purchased at a fair market value and held to maturity. In the past, trading was paper-based, but today everything is electronic “screen-based” and consequently the credits traded have a life of milliseconds.
The difference between the buy-and-sell price–usually known as the “spread” (in the case of Hammer, this was said to be many percentage points)–generates a “fallout”, a term that implies profit. In other transactions, most notably “Jacobe”, the spread was represented to be at least 10% on a planned face value issuance of US$27.5 trillion, according to documents I have seen. This would have created a fallout of US$2.75 trillion. However, for reasons yet unknown to this writer, it seems that the Jacobe program, privately hailed as the largest program “ever put together”, was–for reasons that are still inexplicable–only two-thirds completed.
Less grand, but just as interesting in other respects, was the fallout from Project Hammer, which is said to have totalled over US$220 billion. In fact, the precise sum is US$223,104,000,008.03.2
THE NUGAN HAND BANK CONNECTION
One of the central characters associated with Project Hammer was Brigadier General Erle Cocke. Back in 1966, Cocke, along with his sleeping partner General Eugene Phillips, established the Washington-based consultancy firm Cocke & Phillips International. This was at the height of the Vietnam War, and just a few months after Cold Warrior Paul H. Nitze issued the directive authorising the establishment of the US Navy’s clandestine intelligence collection program more commonly known as “Task Force 157”.
TF 157 would later feature in the Nugan Hand Bank affair exposed by Wall Street Journal investigative reporter Jonathan Kwitny in his book The Crimes of Patriots. Task Force 157 came to an end on the instruction of Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, once he discovered the full involvement of “rogue” CIA agent Edwin Wilson in the Task Force. Wilson was responsible for so much intrigue and illegality that one could shake a stick at it. He was eventually arrested, tried and imprisoned–where he remains to this day, fighting for release. Many now believe that he was working on orders from above but in a deniable role and was cynically sacrificed to save other more prominent players.
During his investigation, Jonathan Kwitny learned that General Erle Cocke ran Nugan Hand Bank’s Washington office. Cocke’s partner General Phillips denied this, saying they had merely rented office space to Nugan Hand Inc.’s Hawaii President, General Edward Black–a former OSS, CIA and senior military officer. This proved to be untrue, however. Kwitny learned that papers filed with the US Treasury listed General Cocke as the “person in charge” of Nugan Hand’s Washington office. Cocke claimed that someone else must have filed these papers without his knowledge or consent.
In April 2000, Cocke gave a deposition running to 67 pages concerning his knowledge and involvement in Project Hammer. Ten days later he died from pancreatic cancer. His explosive deposition reveals him as a very significant and highly connected player in a world few of us are familiar with.
Cocke fought in three wars: World War II, Korea and Vietnam. During WWII he was an artillery officer and a division staff officer and was a POW under the Germans. He worked for General MacArthur during the Korean War and for General Westmoreland in the Vietnam War. Highly decorated for his service, he was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and cluster, a Purple Heart with three clusters, a Croix de Guerre plus the Légion d’honneur from France, and a Medal of Honour from The Philippines. He was the youngest National Commander of the American Legion and, prior to his death, became the oldest National Commander. In addition he was distinguished by the Red Cross with the medal Cruz Roja, and he was made an Honourable Comrade of the Nationalist Chinese Air Force.
Cocke was a Shriner Mason of many years’ standing (he held a semi-official voluntary position for that organisation) and a Grand Commander of the Knights of Malta–the secretive Vatican order that boasts numerous members who serve, or are closely affiliated with, Western intelligence and military services. Intriguingly, he claimed to have been the first Protestant “in 1200 years to be so honoured”.
In 1959 and again in 1960 he was a member of the US delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations, holding the rank (and pay grade) of Ambassador. After that, he was the first fulltime US Alternate Executive Director of the World Bank, a position he held for four years from 1961&endash;64. Pressed about this in more detail by his questioner, a Washington attorney, Cocke responded by saying:
“At that time I owned 28 percent of the stock and, of course, I had all kinds of people in the Treasury tell me what to do. Don’t get me wrong, I made all the decisions. But I was the executor, I was the delivery.”
He also confirmed that he had worked for every US President:
“…from Truman to date. At some stage of the game I worked for all of them. I have to admit that some of them were very minor chores and others were important.”
In addition to his many abilities and accomplishments listed above, Erle Cocke was above all other things a banker–a profession that ran in the family. His great-grandfather put a bank “together in 1867”, which was then the only bank in Georgia. His grandfather founded a bank in about 1890, and his father was President of Fulton National Bank (which became Bank of America) and was at one time the President of the American Bankers Association and Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Asked about his own knowledge of banking, Cocke said he had taken all the normal banking courses, and added:
“I understand banking. I can teach banking–you understand what I am saying–at the college level.”
This banking expertise was at the core of his firm, Cocke & Phillips International, which began life as a:
“…normal American firm, lobbying firm, here in Washington, and we grew into banking particularly. The UN contacts and the World Bank contacts–sometimes they help those people for 10 years.”
In a similar vein, he undertook all sorts of “chores” for some of the government intelligence agencies. He explained this as follows:
“One thing is if they trusted you, they practically came in and said, ‘What do I do?’ I mean, you didn’t argue with them. You sort of proceeded with the program and gave them a few choices, of course. But [they] practically always followed what we did. I was administrator, arbitrator. I was [the] moderator, bringing people together.”
Asked if that experience “would be true in the financial and banking world in particular”, Cocke replied:
“Oh, yes. I have been able to close things that other people can’t close.”
As we shall see, Cocke’s ability to “close” things other people could not close did not extend to Project Hammer–a financial operation that, according to Cocke, deeply involved Citibank and its Chairman, John Reed. Cocke said he could get to see any President without any trouble, but complained that he could not get to meet John Reed.
Having briefly examined General Cocke’s background, let’s now return to that stupendous sum of “black” money mentioned earlier. For purposes of clarity, this amount was referenced in Erle Cocke’s deposition. If, as we have said, this amount was stealthily “magicked” into being as a result of an exotic form of financial smoke and mirrors, the question is: where did it go?
According to Cocke, this sum was lodged in “30-some odd accounts together”. Asked where these accounts were located, Cocke responded by saying, “In almost one solid block at Citibank”.
General Cocke’s questioner then asked: “Would they have been in control of Mr Reed?”–meaning former Citibank CEO and Chairman John Reed.
Cocke responded as follows, in this exchange with the attorney: A. Probably not all because there were so many different participants involved, and in different locations, countries, that I would say no, he did not have complete control, but everybody recognized it wouldn’t be settled until it got to him. Q. And these were, you say, accounts for various people around the world? A. Yes. Q. Produced as a result of what? A. Well, most of them figured that greed in particular was mighty high. And, if they put up this amount of money, then I am going to get this kind of money coming back. That’s the way practically all of it was. I hate to use the word “sole”, but “present” might be a better word. Q. Were these accounts for the benefit of people who had engaged in some kind of trading program? A. They were all to get in the trading program. I haven’t found anybody that didn’t go in wanting to increase their income and their greed in the highest bracket if they could possibly put up money. Q. What I am understanding from you is that whatever these individuals, corporate entities, or even government…they believed, apparently by putting these funds with Citibank as part of this effort, they would then receive later down the road a pay-off? A. That is correct. Q. As a result of Citibank’s management of these funds, is that fair to say? A. Yes, basically the whole trading bloc in a nutshell.
During the course of his deposition, General Cocke was asked if he knew who “created” Hammer “to begin with”. He admitted that he didn’t know and was even reluctant to make a guess, but added that whoever set it in motion “had to have been somebody at a pretty high level”. He then made the interesting observation that whoever it was who had authorised it, “the original structure” had “obviously got way out of proportion as time went by”. The implication was that some of the money–the fallout–got diverted from its original intention.
More than a few of those involved in Project Hammer at various levels have told me that they believe some of the pool of money created by the Hammer project was “diverted” and used to rescue many of the world’s major banks, which by the very end of the 1980s faced insolvency following reckless lending policies throughout the late 1970s and early/middle 1980s. It is certainly true that at that time many major banks like Citibank, HSBC, Chase, BoNY and others stood teetering on the very brink of disaster.
Another view is one that has been expressed by Daniel Hughes, of Hughes Oil Company, a Florida-based corporation. Hughes had been heavily involved in finding collateral to place in a number of trading programs over several years. This cost him tens of thousands of dollars, since most of these were illegitimate rather than genuine. It is a fate that waits for untold thousands of unsuspecting investors who step into this shadowy realm unprepared.
Even so, it seems that Hughes did play a part in attempting to place collateral in Project Hammer. He believes that the funds diverted from Project Hammer ended up in a CIA-controlled Swiss bank account in the name of the late Howard Hughes. On the basis of years of investigation, Daniel Hughes believes that Project Hammer involved the trading of US$13.6 trillion in debentures, resulting in a “fallout” of about US$1.1 trillion which was stashed in the Howard Hughes account in Credit Suisse. Whilst there is no hard corroboration in support of this claim, it remains an intriguing possibility. More so, for in his deposition General Cocke indicated that black money generated by trading programs might be hidden in dormant accounts, and a Howard Hughes account set up 30 years ago would clearly fall into that category.
According to Erle Cocke plus others I have spoken with, Project Hammer began life as an authorised but secretive trading program aimed at repatriating dollar assets that dated back several decades. Cocke confirms this when he was asked what the overall objectives of Project Hammer were:
“Well, it was mainly to bring monies back to the United States from all types of activities, both legitimately and illegitimately. Not that they were in the smuggling business per se, but they were all in the arms business; they were all retracing dollars of one description or another that had accumulated all through the ’40s and ’50s really. And that probably is as broad a definition as I can give you. And all kinds of nationalities were involved, all kinds of people were involvedÉ”
Cocke was then asked who would have been behind the Hammer project. Would it, the questioner asked, have involved “various agencies of the US Government”?
“Yes. Obviously the CIA, the FBI, the national security agencies of all types, Pentagon in the broadest sense of it and as such, and the Treasury, Federal Reserve. Nobody got out of the act, everybody wanted to get in the act.”
But there were numerous other entities involved in Project Hammer. None more so than the world’s big bank, as is made clear by the following exchange: Q. What other banks and financial institutions were involved in it? A. Well, if they were, they were still as a correspondent to CitibankÉ
“Correspondent”, in the sense General Cocke’s uses this term, means one bank’s account maintained at another bank. This is used to handle money transfers between both banks, and it very often denotes a “special relationship” between the the banks concerned. The questioner then asked: Q. Do you know which of those would be involved? Was Chase Manhattan one? A. I am sure that every big bank in every major country at some stage of the game had some of this pass by them. They had a chance to refuse, or they had a chance to take it up.
CITIBANK, “THE CHEESE”
Cocke was then asked who the “dominant participant” was in “terms of running this project, this vast project”. The General is in no doubt about his reply when he says that, based on his own investigation, it was “Citibank of New York, in both their Athens, Greece, office and in their New York City office”. He also acknowledged that Hammer was part of “an ongoing long-term kind of project”.
Cocke went on to reveal that Citibank were “Égoing to be the trustees. They were going to be running the program. They were going to be the disbursing agency. They were the cheese.”
Asked to identify which principal officer in Citibank handled Project Hammer, Cocke responded that “from all records, communications and contacts, John Reed was Vice President, but he was the lone coordinator, for a better word”.
Reed, who was Citibank’s President and Chairman during this period, has formally denied his involvement in Project Hammer. In a deposition sworn in December 2000, Reed stated that he had “no recognition or knowledge of anything purportedly known as Project Hammer”. Nor did he have “any recognition or knowledge” of any person named Erle Cocke. His deposition goes on to list a number of other items, people and allegations that he also had “no recognition or knowledge” about.
For their part, Citibank, in a letter dated December 12, 2000, state that they “never issued commercial instruments on the basis of its possession of quantities of gold made available to it by agencies of the US Government and the Federal Reserve in order to ensure the solvency of Citibank in the ’80s and other bullion banks”.
This denial, although emphatic, is interesting. Research shows that gold recovered by the forerunner to the CIA–the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)–was deposited in Citibank (and many other banks, too), not in the name of the OSS or CIA but in the name of one of their operatives, Severino Garcia Santa Romana.
On his death in 1974, some–but not all–of Romana’s “assets” appear to have been illegally acquired by former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, who was at one time Santa Romana’s attorney. According to Santa Romana’s widow, her husband gave Marcos a limited Power of Attorney for use solely in the Philippines, since he travelled abroad regularly. It seems that Marcos somehow made use of this to gain control over Santa Romana’s gold and other assets.
It also appears likely, based on documents in this writer’s possession, that considerable quantities of gold once held by Santa Romana were later placed under the control of former CIA covert operator Major-General Edward Lansdale. However, these assets were lodged with the Union Bank of Switzerland. Again, it is worthy of note that they were placed in Ed Lansdale’s name, not in the name of a US Government agency. These assets are very clearly off the books.
Large quantities of gold held by Citibank remained in the account names of Severino Garcia Sta. Romana and José Antonio Diaz de la Paz (the latter being a well-known alias for Santa Romana) under reference codes “Fanerst King Fisher” and “Burgst Harbor King” respectively.3 These have been the subject of a legal wrangle between Santa Romana’s heirs and Citibank’s John Reed.
The fact that the gold held by Citibank and others may not have been in the name of the Central Intelligence Agency or the Federal Reserve–but, rather, was in Santa Romana’s name–may have been all Citibank needed to wriggle out of a poorly crafted question.
Continued in next issue here: http://www.nexusmagazine.com/hammer2.html
1. Other terms that have been used are: Credit Enhancement Business; and Capital Accumulation & Structured Debt Programs. 2. Others involved believe this sum represents a part of the fallout from the Jacobe transaction, and not Hammer. 3. This information is drawn from a letter dated December 20, 1995, from C. E. (Jim) Brown (the second husband of Santa Romana’s widow, Luz), addressed to the US Justice Department. Sta. Romana also used J. Antonio Diaz as another alias. In fact, he used many different names and entities to conduct his business.
About the Author
Following a 28-year career in investment banking (member, AIBD) based in the City of London, David Guyatt’s last position was Associate Director and Treasurer of the forfaiting (an arcane banking term meaning “to discount without recourse”) division of a major international bank. David is married with three children and now pursues a career in journalism, writing for a variety of media and researching and producing factual material on awide range of associated subjects. This is his ninth article for NEXUS, the most recent ones published in 8/01 and 7/05. In addition to his feature writing, David has prepared background papers on Anti-Personnel Electromagnetic Weapons for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was a contributing member of ICRC’s SIrUS Project that sought to define criteria for judging “abhorrent weapons”, and has written for the World Development Movement on his “insider’s knowledge” of international weapons financing. He has been a consultant on Swiss and UK TV documentaries exposing the threat of non-lethal weapons and Britain’s weapons trail to Indonesia. He is presently assisting the US-based law firm Easton & Levy in its lawsuit against the Vatican for the restitution of the Nazi Croatian Treasury which was illicitly transferred to the Vatican and elsewhere at the end of World War II. David has recently completed an in-depth investigation into the black market of gold and has published it as an electronic book, The Secret Gold Treaty, available through his home page www.deepblacklies.co.uk. ___
Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 9, Number 1 (December-January 2002) PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia. firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: +61 (0)7 5442 9280; Fax: +61 (0)7 5442 9381 From our web page at: www.nexusmagazine.com
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Covert Finance and the Parallel Economy
The off-ledger trading programs operated by some central and international banks launder massive amounts of money and provide vast sums to fund covert ‘black budget’ projects.
Part 2 of 2
Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 9, Number 2 (February-March
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by David G. Guyatt © 2001
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ILLUMINATI INTRIGUE AND “BLACK” GOLD COLLATERAL
The gold “connection” remains unclear. However, there is reason to suppose that the dollar “assets” that date back to the 1940s and 1950s, as earlier discussed by General Erle Cocke, may relate in part to vast quantities of gold looted during World War II by the Japanese plunder teams (known as the Golden Lily) and also by the Nazis in
That substantial amounts of gold bullion were ransacked and then hidden throughout the Philippines prior to war’s end is now undeniable. This, however, was “black” gold – meaning it did not appear on official statistics or in treasury department lists.
Santa Romana was an OSS officer operating in the Philippines during the war and learned where the Japanese had buried plundered gold and other valuables. But there are other aspects to the Santa Romana gold story that are only now coming to the surface. They reveal a shocking secret that, if true, could shake the foundations of our belief and change the way we view the world we live in.
According to Santa Romana’s widow, Luz, her husband told her that he was a member of the Illuminati – a very secretive elite group that dates back to 1776 when it was founded by Adam Weishaupt at the University of Ingolstadt, Germany. According to those who have researched it, the purpose of the Illuminati was to set in motion, in
secret, a New World Order of world revolution.
This, however, does not fully tally with what Santa Romana told his wife about them. According to Luz, the purpose of the Illuminati was based on the knowledge that the royal families of Europe were aware that they were losing political and effective control of their nations. But it was the possible loss of control over the wealth of their kingdoms that bothered them most. Consequently, they founded the Illuminati and set in motion long-term plans aimed at secretly taking control of world finances, especially gold and other precious metals.
In time, the royal families who sat at the centre of the Illuminati movement were forced to expand and take into membership political and business leaders. At some point in the early 20th century, two 50-year plans were set in motion, aimed at cornering the world’s precious metal reserves.
The foregoing is the account given to Luz by her husband Santa Romana. How true it is remains to be seen, and it is not hard to view it as disinformation told by Santa Romana to his wife to conceal his real motives – whatever they may have been.
More intriguing still is Luz’s account that her late husband was the one-time “head” of the Trilateral Commission – an elite group which is known to have tentacles deeply embedded in the Marcos gold story of later years. Again, there is no corroborating evidence, and the fact that the Trilateral Commission was founded only in 1973, whereas Santa Romana died in 1974, suggests this is unlikely.
However, it is more than a little curious that whilst Santa Romana eventually (and undoubtedly) came to control the great bulk of gold that resulted from plunder during WWII, he did have substantial gold deposits dating back further than that.
Papers relating to the “estate” of Santa Romana purport to show a gold account at the Union Bank of Switzerland, Zurich, containing 8,000 metric tonnes valued at US$10 billion. The account dates back to 1920. Such a quantity of gold dating from that period represents a massive holding, far surpassing that held today by the world’s leading central banks.
It is also at least interesting – again, according to the account of his wife – that Santa Romana as a young boy was adopted by his great uncle in Hawaii who was married to the last Hawaiian princess. The couple had remained childless throughout their marriage, leading to the decision to adopt the young Santa Romana. According to Luz, it was this “royal” connection that gave Santa Romana entrée into the Illuminati.
Interestingly, during the course of my ongoing investigation into Project Hammer, a number of others involved in this program whom I have spoken with have told me, quite independently of the Santa Romana story, that the Hammer program – and numerous other collateral trading programs associated with it – have enormously powerful “gold
trusts” of royal origin sitting behind them.
Perhaps the Hammer program was meant to generate enough money to buy substantial quantities of black gold stashed in the Philippines to ensure it be kept out of circulation, thus protecting the gold price to some degree. Perhaps it had more to do with the secret acquisition of vast amounts of this black gold in line with what Santa Romana told his wife. Perhaps the assets in question were not just gold but included pre-war US Treasury obligations (bonds and notes) that are now coming to light in the Philippines but which are said by US authorities to be fraudulent. Whatever is the case, it is certain that substantial quantities of “black” gold are used to underpin (collateralise) certain trading programs, and the funds thus generated are earmarked for use in other secretive operations.
This whole subject remains an ongoing investigation. The deeper I dig, the murkier it becomes. Stories are commonplace of warehouses full of banknotes waiting to be laundered by a trading program so that they can re-enter the financial system as clean as a whistle. Foreign exchange transactions involving billions of dollars in equivalent currency and which trade at huge discounts – unknown in the official marketplace – are also not uncommon. It is also a fact that many of those involved in trading programs are members of government intelligence and security organisations.
SOUTH AFRICAN INTELLIGENCE AND THE STASI
Another individual who has played a considerable role in Project Hammer is the South African Rolf van Rooyen, who operated a number of business entities including one called Oceantech and another called Eastech International Bank. At one time van Rooyen worked for South African intelligence, and he is also believed to have been CIA at the time Project Hammer was in process.
Of significance is the fact that General Cocke and van Rooyen knew each other, although Cocke says he only spoke to him on the phone but never “shook hands with him”. When questioned about Project Hammer during a police interview in Germany in 1995, van Rooyen gave this response:”If you are referring to Operation Hamer [sic], it is an extremely large, very delicate operation in cooperation with the authorities of various countries in which Oceantech is involved.”
Van Rooyen then proceeded to identify “America, England, Germany, France, ItalyÉ” as being involved. He also told German police that from the very first day he began investigating Project Hammer:”We realised that it was a direct state matter and that the USA, the CIA and several other groups in the Secret Service were involved, as
well as very, very high-coupled people in the American Government.”The latter are rumoured to include George H. W. Bush, James Baker III, Former Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
During his deposition, Erle Cocke was asked if he considered van Rooyen’s foregoing statement to be accurate. Cocke replied, saying: “He is not too far off. I am sure he flavoured it up a little bit, yes.”
Working alongside van Rooyen was South African intelligence operative Riaan Stander. Both Stander and van Rooyen were board members of the Eastcorp Syndicate, which boasted almost two dozen other companies in its stable.4 Included were Intercol Pty Ltd, Cavo Shipping, which conducted intelligence-gathering missions for governments, and Bridge SA, which was registered in Monrovia, Liberia.
According to Peter Goslar, once a close friend of Riaan Stander, other board members of Bridge SA were Colonel Tim Spicer and Mick Ranger “of Sandline fame”. In a letter written to a Washington law firm involved in a Project Hammer lawsuit, Goslar fingers Bridge SA – and hence van Rooyen and Riaan Stander – as “part of the Executive
But there is more. During several daylong meetings I had with Peter Goslar in late June 2001, he handed me hundreds of pages of documents he had retrieved from Riaan Stander’s private papers. These included documents showing a Mexican entity called Ro-Mar Pharmaceuticals, which van Rooyen told German police was the “money power” behind Eastech International Bank. The money Ro-Mar Pharmaceuticals claimed to control was represented by over US$100 billion in gold. Other papers clearly show van Rooyen and Stander engaged in collateral trading programs involving Latin American governments, most notably Argentina – once the preferred bolt-hole of notorious Nazis like Martin Bormann.
Another document from the batch I received from Peter Goslar was a list of companies grouped under the heading “United Kingdom Network”, and this “network” was identified as being part of The Palace Group. An interesting description, I think. In any event, listed under this “group” were 24 business entities including Sandline
International, Diamond Works, Branch Mining Ltd and Bridge International. The list also included Defence Systems Ltd as a part of The Palace Group and identified it as a division of Vickers – Britain’s oldest and most distinguished armaments manufacturer, which resides at the very centre of the United Kingdom’s Establishment.During one of our meetings, Peter Goslar told me he was a personal acquaintance (perhaps even a friend) of former East German spy-master Marcus Wolf, who headed the East German security apparatus known as the Stasi. Peter also claimed to know several former Stasi operatives. He also spoke German fluently in addition to Afrikaans and his native English tongue.
Later I was told that a Peter Goslar was briefly mentioned in the autobiography written by Marcus Wolf, entitled Man Without A Face. Discussing the fall from grace of West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in 1977 following the discovery that his personal secretary, Dagmar Kahlig-Scheffler, was a spy working for the Stasi, Wolf explains that Chancellor Schmidt’s spy-cum-secretary was caught when her Stasi control officer Peter Goslar came under suspicion by West German counterintelligence.
I asked Peter if he was the same Peter Goslar identified by his “friend” Marcus Wolf and he denied this. Nonetheless, he told me that Rolf van Rooyen was still living in Germany and was under the protection of two former Stasi agents. And we do know that the Stasi worked closely and in the shadows with South African intelligence on
a variety of projects, mostly weapons-related. Curious.
The Palace Group, meanwhile, contains all the guile and charm of a privatised off-the-books appendage of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).
On the other side of the Atlantic, General Cocke and his firm Cocke & Phillips International have many similarities with its foregoing British cousin and probably was (and is, as the firm remains active) one of the CIA’s private off-the-books companies. This conclusion is not only drawn from Cocke’s affiliation with the known CIA entity
Nugan Hand Bank, but another CIA front company called Associated Traders Corporation.
ATC, as it is known, came into brief prominence some years ago following a series of articles written by syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, naming Associated Traders as a gun-running, money-laundering, “off-the-books” CIA front. Then, in 1988, a US$4 million lawsuit was filed that involved ATC. By 1990, the Director of the CIA, William Webster, issued an affidavit calling for a sweeping gag order to be slapped on the lawsuit on the grounds of national security. Of interest is the fact that more than one source has told me that Associated Traders Corporation was General Cocke.
The foregoing connections could easily be typified as part of the Anglo-American-African covert intelligence relationship that continues to conceal many sins.
There is reason to suppose that part of the funds derived from the Project Hammer financial trading program went to fund certain military and intelligence operations in South Africa. These are thought to have included financing of the so-called “Hammer units” that are alleged to have engaged in brutal beatings and assassinations throughout South Africa prior to the collapse of the apartheid regime. It is also believed that Hammer funds were used to finance the purchase of arms given to the Inkatha Freedom Party, which was engaged in widespread acts of bloody violence during 1992
and 1993 – as discussed in the 1994 Report of the Goldstone Commission of Inquiry that named Eastech, van Rooyen and Stander.
Another aspect of Project Hammer may have involved the desire to plunder South Africa of much of its available mineral wealth prior to the country’s coming under control of the ANC in 1994. In the hard-hitting and suppressed book Glitter and Greed, written by Australian investigative reporter Janine Roberts, the Oppenheimer family and De
Beers arranged that a “…fabulous multibillion Rand stockpile of the finest gems was shipped out prior to the 1994 elections, and that the mines producing the best gems were put into overdrive in both South Africa and Namibia so that as many as possible of the better gems were extracted as fast as possible.”5 I have also been told that
large quantities of South African gold were also surreptitiously shipped out of South Africa at around this time – presumably for similar reasons.
It is also of interest to note that mounting evidence points to the conclusion that since 1995 the price of gold has been kept purposely low as a result of a conspiracy engineered by the US Treasury Department in collaboration with leading international banks. The result has been that the cost of extracting gold for many South
African gold mines is no longer cost-effective.
Could some of this alleged “missing” South African gold be related to a transaction that van Rooyen and Stander entered into in 1991? This involved Eastech International Bank’s agreeing to purchase 5,000 metric tonnes of gold at a 4% discount from the prevailing Second London Fix – at a cost of about US$50 billion. This gold was held in
the free zone area beneath Zurich’s Kloten Airport. The contract, which was to be governed by the “canton laws of Zurich”, runs to six pages and each page bears the official stamp of the Swiss police, authorising and validating the transaction.
It remains unclear if van Rooyen and Stander were acting on their own behalf or were fronting for someone else in this transaction. Van Rooyen, at least, has been fingered as a CIA asset in addition to his having South African intelligence affiliations. Might they have been operating as a “deniable cut-out” for the US Treasury Department who
wished to get delivery of this gold?
Perhaps the Chinese Government was party to the transaction instead. Eastech International Bank was, after all, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sino-Eastech, an entity which van Rooyen told German police investigators was “established in China” and which “operates from Xin Xong and was originally established by the General Staff of the 7th military power in China”. In operating their bank, van Rooyen and Stander liaised with a Chinese Army General whom van Rooyen declined to name, saying he wasn’t “sure what his name is”. His German police interrogator, displaying a well-honed sense of official disinterest in such diplomatic incongruities, rapidly moved on to other issues.
By 1995, Eastech International Bank had begun to hit the radar screen of regulatory authorities around the world, which viewed it with suspicion. But by then it seems probable that much of Project Hammer’s South African objectives had been fulfilled. Fearing the worse, Rolf van Rooyen left South Africa and travelled to Germany.
And according to his one-time friend Peter Goslar, that is where he still lives – albeit protected by former members of East Germany’s Stasi spy network.
It remains to be seen whether the sanctions-busting objective of the South African end of Project Hammer was a simple case of certain elites making sure they got all the mineral wealth they needed from South Africa before turning the country over to the ANC and Nelson Mandela in 1994. What is known is that, beginning in 1995, the price
of gold entered a new round of price manipulation which continues to this day.
Over the last two years, the Gold Anti-Trust Action (GATA) group has demonstrated that the manipulation of the gold price has been orchestrated by the US Federal Reserve working in collusion with leading Wall Street and international banks. Many of those banks quoted by GATA as being party to the price manipulation conspiracy –
for that is what it amounts to – are also major players in trading programs.
In any event, the depressed price of gold has made many South African mines uneconomic to operate, and one cannot help but ask if this was by design. Southern hemisphere nations may sit on much of the mineral wealth of the planet, but the northern hemisphere industrialised nations appear intent on continuing to control and exploit it.
MORE “BLACK” GOLD
Project Hammer and the Jacobe program have the appearance of being “umbrella” operations geared, in the narrow sense at least, to generating funds for particular authorised projects. Once the proper authorisation has been issued, programs such as these seem to broaden in scope and greater effort goes towards creating deniable slush funds for use in any number of ways as the occasion demands. When you
think about it, this makes considerable sense for those who engage in the game of black operations and political manipulation.
In addition to its authorisation to repatriate dollars dating back to the 1940s and 1950s, as explained by General Cocke, could Project Hammer have had other purposes? For example, could it have been used to finance another project – one that had specific East German connotations and which might explain the Stasi connection more fully?
It is certainly interesting that on 6 February 1989, the French Central Bank, the Banque de France, issued an International Certificate of Deposit for 620,000 kilograms of 99.99% pure gold. At that time, 620 metric tonnes of gold had a market value of about US$7 billion. A king’s ransom.
The certificate is almost identical to dozens I have on file and which I have written about and also reproduced in my book, The Secret Gold Treaty. As I explain there, certificates of this nature invariably contain spelling mistakes or other obvious typographical flaws which can be used to deny the validity of the certificate in the event it ever reaches public attention.
This was a technique developed by Britain’s secretive Special Operations Executive (SOE) in WWII. SOE agents, parachuted into France and elsewhere in occupied Europe, were taught to insert pre-arranged spelling errors into messages they sent by radio in the event they were captured by the Nazis. This would immediately alert
SOE that the agent was in custody and that German counterintelligence wished to use the agent to feed false information back to HQ.
In any event, the Banque de France certificate mentioned above was in the name of Erich Honecker, the then East German head of state (see exhibits). Six months later, in a trumpet of media coverage, Honecker was ousted from power. A month after that, the Berlin Wall – the very symbol of Communism throughout the world – was opened. The opening was abruptly followed by its complete demolition at the hands of a euphoric public. Germany, which had been divided for over 30 years, was at last reunified.
By many accounts, Project Hammer began trading in November 1989 but was set up a lot earlier than that. Few of those involved in the transaction on the periphery know for certain what assets were used to collateralise it, although black gold has been mentioned in numerous telephone conversations and correspondence. But all parties
are certain that an element of the backing collateral was cash.What we do know is that Citibank had accounts in the name of José Diaz and Severino Santa Romana. These were bullion accounts dating back to the years that Santa Romana, General Edward Lansdale and others were engaged in recovering gold stashed in the Philippines by
the Japanese plunder teams, the Golden Lily.
At some point in history, some of Santa Romana’s gold was converted to cash. This, along with gold and other plunder, was deposited in well over a hundred bank accounts located in over 40 countries throughout the world. These were the deniable assets that made up a particular CIA slush fund, known to insiders in the black gold market
as the Black Eagle Fund – a name that was based on the symbol of the Nazi eagle. Some of these assets were placed under the control of the late Baron von Krupp, whose personal attorney, Carl Hermann Letemeyer, of the private Zurich-based law firm of Senn, Christians & Letemeyer, handled the Baron’s estate following his death.
Documents I published in The Secret Gold Treaty reveal that out of a fortune of just over US$12 trillion which the late Baron controlled, slightly over $110 billion was earmarked for one Clemente Santiago, a relative of Candelaria Santiago who was the “most trusted lady” of the late President Marcos of the Philippines.
Baron Krupp’s incredible fortune was undoubtedly largely composed of Santa Romana’s plunder, later acquired by deception by President Marcos, who had earlier been Santa Romana’s lawyer in the Philippines prior to his rise to political office. In reality, stories about “Marcos gold” speak of Santa Romana’s gold and the OSS/CIA’s
gold – although Marcos did recover vast quantities for himself via a Philippine Army battalion dedicated to locating and recovering WWII plunder.
A memorandum under the letterhead of Senn, Christians & Letemeyer, and signed by Carl Herman Letemeyer (see exhibits), lists four bank accounts which collectively have a balance of US$71 billion. The bulk of this is listed as being held in account number 4 77 22 P at Standard Chartered International Trustee Limited, London; US$9 billion is shown under account number LVI 820975 TI at Citicorp, New York; US$12 billion is listed under the Bank of China, Hong Kong, account number 5555 201HE; and US$3 billion in the Bank of East Asia, Hong Kong, account number 78 9520 37 0. The memorandum is dated October 3, 1989 – right in line with the Hammer and Jacobe trading programs.
This is more than interesting. Other information provided to me shows that Standard & Chartered Bank was deeply involved in the Jacobe program. According to a detailed memorandum in my possession, the trustee of the Jacobe program had “arranged that the monies be funnelled through a Trust account” of this bank.Citibank, according to General Cocke and many others who were involved, was “the cheese” behind the Project Hammer trading program. And then there is the Chinese connection to van Rooyen’s Eastech International Bank and van Rooyen’s and Stander’s involvement with
both Hammer and Jacobe.
SECRET FUNDING FOR DENIABLE GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
The foregoing has merely scraped the surface of what is an exceptionally complex and extensive story. A great deal of further investigative work is required to plumb the depths in order to present a more comprehensive account. Presently there are more
questions than answers.
Hammer and Jacobe, meanwhile, are only two of many other trading programs currently under investigation by this writer. Others with names like “Redhead”, “Grandmother” and “Graystone” also need investigating.
These programs eclipse more secrets than you can wag a dog’s tail at. They represent the very pinnacle of covert funding for deniable government operations. Slush funds that have been generated by this process are regularly said to be in the many trillions of dollars. This is confirmed in the deposition of General Cocke, who argues that
the Hammer program “expanded” by Dan Hughes in 1989 would have become “enhanced” over the decade and now be worth over one thousand billion dollars. It is also confirmed by the documents issued by the late Baron von Krupp’s Swiss lawyer, which reveal “profits” in excess of US$12 trillion.
Amounts of this magnitude could punch a massive hole through the shortfalls in social welfare programs around the world. Famine could be eradicated from the face of the Earth, and death from easily curable diseases (in the southern hemisphere in particular), which spiral for lack of money, could easily become a thing of the past.
All this could be achieved if these huge gobs of money were brought in from the cold and placed “on ledger”.
But there appears to be no will to do this. Too many difficult questions and harder-to-justify explanations block the way. How would G7 governments explain to a cynical public that decades of drug money and illegal weapons sales proceeds had been laundered with their blessing (albeit in secret) in order to win the Cold War and also to
artificially prop up a political system that we call Capitalism, which would otherwise collapse under its own inherent flaws?It took the CIA over six months to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information on Project Hammer and the
Jacobe program. The request was denied under exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3) of the FOI Act. Section (b)(1) of the Act applies to material that is “properly classified pursuant to an Executive Order in the interest of national defense or foreign policy”, and exemption (b)(3) applies to the CIA Director’s statutory obligation to “protect from disclosure intelligence sources and methods, as well as organization, functions, names, official titles, salaries or numbers of personnel employed by the Agency”. Appeals are in progress.
For those readers who would like to view some documents relating to Project Hammer, Jacobe and the officially “nonexistent” gold deposits of Severino Garcia Santa Romana, I have scanned in a half-dozen or so pages that are freely available on my website,
. I have also made available, at a small cost, a full copy of General Erle Cocke’s 67-page deposition, together with a copy of the deposition given to German police by Rolf van Rooyen, plus a few other relevant documents which I have named the “The Project Hammer File”.
Meanwhile, my investigation into Project Hammer and similar projects involving covert finance operations continues apace.
4. Among the many activities that Stander and van Rooyen were engaged in – including gold dealing, setting up banks in Switzerland and Latin America, trading prime bank debentures plus numerous other “business” opportunities – they were also putting together a deal to sell a consignment of Glock pistols.
5. Janine Roberts’s incredible and compelling book, Glitter and Greed: The Diamond Investigation, is available for purchase on the Internet via the website
About the Author:
Following a 28-year career in investment banking (member, AIBD) based in the City of London, David Guyatt’s last position was Associate Director and Treasurer of the forfaiting (an arcane banking term meaning “to discount without recourse”) division of a major international bank. David is married with three children and now pursues a career in journalism, writing for a variety of media and researching and producing factual material on a wide range of associated subjects. This is his ninth article for NEXUS, the most recent ones published in 8/01 and 7/05.
In addition to his feature writing, David has prepared background papers on Anti-Personnel Electromagnetic Weapons for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was a contributing member of ICRC’s SIrUS Project that sought to define criteria for judging “abhorrent weapons”, and has written for the World Development Movement on his “insider’s knowledge” of international weapons financing. He has been a consultant on Swiss and UK TV documentaries exposing the threat of non-lethal weapons and Britain’s weapons trail to Indonesia. He is presently assisting the US-based law firm Easton & Levy in its lawsuit against the Vatican for the
restitution of the Nazi Croatian Treasury which was illicitly transferred to the Vatican and elsewhere at the end of World War II.David has recently completed an in-depth investigation into the black market of gold and has published it as an electronic book, The Secret Gold Treaty, available through his home page
in the year of 2007 we had a call to conscience and therefore exited this line of investment. we hope You enjoy this post Senator Kruger. this story is somewhat lacking in the details of the reality of the business but, is more similar to reality than any other. we apologize for accidentally triggering the arrest of Senator Carl Kruger.
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