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Opium Lords
Israel, the Golden Triangle, and the Kennedy Assassination

by Salvador Astucia

 

8 

Power Brokers

 

Sam Bronfman’s 1963 Oil Investments

A significant fact pointing to Israeli involvement in President Kennedy’s assassination was Sam Bronfman’s mysterious oil investments in 1963. The Bronfman family—based in Montreal, Canada—is one of the most influential behind the scenes power brokers in the world today. Sam Bronfman (1891 - 1971) was the patriarch of the family dynasty, the son of Russian Jews—Mindel and Ekiel Bronfman—who migrated to the Americas seeking refuge from pogroms of Czarist Russia.1 His son, Edgar Bronfman, has been the president of the World Jewish Congress for years. Edgar’s son—Edgar Bronfman, Jr—is head of Universal Studios.

Sam Bronfman—a billionaire—was one of attorney Louis Bloomfield’s wealthiest clients. Bronfman made his fortune as a bootlegger during US prohibition. He bought Seagram’s and built it into a liquor dynasty. In 1963, former bootlegger Bronfman plunged into an unfamiliar business venture by aggressively purchasing huge oil holdings. He acquired Texas Pacific Oil and its subsidiaries in India, Malaysia, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Italy;2 plus Ranger Oil.

Bronfman biographer Michael Marrus summarized Sam Bronfman’s sudden interest in oil as follows:

 

In 1963, when production was about 10,000 barrels a day, Sam made his biggest plunge with the purchase of Texas Pacific, a major producer—"the venerable Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Company, founded in 1888 and possessing one of the oldest of Texas charters," said Sam about the pedigree, speaking as if it were a famous distillery. While it is doubtful that Sam foresaw the energy crisis of subsequent decades as he later claimed, there is no question that his acquisition was a remarkable financial coup—at a time when "leveraged buyouts" were a concept of the future. With a Seagram working capital of $382 million and earnings of $34 million a year, Sam borrowed $75 million from institutional investors, in 25-year promissory notes. He put $50 million of that as a downpayment on the Texas Pacific purchase price of $266 million, and undertook to pay the balance out of future revenues—a strategy then facilitated by US tax laws. The key player in these arrangements was Mark Millard, a partner in Loeb, Rhoades and Co. and the man who had recommended the appointment of Carrol Bennett. Millard convinced Sam of the wisdom of the oil payment scheme and nudged him to make a Seagram bid.

By 1975, Texas Pacific had paid off its debt, while in the process its oil and gas reserves expanded phenomenally. A handsome legacy to Seagram, the company proved to be one of Sam’s shrewdest moves; bought with only $50 million in borrowed cash, it was sold in 1980 to the Sun Oil Company for a grand total of $2.3 billion. Here too, Mark Millard played a major role. A decade after Sam’s death, Seagram used this capital to acquire a 20 percent interest in Dupont, taking the company that Sam had built from being a large wine and spirits company to a major diversified corporation.

 

(Michael Marrus, Samuel Bronfman, pp. 372-373)
  •  
  •  

    Kennedy’s Oil Tax

    It’s interesting Sam Bronfman invested heavily in foreign subsidiaries of Texas Pacific in 1963. Kennedy had placed a heavy tax burden on foreign subsidiaries of US oil companies. Once Kennedy was removed from office, Bronfman’s oil investments began to increase. The following is researcher Jim Marrs’ description of Kennedy’s oil tax:

     

    When John F. Kennedy became President in 1961, the oil industry felt secure. But President Kennedy then began to assault the power of the oil giants directly, first with a law known as the Kennedy Act, and later by attacking the oil depletion allowance. The Kennedy Act, passed on October 16, 1962, removed the distinction between repatriated profits and profits reinvested abroad. Both were now subject to US taxation. The measure also was aimed at preventing taxable income from being hidden away in foreign subsidiaries and other tax havens. While this law applied to industry as a whole, it particularly affected the oil companies, which were greatly diversified with large overseas operations.

    By the end of 1962, oilmen estimated their earnings on foreign investment capital would fall to 15 percent, compared with 30 percent in 1955.

    One of the most sacred of provisions in the eyes of oilmen was the oil depletion allowance, which permitted oil producers to treat up to 27.5 percent of their income as tax exempt. In theory this was to compensate for the depletion of fixed oil reserves but, in effect, it gave the oil industry a lower tax rate. Under this allowance, an oilman with a good deal of venture capital could become rich with virtually no risk. For example, a speculator could drill ten wells. If nine were dry holes and only the tenth struck oil, he would still make money because of tax breaks and the depletion allowance.

    It was estimated that oilmen might lose nearly $300 million a year if the depletion allowance was diminished.

    Attempts to eliminate or reduce the depletion allowance were rebuffed year after year by congressmen, many of whom were happy recipients of oil-industry contributions.

    Speaking of his tax reform act of 1963, President Kennedy pointed the finger at the oil companies, saying: "… no one industry should be permitted to obtain an undue tax advantage over all others."

    Included in Kennedy’s tax package were provisions for closing a number of corporate tax loopholes, including the depletion allowance. Needless to say, oilmen both in Texas and elsewhere felt threatened by Kennedy and his policies. Kennedy’s use of his personal power against the steel manufacturers had shown them that the young President meant the enforce his will in these matters.

     

    (Jim Marrs, Crossfire, pp. 276-277)

    Was Sam Bronfman’s acquisition of Texas Pacific Oil truly a "shrewd move" as biographer Michael Marrus described, or was it a perk for participating in President Kennedy’s assassination?

     

     

    ‘Suicide’ of Bronfman Biographer, Terrence Robertson

    Other strange events followed the Bronfman family. In 1970, Bronfman biographer Terrence Robertson committed "suicide" after he "found out things they don’t want me to write about," as he confided to an associate. Canadian writer Peter Newman wrote of Robertson’s death in his 1978 biography of Sam Bronfman, King of the Castle. Newman wrote the following:

     

    Terence Robertson, the only writer known to have previously attempted a Bronfman biography (it was never published), took his own life after completing a rough draft of the manuscript. During a 1977 trial in which the Toronto publishing firm of McClelland and Stewart Ltd sued Mutual Life Assurance Co. to collect the $100,000 for which Robertson’s life had been insured, Roderick Goodman of the Toronto Daily Star’s editorial department testified that on January 31, 1970, the author had telephoned him from a New York hotel room to explain that he had been commissioned to write the history of the Bronfman family but that he had "found out things they don’t want me to write about." Graham Murray Caney, another Star editor, testified that Robertson had told him his life "had been threatened and we would know who was doing the threatening but that he would do the job himself." While he was still on the telephone, Caney had the call traced and alerted the New York Police Department. Detectives burst into Terence Robertson’s hotel room just minutes before he died of barbiturate poisoning. …

     

    (Peter Newman, King of the Castle, p. ix.)
  •  
  •  

    Israel’s History of Terror

    Israel’s history is filled with terror and murder. In 1948, Jewish terrorists shot and killed UN peace mediator in the Mid-East, Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden. It is widely accepted that Bernadotte was assassinated by a Jewish terrorist group known as the Stern Gang. Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir was a member of the Stern Gang. Shamir’s predecessor, Menachem Begin, was the commander of another Jewish terrorist group, Irgun Zvai Leumi (Hebrew: National Military Organization), from 1943 to 1948. On July 22, 1946, the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 soldiers and civilians (British, Arab, and Jewish). The objective of the bombing was to drive the British from Palestine, thereby setting the stage for Israel to become an independent nation in 1948.3

    On April 9, 1947, Irgun commandos assaulted the Arab village of Dayr Yasin, killing all 254 of its inhabitants.4 The objective of the Dayr Yasin massacre was to send a message to all Palestinians who had lived in the region for centuries: Get out. Years later, Israel rewarded terrorists Begin and Shamir by making them prime ministers. In my opinion, electing Shamir and Begin as prime ministers of Israel would be like electing Timothy McVeigh as president of the United States. The only difference is that one may legitimately question McVeigh’s central role in the Oklahoma City Bombing. With Begin and Shamir, there is no doubt of their leadership roles.

    In 1995, Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated because he wanted to give land back to the Palestinians. Ironically, in 1997, John Kennedy, Jr ran a story in George Magazine by Guela Amir, mother of Yigal Amir, the man who assassinated Rabin. In that article, Guela Amir charged that her son Yigal was goaded into assassinating Rabin by Avishai Raviv, an agent provocateur working for Shin Bet, one of Israel’s intelligence services.

    In the editor’s note of that same edition of George Magazine, the younger Kennedy essentially acknowledged that he did not believe the Warren Report. Referring to representatives of Guela Amir’s family’s efforts to contact him about running her story in George Magazine, he wrote, "They were, no doubt, hoping that my own family history would bring added attention to their story, and they probably were right." In July 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr was killed when his private plane crashed.

    Guela Amir’s article, "A Mother’s Defense," is presented in Appendix B. It was published in the March 1997 edition of George Magazine.

     

     

    Israel’s Political Parties & Prime Ministers

    There have been three major political parties in Israel since its founding in 1948. They are as follows:

     

    • Mapai Party: Early political party in Palestine/Israel that in 1930 became the central partner in the Labour Party.5

       

    • Labour Party: Political party formed in January 1968 by uniting three socialist-labour parties—Mapai, Labour, and Rafi.

      6

    • Likud Party: (Hebrew: Consolidation, or Unity) An ultra-right political party, founded in 1973, with roots in terrorism. Likud is an alliance of several right-wing parties—the major constituent being the Gahal bloc consisting of the Herut party and the Liberal Party. The Herut originated from the Russian Jewish Zionism of the 1920s and ‘30s, was formally organized in the year of Israel’s independence (1948), and was merged with organizations like Irgun Zvai Leumi—a terrorist organization—and the Haganah.7

    The following is a list of Israel’s prime ministers since its founding in 1948:

     

    Term

    Name

    Party

    1948-53

    David Ben-Gurion

    Mapai

    1953-55

    Moshe Sharett

    Mapai

    1955-63

    David Ben-Gurion

    Mapai

    1963-69

    Levi Eshkol

    Mapai/Labour

    1969-74

    Golda Meir

    Labour

    1974-77

    Yitzhak Rabin

    Labour

    1977-83

    Menachem Begin

    Likud

    1983-84

    Yitzhak Shamir

    Likud

    1984-86

    Shimon Peres

    Labour-Likud coalition government

    1986-92

    Yitzhak Shamir

    Likud

    1992-95

    Yitzhak Rabin

    Labour

    1995-96

    Shimon Peres

    Labour

    1996-99

    Binyamin Netanyahu

    Likud

    1999-01

    Ehud Barak

    Labour

    2001-

    Ariel Sharon

    Likud

     

    In 1977 the Israeli government took a turn to the extreme right with the election of Menachem Begin, head of the radical right-wing Likud party. Begin, a former terrorist, was succeeded by another former terrorist, Yitzahak Shamir. These two men ran the Israel government for 15 years, from 1977 until 1992; however, Shimon Peres was prime minister and head of the Labour party from 1984 until 1986 in a Labour-Likud coalition government with Shamir serving as the number two man, deputy prime minister and foreign minister. In other words, Israel was ruled for fifteen years—from 1977 until 1992—by the same terrorists (i.e., Begin and Shamir) who assassinated Count Folke Bernadotte, blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, and assaulted the Arab village of Dayr Yasin.

    In 1992 the fifteen-year Likud reign ended with the election of Yitzhak Rabin as prime minister who began negotiating with the PLO. This infuriated the right, and Rabin was assassinated on November 4, 1995 by Yigal Amir, an Israeli of Yemenite origin. Rabin’s assassination was similar to President Kennedy’s wherein the official government explanations for both murders were identical. In both instances, the government determined that the victim was murdered by a loan gunman and there was no conspiracy. Like Kennedy’s death, many people do not believe the official story regarding Rabin’s assassination. In fact evidence has been revealed showing that Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, was goaded into killing the prime minister by Avishai Raviv,(Footnote 19) an agent provocateur working for Shin Bet—also known as the General Security Service (GSS)—an Israeli version of the FBI and Secret Service combined.8

     

     

    A Peculiar Offer

    An interesting fact pointing to Israeli involvement in President Kennedy’s assassination was Israel’s proposition to candidate Kennedy, in the 1960 presidential campaign, that he allow Jews to run Middle-Eastern affairs, if elected, in exchange for a huge campaign contribution. The following is an excerpt from Richard Reeves’ book about JFK:

     

     

    The day in New York also gave him a chance to meet for the first time Israel's prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who was also in New York on a fund-raising trip, meeting American Jews whose generosity was critical to the survival of his twelve-year-old state. They met against a background of suspicion. Jewish Democrats, particularly in New York, did not yet fully trust the son of a man who had been accused of being both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi. Nor did John Kennedy, comfortably surrounded by Jewish staff members, trust all Jews, particularly New Yorkers. "I had the damnedest meeting in New York last night," he had said to his friend Charlie Bartlett one day in the early fall of 1960. "I went to this party. It was given by a group of people who were big money contributors and also Zionists and they said to me, 'We know that your campaign is in terrible financial shape!'...The deal they offered me was that they would finance the rest of this campaign if I would agree to let them run the Middle Eastern policy of the United States for the next four years."

     

    Kennedy greeted Ben-Gurion with talk of gut-level politics. It usually worked, politician to politician. This time it didn't. "You know I was elected by the Jews," Kennedy said. "I was elected by the Jews of New York. I have to do something for them. I will do something for you." Ben-Gurion was offended. He was the founder and leader of a nation, not a politician from Brooklyn.

     

    (Richard Reeves, President Kennedy: Profile of Power, pp. 143-144)

    Apparently every president after Kennedy was given a similar offer that Kennedy received – to let Jews run US Middle Eastern policy in exchange for financing a presidential campaign. For any doubters, ask yourselves this question: How could US Middle Eastern policy have been more pro-Israel, whether Zionists had been running it or not? Israel has no strategic advantage to the United States whatsoever. Yet we support them over the oil-producing Arab nations.

     

     

    AIPAC’s Control of US Politicians

    The most influential power broker in the United States—and likely the world—is the powerful Jewish lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Politicians who oppose Israel, or take fair minded views on Mid-East affairs, must answer to the aggressive lobby group. Former Congressman Paul McCloskey and former senators George McGovern, James Abourezk, John Glenn, Charles Percy, and countless other politicians have felt the wrath of AIPAC for not showing the proper respect to Israel. AIPAC uses two tactics to destroy its perceived political enemies. They openly charge that the target politician is anti-semitic, or they block funding to his/her campaign.9 Both tactics are tantamount to blacklisting.

     

     

     

    Endnotes

     

    1. Michael Marrus, Samuel Bronfman, p. 21

       

    2. Peter Newman, King of the Castle, pp 285-292

       

    3. Encyclopedia Britannica: Irgun Zvai Leumi, Yitzhak Shamir, Menachem Begin

       

    4. Encyclopedia Britannica: Irgun Zvai Leumi

       

    5. Encyclopedia Britannica: Mapoi

       

    6. ibid, Israel Labour Party

       

    7. ibid, Likud

       

    8. Guela Amir, A Mother’s Defense, published in George Magazine, March 1997 edition (NOTE: Guela Amir is the mother of Yigal Amir, the Israeli man who shot and killed Yitzhak Rabin.)

       

    9. George Ball, The Passionate Attachment, pp. 215-225

        




      


    PART I
    THE ASSASSINATION


    PART II
    THE CONSPIRACY


    PART III
    THE SUCCESSORS, JOHNSON & NIXON


    PART IV
    REFLECTIONS

     

    • APPENDICES
    • A: JFK’s Letter to Eshkol About Dimona
    • B: George Magazine Article About Yitzhak Rabin's Murder
    • C: TALMUD PASSAGES


    • Bibliography




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