Friday, January 27, 2006

The Perils of Pauline

From breakfast in Belgrade....

SET to make £400,000 from a controversial defence deal which the National Audit Office has been asked to look into, a former Foreign Office intelligence chair and adviser to John Major, Dame Pauline Neville-Jones is off to Washington next month for a gathering of "security" and intelligence experts.

In a deal which could yield up to 800% profit for US arms equity group Carlyle, the government has agreed to the flotation of QinetiQ, the former Defence Establishment Research establishment in which it holds a 56 per cent stake. Carlyle bought a one third share of QinetiQ in March 2003, for £42 million. This is expected to be worth £341 million at flotation, if the company meets valuation hopes of £1.1 billion. Carlyle is expected to sell at least half its stake, potentially netting £170 million from the deal.,,9067-1983170,00.html

Dame Pauline, a close aide of Lord Hurd as Tory Foreign Secretary, became a BBC governor, and was chair of QinetiQ until September last year, when she was replaced by former General Motors and BP executive Sir John Chisholm. She has recently been appointed a security adviser to new Tory leader David Camerdon, but still looks to benefit from the Carlyle deal.

The Independent reported on January 15, 2006

Fresh QinetiQ bonanza: Cameron's adviser to make nearly £400,000
MPs round on £1.1bn listing of old MoD body, where US venture capitalist paid £42.4m for a one-third stake

Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, who last week became a policy adviser to David Cameron, the new leader of the Conservative Party, is set to make around £400,000 from the controversial flotation of defence research group QinetiQ.

This is not the first time Dame Pauline has reaped rich rewards from the coincidence of her official appointments with controversial deal involving public assets and privatisers.

As Foreign Office political director and chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Pauline Neville-Jones stood with Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd for maintaining the arms embargo on Bosnia. The Foreign Office made sure the BBC always referred to the Bosnian people and their government as "the Muslims", implying the war was between three equally bloodthirsty warring ethnic factions, so that as Old Etonian Hurd said, lifting the embargo would only "create a level killing field".

Neville-Jones was senior British official at the Dayton peace negiotiations imposed on Bosnia. "Balkan experts remember her from Dayton as a 'very tough' negotiator who was continually pushing the Bosnians to accept the de facto partition of their nation". (Francis Wheen, Guardian, 4 September 1996). Slobodan Milosevic must have found the British representatives very helpful.

Three months after quitting the Foreign Office, Lord Hurd obtained a new job with NatWest Markets, investment arm of the National Westminster Bank, on a salary of £250,000 a year. He had no known qualifications or experience in finance, but he presumably knew a lot of people, and he had an enthusiastic helper - none other than Dame Pauline.

On July 24, 1996, the dynamic (some say dire) duo went for a "discreet breakfast" in Belgrade with Slobodan Milosevic. The Serb president had shifted much of his own loot via discreet banks in Cyprus and property deals, but his government was hard up, workers were clamouring for unpaid wages, and he needed to get the army ready for trouble at home as well as in Kosova.

NatWest agreed to prepare the Serbian post and telephone system, PTT, for privatisation -- for a fee of more than $10million. It also obtained a contract to advise the Milosevic government on debt management. It eyed up Serbia's electricity industry and oil for further privatisation.

Dame Pauline has pointed out that it was largely Italian and Greek money that went into the telecomms deal. (Last thing we heard Italian authorities were still probing the amounts involved) NatWest's role -and hers and Lord Hurd's -was purely advisory. But none the less remunerative.

Dame Pauline became a BBC international governor in January 1998. Her role came in for critical attention in 2004 when the Corporation was brought to heel after the Hutton report. Some blamed her for Greg Dyke's resignation as director general. It was revealed that besides her intelligence past, she held £50,000 shares in defence firm QinetiQ and had earned £133,000 the previous year as chairman. dinner in Arlington, VA

So who will host Dame Pauline in the United States next month?
On February 17-20 she will be at the 2006 "Intelligence Summit", being held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. Described as a "non-profit" (hence tax-free) "educational" forum, this is concerned with countering "terrorism", and threats to the security of the United States or its allies:

Homeland Security Session: Some of our allies have very different approaches to domestic security. What can we learn form Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Israel? This is a must session for law enforcement and first responders from the national, state and local levels of every free nation around the world.

I'd hazard a guess that their definition of what constitutes "terrorism" and threats to security will be fairly wide, but that it will not include attacks on Cuba, blowing up Cuban airliners, coup plots in Chile and Venezuela, Mossad and MI6 operations in the Middle East, or the fascist "strategy of tension" in Italy. And certainly not bombs dropped from a safe strategic height.

Dame Pauline's fellow participants will include former high-ranking US air force and army officers, and former CIA directors John Deutch and James Wooley. Also Steve Pomerantz, former director of "counterterrorism" for the FBI. Not to be confused with Cointelpro, the FBI's programme of domestic infiltration, disruption and assassinations which has been reinstated as part of "Homeland Security"?

Besides the obviously counter-revolutionary bias, there appears to be a more particular slant on the "Intelligence Summit" Among others billed to appear are Colonel Oded Shoham, Israel army reservist, and Yoram Hessel , "former senior Mossad officer"., along with Israeli-born Yousef Bosasky, now director of the Congress Task Force on Terrorism.

Presided over by journalist John Loftus, the Intelligence Summit is tip of an iceberg in which right wing US and Zionist "security" interests have been compacted, the offshoot of a body that was originally supposed to combat racism!.

Originally incorporated as the International Holocaust Education Center(3), after 9/11 IHEC rapidly expanded its educational mission from fighting racism to fighting terrorism, and is now known as the Intelligence and Homeland Security Education Center.

Now that's what I call hijacking!

To sample its real flavour, I had a look at an an article by another Intelligence Summit speaker, Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy, Published in 2004, and entitled "Blair's Palestine Problem", it perceives a dangerous influence in Downing Street:-

"However, the pressure put on Israel by the British premier Tony Blair and World Bank President James Wolfenson will only assist in the creation of an independent terrorist Palestine. Arafat’s replacement, Mahmoud Abbas, is widely perceived as being more pragmatic than his predecessor, especially since he keeps repeating his commitment to peace. But at the same time, like Arafat, he calls on the Palestinian people to "continue the struggle…to raise the Palestinian flag on the walls of Jerusalem, the capital of our independent Palestinian state."

Wow! If he really wants peace he should roll over on his back, tell his people to do likewise, and invite Kahane's mad followers from the 'States to tramp in over them. That might just almost satisfy the Ehrenfelds.

But Ehrenfeld's article does indicate where the Board of Deputies of British Jews gets its dafter ideas from. Referring to the Palestinian charity Interpal, which has since successfully sued the Board for linking it with terrorism, she wrote:

"Why does the Blair administration allow a HAMAS front to openly operate in the UK? After all, following US pressure, the European Union as well as the UK have outlawed HAMAS as a terrorist organization and prohibited the collection of money to assist terrorist organizations for any purpose, including civilian. Is the electoral support of the anti-Israeli lobby that crucial to the Blair administration staying in power?"
Blair;s Palestine Problem Dr. Rachel December 24, 2004

What is this powerful "anti-Israel lobby"? How come we had not seen it? Could Ehrenfeld perchance be alluding not to the Foreign Office Arabist bogy of old, but to the "Muslim vote"?

The latest issue of FrontPage says:
"With Hamas' victory in the Palestinian elections, the Islamist yearning to purge the world of Jews returns to the limelight. What causes this craving ...."

Don't know about any craving, but I can recognise a right-wing US-Zionist raving .....

I was going to say Dame Pauline, moving from breakfast in Belgrade to dinner in Arlington had come up in the world, but now I'm not so sure. Still, I suppose the money is still good. It has been at most stages in her career.

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