The Real James A. Baker III Please Stand Up!
BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
for pointing me to the MSNBC story about Baker
Botts representing one of the defendants, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz,
the Saudi defense minister, in the 9/11 victims lawsuit. Now, how about
taking this opportunity to call for a more comprehensive story about
Mr. Baker's role in the Bush administration and affairs in the Middle
people know that Mr. Baker is the Counsel for Intelligence Policy and,
under the direction of the Counsel for Intelligence Policy, the Office
of Intelligence Policy is responsible for:
the Attorney General on all matters relating to the national security
activities of the United States. The Office prepares and files all
applications for electronic surveillance and physical search under
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, assists Government
agencies by providing legal advice on matters of national security
law and policy, and represents the Department of Justice on variety
of interagency committees such as the National Counterintelligence
Policy Board. The Office also comments on and coordinates other agencies'
views regarding proposed legislation affecting intelligence matters.
serves as adviser to the Attorney General and various client agencies,
including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, and the Defense and State Departments, concerning
questions of law, regulation, and guidelines as well as the legality
of domestic and overseas intelligence operations." http://www.usdoj.gov/oipr/
role, Mr. Baker thanked Congress for enacting the Patriot Act:
we are grateful for the tools Congress provided us last fall for the
fight against terrorism. Thank you." http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2002_hr/073102baker.html
surely is involved in drafting the provisions of the Patriot II bill
to be proposed in Congress and I doubt if he is in favor of allowing
Patriot I to lapse in 2005 under its sunset provisions. But wouldn't
you like to hear him say so?
and Edward Djernian, former ambassador to Syria, met with President
Assad (Bashar Assad's now-deceased father) in Damascus in June 1999
as "private" citizens. They then met with President Hoss
of Lebanon in Beirut. The meetings were reported by the Arab press
and Reuters. Now what do you suppose these two were up to meeting with
the leaders of "rogue nations" without official sanction
from President Clinton? The editor of the Mirror of the Arab Press
hailed Mr. Baker as a "peacemaker." My guess is that Mr.
Baker's role was anything but given that George Bush would be running
for president the following year. http://www.mersinfo.com/rd21-6.html http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/990622/1999062213.html
about his yet-to-be discussed role as advisor to Enron? During the
1990s, Mr. Baker was busy, negotiating deals in the Middle East on
behalf of Enron which included a proposed Egyptian gas pipeline to
a "secret" trip to India last year to:
Lobby New Delhi for support of Washington's planned attack on Iraq.
India's private sector Reliance Petroleum and state-owned Oil and
Natural Gas Corporation to drop their exploration and production
plans in Iraq.
ONGC to partner with a U.S. energy company ( Texana Resources) to
explore two sites in Nepal..."
was reported by Khilafah.com on April 15, 2002. My link to the story
no longer works but I saved
the web page.
of course, is well-known as the senior advisor to the private investment
company, the Carlyle Group. In 1998, the Carlyle Group had this to
boast about on its website:
addition to its own unique network of relationships, Carlyle directly
benefits from the equally unique network of its minority owner, the
Richard King Mellon Family. The R. K. Mellon Family is one of the
nation's oldest and most respected investors and allows Carlyle to
share in its substantial deal generating capacity. Among the companies
which the R. K. Mellon Family helped found are The Mellon Bank, Gulf
Oil, Alcoa, and First Boston. Currently the R. K. Mellon Family has
extensive investments throughout the U.S. and international markets,
as does the Richard King Mellon Foundation...
Carlyle Group is the official Advisor to the Saudi Economic Offset
Program. In this capacity, Carlyle actively identifies, structures
and helps implement viable joint venture in the Kingdom..."
found the time this month to be interviewed by both George Stephanopoulos
and Judy Woodruff. He had two wonderful opportunities to express his
support for President Bush and his foreign policy. Perhaps BuzzFlash
can urge the media to now ask Mr. Baker a couple of questions about
the good work!
A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY
My Error: James A.Baker III is not Counsel for Intelligence Policy
One of Buzzflash's headlines today is "The Secret Saudi Flight ..." which
links to an article from Democrats.com. In it, the author writes that James
A. Baker III is the DoJ Counsel for Intelligence Policy. I made the same mistake
in an April 18, 2003 Buzzflash commentary, "Will the Real James A. Baker
III Stand Up?" I hope I can convince you to post my correction and apology.
After my commentary was posted, I learned that the James A. Baker, Counsel
for Intelligence Policy, is a different James Baker. The Mr. Baker in question
was the deputy counsel in that department during the Clinton administration
and, in fact, was interviewed for the July 2000 report on terrorism prepared
by the National Commission on Terrorism chaired by Paul Bremer. Beverly Lumpkin
of MSNBC reported on Mr. Baker's July 2002 testimony before Congress and noted
that no, it was not THAT Mr. Baker.
I first picked the Baker mistake from the hereinreality.com website which merely
asks if the two Bakers are one and the same. I am only mildly embarrassed because
several member of mainstream media did not know I was wrong either. It was
only when one of them wrote to me and told me that he could not find any information
on Mr. Baker's appointment, did I finally dig up the answer.
I apologize for not writing to correct my error sooner. As far as I know, the
rest of the information about Mr. Baker in my commentary is true and his conduct
certainly merits further scrutiny.