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Al Gore Tied to 'Russian' Crime Lords

  • Al Gore's past involvement in the pillaging of the Russian economy is coming back to haunt him.
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By Martin Mann

A sophisticated syndicate of billionaire crime lords and its network of financial firms, money laundries, lobbyists, politicians and news organizations is reportedly the real driving force behind the direction Al Gore's campaign has taken, not the sudden urge of the Democratic Party to assume the mantle of "integrity" and "dignity" before an indifferent and forgetful electorate.

"Has anyone noticed that the worst blot on Gore's vice-presidential record -- his role in overseeing the criminalization of Russian society -- is never mentioned in the [mainstream] press, never raised in Congress?" asked Dr. Werner Kohlmann, a seasoned journalist with a Ph.D. in sociology.

There is no question that as the Clinton administration's point man for Russia and head of the top-level U.S.-Russian committee on "democratization" and economic policy, Gore was given the key role to guide and finance the transformation of the former Soviet heartland into a "stable market society" after the collapse of communism.

The vice-president "failed miserably" at this task, Kohlmann said.

"When, instead of a new generation of democratic leaders and responsible businessmen, a clique of corrupt and violent speculators known as the "oligarchs" grabbed power in Moscow and began to rip off Russia's richest assets and re sources, the reports and warnings about these crimes -- some from the FBI and the CIA -- went to Gore," he added. "Gore stubbornly rejected them."

According to diplomatic observers at the UN in New York, the vice president did worse than merely ignore the depredations of the crime lords who became the post-communist masters of Moscow.

"Gore sent teams of U.S. advisers and aid workers to Russia who, instead of calling the gangster oligarchs to account, joined them and shared some of their dirty profits," said Derek Gubbins, a former UN liaison officer in Russia.

But while the conversion of the former Soviet stronghold into what most observers now recognize as a "criminal state" has turned into a major international concern, Gore was somehow never tainted by the crucial -- and possibly cri minal -- role he played in this scandal.

"It is strange, but there is an explanation," said Kohlmann. "The swindlers. racketeers and speculators who picked Russia clean -- and became billionaires in the process -- are not really 'oligarchs.' In truth, they are not even really Russians. They are Zionist newcomers, whose shared ethnic links to Israel enabled them to operate as an efficient and brutal organized-crime syndicate at the highest levels of business and government."

Four of the richest and most notorious oligarchs, Mikhail Fridman, Roman Abramovich, Boris Berezovsky and Vla dimir Gusinsky travel on Israeli passports, although they also claim Russian nationality.

"It was the Israeli backdrop to this vast crime scene that made Gore go along with the swindles and scams of the Kremlin kleptocracy -- and the shameless graft that greased them -- instead of ordering the oligarchs' arrest. And it's easy to see why. A crackdown on this Zionist syndicate in Russia would have earned Gore nasty attacks back home in the U.S., both in the press and in Congress, where subservient apologists for Israel set the tone," explained Gubbins.

There were other political advantages to letting the crooked cosmopolitan financiers rake in vast fortunes while stealing Russia blind, diplomatic observers said.

In early l996, as the corrupt and debauched administration of Russian President Boris Yeltsin faced certain defeat in approaching national elections, Gore's trusted right-hand man, National Security Adviser Leon Fuerth, met with three leading "oligarchs" at the Davos economic summit conference in Switzer land.

With the Clinton administration's entire Russia strategy built on support of Yeltsin, Fuerth urged the three Moscow magnates, who by now controlled, among other assets, most of the Russian media, to throw all their weight -- and lavish financing -- behind the Yeltsin campaign.

"They did, and it worked," recalled Kohlmann. "Gore, in heavy political debt to Berezovsky and his fellow-financiers, felt compelled to act as the protector of the oligarchs."

Right now the oligarchs find themselves in even more urgent need to buy "protection" from Washington -- to make sure that whoever follows Gore as vice-president will be just as willing to condone their dominant role in the "new" Russian economy.

"For one thing, Russia has a new president, the former secret-police officer Vladimir Putin," said Dr. Yuzi Morozov, who teaches modern Russian history at the State University of New York. "The oligarchs supported his candidacy for the highest office, but since then there has been a falling out. In June, Gusinsky was briefly arrested on fraud charges ... the financiers are unsure about just what sort of treatment to expect under Putin."

Moreover, the vital economic base the oligarchs maintain in Israel, where billions of their rakeoffs are banked and "sanitized" every month, is also threatened. International pressure is rising to curb Israel's money-laundering industry.

In recent months, both Gusinsky and Berezovsky -- now bitter rivals -- repeatedly visited Washington to mobilize high-priced lobbyists, to hold hushed conferences with the leaders of the Israel lobby, and to make sure that whoever takes over after Gore as the next vice president after November -- and thus takes charge of U.S. policy toward Russia -- will be an understanding and protective ally of the Moscow mafia just as Gore was.

In return, the Moscow money magnates are reportedly offering some tempting inducements to the U.S. candidates.

"Their message seems to be: We elected Yeltsin. We can also help elect the next American president. We can offer lavish financing, and the discreet means to funnel millions into your campaign coffers here in the United States ... without anybody being the wiser," explained Kohlmann.