Monday, July 24, 2006

Threat Matrix: East Lansing

License to Kill -- The Real Sparty

In my hotter-than-hell Sunday best, I dashed to a Borders to buy "FIASCO" a book from a WaPo reporter about the Iraq war. Dismayed that I couldn't find it, I bought "The One Percent Doctrine" by WSJ's Ron Suskind instead.

My thoughts on the book pretty well match this review in the NYT, but who gives a sweet cheese when I came across this. Amid talk of cloak'n'dagger-type BS (heads in boxes, CIA paramilitary ops, bombing guys by tracking their cell phones, etc) related to the ongoing U.S. effort to flush out terrorists...amid spies, the CIA, the FBI, the White House, the industrial-military complex, Rummy, Rice, Powell, Saddam and the rest of the gang...amid this on page 43 comes this passage:

...Ben Bonk, CIA lifer, quietly entered a baronial home on Regent's Park in London for a meeting he hoped would be the start of something.

The house belonged to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a nephew of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Pricine Abdullah, and, for 18 years the kingdom's ambassador to the U.S. Bandar, a close confidant of both Bushes, is a man of profound complexities, a cheery, educated man of enormous appetites. (Paraphrasing: He goes to NFL games, dines and smokes in the West Wing, channels funds to families connect to 9/11 possibly)

A sharp eye might spot a driver stopping by a Riggs Bank in Washington on a certain day each month to pick up a suitcase with $50,000 in cash that Bandar doles out to friends, relatives and Saudi operatives in the United States.

He is also a man who gets things done, and he builds relationships that rest on his consistent effectiveness.

This day he was brokering an important sit-down at his house (with Musa Kousa, a man known to have plotted the Lockerbie, Scotland bombing of a Pan-Am flight killing 270) He welcomed Bonk and ushered him into a stately parlor. Waiting there was an elegant, hand-tailored, smiling embodiment of the "dark side".

"Exciting about those Spartans," said Kousa.

Turns out, this Bonk AND this guy Kousa went to MSU in the 70s. They both were talking about Mateen & Co. winning the 2000 National Championship. Both are still huge fans! So Kousa goes on to basically earn a pardon for Libya for the Lockerbie fiasco and him and Bonk then get Libya to give up their nuke program in exchange for becoming an accepted nation in the civilized world. This would be a good Sunday story for an enterprising State Newser.

Top that, Wolverines. All the Unabomber ever did was live in a shack, kill people and then get his stupid thoughts printed in the Post. Look where an MSU degree leads.

And it's not really a fluke, I'm afraid to say. MSU has some epic conspiracies in its history:

  • In Vietnam, MSU received millions from the CIA to train the Vietnamese police force. The funds helped build the International Union over by Wells Hall and Engineering. A quote from the full strange story here...

"Central Intelligence Agency men were hidden within the ranks of the Michigan State University professors. They were all listed as members of the MSU Project staff and were formally appointed by the University Board of Trustees. Several of the CIA men were given academic rank and were paid by the University Project."

  • M. Peter McPherson. President of MSU until recently. Nearly all MSU students saw McP as a somewhat thoughtful, somewhat unassuming guy. He's friendly, a bit goofy, cares about the school and meets with students when they start smashing things after the hoops team loses. But he's also...the former head of USAID, a big shot at Bank of America, good friends with Dick Cheney who spoke at graduation in 2002, was the head of economic affairs in Iraq after the invasion and was in line to take over the World Bank until neo-con of neo-cons Paul Wolfowitz got the nod likely because of White House pressure. (He was also in the Peace Corp. Great guy. But don't cross him. He's connected.)
  • The creation of the Izzone: Kids used to have to get season tix from frosh year on to hope for the cherry sideline seats in their junior and senior years. Now, you just pay extra bucks for Izzone tix and you're in...frosh or no.
  • Bobby Williams: Wasn't a good choice for head coach.

There you have it...Go Green. Go White, indeed.


Erick Ryan said...

There's more, Hudson.

John Hannah went on to be an ast. secretary of defense and US AID director. Then his successor, Cliff Wharton, was a dept. secretary of state.

Coincidence? I think not.

Elsewhere in Ramparts, David Horowitz -- yes the same over-the-top right-winger who was then an over-the-top student radical -- calls MSU an "unprestigious social climber." OUCH!

Craig said...

Great post, Mikey!

Also, I still wonder how the S'news finagled that sweet new spot on Grand River. I'm envisioning a late-night meeting with Ted Staton. Maybe a brown paper sack was left at McDonald Middle School.

Becky Sleuth-son said...

AND, if you throw a thicker, fuller mustache on M. Peter McPherson, he looks just like Dieter "Dr. Z" Zetsche from Chrysler. Have you ever seen them in the same room together? "Dieter"? "M. Peter"? a-HA!

Solari said...

I know the story about how the new building came about. I'll tell you some day.

In the meantime, Huds and Gaines, do you know of any good places to live in Los Feliz in case my friends' apartment deal fell through? E-mail me or message me on Myspace