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Prelude to Terror: Edwin P. Wilson and the Legacy of America's Private Intelligence Network

a book by Joseph Trento

(our site's book review)

If You Mistrust the Bushes, the CIA and Its Offshoots, and the U.S. Intelligence Network, Read On

The Amazon blurb says that Distinguished investigative reporter Joseph Trento has written the most authoritative indictment of CIA splinter groups, two generations of Bush family involvement in illegal financial networks, and the funding of the agents of terror. Prelude to Terror: Edwin P. Wilson and the Legacy of America's Private Intelligence Network reveals the history of a corrupt group of spymasters — led by Ted Shackley — who were fired when Jimmy Carter became president, but who maintained their intelligence portfolio and used it to create a private intelligence network.

After this rogue group helped engineer Carter's defeat in 1980 and allied with George H.W. Bush, these former CIA men planned and conducted what became the Iran-Contra scandal and, through the Saudis, allied the U.S. with extreme elements in Islam. The CIA's number-one front man, Edwin P. Wilson, was framed by Shackley and his cohorts so that Wilson's operations could be taken over.

For the first time the story of how CIA director George H. W. Bush was recruited into this network, and brought it into the bosom of the Saudi royal family, is told in detail, as well as how this group's manipulation of the CIA bureaucracy allowed Osama bin Laden's fundraising to thrive as al Qaeda flourished under Saudi and CIA protection. See 9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes against Democracy Succeed.

CIA director George H. W. Bush was recruited into this private security network, and this group's manipulation of the CIA bureaucracy allowed Osama bin Laden's fundraising to thrive as al Qaeda flourished under Saudi and CIA protection
CIA director George H. W. Bush was recruited into this private security network, and this group's manipulation of the CIA bureaucracy allowed Osama bin Laden's fundraising to thrive as al Qaeda flourished under Saudi and CIA protection

Joseph Trento Has Written the Authoritative Expose of CIA Splinter Groups

One of America's leading investigative reporters on American intelligence and national security reveals in detail the startling story of America's private intelligence network. After eight years of research, Joseph Trento has written the authoritative expose of CIA splinter groups and their private intelligence network. America began to experience the result of this reckless intermingling of intelligence with business and politics on September 11, 2001, a legacy that continues to play out in today's headlines.

America began to experience the result of this reckless intermingling of intelligence with business and politics on September 11, 2001, a legacy that continues to play out in today's headlines
America began to experience the result of this reckless intermingling of intelligence with business and politics on September 11, 2001, a legacy that continues to play out in today's headlines


The 9/11 Pentagon attack is one result of this reckless intermingling of intelligence with business and politics on September 11, 2001
The 9/11 Pentagon attack is one result of this reckless intermingling of intelligence with business and politics on September 11, 2001

Trento Reveals the History of a Corrupt Group of Spymasters Who Framed Wilson—Led by Ted Shackley

Trento reveals the history of a corrupt group of spymasters—led by Ted Shackley—who were marginalized during Jimmy Carter's presidency, but who maintained their intelligence portfolio, using their contacts to effectively create a private intelligence network. After this rogue group helped engineer Carter's electoral defeat in 1980, they began implementing a further agenda. Allied with William Casey and George H. W Bush, these former CIA men helped plan and conduct the arms-for-hostages plan that became the Iran-Contra scandal and, through the Saudis, allied the United States with extreme elements in Islam. Trento shows how the CIA's front man, Edwin P Wilson, was framed by Shackley and his cohorts so that Wilson's operations could be taken over.

For the first time the story of how former CIA director George H. W. Bush was recruited into this private intelligence network (global BCCI network and Safari Club of the deep state), and this group's manipulation of the CIA bureaucracy allowed Osama bin Laden's fundraising to thrive, resulting in 9/11
For the first time the story of how former CIA director George H. W. Bush was recruited into this private intelligence network (global BCCI network and Safari Club of the deep state), and this group's manipulation of the CIA bureaucracy allowed Osama bin Laden's fundraising to thrive, resulting in 9/11

The Safari Club was an alliance of intelligence services formed in 1976 that ran covert operations around Africa at a time when the United States Congress had limited the power of the CIA after years of abuses and when Portugal was withdrawing from Africa, handing over power to Communist regimes. . . . The group's purpose was therefore to oppose Soviet influence by supporting anti-Communists. . . . The creation of the Safari Club coincided with the consolidation of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). The BCCI served to launder money, particularly for Saudi Arabia and the United States—whose CIA director in 1976, George H. W. Bush, had a personal account. BCCI also served as an intelligence gathering mechanism by virtue of its extensive contacts with underground organizations worldwide. (Source: Safari Club, Wikipedia)

During the Cold War, proxy warfare was motivated by fears that a conventional war between the United States and Soviet Union would result in nuclear holocaust, rendering the use of ideological proxies a safer way of exercising hostilities. The Soviet government found that supporting parties antagonistic to the US and Western nations was a cost-effective way to combat NATO influence in lieu of direct military engagement. (Source: Proxy war, Wikipedia)


This Group's Manipulation of the CIA Bureaucracy Allowed Osama bin Laden's Fundraising to Thrive, Resulting in 9/11

For the first time the story of how former CIA director George H. W. Bush was recruited into this private intelligence network (global BCCI [Bank of Credit and Commerce International] network and Safari Club of the deep state), and brought it into the bosom of the Saudi Royal Family, is told in great detail. Most shocking of all is how this group's manipulation of the CIA bureaucracy allowed Osama bin Laden's fundraising to thrive, as al Qaeda flourished under Saudi and CIA protection. The blowback has been nothing less than 9/11 and the prospect of unending threats of attack our nation now faces. See The Shadow Government: 9-11 and State Terror.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Melania Trump, and Donald Trump, May 2017
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Melania Trump, and Donald Trump, May 2017

Investigative journalist and author Joseph J. Trento has argued that the bank's transformation was guided by the head of Saudi intelligence with a view to enabling it to finance covert American intelligence operations at a time, in the aftermath of Watergate, when the American intelligence agencies were defending themselves from investigations by domestic authorities. In addition to violations of lending laws, BCCI was also accused of opening accounts or laundering money for figures such as Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, Hussain Muhammad Ershad, and Samuel Doe, and for criminal organizations such as the Medellin Cartel and Abu Nidal. Police and intelligence experts nicknamed BCCI the "Bank of Crooks and Criminals International" for its penchant for catering to customers who dealt in arms, drugs, and hot money.

Police and intelligence experts nicknamed BCCI the 'Bank of Crooks and Criminals International' for its penchant for catering to customers who dealt in arms, drugs, money laundering, and hot money
Police and intelligence experts nicknamed BCCI the 'Bank of Crooks and Criminals International' for its penchant for catering to customers who dealt in arms, drugs, money laundering, and hot money

When the Deep State Yells JUMP, the Only Safe Response from a President Is HOW HIGH?

As history has shown, when the deep state tells a president to do something, he either does it or suffers the consequences (e.g., Carter, LBJ, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford). In every case, one way or another, tensions between the presidents and the deep state helped terminate the careers of those in the White House. Journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin have written that "we have two governments: the one its citizens were familiar with, operated more or less in the open: the other a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible to only a carefully vetted cadre."

The American war machine dominates both parties, and woe be onto a president that fights this dominance. "That change has been achieved partly by money, but partly also with the assistance of deep events: events, such as the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, the 1980 October Surprise, Iran-Contra, and 9/11, which repeatedly have involved law-breaking and/or violence, have been mysterious to begin with, and whose mystery has been compounded by systematic falsifications in media and internal government records." (Source: The Fates of American Presidents Who Challenged the Deep State (1963-1980), Peter Dale Scott, The Asia-Pacific Journal)

The neocons of the Project for the New American Century wrote that their program for American dominance was unlikely to be adopted soon, 'absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor'—and then suddenly 9/11 happened (how convenient!)
The neocons of the Project for the New American Century wrote that their program for American dominance was unlikely to be adopted soon, 'absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor'—and then suddenly 9/11 happened (how convenient!)

America’s Major Foreign Wars Begin with Deep State False Flag Events

"Since 1959, virtually all of America’s major foreign wars have been wars 1) induced preemptively by the U.S. war machine and/or 2) disguised as responses to unprovoked enemy aggression, with disguises repeatedly engineered by deception deep events, involving in some way elements of the global drug connection." These deceptions were not designed to deceive America’s enemies, but first and foremost to deceive the American people, to accept the unilateral initiation by America of illegal wars. Dallas, Tonkin Gulf, Watergate, the 1980 Republican October Surprise, Iran-Contra, and finally 9/11—these events were needed to achieve American acceptance of both militarized domestic security and successive preemptive foreign wars. The neocons of the Project for the New American Century, PNAC, virtually acknowledged this when they wrote that their program for American dominance was unlikely to be adopted soon, “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.” [and then came 9/11 . . . it just magically appeared when a new Pearl Harbor was desired!] (Source: American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan, Peter Dale Scott, The Big Answer)

Iran hostages return to the United States after months as being held hostage in Iran
Iran hostages return to the United States after months as being held hostage in Iran

The 1980 Republican October Surprise: "The Reagan campaign struck a deal with Tehran to delay the release of the hostages in 1980" said Abolhassan Banisadr, the former President of Iran. He went on "by the month before the American Presidential election in November 1980, many in Iran's ruling circles were openly discussing the fact that a deal had been made between the Reagan campaign team and some Iranian religious leaders in which the hostages' release would be delayed until after the election so as to prevent President Carter's re-election." (Source: October surprise, Wikipedia)

The Reagan campaign struck a deal with Tehran to delay the release of the hostages in 1980
The Reagan campaign struck a deal with Tehran to delay the release of the hostages in 1980

The Shadow Government Has Indicated It Intends to Do Whatever It Pleases in Its Pursuit of Illicit Empire Building and Oligarch Enriching

U.S. Black Ops—unaccountable U.S. death squads that roam the earth under the sole control of the executive—is one definition of dictatorship. It now has the potential to threaten critics of the US anywhere in the world
U.S. Black Ops—unaccountable U.S. death squads that roam the earth under the sole control of the executive—is one definition of dictatorship. It now has the potential to threaten critics of the US anywhere in the world

Since the 1940s, the CIA was partially bureaucratized and subjected to a measure of bureaucratic oversight by Congress. This was followed by the creation of new institutions designed specifically to escape accountability to Congress. The most concrete example is the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) created under the Pentagon in 1980, which appears to play a similar role as the CIA. This arrangement where U.S. death squads roam the earth under the sole control of the executive—is one definition of dictatorship. It now has the potential to threaten critics of the US anywhere in the world. Obviously, this flight from accountability is simply the shadow government's way of indicating they intend to do whatever they please in their pursuit of illicit empire building and oligarch enriching. Do we really want the likes of Dubya and Obama to have right wing death squads to smack down critics of the USA on a whim? (Our Founders wouldn't.) Do YOU honestly trust either of these two bozos that much? WE do not! See JSoc: Obama's secret assassins and American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection, and the Road to Afghanistan.

Dubya and Obama—the men who would be gods—swatting critics at will with Predator drones
Dubya and Obama—the men who would be gods—swatting critics at will with Predator drones


Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone
Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone

Peter Dale Scott Shows Us The Shadow Government Has More Power Than the President

"Peter Dale Scott is our most fearless and illuminating chronicler of the lethal and mysterious web of unaccountable violence linking government to organized crime, the drug trade, state terror, and eventuating in disastrous wars."—Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law Emeritus, Princeton University

The deep state is more powerful than the president, and they tell him and Congress what to do, making our government a puppet government
The deep state is more powerful than the president, and they tell him and Congress what to do, making our government a puppet government


In a shadow government like in the U.S., the visible government appears to be in power, but it gets its marching orders from the deep state
In a shadow government like in the U.S., the visible government appears to be in power, but it gets its marching orders from the deep state

Ted Shackley Used BCCI Money to Run Some Covert Operations That Could Not Be Traced Back to the CIA

"I believe that people like Prescott Bush, Allen Dulles and John McCloy did have ideological reasons for their political activities. After all, the main thing that drove the CIA agenda was the perceived fear of communism. In Prelude to Terror, Joe Trento argues that Ted Shackley’s 'Secret Team' began during the Carter presidency. Carter had campaigned against the 'rogue CIA' and promised to do something about it. When he took office he sacked George Bush as director of the CIA. He initially selected Ted Sorenson to become the new head of the CIA (that would have been interesting as he was one of JFK’s aides who had doubts about the Warren Commission). However, he was blocked by the Senate and instead he appointed Stansfield Turner, who was ordered to clean-up covert operations. In August, 1977, Turner ordered that the CIA reduce the Directorate of Operations by 823 positions. People like Shackley and Clines were told their careers were finished. Trento argues that it was at this point that Shackley decided to privatise some of CIA’s covert operations. The money for these activities came from what was called the Safari Club. This was established when George Bush was director of the CIA. This was admitted by a speech made by Prince Turki (February 2002). . . . Shackley used some of this [BCCI] money to run some covert operations that could not be traced back to the CIA. He also used Edwin P. Wilson to use his companies to raise money for other operations. This included arms dealing and drug running. Trento argues that it was this decision that compromised US intelligence and led to 9/11. " (Source: Joseph Trento: Prelude to Terror, John Simkin, Education Forum)

Arms dealing is a big source of income in the world, and the rate of arms dealing keeps rising
Arms dealing is a big source of income in the world, and the rate of arms dealing keeps rising


Given the prodigious rate of arms dealing in the world (and the U.S. is the biggest dealer), most of the countries in the world are ass deep in weapons
Given the prodigious rate of arms dealing in the world (and the U.S. is the biggest dealer), most of the countries in the world are ass deep in weapons

Summary

Prelude to Terror: Edwin P. Wilson and the Legacy of America's Private Intelligence Network is Joseph Trento's authoritative indictment of CIA splinter groups, two generations of Bush family involvement in illegal financial networks, and the funding of the agents of terror. Edwin P. Wilson claims he was framed by these rogue CIA factions—Shackley and his cohorts—so that Wilson's operations could be taken over. Trento argues that it was at this point that Shackley decided to privatize some of CIA’s covert operations. The money for these activities came from what was called the Safari Club. This was established when George H. W. Bush was director of the CIA. The global BCCI network and Safari Club of the deep state are part of the privatization network, although in 5 July 1991 the BCCI was closed for supporting criminal enterprises, terrorism, illegal financial networks, and money laundering.

Prelude to Terror: Edwin P. Wilson and the Legacy of America's Private Intelligence Network is recommended for people who distrust the Bushes, the CIA and its offshoots, and the U.S. Intelligence network overall. We count ourselves in that group. Those who do trust these things, well, we've got a bridge to sell you.

Those who trust the Bushes, the CIA and its offshoots, and the  U.S. Intelligence network—we've got a bridge to sell you
Those who trust the Bushes, the CIA and its offshoots, and the U.S. Intelligence network—we've got a bridge to sell you