Richard Helms

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Richard McGarrah Helms was "director of the Central Intelligence Agency during some of the CIA's most tumultuous years. He was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 as CIA Director, the first career officer to get the top job. Some of the pivotal events of his tenure included plots to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro, spying on U.S. citizens who opposed the Vietnam War, and the overthrow of Chile's democratically elected government. President Richard M. Nixon removed Helms as director of the CIA in 1973, reportedly because the agency would not cooperate in the Watergate cover-up. In 1977, Helms pleaded no contest to federal charges he did not fully tell the truth to a Senate committee about the CIA's activities in Chile and elsewhere."

Source: PBS Online NewsHour, October 23, 2002.

"Business as usual in Washington: Roy P.M. Carlson was the Bank of America executive who arranged that bank's purchase of 30 percent of BCCI in 1972. In 1975 he left BoA to become president of Rahim Irvani's Melli Group in Iran. BCCI founder Agha Hasan Abedi used Irvani as one of his front men in the acquisition of Financial General Bankshares, and the incorporation of Richard Helms' Safeer Company was initially a means to this end.

"Meanwhile, there was an inconvenient revolution in Iran. Carlson found a new job as head of National Bank of Georgia, because BCCI had secretly taken it over in 1978 through the use of Ghaith Pharaon, who bought it from Bert Lance and later sold it to BCCI's First American Bank. NBG held the paper on some large commercial loans to Jimmy Carter's peanut business.

"By the second annual meeting of Safeer in November 1979, Carlson and Irvani had moved on, leaving Richard Helms as the sole owner. BCCI turned to a new front, Kamal Adham, former head of Saudi intelligence.

"The books of Safeer show that Helms primarily used it as his own consulting firm, not only receiving fees from Northwest Investment Corporation (Irvani), but also from defense industry corporations with links to the intelligence community, such as Martin Marietta, McDonnell Douglas, Mitsui, Hughes Aircraft, Itek, Electronic Data Systems, and Bechtel. Helms, of course, was CIA director from 1966-1973, and then ambassador to Iran until January, 1977. These documents were scanned from U.S., Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, hearings before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations, February 19 and March 18, 1992, The BCCI Affair, Part 4, pages 237-240 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992).

"John Kerry (D-MA) presided over these hearings, but was unable to get the CIA to produce any relevant documents -- perhaps because by 1983-84, CIA director William J. Casey and his assistant Robert Gates were secretly meeting with Abedi. The material on Safeer originated from a civil case in Georgia, in which a German company tried to trace Irvani's assets through a maze of offshore companies." [1]

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