Trump, ‘Maggie’s Hammer,’ Dirty Money – The Connections?


The various developing Trump scandals could well be connected to the subject matter of Maggie’s Hammer.

A short while ago, I posted a note about Trump’s long-standing (since the Eighties) connections to Russia, which note included what appears, on the face of it, to be evidence supporting my previous suggestion that the entire saga with Trump-Russia is driven primarily by dirty money, not politics, per se.

Part of the linkage for that post included a story about Trump buying a yacht owned by Adnan Khashoggi, in a deal allegedly brokered by the then Sultan of Brunei. All of this in 1988.

The story in the linkage describes Adnan Khashoggi as ‘the middle man in the Iran-Contra Affair that nearly brought down the Reagan White House.’ True enough. But he was more than that. And the Sultan of Brunei, one of the richest men in the world, did a tad more than broker yacht sales. Especially in the Eighties.

Hmm. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. If you want to make sense of what is happening in the world today, you have to go back to the Eighties. All roads lead to Great Britain. And the best source for rationalizing both of those statements is, heck hem, my book – Maggie’s Hammer. Imagine that.

So. Let’s take a closer look at all of these personalities. And what they were up to in the Eighties.

My Israeli Intelligence source is a gentleman called Ari Ben-Menashe. He is a controversial figure. Who seems to promise more than he delivers. But. Intelligence agencies still consult him. As do governments. More of that last point a bit later.

Ari was a primary source of information for the book, Maggie’s Hammer. As with almost all that I was told, I took what Ari offered with a pinch of salt. Did what due diligence one guy on his own can do. And waited to see if it fit into the developing big picture.

One point Ari went to great lengths to make was that all of the shenanigans of the Eighties, including Iran-Contra, had very little to do with geo-politics, and an awful lot more to do with folks just wanting to make gobloads of money.

Primarily from arms sales, but from other nefarious business activities also (drugs, money-laundering, whatever). And all sorts of folks. Intelligence agencies and military units going into business for themselves. Billionaire businessmen. Defense contractors. Banks, civil servants, senior politicians. Anyone in a position to smooth a path, offer a service, trouble-shoot, make a profit, take a bribe. With no distinction between East and West; North and South; Developed or Developing.

Ari told me more than once that I would never understand the big, geo-political picture of the Eighties, and the decades since then, not least the activities surrounding the War on Terror, and the creation of the global security state, without my understanding that the first priority had become to make a profit.

Ari has not disappeared from the scene. Most recently, he was interviewed by the London Guardian newspaper, in respect of Trump’s approach to Libya, and his (Ari’s) relationship with a Deputy Assistant to the President, one Sebastian Gorka.

Ari first came to public notice with his allegations in Seymour Hersh’s 1991 book, The Samson Option, in which Ari claimed that controversial British publishing billionaire, Robert Maxwell, had for many years been an asset of Israeli Intelligence.

Also named as an Israeli Intelligence asset was Nicholas Davies, the Foreign Editor of Maxwell’s popular British tabloid newspaper, the Daily Mirror. Ari further claimed that Davies had been involved with him in arms deals in the Eighties, some of which were at the heart of the secret US-Israeli operation to supply arms to Iran.

Oh. By-the-by. Nicholas Davies later wrote a book about Prince William with one Mark Saunders. Who is a mate. Whom I met in Slough, England in 1990. Who became Diana’s leading paparazzi. Who wrote his own book about those experiences. Is now a sometime Royal reporter for CNN. And who spent some time with me in the Nineties discussing stuff relating to Royals and British Intelligence. Small world, innnit?

In his own book, Profits of War, first published in 1992, Ari set out more details of arms dealing in the Eighties. Not least those engaged in by Mark Thatcher, son of Britain’s then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Mark was at one point being investigated by US Customs out of Miami, Florida, for alleged involvement in the illegal sale of military technology to Iraq. Which, along with Iran, needed all the military technology it could lay its hands on, to maintain posture in the Iran-Iraq War that lasted from 1980 to 1988.

During the course of that war, Iran bought some $80 billion in arms, illegally and primarily from the West. And Iraq bought some $60 billion in arms, also illegally and primarily from the West.

After the publication of Ari’s book, I wrote to Ari, to ask him if he had any information about the person who is now the subject of my book, one Hugh John Simmonds CBE. Ari responded immediately. And has shared information with me ever since.

I have no idea how much I can trust Ari. Much of the information makes sense. He did threaten me once. But then, I had just accused him of killing my mate. I still think he did.

But. Shrug. Hugh got involved over his head. He was an idiot. He paid a price. Ari was doing his job. Apparently on the instructions of the then Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir. Sorry if that sounds cold. I’m not cold. I care deeply for Hugh’s family. Who did not get a vote in his becoming involved in dangerous business. But too much passion can drive you crazy.

Anyways. Where was I? Oh yes. Ari. Hugh. Ari told me that Hugh has been involved with both Davies and Mark in selling arms. Ari told me that Hugh’s job was primarily money-laundering. Of very dirty money. Not just arms money. For all sorts of high-flown figures. Not just Davies and Mark.

I got myself into trouble with Ari by being a clever tit. And presenting him with information which made it clear that Ari didn’t just know about Hugh. He’d been in business with him.

Try that, on your own, with a ‘former’ Israeli Intelligence officer, in a hotel room, in Montreal, nine stories up. And ‘skid-marks’ take on a whole new meaning.

I contacted Ari some twenty years after that conversation. To ask him to provide a quote for the back page of my book. He was very kind. And did so. In return, I arranged for him to speak with my publisher. Who has just reprinted Profits of War. Don’t even. Life is indeed very weird.

In the course of promoting my book and Ari’s book, it occurred to my, sorry, our publisher that it might be a good idea for the two of us to appear on radio together. I said, fine. Provided you don’t mind my asking Ari on air if he had my mate killed.

You’d have thought that Montreal would have taught me a lesson …

Anyways. Ari providing me with information in the Nineties. He specifically mentioned Hugh transferring some $12 million from banks accounts under Hugh’s control, through the tax haven of Jersey, to bank accounts under Mark’s control, in Texas, between 1984 and 1988, the year Hugh died.

Ari also made specific reference to a deal that Hugh was allegedly brokering, financed to the tune of some $28 million, by the Atlanta branch of an Italian bank, BNL, which deal was for the sale to Iraq of GEC (UK) engines, the purpose of which was to extend the range of Iraq’s SCUD-B missiles, supposedly so that they could reach into Iran and Israel.

In 1996, I spoke with the former and convicted manager of the BNL Atlanta branch, who confirmed his memory of the production of a $28 million Letter of Credit for Hugh.

Adnan Khashoggi was well known as an arms dealer for the notorious before, during and after Iran-Contra. His sister was married to one Mohammed al-Fayed, who made his early money from arms dealing also.

I set out in my book how it is that I believe that al-Fayed is, in fact, another billionaire asset of Israeli Intelligence. In any event, he was also an Anglophile. Moved to Great Britain in the mid-Sixties. And bought the famous store, Harrods, in 1985.

Al-Fayed wanted nothing more than to become a British citizen, so that he could then work his way up the British Honours system, and eventually become Lord al-Fayed.

However, there was some dispute as to how he had financed his purchase of Harrods in the Eighties. And he was several times denied citizenship. Even though, along the way, he did all he could to curry favor with the then Conservative British government and it Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Such currying included providing jet transport for Mark Thatcher to arrange deals in the Middle East and in Brunei. And brokering the secret transfer in 1985 of some $7.5 billion from the Sultan of Brunei to the coffers of the Bank of England in order to help Margaret Thatcher overcome a short-term run on sterling.

None of this helped. And so, al-Fayed turned on the political party responsible for denying him his dreams – the British Conservative Party. A move which seemed to fit in nicely with what Ari described to me as the agenda of right-wing elements within Israeli Intelligence.

Ari explained to me that said elements were unhappy with the Arab tilt among many of the ambitious young men around Margaret Thatcher and her successor, John Major. So, said elements were interested, first, in undermining the Conservative Party generally, and secondly, in laying waste to as many of those young men as possible.

Ari described Hugh as being one of those young men. Another was a senior Cabinet Minister in the Nineties, who was seen as being John Major’s primary political lieutenant, one David Mellor.

Ari told me that it was Israeli Intelligence who hired the young lady who was picked for the embarrassing sex sting which ended Mellor’s political career. And it was Israeli Intelligence, working with the Daily Mirror, who rented the property where the sting … um … unfolded.

Famously, Mohammed al-Fayed, either at the behest of Ari and/or other elements of the right-wing within Israeli Intelligence, or not, was behind the Nineties operation which ensnared a number of Conservative MP’s, and which was known as Cash for Questions. One of the casualties of this operation was one Tim Smith, MP, who was at the time the Member of Parliament for Beaconsfield, where Hugh and I both lived.

In the early Nineties, Tim was also a Vice Chairman of the national Conservative Party organization, responsible for Finance. At much the same time as Hugh sat on the Conservative National Board of Finance. In which position, as has been alleged to me, Hugh may well have been partially responsible for helping to set up processes, allowing for dirty money to be laundered into and through the national Conservative Party’s labyrinthine network of secret and often overseas bank accounts.

Hugh’s then close chum, Senior Vice President of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association, and Senior Partner in the London firm of accountants, Coopers & Lybrand, one Peter Smith, was also at that time fiddling the national audit of the national Conservative Party accounts, to hide the fact that dirty money was making its way into Conservative coffers, from money-laundering activity and arms deals, through those pipelines in part set up by Hugh.

Cozy little world. Isn’t it?

Beyond what he had already told me, Ari would not speculate further on the extent to which he and/or right-wing elements within Israeli Intelligence and/or their agents and assets may or may not have specifically targeted individuals associated with Conservative Party national finances, and living in Beaconsfield. But. There were more than one of them in the Eighties and Nineties. And Ari did take me out to a nice Indian restaurant in Montreal, with his lovely wife.

However. In the mid-Nineties, al-Fayed was also responsible for the defenestration of senior Conservative Cabinet Minister, Jonathan Aitken, another of the ambitious, young, right-wing, Conservative Party turks whom Ari had identified.

On a side note, yes, I have waited some twenty years to be able to use that word in a sentence. Defenestration. Brings up horrible pictures of sweaty pant seats in an American spelling bee competition.

‘Defenestration – can you use it in context, please?’ Yes. ‘Jonathan Aitken went to jail, where he was named Carolyn, and used as a plaything by a 300lb gorilla from the East of London, after his defenestration from government due to perjury.’

Aitken was alleged to be one of the brokers of a huge multi-billion dollar arms deal between Great Britain and Saudi Arabia, beginning in the Eighties, which arms deal was at the heart of the corruption which overtook the British body politic at that time, which corruption continues, and which is the primary subject of my book.

This deal was arranged by a group of defense contractors, civil servants, Conservative politicians, bank directors and intelligence agents, which group was known as the Savoy Mafia, and which group included Mark Thatcher and his dad, Denis Thatcher.

The gentleman who helped to set up some of the money-laundering of the profits and bribes from the Savoy Mafia arms deal was none other than Hugh. According to Ari and one or two other sources.

Aitken became a senor Conservative Cabinet minister later, in the Nineties. But it is the allegation of my book, and other folk, that Aitken continued to act as an arms broker for Saudi Arabia.

In that capacity, it is alleged that Aitken was present in the Ritz Hotel in Paris in the mid-Nineties. To meet with a Saudi Arabian middleman. To carve up the latest batch of arms commissions.

This would not be surprising. The Ritz Hotel in question has had a reputation, going back to before the two World Wars of the last century, for being an agreed no-man’s-land, where secret agents from opposing powers, arms dealers and the like, may meet in safety, and with an absolute ‘Las Vegas understanding.’ What happens there stays there.

Aitken vehemently denied that he was even there. And began libel proceedings accordingly. He was all set to get away with it. Until the owner of the Ritz Hotel, you guessed it. Mohammed al-Fayed. Still pissed with the Tories. Did him in. And produced Aitken’s hotel bill. This left certain underground figures around the world rather unhappy. The Ritz Hotel was supposed to be safe. For everyone. And its owner knew that was the unwritten code.

In June 1997, the British Conservative Party was thrown out of office in Great Britain. After some 18 years in government. Mohammed al-Fayed was delighted. He knew that much of his activity had contributed to the sleaze factor, which was attributed as being the main cause of the Tories’ heavy defeat. I’m not sure if Ari was happy. I never asked. He never offered. But. I did get to speak with his lovely wife on the telephone. Who told me to stop putting Ari in danger.

So happy was he. Mohammed. Not Ari. That he went on television, telling all who would listen, that he intended now to nail the lid firmly shut on the Tories’ coffin, by revealing all about their nefarious arms activities. Which he said he could do, because many of those arms activities had taken place in his hotel. That would be the same hotel whose activities you weren’t supposed to reveal.

I wrote to al-Fayed in about July of 1997. Asking him if he might have come across Hugh engaging in any of those arms activities. By-the-by, I also commended him, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, for having the courage to reveal activities that certain heavy-handed, Middle-Eastern arms middlemen might not like. Never heard back.

One month later, al-Fayed’s much-beloved son was involved in an horrific car crash. In Paris. In a tunnel. As he returned from his father’s hotel, to his apartment, also in Paris. Also killed in the crash was the driver of Dodi al-Fayed’s Mercedes limousine. And Dodi’s girlfriend.

Dodi’s girlfriend was Diana, Princess of Wales.

Since that day, Mohammed al-Fayed has never spoken again of arms deals, arms middlemen, the British Conservative Party, or its corruption. Mohammed has three young children by a second wife.

Everybody knew everybody in the Eighties. Everybody was making money. From oil deals. From arms deals. Most of it with embargoed countries. Everybody was laundering money. Most of it illegally. And everybody was doing what they had to do to cover it all up.

And in the middle of all of this. In the Eighties. Donald Trump. Building a huge property empire. In the Eighties. Which property empire then got into massive money trouble. In the Nineties. The Donald. Quite innocently. In the Eighties (1988, to be precise). Bought a yacht from Adnan Khashoggi. In a deal brokered by the Sultan of Brunei. In the Eighties. While all of the other parties were up to their necks in dirty money. In the Eighties. All of the other parties – except for The Donald?

Didn’t I say something earlier about cozy little worlds? I guess what I meant to say was, nothing in these sorts of circles is a co-incidence.

No-one really knows how Trump got out of his financial mess in the Nineties. We are now told that he has been heavily involved with the Russians since the Eighties. Was this really the only potential dirty money with which he was involved? In the Eighties? And since?

His Russian dealings, we are also now told, might have included the privatization of Rosneft, which was in breach of US sanctions, and which took place during the 2016 US Presidential election.

Stuff like this does not come out of the blue. It has history. Possibly going back to the Eighties? Possibly involving dirty money? Russian dirty money? Other dirty money?

Hmm. Let’s look around. Any other stories of Russian dirty money and billionaires from the Eighties? Anything else which might more closely link Trump to ‘Maggie’s Hammer’? Well, my, my, but yes.

There have been rumors for decades that Robert Maxwell had secret dealings with Margaret Thatcher over something incredibly important and covert.

In his book, Ari states that both the CIA and Israeli Intelligence entrusted hundreds of millions of dollars in profits from illegal arms deals in the Eighties to Robert Maxwell. Who used his close governmental contacts in communist Eastern Europe to stash the profits in bank accounts in Eastern Europe.

Which stashing would not, could not have taken place without the approval of the Russians, who as the then Soviet Union were essentially the landlords of Eastern Europe at that time.

There are conflicting accounts about Robert Maxwell’s death. Pretty much everyone assumes he was killed. Some say it was the CIA, because Maxwell stole the CIA’s money in Eastern Europe. Some say it was Israeli Intelligence, for the same reason.

But. Ari once told me. And only once. Out of much the same blue. And with no apparent connection to anything we were talking about. Except possibly with respect to Hugh’s closeness to the Thatchers. Ari told me that Hugh had been present at meetings with Maxwell in his office. I’m assuming since Ari could tell me this, he (Ari) had also been present.

I never could get any more out of Ari on this subject. Remember that Montreal hotel room? The one on the ninth floor? But I’ve always wondered if those meetings were a part of the rumors about Maxwell and Thatcher. And if Hugh might have been present as an unofficial representative of Margaret Thatcher. To arrange something to do with Eastern Europe.

Certainly, my British Intelligence source is adamant that Hugh was involved with Eastern Europe and large amounts of money in the months before his death in 1988. It is this aspect of the Hugh story that I want to start looking at more closely, when I have the chance.

So. Is there, was there some connection between the matters in my book and Trump? In the incredibly interconnected mess that was money-making in the Eighties? And which has continued ever since? Was there some link between Hugh, Eastern Europe, Russia, other billionaires (maybe Maxwell) and Trump?

Well. Ok. You’ve got me. It’s all a bit tongue-in-cheek. ‘Slim’ is the very nicest thing one could say. But, then again, ‘slim’ is fast becoming my very favorite middle name.

Mind you, if you’re looking for slim, try the possible connection between Trump and Robert Maxwell’s daughter, Ghislaine, after whom (ironically) Robert Maxwell named his fancy yacht. The fact that Robert Maxwell bought the New York Daily News in 1991. And the photo (above) of The Donald and Robert Maxwell.

Wheels within wheels. Circles within circles. Look out for your cheek …

(Facebook comments here.)

Published in: on June 20, 2017 at 8:55 am  Leave a Comment  

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