Thursday, March 19, 2009

Billionaire Texas scammer linked to major intelligence and Democratic Party foreign policy players.

"Sir Allen's" top Democratic Party connections

"Sir" Allen Stanford, former head of the collapsed Stanford Financial Group, maintained close relations with some of the top veterans of the Democratic Party, according to a source familiar with Stanford's overseas operations.

One of Stanford's chief associates, according to our knowledgeable source, is former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Ambassador Peter F. Romero. Romero's mentor is former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who he served under as the State Department's top diplomat for Latin America. Romero was also the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador.

Romero stayed on as President George W. Bush's Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs. At the Council of the Americas Conference on May 7, 2001, Bush said, "I appreciate so very much Peter Romero from the State Department, who has been working side-by-side with those of us at the White House." Romero was succeeded in 2002 by Otto Reich, who was involved in the covert war and a domestic U.S. propaganda campaign against Nicaragua's Sandinista government in the 1980s and went on to be a lobbyist for Bacardi. Before he left the State Department, Romero coordinated the anti-Sandinista election activities of Nicaragua's "moderate" political parties. Romero was also a major supporter of the anti-rebel "Plan Colombia" U.S. military and economic assistance program for Colombia.

At the June 7, 2001, signing ceremony for the Central America-US Joint Accord (CONCAUSA), Secretary of State Colin Powell said, "I would like to recognize one other partner who is here today who had a lot to do with this and has had a lot to do with relations between the United States and Central America and Latin America for many, many years. All of you know him so well. He is now departing the service of the United States Government to go into private life, and I would not like this occasion to pass without recognizing my dear friend, Ambassador Peter Romero."

Romero served on Stanford Financial Group's advisory board, along with former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda, and, more noteworthy, Lee Brown, former Mayor of Houston and drug czar under President Bill Clinton.

Last October, Romero told the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio that Obama would not reverse the free trade agreement between the United States and Peru. At the time Romero was acting as a surrogate for Obama in Peru, he was also identified as a consultant for the Stanford Financial Group.

After leaving the State Department, Romero, according to a biography at the NEA Foundation web site, led a joint venture between Violy, Byorum and Partners, a Wall Street investment firm, and the Rothschild Group for "mergers, acquisitions, and private equity." Romero is also identified as the CEO of Experior Advisory, a consultant firm.

On July 10, 2006, according to Federal News Service, Romero and Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte attended the National Security Business Forum sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Verizon, and General Dynamics. Romero's "open mike" question to Negroponte on government wiretapping was: "Peter Romero from Experior Advisory. John, good to see you again. My question doesn't have anything to do with the tools upon which you all depend on that have been so much in the press lately as much as the product that generations. And that is, if there is nothing actionable that relates to telephone calls or Internet or financial transfers, or whatever it might be, over the course of several years, what happens? Are there federal guidelines that address themselves to the disposal of that information? In other words, if I make a call to a client in the Middle East and five years from now, will there be someone that has access to that call if all of the analysts in the meantime have gone through it and it's not actionable?"

Negroponte responded: "Thanks for your question, Pete. I don't know the answer to your question with respect to time limits as they might relate to one set of data or another, which might be in the repository of one or another agency. But what I can tell you with absolute certainty is that whatever information might exist, it is treated in strict compliance with the guidelines that we have under executive order 12333, which was promulgated more than 20 years ago about the proper observance of the privacy of American citizens and the -- not making reference to their names or anything else so that the information is correctly -- you can be assured that it is properly handled and not abused in any way no matter how long it might be available to the government."

Stanford, a dual U.S.-Antiguan citizen, has been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and is under federal investigation for fraud involving his global Stanford Financial Group. WMR has also learned that it was Romero who helped Stanford open his firm's offices in Caracas, Venezuela and Panama City, Panama. Last November, Venezuelan military intelligence agents raided the Caracas office and the Venezuelan government charged that four Stanford employees were U.S. intelligence agents.

After Stanford's unsuccessful attempt to flee the United States on a charter plane from Houston, we have learned that it was Romero who arranged for Stanford's accommodations in Fredericksburg, Virginia and his availability to be served his civil law suit papers from the SEC.

The word on Stanford, who has not yet been arrested in the collapse of his global banking and investment group, is that he enjoys "protection" in high places, namely the Obama White House and particularly, White House Chief Counsel Greg Craig. WMR has also learned of another significant link between Stanford and the Obama White House. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once headed up the Chicago office of the securities firm Wasserstein Perella, which maintained close links to Stanford Group's Dallas office through its own merger and acquisitions operations in Dallas.

We have also learned that the exposure of Stanford Financial Group's shady operations was enabled by the discovery by federal prosecutors of information from their investigation of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

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