Geithner and Kissinger Associates–pt. 1

From Bob Feldman:

Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s Kissinger Associates Background—Part 1

Between 1986 and 1989, U.S. Treasury Secretary Designate Timothy Geithner was employed at Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, and Lawrence Eagleburger’s Kissinger Associates influence-peddling firm, which also employed George W. Bush’s former special envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, during the early 1990s. A leading candidate for Commerce Secretary, Bill Richardson, also is a former employee of Kissinger Associates.

An expose, titled “The ‘Kissinger Affair’: A Look At Henry Kissinger’s Kuwaiti Connection,” which appeared in the March 27, 1991 issue of a Lower East alternative newsweekly Downtown, began with the following quotation from the April 20, 1986 issue of the New York Times Magazine about Kissinger Associates, during the years that Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner worked there:

“It is very difficult to pin down what Mr. Kissinger and the others are really doing in the business end of their lives. None will say for attribution who their clients are or discuss the specifics of what they do, although they do talk about their work with the understanding that they not be identified…Kissinger Associates requires a clause in its contracts stating that neither the firm nor its clients will divulge a business connection…”

In 1991, T. Jefferson Cunningham III, according to Moody’s International Manual, was on the board of directors of Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s former employer. That same year Kissinger Associates Director Cunningham was also a director of the Midland Bank of Britain and 10.5 percent of Midland Bank’s stock was owned by the government of Kuwait. And coincidentally, Geithner’s former boss at Kissinger Associates, Henry Kissinger, was not reluctant to use his special influence on behalf of his Midland Bank/Kuwaiti government business associates after August 1990 to push for the January 1991 Pentagon high-technology military attack on Iraq that led to thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties.

In the April 20, 1986 New York Times Magazine article, titled “Kissinger Means Business: Corporate America is eagerly seeking Henry Kissinger’s insight and celebrity,” the Times then-national security correspondent, Leslie Gelb, reported that the Midland Bank of Britain was also one of the special influence-purchasing clients of Kissinger Associates that paid Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner and his colleagues “slightly more than $150,000 yearly for varying services.” Gelb also noted that “The other top members of the firm” were “Lieut. General Brent Scowcroft, President Ford’s National Security adviser, and Lawrence S. Eagleburger, who was an Under-Secretary of State in the Reagan Administration.”

In the early 1990s, Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner’s Kissinger Associates colleagues, Scowcroft and Eagleburger, were both high officials in the Bush I Administration. Scowcroft, a former Santa Fe International director who received personal payments from the Kuwaiti government-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) subsidiary in 1984, 1985 and 1986, was Bush I’s national security affairs adviser. And Eagleburger was Bush’s Deputy Secretary of State.

According to a profile of Scowcroft that appeared in the Times on Feb. 21, 1991, it was the presentation of Geithner’s former Kissinger Associates colleague at a National Security Council meeting on Aug. 3, 1990 “that made clear what the stakes were, crystallized people’s thinking and galvanized support for a strong response” to the Iraqi military occupation of Kuwait–which has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians from either Pentagon military operations or U.S. economic sanctions since January 1991.

Kissinger Associates was established in 1982, four years before Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner joined the firm, after Henry Kissinger secured a loan from EM Warburg, Pincus & Company, an investment banking firm. And when Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner worked for Kissinger in the late 1980s the Kissinger Associates Manhattan office was located at 350 Park Avenue on the corner of 52nd Street—in the same building as Chase Manhattan Bank’s Commercial Bank of Kuwait subsidiary local office.

The building’s lobby at that time contained a computerized building directory of all the building’s tenants. But, according to New York Times then-national security correspondent Gelb’s April 20, 1986 “Kissinger Means Business” article, “Punch ‘K’ and you will not find Kissinger Associates, for Henry A. Kissinger still receives threats, so, for security reasons, you have to be invited to learn what floor his firm is on.”

Kissinger Associates also had an office in Washington, D.C. of three researchers and four clerks which was headed by Scowcroft when Treasury Secretary-Designate Geithner worked for the firm. According to Times correspondent Gelb, only about 25 people worked in both the Manhattan and Washington, D.C. offices of Kissinger Associates in the 1980s, “including Mr. Kissinger’s bodyguards” and Geithner.

In 1991 a Kissinger Associates spokesperson told me in a telephone interview that Geithner’s 1980s employer was “an international consulting firm.” But, according to the April 20,1986 New York Times Magazine article, “Kissinger Means Business,” although “these consultants are not lobbyists in the strict sense of the word,” some of them “are involved in selling their influence at home and almost all do so abroad.” (end of part 1)


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