Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Thanks Harry



The radio interview with John Perkins under the title of "Confessions of an Economic Hitman," will prompt you to look into a number of the points he presents as facts, such as the murder of a President of Panama, and how Ecuador was entrapped.

LEESBURG, Nov. 18 (EIRNS)--THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE FOLLOWING "BOMBSHELL" INTERVIEW WITH JOHN PERKINS, ON HIS NEW BOOK, {CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HITMAN: How The U.S. Uses Globalization To Cheat Poor Countries Out Of Trillions}, provide leads for follow-up on such acts as the murder of a President of Panama (Omar Torrijo), and how Ecuador was entrapped into debt, Lyndon LaRouche commented today. {EIR} has ordered the book, which promises explosive revelations about how the Synarchist utopian financiers have used the World Bank, the IMF, and a network of "private" financier hitman to rape and ruin whole nations, going back to when the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt, Kermit, orchestrated the overthrow of the nationalist Mossadegh government of Iran in 1953. The Nov. 9 interview with Perkins by Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now!" follows here:

We speak with John Perkins, a former respected member of the

international banking community. In his book, {Confessions of an

Economic Hit Man}, he describes how as a highly paid

professional, he helped the U.S. cheat poor countries around the

globe out of trillions of dollars by lending them more money than

they could possibly repay and then tak[ing] over their economies.

John Perkins describes himself as a former economic hit man

-- a highly paid professional who cheated countries around the

globe out of trillions of dollars.

20 years ago, Perkins began writing a book with the working

title, "Conscience of an Economic Hit Man." Perkins writes, "The

book was to be dedicated to the presidents of two countries, men

who had been his clients whom I respected and thought of as

kindred spirits -- Jaime Roldós, president of Ecuador, and Omar

Torrijos, president of Panama. Both had just died in fiery

crashes. Their deaths were not accidental. They were assassinated

because they opposed that fraternity of corporate, government,

and banking heads whose goal is global empire. We Economic Hit

Men failed to bring Roldós and Torrijos around, and the other

type of hit men, the CIA-sanctioned jackals who were always right

behind us, stepped in.

John Perkins goes on to write: "I was persuaded to stop

writing that book. I started it four more times during the next

twenty years. On each occasion, my decision to begin again was

influenced by current world events: the U.S. invasion of Panama

in 1980, the first Gulf War, Somalia, and the rise of Osama bin

Laden. However, threats or bribes always convinced me to stop."

But now Perkins has finally published his story. The book is

titled Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. John Perkins joins us

now in our Firehouse studios.

AMY GOODMAN: John Perkins joins us now in our firehouse

studio. Welcome to Democracy Now!

JOHN PERKINS: Thank you, Amy. It's great to be here.

AMY GOODMAN: It's good to have you with us. Okay, explain

this term, economic hit man, EHM, as you call it.

JOHN PERKINS: Basically what we were trained to do and what

our job is to do, is to build up the American empire. To bring --

to create situations where as many resources as possible flow

into this country, to our corporations, and our government, and

in fact we've been very successful. We've built the largest

empire in the history of the world. It's been done over the last

50 years since World War II with very little military might,

actually. It's only in rare instances like Iraq where the

military comes in as a last resort. This empire, unlike any other

in the history of the world, has been built primarily through

economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through

seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit

men. I was very much a part of that.

AMY GOODMAN: How did you become one? Who did you work for?

JOHN PERKINS: Well, I was initially recruited while I was in

business school back in the late sixties by the National Security

Agency, the nation's largest and least understood spy

organization; but ultimately I worked for private corporations.

The first real economic hit man was back in the early 1950s,

Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Teddy, who overthrew the

government of Iran, a democratically elected government,

Mossadegh's government who was Time's magazine person of the

year; and he was so successful at doing this without any

bloodshed -- well, there was a little bloodshed, but no military

intervention, just spending millions of dollars and replaced

Mossadegh with the Shah of Iran.

At that point, we understood that this idea of economic hit

man was an extremely good one. We didn't have to worry about the

threat of war with Russia when we did it this way. The problem

with that was that Roosevelt was a CIA agent. He was a government

employee. Had he been caught, we would have been in a lot of

trouble. It would have been very embarrassing. So, at that point,

the decision was made to use organizations like the CIA and the

NSA to recruit potential economic hit men like me and then send

us to work for private consulting companies, engineering firms,

construction companies, so that if we were caught, there would be

no connection with the government.

AMY GOODMAN: Okay. Explain the company you worked for.

JOHN PERKINS: Well, the company I worked for was a company

named Chas. T. Main in Boston, Massachusetts. We were about 2,000

employees, and I became its chief economist. I ended up having 50

people working for me. But my real job was deal-making. It was

giving loans to other countries, huge loans, much bigger than

they could possibly repay. One of the conditions of the loan --

let's say a $1 billion to a country like Indonesia or Ecuador,

and this country would then have to give 90% of that loan back to

a U.S. company, or U.S. companies, to build the infrastructure, a

Halliburton or a Bechtel. These were big ones. Those companies

would then go in and build an electrical system or ports or

highways, and these would basically serve just a few of the very

wealthiest families in those countries. The poor people in those

countries would be stuck ultimately with this amazing debt that

they couldn't possibly repay.

A country today like Ecuador owes over 50% of its national

budget just to pay down its debt. And it really can't do it. So,

we literally have them over a barrel. So, when we want more oil,

we go to Ecuador and say, `Look, you're not able to repay your

debts, therefore give your oil companies, your Amazon rain

forest, which are filled with oil.' And today we're going in and

destroying Amazonian rain forests, forcing Ecuador to give them

to us because they've accumulated all this debt. So we make this

big loan, most of it comes back to the United States, the country

is left with the debt plus lots of interest, and they basically

become our servants, our slaves. It's an empire. There's no two

ways about it. It's a huge empire. It's been extremely


AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to John Perkins, author of

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. You say because of bribes and

other reasons, you didn't write this book for a long time. What

do you mean? Who tried to bribe you, or who -- what are the

bribes you accepted?

JOHN PERKINS: Well, I accepted a half a million dollar bribe

in the nineties not to write the book.


JOHN PERKINS: From a major construction engineering company.

AMY GOODMAN: Which one?

JOHN PERKINS: Legally speaking, it wasn't -- Stone-Webster.

Legally speaking it wasn't a bribe, it was -- I was being paid as

a consultant. This is all very legal. But I essentially did

nothing. It was a very understood, as I explained in Confessions

of an Economic Hit Man, that it was -- I was -- it was understood

when I accepted this money as a consultant to them I wouldn't

have to do much work, but I mustn't write any books about the

subject, which they were aware that I was in the process of

writing this book, which at the time I called Conscience of an

Economic Hit Man. And I have to tell you, Amy, that, you know,

it's an extraordinary story from the standpoint of -- It's almost

James Bondish, truly, and I mean--

AMY GOODMAN: Well that's certainly how the book reads.

JOHN PERKINS: Yeah, and it was, you know? And when the

National Security Agency recruited me, they put me through a day

of lie detector tests. They found out all my weaknesses and

immediately seduced me. They used the strongest drugs in our

culture -- sex, power and money -- to win me over. I come from a

very old New England family, Calvinist, steeped in amazingly

strong moral values. I think I, you know, I'm a good person

overall, and I think my story really shows how this system and

these powerful drugs of sex, money and power can seduce people,

because I certainly was seduced. And if I hadn't lived this life

as an economic hit man, I think I'd have a hard time believing

that anybody does these things. And that's why I wrote the book,

because our country really needs to understand, if people in this

nation understood what our foreign policy is really about, what

foreign aid is about, how our corporations work, where our tax

money goes, I know we will demand change.

AMY GOODMAN: We're talking to John Perkins. In your book,

you talk about how you helped to implement a secret scheme that

funnelled billions of dollars of Saudi Arabian petrol dollars

back into the U.S. economy, and that further cemented the

intimate relationship between the House of Saud and successive

U.S. administrations. Explain.

JOHN PERKINS: Yes, it was a fascinating time. I remember

well, you're probably too young to remember, but I remember well

in the early seventies how OPEC exercised this power it had, and

cut back on oil supplies. We had cars lined up at gas stations.

The country was afraid that it was facing another 1929-type of

crash/depression; and this was unacceptable. So, they -- the

Treasury Department hired me and a few other economic hit men. We

went to Saudi Arabia. We --

AMY GOODMAN: You're actually called economic hit men

-- EHMs?

JOHN PERKINS: Yeah, it was a tongue-in-cheek term that we

called ourselves. Officially, I was a chief economist. We called

ourselves EHMs. It was tongue-in-cheek. It was like, nobody will

believe us if we say this, you know? And, so, we went to Saudi

Arabia in the early seventies. We knew Saudi Arabia was the key

to dropping our dependency, or to controlling the situation. And

we worked out this deal whereby the Royal House of Saud agreed to

send most of their petro-dollars back to the United States and

invest them in U.S. government securities. The Treasury

Department would use the interest from these securities to hire

U.S. companies to build Saudi Arabia new cities, new

infrastructure, which we've done. And the House of Saud would

agree to maintain the price of oil within acceptable limits to

us, which they've done all of these years. And we would agree to

keep the House of Saud in power as long as they did this, which

we've done, which is one of the reasons we went to war with Iraq

in the first place. And in Iraq we tried to implement the same

policy that was so successful in Saudi Arabia, but Saddam Hussein

didn't buy. When the economic hit men fail in this scenario, the

next step is what we call the jackals. Jackals are CIA-sanctioned

people that come in and try to foment a coup or revolution. If

that doesn't work, they perform assassinations, or try to. In the

case of Iraq, they weren't able to get through to Saddam Hussein.

He had -- his bodyguards were too good. He had doubles. They

couldn't get through to him. So the third line of defense, if the

economic hit men and the jackals fail, the next line of defense

is our young men and women, who are sent in to die and kill,

which is what we've obviously done in Iraq.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain how Torrijos died?

JOHN PERKINS: Omar Torrijos, the President of Panama. Omar

Torrijos had signed the Canal Treaty with Carter much -- and, you

know, it passed our Congress by only one vote. It was a highly

contended issue. And Torrijos then also went ahead and negotiated

with the Japanese to build a sea-level canal. The Japanese wanted

to finance and construct a sea-level canal in Panama. Torrijos

talked to them about this, which very much upset Bechtel

Corporation, whose president was George Schultz and senior

council was Casper Weinberger. When Carter was thrown out (and

that's an interesting storyhow that actually happened), when he

lost the election, and Reagan came in and Schultz came in as

Secretary of State from Bechtel, and Weinberger came from Bechtel

to be Secretary of Defense, they were extremely angry at Torrijos

-- tried to get him to renegotiate the Canal Treaty and not to

talk to the Japanese. He adamantly refused. He was a very

principled man. He had his problems, but he was a very principled

man. He was an amazing man, Torrijos. And so, he died in a fiery

airplane crash, which was connected to a tape recorder with

explosives in it, which -- I was there. I had been working with

him. I knew that we economic hit men had failed. I knew the

jackals were closing in on him, and the next thing, his plane

exploded with a tape recorder with a bomb in it. There's no

question in my mind that it was CIA sanctioned, and most -- many

Latin American investigators have come to the same conclusion. Of

course, we never heard about that in our country.

AMY GOODMAN: So, where -- when did your change your heart


JOHN PERKINS: I felt guilty throughout the whole time, but I

was seduced. The power of these drugs -- sex, power, and money --

was extremely strong for me. And, of course, I was doing things I

was being patted on the back for. I was chief economist. I was

doing things that Robert McNamara liked and so on.

AMY GOODMAN: How closely did you work with the World Bank?

JOHN PERKINS: Very, very closely with the World Bank. The

World Bank provides most of the money that's used by economic hit

men, it and the IMF. But when 9/11 struck, I had a change of

heart. I knew the story had to be told because what happened at

9/11 is a direct result of what the economic hit men are doing.

And the only way that we're going to feel secure in this country

again, and that we're going to feel good about ourselves, is if

we use these systems we've put into place to create positive

change around the world. I really believe we can do that. I

believe the World Bank and other institutions can be turned

around and do what they were originally intended to do, which is

help reconstruct devastated parts of the world. Help -- genuinely

help poor people. There are 24,000 people starving to death every

day. We can change that.

AMY GOODMAN: John Perkins, I want to thank you very much for

being with us. John Perkins' book is called, Confessions of an

Economic Hit Man.



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