Executive Intelligence Review
This article appears in the February 12, 1999 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Plundering Russia:
Time To Open the Gore Impeachment File

by Michele Steinberg

For more than four years, high-level U.S. intelligence officials have reportedly been aware of the fact that Vice President Al Gore, Jr. and some of his senior aides at the White House, have covertly exercised political pressure to suppress evidence that Gore's leading Russian collaborator, former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, the head of Gazprom, the most powerful company in Russia, and one of the world's largest conglomerates, is guilty of extensive personal and political corruption.

But these intelligence officials, including senior analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, are "censoring themselves" to steer clear of Gore's wrath. According to New York Times author James Risen, in a Nov. 23, 1998 article entitled "Gore Rejected CIA Evidence of Russian Corruption," Gore and his aides don't want to hear anything they consider "inconvenient."

"The Vice President did not want to hear allegations that Mr. Chernomyrdin was corrupt," writes Risen, "and was not interested in ... intelligence reports on the matter." Risen writes that one secret CIA report that went to Vice President Gore that contained what was considered "conclusive evidence" of Chernomyrdin's personal corruption, was returned to the agency with a "barnyard epithet scrawled across its cover." Since then, Risen says that all reports on the Chernomyrdin subject stay inside the CIA.

There is another wrinkle in the Russia matter. Another of Gore's Russian favorites, Anatoli B. Chubais, who was fired from his position as First Deputy Premier by President Boris Yeltsin on March 23, 1998, the same day Yeltsin dumped Chernomyrdin for plotting against him, was also the subject of CIA reports detailing corruption in Russia.

In our Jan. 22, 1999 Feature story, EIR made a strong case that Gore is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors against the U.S. Constitution, through accepting bribes from bankers who would benefit from his collusion with Chernomyrdin, back in August 1998. But now, new information indicates that Gore's dirty deals with the Russians go way beyond that.

Reader's Digest, in its February 1999 edition, has chosen to point to Gore's ties with Russia's mobsters. In an article titled "Dirty Diamonds," it tells the tale of three young Russian mafia diamond-dealers who stole up to $180 million from Russia's highly secure national storehouses. Reader's Digest printed a picture of the Vice President socializing with these very mobsters. The picture is identified as having been taken in 1994, during a political campaign event in California.

The Reader's Digest story is an explosive investigative report, called "The Looting of Russia," by David E. Kaplan and Christian Caryl, that appeared in U.S. News & World Report of Aug. 8, 1998—complete with the photograph of the mobsters with Gore. With its publication in Reader's Digest, the story will be distributed to the widest audience for a single magazine in the United States.

Kaplan and Caryl, following the joint investigation of U.S. FBI agent Joe Davidson and Moscow police officer Viktor Zhirov, uncovered details of how this looting of Russia occurred, through a San Francisco-based company, "Golden ADA," which supposedly was set up to develop a means for Russia to bypass the DeBeers diamond cartel. But, instead of developing its own market, it appears that Golden ADA simply took the Russian treasures and sold them outright to DeBeers, at rock-bottom prices.

Robbing Russia's 'Fort Knox'

EIR has begun a full investigation of this latest piece of information implicating Gore in Russian corruption. According to the U.S. News & World Report article, Gore may have been influential in a certain kind of "damage control" that closed down the Davidson-Zhirov investigation.

At a certain point in the investigation, Kaplan and Caryl report, investigators became worried that the Golden ADA scandal could become "Russia's Watergate." Steps were taken, sometime in late 1995 or early 1996: "In Washington, Justice Department officials briefed the staffs of the National Security Council and Vice President Gore, who was then deeply involved in U.S.-Russian relations. Davidson remembers feeling uneasy. 'We were worried about political interference,' he says. The FBI's team pressed on, amassing evidence of racketeering, theft, and money laundering.... Davidson thought [they] had a chance to blow the case wide open [emphasis added].

"But then came some very bad news."

The IRS was raiding the Golden ADA offices the very next day, seizing all the assets, and sending the principals fleeing. It took years to locate them.

"This meant the end of the criminal case. [Andrei] Kozlenok had already fled.... Other Golden ADA figures were not likely to stick around. The wiretaps would be useless.... Davidson felt betrayed."

According to the article, one of the names on the wiretaps was "Anatoli Chubais," one of the Russian former officials at the center of the Gore/George Soros/Wall Street schemes to sabotage the anti-International Monetary Fund Russian government of today.

As to the three young Russian mafiosi in the photograph with Gore, they were Kozlenok, and brothers David and Ashot Shagirian, the proprietors of Golden ADA through which the fortune, possibly as much as $1 billion, was passed—a fortune in gems, precious artwork, gold, and diamonds from the National Treasury of the Russian Federation.

According to Russian media and court reports, the three Russians—two of them now in prison in Russia, and one on the lam—were allegedly working with highest-level officials, most notably then-Chairman of the Precious Metals Committee Yevgeni Bychkov, who allegedly set up the Golden ADA company. Some Russian media reports have gone beyond Bychkov, naming Chernomyrdin and former Finance Minister Boris Fyodorov. It was through Bychkov that the Golden ADA owners got the access to the looting of Russia. By presenting a scheme that Golden ADA would be an independent means of marketing the Russian treasures outside the monopoly of DeBeers, Bychkov was allegedly "given the keys" to the vaults.

In June 1998, EIR collaborators in Russia posted a report from NTV, the nationwide Russian television station Channel 2, that Kozlenok, co-owner of Golden ADA, recently extradited to Russia from Greece (nearly two years after the suspiciously timed IRS raid in San Francisco sent him fleeing), said he is not going to mention any names of high influentials in the investigation. NTV added that Kozlenok had been afraid to be extradited to Russia because his former companion, Sergei Dovbysh, had "committed suicide," hanging himself on his own sweater in the court building where he was being put on trial. No witnesses allegedly came forward.

But with Gore and Soros's closest cronies out of power, things could change.

What the U.S. must do

Al Gore has good reason to exhibit one of his characteristic bipolar rage episodes whenever the corruption of his friends, Chernomyrdin or Chubais, is mentioned. It is no secret that since March 1998, when Chernomyrdin was dumped, Gore's influence in Russia has shriveled. The much-touted "special relationship" that was the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission beginning in 1993, does not exist with Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov, as it also did not with Primakov's predecessor, Sergei Kiriyenko.

An investigation beginning with Gore's relationship to Chernomyrdin, would not only hit Gore, but would slam financier and derivatives moloch Soros, who was trying to put Chubais back in power in Russia at the same time that Gore was making phone calls to his Russian friends behind Clinton's back in August 1998, desperately trying to bring Chernomyrdin back into power.

Investigating the nexus of Gore, Chernomyrdin, Chubais, Gore's national security aide Leon Fuerth, and Soros (whom Gore once intervened to protect from criminal investigation in Croatia), would be one of the greatest gestures of friendship between nations that President Clinton could possibly show to the beleaguered Russian Federation.

Such an investigation, which could be conducted by a Presidential Commission under national security auspices, could serve as an extension of the concepts of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal," which combatted the Wall Street financial oligarchy during the Great Depression, in the interest of restoring the productive power of the nation. The precedent of the New Deal is being intensely studied by groups of economists and leaders in Russia, and was discussed by President Clinton with Russian leaders during his last visit there, in September 1998.

Subscribe to EIW