The Worricker Trilogy

By Catherine Austin Fitts

If you like action films half as much as I do, then you are going to love The Worricker Trilogy, three political thrillers staring Bill Nighy and written and produced by David Hare for the BBC.

In the first film made in 2011, Page Eight, Johnny Worricker (played by Nighy) is a long-serving MI5 officer embroiled in the politics that result when MI5 discovers that their Prime Minster has knowledge of secret overseas prisons where US authorities are torturing people and has not shared that intelligence with the secret service, at the possible expense of British lives.

In the second film published in early February 2014, Turks & Caicos, now ex-MI5 officer Johnny Worricker is hiding out in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory and offshore finance center in the Caribbean, southeast of the Bahamas.

A chance encounter with CIA covert agent Curtis Pelissier leads Johnny to a dinner with a number of shady New Jersey (US) businessmen who are members of a company called Gladstone. Turns out that they are “quartermasters” who have been overcharging the U.S. government for the construction of black site torture camps.

For some real-world context see:

As the CIA attempts to reclaim some of these funds, it emerges that Gladstone has ties with The Bridge, a foundation run by a London private equity firm with the British Prime Minster as a secret partner who plans to use these resources as the head of this global not-for-profit / foundation when he leaves public office.  Hence, the Prime Minister is personally benefiting from overcharging on secret prisons and torture.

Things come to a head in the third film (also made in 2014), Salting the Battlefield. The Prime Minister is forced to resign and he becomes a special envoy to Iraq (shades of Tony Blair’s resignation in order to become a Middle East envoy for the United Nations, European Union, United States, and Russia).

Diving into the first movie, Page Eight, I assumed I was in for a good yarn – something that would make a good pick for Let’s Go to the Movies on the Solari Report.

However, as the second film unfolded with a private syndicate of American businessmen in Turks & Caicos, I started to get a queasy feeling. The person who had put me onto The Worricker Trilogy was anonymous: I received a handwritten note in the mail with no return address. Did my anonymous source have a deeper agenda?

I remembered when I first heard the name Turks & Caicos. I was sitting outside Nick Brady’s office at Dillon, Read & Co. Inc. in 1988, right before Nick was appointed Secretary of Treasury towards the end of the Reagan Administration (and in anticipation of his good friend George H. W. Bush winning the Presidency).

Having sold Dillon Read two years before, the partners were about to receive our final payouts. One of the partners shared with me that Nick and a group of his private associates were partnering in a major development in Turks & Caicos. A resort hotel and private residences were underway. And a private airport was being built so that private planes could land there. Perhaps I would like to come in on the deal?

I was confident that Nick Brady was not keen to have his sole female partner purchase a lot near him and his pals in an offshore haven as he moved on from Dillon Read. So, I demurred and changed the topic. I thought little more of what those plans might be for the offshore haven. After all, Nick already had a place in Lyford Cay.

But as I watched the second film, Turks & Caicos, that queasy feeling came over me. They were talking about building private prisons and secret prisons.

My online book Dillon Read & the Aristocracy of Stock Profits is about a private prison company, Cornell Corrections, that Dillon Read financed after Nick and I left the firm. The early construction for Cornell Corrections was provided by Halliburton while Dick Cheney was the Chairman.

Given the close ties between Nick Brady and Dillon Read (and Nick’s close relationship with George H. W. Bush and Cheney), I have wondered for years whether it was Bush and Cheney who asked Nick to arrange for Dillon Read’s support in financing Cornell Corrections. In fact, I wrote a blog post last year asking whether Cheney was “double dipping” on the private prison business: Did Dick Cheney Double Dip?

Oddly, just after I published this piece Nick Brady resigned from the board of Weatherford International (see Weatherford International’s 2014 proxy showing Brady’s resignation in Feb 2014). The company was recovering from an offshore scandal of its own, although I am sure that his sudden resignation was a coincidence.

As I watched Turks & Caicos, I wondered if Hare was writing a fictional story or possibly borrowing from real life.  Did one or more syndicates put together a plan in the late 1980’s and or early 1990’s to build a significant prison industrial complex?

Of course they did. If you look at the explosion in public, private and secret prisons over that period, it clearly required some major policy decisions and significant investment by both public and private sectors:

When the decisions were made to implement a significant growth in prison populations as well as CIA secret prisons, it was essential that those decision-makers also organized the investment to benefit themselves and their allies.  The explosion of investment during the period indicates a commitment of major resources.  No one does that without an investment model which is expected to work and which will make it worth the time and effort of all parties involved.

Watching Turks & Caicos brought me back to DynCorp, their Chairman and lead investor Pug Winokur and their shenanigans from 1995-2002.

If a syndicate such as the fictional Gladstone were going to run big construction contracts, they would need a contractor which was approved to handle secret projects for the intelligence agencies and the State Department.

DynCorp is a defense contractor. The company used to be the leading contractor at the Department of State – including running systems and diplomatic mail globabally. It may still be doing so.

DynCorp was implicated in several sex-slave trafficking cases during this period. It ran support for the DOJ’s asset forfeiture fund (For more, see Civil Forfeiture in the United States and Asset Forfeiture) which, at the time, was rumored to finance covert operations. The primary custodians for the Asset Forfeiture Fund are the US Marshalls, who also transport and manage prisoners in the federal prison system.

According to the Rendition Project, DynCorp’s successor company (CSC) was the prime contractor for at least one of the outsourced elements of the renditions program, inheriting the role when it took over DynCorp in 2004. Under the prime contract (which remains classified) DynCorp, and consequently CSC, entered into agreement with the CIA to provide a range of aircraft for covert operations including renditions. In turn, the prime contractors entered into agreements directly or indirectly with a set of brokering companies in order to source and secure the use of particular aircraft for the ‘end user’.

DynCorp was also rumored to run the PROMIS software system for the Department of Justice, something I learned about when a retired CIA officer (formerly in covert operations and, I suspect, still moonlighting) tried to persuade me that DynCorp had used the PROMIS system to falsify evidence against my company, Hamilton Securities. This triggered an 11-year “fishing expedition” in which I finally prevailed at great expense (see Hamilton Securities Litigation).

The list of DynCorp’s spooky involvements go on and on:

If Dyncorp indeed falsified evidence to frame the Hamilton Securities Group, who ordered it and why?  Was it because our efforts to bring transparency to government investment would have severely curtailed numerous businesses, including syndicates organized to build private and secret prisons globally?

On three separate occasions, I have attempted to publish Dillon, Read & the Aristocracy of Profits in book form. On all three occasions I have been threatened – the last time seriously and involving references to my old partners at Dillon Read.

Someone is clearly very afraid of something.

As I watch the Worricker Trilogy, I am beginning to wonder if Dillon Read’s financing of Cornell Corrections was simply one public piece of a much deeper investment syndicate – one facilitating the terror operations which make global empire a reality.

It all has me wishing that I had asked my Dillon Read colleague in 1988 who else was going in on the deal to develop Turks & Caicos.

Then again, if I had asked that question, I might no longer be in the land of the living.

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