by Andrew Brenner
ePluribus Media

The owner of a Virginia business indicted for paying kickbacks in the U.N. Oil-for-Food program in Iraq has a reputed history of dealing with the CIA in foreign arms sales.

On October 20, 2005, Midway Trading of Reston, Va., guilty in New York State Supreme Court to grand larceny charges of paying $440,000 in kickbacks to Iraqi officials. The kickbacks had been funneled through the Romanian company Bulf Oil. Midway Trading agreed to pay a $250,000 fine.
Ken Silverstein of In These Times reports that Midway Trading president Stephen “Satch” Baumgart has a decades-long involvement in international arms dealing:

A former Naval officer, Baumgart has been involved in the murkier fringes of the weapons trade since the ’70s, when he brokered sales to American allies such as Mobutu and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines — all apparently with a wink and a nod from U.S. intelligence. “A CIA agent would drop by our office and Baumgart would brief him about his overseas travels, particularly about his contacts in the Arab world,” recalls Gerhard Bauch, a one-time German intelligence officer who worked for Baumgart. “They knew about everything we did.”

During the mid-’80s, Baumgart — who did not return phone calls seeking comment — helped supply Saddam Hussein, who was then seen by the Reagan administration as a bulwark against the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran.

Washington Post reporter Colum Lynch writes in the paper’s edition published October 21st that his attempts to reach Baumgart for comment were also unsuccessful.

ePluribus Media Contributors: Sue in KY, JeninRI, Jeff Huber, lilnubber and Standingup Researchers: Avahome and XP

Cross posted at ePluribus Media.

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