The Bay claims another victim who had an intelligence background.
The Chesapeake Bay is becoming to Washington, DC what the Jersey Pine
Barrens were for the New York and Philly mobs -- a place where people simply
disappear. The latest victim of the "Chesapeake Triangle" is Philip
Merrill, the publisher of the Annapolis-based Capital-Gazette Newspapers (publisher
of the Annapolis Capital and Maryland Gazette) and the Washingtonian magazine.
Last Sunday, Merrill's sailboat, the Merrilly, was found drifting with the engine
running off Breezy Point in Calvert County, Maryland. Although Merrill's wallet
was found on board, there was no sign of Merrill, an experienced sailor who,
after an extensive search, was declared dead. A witness who found the drifting
Merrilly said there was some blood found in the back of the boat.
Washington has experienced similar inexplicable losses in the Bay. On Sep.
26, 1978, retired CIA Deputy Director for Strategic Research John A. Paisley's
sailboat was found moored off Solomon's Island, Maryland, south of where Merrill's
boat was found. Later, Paisley's body was found in the nearby Patuxent River,
his submerged body tied to diving weights. Although Paisley was shot through
the head, police ruled it a suicide. Paisley was involved with the electronic
intercept programs of both the CIA and NSA and may have had important information
on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that he was about to impart
to the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
On April 28, 1996, former CIA Director William Colby, who was cooperating with
John DeCamp, a Republican State Senator in Nebraska and a former CIA colleague
in Vietnam, in investigating a national pedophile ring said to involve George
H. W. Bush and reported in The Washington Times, went missing at his home at
Rock Point on Cobb Island in Charles County, southwest of where Paisley's boat
was found. After Colby's canoe was found adrift, his body was later discovered
on the shoreline of the bay. Colby, a veteran of CIA missions in Southeast Asia
and elsewhere, was said to have lost his footing and drowned.
Local police never ruled out foul play in either the Paisley or Colby cases.
Now we have Merrill disappearing under similar circumstances. Merrill outwardly
was connected to many neo-conservative organizations. He served on the advisory
council of Frank Gaffney's ultra-neocon Center for Security Policy; the Defense
Policy Board alongside such arch-neocons as Richard Perle, James Woolsey, and
Ken Adelman; set up the neocon Center for Strategic Studies under his Defense
Policy Board neocon colleague Eliot Cohen; and was appointed as the President
of the U.S. Export-Import Bank by President George W. Bush and was sworn in
by his friend Dick Cheney, who recommended him for the EX-IM Bank position.
Merrill was also described in yesterday's Washington Post editorial as someone
who took on "diplomatic and intelligence missions for the government over
However, Merrill also was very much part of the traditional Washington foreign
policy establishment, having served as Assistant Secretary General of NATO, a
participant in Law of the Sea and disarmament conferences, philanthropist for
the environmental Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the University of Maryland journalism
college, and a trustee of the chic Aspen Institute. Merrill served intermittently
as a Senior Intelligence Analyst for South Asia at the Department of State from
1961 to 1968.
WMR has learned from an informed source who knew Merrill for a number of years
that while Merrill headed the EX-IM Bank from 2002 to 2005, the bank routed
a significant amount of money to entities associated with the Russian-Ukrainian-Israeli
mafia -- the shadowy network that his been linked to fugitive Marc Rich, his
one-time lawyer "Scooter" Libby, Jack Abramoff, Adam Kidan, and various
Russian oligarchs who are now exiled in Israel to avoid extradition for their
various crimes. The EX-IM Bank under Merrill's tenure also financed U.S. reconstruction
projects in Coalition Provisional Authority-occupied Iraq, programs that resulted
in the loss of billions of U.S. taxpayers' funds. Merrill had also supported
using future Iraqi oil and natural gas revenues to finance Halliburton and Bechtel
oil industry infrastructure projects in the occupied country. In May 2003, Merrill
told a congressional committee that the locking of Iraqi revenues for future
U.S. projects had "real merit."
WMR is continuing to investigate the Merrill case.