Shell Game: A True Story of Banking, Spies, Lies, Politics - And the Arming of Saddam Hussein
Only hours after Iraq's surrender ended the Persian Gulf War on February 27, 1991, federal officials swarmed the suburban home of an Atlanta banker. They handcuffed and arrested him on 347 felony charges - enough to send him to prison for some nine hundred years. Christopher Drogoul, the handsome and personable manager of the Atlanta branch of Italy's government-owned Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, was painted as an evil mastermind. The United States government charged Drogoul with secretly and illegally funneling more than $4 billion to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. The official line portrayed Drogoul as a high-tech con man, carrying out a prodigious fraud to feed his own greed and duping his Italian bosses, U.S. regulatory agencies, and Washington itself. But was Christopher Drogoul a brilliant manipulator or merely a pawn in a game run by much more powerful players?
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Shell game: a true story of banking, spies, lies, politics--and the arming of Saddam HusseinUser Review - Book Verdict
This is an intriguing account of one of the major foreign policy scandals in recent American politics. The author, an investigative reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, describes in riveting detail how the Atlanta branch of Italy's Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) acted as a front for channeling illegal funds to arm Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1980s. The key role played by Christopher Drogoul, the manager of BNL-Atlanta, in facilitating transfer of funds to Iraq is highlighted throughout the book. Mantius also reveals the intricate relationships among various U.S. government agencies, the Italian government, and the BNL in laundering funds to bolster Saddam Hussein's ambitions in the Persian Gulf. An accessible treatment; recommended for both general and informed readers.--Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, Ala.