The lavishly-furnished custom
Boeing 727 airliner (727PX) which ferried Senator John McCain on four occasions
during his Presidential run in 2000 also flew Saudi Royals out of the U.S. right
after 9/11, carrying an entourage of Saudi Royals from Las Vegas to London six
days after the 9/11 attack in a controversial operation later scrutinized by the
The 727 figures in the current
tempest over his relationship with female lobbyist Vicki Iseman, who provided
and flew with McCain on the plane.
With hundreds of air charter
companies and airliners to choose from, the Saudis chose a company that owns
“Worship Ministries” and Christian Network, Inc., turning to Paxson
Communications, a “Christian broadcaster” which owned the plane, to make its
corporate jet available to spirit the Saudi princes and their entourage out of
the U.S. six days after 9/11.
The Saudi Royal party made good
their escape from Las Vegas on an airliner sporting a Christian symbol of peace,
a dove, on it’s tail, an intriguing detail and compelling human interest
story—Muslims flying Air Jesus—that has to date been reported nowhere but in the
"Red-carpeting the entourage"
At the time, the controversial evacuation
of rich Saudis prompted charges of special treatment
and inadequate screening of passengers by the FBI.
The FBI, of course, denied
it, but in uncharacteristically colorful language.
say baloney to any inference we red-carpeted any of this entourage," an FBI
official wrote in a 2003 internal note.
entourage” may be the least of it.
The McCain lobbying
scandal has been called as “silly as a blonde joke,” and an “assault on working
women,” although the nature of the ‘work’ being engaged in by the working women
under assault was left unspecified.
But it may not
be as silly as it appears on the surface.
can learn a lot about the players in political scandals these days by
remembering the catch phrase from the old TV show Fantasy Island, which each
week had an improbably-dressed midget in a tuxedo calling out:
“De plane, boss! De plane!”
Lobbyist Vicki Iseman,
McCain's very own “Campaign
Suicide" Blonde, nestled cozily
beside Big John McCain on a 727 tricked out to suit the garish
tastes of Saudi Royal Princes.
A year later this same plane
will become one of six flying Saudi evacuation flights which would be scrutinized by the
The connection between the
Saudi Royal Family and a company that owns “Worship Ministries” and Christian
Network, Inc. is not immediately apparent.
Buxom Blonde Take Mile-High Sweet Ride
first, let’s hear some more about the sex.
The female Washington
lobbyist alleged to have been Senator John McCain’s jet-setting paramour is
described in some accounts a “bright, energetic woman who made her
way from the farms and coal fields of rural Pennsylvania to the ruthless
environment of Washington.”
Spun another way, Iseman
is “blond, buxom, & three decades younger” than horny old goat
McCain. (Her lobbying firm tried to take her bio off their website, but nothing
stops the WayBack Machine.
Most speculation has focused on the obvious…Did
they or didn’t they?
the duo take a mile-high
Here we’ll admit to an
editorial bias. We certainly hope so. It would clear up a pressing question
about McCain's candidacy for President: "Is McCain too old to
Watch out, Bob Dole
It’s a win-win for Big John...
Because even if the
71-year-old lawmaker didn’t sleep with an attractive blond 30
years his junior, he is being looked at with new respect by older male voters
whose allegiance is key to Republican hopes in the fall.
Also, when Bob Dole
“shuffles off this mortal coil,” Big John will be nicely positioned for a
lucrative spokesperson contract touting Viagra.
Truth be told, maybe we’re
just jaded, but we're not really feeling it for what we've heard so far. So on
this one, we’ll take the high road, we think.
A woman with a burning
desire, and a man old enough to be her grandfather.
all that titillating.
Its... its icky.
McCain also leaves us
feeling embarrassed for our entire unimaginative gender because of the
unfortunate resemblance—about which neither woman can be pleased—between Vicki
the “Campaign Suicide Blonde” and the Senator’s current wife
This does not speak well
for McCain’s ability to think “outside the box.”
Think "The Getaway" meets "Sheiks on a Plane."
Now let’s take a look at
In the worst possible way,
they wanted to get out of Dodge.
The Saudi Royals and their
entourage in Vegas were understandably anxious to get out of the U.S. in a hurry
in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack.
What aroused suspicion was
the 9/11 Commission Report’s unusually terse statement and non-committal
language when discussing the provenance of the Saudi flight out of Vegas.
They never named the
owner, as they did with the other planes involved. The 9/11 Commission's
addendum on the Saudi flights names the owners of the other airplanes involved,
but neglects to mention that Saudi Royals escaped on a plane belonging to
a Christian broadcaster.
Saudi Princes Fly "Air Jesus"
They called it
“Chartered Flight B 727-21, Tail Number N727PX.”
“On September 20, 2001,
18 members of the party of Saudi Prince Abdulmajeed Bin Abdulaziz departed
from Las Vegas, Nevada, for Stamstead, England aboard a chartered B 727-21,
tail number 727PX, destination Stamstead Airport (London) England,” read the
Commission addendum on the Saudi flights.
“Before departure the
aircraft was swept, perimeter security was provided, and all persons boarding
were matched to previously provided passports and a manifest by agents of the
The 727 that ferried both
John McCain and Saudi Royals actually belonged to Vicki’s boss, Lowell “Bud”
Paxson, whose Paxson Communications owns a down-market Christian broadcaster
Paxson was Miss Vicki’s
biggest client. Nothing wrong with that.
As it happens, “Air Jesus”
was in good company.
Two others of the six
flights scrutinized by the 9/11 Commission were flown by air contractors known
to be involved in CIA renditions on planes whose flight logs recorded trips to
Guantanamo Bay, where the CIA’s detention facility was doing brisk business.
Two of the six, in other
words, were CIA planes.
Maybe that's what stole Ohio for Bush in 2004
A third plane belonged to
an unlikely player, the national carrier of the African nation of Gabon. Or
rather from its President, a friend of Jack Abramoff's so close and personal
that his checks usually had six zeros in them.
was at that time still at
liberty, not yet a felon (a convicted one, anyway), and probably still
thought of the "Big House" as Aaron Spelling's mega-mansion in Beverly Hills.
Omar Bongo is
President-for-Life (bien sur!) of Africa's beyond-corrupt
Republic of Gabon. He seems an unlikely personage to pop up in an
aviation-related story. But what he lacks in aviation credentials he more than
makes up for with his close ties to Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Bongo paid Abramoff $9
million for the promise of an Oval Office
meeting with President
Bush. And in May 2004, he got a 30-minute meeting in the White House with George
A win-win situation for
both sides, no doubt. The $9 million would have sure come in handy to help
grease things during the brouhaha over the flawed Presidential election in Ohio.
"Guido, Rachid, Rachid, Guido"
All of the planes we've
looked at so far that were used, along with McCain's lobbyist squeeze's 727,
on Saudi evacuation flights. All had, and have, interesting associations.
But only one of the planes is, well, you know... officially
To the Mob. The
owner is a very close personal friend of the biggest crime boss in New England.
The six planes scrutinized
for flying Saudis out of the U.S. share heavy political connections at the top
end of American political life, and have
more in common than can be
accounted for by chance.
Where does the plane
McCain and his lady friend flew on fit in? What’s a religious broadcaster doing
in such motley company?
wouldn't seem to have a lot in common, just as organizations, with the CIA, the
Mob, and disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Registered lobbyist for Netherworld, Inc.
John McCain’s use of this particular plane pure happenstance? Did the Saudis
charter PAX-TV’s 727 by mistake?
Answers could help clarify whether this is a sex scandal, a corruption scandal,
or even a scandal at all.
There’s something slightly
sinister about "Campaign Suicide" Blonde Vicki Iseman’s corporate client
list. She and Tampa-based lobbying firm Alcalde & Fay service a roster of
companies comprising a “Who’s Who” of a peculiarly American
Gambling casinos and Saudi
money mingle with covert operations of the CIA, felonious schemes of Republican
lobbyists... even a television network responsible for the scurrilous Swift Boat
documentary that sunk John Kerry’s chances for the Presidency in 2004...
They rep the
brother of a Saudi billionaire wanted for securities fraud,
cruise ship lines making billions a year but paying no American taxes…A
broadcasting network, Sinclair, responsible for producing and airing the
“documentary” that swift-boated John Kerry’s Presidential
ambitions in the 2004 elections...
Were there hidden
connections between the companies on the client list of comely blond lobbyist
Vicki Iseman's client list?
Companies secretly allied
in some non-SEC-approved way?
Mogul "found God in Vegas hotel room"
And a Christian
network, PAX-TV (now ION) whose offerings stand out as having been
exceptionally tawdry even in the notoriously heavily-mascaraed field of
amassed more than 70 television stations in five years, the biggest collection
in the nation, with access to about three-quarters of all US homes.
His religious ventures
were always ambitious, if rarely in good taste…
even started his own
“mega-church” in Jupiter, Florida. The improbably named “Christ Church of
the Palm Beaches” was first set to open on the site of the former Palm
Beach Jai Alai fronton.
The best of both worlds:
Pari-mutuel betting and Sunday services.
When that deal fell
through, Paxson next eyed Burt Reynolds' defunct Carousel Jupiter Theatre, and
while waiting for repairs to be completed, an informal bible study meeting
called "Cappuccino and Christ," launched next door at the Jupiter Beach Resort.
And then there's that
mental image of Lobbyist Vicki the “Campaign” Suicide Blonde nestled cozily
beside Big John McCain on a 727 tricked out like a whorehouse to suit the garish
tastes of Saudi Royal Princes.
Jesus would be proud.
“Hickory dickory dock, the Diceman joins the
a heady mix, even before adding in PAX-TV’s roster of stars so faded they didn't
even get calls to fill-in when someone gets sick on Hollywood Squares anymore.
Many had documented substance-abuse problems where the ultimate outcome was
always very much in doubt.
There were Stacy Keach and
Anthony Michael ‘Detox’ Hall, “plumping for the Lord.” PAX-TV even took
celebrity casting to new non-denominational lows, with a show about coming
to Jesus through the joy of Jewish cooking.
Called “Chicken Soup for
the Soul,” it starred Andrew 'Dice' Clay.
It is a remarkable web of
The lobbyists behind
repeated referendums pushing for legalized casinos in Florida, billionaire
weapons merchant Adnan Khashoggi’s brother, Essam, owner of Earthshell (whose
bright idea it was to manufacture biodegradable cheeseburger wrappers for
McDonald’s)... even former lawmakers whose legislative "achievements" included
slipping into law
making possible today’s multi-billion dollar offshore gambling industry in
Did we mention, by the
way, that this casino industry is completely unregulated?
An almost all-cash business?
again we are back to Jack Abramoff.
What about the guy who wrote checks for the hit?
In several different ways,
Paxson Communications and Jack Abramoff’s “people” have, shall we say, “close
Currently winding out, the
Abramoff Scandal will not have run its course until the completion of the
upcoming trial of three New York Mafia Gambino Family members for the murder of
casino ship line owner Gus Boulis.
and Abramoff are connected though Gus Boulis.
Gus Boulis owned a dozen
casino gambling ships parked at ports around Florida. The casinos, to this day,
are completely unregulated. No one know how much money they take in every
Of this figure, the daily
take, which nobody knows, no one knows who
gets what. A
cash business with nobody looking over your shoulder...
Jack Abramoff coveted Gus
Boulis’ casino business in the worst possible way. So he "supposedly” duped an
otherwise savvy Chicago hedge fund named
into lending him $32 million to purchase Boulis’ fleet of a dozen unlicensed
offshore gambling vessels.
Dead men don't need 'walking around' money
Then, in relatively short
order, having been paid no more than a mere pittance of the agreed-upon sale
price, Gus Boulis was dead.
When Paxson’s Pax-TV fell
on hard times several years ago, and the firm was in danger of being declared
bankrupt, the broadcaster was rescued by a timely investment from the same
hedge fund in Chicago, Citadel Investment, that loaned Jack
Abramoff $32 million to purchase a fleet of a dozen unlicensed offshore gambling
boats owned by soon-to-be-murdered gambling mogul Gus Boulis.
The real question in the
McCain scandal isn’t about whether McCain had sex with an
attractive blonde female lobbyist, or whether he improperly intervened with
letters to Federal Agencies on her client’s behalf.
Both are so commonplace as
to barely qualify as news.
Jack Abramoff might have been fronting planes for the CIA. That's
certainly an awful thought, well-worth being hidden...
The prospect seems almost
too awful to contemplate.
What would Jesus say?