Chapter 7 The US Stockpile of Blood Diamonds.
This chapter tells the previoiusly unknown early history of "blood diamonds". You will learn, among other things, how a leading US diamond merchant, with strong CIA and White House connections. a former companion of Jackie Onassis, was deeply involved in a very turbulent and bloody time in West and Central Africa - while he sold millions of diamonds to the US government ... by saying it was a good way to support Mobutu, a dictator who plundered his country.
Excepts from the full chapter ... many twists and turns and deals omitted. Learn how to manipulate the White House.
One spring day in 1992, in the midst of my diamond investigation, I found myself deep under Manhattan inside a massive bank vault filled by tables piled high with small boxes wrapped in red paper. I opened one of the boxes and found in it sheets of fine white paper folded around diamonds. When at random I picked up another box it too was full of diamonds. On the floor there were bucket sized containers. I pulled off a lid and played with the precious large glassy pebbles that lay loose within. Many were of good shape and colour without any obvious flaws. Two security guards and a government official watched me. They had agreed to take me to this vault so I could film part of the US strategic diamond reserve for The Diamond Empire film. These stones had all been acquired by the US to make sure US industry was never again at the mercy of a foreign blockade or of rationing by a diamond cartel.
Each box was labelled with either the diamond Syndicate's London address or that a Leon Tempelsman ....
... The Syndicate members racked their brains to find a way out - and lit on a new strategy. A declassified State Department memo says it was Moens de Fernig, a leading director of the principal Belgian company in the Syndicate, Societe Generale, who took the responsibility of recruiting the young Tempelsman and gave him work that was to make him rich. . 'Moens de Fernig had himself taken the initiative of bringing Templesman [sic] into the picture and urging the latter to investigate the possibilities of a ...barter deal with the US. '
... But these deals were modest compared with Tempelsman's later achievements. His greatest feat as a salesman was persuading the US government to buy millions of diamonds that it did not need. This was all the more remarkable for being pulled off after government officials had discovered that they had overspent their budget for diamonds and were consequently trying to sell surplus diamonds, not buy them.