But how do you distinguish between the dime-a-dozen conspiracy theories and the real thing?

Smoking gun evidence helps, but that’s rare. Firsthand experience with the matter under consideration is one of the best approaches. That brings me to this story…

It involves the CIA, the failed crypto exchange FTX, money-laundered campaign contributions to Democrats, the Pakistani bank BCCI (which was a criminal enterprise on stilts that collapsed in 1991) al-Qaida, Jeffery Epstein and the crypto stablecoin Tether.

That’s a lot to unpack.

I handled Citibank’s financial control in Africa in the 1980s and BCCI was a bank we ran into constantly. We knew it was bad news then years before the collapse and made sure we kept as far away from them as possible.

I also converted Citi to Islamic banking in Pakistan around the same time. My Pakistan experience was one reason I was recruited by the CIA to do financial counterterrorism aimed at al-Qaida and others in the 2000s.

That experience deserves a few words…

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