Wayne Madsen Report - Home
June 21, 2006 -- Merrill death ruled suicide; Body found in water weighed down by an anchor; Merrill shot through head in a replay of 1978 "suicide" of CIA Deputy Director John Paisley.
The body of Maryland publisher Philip Merrill was discovered Monday in the Chesapeake Bay near Poplar Island with a gunshot wound to the head and weighed down with an anchor. Merrill's body was discovered 11 miles from where his boat was found last week. As with Paisley, investigators concluded Merrill committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun. Investigators ruled Merrill's death a suicide even before an autopsy was performed, An experienced medical examiner told WMR that bodies found in the water rapidly lose toxicological and other critical evidence, including the presence of drugs in the bloodstream.
WMR was the first to speculate that Merrill's death was more than an accident, as reported last week by the mainstream media. WMR learned that while Merrill, a close friend of Vice President Dick Cheney and financial backer of a number of neo-conservative organizations, was the head of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the bank made a number of dubious loans to the U.S.-run Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq and a successor agency known as the Trade Bank of Iraq. In November 2003, $500 million in credit was extended to the Trade Bank of Iraq by the US Export-Import Bank. Much of the money was used to facilitate U.S. "exports" to Iraq, which was actually used to pay major U.S. contractors operating in the occupied country. A 2005 audit report by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction concluded that "the CPA did not establish or implement sufficient managerial, financial and contractual controls to ensure that funds were used in a transparent manner." The report stated that $8.8 billion allocated to the CPA was unaccounted for.