Maurice Tempelsman

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Person.png Maurice Tempelsman   SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Businessman, diamond merchant)
Maurice Tempelsman.jpg
Born26 August 1929
Antwerp, Belgium
NationalityBelgian, American
Alma materNew York University
SpouseLilly Bucholz
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Members 3, Eurasia Foundation/Board and Trustees, National Democratic Institute/Board and Staff

Maurice Tempelsman is a Belgian-American businessman and De Beers diamond millionaire who was the longtime companion of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, widow of John F. Kennedy, and reportedly courted Madeleine Albright.[1][2]

Tempelsman is a former Chairman of the American Jewish Congress, a Zionist pressure group that claims it "works closely with the Israeli military."[3]

Engineering coups

Belgian-born Maurice Tempelsman has a long and bloody history in Africa. When Congo's first Premier, Patrice Lumumba, was murdered after he pledged to return diamond wealth back to the newly independent Congo in the early 60's, Tempelsman helped engineer the coup d'état that consolidated the dictatorship of 29 year-old Colonel Mobutu, and the coup against Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah; diamonds were at stake in each.[4]

For over 35 years Maurice and son Leon Tempelsman worked the diamond connection behind the repression of Mobutu Sese Seko and his Israeli-trained shock troops. Now, 56 years later, the Tempelsman empire remains rock solid behind three companies: Leon Tempelsman & Sons, De Beers, and Lazare Kaplan International; LKI supplies Tiffany's and Cartier's. A client of Adlai Stevenson's law firm during the first Congo crises (1960-1970), Tempelsman later hired Lawrence Devlin, a CIA station chief responsible for covert operations in Katanga, to maintain the Mobutu diamond/cobalt connections into the late 1980's.

Maurice Tempelsman's capacity to sway governments and leverage markets is unrivalled. In 2002, Tempelsman offered Namibia's President Sam Nujoma an $80 million interest free "loan" to bridge Namibia's budgetary shortfall against future sales of Namibia's gemstones.[5]

Funding politics

Maurice Tempelsman is the deep pockets of the Democratic party, a regular supporter of the campaigns of John Kerry (D); Ed Royce (R); Tom Daschle (D); Barack Obama (D); Maxine Waters (D); John Rockefeller (D); Richard Gephardt (D); Howard Wolpe (D); Patrick (D) and Edward Kennedy (D); and the 1988 win of George H. W. Bush. Tempelsman also exploited ties with Anthony Lake, Clinton's National Security Adviser, who intervened at the U.S. Export-Import Bank on Tempelsman's behalf.

Tempelsman contributed some $500,000 to Clinton for president, and he is backing Hillary Clinton (D). He travelled at Clinton's side on the 1998 Presidential Africa tour--along with National Security Council staffer John Prendergast, now an International Crises Group "expert" and leading "Save Darfur!" cheerleader. The Clinton's Botswana visit was not about an Okavango Delta wildlife reserve safari. Botswana's President Festus Mogae attended the 1999 'Attracting Capital to Africa Summit' in Houston (TX), organised by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), the "who's who" of multinational corporations. CCA chairman Maurice Tempelsman organised the summit, where 10 African heads of state met with half of Clinton's Cabinet and 200 corporate representatives. Tempelsman and the CCA organised the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Africa in 2001, featuring DRC President Joseph Kabila, coordinated with an Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) meeting involving President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell.[6]

Lockerbie connection

In August 2010, former De Beers manager in Namibia Gordon Brown wrote on Professor Black's blog:

"De Beers stood to lose the most valuable diamond mining property in the world and monopoly control of the global diamond business if Lockerbie victim Bernt Carlsson reached New York and brought action against them as was his intent."[7]

Brown went on to explain that the US Senators, who were then making such a big fuss about the compassionate release of "Lockerbie bomber" Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, were using "Blood diamond" money to divert attention from the actual perpetrators of the Pan Am Flight 103 crime:

"Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg receive election campaign funds from Maurice Tempelsman who worked for the De Beers Diamond Cartel, now a criminal enterprise."

In an email to Lockerbie campaigner Patrick Haseldine, Gordon Brown wrote on 16 August 2010:

"With regard to Candidates for Federal Office - Contributions for Senate Campaigns, please be advised that Senator Frank Lautenberg (a candidate since 1980) received funding from Maurice Tempelsman in election years 1990, 1996 and 2008. In 2008 he received three donations: two from Maurice and one from his son Leon Tempelsman.
"Senator Robert Menendez received campaign funding from Maurice Tempelsman in 2006.
"I know some folk who worked for De Beers in London in the late 80's in fairly senior posts. Trying to track them down to ask if they could discover the whereabouts of the tape-recording of the meeting between Bernt Carlsson and De Beers on the day of the Lockerbie bombing. This most certainly would have been recorded.
"Keep up the good work
"Kind regards
"Gordon Brown" (deceased 21 February 2014)


Related Documents

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Document:Blood Diamondwebpage5 August 2011Keith Harmon-Snow
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Document:Hammarskjold and Kennedy vs. The Power EliteArticle7 August 2016James DiEugenioPresident John F. Kennedy hears of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba's murder from UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson. Perhaps no photo from the Kennedy presidency summarises who Kennedy was, and how he differed from what preceded him and what came after him, than this picture.
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  1. Schmidt, Susan (August 2, 1997). "DNC Donor With an Eye On Diamonds". The Washington Post. pp. A01. Retrieved November 9, 2009. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |work= (help)Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto").
  2. McFadden, Robert D. (May 24, 1994). "Death of a First Lady: The Companion; Quietly at Her Side, Public at the End". New York Times. pp. A17. Retrieved November 9, 2009.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto").
  3. Document:Blood Diamond
  4. Janine Roberts, Glitter and Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel, Disinformation, 2003: pp. 177-185; David Gibbs, The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money and U.S. Policy in the Congo Crises, University of Chicago Press, 1991; Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Edwin Mellen Press, 1999.
  5. "Diamond Poker," Africa Confidential, Vol. 43, No. 25, 20 December 2002.
  6. Wayne Madsen, "Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa", 1993-1999, Edwin Mellen Press, 1999: p. 92-93.
  7. "What De Beers stood to lose"